Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Multiple Intelligences theory gets some neuroscientific support

Posted 20 Dec 2012 / 0

Neuron “Fractionating Human Intelligence” What is crazy about these findings is that they are novel. Is this really the first time that anyone decided to tackle the question of what different “intelligence tests” measure? The first time that anyone has shown the neurological basis for multiple intelligences? The only thing I am surprised about in Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Behavior, Development, Epigenetics, Evolutionary Psychology, Fluidity of Knowledge, Gene by Environment Interactions, Genetics, Human Evolution, Intelligences, Neuroscience, Phenotypic Plasticity

Charlotte Douglas International Airport employs worms to close the loop on airport waste

Posted 18 Dec 2012 / 0

NPR All Things Considered “One Airport’s Trash Is 2 Million Worms’ Treasure“

A Minor Post, Closed Loop Systems, Composting, Decomposition, Radio & Podcasts, Resource Consumption, Sustainability

Mishele Lesser’s Genoscapes explores the meaning of human genetics

Posted 15 Dec 2012 / 0

Mishele Lesser, a student who I mentored, just presented her final thesis project Genoscapes. Mishele and I spent a lively semester talking about the meaning of human genetics, a discussion that ranged from very mechanical questions about how genetics work to more philosophical questions about how to interpret genetic data and the potential identity it can Read More

A Major Post, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Genetics, Human Evolution, Human Nature, Human Uniqueness, Mentoring, Pratt Institute, Science in Art & Design

Freeman Dyson wins the contest, and then says the contest is stupid

Posted 07 Dec 2012 / 0

Institute for Advanced Study “The Prisoner’s Dilemma” One of my favorite skateboarders when I was young was Natas Kaupas, an innovative skater who pioneered a lot of modern streetstyle. Natas was one of those skaters who could do things that no other skateboarders could, but he was not particularly successful in one arena that was Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Cooperation, Evolutionary Modeling, Game Theory, Group Selection, Human Evolution, Modeling (General), Multilevel Selection, Reciprocity

Pratt Institute opens search for new full-time faculty member in the Math and Science Department

Posted 07 Dec 2012 / 0

My academic department is looking to hire a new full-time, tenure-track assistant professor. The job search is extremely broad: we are looking for the scientist or mathematician with the best fit to Pratt and to our department. I am not on the hiring committee and cannot field any questions about the official selection process. However, Read More

A Minor Post, Art & Design, Department of Mathematics & Science, Pratt Institute, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Fracking study retracted after the discovery of a massive conflict of interest

Posted 07 Dec 2012 / 0

All Things Considered “Positive Fracking Study Was Funded By Gas Company” 1.5 million dollars is a lot to receive from a corporation with interest in your research! Scientists can be bought, and transparency is the only thing that prevents profit-driven scientific fraud.

A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Ethics, Pollution, Radio & Podcasts, Resource Consumption, Scientific Fraud, Sustainable Energy, Water Supply

G. Kim Blank on making writing work better by eliminating the term paper

Posted 26 Nov 2012 / 0

The Chronicle of Higher Education “Let’s Kill the Term Paper” I have been experimenting for several years with various forms of “Reading Response Questions” that challenge students to either summarize or pull the most important ideas out of what they read. I agree wholeheartedly with Professor Blank that this is a far more valuable means Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Assessment Methods, Student Writing, Teaching

NPR provides a quick overview of the human drive to reciprocate

Posted 26 Nov 2012 / 0

National Public Radio Shots “Give And Take: How The Rule Of Reciprocation Binds Us” I appreciate the far-ranging nature of this piece, and how it applies a basic understanding of reciprocity to larger social phenomena. There is not much here about how genetic and environmental factors modify how reciprocal people choose to behave; while there Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Cooperation, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Evolution, Emotion, Ethics, Evolutionary Psychology, Human Evolution, Political Science, Psychology, Public Policy, Radio & Podcasts, Reciprocity, Reputation, Social Norms, Sociology

Freakonomics takes the quantitative knife to how we produce and consume food

Posted 25 Nov 2012 / 0

Freakonomics Radio “You Eat What You Are” This piece delivers a much needed kick in the self-righteous pants to the locavore movement. It systematically disassembles the assumptions of the local food movement, ending by discussing the minimal quantitative ecological benefits of using the “I only eat local” rule. It pulls apart belief from reality, and Read More

A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Belief, Carrying Capacity, Climate Change, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Evolution, Ecological Footprinting, Economics, Ethics, Food, Greenwashing, Hunger, Hypothesis Testing, Life Cycle Analysis, Philosophy, Population Growth, Public Policy, Quantitative Analysis, Radio & Podcasts, Resource Consumption, Subsistence, Sustainability, Sustainable Agriculture, Vegetarianism

New evidence that economic cooperation existed between Vikings and Inuit

Posted 24 Nov 2012 / 0

The November 2012 issue of National Geographic features an interesting article entitles “Vikings and Native Americans” that suggests that Viking settlers and Native Americans enjoyed a cooperative relationship. Archaeological evidence suggests that Europeans were depicted positively in Native American artifacts, and the pattern of settlements uncovered in recent digs reveals that Viking and Native American settlements were in close Read More

A Minor Post, Archaeology, Articles, Cooperation, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Evolution, Human Evolution, Memetic Fitness