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Monday, June 24, 2019

Six New Minors Added for 2019-20 | Illinois Wesleyan University

In addition to the more than 80 majors, minors, and programs already available to students, Illinois Wesleyan University is adding six new minors and concentrations for the 2019-20 academic year, inform Katie Fata, Vice President of Public Relations.

Photo: Illinois Wesleyan University

Starting in the fall of 2019, students can declare themselves as any one of the following new minors:
Actuarial Science
Expanding on the math major and the newly added actuarial science concentration, the actuarial science minor gives students the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the field through an interdisciplinary program.

Source: Illinois Wesleyan University

Music students do better in school than non-musical peers | Music - Science Daily

High school students who take music courses score significantly better on math, science and English exams than their non-musical peers, according to a new study.

High school students who take music courses score significantly better on math, science and English exams than their non-musical peers, according to a new study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology.

Photo: Teddy from Pexels
School administrators needing to trim budgets often look first to music courses, because the general belief is that students who devote time to music rather than math, science and English, will underperform in those disciplines.

"Our research proved this belief wrong and found the more the students engage with music, the better they do in those subjects," said UBC education professor and the study's principal investigator, Peter Gouzouasis. "The students who learned to play a musical instrument in elementary and continued playing in high school not only score significantly higher, but were about one academic year ahead of their non-music peers with regard to their English, mathematics and science skills, as measured by their exam grades, regardless of their socioeconomic background, ethnicity, prior learning in mathematics and English, and gender.".

Gouzouasis and his team examined data from all students in public schools in British Columbia who finished Grade 12 between 2012 and 2015... 

The researchers hope that their findings are brought to the attention of students, parents, teachers and administrative decision-makers in education, as many school districts over the years have emphasized numeracy and literacy at the cost of other areas of learning, particularly music.

Journal Reference:
1. Martin Guhn, Scott D. Emerson, Peter Gouzouasis. A population-level analysis of associations between school music participation and academic achievement.. Journal of Educational Psychology, 2019; DOI: 10.1037/edu0000376
Source: Science Daily

Are we running out of numbers? | Analysis -

What’s the biggest number you can think of? by Alex Hudson, Deputy Editor.

It may be the answer for everything but we don’t think it’s the highest number you can think of
Photo: Ella Byworth for

A billion? A trillion? A quadrillion? A sextillion? A tredecillion? A googol? A googolplex? 

There’s a schoolyard joke about infinity+1 being the largest number in existence. The problem is that infinity+1 still equals infinity. 

Infinityinfinity? Still infinity...

Graham’s number holds the Guinness World Record for the biggest specific integer used in a published mathematical proof. 

It is to solve a problem in Ramsey theory around an n-dimensional hypercube (if you even understand that tiny piece of the theory, you’re doing better than us).


Two new books will transform your everyday understanding of math | Books - Quartz

Ephrat Livni, writer and lawyer recommends, Perfectly smart adults feel intimidated by numbers and aren’t ashamed to say, “I hate math.” Two new books could help change that by making the dreaded topic relevant and accessible to naturalists, artsy types, the philosophically inclined, and committed calculators alike.

Barack Obama went full math in Brooklyn in 2013.

Both Math Art: Truth, Beauty, and Equations, by Stephen Ornes, and Eight Lessons on Infinity: A Mathematical Adventure, by Haim Shapira, illuminate an old lesson your math teachers probably tried to convey when you were a kid: Math dominates our lives even while we try with all our might to ignore it.

As Ornes explains in the introduction, math art isn’t new. Since ancient times, humans have visualized math in creative works...

Creative works inspired by math
In Math Art, released in April, science writer Ornes examines creative works inspired by math. It’s an aesthetically pleasing book with a delightfully tactile cover and satisfyingly thick and glossy pages that make it as fun to flip through as a fashion magazine. Chapters are dedicated to different concepts like pi, the golden ratio, equations in nature, and hyperbolic geometry. All of which may sound scary to the uninitiated but gain appeal when illustrated through sculpture, crochet, and painting.

Grab a pencil
In Eight Lessons on Infinity—released in April—Shapira, an Israeli author and math, psychology, and philosophy professor, works with a related theme. He contends that math is fun and accessible and is determined to bring mathematical thinking to the masses. The fact that we choose to see ourselves as math types or art types is a mistake, Shapira argues, and his book shows that solving problems with numbers is an entry way to philosophical exploration.

Unlike Ornes’ book, Shapira’s text is chock-full of math problems he challenges the reader to solve, all with the goal of attempting to make sense of infinity (which can’t really be conceived by anyone). Shapira avoids frightening formulas, walking readers through the questions gently. It’s a funny, playful work, best read with a notebook and pencil nearby as he is not shy about making readers do the math.
Read more... 

Recommended Reading
Math Art: Truth, Beauty, and Equations

Eight Lessons on Infinity:
A Mathematical Adventure
Source: Quartz

Is There a Fifth Dimension? | Physics - Gizmodo

Giz Asks
In this Gizmodo series, we ask questions about everything from space to butts and get answers from a variety of experts.

Imagine a world where you can only move forwards and backwards along a line, explains Ryan F. Mandelbaum, Science writer at Gizmodo.

Photo: Benjamin Currie - Gizmodo
You’d see nothing but single points in front of you, and nothing but single points behind you—a one-dimensional world. Now expand this to a second dimension—you can move forwards and backwards, and also left and right, experiencing the world as flat lines moving around one another. But you couldn’t drill a hole into something in this universe—you’d split it in half. Add a third dimension, and you’ve got depth—things take on visible forms and can move around none another, becoming the rich world we live in today. Then there’s a fourth dimension, time, through which we can only experience forward motion.

What if there was a fifth dimension through which things could move? What would it be like? Does it exist somewhere else, obscured by our four-dimensional brains? Or what if the universe secretly has eleven dimensions, some of which are curled up and only experienced by the smallest units of mass?

Like anyone else who’s taken a physics class (or smoked weed) we wondered whether a fifth dimension could exist somewhere in the universe, and if so, what it would be like. We’ve reached out to physicists and mathematicians to help us figure it out and it turns out there’s a lot of disagreement surrounding the question.
Read more... 

Source: Gizmodo

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Suggested Books of the Week 25, 2019 | Books - Helge Scherlund's eLearning News

Check out these books below by Cambridge University Press.

A Student's Guide to General Relativity 
A Student's Guide to General Relativity
This compact guide presents the key features of general relativity, to support and supplement the presentation in mainstream, more comprehensive undergraduate textbooks, or as a re-cap of essentials for graduate students pursuing more advanced studies...  

Presuming a familiarity with special relativity (with a brief account in an appendix), it describes how general covariance and the equivalence principle motivate Einstein's theory of gravitation. It then introduces differential geometry and the covariant derivative as the mathematical technology which allows us to understand Einstein's equations of general relativity. The book is supported by numerous worked exampled and problems, and important applications of general relativity are described in an appendix.
  • The essential simplicity of the main physical arguments are clearly distinguished from the mathematical technicalities
  • Ideally used as a supplementary text, either to navigate through a larger textbook, or to provide a complementary approach
  • The book's presentation is complementary to any general relativity textbook
Read more... 

A Student's Guide to Infinite Series and Sequences

A Student's Guide to
Infinite Series and Sequences
Why study infinite series? Not all mathematical problems can be solved exactly or have a solution that can be expressed in terms of a known function. In such cases, it is common practice to use an infinite series expansion to approximate or represent a solution...

The book begins with infinite series and sequences before moving onto power series, complex infinite series and finally onto Fourier, Legendre, and Fourier-Bessel series. With a focus on practical applications, the book demonstrates that infinite series are more than an academic exercise and helps students to conceptualize the theory with real world examples and to build their skill set in this area.
  • An informal, plain language approach enables the student to get to grips with the material quickly
  • A focus on practical real-world examples ensures a complex topic is accessible for students
  • The early introduction of complex numbers allows the reader to apply infinite series to applications that are typically only addressed in high level mathematics courses

Ethical Challenges in Digital Psychology and Cyberpsychology

Ethical Challenges in Digital
Psychology and Cyberpsychology
Our technologies are progressively developing into algorithmic devices that seamlessly interface with digital personhood. This text discusses the ways in which technology is increasingly becoming a part of personhood and the resulting ethical issues...

The ethical implications of these ideas are important as we consider the cognitive enhancements that can be afforded by our technologies. If people are intimately linked to their technologies, then removing or damaging the technology could be tantamount to a personal attack. On the other hand, algorithmic devices may threaten autonomy and privacy. This book reviews these and other issues.
  • Discusses the ways in which technology is increasingly becoming a part of personhood and the resulting ethical issues
  • Proposes an ethical framework for a brain-based cyberpsychology
  • Considers ethical and neuroethical issues in terms of technologically extended minds

The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence 

The Cambridge Handbook
of Intelligence
Written by the foremost experts in human intelligence. It not only includes traditional topics, such as the nature, measurement, and development of intelligence, but also contemporary research into intelligence and video games, collective intelligence, emotional intelligence, and leadership intelligence...

The overview provided by this two-volume set leaves virtually no area of intelligence research uncovered, making it an ideal resource for undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals looking for a refresher or a summary of the new developments.
  • Provides a comprehensive historical overview of the field of intelligence and intelligence testing
  • Contains new topics not to be found elsewhere, such as: intelligence and video games, collective intelligence, leadership intelligence, and the historical evolution of intelligence
  • Virtually no area of intelligence research is left untouched

Creativity in Research - Cultivate Clarity, Be Innovative, and Make Progress in your Research Journey 

Creativity in ResearchCultivate Clarity, Be Innovative,
and Make Progress in your Research Journey
Creativity is at the heart of successful research, yet researchers are rarely taught how to manage their creative process, and modern academic life is not structured to optimize creativity. Creativity in Research provides concrete guidance on developing creativity for anyone doing or mentoring research...

Simultaneously, they may also transform their emotional relationship with their work, replacing stress and a harsh inner critic with a more open and emotionally empowered attitude.
  • Provides concrete exercises and techniques for readers to try
  • Combines a focus on emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of research practice
  • Uses mindfulness, reflection, and self-awareness as a foundation for creativity in research
  • Synthesizes research on the abilities underlying creativity from across a wide array of academic literature

Science, Technology, and Society - New Perspectives and Directions 

Science, Technology, and Society
New Perspectives and Directions
This book gathers inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary perspectives on the effects that today's advances in science and technology have on issues ranging from government policy-making to how we see the differences between men and women...

The amount of influence users have on technology development and how non-users are factored in are evaluated as the impact of scientific and technological progression on society is investigated, including politics, economy, family life, and ethics.
  • Brings inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary perspectives on the current and future intersections of science, technology, and society
  • Reflects on key questions for discussion and research in science and technology studies (STS)
  • Gathers experts from STS subfields to give a complete overview of the field and to highlight the cutting-edge topics for research and practice

Read a 📚book and take a cup of good ☕️coffee! 

Source: Cambridge University Press

Camden Lock Books: ‘Closure of bookshop is loss of a high street jewel’ | Business - Islington Tribune newspaper website

Big Issue’s founder slams business rates hike.

Photo: Islington Tribune newspaper website

Closing after 20 years: Camden Lock Books

THE founder of The Big Issue has criticised the council and government after a well-known independent book shop announced it will close after two decades, blaming rent and rate increases.
Lord John Bird said he was appalled to hear that Camden Lock Books, a place he has visited often, will close next month.

As the Tribune reported last week, the shop’s owner Jason Burley said that the business had been devastated by rising rates and disruption caused by the Old Street roundabout redevelopment...

Mr Burley, who opened Camden Lock Books in the Old Street station subway in 2001, said: “I think one of the most gratifying things about running this shop is getting to know John Bird, now Lord Bird. He started coming in here occasionally as a customer.

He took up this thing about rates because he is very interested in bookshops and libraries and he used it in his maiden speech in the House of Lords. So I am grateful for that.”

The 31 Best Beach Reads, According to Your Favorite Writers | Lifestyle - GQ

Everyone from Marlon James to Ottessa Moshfegh on what you should read this summer.

Photo: GQ
What makes a good beach read? Should it be pulpy and trashy and greasy with sunscreen? Or a gut-wrenchingly realistic commentary on the human condition? Ask Molly Young, a contributing writer for GQ and the New York Times Magazine, and she'd say a good beach read is easy enough to take frequent breaks, but "brain-gripping enough to provide a steady opportunity for escapism." That sounds about right. Right?

But then we asked a dozen more writers for their favorite beach reads and, well, it turns out there's really no consensus to be had. Which is kind of beautiful. So this list is eclectic-as-hell—it's got everything from science fiction thrillers to classic Japanese lit to contemporary poetry. Meaning there's something for everyone. Even if you like contemporary poetry.

Source: GQ

The 23 best health and science books to read this summer | Don’t Miss - STAT

Sarah Mupo, senior copy and production editor at STAT recommends, The first day of summer has arrived, and so has STAT’s annual book list of great reads in health, science, and medicine.

Photo: Alex Hogan/STAT
Read on for recommendations from CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna and CDC Director Robert Redfield. Plus, STAT readers from Boston to Ireland to Australia share their picks, in addition to our staff.


Source: STAT

9 New Books We Recommend This Week | Book Review - New York Times

Follow on Twitter as @GregoryCowles
Suggested reading from critics and editors at The New York Times by Gregory Cowles, Senior Editor, Books. 

Books are like food. Sometimes you nosh on a little of this and a little of that — méli-mélo, the French say — other times you spend a month eating a whole cow. It’s all sustenance in the end. And books, like food, are a proven way to introduce yourself to other cultures. This week, we serve up five novels from Europe (one from Britain, one from Austria, three from France), along with the biography of a 19th-century British poet and a debut American novel that moves between Vietnam and Hartford. We round things out with a neuropsychologist’s account of his own mental illness, and a prominent conservative’s defense of his political philosophy: food for thought, even if you generally avoid red meat.

Source: New York Times