Monday, October 28, 2013

The price of freshman seminars ought to be going down...

According to this story in the Stanford Daily there are more freshman seminars this year, but no more applicants than last year.

"Though there was an overall increase in the number of Introductory Seminars (IntroSems) offered this year, the number of applications for and enrollments in fall quarter seminars stayed relatively the same as last year, according to Russell Berman, faculty director of the Stanford Introductory Seminars (SIS) program.
This year, 257 classes are available over the course of three quarters—more than the 221 classes offered last year—some of which are also eligible to fulfill the new Ways of Thinking/Ways of Doing breadth requirement.
Some fall quarter seminars attracted extraordinary application volume, making entry more difficult.
“These very popular courses sometimes create a problem for the program insofar as students apply for these and nine out of 10 are going to get turned down,” Berman said. “Sometimes students only apply to those courses that have strong enrollments, and then they get turned down multiple times.”
Berman noted several courses from all disciplines with competitive entries this quarter, including ME26N: Think Like A Designer, taught by Shilajeet Banerjee M.S. ‘00, associate professor of mechanical engineering at the; Psychology Professor Carol Dweck’s PSYCH12N: Self Theories; and ECON26N: Who gets what? The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design, taught by Alvin Roth M.A. ‘73 Ph.D. ‘74, a professor of economics who won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.
The professors who had to review hundreds of applications to their popular classes developed their own acceptance policies. Roth specifically asked his prospective students to write about something they had experienced related to the course’s subject matter.
“I chose students who wrote about something interesting,” Roth said."

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