Four Williams physics professors signed this absurd letter to the Supreme Court.

Dear Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States,

We are writing to you today as professional physicists and astrophysicists to respond to comments made by Justices in the course of oral arguments of Fisher vs. University of Texas which occurred on Wednesday, December 9, 2015. First, we strongly repudiate the line of questioning from Justice Antonin Scalia based on the discredited Mismatch Theory [1]. Secondly, we are particularly called to address the question from Chief Justice John Roberts about the value of promoting equity and inclusion in our own field, physics.

As always, EphBlog is curious about the backstory. How did Professors Strait, Wooters, Majumder and Doret ’02 end up signing this letter? Why didn’t the other members of the department sign?

More importantly, these professors are in a position to provide data about the mismatch hypothesis, a recurring topic at EphBlog. Consider the students in the class of 2016. Many of them, in the Common Ap, expressed an interest in studying STEM at Williams. Some of them did and some of them did not. Of those students:

1) What percentage of students with math/reading SAT scores above 1500 kept with their plan of studying STEM?

2) What percentage of students with math/reading SAT scores below 1350 kept with their plan of studying STEM?

The Mismatch Hypothesis would suggest that more students in group 1 stayed with STEM than students in group 2. You could examine the same topic by race.

If Professors Strait, Wooters, Majumder and Doret ’02 were interested in increasing our knowledge, they would gather this data for Williams and publish the results. Why won’t they?

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