Re: Guest Post - Rate My Professor

1

We think you're funny, Heebie.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 8:05 AM
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2

Ha-ha funny, not strange-funny.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 8:16 AM
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3

Maths is not intrinsically funny. There are no known calculus jokes. You need to take them to a bar after class, then they'd mark you funny.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 8:24 AM
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4

There are many math jokes. Not funny ones, maybe, but the jokes exist. (What's the cross product of an elephant and a grape?)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 8:44 AM
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5

There are no known calculus jokes.

It's as though you haven't heard my calculus pick-up line: "I wish I was your derivative, so I could be tangent to your curves."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 8:51 AM
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6

Sounds too incest-y.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 8:55 AM
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7

...those who know binary and those who don't.

...so the bartender says, "come on, guys, know your limits".

...and the mathematician says, "if one more person goes into that building, it will be empty!"


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 8:57 AM
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8

..."You forgot the 'plus C'."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 9:02 AM
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9

"...cornbread are squared."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 9:04 AM
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10

I'M PURPLE AND I COMMUTE


Posted by: OPINIONATED ABELIAN GRAPE | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 9:06 AM
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11

6: Only when I use it on my brother.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 9:09 AM
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12

Interestingly, the word "hot" is not clearly gendered in that data set. There are some big gender disparities in certain fields, but the polarity is less predictable than you might think.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 9:13 AM
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13

A nickel has more cents!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 9:14 AM
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14

I am just a simple Pole in a complex plane.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 9:16 AM
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15

13: What about "see-through shirt"?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 9:17 AM
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16

"Engaging", "interesting", and "fascinating" are all clearly gendered to the detriment of the women (the last less starkly than the first two).


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 9:18 AM
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17

Meanwhile, "ugly" and "hideous" are predominantly female descriptors in all but a handful of fields.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 9:22 AM
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18


Consistent and almost uniformly huge spread on "arrogant". The men, of course.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 9:26 AM
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19

15: I didn't look, but check out "perky".


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 9:29 AM
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20

19: Probably the biggest gender skew of any I have tried, which is a lot.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 10:27 AM
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21

"Helpful" favors the laydeez pretty consistently. Gender essentialism FTW.

"Boring" is almost always more male, which seems odd in light of 16.

Fine Arts represents the sole exception for both of those.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 10:48 AM
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22

Also "caring"


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 10:52 AM
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23

"Brilliant" is more male without exception, with bigger disparities in English and the Humanities than hard science or math.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 10:57 AM
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24

"Buxom" is a pretty funny result.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 10:58 AM
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25

Check out "unfair."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 10:59 AM
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26

"Hot" may not be consistently gendered, but "cold" sure is. And "frigid", too.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 11:01 AM
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"Scattered."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 11:01 AM
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28

"Flighty."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 11:01 AM
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29

But "rambling."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 11:02 AM
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30

The difference between "conceited" and "stuck up" is pretty striking.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 11:05 AM
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31

"Airhead"


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 11:06 AM
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32

I read something referencing this data last week (at academia.SE calling out a question asker for likely sexism) where "confused" was one of the key words. I was a bit surprised as I thought the stereotype was that women were clearer than men. A little poking showed that "confused", "confusing", and "clear" all skewed female.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 11:06 AM
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33

"Even things like pronouns are used quite differently by gender."
"She" and "he" have enormous splits! I'm shocked!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 11:11 AM
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34

The site won't work on my phone, but I'd be curious if "unhelpful" also skews female. That is men aren't expected to be helpful, but women are and so are separated into helpful and unhelpful.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 11:30 AM
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35

34: At first glance, "unhelpful" looks coded feminine, too. But if you filter to look at only negative reviews, unhelpful is completely mixed. By contrast, "helpful" is clearly feminine whether you look at only positive reviews or all reviews. One caveat: there is something screwy with the data, where uses of "unhelpful" in negative reviews appear to be more numerous than all reviews. Something's not right there.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 12:11 PM
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36

I wonder what adjective best fits my senior colleague who has been repeatedly emailing me and calling me all weekend to talk about a completely insane idea. (I haven't answered the phone or responded to the email; I'm not sure if writing a dismissive response will provoke more anger than continuing to ignore the messages.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 12:14 PM
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37

"Hardass" is overwhelmingly male, but "ballbuster" / "ball buster" is more mixed than I would have guessed (albeit with small n). The latter illustrates the handicap of not being able to sort by gender of the reviewer.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 12:19 PM
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38

Hmm. "Insane" skews male in physics but female almost everywhere else. "Crazy" skews female. "Crackpot" is surprisingly mixed. In my experience, almost all crackpots are male.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 12:20 PM
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39

36: Your field is one of the very few disciplines where "insane" is gendered male.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 12:21 PM
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40

I bet "pwned" skews male.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 12:22 PM
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41

But evals are such an important part of figuring who is a good teacher!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 12:23 PM
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42

They should really put error bars on these points. Some of the weirdness of, say, "buxom" or "disingenuous" is surely due to very low statistics.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 12:25 PM
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43

"Smelly" is funny


Posted by: Calypso | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 12:40 PM
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44

34.2: Values are occurrence per million words.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 1:57 PM
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45

Whoa, "cute" is strongly male. I find that pretty surprising. (Physics is the one exception, can't say I find that totally surprising.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 2:13 PM
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46

Women in positions of authority are not likely to be described as cute. True fact that I just made up!


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 2:16 PM
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47

"Sexy" is even malier!

It's also fun to find words that are essentially only used for one gender. E.g. "perky."


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 2:17 PM
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48

"Obtuse" is generally a male trait, except among engineers, where it is a radically more common descriptor for women.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 2:22 PM
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49

To really do some blog science we need similar statistics for women and men not in positions of authority.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 2:23 PM
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50

Or men and women in positions of actual authority.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 2:26 PM
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51

"Douche" and "Douchebag" aren't common, but they skew male.

Same with "asshole."

"Ass" is quite common, consistently more for males.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 2:29 PM
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45: No, that makes perfect sense to me. From a college-age population, girls are much more likely to use 'cute' of someone who's not a practically available romantic prospect: actors/other celebrities are 'cute', and professors go in that category. From a college boy, I'd expect 'cute' to be more reserved for someone he might actually date, and evaluation of women who aren't interpersonally available to use either cruder or at least more adult-sounding vocabulary.

(I don't have any data for this, but it sounds right to my ear.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 2:45 PM
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51 and 52: "Ass,nice" appears more often for women.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 2:54 PM
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54

I guess they didn't try to filter adjectives by what they described? Looking at some of my reviews from last semester lots of adjectives aren't directly describing me "the textbook was an excellent resource," "the homework problems involved unnecessary calculations," ....


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 2:58 PM
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55

"The large-animal anatomy lessons were demonstrated on a nice ass."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 3:00 PM
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56

Also, I can grab positive words like "vivid" out of my reviews but the context is "could have been more vivid."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 3:02 PM
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57

Also "nice" in "it would have been nice if...."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 3:10 PM
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58

Actually, it's pretty amazing how almost all of the negative comments are couched in ways that involve positive adjectives. "It would have been helpful to know," "the homework should have been more well-crafted," "the professor who taught this the previous semester was great, unlike this time," that kind of thing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 3:14 PM
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59

I once compared a TA to George Washington because I was bored and I liked the guy compared to the asshole TA from the other section who subbed once.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 3:23 PM
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Essear, AIMHMHB, the course evaluations at University of the Ruling Class used to have a little section with the most colorful and/or amusing free-text comments. The administration eventually dropped that section, with the express justification that it was encouraging students to deliberately write overblown evaluations (both positive and negative) in the hopes of getting their prose chosen for the top comments section.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 5:07 PM
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52

I just wanted to agree with 52. Cute is used to describe an aspirational crush for young women but not generally for young men. An older attractive women with authority over the crush-haver would be hot or something else.

In my student evaluations, I got described as "sweet" by more than one student. The patronizing + gendered element really annoyed me, especially because I am not a particularly sweet person, and I don't think I was sweet to my students.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 8:26 PM
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62

"genius", ugh.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 10:14 PM
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63

I looked up my dad on Rate My Professor once.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 11:26 PM
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64

And?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-22-15 11:34 PM
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65

Come to think of it, I looked up my dad on there once as well. IIRC there were two reviews, one positive and one negative. Not very enlightening.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-23-15 12:00 AM
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66

I just went and looked up my dad. Lots of "brilliant guy but he expects undergrads to think like grad students." A decent Looney Tunes comparison. But nothing as good as my dad's own reports of his evaluations, on which a student once wrote, "I think he should go live in vector space."


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 02-23-15 12:28 AM
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I think they were mostly positive. The truth is I've looked up a bunch of my friends on there and it was sort of amusing at the time but I don't really remember what the reviews were like.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02-23-15 12:28 AM
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68

I think the one saying Lee looks like Grace Jones is no longer up there, but I suppose that probably skews female.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-23-15 12:33 AM
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I just checked again and my dad had 7 ratings, most of which were very positive. I'm not sure if I was just misremembering or if had checked at a time when there were fewer and the balance was more mixed. In any case, this does make me feel good since "good teacher" is an important part of my memory of him.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-23-15 12:52 AM
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I once compared a TA to George Washington

"[TA] makes his class row across icy rivers in dangerously overloaded small boats. Also, he makes them camp outdoors in freezing weather for weeks. When they go home in protest, he has them shot."


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-23-15 4:00 AM
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71

"the homework problems involved unnecessary calculation

Are any professors actually described as "unnecessary"?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-23-15 4:30 AM
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72

62: Yes. That one struck me; very skewed.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-23-15 6:20 AM
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OT: If a local newspaper forgot to renew its domain name, can just anybody go register it? Asking for a friend who noticed the Trib loaded funny this morning.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-23-15 6:28 AM
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OT: If a local newspaper forgot to renew its domain name, can just anybody go register it? Asking for a friend who noticed the Trib loaded funny this morning.

Pretty much, though they might run into trademark issues.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-23-15 6:47 AM
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75

And if I ask for a basket of money to give the domain back, all of a sudden I'm the bad guy?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-23-15 7:15 AM
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Your friend, you mean?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-23-15 7:31 AM
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77

I don't like him that much. Maybe acquaintance.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-23-15 7:34 AM
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38. The first thing I looked at was "crazy." Average is female-skewed, yes, but a) fine arts is off the hook, and b) men are crazier than women in economics and hard sciences. Men are also "hot" more often than women in lots of fields.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-23-15 8:24 AM
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79

Check out "creepy", especially with respect to the fine arts.


Posted by: arthropod | Link to this comment | 02-23-15 8:56 AM
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80

skews female

New experience at a party: hearing one friend misgender another, not knowing quite what the hell to do about that.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02-23-15 9:27 AM
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I misgendered a student once on the second day of class. I thought he was an adorable baby butch, but I was wrong. Anyway, he was grace itself and corrected me immediately, clearly, and so pleasantly I wasn't even able to stay mortified.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-23-15 9:34 AM
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82

...the third statistician yells "we got 'im!"


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 02-23-15 11:03 PM
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