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Letters to the Editor 11/15
Published 11/15/2011
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CoD and BF have plenty to offer


The decade-long "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" vs. "Battlefield: Bad Company" debate continues. Now before you go thinking I am like most people who still play console FPS games (excluding Halo N-1) – that is, a 17-year-old kid skipping homework just to say “you mad bro,” over MW3’s in-game VOIP — I am actually a graduating master's student in mechanical engineering with an affinity toward the "Battlefield" series.

Disconcerting all the prerelease “hype” with both games, the reason there are 332,163 people playing BF3 right now (source: is for its multiplayer. “The multiplayer (BF3) lacks the variety that "Call of Duty" has built on itself,” was a specific comment made by Ryan Horlen in last week's game review column. This was after he promoted BF3’s extreme graphics, dynamic use of vehicles and destructible environments. Now, before you swap out for your heart beat sensor to find out where I am coming from before you inevitably get knifed, this is where I am.

I am for gamers playing both the CoD & BF series. However, when making a recommendation between these two ring fighters, I would suggest you phrase it appropriately. 1) It is all about the multiplayer. When I am accounting for the bullet drop of my new record marksman headshot, I am not wishing for better SP voice acting. 2) If you prefer a squad-based “complete warfare environment” combat simulator — BF3 is for you. 3) If you prefer a solo-based arcade-style spawn-and-kill game — MW3 is for you.
Marc Somers
graduate student, mechanical engineering 

Science education needs restart


It is time to re-think general science education. Graduation requirements demand several introductory science courses for all students. However, for many non-majors, these credits can be tedious and lack clear relevance to their future careers. Most students memorize, test on and dump the material from their minds without ever gaining a useful perspective on science. Let’s stop perpetuating this broken cycle.

While I consider science a valuable tool in a college graduate's repertoire, regardless of major, there is a difference between relevant basics and unnecessary intricacies, between understanding and passing the test. Science education should be a conversation between professor and student, not a unilateral flow of facts. Introductory classes must encourage students to understand general principles and big ideas, and through this broad perspective, mold critical analyzers who can apply their knowledge in practical and relevant ways. Knowing every intermediate in photosynthesis is not of practical importance, but knowing how pandemics spread globally is valuable.

Students should gain a feel for how science is performed, what formulating a testable hypothesis means and what data analysis involves. While these students will not be scientific researchers, they will be consumers, patients, voters and tax payers and all of these roles indirectly require some scientific knowledge. We should strive, as an institution of higher education, to produce conscious, informed and analytical students. Both science and non-science majors must be willing to think on, converse about and tackle complex problems.

It is time to start a conversation. Students: demand relevance. Professors: provide application.

Fiorella Grandi
sophomore, biochemistry

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