Questions tagged [academic-history]

Regarding inquiries into the evolution and development of academia as an institution from a historical perspective.

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67
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4answers
6k views

How does it affect the treatment of a mathematician's results, if that mathematician was a Nazi?

I've been studying uses of quaternions to study various types of orbifolds. The important thing here though is that I came across an absolutely incredible result due to Vahlen in 1901, that apparently ...
7
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2answers
248 views

Why do so many publication venues have their own citation styles?

I have noticed that it seems like every other conference has it's own citation style; even in the same field, or subfield. Or at least each provide their own bibtex style (.BST) file. Are they ...
14
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1answer
616 views

Is there any (comparative) statistics on h-indices of old scientists during their lives?

In my country (I live in Russia) the government puts in place some reforms in Education, and, in particular, the possibility for a person to have a position at a university now depends on his ...
11
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1answer
272 views

When and how did journal publications start to have such an important role in evaluating researchers?

Wikipedia says that Newton published the laws in 1687 on Principia Mathematica. And in another page that: The first recorded editorial pre-publication peer-review occurred in 1665 by the founding ...
6
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1answer
195 views

Latin academic positions

I was wondering if there was a standard system, at some point in history, for academic positions in Latin. What I mean is that today each country has a standard system that names each academic ...
1
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0answers
65 views

Book with comprehensive description of (history and operation of) Harvard university

I really am not sure if my question falls under this Stack Exchange forum, but I am going to try. A friend of mine asked me if there is a book with some sort of comprehensive description of Harvard ...
2
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1answer
164 views

I need resources regarding the history & meaning of a PhD

I am taking over the position of program director for a relatively new PhD program, at a college which has only one PhD program (mine). The students are generally mid-career public health types, all ...
2
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1answer
612 views

Has there ever been a trend in academia like the one we're experiencing with Data Science?

At a panelist event that I attended recently, exactly 100% of the current students and alumni in the room who didn't have PhDs in Machine Learning stated that they wanted a PhD in Machine Learning -- ...
6
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2answers
352 views

Why did most US Universities switch to semesters

I recently meet someone attended a US school still using the quarter system. I've heard several theories, the most popular being that the semester system is easier for university to administrate. I'...
32
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4answers
2k views

Why do past PhD exams appear more difficult than current ones?

I noticed while doing practice math PhD exams that the newer exams tend to be a bit easier than the older exams. The online archive goes back about ten years or so, but I was able to dig up some old ...
28
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4answers
5k views

When and why did conferences pick up the habit of giving out conference bags to attendees?

I wonder when and why conferences picked up the habit of giving out conference bags to attendees.
19
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3answers
1k views

How was funding handled in the medieval university?

How was funding of research done in the medieval universities?
6
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2answers
490 views

Why do we call a research paper, a “paper”? [closed]

I am curious to know why we call a research paper, a "paper" in the singular form...? People put a huge effort in writing this "paper" ... when you talk to an outsider (non-academic) about a "paper" ...
21
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3answers
2k views

Why are positions in math so hard to come by nowadays?

Whenever I've heard math professors talk about job prospects in academia, they indicate that the job market has gotten much tougher over the years. Is it true that it is harder now than it used to be ...
6
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1answer
261 views

Why are some journals for research papers called “review”?

There are many journals from different fields feature the word review in their name even though they are mostly featuring research articles – and not review articles, book reviews or similar. Some do ...
1
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1answer
125 views

Trends on time spent studying over the the past few decades, for students outside the US

Is there any research/study/survey/dataset that looked at the trends on the time students spent on studying, over the the past few decades in different countries in the world (aside from the USA)? I ...
42
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8answers
10k views

Why has the time spent studying declined so sharply in the United States over the the past few decades?

I read on https://www.aei.org/publication/leisure-college-usa/ : Study time for full-time students at four-year colleges in the United States fell from twenty-four hours per week in 1961 to ...
-2
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1answer
259 views

Research that was released to the press early, which remains credible?

The words science by press conference are pretty much universally used in derision. Wikipedia has a list of results that where rushed into a press conference and later turned out to be erroneous. ...
41
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5answers
14k views

Why doesn't the academic year start on January first?

The academic year starts somewhere in the middle of the normal calendar year in almost all schools. Even if the courses are divided into semesters, the Fall term is essentially considered to be the ...
10
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1answer
267 views

Which are the most relevant sources on the goals of university and their relation to its origins and evolution?

During my university student life here in Brazil, I've heard and read different opinions about the goals of modern university, from "provide social justice" to "form an intellectual elite". That's why ...
40
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6answers
8k views

Why didn't more people graduate with a college degree when it was “affordable”?

Adjusting for inflation, (without too much controversy, I expect), it is evident that college was more affordable in the past. See for example, this chart of Tuition and Fees and Room and Board over ...
6
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2answers
294 views

How far back do Chinese universities go?

Europe has many universities founded in the Medieval period; in the United States, universities started to be founded almost as soon as English settlers arrived. China, however, I know very little ...
51
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2answers
3k views

Are there boycotts against publishers other than Elsevier?

Academics have called for a boycott against Elsevier, with some success for instance because it has led to resignations (recently in the Lingua journal). As I understand it, Elsevier is not the only ...
40
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15answers
12k views

What did Universities use in lectures before they starting using PowerPoint?

On my 'quest' to understand how universities have changed over the past decade(s), I'm curious as to how teaching in lectures was done before the days of PowerPoint (which as an undergraduate is ...
7
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3answers
1k views

How did German universities outperform the US's and the UK's, before the 1930s?

I narrowed the outperformed in this question to the US and UK, but please feel free to include other First World nations' universities (eg: Canada, France). [Source:] The top American universities ...
-3
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1answer
114 views

What is the distribution of payoffs in research? [closed]

What is the distribution of payoffs in research? Looking back through history, some research topics can pay off big, eg the double slit experiment in physics. "Pay off" here is not precisely defined,...
2
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1answer
156 views

What recent research looks at how scientific theories are established?

I'm interested in quantitative understanding of where new scientific theories come from, and the process by which they grow/develop/become established. This is intended as mainly a sociological/...
0
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3answers
799 views

How did Academia create and/or solve the chicken-and-egg problem of having a PhD?

I've seen several English translations for "PhD", but seems to me that it did not originate from England. Who introduced the term, what did it originally stand for and where did it originate from? I'...
4
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2answers
377 views

How essential is curiosity? [closed]

This is going to be a rather soft question, I am not completely sure it is appropriate for this place. But still. In your opinion, how important is the presence of strong curiosity (passion for ...
50
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2answers
2k views

Status of Elsevier Boycott

Starting around 2012, Timothy Gowers had much to say about the practices of Elsevier. Very roughly speaking, he argued that Elsevier made research articles expensive to access and profited heavily ...
10
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1answer
296 views

Are there any publications that explain the origin of conventions of authorship order by field?

The conventions of authorship order vary considerably from one field to the next. In some fields, such as pure math, authorship order is typically alphabetical irrespective of the authors' roles. In ...
23
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1answer
734 views

Around what percentage of universities require(d) Ancient Greek and Latin for admissions?

I limit this question to universities in Canada, UK, and the US. In general: Please see the titled question, and provide dates if known. 2 Examples: p. 10 of 17 of this PDF states Oxford ...
9
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1answer
315 views

When did it become commonplace for data set providers to ask users to cite their paper(s)?

Nowadays data set providers typically ask data set users to cite their paper(s) introducing the data set. When did this practice become commonplace? (Given what I read on this page, I feel the need ...
4
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0answers
245 views

How can you precisely match Chinese academic positions with western style? [closed]

Since 1919 the first time "democracy" and "science" was introduced into China, two academic position systems have been carried out in Chinese research and educational institutions. One is from Former ...
88
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2answers
17k views

What is the origin of the “underwater basket weaving” meme in Academia?

"Underwater basket weaving" is often used as a placeholder for "irrelevant, useless university course." (Despite the fact that it's an actual thing.) More generally, "Basket weaving" and related ...
12
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6answers
2k views

Why does art history exist as a distinct discipline separate from the discipline of history?

Art history is an established academic discipline and you can do degrees at all levels in it. Why is this the case? Why isn't it considered a sub-discipline of history? It seems to stand ...
14
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1answer
304 views

Are there still journals who only publish their papers in the paper form?

As far as I can say, for the papers published nowadays, there is usually a possibility to get an electronic version of the paper. (Often it requires payment or institutional subscription, but many ...
9
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2answers
313 views

How was higher education done before the university system?

I know the university system as it is understood today dates at least as far back as the 13th century or perhaps even to the time of Charlemagne, Alcuin of York, et al., but how was higher education ...
16
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3answers
2k views

Do people write research papers differently nowadays?

Revised. I was thinking about the way I write research papers, it involves a lot of revising to even get a "first draft," and subsequently I do a lot of revising also. Presumably this is fairly ...
7
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1answer
13k views

How to verify academic history and degree?

TL;DR: How does one verify the academic credentials (degree earned, date of graduation) of an individual without their permission or knowledge. I'm trying to verify the academic history and degree ...
37
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5answers
3k views

How did authors prepare figures in their publications before the advent of computers?

I am often amazed at how neat figures in old scientific publications are. How did authors prepare those plots and diagrams, when there were no computers around? Did they draw them by hand? Were there ...
15
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2answers
667 views

Origin of the thesis-degree procedure

It just came to my mind, currently if one wants to obtain an academic degree one must to do a thesis. This is a widely accepted method to prove the knowledge of certain academic level, sort to say. ...
1
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2answers
489 views

Publishing PhD thesis at another university due to not being able to afford high publishing costs?

Would it ever occur, historically, that a PhD student could not obtain his degree from a university due to the high costs of publishing his thesis, such that he would have to publish it at another ...
0
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1answer
176 views

École Normale Supérieure's students' class rankings and ranking on the national concours exam for agregation?

Are the École Normale Supérieure's academic records publicly available anywhere? Specifically, I would like to know what class rankings were historically there, as well as its students' rankings on ...
2
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1answer
209 views

What is the history of teaching assistants (TAs) in France?

I know that in France, as late as the early 20th century, although I'm not sure if this is true now, a university student (undergrad or grad?) would take a nationwide concours exam to receive the ...
6
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1answer
287 views

How did graduate schools come into existence?

When did universities start to segregate their certifications into undergraduate degrees (bachelors) graduate programs (master's and doctorates)? More importantly, why did this separation occur? ...
11
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2answers
671 views

Why does the Nobel committee not award prize to collaborations?

The 2013 Physics Nobel prize went to François Englebert and Peter Higgs, for their discovery of the Higgs boson. I was wondering why the CERN, as an institution, or the ATLAS collaboration, are not co-...
14
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2answers
5k views

Why is Howard University still predominantly black?

Today, I read the name “Howard University” on a list, and since I had no idea where it was, I looked it up. I was amazed from their website because, well, most people on the photos there are black! ...