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Debunking the myth of the ‘productive immigrant’

“Sudanese student at Stanford detained, handcuffed at JFK airport.” “An Iranian MIT student home from winter break is barred from returning to the U.S.” “Trump’s New Immigration Restrictions Will Slow Scientific Advancement in the U.S.” In the wake of Trump’s “Muslim ban” (or, more accurately, Executive Order 13769, which restricted immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations), headlines…

Holistic admissions undermine a meritocracy

Many American universities tout their subjective holistic admissions as providing opportunities to socioeconomically disadvantaged applicants. While this goal is laudable, there exist tried and tested wholly objective alternatives to accomplish the same goal, such as admitting the best students from socioeconomically disadvantaged schools independently of how these students compare with students from advantaged schools. While…

Op-Ed: Occupy the Future: It takes a village to do just about everything

When we think about upward mobility and achieving economic success, we tend to think in terms of meritocratic ideals and individual success. Is a system that takes so much input to get a single positive output the best we can do? More importantly, what does it say about our notions of success when some of the people who helped me climb the social ladder remain trapped at the bottom?