George Mason in the News

Posted: October 6, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week.

Saturday, Sept. 30, New York Times

Debating the Age of Consent for That First Cellphone

“Quite a few of our friends were surprised when we decided to give our 10-year-old son, Ben, a cellphone for his fifth-grade graduation. They didn’t see us as ‘those kind of parents’ they told us – meaning, depending on how you looked at it, as parents who bought their children electronic gizmos just because their peers had them, or really cool parents … After all, noted Peter N. Stearns, provost of George Mason University and author of ‘Anxious Parents: A History of Modern Childrearing in America’ (New York University Press, 2003): ‘Not too many decades ago, parents were having the same fuss about landlines. Children were coming home and spending hours on the phone talking to friends and dates.’”

Saturday, Sept. 30, National Journal

Lobbying & Law – The ‘I’ – Not ‘We’ – in High Tech

“In his 2002 autobiography, Lou Gerstner, the former chief executive of IBM, observed that no single trade association represented the information-technology industry in Washington, and he wondered if the industry’s hypercompetitiveness was the problem … David Hart, a public policy professor at George Mason University, has identified more than two dozen high-tech trade groups and coalitions. The disconnect among them, he said, creates a diffuse industry with competing messages that can fail to pack a punch. ‘It hurts them the most,’ Hart said, ‘when high-tech companies are up against heavyweight opponents like the cable or telephone industries, who do speak with a single voice.’”

Sunday, Oct. 1, Tallahassee Democrat (Fla.)

Study: Consent Laws Reduce Risky Teen Sex

“Laws that require minors to notify or get the consent of one or both parents before having an abortion reduce risky sexual behavior among teens, according to a Florida State University law professor. Jonathan Klick, the Jeffrey A. Stoops Professor of Law, and Thomas Stratmann, professor of economics at George Mason University, came to that conclusion after they looked at the rates of gonorrhea among teenage girls as a measure of risky sex in connection to the parental notification or consent laws that were in effect at the time. The researchers found that teen gonorrhea rates dropped by an average of 20 percent for Hispanic girls and 12 percent for white girls in states where parental notification laws were in effect. The results were not statistically significant for black girls. The study will be published in an upcoming edition of The Journal of Law, Economics and Organization.”

Sunday, Oct. 1, Pakistan Link (Inglewood, Calif.)

U.S.-Trained Teachers to Aid Educational Reforms

“ISLAMABAD: Educational institutions across the country stand to benefit from new teaching techniques being introduced with the help of 289 teachers trained in Pakistan and the United States. The training of the last batch of teachers from the four provinces, Azad Jammu Kashmir, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Federally Administered Northern Areas concluded on Saturday with a ceremony held to mark the completion of the Pakistan Teacher Education and Professional Development Programme. Approximately 172 members trained for three months in the USA at the George Mason University, the University of Montana and Oregon State University. Around 117 teachers were trained in Pakistan under the programme implemented by the Academy for Educational Development and funded by the US Agency for International Development.”

Monday, Oct. 2, Business 2.0

Why Gambling at the Office Pays

“On the first Tuesday of every month, 10 or so commodity managers from across Hewlett-Packard’s hardware divisions dial in for a conference call – but the civility often ends there. For an hour or more, they bicker, squabble, and joust over one seemingly innocuous question: What will the price of DRAM memory chips be in one month, three months, or six? ‘Usually, it’s the loudest, most obnoxious guy who gets heard,’ says HP research scientist Leslie Fine, who’s studied the process. Bernardo Huberman, a senior fellow at HP Labs, believes there’s a smarter way to make predictions that affect a company’s bottom line – and he and Fine have made guinea pigs of the DRAM squad to prove his point. These days, after each meeting, the 10 managers and 10 other colleagues from around the world log on to an internal web site and enter bets on chip prices. Each ‘player’ gets 100 tickets to place bets on different price ranges. At the end of the quarter, the winning player gets up to $250. Huberman’s experiment is just a few months old, but already his betting market for DRAM prices is batting .750 against the status quo … ‘You can forecast anything with this,’ says Robin Hanson, a George Mason University economist who began doing pioneering work with prediction markets 20 years ago. ‘The biggest payoff will come from asking the biggest questions.’”

Monday, Oct 2,

Allen Airs 2-Minute Ad to Address Virginians

“U.S. Sen. George Allen is using an unusual strategy Monday night to try to stop his slide in the polls. He’s airing a two-minute ad in cities across the commonwealth to take his case directly to Virginians … ‘I don’t know if it’s enough. I think that it could be, as long as he doesn’t make any more mistakes – if he can change the momentum with this speech,’ said George Mason University public policy Assistant Professor Jeremy Mayer.

Wednesday, Oct. 4, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Harvard Mulls Course Changes

“Harvard University, founded 370 years ago to train Puritan ministers, should again require all undergraduates to study religion, along with U.S. history and ethics, a faculty committee is recommending. Harvard’s core has shied away from the ‘Great Books’ approach to general education, focusing on ‘approaches to knowledge’ rather than ‘bodies of knowledge.’ But the report notes few Harvard students plan to become academics, while more than half plan to attend business, law or medical school. The new recommendations are clearly geared toward rounding out the liberal arts education of those students … The State University of New York and George Mason University have adopted general education requirements that include mandatory American history.”

Write to at