C&B Notes

Investing is a discipline built on cumulative knowledge, and it requires a continuous evaluation and assessment of new information. The purpose of C&B Notes is to pass along the ideas, concepts, stories, and information that are informing, influencing, and updating our worldview. We use them to build on our “latticework of mental models” that help us make better decisions.

39 articles in list

Higher Ed Hangover

Like many of you, we have kids at home participating in e-learning.  While COVID-19 is unlikely to fundamentally transform primary and secondary education, at least in the short-term, it could shake the foundations of higher education.  Colleges will face immediate…

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Beer and Statistics

Student’s t-distribution is symmetrical and bell-shaped like a normal distribution but with heavier tails.  It is used when the mean or standard deviation of a sample is unknown and is robust against departures from normality.  We believe the assumption of…

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Calculus In Its Essence

We stumbled across this math textbook, Calculus Made Easy published in 1910.  As he wrote in the funny and true prologue, Silvanus Thompson attempted to make the seemingly inaccessible accessible.  As George Bernard Shaw wrote, “All professions are conspiracies against…

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Math Fun

This method for multiplication is a neat visual method to solve problems.

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Schooling the Rest

The endowment for Quinnipiac University (yes, the one that does polling) has achieved top tier results without following the endowment model. The school’s leadership has invested primarily in public equities and has been committed to this strategy over the long…

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Orwell’s Rules for Writing

In “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell shared a set of six rules for writing: (i) Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. (ii) Never use a long…

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Democratizing Admittance

The more information a school can gather about applicants, the better the admissions department can assess fit for a particular program.  It also removes the necessity to rely on shortcuts — GRE scores, schools attended, etc. — that may or…

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Shells, Beans, & Bars

Luis Fernando Magana, a physicist originally from Mexico’s Yucatan, reintroduced a form of math practiced by the ancient Mayans on the peninsula.  Present-day schools are now using the concepts to try to improve Mexico’s poor competency in math.  Despite being…

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Trigonometry’s “New” History

Settled history is not always settled accurately. A 3,700-year-old clay tablet has proven that the Babylonians developed trigonometry 1,500 years before the Greeks and were using a sophisticated method of mathematics which could change how we calculate today.  The tablet,…

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Too Much of a Good Thing

  Good and effective governance is not primarily a result of an exhaustive set of rules and regulations, but rather a product of a strong and clear culture of accountability and of doing the right thing on behalf of all…

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Oxford Comma to the Rescue

We are fans of the Oxford comma.  Clarity can save money and heartache. A class-action lawsuit about overtime pay for truck drivers hinged entirely on a debate that has bitterly divided friends, families and foes: The dreaded — or totally…

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From Bad to Worse for Student Loans

Driven by lax (or no) underwriting standards and weaker-than-promised/hoped student outcomes, the fundamentals on the federal government’s student loan portfolio are worsening.  Late last year, the GAO reported the government is on track to “forgive” at least $108 billion in…

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