On Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 10:31 PM, Wayne Bishop <email@example.com> wrote: > Paul regularly "proves" for us how strong US students are including those at > the top end of the performance spectrum. From community colleges to > prestigious institutions such as Princeton, it is beyond ridiculous. Not > that anything will slow him down, of course. Nothing ever does. This one > from Princeton is about physics but with physics, engineering, advanced > economics, etc., the problem is not the weakness of physics, > pre-engineering, or economics, it is the weakness of the underlying > mathematics. > http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2012/08/29/look-east-young-man/ > > Here are a couple of excerpts: If the Asians are the most industrious, the > best prepared are the Eastern-Europeans, who come equipped with the vestiges > of old Soviet-style education. Those students, passing through a system > largely influenced by the mathematician Andrei Kolmogorov, have often > attended special math-science schools and have been fire-tested through > Olympiads. Few Russian undergraduates are visible in Princeton physics, but > our Bulgarians , Romanians and Serbs tend to be so well trained that not > long ago I was forced to quip to a colleague, ?Anyone whose last name ends > in ?ovich,? ?adzich,? or ?escu? should be put in the honors course without > discussion.?
With respect to all of the above:
Pure non sequitur.
It does not actually address what I actually write, which is about comparing the general populations of the countries, including how large a percentage of the general public learns calculus well enough to pass a national calculus exam, that now being about 5%. What I wrote in
and other such posts is not in the least addressed by the above, which addressed only maybe the top 0.01% of the public.
But I have not addressed comparing the top 0.01% of the general populations of the countries.
But I will here: I do not doubt that the US could do a better job educating its top 0.01%, and it would not surprise me if the that top 0.01% of the US would be outclassed by some small number of countries in East Asia and Eastern Europe. But as for comparisons to the rest of the world, the top 0.01% of the US would I think still be one of the best.
What about the real world of the general populations and how well they compare? Is only the top maybe 0.01% important?
Finally, this point:
Has it not occurred to those who think the sky is falling with respect to the education of the top students in the US that as time goes by, more and more of those high school students that pass that national calculus exam realize that there is more money to be made elsewhere than in majoring in some math based discipline?
I mean, hell, look at all those millionaires and billionaires, the vast, vast majority of which did not get that rich by slaving away at some math based major. If college degrees are needed, then, apart from going into medicine, graduate degrees in the more financial based areas of business or law have much more promise for the big money.
Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but does anyone really need any more than simply following the lure of a better potential for the big money to see what I'm saying?