Monday, September 19, 2005

Finally, a ranking of universities that isn't terrible.

As with almost all other attempts to do this sort of thing, universities in the English-speaking world got a boost. For example, here is what the analysis writes about Russia's best university:

Lomonsov(sic) Moscow State University's appearance is especially impressive given the severe financial and political problems of operating in Russia. It is well-liked by academic peers across the world but shows up poorly in citations per staff member.

Or about Japan's top university:

Japan, the world’s second-largest economy, has six of the top 40 universities in the rest of the world, including Tokyo and Kyoto,traditional sources of the country’s most prominent political and business leaders. Tokyo is by some distance the highest ranking university in this group on the peer review criterion and overall. Its strong peer review success also propels it to 12th place in
the world overall. By contrast, it is poor at attracting both staff and students from overseas and middling at citations.

Obviously, universities outside the English-speaking world will do poorly in citations if you measure citations in English-language journals. (And actually the effect will still be present, though in lesser form, if you extend your citations ranking to non-English language journals. This is because there are more citations per person in bigger academic communities, and communities restricted to a given country are , as a rule, smaller).

Another strange thing about this ranking is the freakishly high placement of the University of Massachusetts - above Duke, Brown, NYU, and Rice.

Overall, though, this is arguably the best ranking to date. It is also a nice counterpart to the horrible US News, which has an annoying bias in favor of liberal arts colleges with mediocre faculties.


At 10:46 PM, Blogger angela said...

im very glad you posted this, it's so important.

At 2:00 AM, Blogger alex said...

damn right

At 2:42 PM, Blogger Kevin Donoghue said...

"My limited knowledge does not prevent me from writing about subjects way beyond my area of expertise."

Funny you should say that. I came here to compliment you on your patience in dealing with Seixon. When it comes to writing about subjects way beyond your area of expertise, you'll never be in his league.

At 4:48 PM, Blogger alex said...

Thanks - I was thinking more about my political opinions when I wrote that.

People like Seixon present a problem that is difficult to deal with. What do you do with someone who makes bold claims, but actually doesn't understand elementary probability?

Not replying leaves them with an appearance of being unrebutted. Replying embroils you in a "debate" and someone who is not familiar with the topic may not be able to sort out who is right and who is wrong.

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Dano said...

What kevin said.

People like Seixon present a problem that is difficult to deal with. What do you do with someone who makes bold claims, but actually doesn't understand elementary probability?

Elementary probability, soil science, global warming, macroecon theory, social darwinism...

Of course, you guys are only familiar with my Dano character and might smirk at this, but you have to continually smack the hand-waving aside and redirect to the point.

These guys want to be right, because the other must be wrong, and they have consciously chosen their identity to align with not being the other. The other being a constructed narrative where Alex is an elite science defender.

Argument from Enlightenment principles is not considered important. Appeal to emotion is what strikes a chord in Seixon types, and that is what you're up against. At least he's been to college, but that probably has contributed to the energy of his ululation.

Keep up the good work, sir.



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