Grades from professors are “due” to the Registrar today. Cale Weatherly comments, “You are significantly likelier to receive grades on time from professors who do not have tenure than from professors who do.”

Indeed. And this would make for an interesting senior thesis! What is the pattern of timeliness among professors when it comes to getting grades in? You could even run some randomized experiments by sending out reminders to some professors but not others. You could look for department effects. And so on.

I realize that this might seem like a stupid topic. Shouldn’t a senior thesis tackle a bigger problem? No! The more narrow the topic, the better the senior thesis. The more Williams-focussed, the more likely that anyone will ever read it. Thousands of people have read selections from Lindsey Taylor’s ’05 thesis. Moreover, this small topic will provide all the complexities of a bigger issue.

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