Otherwise, the title implicitly implies that Jewish and non-Jewish students received the same questions. That would be interesting!
Jephthah captured the shallow crossings of the Jordan River, and whenever a fugitive from Ephraim tried to go back across, the men of Gilead would challenge him. “Are you a member of the tribe of Ephraim?” they would ask. If the man said, “No, I’m not,” they would tell him to say “Shibboleth.” If he was from Ephraim, he would say “Sibboleth,” because people from Ephraim cannot pronounce the word correctly. Then they would take him and kill him at the shallow crossings of the Jordan. In all, 42,000 Ephraimites were killed at that time.
Reminds me of the old joke which I can't remember enough details of to preserve the humor, where a dumb FBI agent is given the task of hunting communists, and his boss gives him a test which he humorously misunderstands, and at the end of the week he proudly reports "I've already killed several thousand communists sir. And you sent me here just in time, the communists were really entrenched, I haven't found a single loyal american." Sorry I botched it.
But anyway, this is a fascinating archaeological record of a classic bias, where you assume your test was 100% accurate because the opposite would be horrifying...
Sort of the obvious thing would be to just ask questions about parts of the culture that Jews don't typically experience. But that is what it is - obvious.
And then, yeah, it would be interesting to see what they would have come up with instead. What kind of discrepancies there are between cultures.
I could for example imagine something like countries with big Jewish population often having currencies that don't deal with floating point numbers and then Jews on average being worse at that.
Or maybe revolutionary books not having Hebrew translations, therefore just not being as ingrained into the Jewish culture throughout the generations.
(Not white, Indian)
Can a White guy apply to the top CS program as a Black female, simply because he identifies as one? Where is the line drawn?
It's not a competition... To acknowledge one problem does not mean ignoring others. There is very real discrimination against people of Asian heritage in the US college system, with very similar parallels to discrimination against Jewish people in the past. To pretend this doesn't exist does all of the real individuals who've experienced it a disservice, as it would be a disservice to pretend that the extensive, institutional racism against black people is no longer an issue today when it clearly is. These are all problems worthy of attention.
Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/25/opinion/is-harvard-unfair... "A similar injustice is at work today, against Asian-Americans. To get into the top schools, they need SAT scores that are about 140 points higher than those of their white peers."
Edit to add: I don't know what the solution to this is, or what should be done. I just know if I was one of those people rejected, I'd feel pretty bad. And as a privileged majority, I want to be judged on my merits, I don't want to benefit from racism or xenophobia, if someone is better than me then they deserve my spot. And I've got to speak loudly about it (even though I'd much rather stay out of political discussions online), because to do otherwise is to passively accept the advantages given to me by this institutionalized racism, which is almost as bad as explicitly endorsing it. We've got to acknowledge it, talk about it ...
Second edit: One very actionable thing is to make clear issues of access and discrimination are important issues when your college comes calling for donations. Ask them for their statistics, what their plans and intentions are. If enough people did it, this would matter. It would make a difference.
Looking at LizzyM scores, for the most part Whites and Asians receive similar acceptance rates with similar scores, but in some cases Asians receive preference. You can see this w/ scores about 520 and 3.8(1).
However, Asians are admitted as a far greater proportion of their race than Whites. Asians are about 5% of US population, but can make up over 40% of incoming classes in med school, while Whites, who are over 60% of the US population, were only 37%, in this typical example at Northwestern(1).
Blacks, through affirmative action, enjoy a relatively equal proportion of matriculants as Whites, even though Blacks score on average many standard deviations lower than Whites and Asians. In many cases, a majority of Blacks are accepted with scores that Whites and Asians have, as data shows, a 0% chance of acceptance with.
So what is fair? Right now, it is hardest to get in to med school as a White, but that is so extremely politically incorrect that no one dare say it.
Isn't that the toughest question? I don't know what the answer is. I don't know where I stand on affirmative action: in any given instant, it seems unfair, but in a historical context it seems necessary that affirmative action should happen until the point where the damage done in the past has been undone, and we can have equal opportunities. LBJ's words resonate with me on this:
> That beginning is freedom; and the barriers to that freedom are tumbling down. Freedom is the right to share, share fully and equally, in American society--to vote, to hold a job, to enter a public place, to go to school. It is the right to be treated in every part of our national life as a person equal in dignity and promise to all others.
> But freedom is not enough. You do not wipe away the scars of centuries by saying: Now you are free to go where you want, and do as you desire, and choose the leaders you please.
> You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, "you are free to compete with all the others," and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.
> Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates.
Meanwhile there is enough injustice in the world right now make any good-hearted person's head spin.
I really believe the real problem was not fixed. We need to not just ensure, but try to maximize opportunity for all people, and not limit any group to it.
Instead, everything is focused on tail-end adjustments that are neither fair nor optimal for maximizing opportunity and prosperity.
I wanted MLK's idea of a colorblind world where no one is judged based on your skin, but we've gone so far down this rabbit hole that what we are in fact doing is this very thing! Yet no one dare say it as it is so incredibly politically incorrect to discuss it with honesty.
If you want honesty, look at banking, government, academia, and media, and see which race has orders of magnitude disproportionate representation.
I still believe this is possible, I just think we're one or two generations behind. I'm encouraged that the coming generation seems to understand fairness and equality much more naturally and intuitively than my own generation.
Where I still feel like I need to be vigilant against racist thought creeping in (simply from conditioning, stereotypes... I don't consider myself racist, but it's so easy to become tribal without realizing it), for people just a few years younger than me it seems it's just that much easier for them. And the next generation after will hopefully be better still. I have hope.
When you think about it, humanity went very quickly from largely homogenous, semi-isolated communities, to a global community, with lots of movement. It’s going a while for the system to equilibriate. And while there may be many little racist Maxwell’s demons running around doing damage in the short term, I have faith that in the long term we will get there.
How is it fair that I, a white guy from a poor family with no college connections, should have a harder time gaining entry to college solely because of the color of my skin for things I didn't even do.
And we don’t bear the sins of our forefathers. That doesn’t mean we don’t benefit from them. I worked hard, I got lucky, but I can’t pretend my priviledge doesn’t also exist. That a minority with my background wouldn’t have had to work even harder.
I’m not saying it’s fair. As I said, I don’t know where I stand on affirmative action. I think there’s a fundamental tension there. But what LBJ said in that speech feels true to me.
"Privilege" is an uncountable part of that "luck" everybody in our shoes needs to recognize exists. That's why the concept is a thing in the first place.
Isn't this because foreign students pay higher tuition?
University is a time to develop your thinking and students learn from their classmates arguably as much as they learn from their teachers. Studying slavery in an American History course was substantively different, for me, because I had African-American classmates that were able to comment on the lingering legacy of slavery from a perspective that I or any other white person could never get on our own. Had I only had white an Asian classmates, there would have been a far greater uniformity of thought and I would have had fewer of my preconceived notions challenged.
I will say that I find coarsely-grouped ethnicity to be a terribly reductionist way to achieve that diversity. That we group East Asians, South Asians and Southeast Asians together makes very little sense to me since I know these groups to have vastly different backgrounds, perspectives and opportunities. Grouping an American white person together with someone raised in Russia is also, similarly, nonsensical in my mind, as is grouping African-Americans with people born and raised in Africa. Genetic diversity is not the same as real diversity. But if Universities allow their enrollment to become 1 or 2 dimensional, they do a disservice not only to people who are disadvantaged by systemic challenges (the ones traditionally seen as the beneficiaries of affirmative action) but also to those in majority groups that would receive a more sheltered education.
Both major "sides" see themself as suppressed and the other as being in charge. That allows to throw tantrums without ever admitting of mistakes.
I wonder if it's universal in the age of learned helplessness.
It's nothing so new...
Consider for example this: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/perspectives-on-poli...
There isn't a need to assume anything. To the extent it's possible to be in a social science, it is a fact that the connected elite (e.g. those who attend Ivy Leagues as a result of their wealth) is "in charge." It's debatable to the extent the data permit, but the "side" asserting the non-elite are "in charge" doesn't have much to offer on that front.
Having your house burgled pales in comparison to being in a high speed crash on a highway, but I still don't want either one.
Also, who are 'the powers that be', if not the federal and most state governments which endorses race based admission policy?
Oh, and one more thing: In 'civilized Europe', many countries have decided that affirmative action and race based admission standards are indeed racist, and are banned. Are 'the powers that be' operating over there too?
> Here's how Karabel sums up the new changes approved in 1926, which would effectively allow the Harvard administration to limit its Jewish student population:
> The committee decisively rejected an admissions policy based on scholarship alone, stating that "it is neither feasible nor desirable to raise the standards of the College so high that none but brilliant scholars can enter" while stipulating that "the standards ought never to be so high for serious and ambitious students of average intelligence."
> When the faculty formally approved the report eight days later, Lowell was further elated, for they also approved measures making the admissions process even more subjective. In particular, the faculty called on [Committee on Admissions chairman Henry Pennypacker] to interview as many applicants as possible to gather additional information on "character and fitness and the promise of the greatest usefulness in the future as a result of a Harvard education." Henceforth, declared the faculty, a passport-sized photo would be "required as an essential part of the application for admissions."
> Elite colleges also began to use legacy admissions during this period — giving preference to children of alumni — in order to maintain a predominantly Protestant student body, Karabel explains.
I wrote "For decades there was a policy" and if you follow and read the link the immediately following text is "These policies eventually died out in the 1950s, as World War II veterans began to enter college on the GI Bill."
Since you brought up "the narrative", you must certainly know that narratives change over time.
I mentioned this to show that the narrative which once excluded Jews from the Ivy League has indeed changed, and Jews are now treated more "white" than they used to be.
For that matter, Finnish people are now treated as 100% white, when a century ago many Europeans and Americans considered them to be Mongolians and thus Asian - "China Swedes" in American slang - and some wanted them to be subject to the Asian Exclusion Act.
At minimum, as an Asian person that did not go to a top school, it feels very elitist.
Yes, taken in isolation it is discrimination - but a lot of good things taken in isolation seem like bad things. Prision seems barbaric without taking the crime into account.
First, test prep has only a modest effect on test scores, on the order of 20-40 points combined ...
The average SAT score among those with a family income of $20,000-$40,000 is 1402 while the average score among those with an income $100,000 higher, $120,000-$140,000, is 1581 for a 179 point difference. Even if every rich family had a private tutor and none of the poor families had any test prep whatsoever, test prep would explain only 20% of the difference 37/179. If rich families rely on tutors and poor families rely on high school courses, the difference in test prep would explain only 6% (11/179) of the difference in score.
The second surprising fact about test prep is that it doesn’t vary nearly as much by income as people imagine. ...
The third fact is that test prep varies by race in the opposite way that people imagine. In the quote above, Chris Hayes suggests that whites use test prep much more than blacks. In fact, blacks use test prep more than whites ...
For example, Kaplan training offers 4-8 (you can pay for more) fully proctored fake SATs, written, tested and graded 100% in the style of the SAT, which they then use to tell you all the answers that you got wrong, where you lost points, what subjects those points were lost in, and then gives you test prep books specifically for the microtopics you don’t know, AND THEN gives you the books most people associate with test prep, AND THEN connects you with a group class, (AND if you wanted to pay for one)
a private tutor. The tutors are trained on the subjects, are there to track your progress, and to teach speed tricks.
And if it’s still at all a possibility it doesn’t work, they guaranteed a refund on anything less than a 40% point boost on points you didn’t score or an 80% final score on someone untested.
My point is, test prep as I saw it for the wealthy is not just books, or a tutor, its a vast network of trained practitioners and materials which probe at your weaknesses and give feedback at a rate books or tutors alone could never match. Test prep between the poor and rich looks fundamentally different.
THAT, aside from all of the benefits of economic stability and the educational support parents making 100k+ can provide, is where you get these differences in outcome.
(Fairly fascinating, though packed sufficiently with examples of its topic to make it painful to watch.)
>This documentary about stupidity tells us the history of the word "moron" ...
That's so relevant now that we all know the Secretary of State called the President of the United States a "Fucking Moron", and nobody challenged or disagreed with him, because they all knew he was right.
But the elite catamaran style tends to dominate over the standard design.
But yes, there are concepts that allow a single question to be preferential to people of specific backgrounds.
(There's a Dingle Regatta in Ireland, there's a famous dance tune named after it but I've not been to Dingle and don't know what their regatta is actually like.)
Come to think of it, for all the talk of recognizing the word as a class thing, isn't it much more likely to be an "old coastal area" thing? You might need to be fairly rich to have a sailboat to race, but every place I've been around boat races it's been a huge party environment with very broad appeal and probably 100% local recognition. They're just not called regattas in Michigan...
It sounds like a kind of Italian cheese to me.
As an elementary school child, I couldn't understand a word problem about baseball that used terms like "hit a double" and "hit a triple," because I didn't give a shit about baseball.
If more recently I read a word problem about rugby that used the term "scrum", I would understand it to mean the players were having a stand-up meeting.
The question I couldn't understand discriminated as much against girls who don't give a shit about baseball as it did nerds who don't give a shit about baseball.
University is about a rounded education not just memorising text books - even more so in the USA with 4 year courses and major /minor.
As someone said its passing the airport test - high school should make this clear to students just be thank full its not like the UK when until fairly recently you had to have done Latin at school to get into Oxbridge
My point is to give but one concrete example of some trivial cultural knowledge that was actually required in a real mathematical test, which some people (like you, for example) assume everyone knows the answer to, but that other people (like 9-year-old me, for example) don't, which could cause someone to fail to understand a mathematical question which they were otherwise capable of answering.
I learned a lot about software development from my Gesture Drawing and Rock Carving classes at university (they complemented each other: one was additive, the other subtractive). Gesture Drawing taught me to get something bold and energetic down immediately that captures the overall flow, then iterate quickly and fluidly to incrementally refine it. Rock carving taught me to imagine something hidden deep inside that's solid and tangible, and keep chipping away at it with little nicks and scratches over a long period of time, until it finally reveals itself and becomes smoothly polished.
(And the comment about "scrum" was a joke. Can you imagine a team of rugby players standing up together in front of a dry-erase board before a game, sticking post-it-notes with user stories about tackling and passing scribbled onto them? Isn't that how it works?)
For example, imagine if you (or many HN readers) took a test with questions framed around coding ('I'm going to own this', I'd be thinking), or the same questions in an abstract sense but framed around the details of working in an oil refinery. Now add that you are 16 or 17 years old, from a family where nobody has taken SATs or gone to college before, wondering whether you belong, and under enormous pressure to do well enough to get a scholarship. Your future - whether you live as a college-educated professional or as a career Amazon warehouse picker and Uber driver - depends on it.
A major reason kids like that drop out of college at high rates is that they feel isolated and like they are living in a foreign culture with no other 'ex-pats' around. College is a big step for affluent kids but everyone they know has gone, and the campus and town are built around their culture; few or no college environments are like the poor side of town. The non-affluent kids feel like they don't belong, even that they are imposters (and when they go home, their new experiences make them fit in less and less, and people there question why they are wasting time and money). Now imagine those same kids taking the SAT.
I didn't even take the SAT. I took the ACT, I have no idea how I did on it. I dropped out of college. And yet somehow I'm still making six figures at a technology company in Denver. And want to talk about coming from rough backgrounds? I'm totally blind. This, among other things, means that I never had math books I could use, often times having to have classmates read me the material so I could even try to do the homework. It means that my top reading speed in Braille is something like 90 words a minute, absurdly slow. But yet, somehow, that one test didn't ruin the rest of my life. survivership bias you might ask? Why certainly. But if I was able to make it through, maybe the tests in question don't act as quite the filter function you're indicating.
I went through the PDF going "what kind of advantage does a christian or otherwise non-jew has here?".
Then I started looking at the problem wondering how I'd go at solving them!
In this case, the title was misleading, but genetic heritage does impact cognitive ability, otherwise we'd have no cognitive advantage over our Great Ape distant cousins.
It is important in any selection mechanism, like interviews, that we have a fair and consistent method of selecting applicants. Yet the questions need to be varied enough so that candidates cannot cheat by hearing the questions ahead of time.
This is exactly the same as the whiteboarding algorithms questions. They all have a simple answer which is obvious if you have been recently cramming for your CS finals. But you are unlikely to remember them in sufficient detail if you are over a certain age, because no real actual working programmer needs to know that stuff by heart, it's either been abstracted into libraries or you just reach for a book when you need one. A perfectly plausible way to do ageism, right under the noses of any regulators.
However, the two companies I referenced asked questions that were close to impossible to prepare for. These were also not whiteboarding questions (both did have separate whiteboarding sessions which were fair)
To your point, it's strange that there's a common set of knowledge we're expected to know which we don't use, ever. Not just "in 99% of cases," but literally ever: If it ever comes up in the field, you can look up what you need to know in a few minutes.
Few would think that's a sensible way to hire someone, so I've spent a long time wondering why this is the case. I think it's because the hiring process implicitly selects for whoever makes it through. Meaning, if someone is giving you a test, they're biased into thinking it's a good test: After all, they passed it. That's why they're in a position to give it to you.
So it almost doesn't matter whether it's a good test or a bad test. Just that it's a test that the interviewer happens to like. There's enough talent floating around that people are willing to do whatever strange rituals you demand they do, regardless of whether it's efficient for them to know that knowledge. Since it's ambiguous whether the knowledge actually helps anyone, you get the present situation.
Imagine my dismay when I saw my carefully crafted problems posted on Glass Door. So, I made dozens of Glass Door accounts and posted the hardest, most bizarre, and occasionally literally impossible to answer questions on my company's Glass Door page to drown out the real questions posted there in a sea of insanity. Hope you liked it!
A candidate has to decide how to spend their time and which companies to pursue, so filtering out companies that have clearly-crazy interview procedures is a decent way to optimize.
Nonsense. Have you ever even tried? ;)
Seriously, though, I see your point, but I'm still pretty satisfied with what I've done. If candidates who read interview questions are self-filtering out of our interview process, I count that as a win. Better to miss out on a good candidate than hire a bad a bad one.
We're hard-wired to be tribal and much more comfortable around our own kind, very difficult problem.
No such thing. Discrimination is discrimination, no matter which way it's applied. I wish people stopped saying "reverse (discrimination|racism)" whatever as if these words meant discrimination against specific groups, but not others.
That is why there are somany known Soviet mathematicians with Jewish names. They still had paths to persue higher education, just not in Moscow and other desirable areas.
A famous example was of Egon Kisch who was fluent in many european languages and kept passing the dictation tests in many european language. So they finally gave him a test in scottish gaelic and he failed. He was able to sue the government and win the right to stay in australia eventually.
"Jewish political activist Egon Kisch from Czechoslovakia, who was exiled from Germany for opposing Nazism, arrived in Australia in 1934. The Government of Joseph Lyons went to extraordinary lengths to exclude Kisch, including using the dictation test. Kisch was fluent in a number of European languages, and after completing passages in several languages, he finally failed when he was tested in Scottish Gaelic."
One non-Jewish person claimed there was no anti-Semitism. Everyone wanted to escape the Soviet Union and people just resented Russian jews because it was easier for them to leave. So I thought maybe anti-Semitism is so engrained that they didn't even notice it. Kind of like how some white Americans don't believe racism exists.
I am originally from central Russia and I've learned about anti-Semitism in Soviet Union only after moving to US. Yap, never heard or witnessed anything like that while living there.
Another interesting thing is that several of my Jewish friends told me that their parents asked them to lie about anti-Semitism when they were interviewed at the US embassy in Moscow in the late 90s.
In the 90's, most of jews packed their things and promptly moved out. Same for a million "germans" who last were to Germany five generations ago.
But russians were stuck, nobody wanted russians (other "mundane" people of Russia, too). I wonder if that's also racist.
2. I suspect it is due to the US government. We really don't want communists in our country. Source: my partner and I immigrated from different "communist" countries.
PS: To put the OP in context (not to condone the practice in any way), the discrimination was directed not just against the Jews, but more generally against any graduates of a select few top specialized physics/math schools (most had over 50% Jewish students). From what I understand, the driving factors behind the discrimination were along the lines of: These schools at the time (70s through mid-80s) were viewed as disloyal; their graduates likely to emigrate to Israel/US post-graduation, overrepresented at top programs etc.
eg the Doctors plot https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctors%27_plot
But Australia has had (and possibly still has) bigger issues with discrimination and xenophobia. Consider that the official immigration policy was called "White Australia" until the mid 1960s:
For citizenship you need both the English proficiency exam and the life in the UK test which is now actually hard even for natural borne Britons to pass.
Who would be the authority that either makes these test questions, or monitors that they are unbiased?
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Culture fit probably. Though it'll just be replaced with something similar.
The people out there who drive drunk or without insurance aren't doing it with the intent of killing people or not having to pay for their damages: they're doing it because they "didn't think about it".
Hanlon's razor tells us that a similar phenomenon is at play in many "bad interview questions".
By the way, one reason people react strongly to objections like yours is that a very direct interpretation is that you believe the distribution of people in high status jobs actually does accurately reflect differences based on race and gender. Not sure if you intended that.
I think this is partly true. But then, a similar interpretation of "pro-affirmative action" is that one believes that whatever bad thing happens to a minority is never their fault.
I think both are only partly true.
The problem with affirmative action is that it (I don't know if it's always the case, but it seems to be often so) specifically considers minority status. It is obvious, I think, that this is not the kind of criteria a computer, say, would consider if it were to look only for the most qualified applicants.
On the other hand, you or someone else in the thread made a good point: this pro-minority bias can be seen as an effort to counter the systematic bias against "outgroups".
The problem is that I don't think we know the effect size of each of those: how strong is this systematic bias? In a protected status agnostic society, would all professional fields perfectly mirror population rates?
I don't think so. We know there are metal disorders/illnesses that impact cognitive functions (Down's syndrome) and obviously genetics is partly responsible (do Down syndromers have similar rates of Down syndrome babies?). Similarly, I don't think the success of Asians and Jews is due to some form of societal bias in their favor.
In the end, the question is whether the anti-bias bias is correcting towards 0 or in the other direction (i.e.: protected status is very important, just the other way).
I don't know what the answer to this one is.
I don't blame you for not following, because I was sort of glibly/ironically summarizing a lot of other things I've written about as a single very complicated sentence. However, I sort of do blame you for jumping at the opportunity to litigate affirmative action on this thread.
If you re-read my comment and come to understand what I mean by this, would you please take a moment and write a short comment to acknowledge that? Thanks.
 a starting point: https://sockpuppet.org/blog/2015/03/06/the-hiring-post/
To turn around the vocabulary a little, isn't the fact that most jobs in SV are effectively (rarely in a formalized sense and sometimes even unconsciously) 'reserved' for white and Asian males - isn't that the overwhelming majority of 'affirmative action' cases?
Very likely, many white and Asian guys who get hired are not the best candidates. Baseball is a simpler example because the number of jobs is strictly defined (25 per team, N number of teams): Before it was integrated, starting with Jackie Robinson in 1947, a lot of minor-league-level white guys had major league jobs for which they were unqualified, and it was because of what was effectively a huge 'affirmative action' program for white players. Imagine if for some horrible reason baseball re-segregated today, eliminating all non-white players (Latinos were banned before 1947 too): Who would take the jobs of all the qualified non-white major leaguers? White-skinned minor leaguers. Beyond a doubt, the quality of baseball would suffer greatly - which, if you think about it, seems very likely to be true of the quality of SV companies' talent pools.
If you care about merit, then the current system is a failure.
> If you are intentionally seeking people based on criteria like race or gender, then you are less likely to find the best candidates
Agreed, but evidently that is what is happening already on an overwhelming basis, except it is white-skinned and Asian people who get special treatment.
Real-world hiring isn't so meritocratic and discrimination has always overwhelmed merit (again, look at baseball, or all hiring processes back then - the same happens now). Beyond merit, how are people really selected?: 1) People hire those they know or are in their network, and white people tend to network with other white people (because that is who they work with and went to school with, due to past discrimination -- it's self-reinforcing). 2) People are prejudiced, some overtly, more covertly, and very many without realizing it. 3) People hire to not fail - the decision-maker doesn't want to stick their neck out and bring in someone unpopular; they want to fit in with their co-workers and not be the social crusader. 4) People tend to hire others who are like themselves; when someone told me about this tendancy, I realized I'd unconsciously been doing it for years.
Affirmative action-like programs balances those forces a little (not much, looking at outcomes).
> Wow wow wow. I knew I was not the only one, but it still hurts. I looked at some problems: the most horrific part was that the guy next to me was asked what is the tangent. He got 4(/5). I got 3.
The word "Jew" ("Yevrey") in Russian usually refers to the ethnicity. They use a different word ("Iudjey") when they want to describe someone as a Judaism practitioner.
Out of curiosity, I've searched it and this article was posted to HN at least four times. Opinions aside, turns out it was merely a footnote in the exam pipeline
If you look at the solution, you'll see how the idea of a derivative helps in that problem.
In this case, a simpler hint is: "Do not use derivatives or anything fancy really. Only solutions are constant functions. Proof by contradiction. Use binary search".
One may only wonder what level were the problems given to regular candidates.
Anybody knows until when this went on?
You'll find this interesting:
1 - The Soviet military was bad for everyone, but Jews tended to get hurt more. Students accepted by a university would not be conscripted and would be listed as reserve officers, having never spent time in uniform
I know one Jewish man from the USSR, now deceased, who told me he emigrated from the USSR to avoid conscription; he said that the military at times used Jewish soldiers as cannon fodder: They were sent to the front without arms to draw and consume enemy fire.
Since the title of the post doesn't properly describe the article, this comment feels appropriate albeit insensitive.