28 October 2014

Universities and tabloids

Have you noticed that, more and more, university web pages resemble tabloids?

The first page below is from a major university: "Best sex positions for women with bad backs" is on the front page.
The second page is from a major tabloid: "Just when we had sex, I noticed..." is on the front page.
Both are catch phrases of similar type. Their goal is to attract the customer's [sic] attention so that they click and read further, and, possibly, contribute some money. By subscribing, in the case of the tabloid, or by contributing towards the 250 thousand dollar goal, in the case of the university (top right corner of first image).

Some time ago we used to think that universities were serious institutions of higher learning and research. With some exceptions, of course, this is not the case any more. A large number of academic institutions are usurping the terms "research" and "teaching" and use them for services that have nothing to do with the original meaning of the words.

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What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant