Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

For the next eight months, the future of my career is (mostly) out of my hands

Posted 30 Sep 2013 / 2

It is a ritual that most academics hope to be able to participate in, but that does not make it any less excruciating. Where else but academia do we get the chance to argue for our own permanent employment? Where else but academia is the process so exhaustive and complicated? Where else is there so Read More

A Major Post, Department of Mathematics & Science, Higher Education, Pratt Institute, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Survival

What the move towards a more sustainable Pratt looks like…

Posted 27 Sep 2013 / 0

It’s the beginning of another very exciting Fall semester and one of my regular duties — as club advisor to Envirolutions — is in full swing. This has been an exceptional semester so far, as our veteran leaders in the club have become extremely well-versed in what it takes to bring more sustainable practices to our Read More

A Minor Post, Envirolutions, Pratt Institute, Sustainability

Should we emulate the cooperative and conservative habits of the sloth?

Posted 19 Sep 2013 / 0

Inhabitat “The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Sloths Teach Us About Energy Efficiency?“

A Minor Post, Adaptation, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Coevolution, Green Design, Mutualism, Tropical Forest, Web

Recognizing the difference between what the big and small educational institutions offer

Posted 19 Sep 2013 / 0

The Chronicle of Higher Education “‘Farm to Brain’: Locavore Education vs. MOOCs” What I really appreciate about this piece (full disclosure: it was written by my current Dean) is that it makes clear that the MOOC model is simply the extensification of the big research university model of education. It is no wonder that these educational Read More

A Minor Post, Higher Education, Pratt Institute, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Teaching, Web

An anecdote that illustrates the tremendous power of human network reciprocity

Posted 13 Sep 2013 / 0

NPR Morning Edition StoryCorps “How One Man Continues To ‘Just Pass It On’” The story of this man’s life and how he has reacted to the kindness of a stranger nicely encapsulates the very powerful nature of human network reciprocity. Rather than focusing on “repaying the kindness”, Thomas Weller was charged to “pass it on”. Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Cultural Evolution, Evolutionary Psychology, Human Uniqueness, MSCI-463, The Evolution of Cooperation, Radio & Podcasts, Reciprocity, Social Networks, Social Norms

Additional evidence that obesity may be due to environment, not just habits

Posted 09 Sep 2013 / 0

NPR Shots “Gut Bacteria We Pick Up As Kids Stick With Us For Decades” NPR Shots “Staying Healthy May Mean Learning To Love Our Microbiomes” NPR Shots “Diverse Gut Microbes, A Trim Waistline And Health Go Together” NPR Shots “How A Change In Gut Microbes Can Affect Weight” What I find interesting here is the Read More

A Minor Post, Coevolution, Cultural Evolution, Health & Medicine, Human Evolution, Mismatch theory, Mutualism, Radio & Podcasts

A tour of your diverse microbiome, and the things that might deplete that diversity

Posted 09 Sep 2013 / 0

NPR Morning Edition “From Birth, Our Microbes Become As Personal As A Fingerprint” It’s a bit corny, but this is a great tour of our diverse microbiome. It is critical that people start to recognize how potentially-damaging overuse of antibiotics and fear of bacteria could be to our health. It will be exciting to see Read More

A Minor Post, Coevolution, Human Evolution, Mismatch theory, Mutualism, Radio & Podcasts, Reciprocity

With all we know, we still know too little to reliably re-engineer ecosystems

Posted 06 Sep 2013 / 0

NPR Morning Edition “Saving One Species At The Expense Of Another” There are a number of really important points made by this nice short. The first is that scientists — even when acting carefully on the best available evidence and theory — can still fail to produce desired outcomes. The second is that modifying ecological communities Read More

A Minor Post, Biodiversity Loss, Community Ecology, Conservation Biology, Habitat Destruction, Radio & Podcasts, Rivers & Streams

More press for paper that de-bunks the zero determinant superiority

Posted 03 Sep 2013 / 0

There has been additional coverage of the paper showing that “zero determinant” strategies in the Prisoner’s Dilemma are not evolutionarily robust: “Generosity leads to evolutionary success, biologists show” Popular Science “Evolution Punishes Selfish People, Game Theory Study Says” Here’s the original paper: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA “From extortion to generosity, evolution Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Cooperation, Game Theory, Modeling (General), System Stability, Web