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May

4

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An exterior shot showing the awning and windows of Koronet Pizza.

Truly, a cathedral of cuisine.

Senior Staffer Ross Chapman is putting his ArtHum skills to use in the long-awaited review of Koronet’s renovation. Final verdict: no pizza place does it better.

As we prepare for our upcoming exams, many of us (seniors included) are boning up for our final in Art Hum. This staple of the Core usually asks us to identify and discuss the formal attributes of historic art and architecture. But what if, when you walked into Schermerhorn, your teacher asked you to apply your skills to the modern world? Koronet Pizza shut its doors this semester for remodeling, and it reopened with a completely different interior layout. If you happen to find yourself in this fantastical, nightmarish Art Hum exam, here are our tips for discussing the finer points of a pizza place.

The building’s exterior is most reminiscent to a cathedral, with its numerous portals and towers. In lieu of allegorical statues and carvings, Koronet elects to use poetic excerpts (e.g. “Open 7 Days” and “Free Delivery”) to draw the viewer in towards its doors. The numbers on the building’s awning is also clearly an allusion to biblical verses. Koronet Pizza’s logo, a shattered circle missing nearly a sixth of its mass, alludes to the abnormally large slices of pizza within. The asymmetry of the thee windows’ heights is an obvious reference to to the towers of the Amiens Cathedral.

Read more misappropriated comparisons after the jump.

Apr

18

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All rodents on this campus bend their knees to their king.

When you go into Lerner Hall, you normally go up the stairs, turn around, and walk into Ferris. If that’s not your path, you might turn left and take the elevator to the fifth floor for a meeting, rehearsal, or performance. Wherever you go, it’s probably a reservable, numbered room, with walls, chairs, and the usual creature comforts.

But Lerner has a hidden side. Service elevators can take you behind Ferris. A set of double doors brings you to Roone’s backstage. And if you venture all the way down, past the Party Space and into the bowels of Columbia, you will find him.

The Rat King of Lerner Hall.

The university has had its fair share of mouse problems. Let me be the first to tell you that these are not isolated incidents. It is The Rat King who determines which vermin go where, and what tolls they exact.

Don’t believe me? Request an audience with the Rat King of Lerner. It’s an easy process. Exactly 30 minutes before building closing (12:30 am Sunday to Wednesday, 2:30 am Thursday to Saturday), call back elevator on the East side of the building, by Lerner 572/573. Take the elevator to 1R, and then immediately to C. (If you get into the elevator without access to 1R, you have failed and will need to retry on another night.) Prop open the door on the left, as it leads to an exit staircase, and if things go awry, you’ll need it.

Now, enter the cellar cage across from the elevators and push any janitorial carts into the main hallway to make room for an audience. You may already notice signs of The King – droppings, the clattering of tiny feet, a certain scurrying rush in the air. The next step is the most crucial. In the center of the storage room, place an offering. Avoid food offered in Ferris, as the rats already have full domain over their pizza and cornbread muffins. You will need to find the right food to offer deep in your soul. When in doubt, deliver mozzarella sticks.

Soon, a small convoy of rats will drag the offering away, revealing the Rat King of Lerner’s true perch behind an abandoned stack of tables. Listen carefully to his wise squeaks – they come from the wisdom dozens of generations of uptown rats. If at any point, you interrupt or anger the Rat King of Lerner Hall (such as by not addressing him by his full title), you’ll need the exit route you opened. Otherwise, state your business and be done before the building closes, lest you be trapped with the rats for the rest of the night…

Image (of a MOUSE not a rat) via Pixabay.

Apr

17

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A board depicting the available suites remaining in Hogan, Watt, and Woodbridge Halls. All of the rooms are taken.

available dorms for living include:

Dark Nights capture the worst feelings that come across campus. Sure, finals are bad, but have you ever tried picking housing? Continuing our tradition from 2016, we present the funniest, weirdest, and most depraved moments from the 2018 in-person housing lottery, as captured via our six days of liveblogging.

Wrong Expectations:

  • Day 1, 4:28 pm: Awkward silence after group realizes that there won’t be any stoves or ovens in EC townhouses. “I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW!”
  • Day 5, 11:38 am: yall if you think mcbain is gonna be like carman, you’re in for a NASTY surprise
  • Day 5, 12:38 pm: “I thought my Carman double was like 170 square feet, turns out it was like 220 square feet… so I think the room I just selected is a lot smaller than I thought it was”

Sad Days:

  • Day 3, 4:37 pm: Carlton Arms 7A four person suite taken by 1957 “I have missed 40 minutes of CC and I’m fucking going to throw up because I’m so stressed”
  • Day 5, 9:27 am: “you guys don’t look very happy!” – housing, to the first lottery group that just walked in
  • Day 4, 12:19 pm: “It’s kind of like Woodbridge dorms, but shittier.” -future Nuss residents
  • Day 5, 2:34 pm: Carlton Arms 7a taken by a 6-person group that’s “ready to walk”
  • Day 6, 9:48 am: I express my condolences for the sad looking freshman pair that just picked into wien
  • Day 6, 10:35 am: McBain 524 and 525 picked up by 2267 – “How do you feel about your choice?” “Sad.

Our Relationship with Spec is… Unconventional:

  • Day 1, 9:08 am: It’s 25 minutes before housing selection begins! The staff is hard at work at getting the NYC-themed John Jay Lounge ready for you! Also, spec is not here yet 👀
  • Day 1, 9:46 am: can someone knock on spec’s door and tell them to wake up and come to housing selection, we kinda miss those nerds
  • Day 1, 11:21 am: Gave a couple “fuck spec” stickers to the speccies, to add to the collection in their office
  • Day 2, 9:20 am: @spec wya
  • Day 2, 3:19 pm: Speccie refuses to tell us OR spec what he picked into
  • Day 3, 9:29 am: Speaking of showing up on time, Spec’s not here yet
  • Day 4, 12:40 pm: moment of solidarity with spec over how fucking awkward that was
  • Day 6, 12:25 pm: speccie walked up, thinking we were the spec table. no, just bwog

Good moods and very bad moods after the jump.

Apr

11

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A packed Levien Gymnasium from spring 2016's CIT tournament.

How friendly are these “friendly confines?”

Home Court Advantage has become an ever more contentious topic for the Ivy League since 2016’s announcement of an Ivy League Basketball Tournament. The men’s and women’s tournaments, which take place at Penn’s Palestra, give a marked advantage to Penn teams as compared to competitions on a neutral court or competitions on another Ivy court. As the League continues to consider the future of the tournament, the impact of Home Court Advantage (HCA) must be researched. In addition, HCA plays an important role in the regular season, especially when teams lower in the Ivy standings play against each other. Finally, the Ivy League is unique in its weekend scheduling for the conference slate. It has been speculated that the back-to-back games and long trips negatively affect players. Is there a “Saturday advantage” not currently accounted for in Ivy League predictions?

Bearing this all in mind, I want to examine how HCA, and how the Ivy weekend schedule, affects the Ivy League at large and Columbia in particular. This article looks at all 560 Men’s Basketball games played between Ivy League opponents from 2009 to 2018. Since every team plays every other team twice every season, evaluating Ivy League season games controls for variables like strength of schedule. For each game, we marked the home and away teams, the score and victor, the relative strengths of the teams as measured by KenPom rankings, and the day of the week on which games were played. We originally looked at only four seasons of data, but had sample sizes too small to make certain conclusions.This study does not examine Women’s Basketball games, non-conference games, or playoff games. Data was gathered from composite schedules from The Ivy League and ESPN.

Data was transcribed by hand and checked for errors. We then split games into two major categories: Day-Before Games, which occurred on most Saturdays, and Non-Day-Before Games, which occurred on Tuesdays, Fridays, and on Saturdays at the beginning of each season. Presumably, teams travelling and playing Day-Before games would be significantly more fatigued due to travel. These games are abbreviated as DB games and NDB games. Within those two categories, as well as in a combined Overall group, we compiled the record of each team, as well as its Home and Away splits. Using the DB and NDB game data, I will introduce a “DB Bonus” or “Saturday Advantage,” which describes the difference in performance of teams when they have to play back-to-back games.

We used additional categories to determine how strong and weak teams perform against each other. We assigned each game a Better KenPom Team and a Worse KenPom Team, based on end-of-season rankings by KenPom. Finally, we created two tiers of teams, a Top Tier and a Low Tier. Top Tier teams, which included all 10-win teams (e.g. 2018 Penn) and two 9-win teams (2014 Columbia and 2018 Princeton), had KenPom rankings of 150 or better. This tiering system reflects my observation that there often one to three top teams in the league who seem to be in very little danger against other, lower tier teams.

Findings and tables after the jump.

Apr

10

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gavel on stryker against white background

Can you be responsible and not responsible at the same time?

If you wander into Faculty House on any given weekday, you’ll probably find some great event you never expected to come across (unless you read our Bucketlists and Science Fairs). I, for instance had no idea that The Zuckerman Mind Brain and Behavior Institute existed, or that it partnered with the Center for Science and Society (CSS) and the Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience to put on lecture and panel events. Monday’s event, “Responsibility, Punishment, and Psychopathy,” called upon an interdisciplinary panel of speakers to discuss how the law does and ought to treat psychopaths in regards to ideas of capacity responsibility and mens rea. Scholars from Columbia, Penn, and Elmhurst College gathered in front of a large crowd in Faculty House to muse on the subject and its implications for the legal system at large.

The talk was briefly introduced by Federica Coppola, a Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience. As a Presidential Scholar, Coppola is mentored not only by neuroscience faculty but by interdisciplinary scientists and artists. She provided a quick rundown of the condition of psychopathy, in which people can have rational understandings of the world and society but can act cruel and remorseless. Psychopathy has existed as a condition for centuries, but the current medical definition refers to a package of antisocial symptoms and a lack of respect for morals measured using a variety of scales such as the PCL-R.

More on serial killers…

Apr

8

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I’d like an order of science with extra art, please

Bwog Senior Staff Writer Ross Chapman went to the latest event put on by Columbia Astronomy Public Outreach. Here are his thoughts on Signal to Noise.

Columbia Astronomy Public Outreach is one of the University’s strongest programs for engaging with students and the public through free and accessible lectures and shows. Their events run a gamut of topics with an emphasis on low barriers to entry. On Friday night, the arm of the Astronomy Department teamed up with the Amateur Astronomers Society of Voorhees and the Wallach Art Gallery to put on Signal to Noise, an “interdisciplinary salon centering on the topic of sounds of the solar system.” The event was the second major arts-and-astronomy presentation on campus in less than a month, coming on the heels of Blue Shift’s Arts & Astro.

The night began in Pupin 301 with a lecture by Andrea Derdzinski, a fourth-year Ph.D. student in computational astrophysics. Her 20-minute lecture, titled Waves from Space, gave a brief history of the signals humans have received from space. Historically, light was the only messenger from the cosmos, and eyes our only receivers. As scientists came to better understand the electromagnetic spectrum, they developed telescopes able to detect different wavelengths of EM radiation. The combination of many types of light into one image marked the 20th century era of “multi-wavelength astronomy.”

The current century uses gravitational waves for research. These waves can be considered the “sounds” of spacetime; while we cannot actually hear them, gravitational waves have properties similar to sound. In fact, since some gravitational waves have frequencies similar to audible sound, they can be converted into sounds for our listening pleasure. Using light and gravitational waves leads to “multi-messenger astrophysics,” a practice which has only just begun.

Enough about the science, tell us about the art!

Mar

29

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Broadway – the view from 114th street

Think of Broadway Hall as the alternate-universe version of Wien — it’s mostly singles, but it’s clean and well-located. Senior Staff Writer and former Broadway resident Ross Chapman takes you through one of the nicer corridor-style dorms on campus.

Location: 556 West 114th Street, on the southeast corner of 114th and Broadway. The building is connected to Hogan Hall and sits next to the Beta Theta Pi house on Frat Row.

Nearby dorms: Hogan, Carman, Ruggles, McBain, Watt, 114th Brownstones

Stores and restaurants: The closest places to get quick food include Strokos, Amir’s, Sweetgreen, Nussbaum & Wu, and Junzi Kitchen. The closest sit-down restaurants are Tom’s Restaurant, Community, and Le Monde. Morton Williams is your closest grocery, but Westside Market isn’t too far out of the way. Duane Reade will be your go-to pharmacy.

Cost: All Columbia upperclassman housing will cost $9,538 next year. Previously, the dorm was on the cheaper side at $8,166/year.

Amenities:

  • Bathrooms: Four dormitory-style bathrooms on each floor, two assigned male and two assigned female (talk to your RA about setting up one as a gender-neutral space). Bathrooms are located close to the elevator. Bathrooms on the third and fourth floors are larger to accommodate the higher number of residents. The individual shower stalls (2 per bathroom) are neither flashy nor large, so consider this a big minus compared to suite-style living.
  • AC/Heating: Broadway has both air conditioning and heating. While the building controls whether the heat or AC is on, residents can control the fan speed. No dealing with radiators here!
  • Storage: Rooms contain a desk, a chest of drawers, and a small closet. Broadway does not give residents furniture bookshelves, but it does supply adjustable wall-shelves as compensation.
  • Kitchen: One small kitchen (approx. 100 square feet) per floor. Kitchens have ample cooking space (two ovens/eight electric stove burners), but can get short on counter space and are hard to use when multiple people are cooking at once. The kitchen has storage space, but how much of that you’ll get to use depends on the other people on your floor. No seating in the kitchen.
  • Lounge: Each floor has a large, half-octagon lounge with two tables, four wooden chairs, one sofa, and two overstuffed chairs. They’re nice spaces to eat, hand out, and watch TV, but there’s often at least one group in most lounges, so you shouldn’t expect privacy. Aside from floor lounges, there’s a first floor lounge/meeting space with a large table and about a dozen chairs (often used by student groups) and two sky lounges on the 14th floor, one of which is dedicated for studying.
  • Laundry: The basement laundry room features 11 washers and 9 dryers. It’s pretty well-sized considering the number of residents (about 350), but it will occasionally take a couple of tries to find an open machine.
  • Computers/Printers: A computer lab on the third floor features eight computers and one printer, and there’s another printer in the building’s lobby.
  • Gym: The gym on the fourth floor is pretty bare, with two treadmills, one bike, and one elliptical. Bring your own entertainment, as the gym has no television. It can get pretty stuffy and sweaty in there, as well.
  • Transportation: Three big, fast, beautiful elevators will take you all the way from the basement to the 14th floor in style with fancy wood panels. They do show wear, though, as the side handles are damaged.
  • Hardwood/Carpet: Lounges and hallways are carpeted, while individual rooms are paneled with wood.
  • Wi-Fi: Yes, and it doesn’t generally have any connection issues.
  • Miscellaneous: The second floor features four music practice rooms which you can access by borrowing a key from Dodge Hall for the semester. Since they’re locked, they’re generally free for individual or small-group practice. The building also has a CPS office with Tuesday evening drop-in hours.

More on Broadway after the jump.

Mar

7

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It’s a lot less intimidating than it looks!

If you’ve ever wanted to feel the warm embrace of a sheet of steel and a Koronet Pizza-sized gong, you got your chance on Tuesday night.

The Miller Theatre hosted one of its signature pop-up concerts on Tuesday, a casual event featuring some free drinks that invited its audience members onto the stage for an intimate affair. The concert eschewed a program and was free to the public in an effort to de-class classical music. Those who came late to the 6:00 pm concert could use Miller’s actual seating, even though it meant they couldn’t see every member of Yarn/Wire.

Yarn/Wire, the performance group for the evening, is a Queens-based ensemble consisting of two pianists and two percussionists. Each member of Yarn/Wire set up on one of the stage’s four corners. The two percussionists sat opposite from each other, one member playing a tam-tam (gong) and the other playing a suspended and curved sheet of steel. The pianists were set up at keyboards, where they manipulated filters and synths while they played their notes.

The evening’s piece, Curvo Totalitas (2016) by Catherine Lamb, was described by the Miller Theatre as “a 45-minute tour de force that seamlessly shifts perceptions, allowing the listener to get lost in its unique sound world.” The original 2016 composition clocked in at around 20 minutes, but it was edited and expanded for the Rainy Days Festival in Luxembourg.

But was it any good?

Mar

2

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Dodge, in all of its basement majesty.

Dodge Fitness Center is the hub of Columbia’s physical education and recreation activities. Penn Station is the hub of New York City’s connection to Long Island, New Jersey, and the rest of the Northeast. But are these two iconic locations secretly the same place? Is one worse than the other? Using complex metrics, we performed a side-by-side comparison to see which sweaty, underground maze is better.

Location: Penn Station is pretty accessible from campus – when the 1 train is working. If it is, getting to Penn Station costs $2.75 and takes about 20 minutes of your time. In contrast, Dodge is a 5-10 minute walk from most dorms, and it doesn’t cost any money to swipe in. As a bonus, you don’t have to depend on the MTA! Advantage: Dodge

Lighting: No matter the hour, both of these locations feature harsh fluorescent lighting to keep you awake and alert. Neither location has any windows to give you any idea of the outside world. Advantage: Tie

Rats: This may be like comparing apples to oranges, considering the differences between uptown and downtown rats. Penn Station is home to a wide array of fauna, visible most often on the train tracks. Columbia students at Dodge may be snakes, but they’re not the kind that eat rats. As such, at least a few rats are probably hiding around in the bowels of Dodge. Still, Penn makes Dodge look squeaky-clean. Advantage: Dodge

But what about the smell?

Feb

23

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artist's rendition of Ivy playoff scenarios

This image will be relevant every year

Senior Staffer Ross Chapman is really hoping the men’s basketball team doesn’t disappoint this year, though they probably will. 

Every year in late February, I write an article about the pile of nonsense that is Ivy League men’s basketball and its tiebreaker scenarios. As we near the end of the season, anything could happen – literally any team could still win the championship. For once, though, all of the rules are very clear. All that remains is crunching the numbers. Below are some possible playoff scenarios, all of which are making me pull my hair out. I look forward to soon being free from this Tiebreaker Hell – hopefully, Columbia will come out on top. (All tables in this article, as well as additional information, can be found in this spreadsheet.)

A graph of the current standings of Ivy Basketball

All graphs in this article can be clicked to enlarge.

Where are we now? The Columbia men currently stand tied for 4th with Brown and Cornell at 4-6. Columbia has not had a stellar season, but they have protected their home court well (3-1 in Levien). Their only home loss was to Penn, one of the league’s top teams. According to Luke Benz and the Yale Undergraduate Sports Analytics Group, the Lions actually have a 53% chance to make the playoffs. This is because of how the Ivy League tiebreaker rules work.

If two teams are tied in the standings, you defer first to their head-to-head record. For instance, if Brown and Columbia were tied at 6-8, but Brown had defeated Columbia in both of their games, then Brown would have the advantage over Columbia. If the teams are tied, you compare the tied teams’ records against the best team in the league. If tied there, keep going down the standings until you find a difference. Columbia has a major advantage due to their win against Harvard, the other top team in the league. This puts Columbia into a great position if they can continue to perform at an average level.

Decipher sports more after the jump!

Feb

22

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When’s the last time you had one email in your inbox?

If you’re a senior who’s tired of not having an answer to the question, “what are you doing after you graduate,” you may have applied to graduate school. But if you ever put your name on a mailing list, you’re bound to receive emails from hundreds of schools you didn’t even know existed. Take a look at this rough categorization of practically every email you’ll receive during the grad school grind. (Everything in quotes comes from a real email I have received.)

The Seasonal Email. “Thanksgiving Greetings from [School]!”  Schools seem to think that reminding you of the month you are currently in is a good marketing strategy. Thanksgiving and “the Holidays” rank at the top for this flavor of email, but you can expect to see at least a few for every minor event from Groundhog Day to Flag Day.

The First Person Email. “I’m Giving You an Application Fee Waiver Because I Want You to Apply.” In an inbox full of impersonal subject lines, the First Person Email tries to stand out by striking up a conversation. Of course, the admissions officer who sent this to you sent the exact same message to thousands of other applicants.

The “There’s Still Time” Email. “There is Still Time to Apply for Early Decision.” Nearing a deadline can fill a student with a sense of dread – it seems not worth the effort to slap together an application when you won’t have the time to make it good. This email is actually a useful reminder. You have plenty of time to fill out this app, as long as you start now. Surely, these will only occur once per admissions season.

The Fun, Personable Email. “Law Schools Have Personalities. Find Your Match.” Like the First Person Email, this type grabs your attention by not being quite as formal as your average correspondence. Unfortunately, it contains all the same boring stuff on the inside, unless it’s the rare, fully-in-character email that tells you about it just “mailed you a bundle o’ information.”

The Misspelled Email. “Application Fee Waiver to [School] Expires Febryuary 1st – Apply Today.” Any school drops about twenty ranks in prestige whenever you catch an error like this. At least you know they won’t take points off if your resume has a typo in it.

The Positive Email. “Ready for the big test? Of course you are!” Is this email hopping on the wholesome memes trend, or does it genuinely care for your well-being? This is a nice email to see, but it doesn’t leave a strong impression about the school. But if every school in the country sent this message, we’d live in a better place.

The “There’s Still Time” Email. “Hi! There’s still time to apply.” Oh, this email is back, and it’s back two months later. You missed the priority deadline, but there’s another one coming up! This email concludes that you didn’t apply the first time because you were rushed or nervous. Surely you’ll apply this time!”

The Accidental Spam Email. “Ten Reasons You Should Apply to [School].” While it’s less embarrassing than the Accidental Acceptance Email, this spam occurs when the email system glitches. It might send five emails in quick succession, or it might forget to fill in your name and send a generic form email. Whatever the reason, the advertisement probably didn’t make you want to apply.

Plenty more email archetypes after the jump.

Feb

18

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Dean Valentini in 2011 chewing a bite of a grilled chicken sandwich from Milano Market.

Why would a robot need to eat organic matter?

Do all emails from the Presidents and Deans sound the same to you? We’ve written before on some tendencies that we’ve noticed in emails coming from campus administrators. Practically the same email comes clogging up your inbox every week, and you can’t even reply-all asking to be taken off the listserv.

If they all sound so robotic, could we create an email of our own? Using Markov chain modelling, we generated an entirely computer-written email. For our input, we used fifteen emails from Dean James J. Valentini from the last year and a half. Then, we ran our programs, separated out the totally incomprehensibly chaff, and added a couple of punctuation marks.

What follows is… well, it’s English, mostly. The chain did have some issues, such as occasionally getting stuck in loops. Robot Valentini couldn’t keep track of admin titles, and so accidentally demoted Bollinger down to Vice President (Vice PrezBo, as the kids call him). The email also announces that the College will team up with the McBain Lounge to pilot a new program, the Columbia College Student Council! Check it out below for all the insanity.

Dear Students,

This summer, I spent time reflecting on the fifth floor of Lerner Hall, 100 Carman Hall, 600 W. 113th St, Room 2BB, and 102 Broadway Hall. I am devastated to be writing to let you know that we have many effective students at Columbia. I have developed new skills necessary to cope with the student health and wellness efforts. Staff from offices, including clinicians from Counseling and Psychological Services, is launching a new website and will schedule recurring trainings to remind you that you will one day tell stories about yourself and those around you.

Also, I encourage you to achieve the goals that Columbia College and Vice President Bollinger announced at the #StartupColumbia Festival in April. This is an opportunity to explore your world, to explore your world, to explore your world, and to explore additional areas of interest through elective coursework. More real and important updates after the jump!

Feb

8

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Several bookshelves from the Journalism library.

You, too, can own this many books!

Last week, I wrote about taking all of the resources you could from your Canvas and Courseworks sites. But what if you want to learn about topics you don’t cover in class? It’s so hard to find time during your few years at Columbia to read about anything other than your courses, but as soon as you graduate, you can’t make the same use of the University’s ample resources. Here’s a quick guide to procrastinating by downloading full books and articles from Columbia’s library system so that you can read them ten years down the line.

Good CLIO Practices: CLIO’s Catalog may be the best starting point for using Columbia’s resources. Whenever you search, use the navigation bar on the left to narrow your terms. If you’re looking to download full books, set your format to search for “Book” and “Online.” Set the location to “Online” and the language to “English.” If you’re searching for a relatively obscure subject in academia (say, internet memes), you should use an “All Fields” search (the default search) to find that topic in the title, publication, or any other searchable area. If you’re looking for a more established topic (music, for instance), you may want to use a “Subject” search to weed out irrelevant works. When you find works that interest you, select them with the checkboxes on the left. Go to “Selected Items” in the upper right and click on “Add to My Saved List.” Keep your list going, and you can work on weeding through it downloading from it later on.

Sources Other than CLIO: CLIO will bring you to a lot of other websites – online libraries, journals, university presses, and more. If the website has its own search functions, try to use those! Also use other major databases such as JSTOR to find articles that may not come up on CLIO. You can even use Google to look for books and articles to see if Columbia has access to them for free. Lastly, consider using department-specific resources. If you study psychology, use CLIO to pull up psychology journals to dig through.

Full Downloads and Chapter Downloads: Many popular resources such as IEEE and Oxford may not allow full text downloads of books. However, they may allow downloads of each chapter. While it’s less convenient, you can still download each chapter as long as you keep them together. Set your browser’s download settings to allow you to name and locate files every time you download. Keep the chapters together in a folder, and number and name the chapters so that they stay in order.

Keeping Organized: Keep your list of sources on CLIO trimmed down by going through article abstracts and book summaries to make sure the sources you want to download are actually worth reading. When you download your books, actually name them and file them away so that you can use them several years down the line.

Image of a library better than Butler via Betsy Ladyzhets

Feb

7

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A diagram of the seats in Pupin 428

The seats look a lot more intimidating when they’re stadium-tiered at a 45 degree angle

All-seeing and all-knowing Bwogger Ross Chapman calls out everyone in his Pupin 428 lecture, as though he didn’t write this in Pupin 428. 

Pupin 428 may not be Havemeyer 309, but it’s still an important classroom for anyone in STEM (or in other big classes that needed a lecture space). The 154-seat auditorium actually spans two floors, and features a very steep slope of desks which look toward the lecturer. While the classroom doesn’t usually have assigned seats, students will often gravitate towards specific sections. What does seating in a certain part of Pupin 428 say about you?

  • Row A (Front Row): Your syllabus said that the class was in Room 328, and so you entered down at the bottom of the room through the 3rd floor entrance. Seeing a full classroom, you sheepishly took a seat in the front row and prayed that the professor wouldn’t notice you.
  • Rows B and C, Seats 5-14 (Front Middle): You’re a teacher’s pet, even if you won’t admit it to yourself. Your courteously fill in to the middle of the row to allow others of your kind to occupy the best seats in the house. The professor will spend the entire 75 minutes pretending you don’t exist in hopes of somebody else answering a question for once.
  • Rows C through H, Seats 5-14 (Middle): The nameless masses. You think, “If I sit here, the professor will never notice that I’m only in class every other Tuesday.” (She will notice.) You arrive one minute before class time, and you start shuffling your papers five minutes before the class is scheduled to end, setting off a chain reaction which interrupts the professor’s profound end-of-lecture summary.

Find out more about your subconscious seating decisions after the jump…

Feb

4

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If you try this in a computer lab… why?

If you’re worried about hanging on to all of the files from your academic past, Bwog is here to help. Senior Staff Writer Ross Chapman gives the full breakdown on electronically clinging onto those precious college memories.

If you’re a graduating senior who wants to make the most out of your Columbia resources, or if you want to use one class’s slides to study for another exam, you might want to take files from Courseworks and Canvas and download them onto your computer. If you want to make an archive of your Columbia resources like PDF’s and slides, you shouldn’t have to dig through the last four years of your downloads folder. Here’s a quick guide on how to efficiently archive all of your Courseworks materials.

Downloading from Canvas

All classes from the 2017-18 academic year are on Canvas, as well as a few miscellaneous classes from before then. Thankfully, Canvas has an easy mass download feature. Log on to Canvas, press “Account” on the navigation bar, and then select “Files.” This brings you to a list of files. The first folder up should be “My Files,” which includes your Canvas submissions. You can save these, but you might already have them on your computer from when you submitted them.

Click to enlarge.

The rest of the parent folders are the classes you’ve taken. Select a folder, and then hit Ctrl-A or ⌘-A to select all of that class’s files. The top bar will then show a “Download as Zip” button next to the search bar at the top of the page. Canvas will take a bit of time to prepare the download, and will then provide “course_files_export.zip.” Extract the files to wherever you keep your Columbia class documents.

If you don’t yet have anywhere to store your class files, create a new folder! You can organize it however you want, but I would create subfolders for easy navigation, such as “Core Classes,” “Major Classes,” and “Electives.” However you organize, make a unique folder for each class and extract your Canvas .zips to your class folders.

Figure out how to download from Courseworks proper after the jump.

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