Many foreigners find the level of US college athletics surprising but having grown up in this country I was shocked to find out European universities, for the most part, do not play each other in any sport, not even soccer. Where's the fun in that?
My next university trip will be to the University of Rochester, not a football powerhouse and in the same Division III wannabe-ivy league as the University of Chicago. Chicago used to be a football powerhouse, part of the Big Ten and had the first Heisman trophy winner, Jay Berwanger, in 1935. But then the new president Robert Maynard Hutchins who has been claimed to say "Whenever I feel like exercising, I lie down until that feeling goes away," eliminated the athletic programs and focused the university on academics. Only in the past few decades have they even had Division III teams.
With all this traveling, I won't be going to FOCS. But don't worry, I have lined up a special guest blogger to bring us all the gossip from the conference.
how about some posts on computational complexity?
Keep doing it your way, Lance. I got more out of that Berwanger quote than I do out of most theorems.ReplyDelete
Whoops, I meant Hutchins quote.ReplyDelete
I agree with the anonymous above.ReplyDelete
This is a blog, not a lecture on "computational complexity", anyway.
I mean, I agree with the second (and presumbly the third) anonymous.ReplyDelete
It's not a lecture on complexity. It's more like going to CCC and listening to Lance at the coffee-and-muffin table while waiting for the next session to start.ReplyDelete
When I went to the University of Western Ontario, they were so go-hard on their football programs. I can't imagine being in an academic environment where sports plays a bigger role. Yet this is true at alot of universities in the States. Makes me kinda glad I'm at Hippie Central now... oops! I mean York University. :) Incidentally, I heard that U of Rochester is a hard school to work for. They don't encourage much individuality or creative thinking in their profs... or so ruomr has it.ReplyDelete
College athletics, and football in particular, has always been seen by many US universities as a pump for alumni funding. A winning football season usually brings in significantly more alumni dollars than a losing one. I teach at a big state school in the Southeastern US that invests a lot in its football program, hiring big-name coaches at astronomical salaries, etc., but still has a mostly losing football team.ReplyDelete
Personally, I could care less about college football. I like the fact that our team doesn't win much because that means less rowdy parties in my neighborhood on game days (I live near campus). But it is unfortunate that doing well on the gridiron correlates so strongly with getting better financial support for academics. What a racket.
For an INTELLIGENT look at the issueReplyDelete
of College Sports read
Beer and Circus: How Big-Time College Education is Crippling Undergraduate
by Murray Sperber
I used to teach a big state university with a (usually) top 20 football team. The provost would track how the number of admissions applications from year to year varied with the success of the football team.ReplyDelete
That's 'Beer and Circus: How Big-Time College SPORTS is Crippling Undergraduate Education'ReplyDelete
"Whenever I feel like exercising, I lie down until that feeling goes away."
Are there any funny TCS quotes out there?
The real reason that Lance won't be attending FOCS: White Sox tickets for the World Series.ReplyDelete