A mix of red and blue, the color purple embodies red's sense of authority but also blue's association with serenity, making it a less negative and more constructive color for correcting student papers, color psychologists said. Purple calls attention to itself without being too aggressive. And because the color is linked to creativity and royalty, it is also more encouraging to students.
"The concept of purple as a replacement for red is a pretty good idea," said Leatrice Eiseman, director of the Pantone Color Institute in Carlstadt, N.J., and author of five books on color. "You soften the blow of red. Red is a bit over-the-top in its aggression."
Serenity? More constructive color? Linked with royalty? What planet are these people from? Do they really think the scarcity of Phoenician snail mucus is going to help students feel better about themselves? The more important question, of course, is why making the students feel uncomfortable about their mistakes is supposed to be bad, but I think we've lost that battle.
I find this incredibly funny, because I also use purple (and other colors) to grade exams, not because it's less damaging to my students' fragile self-confidence, but for security. If I grade with the standard red ballpoint pen, what's to keep an enterprising student from buying his own red ballpoint pen, modifying his grade, and then complaining that his grade was recorded wrong?
Oh, don't tell me you've never thought of that. Your students certainly have.
So far most of this stuff applies equally well to computer science departments, but I expect huge differences when people start writing about grad student labor, adjunct labor, and the state of the academic job market.
Morse matchings capture the essential structural information of discrete
Morse functions. We show that computing optimal Morse matchings is NP-hard and give an integer programming formulation for the problem. Then we present polyhedral results for the corresponding polytope and report on computational results.
In most of the tests, the results improved the more the subjects drank in a week. Overall, the heaviest drinkers -- men who drank more than 241 grams of alcohol per week -- typically performed 10 percent to 30 percent better than other drinkers. . . .
Additionally, the authors cautioned that their findings should not be used to encourage alcohol consumption.
Each boy ranks all the girls in order of his preference, and each girl does the same. Then, each boy asks his first choice for a date. Each girl with one or more offers dates her favorite and says "no" to the rest.
In the next round, the boys who were rejected move on to their second-choice girl. The girls again date their favorites, possibly throwing over their date from the earlier round for someone better.
Continuing in this way, [David Gale and Lloyd Shapley] showed, the dating frenzy eventually subsides into a stable situation where each girl has only one boy, and there is no boy and girl who prefer each other to the people they are dating. That is, every time a boy does not get his first choice, he has no hope of getting anything better. Each of the girls he prefers is paired with someone she prefers to him. The same is true for a girl.
The National Resident Matching Program successfully defended its policies in a recent class-action lawsuit brought by residents. Among other things, residents argued that the current algorithm allows hospitals to set their salaries too low. They may be onto something; it's well known (at least to theoretical computer scientists) that the Gale/Shapley algorithm chooses, out of all possible stable marriages, the one that is best possible for hospitals (the girls) and worst possible for residents (the boys). Proposals to change the gender roles of the participants are routinely ignored.
Each residency program could offer up to three salary levels. Students would rank each level as if it were a separate program. Hospitals would include each student three times in their ranking lists, once at each level.
Seems reasonable enough from a mathematical standpoint. After all, the resulting marriage of hospital-salary pairs and residents will still be stable. The new match can't be worse than the current algorithm's results. Alas, this is the real world; the acceptance of Crawford's proposal will depend far more on policy agreements and greed than on mathematics.