Rating the rankings | Science News

Real Science. Real News.

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.

Math Trek

Rating the rankings

The U.S. News & World Report rankings of colleges and universities are largely arbitrary, according to a new mathematical analysis.

3:30pm, October 3, 2008

The single best school in the country is PennState. Then again, maybe it’s Princeton. Or perhaps Johns Hopkins, or Harvard, or Notre Dame …

Each of these schools could legitimately claim to be on top, according to a mathematical analysis, posted recently on ArXiv.org, of the data U.S. News & World Report uses to generate its influential and controversial rankings of American undergraduate institutions. It all depends, the researchers say, on what your priorities are.

The magazine uses seve

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content