Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Where is the Greatest Research University Agglomerationin the US?

One would think it is in Boston, and in a sense, one would be right: there is nothing comparable to having MIT and Harvard down the street from each other.

But if one looks at the top 50 research Universities as measured by The Center for Measuring University Research Performance at Arizona State, the leading metropolitan area for number of top research institutions is not Boston, nor is it Chicago, Philadelphia, or New York. It is LA, which has four in the top 50 (UCLA, USC, Cal Tech and UC-Irvine). If one stretches another 100 miles or so, UC-San Diego and UC-Santa Barbara get added to the mix.

Southern California rarely gets credit for being an intellectual mecca, but after spending a pleasant morning at UCLA and a pleasant afternoon at USC last week, I couldn't help but think that it is. Then again, Thomas Mann, Arnold Schoenberg and William Faulkner all managed to enjoy life in LA. Randy Newman might have been onto something...

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