Author Archives: emmaelennon

#IS6621, Levidromes, and Why English Majors May Still Have a Shot in Tech

The first monolingual English alphabetical dictionary, created by Robert Cawdrey in 1604, was more or less useless. The Table Alphabeticall contained about 2,500 words—nothing to scoff at—but experts say its “definitions” were merely arbitrary and obscure synonyms. Cawdrey, however, saw his mission as a noble one, a way to make “hard” words not only accessible […]

…How’d I Get Here? College Admissions and Big Data

  When I was an education consultant in Silicon Valley five years ago, Palo Alto was experiencing a rare phenomenon: two suicide clusters within the span of a few years. To put things in perspective: the U.S. usually experiences five clusters per year, which are defined as multiple suicides in a short time frame. What’s […]

Even Jack Dorsey Has a Tattoo

I figured we’d run out of things to talk about by hour two, maybe reverting to small talk about the weather or weekend plans. That’s how it usually went with other artists. But Victor showed no signs of stopping—from venus fly traps to Blade Runner, he rattled on without even looking up, long hair hanging […]


Consider three historic U.S. landmarks: Mission San Jose, Plymouth Rock, and Monticello. What have you learned about them—or have you learned about them at all? Chances are, this depends on where you went to high school. In 2010, the Texas Board of Education, for example, passed legislation that revised learning standards for the social sciences—which […]

Move Over, Farmville: The Future of AgTech

During the Vietnam War, US Marines were trained to locate underground enemy tunnels through an ancient method called dowsing, or divining — a highly debated practice in which people use Y- or L-shaped rods (called “divining rods” or “witching rods”) to locate underground water, minerals, or other subterranean objects. The practice dates back to the […]

What the NBA, Mississippi politics, and Facebook Can Teach Us About Machine Learning

In 2016, the Republican Party gained supermajority in the House of Representatives, and with that, the power threshold to pass revenue and tax-related bills — all because of a man named Mark Tullos and a pile of straws. Tullos had originally lost the election to 20-year incumbent and Democrat Bo Eaton after a game of […]

Toxicology, Self-Evolution, and Me in Real Life

Paracelsus, the “father of toxicology,” said, “all things are poison and nothing is without poison; only the dose makes a thing not a poison.” The adage has been adopted as a caution towards overindulgence in its many forms: from television, to sugar, to caffeine. Perhaps most relevant to today’s society, experts such as health economist […]