How Influential Is Your College? 'Time' Magazine Tool Will Tell You Where Your Alma Mater Ranks
Not a March Madness kind of person? Yeah, me neither. But that’s OK, because thanks to TIME magazine, we’ve got something better to pay attention to for the next few weeks: The magazine is pitting our colleges and universities against each other not by the strength of their basketball programs, but by the influence of their alumni.
Here's how they did it: TIME started by rounding up the 107,408 living people with Wikipedia profiles that list at least one alma mater. They then scored each person “according to the length and breadth of his or her page on the site” — that is, the longer the article and the more it covers, the higher the score. To calculate this score, they used the MediaWiki API to collect four types of data: The number of words in the text, the number of internal links to other Wikipedia pages, the number of external links, and the number of categories the page was filed under. TIME is going to rerun the alma mater counts once a day; they’ll also be checking each new addition by hand to prevent gaming of the rankings.
The best part? There’s a lovely little element on the page that allows you to plug in two schools and see which one comes out on top. To test it out, I ran a few pairings of my own. Here’s what I found:
1. Barnard College vs. Wellesley College
Hmmm. I am unclear why the selection of notable Barnard alumnae doesn’t include Anna Quindlen or Judith Kaye, but I’ll take the win (Barnard is my alma mater, just like our very own Abbey Stone) .
2. Harvard University vs. Yale University
Wowzers. Harvard apparently blows Yale out of the water. I’ll admit that I’m somewhat surprised by that; I would have expected them to be a little more equal.
3. Cal Tech vs. MIT
Massachusetts pride, yo!
4. Reed College vs. Kenyon College
TIL that the founder of Wikipedia graduated from Reed.
5. Julliard vs. the Yale School of Drama
This might actually be a bit of an unfair pairing, as Julliard includes all forms of performing arts — but hey, they’re both excellent schools.
To check it out yourself, head on over to TIME. Warning: You will probably spend way more time with it than you mean to.