"During the two-decade period from 1985-1986 to 2005-2006, rural community colleges increased the number of women and minority STEM graduates by more than 42 percent. By contrast, urban community colleges boosted these underrepresented groups by just under 24 percent and suburban community colleges by about 10 percent.
Breaking down degree production within specific STEM disciplines and then by type of community colleges reveals even more variance. Rural community colleges, for example, bolstered their numbers of female engineering technology graduates by more than 37 percent during the two-decade period, while that figure fell by nearly 19 and 17 percent at suburban and urban community colleges, respectively. Rural institutions also reported gains in the number of female science technology graduates while their counterparts did not."
"I promised to blog more about research, and I will. Unfortunately, in the one week between my world tour and the start of the fall semester, I've been spending less time on quantum complexity research than on sleeping on a new mattress that I bought. This has provided ample time to ponder the following question, which I've decided to add to the Shtetl-Optimized Physics for Doofuses series:
Why is a soft bed more comfortable than a hard one?
At first glance, this question seems too doofusy even for a series such as this, which makes its target audience clear. The trouble is that, while perfectly reasonable-sounding answers immediately suggest themselves, several of those answers can be shown to be wrong."