Mainstreaming the PhD, Part 1

Time was conversations about what to do with a PhD in a bad job market ended in expressions of shame, heartbreak, guilt, or rage. But lately, that conversation has been (happily) interrupted by bright pockets of snarky analysis, activism, and community building by and for those seeking careers (and a life) outside the academy. A recent advice column … Continue reading Mainstreaming the PhD, Part 1

Working with Writers 101

Handing over a project to a writer, especially one you haven’t worked with before, is a bit like handing over your health and happiness to a total stranger.  If you’re hiring a writer, chances are it’s for a high-visibility project and you’re on the line for its success. Here are a few tips for assuring … Continue reading Working with Writers 101

Particle Fever. Watch It. Catch It.

I just had an opportunity to catch the new documentary, Particle Fever, which will be opening in theaters on March 5. The brainchild of Johns Hopkins physics professor David Kaplan and physicist-turned-filmmaker Mark Levinson, the film documents the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, a massive particle accelerator in Geneva, Switzerland designed to test theories … Continue reading Particle Fever. Watch It. Catch It.

Ed-Tech with a Heart: Duolingo

For the past four weeks I've been obsessed with the new language learning tool, Duolingo. Developed by Luis von Ahn, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University (the guy that brought us reCAPTCHA), Duolingo was named by Apple as the best new iPhone app for 2013. (There's a web version as well.) Slate writer Seth Stevenson calls it "the most … Continue reading Ed-Tech with a Heart: Duolingo

MOOCs: Is That All There Is?

This week Coursera announced its launch of Specializations, sequenced courses designed to help students achieve deeper levels of mastery as well as the credentials to demonstrate that mastery. At about $200 per sequence, Specializations also provides an alternative revenue stream for Coursera and its partners, which may be why the announcement featured in news outlets … Continue reading MOOCs: Is That All There Is?

193,000 Toothpicks and You

I grew up with models. Small-scale reproductions of boats, primarily—the Charles W. Morgan, the USS Constitution, battleships, aircraft carriers—carefully assembled, usually over the course of a cold New England winter, by my father or one of my two brothers. So I thought I got the obsession. Then I encountered Wayne Kusy at the American Visionary … Continue reading 193,000 Toothpicks and You