December 14, 2004

Hey! You! Academic! Get practical!

Here's a bizarre suggestion. My reaction is pretty well summed up in the letter I emailed to the Times just now:

As a graduate student in both pure mathematics and philosophy, I find Dean Kunhardt's proposal completely opaque. What exactly does he think pure mathematicians should be inventing, besides new techniques for doing mathematics, ie, doing conventional mathematics research? And the idea of a philosphical invention makes even less sense. While practical innovation does seem appropriate for inclusion in an engineer's or possibly even a physicist's tenure dossier, it would be completely inappropriate in other fields, more removed from practical affairs and marketable devices.

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