Thursday, December 3, 2015

Data science at Cal

This spring, Data Science 8: Foundations of Data Science, returns to Cal in its second appearance since its debut this fall. And also I'll be teaching L&S 88: Health, Human Behavior, and Data, a 2-unit connector course that accompanies DS 8, for the second time. Here's a YouTube video presentation about the course by springtime lead DS8 instructor John DeNero, in which I appear at about the 34 minute mark to talk about L&S 88.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Climate, growth, and conflict

The Times takes the long view of economic growth, conflict, and sustainable development, and its pessimism is well summarized by the invocation of "Blade Runner," "Mad Max," and "The Hunger Games." It's fun to read and probably to write pop-news pieces that unite like-minded strands of thinkers to push a particular theme. But it also seems like a disservice to spin apocalyptical yarns during a period when we should all be taking action on climate change more seriously.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Student loan geography

Vox shows us maps of student loan total debt and delinquencies around Washington, DC.  The two are not the same, revealing that the absolute level of student loan debt is not (at first at least) indicative of trouble. I'd love to see a map of percent with completed degrees, because my prior is that it's student loan debt that is accrued without an accompanying degree that's probably the most pernicious.