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Re: Utah Beats Harward In Teaching Science.

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Posted by Richard Ruquist on February 18, 2001 23:13:52 UTC

Your judgement is based on a rather small statistical sample. But I may be willing to agree with the conclusion expressed in your post's title. That is that the teaching is better in Utah than in Harvard.

Fortunately from my experience associating with students at Harvard who went on to make names for themselves, they did not need teaching. As far as I could tell the knew everything ahead of time. But they were so much smarter than I that I could not really tell if that was true or not. Occasionally one would remark in class something like, "Ahh, so that's why it is...."

The remaining 90% of us had no clue what was being talked about. So I got to experience what seemed to me to be real genius. It further seemed to me that the remaining 90% were just there to fill out the class. But it was the 10% that Harvard was really concerned with. The faculty, who came from that 10% at Harvard or elsewhere, identified with their genius.

That is why I went into Star Wars research. The geniuses were there during WWII but had long since departed. So I had a competitive opportunity to succeed. Unfortunately the group the geniuses left behind were more interested in control and money than freedom of ideas.

One last thing about Harvard( not Harward). I was amazed at the humility of the professors there. If you asked a question privately, or presented your thoughts to them, almost invariably their response would that they did not understand. Very quickly you , or rather I learned, that what they meant is that they considered the logical consequences of your thoughts and saw a contradiction. I never saw the arrogance there that I experienced at the other institrutions I have been associated with.

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