Tagged: MOOC

Mathis Lohaus

Links: Learning Econometrics; Conflict Data; BITs and Corruption

A quick couple of links to start the week:

Ani Katchova offers free web-based materials to learn econometrics.  A lot of it looks to be relevant for political science applications. The Econometrics Academy also provides a good intro to different statistical software packages. If you’re interested in stats but have some gaps to fill, check it out! (via Phil Arena)

Speaking of large-n data analysis, I just saw this piece by Alex Hanna et al. in which they compare codings of conflict events from the GDELT project to another, hand-coded database:

After the recent controversy about GDELT, this seems to be another reason to avoid working with that source until we know more.

A great example of unintended consequences and the fascinating situations that can result from overlapping and conflicting bits of international law: “Do Investment Arbitration Treaty Rules Encourage Corruption?”

[S]tates in investment treaty arbitration can escape liability by proving that the aggrieved investor engaged in corrupt activities in connection to the investment under dispute–even if senior state officials were full participants in the corrupt transaction. That being the case, states that receive inbound foreign investment have a perverse incentive to tolerate corruption in the officials who deal with foreign investors, because that corruption may help shield states from legal liability should the state subsequently renege on its agreement with the investor.

Fluffy bonus link if you made it this far: I have a feeling that many grad students will recognize “The 5 Top Traits of the Worst Advisors” … (and make sure to scroll down, because there is a #6).

Mathis Lohaus

Links: NSA, Brazil, Tenure, MOOCs

Plötzensee, Berlin (Wikipedia)
Plötzensee, Berlin (Public Domain, Wikipedia)

Over at Bretterblog, a colleague has noted (in German) that many IR blogs seem to take a summer break. Might that have been directed at us? Well, here are some links to prove that not all of us are swimming in a lake right now… (I wish!)

PRISM / NSA surveillance, even though you’re sick and tired of it:

In other news:

  • Nauro F. Campos analyzes why people are protesting in Brazil, using a dataset from 1870 to 2003. The list of factors he and his colleagues have identified for the current wave of protest doesn’t sound too surprising: “corruption and inefficiency in public services delivery, political ineptitude and the electoral cycle.” Another interesting finding: The number of riots is decreasing over time, but there are more peaceful protests.
  • There’s a great post at Scientific American by computer scientist Radhika Nagpal, who decided not to stress too much about tenure and instead treat her job as a “seven-year postdoc”. This means: don’t spend all your energy networking and sucking up to important people, but rather enjoy life and get good work done. Probably works best if you’re very smart and hard-working anyway; she’s now a professor at Harvard. Steven Saideman offers his comments at the Duck of Minerva.
  • Are MOOCs (massive open online courses) a game-changer, or are we just being fooled by the “hype cycle”? Dan Drezner contrasts the two perspectives and ends up in the skeptical camp [Foreign Policy account needed].
Sören Stapel

Links: Protests in Brazil, Eurozone, Spying, MOOCs

2º_Junta_Brasil_em_Juiz_de_Fora_-_bandeiras_arco-íris_e_cartaz_contra_a_cura_gay
People protesting in the streets of Rio de Janeiro. Source: Wikimedia (public domain)

Usually, I try to find common themes for the links when it’s my turn in the link duty. Today I do not live up to that. So, here’s a rather cursory collection of what I’ve read over the last couple of days.

So far, we did not cover much of the protests in Brazil and I expect this to change soon. Meanwhile, Natalia Bueno shows who is protesting in Brazil. In case you missed it, check out Jay Ulfelder’s critique regarding laundry lists of causes for social unrest. At least, Gamman and Young’s argue that protests in Brazil are not just about the economy. Robert Kelly speculates whether the protests could spread to Asia’s corrupt democracies.

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Sören Stapel

MOOC: publicity bubble or game changing development?

MOOC_poster_mathplourde
Lots of questions regarding MOOC. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

2012 is considered to be the year of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), most related media contributions date back only a few weeks, and the MOOC movement has reached Germany. While first-tier universities in the US have been pushing the MOOC agenda over the last couple of months, German academics have been proven resistant to this new teaching and learning concept so far. But it is here in the end, both the MOOC movement and the related discussions. While the fronts between proponents and critics of the MOOC seem to be hardening, I feel like sitting on the fence not knowing what I should make out of the MOOC idea.

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Mathis Lohaus

Links: Climate Chaos; MOOCs; Advice for Young Researchers

MOOC
Screenshot: MOOC Production Fellowship website
  • Martin Wolf has a piece in the Financial Times listing seven reasons “why the world faces climate chaos”: path dependency, the power of free-market ideas, salience of other issues, naive optimism, coordination problems and complexity, discounting the future, and the problematic burden-sharing between rich and poor countries. Not surprisingly, he doesn’t really offer a quick fix.
  • “Massive Open Online Courses” (MOOCs) are getting a lot of attention, and Germany is no exception. Currently there’s a competition for 10 x 25,000 EUR of funding to produce an web-based course, and I encourage you to check out the submissions from social sciences. Everyone has ten votes.
  • Over at the Duck, Dan Nexon reminds us that the idea is not really new – technology has certainly improved, but talk of a “MOOC moment” might be overblown.
  • Economist Andrew Oswald shares some advice about things he would have found useful to know as a young researcher (via MR).
  • While we’re at it, check out Farnam Street. I’d call it a self-help blog for knowledge workers – and honestly, the advice seems a bit over the top at times. But in case you’re unhappy with your reading habits, consult the “Buffett Formula” for motivation…