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Social Resposiblilties?

October 12, 2007



I was one of the so-called “scientist” who was mailed a journaled paper to petition against the KYOTO PROTOCOL.  First, I didn’t know I was a scientist.  Secondly, I didn’t know this effort was so powerful, thousands of highly educated scientist actually signed the petition and it has the force to push the president of the US to NOT sign the Kyoto protocol to reduce green-house gas.  I never knew I could have so much power.  Even power to do the wrong thing!


GRE and Putnam Exams


On Oct 11th, I volunteered to help students who are going to graduate schools prepare for their GRE exams.  This is one of those Graduate Exams students take to submit to the grad schools they apply to.  Students here are more eager than most other classes that I taught for credit.  And then I was tasked to "trained" some students for Putnam Math competition.  Initially there were more than 10 students who were interested.  But due to time conflict, I ended up having only 5.  Finally another dropped and I’m left only with fur now.  Putnam is the ultimate of all math problems.  Noam Elkies, the youngest person ever getting a full professorship in Harvard University, made a career out of doing Putnam problems. 


One of my student was so bad, he could hardly prove the simplest of Math problem but he wants to be a math teacher and wants to take part in this competition.  In the US, the C’s and D’s students became teachers.  So unless you pay for your child to go to private schools, they’re taught by these students who went to teaching school to learn lots of ED PSY to teach our kids.  I’m not saying Ed Psy is not important but imagine a school full of teachers whose mechanics of the actual subject is weak but who are armed with lots of ED PSY?  That is a picture you have painted of the kind of typical school in America.  One of my grad school office mate, who happened to be extremely intelligent, spent an hour explaining to me how the government made promise and spent so much money on education but failed to improve very much in the last 20 years!  And yes, he included lots of moments of what they did to him!  "Complete boredom", he said.  No wonder you see so many foreigners in Science and Engineering grad schools here. In my first grad school, the language spoken during break time was CHINESE!


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