Can you solve it? The puzzle that is Donald Trump

Reinventing the tangram The tangram was the first ever puzzle craze and it is still going strong. You may have come across it before. You are shown a shape, and you must arrange seven pieces five triangles, a square and a rhomboid to make that shape. Tangram pieces in colour arranged to form a square. Illustration: Mathigon In the early nineteenth century, the tangram, of East Asian origin, arrived in the West, where it was an instant hit. Between 1817 and 1818 dozens of tangram books were published in Europe. The puzzle has remained popular ever since. As each generation has created new designs, the total number of different shapes is now probably in the tens of thousands. For example, …

College bribery scandal: professors respond to our anonymous column

We published one professors account of student entitlement, and the response from readers was enormous. Here, we share replies from other educators If you think corruption in an anonymous professor in the Guardian this week. The professor argued that beyond the shocking lengths parents will go to get their children into top schools, the influx of unskilled and entitled students is ruining the college experience itself: monopolizing faculty time and creating a palpable strain on the system. The presence of unqualified students admitted through corrupt practices is an unmitigated disaster for education and research, they wrote. Students who cant get into elite schools through the front door based on academic merit dont change once theyre in class. They cant do …

Plagiarism, book-stuffing, clickfarms … the rotten side of self-publishing

Scams are rife, particularly when some authors can rake in thousands each month but high-profile victims of plagiarism warn day of reckoning is coming NSerruyas alleged plagiarism was first exposed by US author Courtney Milan, who found passages from her book The Duchess War in Serruyas novel Royal Love. After Milan went public and after highlighted by authors and readers Serruya pulled her books from sale, blaming the overlaps on a ghostwriter she said shed hired from freelance marketplace Fiverr. A former law professor, Milan was a dreadful choice to lift from as was Roberts, who has never been sanguine about plagiarism, taking her fellow novelist and former friend Janet Dailey to court in 1997. But Serruya is just one …

The Deeper Education Issue Under the College Bribery Scandal

The college admissions bribery scandal has all the components of a made for TV movie, including suspense, celebrities, and unexpected twists and turns. Behind the broken admissions process and the drama, however, a different educational crisis is looming. According to a 2018 Korn Ferry study, by 2030, there could be a global talent shortage of more than 85.2 million people, costing an estimated $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenue. In the US alone, the study forecasts $1.7 trillion in lost revenue due to labor shortages—roughly 6 percent of the entire economy. The scandal du jour makes it easy to wag fingers and focus on the foibles of prominent helicopter parents, but perhaps we should be having a different discussion about …