Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I Hope He Isn't Your Thesis Advisor

Usually grad students live with the fear that their dissertation advisor could possibly die before they can get through the process. They usually don't worry about their advisor going to the big house for murdering their wife.

Authorities arrested Penn Economics professor Rafael Robb yesterday afternoon in connection to the murder of his wife.

He has been arraigned and is currently being held in jail without bail.

Robb, 56, has been charged with the first- and third-degree murder of his wife, Ellen Robb, and with possessing instruments of crime, according to a press release from the office of Montgomery County district attorney Bruce Castor.

Robb - who has told authorities he was on Penn's campus when the murder took place - is also charged with giving false reports to law-enforcement officials, unsworn falsification to authorities and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

Frank Genovese, Robb's attorney, could not be reached for comment.

Ellen Robb, 49, was murdered in her home outside Philadelphia on Dec. 22. An autopsy revealed that her death was probably the result of being beaten severely with a long, cylindrical object.

As can be seen from Robb's syllabus Graduate Level Game Theory (Economics 682) Robb taught The Prisoner's Dilemma. (Any bets as to when the University of Pennsylvania removes this link?) Of course he would have had to have had an accomplice before he could use his expertise to help himself.

Oh, and I loved this quote from the newspaper article:

"I don't think they're going to fire him before there's a jury verdict," Robinson said, adding that, if Rafael Robb is convicted, not even tenure can save him from being fired.

"University professors have tenure, but it's not that solid," he said.
[emphasis added]

That anyone even felt he need to add that is hysterical. Only in academia...only in academia...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just have to wonder if he modeled his behavior using a cost/benefit analysis (and I'd love to see him assign a numerical value to the costs and benefits below).

Benefit- get rid of the nagging, annoying worthless piece of garbage. (+5)

Cost- prison shower experience not good. (-3)

Error- probability of getting caught not known.