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Best of 2015: Wikipedia-Mining Algorithm Reveals World’s Most Influential Universities

An algorithm’s list of the most influential universities contains some surprising entries. From December …

Where are the world’s most influential universities? That’s a question that increasingly dominates the way the public, governments, and funding agencies think about research and higher education.

The problem, of course, is that it’s hard to produce an objective ranking of almost anything, let alone universities. Cultural, historical, and geographical factors can all influence these rankings in ways that are hard to quantify.

So an independent way of producing a ranking that avoids these controversies would be widely welcomed.

Today, we get such a ranking thanks to the work of Jose Lages at the University of Franche-Comte in France and a few pals. They’ve used the way universities are mentioned on Wikipedia to produce a world ranking. Their results provide a new way to think about rankings that may help to avoid some of the biases that can occur in other ranking systems.

Continued

Deep Dive

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Five poems about the mind

DREAM VENDING MACHINE I feed it coins and watch the spring coil back,the clunk of a vacuum-packed, foil-wrappeddream dropping into the tray. It dispenses all kinds of dreams—bad dreams, good dreams,short nightmares to stave off worse ones, recurring dreams with a teacake marshmallow center.Hardboiled caramel dreams to tuck in your cheek,a bag of orange dreams…

Work reinvented: Tech will drive the office evolution

As organizations navigate a new world of hybrid work, tech innovation will be crucial for employee connection and collaboration.

lucid dreaming concept
lucid dreaming concept

I taught myself to lucid dream. You can too.

We still don’t know much about the experience of being aware that you’re dreaming—but a few researchers think it could help us find out more about how the brain works.

panpsychism concept
panpsychism concept

Is everything in the world a little bit conscious?

The idea that consciousness is widespread is attractive to many for intellectual and, perhaps, also emotional
reasons. But can it be tested? Surprisingly, perhaps it can.

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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