When it came to picking a title for the course they will teach this spring, University of Washington professors Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West decided to abandon academic stodginess and get edgy.
Their new course title? “Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data.”
Bergstrom and West figured using a minor profanity was a surefire way to draw attention to the course. And sure enough — within hours of unveiling a wickedly funny webpage they created for the proposed class, and announcing it via Twitter, the BS course went viral.
The webpage went live at midnight, and “we woke up the next morning and it was over the whole planet,” West said. “I’ve never seen anything like it … the response has been insane — emails, questions, comments. …