Short, Semi-Senseless Survey Results
For no particularly important reasons, an Internet-based survey was conducted among residents of Roble Hall who were signed up on the roblechat0304 mailing list on September 28-29, 2003. This is the summary of findings.
Click on the links below to jump to the highlights for each section:
Summary of Findings
1. The common perception that techies spend all their time studying and barely any time relaxing seems to be only an urban legend. In fact, the typical Roble fuzzy spent considerably more time studying and considerably less time relaxing.
2. Even though most freshmen don't hate the IHUM program at this point, they're most likely to address it using F-, S-, or M- words. This could be one sign of a brewing discontent. Or maybe they could have meant something totally harmless, such as "F- is for friendly" or "B- is for Bring back Rise and Fall of Europe because it's the best." The world may never know.
3. The stereotype that freshmen are the big partiers on campus seems correct. The typical (median) frosh plans to spend 6 hours a week at parties, while the typical upperclassman plans only 3 hours.
4. Fuzzies outnumber techies at Roble by a wide margin, basically because women fuzzies outnumber women techies by a really wide margin.
5. There are a whole lot of people here interested in either Bio or Human Biology or this mysterious major called "Biochem."
First: the class we all (supposedly) love to hate: IHUM. How much did opinions change from the only-taken-a-couple-classes frosh, to the been-there-done-that upperclassmen? (Disclaimer: This is not scientific. In reality you shouldn't directly compare these two questions.)
As it turns out, very few frosh have come to hate IHUM on the level of cursing after less than a week of class. (I think this is a Good Thing. However, if 9% of frosh switch over to hating IHUM after each additional week of classes.... that would be a Bad Thing.) Also, most upperclassmen don't care enough about the issue to delight in the suffering of freshmen.
Okay, now do the types of words (i.e. Q-words, Z-words, etc.) directed towards the IHUM program also change with each class? Indeed they do, but I certainly do not have any idea what these top responses are meaning to say:
I'm drawing a blank trying to think up words starting with F, S, or M. Hmmm... oh well. Guess we'll probably never know what all those frosh meant. But as you can see, the upperclassmen were a lot clearer, splitting their top responses between liking the IHUM program and a collective "ow."
Which wings in Roble spend the most time partying? Who spends the most time in bed? with a girlfriend or boyfriend? All will be made clear shortly...
First, how about a breakdown of one day in the life of an average Robleite. Here's the average number of hours per day (fact: 1/7 of a week) spent by all respondents, both frosh and upperclass:
Indeed. Not so much volunteering going on. But it's not like I'm much of an exception to this trend, unless you count volunteering to do this survey.
But now to the more interesting stuff. And I'll forget about averages, because there are some people who insist on saying that they will only sleep 1 hour per week while attending class or studying for 88 hours (another aspiring Electrical Engineering major, actually) who pull the averages in one direction or another. So from now on, I'll talk medians and quartiles.
It just occurred to me that the preceding graph is probably antithetical to the spirit of partying.
But there you have it: B and C wings plan to spend just about the same amount of time partying, with A wing slightly less. Also there's not really a difference between guys and gals in this respect ... the median's 5 hours per week, regardless.
Of course, the low number of responses from Center wing (3) might indicate that the median of 0 might in fact not be very accurate, but the people who left this question blank probably meant to put zero anyway.
Okay, now how about the other side of the coin -- studying. Here I'll combine time spent in class with time spent studying and doing homework....
Is it that Roble women are more studious? or Roble men are more efficient? The world may never know. But at least frosh seem to have a good idea how long studying will occupy them for -- meaning there's not that much of a difference between the estimates of frosh based on who-knows-what and the estimates of upperclassmen based on prior experience.
By the way, C-wing respondents were planning to be either the least studious or the most efficient, with a median of 30 hours per week in classes or studying, while B-wing and Center wing both had 36 and A-wing had 34.
Other highlights from this section that I don't really want to make graphs for:
Now a lot of people have been talking about how Stanford Dining is "no good," leading others to argue that, to the contrary, it is "so good." Well here we put it to the test.
Wow, I think that makes that pretty clear. Though a lot of freshmen seem to be sitting on the fence with MSG'd!!! and (Select One), if you've hit sophomore status already, chances are Stanford Dining's in No Good! territory. Watch, the above graph gets turned into a propaganda piece and gets sent to the ASSU or The Management. That would be amusing.
On the contrary, when presented with the statement "Roble is so good", nearly everybody agreed, "Word." (92%). The remainder said, quite enigmatically, "(Select One)".
To figure this out I took the majors everybody entered and categorized them as "fuzzy" if it resulted in a B.A. and "techie" if it would end up in a B.S. With STS, which lets you get either a B.S. or a B.A., I just declared that each one was 50% fuzzy and 50% techie. Anyway:
Roble men are pretty evenly split between B.A. and B.S. tracks, though fuzzies outnumbered techies more than 2-to-1 among the women who responded.
Interestingly, while the typical (median) fuzzy plans to spend the same amount of time time sleeping, eating, self-maintaining, and attending class as the typical techie, the typical Roble fuzzy plands to spend six more hours studying (21 hours/week, compared to 15 hours for techies). Also, fuzzies spend considerably less time relaxing (including partying, dating, socializing, etc.) than techies --- the typical fuzzy allots only 20 hours per week, compared to 27 hours among techies.
That seems contrary to everything I've ever assumed...
It amazed me that so many people plan to major in either Human Biology or Biology-the regular type. But I guess I should explain the "?" category. Those are the people who did not respond to Hypothetical Death's demand with a valid major. Such responses included:
Okay, I can just now imagine people thinking of questions such as:
"Which majors have to do the least work?"
Well I probably need a much much larger sample size to make any sort of valid conclusions, but let's try to answer these questions anyway.
SLEEP: The respondents planning to sleep less than 6 hours per day (!) were majoring or planning to major in Electrical Engineering, Spanish, Communication, and Anthropological Sciences. On the other hand, those sleeping more than 8 hours per day included HumBio, STS, Econ, Math, Linguistics, and Biology majors. Choose wisely!
CLASS TIME + STUDYING: The respondents planning to spend less than 25 hours per week on school work included majors in Biology (twice), Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Economics, and Communication. On the other hand, those spending more than 55 hours a week on this included Math, Philosophy, STS, Electrical Engineering, Political Science, and Spanish majors.
PARTYING: Several people allotted zero hours for parties, including two physics majors. On the other hand, two International Relations majors (and a few other people) planned to spend 15 hours a week or more at parties.
By the way, for those who listed two majors, such as "Biochem", only the first one (e.g. "Bio") was counted.
To start off, I'm kinda surprised that there aren't many admitted currency-burners in a group of people who pay $40,000+ per year to attend college. When given the choice between [buying a new textbook and burning U.S. currency] and [buying a used textbook and burning wood], 97% chose the latter.
Few people escaped the Bookstore entirely.
I certainly didn't escape it. I don't even want to add up all the money I've spent on textbooks this quarter -- it's probably almost up to the amount I spent during the entirety of last year. After one rush for textbooks, most frosh have already concluded that the Bookstore does not usually offer good prices (59%). But it's a whole lot easier to find upperclassmen with this opinion (88%)...
One of the things I wanted to find out from this survey was whether people considered ethical my practice of buying books from the bookstore and then returning them a few weeks later. Of course on the survey I said to return them 3 weeks later, but as of this quarter that would be a Bad Idea, as they have shortened the return period to 2 weeks, probably in response to people like me who try to take advantage of the system. But anyway, 86% agreed or strongly agreed that this practice was quite "all right."
Of an approximate total of 300 potential participants (note that not all Roble residents may have been members of roblechat0304), 59 responded. Hence, using a tool often called "division," the response rate was calculated to be 20%. That's perhaps slightly above normal for a survey that didn't advertise any reward, such as a chocolate Santa. Using a standard 95% confidence level, the margin of error for the entire sample is approximately +- 11.5% (on questions where opinion is evenly split). However, when discussing subgroups such as freshmen or upperclassmen, the margin of error will be somewhat larger.
Responses were filtered to ensure that only the most recent response was included for each IP address. Of course, my own answers were not included, but if they were, they would be:
Sophomore, 3 Center, Male, Used/Wood or PrestoLog, Stanford Bookstore/Half.com/Other website, 1, 5, I cannot but wait..., B, 55, 10, 6, 19, 30, 0, 8, 0, 8, 0, 0, 30, 2, 0, 0, MSG'd!!, Word., and Electrical Engineering.
The survey instrument can stil be viewed at http://www.stanford.edu/~youngj/survey.html if you really want to see it. Obviously several of the questions were highly biased, such as Q.4/4a, equating buying new textbooks with burning U.S. Currency.