As the final week of
refresh button worship SSOL registration comes to a close, Bwog pays tribute to the team that created the Columbia Underground Listing of Professor Ability (CULPA). We couldn’t help but jump in and ask a few questions.
Bwog: Do you have any details about the CULPA team (anonymity notwithstanding)?
CULPA: We’re all Columbia students who believe strongly in the right of students to make well-informed decisions about their course selection (right up there with the First Amendment, except this one’s not in the constitution). We hide our identities because frankly, a lot of people don’t like us.
Bwog: Any history on predecessors of CULPA 3.0?
CULPA: The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine has several snapshots of CULPA starting back in 2003 that are a fascinating visual tour of the site’s development. Prior versions were written in PHP, and the current version uses Ruby on Rails. It’s more stable and maintainable and (we like to think) better looking.
Bwog: Of course, the perennial question. How did CULPA get started?
CULPA: WikiCU’s profile is very informative. The site no longer lives on the CUMB servers (but we can confirm that it once did) and that 2008 overhaul is complete.
Bwog: Any nuggets of wisdom on this super-secret algorithm on figuring out which professors get a silver or gold nugget?
CULPA: If we told you, it wouldn’t be a super-secret algorithm, now would it? Suffice it to say that the process for awarding gold nuggets rests on the shoulders of academic giants from Gauss to Einstein to Plato.
CULPA: Based on the Oracle’s batting record and the changing statistical interests of the team, no plans exist to ressurect [sic] it.
Bwog: How does the CULPA team deem a course as “underwater basketweaving”?
CULPA: Underwater basketweaving was a compromise between our desire to keep the site pure and serious and the fact that we liked a lot of the joke reviews too much to throw away. Our favorites include the reviews for Jennifer Smith-Guádárámángálá’s “Post-Colonial Colonial Obsession“ and the course “Masterpieces of Western Food.” a fun fact is that a lot of the Ted Mosby reviews are written by members of a HIMYM internet forum, one of whom stumbled across CULPA and shared it with their fellow fans.
Your daily dose of cute via Wikimedia Commons.