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Foreign born academics in US - creating a problem for ourselves


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#1 Kriminal99

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 07:17 AM

Foreign born - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

# 55% of Ph.D. students in engineering in the United States are foreign born (2004).[1]


# the proportion of foreign-born engineers among assistant professors younger than 35 years has increased from 10% in 1972 to 50%-55% in 1983-1985, illustrating a dramatic increase on US dependence on foreign-born students in the US college system. The increase in non-citizen assistant professors of engineering is the result of the fact that, in recent years, foreign-born engineers received close to 50 percent of newly awarded engineering doctorates (naturalized citizens accounted for about 4 percent) and, furthermore, they entered academe in disproportionately large numbers.[2]
# 33% of all U.S. Ph.D.s in science and engineering are now awarded to foreign born graduate students (2004).[1]

# In 1982, foreign-born engineers constituted about 3.6% of all engineers employed in the United States, 13.9% of which were naturalized; and foreign-born Phds in Engineering constituted 15% and 20% were naturalized.[2]

# In 1985, foreign-born Phds represented almost 33% of the engineering post-doctorate researchers in US universities. Foreign-born Phd engineers often accept postdoctoral position because other employment is unavailable until green card is obtained.[2] A system that further incentivising replacement of US-citizens in the upper echelons of academic and private sector engineering firms due to higher educational attainment relative to native-born engineer who for the most part do (not) train beyond undergraduate level.[3]

# In recent years, The number of applicants for faculty openings at research universities have increased dramatically. Numbers of 50 to 200 applications for a single faculty opening have become typical, yet even with such high numbers of applicants have yielded a foreign-born component in excess of 50%.[2]

# An astounding 60 percent of the top science students in the United States and 65 percent of the top math students are the children of immigrants. In addition, foreign-born high school students make up 50 percent of the 2004 U.S.Math Olympiad’s top scorers, 38 percent of the U.S. Physics Team, and 25 percent of the Intel Science Talent Search finalists—the United States’ most prestigious awards for young scientists and mathematicians.[4]


This is the second time I have posted about this, the first time someone claimed that it wasn't true based on general statistics about all academics in America (including irrelevant disciplines like english) that showed a low proportion of foreign students and academics. However the point I was making was related to science and engineering and these statistics are more relevant to what I am talking about.

The issue here isn't that Americans are incompetent relative to people from other countries. I know that from first hand experience American accomplishments are being downplayed by an already empowered foreign academic network. I have sat in classes and watched foreign professors commend members of their own race for making obvious statements and straw man or ignore verified profound insights by members of other races. I have seen professors working with all graduate students of their own race. I have seen other students talk about Americans with higher GRE as people who got special treatment getting into the program as "locals" and complain to professors when those students do well in class.

This is not in our best interest. They are living off of our tax dollars, and using them to handicap and limit our scientific human resources. The article is inferring that it happened by accident (Americans left school after getting bachelors and got 50-90k jobs, then foreigners fill the graduate dept).

It is also quietly inferring that the rising percentage of academically excellent foreign born students is not due to a lack of ability in American students, but due to a lack of objective treatment by mostly foreign evaluators.

We have been invaded. IMO there are 2 ways to deal with this situation. The first one is simply clean house. It's not exactly un-humanitarian to do so. We are no longer the economic superpower we once were. Perhaps we can no longer afford to educate the world. We must look after our own.

However, if there was a way to force objectivity it wouldn't be necessary. Objectivity is a valid goal anyways, because we must worry about similar concerns that have nothing to do with nationality.

Professors should NOT be given the benefit of the doubt in the evaluation of students. Standardized, Objective metrics for evaluation must be developed to prevent race, color, religion, etc from factoring into evaluations. It is becoming more and more clear that objectivity is not something we can expect people to do naturally. We must develop effective systems to do it for them.

#2 Buffy

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 11:27 PM

Professors should NOT be given the benefit of the doubt in the evaluation of students. Standardized, Objective metrics for evaluation must be developed to prevent race, color, religion, etc from factoring into evaluations. It is becoming more and more clear that objectivity is not something we can expect people to do naturally. We must develop effective systems to do it for them.


I know. Those professors always favor the rugbeaters, and slant-eyes and towelheads.

Looks like we need affirmative action for white folks.

What is really precious to the average American is not his freedom or his honor or the future of his race, but his pay check. He complained when the System began busing his kids to Black schools 20 years ago, but he was allowed to keep his station wagon and his fiberglass speedboat, so he didn't fight... He complained when they took away his guns five years ago, but he still had his color TV and his backyard barbecue, so he didn't fight... And he complains today when the Blacks rape his women at will and the System makes him show an identity pass to buy groceries or pick up his laundry, but he still has a full belly most of the time, so he won't fight... He hasn't an idea in his head that wasn't put there by his TV set... That, unfortunately, is our average White American... :eek_big:
Buffy

#3 Boerseun

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 11:58 PM

Going off against immigrants in the US only makes sense if you're a 100% pure-blood native American Indian. The US is, after all, a nation of immigrants. The irony kills me. So tell me Krim, which tribe are you a member of? Cherokee? Sioux?

#4 sanctus

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 10:33 AM

Ok, you want objectivity. All numbers you gave are below 50% a part the top science students (who are children of immigrants, so they are as amreican as any other "proper" american, parents working, paying taxes etc so why should they not be allowed the same rights?).
But back to objectivity you have more than 5 out of 10 who are "proper" americans, this is not an objective approach I think. There more Americans than not. Therefore Americans are a little favoured. Objectivity would be just to take the best. Which, since in the world there are way more non-Americans, would lower the % much more.

But also why do you complain? This is how research works, to the people, governments, industries the result is more important than where it comes from and for the institutes/universities/etc the prestige that it comes from them is more important than from where their people come from.
So actually, I re-phrase my question instead of why do you complain, I should say that you criticize the wrong thing. You should criticize how research works instead.

#5 Pyrotex

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 12:04 PM

... Looks like we need affirmative action for white folks.

What is really precious to the average American is not his freedom or his honor or the future of his race, but his pay check. ...

whoa...!!!

[twitch] [spasm] [lurch] [gasp]

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You go girl.

#6 Turtle

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 03:31 PM

... Perhaps we can no longer afford to educate the world. ...


:Glasses:

International Students in the US

Briefing - November 16, 2009 - 9:30 a.m.
National Press Club - Washington DC
...
Open Doors 2009: International Students in the United States
...

International students contribute $17.8 billion to the U.S. economy, through their expenditures on tuition and living expenses, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Higher education is among the United States’ top service sector exports, as international students provide revenue to the U.S. economy and individual host states for living expenses, including room and board, books and supplies, transportation, health insurance, support for accompanying family members, and other miscellaneous items. Open Doors 2009 reports that 65% of all international students receive the majority of their funds from personal and family sources. When other sources of foreign funding are included, such as assistance from their home country governments or universities, 70% of all international students’ primary funding comes from sources outside of the United States.


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#7 CraigD

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 04:23 PM

Foreign born - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is the second time I have posted about this, the first time someone claimed that it wasn't true based on general statistics about all academics in America (including irrelevant disciplines like english) that showed a low proportion of foreign students and academics. However the point I was making was related to science and engineering and these statistics are more relevant to what I am talking about.

I believe you’re referring to your Jan 2010 thread Do we really need to fund foreign students?, where I posted this:

US NCES fast facts: What is the percentage of degrees conferred by sex and race?[/url]. According to its data, about 5% of 2006-2007 US college graduates at all degree levels, and about 28% of PhD level grads, were non-resident aliens.

I didn’t claim that some “it” to which you refer wasn’t true, but asked that you support your claim that American citizens are a minority in America’s educational system, supplying my own source that contradicts that claim.

(PS: Do we really need to fund foreign students? is difficult to read, as you edited many of your posts to just the letter “a”. Let me know if you would like these posts reverted to their previous revisions)

:Glasses: With the wikipedia link you gave above, and the references it provides you’ve done a laudable job of supported the claim that, if not actually a majority, in 1985, non-US citizens constituted a sizable minority (33%) or engineering post-doctoral researchers, which seems in rough agreement with my NCES finds statistic of 28% of all PhD level grads being non-resident aliens. More dramatically, the NRC’s 1988 Foreign and Foreign-Born Engineers in the United States: Infusing Talent, Raising Issues, from which the wikipedia article appears to draw most of the statistics you quoted, states that

Foreign born faculty now accounts for over 50% of faculty in engineering (1994).


However, some of your other claims aren’t supported by these references, or are hyperbole.

We have been invaded.

Is hyperbole, suggesting that non-US citizen academics entered the US without permission or via military force.

The claim

They are living off of our tax dollars, and using them to handicap and limit our scientific human resources.

Is specifically addressed in Foreign and Foreign-Born Engineers in the United States: Infusing Talent, Raising Issues, which concludes

A notion exist that foreign students, whether they remain in the United States or not, are unfairly subsidized. Although the Committee has only limited information on the issue, id did not consider the issue to be a valid one. The basis for this judgment lies in the Committee’s findings that a substantial fraction of these trained students remain in this country and become productive members of our society


Foreign and Foreign-Born Engineers in the United States: Infusing Talent, Raising Issues raises what I think is a serious concern, in noting that many foreign-born TAs and instructors have difficulties expressing themselves in English, to the detriment of their primarily English-speaking students, and may clash culturally with their students. It seems to me that most of your concerns, Krim, are in this area: that non-primarily English-speaking teachers favor students from their culture, and discriminate against US-born students such as yourself.

I agree that policies requiring teachers to evaluate their students “objectively” – what I think are more commonly called “nondiscrimination” policies – are needed. Nearly all US universities, however, already have such policies, so the issues is, I think, more one of compliance and enforcement than new policy making. As I noted in my post in Do we really need to fund foreign students?, I think it’s very important that students understand their schools’ nondiscrimination policies, and call on them when appropriate.

Although we’ve tended to be critical of your posts on this subject, I believe your concerns are legitimate, if perhaps overly passionate. I think it’s important to consider, as Foreign and Foreign-Born Engineers in the United States: Infusing Talent, Raising Issues does, the factors resulting in disproportionate numbers of foreign engineering TAs and instructors at US universities. One mentioned is that US engineers, having citizen status and thus not requiring work visa or naturalization to obtain high-paying engineering jobs outside of academia, lack incentive to work in academia, while non-citizens, unable to as easily work outside of academia, have it. This suggests that, counter to protectionist impulses to reduce the proportion of foreign to domestic academics by restricting immigration to the US, a better course may be liberalizing it, making it easier for engineers to get long-term work visa or become US citizens.

#8 Kriminal99

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 10:01 AM

Going off against immigrants in the US only makes sense if you're a 100% pure-blood native American Indian. The US is, after all, a nation of immigrants. The irony kills me. So tell me Krim, which tribe are you a member of? Cherokee? Sioux?


The issue addressed here is citizenship. American citizens may be members of different races, but there is a large difference between that and foreign national students.

For one an academic environment of citizens would reflect a racial breakdown of the American population, modified for any natural ability of each race to participate in that field. This means 2 things:

1) If any race was a majority, it would represent a majority of the US population, the people PAYING for and the people who will benefit from the academic network in question

2) Because Americans are used to coexisting (a side effect of the same principles that even makes this an issue) there is more likely to be objectivity when American citizens of any race are in control and/or the majority.

In contrast, citizens of other countries are often not as used to dealing with people different than them, interact mostly with each other, are concerned with political issues back home, and are much more likely to be xenophobic and skeptical of people different than them.

What is going on right now is not the harmony of coexistence and teamwork that we tend to work for. Instead our academic network has simply been invaded by xenophobic foreigners who use our resources in ways that do not benefit the US and try to limit our influence on our own academic network.

:ideamaybenot:

International Students in the US


This site has phony statistics.

Every time I post one of these arguments, someone appears with a bunch of phony statistics that take time to debunk. I have spent so much time on these forums that I have actually become susceptible to such "appeal to authority fallacy" tactics to confuse and delay arguments.

These kind of statistics are easily fabricated by a biased party like "Open doors" by simply not tracing the funding back all the way to their sources or whatever other tricks they wish to use to slant the statistics. I have not met a single foreign graduate student who did not have an assistanship that paid for all of their tuition and shelter. The ones who lose it are almost always forced to go back home. I have heard of one person that worked overtime to try and cover the tuition (which meant they were holding an american job)

The very same site has a giant link on the left side that lists hundreds of US scholarships, fellowships and grants so that foreign students can study in the US. This is not a United states government website.

I tracked down the source of the phony claim "International students contribute $17.8 billion to the U.S. economy, through their expenditures on tuition and living expenses, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce." The source is the following publication by the US department of commerce. http://www.bea.gov/i...l/xls/tab1a.xls In this table, is a listing under "other private services: education" for 2008 that says 17,796 (million) in >>>>>EXPORTS<<<<<< not imports. That is, US citizens spend 17.8 billion on foreign education in other countries. The part about tuition and shelter came from a note in the commerce publication saying that it is considered private because the students pay for tuition (to potentially private universities) and rent.

Again this statistic is about US citizens studying in other countries and is misquoted by the "Open Doors" site linked to by Turtle.

#9 Kriminal99

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 10:43 AM

I believe you’re referring to your Jan 2010 thread Do we really need to fund foreign students?, where I posted this:

I didn’t claim that some “it” to which you refer wasn’t true, but asked that you support your claim that American citizens are a minority in America’s educational system, supplying my own source that contradicts that claim.

(PS: Do we really need to fund foreign students? is difficult to read, as you edited many of your posts to just the letter “a”. Let me know if you would like these posts reverted to their previous revisions)

:ideamaybenot: With the wikipedia link you gave above, and the references it provides you’ve done a laudable job of supported the claim that, if not actually a majority, in 1985, non-US citizens constituted a sizable minority (33%) or engineering post-doctoral researchers, which seems in rough agreement with my NCES finds statistic of 28% of all PhD level grads being non-resident aliens. More dramatically, the NRC’s 1988 Foreign and Foreign-Born Engineers in the United States: Infusing Talent, Raising Issues, from which the wikipedia article appears to draw most of the statistics you quoted, states that

Foreign born faculty now accounts for over 50% of faculty in engineering (1994).


However, some of your other claims aren’t supported by these references, or are hyperbole.

Is hyperbole, suggesting that non-US citizen academics entered the US without permission or via military force.

The claim

Is specifically addressed in Foreign and Foreign-Born Engineers in the United States: Infusing Talent, Raising Issues, which concludes

A notion exist that foreign students, whether they remain in the United States or not, are unfairly subsidized. Although the Committee has only limited information on the issue, id did not consider the issue to be a valid one. The basis for this judgment lies in the Committee’s findings that a substantial fraction of these trained students remain in this country and become productive members of our society


Foreign and Foreign-Born Engineers in the United States: Infusing Talent, Raising Issues raises what I think is a serious concern, in noting that many foreign-born TAs and instructors have difficulties expressing themselves in English, to the detriment of their primarily English-speaking students, and may clash culturally with their students. It seems to me that most of your concerns, Krim, are in this area: that non-primarily English-speaking teachers favor students from their culture, and discriminate against US-born students such as yourself.

I agree that policies requiring teachers to evaluate their students “objectively” – what I think are more commonly called “nondiscrimination” policies – are needed. Nearly all US universities, however, already have such policies, so the issues is, I think, more one of compliance and enforcement than new policy making. As I noted in my post in Do we really need to fund foreign students?, I think it’s very important that students understand their schools’ nondiscrimination policies, and call on them when appropriate.

Although we’ve tended to be critical of your posts on this subject, I believe your concerns are legitimate, if perhaps overly passionate. I think it’s important to consider, as Foreign and Foreign-Born Engineers in the United States: Infusing Talent, Raising Issues does, the factors resulting in disproportionate numbers of foreign engineering TAs and instructors at US universities. One mentioned is that US engineers, having citizen status and thus not requiring work visa or naturalization to obtain high-paying engineering jobs outside of academia, lack incentive to work in academia, while non-citizens, unable to as easily work outside of academia, have it. This suggests that, counter to protectionist impulses to reduce the proportion of foreign to domestic academics by restricting immigration to the US, a better course may be liberalizing it, making it easier for engineers to get long-term work visa or become US citizens.


The statistics you mentioned in the previous thread were irrelevant, and for some reason (a mistake I will not be making again) at the time I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt. The actual reasoning that made your complaints irrelevant is that if any subset of academia was suffering from the problems mentioned, then the complaints were relevant to those subsets. Of course there are not a large number of foreign students in US english, arts, and other cultural based degree programs. They can study such disciplines at home. By combining such disciplines with the science and engineering disciplines I was talking about you temporarily concealed the issue. Even though I knew the issue was there from gathered personal experience combined with awareness of statistical principals and general reasoning skills, I was temporarily confused by your statistics which I did not immediately know how to reconcile with what I already knew.

It seems you are trying the same tactics again today. The article I have mentioned gives the following statement regarding the current make up of phd students in america "55% of Ph.D. students in engineering in the United States are foreign born (2004)" The statement about the 1985 makeup of the student population was to demonstrate a growing trend. Obviously 1985 is not a relevant indicator of current times.

As you can see, the sources are older. The trend that foreign students stay in the United states, is both marginally relevant and has also been reversing during the recent economic downturns in combination with the economic growth of the Nations they hail from. If they did stay here, it still does not justify a mostly foreign academic faculty favoring a mostly foreign student base over US citizens. It simply means that it impacts the country as a whole less economically. These people are still more likely to send money back home.

If there is any way to enforce objectivity policies, it would certainly make things better than they are now. These policies are a joke however. Any complaints are simply dodged by creating impossible criteria for "discrimination" or by concealment of discrimination behind transparent justifications that students are not allowed to question and therefore reveal. A professor could simply ignore or straw man novel ideas presented by someone he did not want to perceive as intelligent, and then question why the student did not spend more time covering a well known or basic tangent of the topic. The professor could simply give vague excuses for poor assessments like "In general it was lower than average quality". One time when given a less than stellar grade (I have a near 4.0 gpa so it doesn't take much for me to qualify a grade as that) the professor tried this, and when asked to be specific about what was missing or what I could do better he blatantly said that I came across like a truck driver. Meanwhile other students in the class understood the ideas I were presented, were intrigued, and wanted to know if I would work with them on their research. Of course if it were any kind of formal inquiry he would quickly revert to "oh something was just missing". He then went on to espouse the virtues of another student (of his own race) whose presentation (based on his research) was laughable at best (as in pop secret more in a bag) and used tools and methods directly presented in another class.

When lack of objectivity only affects the sorting of students between A, A- and B+, the professors are given the benefit of the doubt regardless of how thinly veiled their excuses are.

I will certainly be calling the worst person I have been in contact with out in my exit interview, and I can only hope the clearly worded explanation of his abuse will have an effect on how his peers perceive him and the effectiveness of the objectivity policies.


However, how does it benefit the US to even bother with this? Fill our departments with a majority of American citizens, and our faculty with the resultant American talent, and we won't have to worry about such issues. We will also be much better off.

#10 Turtle

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 11:18 AM

:coffee_n_pc:

International Students in the US



This site has phony statistics.

Every time I post one of these arguments, someone appears with a bunch of phony statistics that take time to debunk. I have spent so much time on these forums that I have actually become susceptible to such "appeal to authority fallacy" tactics to confuse and delay arguments.

These kind of statistics are easily fabricated by a biased party like "Open doors" by simply not tracing the funding back all the way to their sources or whatever other tricks they wish to use to slant the statistics. I have not met a single foreign graduate student who did not have an assistanship that paid for all of their tuition and shelter. The ones who lose it are almost always forced to go back home. I have heard of one person that worked overtime to try and cover the tuition (which meant they were holding an american job)

The very same site has a giant link on the left side that lists hundreds of US scholarships, fellowships and grants so that foreign students can study in the US. This is not a United states government website.

I tracked down the source of the phony claim "International students contribute $17.8 billion to the U.S. economy, through their expenditures on tuition and living expenses, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce." The source is the following publication by the US department of commerce. http://www.bea.gov/i...l/xls/tab1a.xls In this table, is a listing under "other private services: education" for 2008 that says 17,796 (million) in >>>>>EXPORTS<<<<<< not imports. That is, US citizens spend 17.8 billion on foreign education in other countries. The part about tuition and shelter came from a note in the commerce publication saying that it is considered private because the students pay for tuition (to potentially private universities) and rent.

Again this statistic is about US citizens studying in other countries and is misquoted by the "Open Doors" site linked to by Turtle.


i see no such label/listing, "other private services: education", in that table you linked to. exactly which column & row is that in in the spreadsheet? in any regard, wouldn't a good or service provided by country A to someone from country B, C, D, etc. be an export? the education line, #23 in that .xls file has 17 billion for 2008 in the Export section and 5 billion in the Import section and in either case this is income, not losses, and your op is still false. the us makes money on foreign students, not loses money on them.

your casual observations of a few students/staff that you happened to encounter is simply not a valid substantiation of your jingoistic jabbering. :ideamaybenot:

#11 Kriminal99

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 12:10 PM

The way the site words it outside of the chart, I believe it is talking about foreign exports to the United States, though it is true it is not perfectly clear in that particular chart.

In any case it is not clear that these statistics have accounted for how foreign students are paying for their tuition and board.

#12 Erasmus00

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 07:08 PM

Also consider that, honestly, getting a phd is a terrible economic decision for someone from an industrialized country- you put on an average of 7 years of post-graduate education. You get a phd, and slog it out as an ajunct or postdoc for another 5-10 years (often making less than you would with just a highschool degree) in order for the slim chance to finagle a tenure track appointment. Even then, there is a growing trend of people being denied tenure.

However, for people coming from a developing nation, the work might be much better than otherwise available. Plus, with rapidly expanding educational systems in India/China, many of these academics will have a good shot at a good job in their home country after the program.

For someone from the US the opportunity cost of a phd is massively negative. For someone from India or China, the opportunity cost may well be positive. I don't think there is anything sinsiter going on, its just economic factors.

#13 Kriminal99

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 09:10 AM

Also consider that, honestly, getting a phd is a terrible economic decision for someone from an industrialized country- you put on an average of 7 years of post-graduate education. You get a phd, and slog it out as an ajunct or postdoc for another 5-10 years (often making less than you would with just a highschool degree) in order for the slim chance to finagle a tenure track appointment. Even then, there is a growing trend of people being denied tenure.

However, for people coming from a developing nation, the work might be much better than otherwise available. Plus, with rapidly expanding educational systems in India/China, many of these academics will have a good shot at a good job in their home country after the program.

For someone from the US the opportunity cost of a phd is massively negative. For someone from India or China, the opportunity cost may well be positive. I don't think there is anything sinister going on, its just economic factors.


It really depends on the area and the need for qualified people. In my area the need is large.

Also the general attitude and my observations of American students being heavily discouraged in the program make clear what is going on. Professor's, frequently make comments implying that American students are inferior to those of races and cultures known to have lower average IQ's than white students. (example: "Nowadays there is actually a need for american phd's because people from foreign countries return home after getting their degrees) No constructive criticism is ever given to American students as if to imply that it would be wasted effort, instead any criticism's (ranging from semi-legitimate to absurdly ridiculous) are made in the absence of the student and used as justification to passively manipulate or discourage their academic journey such that any confrontation between the student and their "accuser" is avoided. (Example, de-registering an american student from a class, deleting it from their registration option list, then lying to the student and telling them the class was canceled to make room for a foreign student's enrollment in the course)

Most of the criticisms that are made are absurd and obviously have an stronger opposite point of view.

One my try and justify such an attitude by claiming that the foreign students are chosen from the world's best and brightest, and the Americans are just local students who wanted to go to grad school. However in my department at least this couldn't be further from the truth. GRE scores are all but ignored, and low iq students are brought in in droves from whatever culture the current grad coordinator is from.

#14 Erasmus00

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 11:43 AM

It really depends on the area and the need for qualified people. In my area the need is large.


What area? This entire conversation is silly if every time a point is brought up, you say your area is different.

One my try and justify such an attitude by claiming that the foreign students are chosen from the world's best and brightest, and the Americans are just local students who wanted to go to grad school. However in my department at least this couldn't be further from the truth. GRE scores are all but ignored, and low iq students are brought in in droves from whatever culture the current grad coordinator is from.


It sounds as if you program is malignant, from the things you are saying. Why not transfer? In almost every field, the top programs have a much higher percentage of US students, maybe you can find a better environment.

#15 Ken

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 04:40 PM

It really depends on the area and the need for qualified people. In my area the need is large.

Also the general attitude and my observations of American students being heavily discouraged in the program make clear what is going on. Professor's, frequently make comments implying that American students are inferior to those of races and cultures known to have lower average IQ's than white students. (example: "Nowadays there is actually a need for american phd's because people from foreign countries return home after getting their degrees) No constructive criticism is ever given to American students as if to imply that it would be wasted effort, instead any criticism's (ranging from semi-legitimate to absurdly ridiculous) are made in the absence of the student and used as justification to passively manipulate or discourage their academic journey such that any confrontation between the student and their "accuser" is avoided. (Example, de-registering an american student from a class, deleting it from their registration option list, then lying to the student and telling them the class was canceled to make room for a foreign student's enrollment in the course)

Most of the criticisms that are made are absurd and obviously have an stronger opposite point of view.

One my try and justify such an attitude by claiming that the foreign students are chosen from the world's best and brightest, and the Americans are just local students who wanted to go to grad school. However in my department at least this couldn't be further from the truth. GRE scores are all but ignored, and low iq students are brought in in droves from whatever culture the current grad coordinator is from.


I find your diatribe a sad cry for help from the monsters created in your own mind.

You raise so many points that it's hard to find the energy to keep track. But a few are so glaringly incorrect that I'm inclined to respond.

First, Intelligence and Intelligence testing. Your definition is at variance with the history and use of such tests. A responder above gave a fairly credible summary of Intelligence testing. It was an attempt by the government of France to determine which children would not benefit from schooling. Alfred Binet devised a series of tests that he scored as Mental Age. They involved a sequence of questions of increasing difficulty (based on some sample of students). If question x could be answered by 50% or more of an age cohort then anyone else correctly answering that question - regardless of actual age - had at least "equivalent" mental age.

The test was brought to the U.S. by Lewis Terman at Stanford University. It was translated and somewhat modified . The dual scores of actual age and "Mental" age were unified by dividing the "mental age" by the chronological age and multiplying the resulting quotient by 100. The Stanford-Binet version of the original Binet tests attempted to measure four areas including verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, abstract and visual reasoning, and short-term memory skills. Over the years more sub-categories were added, now totaling 15 additional "skills"....

The point is that "Intelligence Testing" has always been about scholastic aptitude and it's ATTEMPTED measurement. The results are always conflated by high correlations between social, economic, and educational opportunities. It is a common error to believe that any of the research on Intelligence has led to any objective evidence of this now metaphysical concept.

Every popular or frequently used Intelligence Test uses different strategies, types of problems, and intrinsic definitions of the concept. And they tend to give different scores. To the extent that different tests hint at similar scores the significant variables of social, economic, and educational experiences are found across the tests. In other words, virtually all of the variance in scores can be explained by the three factors.

Do "foreigners" score lower on U.S. Intelligence tests? They do when poor English language skills intrude. When the requisite language skills are present the differences either disappear or reverse. Why reverse? Because the general motivational level and academic performance of U.S. students has been declining in comparison to students in other countries.

You can blame it on poor teaching or on passive learning. My experience, after 35 years teaching at baccalaureate and graduate levels is that the majority of all students, both domestic and foreign, are passive learners. They don't engage the material, they either ignore it or simply memorize it. And they often argue their unformed opinions against any information that disturbs their status quo. My guess from your posts in this thread is that the previous sentence describes you.

I made it a point to start most courses with the statement "I'm not here to indoctrinate you, I'm here to give you objective information and some interpretations of that information, that will give you the opportunity to make rational judgements on your own."

This is getting long so I'll close by saying that in 35 years of teaching I never observed as general truth the complaints you raise . Your perceptions are based on very limited personal observation. Students appear to be bright, or not bright, based on their desire to receive new ideas and process them. Those who work actively at that endeavor seem bright; those who remain passive or refuse to consider any new ideas seem less bright. Neither race, nor place of origin, nor citizenship, nor native language provide any predictive value for determing "intelligence" or learning aptitude.

To suggest otherwise seems to me to demonstrate advanced xenophobia.

#16 Kriminal99

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 11:19 PM

...
Every popular or frequently used Intelligence Test uses different strategies, types of problems, and intrinsic definitions of the concept. And they tend to give different scores. To the extent that different tests hint at similar scores the significant variables of social, economic, and educational experiences are found across the tests. In other words, virtually all of the variance in scores can be explained by the three factors.


You are grossly misinformed regarding the meaning and current level of understanding of Intelligence, not that it surprises me as most people find the truth on this subject quite offensive. The historical facts you have presented are irrelevant. The findings you are claiming are actually the exact opposite of what has been reported in every legitimate credible source. In some cases in the past the fact that scores on all tests was heavily correlated was not understood because the transformation function between one type of test and it's scoring system and another was not well developed. However it has always been observed that people who do well on one type of IQ test (not knowledge tests) do well on all types of IQ tests.

The results that have been obtained from all kinds of IQ tests have shown that scores are correlated across the board for any given person. If you do good on one, you do good on all. Furthermore many other significant correlations have been identified with this "general intelligence factor" (or g for short). Heritability for this measured g factor is around 85%. Environment has a minimal long term impact on intelligence. etc all of this information is readily available on Wikipedia and many other locations.

One type of complex reaction time has been shown to have at least as good of a correlation with IQ as any IQ test. A person is simply given a simple mental task such as adding numbers and timed to see how long it takes them to complete. The possibility that the ability to process information quickly is intelligence and the cause of the g factor is perfectly in line with many other things we have seen as well. Vocabulary size is understood to be strongly correlated with g because we are bombarded with so many words and their contexts that the only thing that prevents us from understanding them all is how quickly we can process what is going on before information is removed.

2 different people of different intelligences will go through the same experiences and gather completely different vocabulary sizes, and just information in general about everything. Low IQ people frequently make mistakes that other people just consider "common sense". For instance, frequently spilling or dropping food because they do not generalize and learn how to properly secure objects that should not be dropped.

#17 Kriminal99

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 01:44 AM

Do "foreigners" score lower on U.S. Intelligence tests? They do when poor English language skills intrude. When the requisite language skills are present the differences either disappear or reverse. Why reverse? Because the general motivational level and academic performance of U.S. students has been declining in comparison to students in other countries.

You can blame it on poor teaching or on passive learning. My experience, after 35 years teaching at baccalaureate and graduate levels is that the majority of all students, both domestic and foreign, are passive learners. They don't engage the material, they either ignore it or simply memorize it. And they often argue their unformed opinions against any information that disturbs their status quo. My guess from your posts in this thread is that the previous sentence describes you.

I made it a point to start most courses with the statement "I'm not here to indoctrinate you, I'm here to give you objective information and some interpretations of that information, that will give you the opportunity to make rational judgements on your own."

This is getting long so I'll close by saying that in 35 years of teaching I never observed as general truth the complaints you raise . Your perceptions are based on very limited personal observation. Students appear to be bright, or not bright, based on their desire to receive new ideas and process them. Those who work actively at that endeavor seem bright; those who remain passive or refuse to consider any new ideas seem less bright. Neither race, nor place of origin, nor citizenship, nor native language provide any predictive value for determing "intelligence" or learning aptitude.

To suggest otherwise seems to me to demonstrate advanced xenophobia.


IQ tests used to screen students have math based portions, which again, are heavily correlated with what would be found if their vocabulary size in their native language, was to be measured. Of course I am not implying that students who don't speak English should be gauged by their English vocabulary size.

It's my guess that your perceived trend in American students would probably best be understood by considering other differences between American and foreign students that have nothing to do with motivation. There is no longer any reason whatsoever for students to be dependent on professors for information on the subjects in their field. Access to information far beyond what the average college professor is familiar with is readily available to anyone with a search engine and the brains to compose information from different sources.

What you may perceive as "poor motivation" may in fact be the exact opposite. When you consider that by comparison many foreign students are here for economic reasons (and thus are not motivated to do more than they have to impress their professors) and are financially dependent on the department for their livelihood the situation becomes much clearer. Also, as a place where many cultures have clashed in a battle to coexist, individualism is far more accepted here than it is in most of the places our foreign students come from. This is both true in the sense that some of their governments suppress independent thought, as well in the sense that less diverse environments inhibit social maturity. (How do you react to someone who's behavior you don't understand or accept?)

Lets do a thought experiment for a second here. Imagine hypothetically you had an American student of extreme intelligence, analytical skills, and motivation to learn. He was financially secure and as such his motivation for being involved in academia was pure (for the pursuit of knowledge) and thus not social in nature. As this was his nature, he frequently sought information of interest to him long before he even became involved. Perhaps by the time he arrived in your class, he had amassed an enormous amount of knowledge from many different disciplines and organized them into seamless formal models. All these things being the case, 90% of what you presented in your class was already well understood by him - both because his analytical skills allowed him to recognize many of the concepts as instances of more general ideas he had seen in many other disciplines, and because he had already investigated the area on his own.

How do you think such a student would superficially seem to you? I personally, despite immediately knowing the correct answer to just about every question ever asked in a class (and often a formal proof of how the professor made an unfounded assumption in how he asked or answered the question), do not respond to questions unless no one else knows the answer. I do this so that lower IQ students do not lose motivation to participate.

In classes where I do end up answering a large percentage of the questions because the material is actually conceptually difficult enough to prevent most of the students from commenting, the professors begin to actively combat the resulting perception by making ridiculous straw man attacks on my statements or just obviously wrong counter-claims and then just forcibly denying any response. Based on their body-language both in these situations and in similar one-on-one situations their behavior is clearly driven by deep-seated emotional insecurities towards intelligent white people.

Some of these professors even try to extend this attitude into the grading, where open ended short answer questions suddenly become more specific during grading in such a manner that all favored students conveniently meet the new criteria. Or where a professor arrogantly ignores a path of argument, which could be objectively proven (and was on the paper had the professor actually read it) that isn't a strict regurgitation of simple minded concepts presented by him in class.

And presentations are hilarious. Imagine a professor who has been teaching the same material for 20 years, only minimally able to understand ancient prototypes of modern methods trying to make sense of a student referring to or presenting a novel contribution to cutting edge research he had gained access to through paid subscriptions to journals that weren't available in the universities collection, which the professor didn't use anyways. In my case the professor tried to participate despite his ignorance by asking completely irrelevant questions that might have made sense if directed towards the aforementioned ancient prototypes. Then the professor proceeded to give me a bad grade, which he couldn't justify when faced with a Socratic method like questioning ("So what do you think I could do to improve?") except for to say that a truck driver could have presented the same material. The material covered was the topic of several courses in the same university, and I had condensed the most important points into a 45 minute lecture which everyone completely understood the ideas. This is in addition to several novel idea presented that would help deal with current issues and were the topic of my research (he became very defensive in response to the idea when presented). What way left is there to criticize the presenter other than to naively imply that the material was easy to begin with and that is why it seemed simple when I presented it.

Then he went on to praise another student of his own culture who had simply presented a simple minded use (uncontrolled experiment of limited use even if had been done correctly) of tools provided in another class and passed them off as his own creation after changing a few lines in the open source code.

So to summarize:
1) I don't participate to capacity in class because when I do, the professor has an emotional breakdown as does half the class. The guy who sits in the front of class and repeats everything you say in the form of a question is demonstrably and objectively a mongoloid idiot by comparison. Of course any demonstration of this other than the difference in GRE scores is avoided because that person desperately avoids any confrontation with me despite trying to downplay my abilities in my absence.

2) The professor doesn't understand ideas I present to him, not because they aren't well presented but because they are complex and he would rather assume American students like me are stupid than take the time to follow the logic. (And probably because what is a simple logical step to me is much harder for him to follow.)

3) Also, I am not going to be amazed at the way the simple minded project the professor gave me turns out. I already logically deduced exactly how it would turn out 30 seconds after the project was assigned. I am not going to test 20 different parameter values and giddily show the results - I am much more likely to give a proof of how all those attempts would come out the same way.

4) Yes I am aware that you are that you are leeching off of my hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to fund your perverted racial fantasies in which American students are less intelligent than you. Yes I am going to raise awareness and put a stop to it.

So yeah, I propose that the above mentioned student is the exact student you would ineptly or perhaps selfishly describe as "lacking motivation".

Anyone who is actually affected by your statement that "I'm not here to indoctrinate you, I'm here to give you objective information and some interpretations of that information, that will give you the opportunity to make rational judgements on your own." is not that bright. To make such a statement shows that you don't understand where a counter claim to it would come from. No professor THINKS they are indoctrinating students, they all think they are being objective. That's just what they ARE doing when they straw man all arguments in opposition to their own beliefs from sources they don't like.