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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.

By
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.

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