Digitalia Columbiana, April 2017

These excerpts were culled from documents left on Columbia’s lab computers. We encourage our readers to submit their own digitalia finds to us, via email, at

Extra credit is truly ‘extra’ in this course. Extra credit will only count for a small number of students on the knife-edge border between two grades. Students on the border who have done well on most of the course’s extra credit exercises will receive the higher course grade. This policy suggests that you should not attempt any extra credit problem unless you are confident that you’ve first made your best effort on the required portion of the assignment at-hand.


I will tell the students what they are going to learn: the location of metals on the periodic table. I will also provide some relevant background information, namely that the table is arranged into three elemental groups: metals, semimetals, and non-metals. I will then pass out the periodic tables and coloring pencils.
First, I will briefly describe the physical properties of metals in order to give the students some helpful context. Next, I will show the students where metals are located on the periodic table and will have the students trace around this group with coloring pencils. I will have them show me their work when they are done. Next, I will have volunteers give three examples of metallic elements using their periodic tables. I will also have them give me two examples of elements that are NOT metals.
Finally, I myself will name four elements. I will have the students find these elements on the periodic table and identify whether they are part of the metal family or not. I will also ask them what the atomic numbers of these elements are (this is a throwback to a hypothetical previous lesson).
I will have the students turn their period tables over and, using only the blank periodic table on the board, identify whether three different elements that I name are metals or not. I will assign them homework (to pick out a metal and write a report on its atomic and physical properties) and tell them that the next lesson is going to be about semimetals.


I was prepared for a dressing down over the phone, as my employer was impossibly strict on attendance. Strangely, I thought to myself, the mean old manager is a pleasant human being today, how strange! I began feeling guilty for having been dishonest, but before I could scold myself, I heard a voice from the station call out, “that was the last ferry,” and my attention was suddenly taken up to the sky by a commercial airliner. I wouldn’t know why for days, until I read or heard it reported, but that the American Airlines jet that had accidentally protected me from self-punishment was speeding. Pilots generally obey the rules of the airways and the orders issued by air traffic controllers, it turns out. Terrorists do not. No wonder I couldn’t stop staring. They were speeding.


Engineering E2261: Introduction to Accounting and Finance
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, School of Engineering and Applied Science
Homework 1 – Accounting Basics
B) A yacht offered for sale is currently assessed at $350K but offered for $450K. The purchaser of the yacht believes that the yacht is worth $375K, but ultimately purchases the yacht for $400K. The purchaser records the yacht at:
a. $45K
b. $450K
c. $400K
d. $350K
e. $375K

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