Tag: Harvard University

A Conversation With: Steven Pinker Thinks the Future Is Looking Bright

Steven Pinker, a cognitive psychologist at Harvard, has been known to take provocative positions. He has argued that women are intrinsically different from men, that we are more driven by our genes than academics like to acknowledge, and that society is getting less violent over time — despite the mass shootings and other atrocities we […]

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Matter: Crossing From Asia, the First Americans Rushed Into the Unknown

Nearly 11,000 years ago, a man died in what is now Nevada. Wrapped in a rabbit-skin blanket and reed mats, he was buried in a place called Spirit Cave. Now scientists have recovered and analyzed his DNA, along with that of 70 other ancient people whose remains were discovered throughout the Americas. The findings lend […]

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Getting Into Harvard Is Hard. Here Are 4 Ways Applicants Get an Edge.

For three weeks in October, Harvard’s admissions system was on trial before an often standing-room-only crowd in a federal courtroom in Boston. Harvard was accused of discriminating against Asian-American applicants, but the university firmly denied this throughout the trial, which ended last week. Through testimony and internal documents, the case provided an eye-opening look into […]

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The Harvard Trial: A Double-Edged Sword for College Admissions

BOSTON — For the past three weeks, a succession of officials, students and academics have taken the witness stand in a federal trial here that has shaken the foundations of college admissions and explored what diversity means in America. The case, which examines whether Harvard limits Asian-American applicants to make room for students of other […]

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5 Harvard Friends, and a Frank Talk About How They Got In

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Two freshman friends sat across from each other in a common room, comparing notes on how exactly they got into Harvard. In some ways, their situations were opposites: One was a “double legacy,” with two parents who had received Harvard degrees. The other was the son of a police officer and on […]

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Liberal Hypocrisy in College Admissions?

We progressives hail opportunity, egalitarianism and diversity. Yet here’s our dirty little secret: Some of our most liberal bastions in America rely on a system of inherited privilege that benefits rich whites at the expense of almost everyone else. I’m talking about “legacy preferences” that elite universities give to children of graduates. These universities constitute […]

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The Next Big One? Earthquake Scientists Look to A.I.

SAN FRANCISCO — Countless dollars and entire scientific careers have been dedicated to predicting where and when the next big earthquake will strike. But unlike weather forecasting, which has significantly improved with the use of better satellites and more powerful mathematical models, earthquake prediction has been marred by repeated failure. Some of the world’s most […]

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Is an Extroverted Applicant Better Suited for Harvard Than a Shy One?

BOSTON — Days before the opening of a trial accusing Harvard of discriminating against Asian-American applicants, the college issued new guidance to its admissions officers earlier this month on what personalities it is seeking in its incoming freshmen, a question at the heart of the case. The new guidelines for the Class of 2023 caution […]

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What Would Happen if Harvard Stopped Considering Race in Admissions?

BOSTON — For generations, being the child of a Harvard graduate has held out the tantalizing promise of an admissions advantage, a leg up over other applicants who had no Harvard ties. Now the plaintiffs at a trial in federal court here are calling for the elimination of that preference for alumni children, who are […]

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Presiding Over the Harvard Admissions Trial: A Judge Who Was Rejected From Harvard

BOSTON — Harvard casts a large shadow over the Federal District Court in Boston, and not just because the college’s admissions system is on trial in one of the courtrooms here. Day after day, Harvard graduates fill the witness box and gallery at the trial of Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows […]

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Once Secret, Harvard’s Admissions Process Is Unveiled in Federal Court

BOSTON — The deliberations that take place inside 86 Brattle Street, a red-brick building where Harvard University’s admissions committee convenes, have very much stayed inside 86 Brattle Street. Until now. A federal trial that began this week accusing Harvard of stacking the deck against Asian-American applicants is providing a rare glimpse into the secretive selection […]

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Elitist or Egalitarian: Competing Views of Harvard Emerge in Bias Trial

BOSTON — Two starkly different pictures of Harvard — an elitist country club or an egalitarian engine for social change — emerged on Wednesday in a federal trial examining whether the university discriminates against Asian-Americans. The competing views were raised in the testimony of the first witness, William Fitzsimmons, Harvard’s longtime dean of admissions. In […]

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The Shared Benefits of Affirmative Action

I would flip the question: Does the racial and ethnic diversity at Harvard enhance the quality of the education there? My answer is a resounding yes. The best college education includes intellectual and social interactions among thoughtful people from a broad range of cultural and racial backgrounds, both inside and outside the classroom. Restricting diversity […]

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The Uncertain Fate of Affirmative Action

“It remains an enduring challenge to our nation’s education system to reconcile the pursuit of diversity with the constitutional promise of equal treatment and dignity,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in a Supreme Court opinion two years ago. The University of Texas, he a majority of justices concluded, had met this challenge with its admissions policies. […]

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Harvard Admissions Dean Testifies as Affirmative Action Trial Begins

Mr. Hughes tried a number of times to get Mr. Fitzsimmons to explain why Asian-Americans in sparse country did not get interest letters, while their classmates of other races did even with lower test scores. Mr. Fitzsimmons, whose demeanor remained steady, did not appear to answer directly, speaking instead about why Harvard makes special efforts […]

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On Eve of Harvard Bias Trial, Dueling Rallies Show Rifts Among Asian-Americans

“She’s Chinese!” he added. “She told me, ‘Oh no, race means character.’ So I cannot reason with her anymore.” Mr. Du clarified, though, that he did not believe that applicants should be banned from bringing up their race anywhere, in their essays, for example. “I’m just saying a university cannot use race to screen the […]

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Harvard and the Myth of the Interchangeable Asian

Ethnocentric views of “Asian pride” can be seductive for those who have historically felt disempowered. To acknowledge our collective anger and pain, how we are both targeted by racism from whites and perpetuators of racism against blacks and Latinos, may feel vulnerable and dangerous. My family’s story is far from being the only kind of […]

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What’s at Stake in the Harvard Lawsuit? Decades of Debate Over Race in Admissions

“The Supreme Court has been vague about what is O.K.,” William Baude, a law professor at the University of Chicago, said. “It seems like they say it’s O.K. as long as it’s not too much or too blatant. And then the other problem is that the schools have been very secretive about exactly what they […]

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Museums Forced to Reassess Saudi Ties Amid Uproar Over Journalist’s Fate

“It is a pleasure for us to welcome Misk Art Institute as it inaugurates an ambitious roster of international programs,” the museum’s director, Glenn Lowry, said, according to Misk’s website. “This exciting new venture holds out the promise of a deepened and enriched artistic and scholarly exchange across traditions and cultures, in which MoMA is […]

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