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Academics

The Daily Princetonian

In introductory language classes, discrepancies in proficiency not an issue

More than half of the students who take SPA 101: Beginner's Spanish I, a class for students with no previous background in the language, have studied Spanish before enrolling in the class, according to a survey conducted by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese in spring 2012. The survey, which received 106 responses, also revealed that 29 percent of the students surveyed had taken at least three years of Spanish before beginning the introductory course. “Language teaching is very different in different institutions,” Spanish Senior Lecturer Alberto Bruzos Moro explained.

NEWS | 12/01/2013

The Daily Princetonian

4 graduate students awarded Jacobus Fellowships

Four graduate students were named winners of the Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellowship, Princeton’s top honor for graduate students, the University announced Friday. The students, James Pickett GS, Emily Vasiliauskas GS, Sonika Johri GS and Cristina Domnisoru GS, will receive funding for their final year of graduate study.The fellowship is awarded to those whose work has exhibited the highest scholarly excellence. Pickett, a Ph.D.

NEWS | 11/25/2013

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The Daily Princetonian

Students with an evening exam followed by a morning exam the next day will now qualify for rescheduling

Students who have a final exam at night followed by an exam the next morning will now be able to reschedule their morning exam for the afternoon, according to the Office of the Registrar’s website. "Students who have an in-class night exam (7:30 p.m.) followed by an in-class morning exam (9:00 a.m.) the next day may request that the morning exam be rescheduled to the afternoon (1:30 p.m.) of the same day," the policy reads. The change is the result of efforts from the USG Academics Committee, whose chair Dillon Sharp ’14 presented a series of recommendations for the final exam period to the Faculty Committee on Examinations and Standing on Oct.

NEWS | 11/12/2013

The Daily Princetonian

Delbanco, Katz discuss troubling trends in American higher education

Higher education has become dominated by a number of troubling trends over time, and students come to college with little sense of why they are there, Columbia University’s American Studies program director Andrew Delbanco argued in a conversation on Tuesday afternoon. In the course of the lecture, Delbanco and Wilson School professor Stanley Katz touched on a number of subjects about the state of education in the United States, from pre-kindergarten programs to higher education. Delbanco said that Americans increasingly see colleges as lavish institutions that fail to teach students effectively. “They’re wasteful, they’re inefficient, they’re not doing their job, and we have a problem,” he said of ordinary people's view of colleges. This attitude is reinforced by rising tuition fees, which are caused in turn by the increasing privatization of higher education, Delbanco explained. “Our public universities have been gutted,” he said, noting that public funds make up only 6 percent of the University of Virginia’s budget. Katz warned against public universities’ efforts to raise funds in the face of budget shortfalls, either through tuition increases or the admission of more out-of-state students. These strategies undercut the democratic purpose of public education in America, he said. Higher education has developed a “pernicious and perverse obsession with rankings,” Delbanco said.

NEWS | 10/22/2013

The Daily Princetonian

Expansion of entrepreneurship courses to follow recent surge in interest, support

Expanding the University's course offeringsin entrepreneurship will be a priority initiative for new provost David Lee GS '99, University President Christopher Eisgruber '83told the 'Prince' in September. Lee's initiative comes amid a climate for entrepreneurship on campus that has evolved significantly in recent years.

NEWS | 10/17/2013

The Daily Princetonian

Seminar explores U.'s little-known connection to slavery

Under the guidance of three instructors, five undergraduate students in HIS 402: Princeton and Slavery are working closely with historical documents in Mudd Library to attempt to understand how slavery influenced the early development of the University. Following the 2003 appointment of theSteering Committee on Slavery and Justiceat Brown by president Ruth Simmons, Princeton is among a number of other universities that are now researching how slavery shaped their own educational institutions. History professor Martha Sandweiss teaches the class alongside University archivist Daniel Linke and postdoctoral fellow Craig Hollander.

NEWS | 10/15/2013

William Bowen lectures on the future of online education and MOOCs

Former U. President Bowen GS ’58 argues online education is “here to stay”

Former University President William G. Bowen GS ’58argued that “online education is here to stay”in a lecture in McCosh 50 on Monday night,saying that universities must work to find solutions to the challenges posed by technological advances. The national discourse surrounding the growing prevalence of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, has become increasingly relevant to the University in recent years, where several professors have adopted Coursera, a massive online education platform that allows professors to offer online courses to students off-campus. University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83, who has indicated his support for a greater role for online education in the past, acknowledged the cost considerations driving the popularity of MOOCs in a May lecture.

NEWS | 10/14/2013

The Daily Princetonian

U. debate on threat posed by climate change grows hot

The threat posed to humanity by climate change is questionable, University physics professor William Happer GS '64 said in a talk Thursday at the physics department's monthly colloquium. Happer's comments came in response to anannual report on the state of climate changereleased by theUnited Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in September, with whose findings he disagreed.Two weeks earlier, Happer had shared the same views at atalk celebrating Institute for Advanced Study physicist Freeman Dyson’s 90th birthday. Happer’s criticism of the link between greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide contributing to global warming has been a point of contention among the academic community, including his peers at the University. In his Thursday discussion, titled “Why Has Global Warming Paused?”, Happer directly challenged the IPCC report that supported the link between human greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.Contrary to the report, Happer said that increased carbon dioxide emissions would not pose a problem for humanity. Over the past 15 years, temperatures have not risen as high as scientists, including himself, have predicted, Happer pointed out.

NEWS | 10/14/2013