Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Harry Lewis Tapes an Ad for Darcy Burner

Without trying to be overtly political, I thought I'd mention some "public service" performed by Harry Lewis. Apparently, Darcy Burner, a Harvard alum running for Congress, said in a debate, "I loved economics so much that I got a degree in it from Harvard." The Republican opponents are questioning her truthfulness, since her actual degree is in computer science. Back in the day (as I well know, as the requirements were the same as when I was an undergrad) for the computer science major you were supposed to take several classes in a related field of your choice. Mine was math. Economics was a popular choice, and was apparently Darcy's. This is (by Harvard policy) not noted on the transcript. There is no sign that she has ever attempted to mislead people about her degree; her resume says she has a computer science degree with a specialization in economics, which would be a completely accurate description in my opinion. You can search online for more info.

Harry Lewis publicly backed Darcy Burner's statement, and in fact is now featured in an ad explaining Darcy's academic qualifications. You can read the Crimson article here, and see Harry set the record straight here at Youtube, or here, and probably many other places. Thank you, Harry! No matter what party you favor, certainly everyone is entitled to the facts without the spin, and that is what Harry has provided.

Harry is naturally polite and reserved in his statements, but I'll be more clearly biased: any district should be thrilled to have a Congressperson with a computer science degree, and especially one with a degree from Harvard!


Anonymous said...

the video is no longer available. interesting!

Harry Lewis said...

Huh? I just tried both the links in Michael's post and the video played fine for me.

Bill Gasarch noted privately to me the line of attack that he would have to expect if he ever ran for office (and most readers of this blog would be in the same boat): "Bill Gasarch thinks there are problems that can't be solved! Our country does not need this kind of negative thinking!"

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but this is dishonest. I have no idea who the person that the post refers to is, but if their exact statement is "I loved economics so much that I got a degree in it from Harvard." then that statement is misleading. You are a theorist; you should know better about what statements are accurate and what aren't.

If I listen to this statement I would think that the person speaking is an economist, pure and simple, when the person is in fact a computer scientist who happened to study some economics.

Michael Mitzenmacher said...

Anon 3: We'll have to agree to disagree. Burner did what would (currently) be equivalent to a minor in economics; Harvard just didn't have minors then. I find objecting to her wording a quibble at best.

It also misses the main point -- I can't speak for the rest of her credentials, but studying computer science and economics at Harvard seems like a great starting point to me!