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Theses On-line!

EphBlog gets results! Some senior theses for 2004/2005 are now available on-line. (Thanks to Ronit Bhattacharyya ’07 and College Librarian David Pilachowski for the pointer. I also know that Morty was a fan of this effort.)

Again, no one believes that there are thousands of readers about to dive into these. But there are more than a few worth reading (although I have only had time to finish Lindsey Taylor’s so far) and several which will have portions more widely read then the vast majority of work produced by members of the Williams faculty this year.

Most importantly, the more public and open the College makes the process and product of academic work at Williams, the better that work will be done. Want to increase the quality of intellectual life among current undergraduates? Let the rest of us listen in.

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#1 Comment By Guy Creese ’75 On August 22, 2005 @ 5:08 pm

The error I get when I click on “now available on-line” is, “The URL is not valid and cannot be loaded.” Given that the URL is http:///, not surprising.

#2 Comment By Eislerman On August 22, 2005 @ 5:15 pm

http://www.williams.edu/library/theses/

For some reason the PSCI 2004 aren’t up there…*sigh*

#3 Comment By Guy Creese ’75 On August 22, 2005 @ 5:42 pm

Boy, this is pretty interesting stuff! (Given that two theses talk about salary issues at professional sports teams, I hope Jonathan Kraft ’86 is reading them.)

Besides making interesting reading — and given the breadth of subjects, someone can probably find at least one thesis worth reading — I think this is a wonderful advertisement of the quality of work expected of top-tier Williams students. After reading several of these, a prospective student will have a pretty good idea of whether they have the intellectual chops to do well at Williams.

So while I was initially sceptical of David’s tilting at windmills on this one, I now stand corrected.

#4 Comment By Guy Creese ’75 On August 22, 2005 @ 5:45 pm

From the quality of the PDF, it appears these have been created by being scanned in — rather than being printed to PDF electronically. While the college can’t do it with older theses, are their any plans to require students to submit softcopies of their theses besides the hardcopies? With that, a PDF copy could be created in 30 seconds, rather than however long it takes to scan the paper.

#5 Comment By frank uible On August 22, 2005 @ 8:27 pm

Guy: Chops? You are dating yourself. Louis Armstrong had chops. Art Tatum had chops. Arguably Slim Gaillard had chops. Nobody has chops any more except that Paisans may refer to “busting my chops”.

#6 Comment By Guy Creese ’75 On August 22, 2005 @ 9:25 pm

Frank: But don’t you think the term applies? Hey, I’m old enough to remember what “fag” originally meant.

#7 Comment By Ken Thomas ’93 On August 24, 2005 @ 1:30 am

On this note, I would like to see all course syllabi submitted electronically and archived permanently online– not just for Williams– in a centralized system. These have enormous value.

#8 Comment By David On August 24, 2005 @ 10:06 pm

Link now fixed.

Again, if it were me, I would require thesis students to submit PDF copies of their theses (easily made with programs like Open Officce) along with the hard copy that is currently required. I would require public display by default but allow students to petition the CEP for an exception (which would then almost always be granted).

It is nice to see that a couple of chemistry theses are present. See discussion here.

I will be posting some highlights from these theses in September. Anyone interested in doing similarly should drop me a line so that we can coordinate.