The Daily brief: August 3, 2011

Aug. 3, 2011, 5:23 p.m.

California Crunch | Students at California public universities may have to take several more years to complete a typical four-year bachelor’s program due to the state’s increasingly dire budget woes. In addition to recent tuition hikes by approximately 25%, it’s difficult for students to register for required classes, as many classes fill up early on. Read more here.

Open Access Widens | Stanford is partnering with a number of schools, among them Arizona State, Columbia, Duke, Emory, Harvard, Oregon State and Trinity Universities, to form the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions. Open access is a policy in which institutions allow free digital access to certain works in digital repositories.

Mental Math | Does a funny toy with rows of beads help in mental math? According to Stanford psychologists, learning how to calculate on the abacus might indeed develop skills to strengthen your number crunching skills, turning you into a human calculator. Find out how to pass Math 51 that way here.

Overheard | “You look at your wife of 60 years and she smiles at you and you smile back, and you know that she’s got cancer. And it’s a beautiful moment, but you know it’s not going to go on forever.” — Laura Carstensen, psychology professor and longtime expert in the study of aging and happiness, in an article from Slate.com on happiness in old age.

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