Weird Science: Optimal Boarding Methods

The Editorial Board of Beerkens' Blog decided it's time for a new regular item. Under this new item, I'll now and then report on a peculiar, remarkable, eccentric, extraordinary, unconventional, atypical, strange, funny, odd or bizarre study. In other words: a case of Weird Science. Here's the first one. Optimal boarding method for airline passengers by Jason H. Steffen  Full Text Available in Arxiv / Physics & Society [PDF] The problem Several passenger boarding schemes are used by the airline industry in effort to quickly load passengers and their luggage onto the airplane.…Read more …

Travel report

Here, somewhere between Los Angeles and Sydney, I decided it's time to resume posting again. I'm returning from a very long and interesting trip through Indonesia, Malaysia, India, the Netherlands, Portugal, Canada and the US. In three of the countries I have conducted interviews for my research: Indonesia (at Institut Teknologi Bandung and Universitas Gadjah Mada), Malaysia (Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Malaya) and the Netherlands (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and Technische Universiteit Delft).My research analyses the way in which nation states and universities respond to the increasing importance of knowledge for economic development and…Read more …

December

Due to my visits to the Universidade Aveiro in Portugal and the Technological University Delft in the Netherlands, there are no posts for December. I'll resume posting in 2007. Universidade AveiroRead more …

November

Due to my visit to India and the University of Groningen in the Netherlands there are no posts for November.Read more …

October

Due to my visits to Universiti Sains Malaysia & Universiti Malaya in Malaysia there are no posts for October.Read more …

September

Due to my visit to Institut Teknologi Bandung & Universitas Gadjah Mada in Indonesia there are no posts for September.Institut Teknologi BandungRead more …

Go West!

Blogging will probably become even slower the coming months. My research is taking me to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Netherlands and the US. In between I'll do a week of teaching in Portugal and I'll stay in India and Canada for social visits. I will try to post occasionally on higher education and science issues in the countries where I stay. First up is Indonesia, then comes Malaysia...Read more …

Still Bowling Alone

While staying in the US last month, I heard an interview on the radio with Lynn Smith-Lovin, a sociology professor at Duke. The interview was about a study she co-authored: Social Isolation in America: Changes in Core Discussion Networks over Two Decades.The study of 1,467 adults showed that one-fourth of all Americans report that they have nobody to talk to about personal matters. Another quarter reports they are just one person away from nobody. It seems that, in addition to bowling alone, more and more Americans now also have to cope alone with…Read more …

…and keep your tray table and seat in the full upright position

For my flight to the United States I took some news articles that might be of interest and on which I might post later on. Here's a list of what I thought might be worthwile:An article on the risks that Australian universities are taking by focusing so (too?) heavily on the international student market. Universities are risking their academic reputation by rushing into dubious offshore ventures and are leaving themselves financially exposed as the boom in overseas students tapers off. A report from NSW Auditor-General Bob Sendt finds universities have become too reliant…Read more …

Cyprus

I just came back from a trip to Nicosia in Cyprus where I attended a workshop on "Policy Ideas, Discourses and Debates in the Globalisation Process" of the Joint Sessions of the European Consortium for Political Research. The preparation for the workshop and the lack of connections in Cyprus account for the absence of posts the past 2 weeks. But that was worth it. The workshop was fascinating, and so was the location.Cyprus joined the European Union in 2004. Under the terms of accession the whole island is considered to be a member…Read more …