Cross Campus: 9.20.13
The scarlet letter. In a move reminiscent of the email spam that takes place every year, an anonymous email from “Belle Bells” — and sent from an email address titled “ihateharknessbells” with the subject line “Stop the Harkness Bells”— reached out to a number of Yalies on Thursday evening with one message: “Reply all ‘m’ to mute the bells.” In response, a number of Yalies typed the letter “m” into their message box and replied to all recipients, expanding the chain and upsetting many students in the process.
For the record, typing in “m” into an email message box and sending it out does nothing. Doing this just sends an email with “m” in the body of the message to all recipients. Instead, students who wish to mute email threads must click “m” when reading the message — not email the letter “m” itself out. This is just one of several handy keyboard shortcuts that Gmail offers its users, but those wishing to take advantage of this function should go to their Gmail settings and elect to turn “keyboard shortcuts on.”
Game theory. Mathematics professor Nathan Kaplan appeared on “Million Second Quiz” — a trivia-based game show — on September 13, correctly answering questions about NFL teams, literature, pop songs and common baby names. Though Kaplan put up a good fight, he did not answer a question about Iowa’s postal service abbreviation quickly enough during the “sudden death” round.
A new generation. Georgetown University will now see its decades-long ambition of creating a school of public policy come to fruition after a $100 million donation from Frank H. McCourt, Jr., a former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. Named the McCourt School of Public Policy, the school will urge the use of modern technology to address public policy challenges. In particular, the McCourt School will include a “Massive Data Institute,” which is designed to bolster research efforts that rely on “Big Data” sets to tackle policy issues.
Calculating the cost of college. A new calculator unveiled this week by Wellesley College aims to give students a better sense of the real cost of tuition, taking into account available scholarships rather than just the sticker prices. Called “My inTuition,” the calculator technically applies only to Wellesley, but analysts argue the financial aid policies are similar enough across top universities that the estimates could apply to multiple schools.
THIS DAY IN YALE HISTORY 1960 Students are now required to carry identification cards at all times, which can also be used to gain entrance to libraries and dining halls.
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