News Roundup 10.6
In this new, regular installment, Cross Campus reads all the other papers so you don’t have to — Yale related articles, opinion pieces from professors and studies from Yale departments all summarized in quick bursts.
Battle a la Zuckerberg
Clinton Grusd SOM ’12 is suing a former Yale classmate for stealing his business idea – an electronic golf caddy designed to locate balls and compile statistics. As reported by Bloomberg Businessweek, Grusd developed this idea in collaboration with Salman Syed SOM ’12 when the two were studying at Yale. Grusd alleges that upon graduation, Syed said he would leave the project in search of a more stable job. Instead, Syed pulled a Zuckerberg – launching his own company Golfkick to market the electronic golf caddy and leaving poor Grusd behind.
Grusd is after 50 percent of Golfkick’s value, plus damages. Looks like Syed learned a thing or two about how to get ahead from “The Social Network.”
Searching for the truth
Microsoft has had plenty of not-so-nice things to say about Yale professor of law Ian Ayres this week, according to a report by The Verge. Ayres ran an experiment with four students at the law school to disprove Microsoft’s claim that Bing is preferred to Google “almost 2-to-1.” He ran a blind search engine test on 1,000 participants, and found that 53 percent of them favored Google.
On Wednesday, Microsoft spat back. Matt Wallaert, a behavior psychologist at Bing, released a statement claiming that a blind trial is an unscientific way of determining people’s preferences, despite blind trials being one of the most trusted methods in science.
Every boy should date a physicist
As one of the first two women to graduate from Yale with a B.S. in physics, Eileen Pollack ’78 has one question: Why are there still so few women in science? She poses and attempts to answer this question in a piece published Wednesday in New York Times Magazine.
Despite graduating with honors in the major, Pollack said in the article that most of her undergraduate experience was demoralizing enough to keep her from pursuing a career in physics. She writes about having to catch up with boys in her major who had taken rigorous science classes in high school, about professors who discouraged her from attending graduate school and of course, about how no boy wanted to date a physicist.
Even today, employers at major research institutions are more likely to hire a man than a woman with equal qualifications, according to a study published by Yale researchers in 2012. In the article, Pollack said she only hopes future generations of women have more luck breaking into the field.
Impending world disaster
Yale professor of sociology Charles Perrow is warning the world about Fukushima Unit 4, a nuclear reactor in Japan that threatens “worldwide disaster of epic proportions,” an outlet called World Chaos News reported Tuesday. If the unit crumbles, or if any of the individual fuel rods come into contact with one another, it will potentially release 15 times as much radiation as was released when the United States dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima during World War II.
Perrow estimates that more than 1,500 fuel rods need to be carefully removed from the nuclear pool in order to curtail this impending disaster. “The radiation emitted from all these rods, if they are not continually cooled and kept separate, would require the evacuation of surrounding areas including Tokyo,” he said. “If the 6,375 rods in the common storage pool are not continuously cooled, they would fission and all of humanity will be threatened for thousands of years.”