Posted by ESC on March 04, 2002

In Reply to: Profs posted by Word Camel on March 04, 2002

: : : : Anybody can tell me what is the quantitative measure of an ORDER OF MAGNITUDE? Or is there one?

: : : : Thanx in advance.

: : : I am under the probably mistaken impression that this term comes to us from astrophysics. Stars are classified by magnitude, I believe. Then again, I am attracting a growing reputation for defiantly choosing to labour under my false apprehensions, even once it's been conclusively proven to me that I am wrong.

: : Ten is the usual scale factor used for this, although I don't know if there's any justification for that. When I studied maths in the 60s the professor who taught astrophysics seemed to keep numbers on a very loose rein. His order of magnitude was anything from 10 to any big number you like.

: : By the way, this was in England and he was what we know as a professor, i.e. up at the top of his particular learning tree (and in his case occasionally out of it), not a common or garden lecturer. Do US universities call what we call lecturers professors? I get that impression from the media. If so what are what we call professors called in the US?

: It has been a long time, but in my recollection, here in the US, students at least, don't make a distinction between lecturers and professors. Academics probably make those distictions and more. We also refer to a single class in a subject as a course, while in the UK I believe a course is a series of classes.

In general -- lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor, and (full) professor.