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Author Topic: Ever wonder why the Chinese are doing so well?
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2007 14:44      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This article might be a clue.

Ok, so maybe I'm getting on in years, and suffering from "in my day" syndrome, but I'm appalled that they feel the need to test English university science students understanding of a 3-4-5 triangle. I could have answered that when I was 14.

The Chinese pre-admission question on the other hand, looks quite challenging. I'll be printing this one out and thinking it over, but I'd have died of fright if I'd encountered it on a test when I was a teenager.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Richard Wolf VI
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Icon 10 posted April 25, 2007 15:27      Profile for Richard Wolf VI   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Chinese people have always taken over Math competitions. The communist regime encourages them to work hard for the bread, so the results are given.
What I hate most of my Uni is that math has the same importance as language to pass for an engineering. So I'm studying vectors in order to get those 500 pounds!

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WinterSolstice

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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2007 16:19      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Maybe because math is haaaaaaard?

lol - I'm glad the US can be competitive with someone [Big Grin]

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Metasquares
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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2007 17:23      Profile for Metasquares   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The English test is easier, but neither of those questions are all that hard - IIRC, we spent a year of high school figuring out exactly how to answer those sorts of questions, so by application time, the material was still fairly fresh.

Not that any university has ever admitted me based on something as rational and objective as a test score.

</bitter ivy league reject with a perfect GRE>

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WinterSolstice

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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2007 18:11      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'll see your irony and raise you the stupidity of youth...

I had a perfect 4.0, and nearly got a Merit scholarship. I was accepted at every school I applied at (including MIT and Annapolis). I currently have no degree, despite being 12 years out of school.

Why? I initially had difficulty figuring out the scholarship game, and fell into doing IT as an undergrad intern. Now, a bit more than 10 years later, I do IT still. (with a couple brief alternative career moments).

So it could have been worse. You could have gotten in but been too dumb to figure out how to pay for it, only to realize later that you could easily have done so [Big Grin]

Ahhh - the bitter irony [Smile]

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An operating system should be like a light switch... simple, effective, easy to use, and designed for everyone.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2007 18:23      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Metasquares:
Not that any university has ever admitted me based on something as rational and objective as a test score.;

I only just scraped in to my Computer Science course, if I'd scored 1 point less (out of 100) in Pure Maths at high school, I'd have missed out.

I scored in the top 10% of my first year Computer Science class.

To their credit, the faculty noticed I wasn't the only one in that boat, did a study to see how well their selection system correlated with results, found a negative correlation, and changed the system the next year.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2007 18:44      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Picking the wheat from the chaff is hard. There're some real duds in my department, but hey, they had good grades and GREs, they had to be smart, right??

My thesis advisor pulled me out of the reject bin. He has since then grown more selective about students. Makes me kinda insecure, even though I've been very productive. :/

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
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Metasquares
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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2007 06:23      Profile for Metasquares   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
Picking the wheat from the chaff is hard. There're some real duds in my department, but hey, they had good grades and GREs, they had to be smart, right??

My thesis advisor pulled me out of the reject bin. He has since then grown more selective about students. Makes me kinda insecure, even though I've been very productive. :/

I understand what you're saying - at the beginning of my first semester, I was plunged into both research and classes head-first and had no idea what was going on. Despite a high undergraduate GPA, my undergraduate school had not prepared me well for grad. school and I wasn't particularly productive until my third week there. The GRE has never been about anything other than admissions, but it is something that would at least make some sense to rank applicants by. All other things being equal, someone with a higher GRE score should have a better chance of doing well than someone with a lower score.

There are two things that should almost certainly correlate well with success in graduate school, however: prior success in graduate school (that is, evidence such as graduate GPA) and prior research (which I am wondering if the admissions committee even bothered to read). That's where I should have had a significant advantage over the other applicants this year.

The only thing I could have done to improve my application was to work with someone famous or to go to a better school. That last point is cyclic.

There's one other measure that probably correlates highest with success (defined as completion, not GPA) in grad. school, and that's tolerance for something that is largely nonsense. I can't say I'm particularly impressed with the quality of the education I'm receiving.

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Huicho
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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2007 11:18      Profile for Huicho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I read the questions and it seems to me that the translation from Chinese into English must have been done wrong. A square prism is another name for a cube which is about the only way that the projection of A1C onto the plane containing BD could be perpendicular to the line containing BD. However the prism could not be a cube because in instructions we are told that AB=AD=2 but DC=2*3^1/2 but to be a cube it must be equal to 2 as well.

Then again, I'm a little rusty in my geometry since last time I studied it was in 1989.

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Huicho
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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2007 11:37      Profile for Huicho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I googled it and turns out a square prism is a prism in which at lest two sides are squares and since AC is perpendicular to BD and BD would lie on the projection of A1C onto the bottom side of the prism I guess (i) is true. However I don't think that you can claim that A1C is perpendicular to BD since they do not intersect. However I could be wrong.
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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2007 12:24      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Metasquares, I'm not sure there is any preparation for grad school. I say this because, by the time I finished my undergrad, I had two years of TAing, about three years of research experience, and about half the coursework my university required for biochemistry GRADUATE students under my belt. I ws even doing research, TAing, and taking classes all at once, like the grad students did.

None of this prepared me for the true shock and horror of being a grad student. I can't describe what it's like. You probably understand, having lived it, but I can't describe it. I almost got the boot, but then my advisor pulled me out of the reject bin, dusted me off, and gave me a shot at redemption. Redeeming that first year was probably the hardest thing I've ever done. I won't go into what I had to do to get over that, other than to say I almost broke my soul to get out of that hole I dug myself into, and nowadays people have pretty much forgotten I was ever in that hole to start with. But I haven't.

So, yeah, I didn't do anything productive my first year. I really wasn't in a position to be productive, to be honest. I did manage to pound basic thermodynamics into a few kids' brains, so I guess that's something, but in my program you don't join a lab until the end of that first year. Prior to that, you do ten week rotations through labs that look interesting, and it's hard, impossible really, to do anything significant in ten weeks. And I ended up joining a lab I didn't rotate in so yeah, all the lab work I did that first year was a total wash.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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Metasquares
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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2007 15:22      Profile for Metasquares   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
You probably understand, having lived it...

Yes, I think I know what you mean now. The easiest way to describe it would be to point someone to PhD Comics, I think [Smile]

I still don't understand why it's necessary to put up with it, though.

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Rednivek

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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2007 19:00      Profile for Rednivek     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Its a rite of passage.

Hi Xan!

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Rednivek - Detroit, Michigan, USA

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2007 19:54      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi Red! Long time no see!

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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Rednivek

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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2007 20:00      Profile for Rednivek     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Okay, now its back to writing and grading papers.

See you later!

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Rednivek - Detroit, Michigan, USA

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2007 20:02      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ick. I hated grading. Worst part of teaching, IMO.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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Rednivek

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Icon 1 posted April 18, 2009 20:23      Profile for Rednivek     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Okay, now a short break from a psycholinguistics paper.

Hi Xan!

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fs

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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2009 04:07      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I read an article a couple days ago (I think it was NYTimes, but can't find it again) about how willpower and foresight are greater indications of future success than test scores. This article in the New Yorker about predicting success was really interesting to read, too. (Yeah, I know it's long. I am one of the three people on the internet with an attention span. You don't have to post to tell me TL;DR. [Wink] )

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Rednivek

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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2009 17:54      Profile for Rednivek     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Interesting read. The length of the article amazes me in that it seems nobody writes in depth anymore (chicken/egg of the ADD world).

I don't think that one metric could provide much value as a predictor. It was interesting to note that it had some value when used as a comparator to the same person, however.

Don't many companies still look for the B students (intelligence + drive with fewer quirks than the straight A students)? I've heard that, but actually haven't seen it in action... usually the no experience types get a ranking in large part due to GPA. Though, come to think of it, the 4.0 GPA does bring out the microscope for people to look for the ultra-nerd.

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Rednivek - Detroit, Michigan, USA

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fs

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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2009 00:45      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rednivek:
Interesting read. The length of the article amazes me in that it seems nobody writes in depth anymore (chicken/egg of the ADD world).

Well, the New Yorker is still a print magazine, even though they put their content on the web, and I think their audience, in general, expects something with depth. I saw somewhere on the web, in one of those "guides to good blogging" or something, that the maximum length for a blog post should be about 300 words. Any more and people go "TL;DR" and move on. It's self reinforcing, too.

quote:
Originally posted by Rednivek:
I don't think that one metric could provide much value as a predictor. It was interesting to note that it had some value when used as a comparator to the same person, however.

Yeah, I think that there are a combination of factors that come in to play, and it's also a matter of the environment you're trying to fit that person into. If you're trying to fit one A average person into a group of B average people, it may not work out so well, where if you put them with a group of A average people, they might work great together.

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I'm in ur database, makin' moar recordz.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2009 09:21      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Holy crap! Red de-lurked! Hi Red! Didja hear? I graduated! And what a show that was! [crazy] I recommend only doing that once. [Razz]

The issue is, what's the combination and how will they play out in the environment the person is being placed in? I guess what needs to happen is they need to start taking new statistics, both on the present successes and failures within a given field and the new applicants. But, OTOH, the things that make someone good at a job, ie, leadership skills, general people skills, intuition, etc. aren't exactly quantifiable.

As for TL;DR, I think that's one of the rudest, most condescending things you can post to someone, especially in the open. Not only does it say that the post the TL;DR is targeted against is not worth your time, it's also saying it's not worth anyone else's. Sometimes, that might even be true, but that's for people to decide for themselves.

And, for the record, nothing that gets published in The New Yorker is ever worth a TL;DR tag.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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fs

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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2009 10:28      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
And, for the record, nothing that gets published in The New Yorker is ever worth a TL;DR tag.

Amen. I'm consistently amazed at their quality, especially when it seems like standards are eroding in a lot of places. I think it's how I consume information too; I'd rather read a, well written, well researched article that explores something in-depth than a paragraph that, on the surface appears to cover something, but actually leaves a bunch of important questions unanswered when I give it more than a couple seconds of consideration.

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I'm in ur database, makin' moar recordz.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2009 12:32      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I agree completely. My attention span is shitty and my time is limited. I'd rather spend both on something of quality and substance than trash that is supposedly written to pander to people like me. :roll:

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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Rednivek

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Icon 14 posted April 21, 2009 19:27      Profile for Rednivek     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
Holy crap! Red de-lurked! Hi Red! Didja hear? I graduated! And what a show that was! [crazy] I recommend only doing that once. [Razz]

Go Xan Go! Go Xan Go! Go Xan Go!

Congratulations!!

(I wasn't lurking though, I was just lured here by FS's #joyoftech linkage to put the Geek back in GC).

[Smile] [Smile] [Applause]

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Rednivek - Detroit, Michigan, USA

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Richard Wolf VI
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Icon 10 posted April 21, 2009 19:54      Profile for Richard Wolf VI   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And this, my friends, is the effect of the T Virus on forum threads.

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