11 July 2008

Golden Flow

This week I was called in to meet the new Colonel in charge of UT AF Rotc. After our meeting I was informed that I was randomly selected for urinalysis (golden flow). Since the usual monitor wasn't available, I had to drive the gold government minivan 1.5 hours to San Antonio to have my urine inspected there.

I thought that it might be useful to check to see if any of the state office building in Austin required drug testing, but that search was not fruitful. Further, there's an Army National Guard Post in Austin, I thought they might perform the test there. I was told that they might, but it's not guaranteed that the Army standards are the same as the Air Force standards.

Anyway you cut it, I had to make the drive and hold my urge. Mission accomplished (but barely)

10 July 2008

Teachers vs Peers

I've been meaning to post this little tidbit for a while now. It was presented to us at the UT Econ department this spring, and is quite appropriate now that I have been assigned to be an instructor at the Air Force Academy next fall.

In a study conducted by USAFA Ecnomists including the famed Col Fullerton, and an Economist at UC Davis (who previously was an officer instructor at USAFA), it was determined that the "effect that close-knit peer groups" (USAFA Squadrons) is double "the effect of the quality of instructors" on cadets' academic success.
Moreover, it was found that the best predictor of the quality of peer-group quality was their SAT verbal scores.

What is this information good for? Well, i believe the economics department was charged with configuring the optimal squadron groupings for incoming freshmen. So, it depends. If the academy favored having some extremely successful cadets and some really lousy cadets, they would cluster high SAT verbal students together. If the academy favored having a cadet class with great equality (low variation in academic success), then they would make sure to spread the SAT verbal talent around uniformly.