Campus News in Brief

** Fienberg argues the value of accurate census statistics **

In light of changed methodology for collecting census data in both the United Kingdom and Canada, as well as the recent change in the U.S. Census Bureau’s communication strategies, Carnegie Mellon’s Stephen E. Fienberg argues that the detailed economic and demographic information collected in these processes is much too valuable to lose.

Recently, the U.S. Census Bureau has received increasing pressure from members of Congress who propose curtailing the American Community Survey, which has replaced the mandatory long-form census.
Fienberg and Columbia University’s Kenneth Prewitt joined together to write an opinion paper, recently published in Nature, that argues that governmental moves toward simplified surveys with smaller distributions will have devastating effects.

Specifically, the professors argue against the Canadian government’s choice to change a mandatory long-form questionnaire sent to 20 percent of the population to a voluntary survey sent to 30 percent, and the UK’s discussion of using only records from official documents, including post office address lists, driver’s license records, and health registers.

According to a university press release, Fienberg and Prewitt explained their position, commenting, that “census data provide the gold standard against which all other studies on such issues can be corrected and judged.”

Unigo lists Carnegie Mellon as one of the ‘New Ivies’

Unigo, an online database of university students’ reviews, has recently listed Carnegie Mellon as a “New Ivy,” a description the university shares with Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, New York University, Northwestern University, Tufts University, the University of Virginia, Washington University in St. Louis, Wellesley College, and Williams College. According to Unigo, these New Ivies are “a quintessential list of schools every top-caliber student should take very seriously.”
Editors of the website, which targets high school students and parents, surveyed more than 30,000 students at 225 colleges for their opinions about their own schools and peer institutions for their yearly ranking.
Though Unigo boasts the slogan “College students tell you what the colleges won’t,” Carnegie Mellon’s reviews were only positive. The article deeming Carnegie Mellon a “New Ivy” claims that “the approximately 6,000 undergrads at this Pittsburgh, PA school won’t stop raving about their ‘brilliant’ professors who go out of their way to ‘know who you are,’ and the ‘truly intellectual environment’ this creates. There’s something else it also creates: ‘a workload that is not to be taken lightly.’  ”
For more information, or to read the review, visit: 1094702.