On the Trail of an Undercover Professor

Despite “the rhetoric of student culture,” she writes, students are not only studying less, they are also spending less time socializing than students a generation ago. The reason why, she offers, is that they’re too busy holding wage-paying jobs. In addition, efforts to create a more cohesive college community are stymied because the “sheer number of options in college life generate a system in which no one is in the…

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Synthesizer Innovator Robert A. Moog Dies

A childhood interest in the theremin, one of the first electronic musical instruments, would lead Moog to a create a career and business that tied the name Moog as tightly to synthesizers as the name Les Paul is to electric guitars. Despite traveling in circles that included jet-setting rockers, he always considered himself a technician. “I’m an engineer. I see myself as a toolmaker and the musicians are my customers,”…

The End of the Paper Syllabus

On the first day of classes, the ritual has been the same for decades: Professors hand out copies of the syllabus and walk students through it. But in most courses at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh this fall, the only thing professors may hand out is a URL. That’s because the dean of the College of Letters and Science told professors that — for financial and educational reasons —…

Star Trek Phone Set to Thrill

The cool gadgetry on the classic TV series has made dreamers drool since the first time Captain Kirk barked the words “Beam me up, Scotty!” into his little black box and snapped it shut. –Holly J. Wagner –Star Trek Phone Set to Thrill  (Wired) Cute, but Kirk never actually said that line, just as Sherlock Holmes never said, “Elementary, my dear Watson.” Kirk said “One to beam up,” or “Energize,”…