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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Upcoming Live Online Seminar: Using Technology in Today’s Classroom

Checkout and attend this event for free!  


Using Technology in Today's Classroom
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 | 01:00PM Central | Length: 30 Minutes

Choosing the appropriate technology for advancing the education mission of your classroom can be a daunting but necessary responsibility

Finding the right technology that meets the needs of your particular learning environment and seamlessly integrating it into the curriculum are key concerns for many teachers today.

To make the transition easier, consider registering for Using Technology in Today's Classroom, a FREE audio seminar from Magna Publications.

Presented by Dr. John Orlando—an accomplished director of distance learning programs, associate director of the Faculty Resource Center at Northcentral University, and editor of Online Classroom—this 30-minute program will address fundamental questions that impact educators, such as:
  • What are the ways in which technology has transformed teaching?
  • What are some good technologies for delivering content?
  • What are some tools for facilitating student collaboration?
  • What are some ways to use technology in assessment?
When you register, you will be able to submit questions via Twitter that Dr. Orlando will answer as time permits.

In only 30 minutes, you'll walk away with a sharper understanding of how technology can enrich your role as an educator.

Add coupon code TALKHIGHERED to reduce price to $0.

Register today for this FREE faculty development event.

Source: Faculty Focus


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Live Webinar - How to Create Content To Attract the Modern Learner

Attend This Live Webinar Below. 


How To Create Content to Attract the Modern Learner
Live Webinar - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 | 11:00 am MDT/12:00 pm CDT/1:00 pm EDT
 

Research shows that 84% of organizations are spending less than 5 cents of every learning dollar on exploring, acquiring and deploying informal initiatives, yet modern learners prefer informal methods.
 
Why the disconnect? Too many learning organizations still try to conform to their current technological environment of learning management systems and authoring tools that focus on traditional, formal learning.
 
Register now to learn how to create an ecosystem that breaks free of formal learning confines and allows you to finally leverage learning content in a way that meets modern learning requirements.  

Topics Covered:
  • How to create a content strategy that makes your learning content reusable, accessible and measurable across all formal and informal channels  
  • What new and expanded L&D roles are required to create and deliver modern learning experiences  
  • Why content management is the critical missing piece of your learning architecture and how it allows you to deploy informal learning programs
  • Using content management to address critical learning and development initiatives, including closing skills gaps and reaching a mobile and multi-generational workforce      
Register Now

Enjoy this free live webinar!


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New eBook: Strategically Aligning E-learning for Holistic Workplace Training

"E-learning can be blended with classroom training. It can be used to assess employees before scheduling a training program or after a classroom training session. E-learning can also be used to impart just-in-time learning to sales personnel when they are on the field." writes CommLab India.

Training can no longer be an isolated event that occurs once in a year. Training needs to be continuous and an ongoing exercise across the organization. 
E-learning too can no longer be an isolated course that employees take when assigned. It can be a part of a holistic training program where it blends with other forms of learning (formal and informal). 

Download the free eBook
 
The eBook  focuses on how this can be done effectively to ensure that learning becomes a dynamic activity in the organization and transforms based on the needs of the employees.

The eBook specifically answers questions such as:
  • What are the transformations taking place in workplace learning?
  • How does eLearning fit into the changing scenario?
  • What is eLearning and what it is not?
  • What are the pre-requisites for eLearning development?
  • How can traditional forms of learning co-exist with technologically-enabled learning?
Read more...

Get your free copy now, click here

Source: CommLab India 


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Registration Is Now Open: 2015 Online Learning Conference, Oct 6-8, Denver

Lorri Freifeld, Editor-in-Chief, Training magazine is excited to announce that we're flipping the Online Learning Conference - giving you access to customized content, presenters, and participants a whole month before the event! 


Photo: Lorri Freifeld

So by the time you arrive in Denver Oct. 6-8, you'll be ready to roll up your sleeves and solve your challenges with on-site coaching and collaboration.

Engagement and entertainment are part of the OLC promise. Download the brochure below and find out what's in store for you, including a special event with dinner, dancing, and dueling pianos, plus the Ttv award winners.

I hope you'll register today and join us on the flip side!

EARLY-BIRD DISCOUNT
Save $200* off an Online Learning Conference Registration with Discount Code: TMN5

Register Now

Download the 2015 Online Learning Conference brochure. (PDF)

DOWNLOAD BROCHURE 
Download the 2015 Online Learning Conference brochure. (PDF)
 

Source: TrainingMagNetwork.com  


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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mulrennan Mustechs set for FIRST LEGO League world championship in May by Linda Chion Kenny

Linda Chion Kenny, Special Correspondent summarizes, "For 10 middle school children in Valrico, it’s their shining moment, an invitation to represent the Greater Brandon area and the nation’s eighth largest public school district at the FIRST LEGO League World Class Open Invitational Championship in Arkansas."
 

Mulrennan Mustechs parent coaches Bob Sippel, left, and Patrick Stanley. The teacher advisor is Mark Roberts.  
Photo: Linda Chion Kenny, Special Correspondent.


The Mustechs of Mulrennann Middle School — named for the school’s mascot, the mustang, and the club’s technology focus — are set to travel to the University of Arkansas for the FLL Razorback Invitational, May 14-17. It’s one of four such world-class championships scheduled through July, the others being in Australia, California and South Africa.

“They’re the first team in [the School District of] Hillsborough County to advance to the finals,” according to Mark Roberts, teacher sponsor for the Mustechs. “They’ll be there with kids from India, South Africa, Korea and many more countries.”

“I am super-excited about this because we know that we have some excellent coaches and teams here in our school district and it’s nice for the Mustechs to be chosen to represent the state of Florida at the world invitational,” said Desh Bagley, founder and owner of TechPlayzone in Riverview. She also is the outreach manger for the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE) at Hillsborough Community College, which is providing the Mustechs with team T-shirts.

The Mustechs story started six years ago, when parent coach Patrick Stanley took his children to an engineering exposition at the University of South Florida. An engineer by trade, he said he wanted to expose his kids to “some exciting things about engineering.”

There, he became acquainted with the FIRST LEGO League, which aims to advance robotics competitions as the ultimate “sport of the mind.” Stanley had a ready ear when he approached Mulrennan principal Tim Ducker about starting a team there. Roberts agreed to sponsor the club and the team launched five years ago.

Stanley has been coaching ever since – three years with his child, Will, on the team, and now with his daughter, Olivia, and her teammates.

“It’s an awesome program for the kids,” he said. “It teaches them problem-solving skills and it teaches them if you don’t get things right the first time you test it, modify it and do it again. And if you get it right, you run it again, because even if it works a first time it might not work a second time.”

That’s exactly what the team did in engineering a product that met the specifications for this year’s challenge and topic — “world-class education.” The team conducted in-field research, visiting parent coach Bob Sippel’s wife, Sheryl, at the Dale Mabry campus of Hillsborough Community College, where she serves as program manager of mathematics.
Read more...

Source: TBO.com


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Music sans frontiers

"This is not for money. Nor is it for an audience. Nor is it for publicity. It’s not even an event. Well, not a formal one anyway. Yet, terrace jamming is becoming increasingly popular in the city, creating a friendly and approachable platform for artistes and performers from all over Chennai." according to Priyanka Rajagopalan.

Scenes from terrace jams across the city. 
Photo: The Hindu  

Initially, terrace jamming referred to an exclusive hangout for a group of friends or musicians who just wanted a quiet and spacious place to practise music uninterrupted. Later, students who were interested in music started meeting up in terraces to jam together. The idea was not to create a performance space, but instead find a venue where they could hone their skills and play for the pure love of music. It also offers scope for learning, creativity and the showcasing of talent. Nevertheless, as a result, an undeniably convenient and unconventional venue was born across the city.

Some of these are open to the public, many aren’t. Gayathri Pradeep, a student of journalism from MOP Vaishnav, who is also an aspiring singer, says, “The terrace jams I go to aren’t open to the public. For me, terrace jamming is more like a group of friends meeting and making music for the joy of it. I enjoy this more, as it is personal, which makes it easier for artistes to bond.”

However, over the past few months, the concept of terrace jams has expanded into performing for an audience, encouraging interactivity and sharing of ideas. Adarsh Mammen, an engineer, and a solo guitarist who hosted a musical night at his terrace recently, says, “Well, the idea came about when I was playing the guitar with a couple of friends. It struck me that we could have an informal event, performing for a small audience of about 30 people, mostly friends and family. Luckily, the musicians were also spontaneous entertainers, so the programme was half musical performance and half stand-up comedy. We even encouraged amateur musicians to play along. Overall, it was a really fun, relaxed evening.”

Source: The Hindu


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Gardner-Webb University International students visit local school for Cultural Awareness Day

"Local school children learned some inside information about several faraway countries from Gardner-Webb University International Programs representatives during Cultural Awareness Day, held April 17 at Fallston Elementary School." continues Shelby Star.
 

International students from Gardner-Webb University, from left, Christal Ransome, Chloe Boucquemont, Steve Jones, and Ronia Hutterli, visited Fallston Elementary students for cultural awareness day. 
Photo: Shelby Star
The daylong event — coordinated in part by GWU Assistant Director of International Programs Gail Peace — featured presentations by university international students Steve Jones of Great Britain, Ronia Hutterli of Switzerland, and Christal Ransome of Trinidad and Tobago. Chloe Boucquemont of France, a one-year teaching assistant in the Department of World Languages, also represented GWU.

Students in kindergarten through fourth grade took part in the event, which was coordinated by Rebecca Lane, the English as a Second Language Coordinator for Fallston and Casar elmentary schools and Burns Middle School].  She began the day as a way to help students learn about and appreciate cultural differences among a variety of groups.

Catherine Frailey is a fourth-grade teacher at Fallston, and she thinks students benefit from participating in the awareness day in a variety of ways. “We can connect ideas we’ve read in both fiction and non-fiction to what we learn about a country during a presentation,” Frailey explained. “For instance, we’ve talked about the lost colony, so when we saw Chloe’s presentation, the kids realized it’s real. It’s not just what they’ve seen in a book.”

Source: Shelby Star


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Why The Best Painting At The Guggenheim This Summer Was Made By A Third Grader by Priscilla Frank

Follow on Twitter as @badgirlpripri

Priscilla Frank, Arts & Culture Editor of the Huffington Post writes, "Modern Western education traditionally emphasizes two skills: the ability to process text and numbers. The importance of images, however, is often overlooked."

Fifth grade, PS 9, Brooklyn, 2015 © 2015 Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York

While mainstream public schooling treats pictorial information as peripheral, a quick glimpse at the world around us can contradict this strategy. From television screens to billboards to magazine ads, images are everywhere, shaping and imprinting the minds of impressionable children and adults alike. To be illiterate in the realm of images leaves one powerless to criticize and create in a predominately image-driven culture.

The Guggenheim Museum in New York City has long been working to give children the opportunity to attain what they call "visual literacy," a working understanding of what images are and how they work. Now in its 44th year, Learning Through Art is an educational program that provides elementary schoolers throughout New York public schools with the chance to spend 90 minutes a week focusing on art: looking at it, reflecting on it and, of course, making it. 

In the 1970s, New York found itself in a fiscal crisis, on the verge of bankruptcy. As explained by Susan J. Bodilly and Catherine H. Augustine in Revitalizing Arts Education Through Community-Wide Coordination: "The arts and arts teachers became easy targets for budget cutting. As an example, in 1975-1976, after a decade of crisis and constant budget cuts, the New York City public schools laid of 15,000 teachers, almost 25 percent of the total number. Teachers in subjects considered 'less central' were the first to go. According to the the Center for Arts Education, 'By 1991, the last year for which systematic arts data was collected by the Board of Education, two-thirds of the schools had no licensed art or music teachers.' Schools were no longer allowed to hire arts teachers, and arts teachers who remained were transferred to other positions."
Read more...

Source: Huffington Post


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Cooking and music 'are top skills UK adults want to learn'

"Almost two-fifths (39%) of adults would like to be better cooks or bakers, and almost a quarter (23%) of the 1,018 UK adults questioned said they would love to learn a musical instrument." according to a survey commissioned to launch a festival of learning.

Learning new skills is "about people expressing themselves", said David Hughes, of NIACE. 
Photo: BBC News

Half told researchers for the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), they would be willing to take a course to boost their skills.

Learning was "part of who we are", said NIACE chief executive David Hughes. Photo:

"This shows how much we all want to learn new things... but it also shows that people need help to take steps to find where and how to learn."

The top 10 skills respondents expressed an interest in acquiring also included learning a language, 
singing and photography.
  1. Cooking and baking - 39%
  2. Playing a musical instrument - 23%
  3. Learning a language or languages - 21%
  4. Singing - 17%
  5. Photography - 15%
  6. Dance - 13%
  7. DIY - 13%
  8. Art - 11%
  9. Gardening - 11%
  10. Creative writing - 11%
Among 25- to 34-year-olds, the proportion interested in taking up a course in their favoured subject rose to 60%. 

Mr Hughes said the survey results showed how important it was to encourage people "to take the leap and go for it, whatever their level of education".

"All of the top skills people would love to learn most are about people expressing themselves, who they are, what they stand for," he said.

"The confidence learning those skills brings are crucial for everyone in life and in work."
Read more...

Source: BBC News


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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Upcoming Webinar: Rethinking Mobile Technology in Higher Education.

Attend this event below.

Title: Learning on the Digital Quad: Mobile Technology for Student Success
Date: Thursday, April 30, 2015
Time: 02:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Duration: 1 hour


This presentation targets campus leaders who are responsible for facilitating, tracking and assessing student engagement as it relates to their institution’s programs, services, resources, student clubs and organizations, and community. 

The discussion will explore the evolution of student engagement and how technology, specifically mobile, is changing the framework for how universities can achieve high-impact practices that lead to increased retention, learning outcomes, and overall student success.  

You will learn about a mobile solution that:
  • Connects with students in real-time.
  • Promotes events, announcements and deadlines.
  • Provides students with anytime access to campus resources.   
  • Gauges student engagement, impact and areas of interest.  
  • Provides administrators with data to measure impact of programs and services
Register Now

Source: eCampus News


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Philosophy’s gender bias: For too long, scholars say, women have been ignored by Nick Anderson, Reporter — Washington, D.C.

Photo: Nick Anderson
"Two scholars argue that historians of philosophy should acknowledge the influence of long-neglected female voices." according to Nick Anderson, Reporter — Washington, D.C.

Generations of college students know philosophy as a subject dominated by the writings of men, from ancient Greece onward. The stereotypical figure in its history: Sage with beard.

In recent decades, scholars of English literature and other fields have pushed to broaden their curriculum through the inclusion of previously neglected works of women.

Here, two professors from Duke and Columbia universities argue that it’s time for philosophy to reckon with its own gender problem.

Portrait of Emilie Du Chatelet (1706-1749), a philosopher of the French Englightenment. Oil on canvas attributed to Maurice-Quentin de La Tour (1704-1788). 
Photo: Washington Post

By Andrew Janiak and Christia Mercer

“Blessed are you, reader, if you do not belong to the sex of those who are deprived” a proper education “so that ignorance, slavery, and the capacity to play the fool are established as woman’s only happiness.” So wrote the philosopher Marie de Gournay in the early 17th century.

If you, reader, have never heard of de Gournay or the early modern debate about virtue, reason, and education, you are not alone. You have been deprived a proper education and played the fool by historians of philosophy.

This spring, W.W. Norton & Co. published “The Norton Introduction to Philosophy,” a 1,168-page textbook, edited by prominent philosophers from Princeton University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and elsewhere. Beginning with Plato’s “Meno” and Aristotle’s “Politics,” passing through medieval and early modern treatises to contemporary debates, this textbook provides excerpts and commentary on 2,400 years of canonical texts, organized around central philosophical problems. It is philosophically astute, thoughtfully laid out — and contains no writings by women before the mid-20th century.

[Also from Mercer: I teach philosophy at Columbia. But some of my best students are inmates.]

The Norton Introduction is not exceptional. Hackett’s recent Modern Philosophy (2009) includes “leading thinkers of the period” but not a single woman. And Anthony Kenny’s “A New History of Western Philosophy (2012), deemed “wonderfully authoritative” by the Times Higher Education Supplement, includes only great men in its grandiose “new” account.

Most readers will respond to the absence of women in these histories as an unfortunate result of centuries of educational deprivation. As de Gournay poignantly notes, women “achieve levels of excellence” less often than men because of their “lack of good education.” Although a handful of women attended ancient academies, they could only rarely enroll in European universities, participate in scientific societies, or teach in churches, temples or mosques. Most consumers of contemporary philosophy textbooks will begrudgingly accept the absence of women in philosophy prior to the 20th century. But they would be dead wrong to do so.

In May 1643, the great French mathematician and philosopher René Descartes began to correspond with a European princess, Elisabeth of Bohemia. Like so many women writing in the early modern period, the princess begins their exchange with excuses for bothering the famous author. Describing herself as “an ignorant and intractable person” with a “disordered style,” Elisabeth expresses her interest in the great man’s views about mind and body.

After a few pleasantries, she pivots to a devastating criticism of his proposals, from which he does not fully recover. Elisabeth’s insightful comments over the course of their six-year exchange influenced Descartes’ developing views about the soul. Given that there is a fine edition and translation of their correspondence and that the history of the mind-body problem is incomplete without her criticisms, it seems inexcusable to exclude Elisabeth from the history of philosophy.
Read more... 

Additional resources
Andrew Janiak is Creed C. Black Associate Professor of Philosophy at Duke University and co-leader of Project Vox. Christia Mercer is Gustave M. Berne Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. They are co-editors, with Professor Eileen O’Neill at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, of the “Oxford New Histories of Philosophy.”


Source: Washington Post


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American students might be better at math than you think

Follow on Twitter as @libbyanelson
Libby Nelson, Education Reporter summarizes, "American students aren't good at math compared with students around the world. But it's still possible to overstate just how bad they are — as Nicholas Kristof did this week in the New York Times."


Kristof argues that American eighth-graders' math skills are humiliatingly bad, citing examples of problems that students in Ghana, Iran, Indonesia, Armenia, Turkey, and Palestine can solve and American eighth-graders can't.

Kristof's basic point is correct: American students really are bad at math, particularly at applying what they've learned in the real world. Math teachers and elected officials from both parties are right to be concerned. But American kids aren't really worse than students in Ghana or Armenia. And Kristof's method — cherry-picking problems from a test on which American students, on average, do pretty well in comparison — actually undermines what he's trying to argue.

What Kristof gets wrong  
The problem, as Bob Somerby pointed out: the questions Kristof picked, from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Survey, a standardized test of eighth-graders, are terrible examples. American students didn't answer those questions well compared with their peers around the world. But they performed much worse on the questions he cites than on the test as a whole.

When you look at the entire test, American eighth-graders aren't bad at all. They did better than average on many questions. And overall, American students scored slightly above average — worse than students in Korea, Singapore, and Japan, but on par with Finland's celebrated test-takers.

This could make you wonder why there's a panic about math education at all. Different international tests measure different things, and some make the US look worse than others.
Read more...

Source: Vox


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Data science class offers L.A. Unified students a new handle on math

Follow on Twitter as @ryanvmenezes
Ryan Menezes, statistician and reporter with the Data Desk reports, "During first period at Francis Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley, Monica Casillas asked her students to line up in order by height so she could organize a human representation of a "box-and-whisker" plot."


Thomas Navas, 16, a student in the Introduction to Data Science class at Francis Polytechnic High, uses data from the Centers for Disease Control to test his theory that there is a relationship between hours of sleep per night and a person's height. 
Photo: Los Angeles Times

As they filed into place — most boys went to one end, most girls to the other — Casillas drew the data visualization on butcher paper. The rectangle in the center showed the typical heights of the class, with straight lines called "whiskers" extended from the box to show how far away the tallest and shortest students were from the middle.

Thomas Navas, a 5-foot-2 junior, found himself at the end of a whisker, the shortest student in his Introduction to Data Science class.

Standing at the end, Navas wondered what affected his height. Could his lack of sleep — about six hours a night — keep him from growing?

Asking questions of data is the aim of the class, which is being offered at 10 Los Angeles Unified School District high schools this year. The class gives students an alternative to traditional math; its curriculum is grounded in hands-on data collection, plus lessons in computer programming so students can get answers from data, a trade highly valued in many industries.

The National Science Foundation awarded a $12.5-million grant in 2010 to a partnership including L.A. Unified and the departments of computer science and education at UCLA, in an effort to teach computational thinking in urban schools.

Suyen Moncada-Machado, an instructional specialist with the district, saw a need to use some of the funds for a class devoted specifically to data science. She proposed the course, hoping to accomplish the goals of the grant while also satisfying the district's recently adopted Common Core guidelines. 
The new learning standards in math emphasize statistical literacy, specifically probability and modeling — the practice of using data to make informed decisions.

"The current statistics classes were made in the 1970s; we have these powerful computers that do so much more now," said Moncada-Machado, who previously taught math in L.A. Unified high schools. "If you look at a stats textbook from the 70s and a stats textbook now, there's not much of a change. We needed something that would bring it into the 21st century."
Read more...

Source: Los Angeles Times


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Mathematics reveals how fluid flow affects bacteria

Researchers from the University of Liverpool have used mathematical equations to shed new light on how flowing fluid hinders the movement of bacteria in their search for food.

Many bacteria are mobile and inhabit a variety of dynamic fluid environments: from turbulent oceans to medical devices such as catheters.

Photo: University of Liverpool 

Mathematicians from the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester developed a new set of equations to study how flowing fluid affected the movement of bacteria and how the swimming behaviour of the bacteria themselves affected their travel.

Bacteria can change their swimming direction when they encounter a chemical cue which allows them to move towards preferable environments and away from harmful chemicals.
Since the first attempts at classifying bacteria in the 17th century, shape has been an important feature, yet it is still not fully understood how shape affects the ability of bacteria to navigate their environments.
Read more...

Additional resources
Journal of Fluid Mechanics / Volume 771 / May 2015, R3 (13 pages)
© 2015 Cambridge University Press
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/jfm.2015.198 (About DOI)


Source: University of Liverpool 


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Mass and shape of single molecules revealed

"A microscopic tool, more than 1000 times thinner than the width of a single human hair, uses vibrations to simultaneously reveal the mass and the shape of a single molecule -- a feat which has not been possible until now." writes Science Daily.

Mathematics Professor John Sader from the University of Melbourne worked with California Institute of Technology experimentalists to invent a new method to weigh and image single molecules.
Photo: Science Daily

The work was led by Professor John Sader at the University of Melbourne's School of Mathematics and Statistics and Professor Michael Roukes of the California Institute of Technology. It features in a paper published in this month's issue of Nature Nanotechnology.

Prof Sader says this technique revolutionises molecule detection for biologists, or indeed anyone who wants to measure extremely small objects.
To discover what a specimen looks like, researchers attach it to a tiny vibrating device, known as a nanoelectromechanical system (NEMS) resonator.

"One standard way to tell the difference between molecules is to weigh them using a technique called mass spectrometry. The problem is that different molecules can have the same weight. Now, we can tell them apart by identifying their shape," Prof Sader said.

"This technology is built on a new mathematical algorithm that we developed, called inertial imaging. It can be used as a diagnostic tool if you're trying to identify, say, a virus or a bacteria particle."
In mass spectrometry, molecules are ionised (or electrically charged) so that an electromagnetic field can interact with them. This interaction is then measured, which gives vital information on the molecule's mass-to-charge ratio.

But this conventional technique has difficulty telling the difference between molecules with similar mass-to-charge ratios, meaning molecule A and molecule B might be very different, but mass-spectrometry can't see this difference.
Read more...

Additional resources
  1. M. Selim Hanay, Scott I. Kelber, Cathal D. O'Connell, Paul Mulvaney, John E. Sader, Michael L. Roukes. Inertial imaging with nanomechanical systems. Nature Nanotechnology, 2015; 10 (4): 339 DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2015.32
Source: Science Daily


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Linda Allen to be the AWM-SIAM Sonia Kovalevsky Lecturer in Beijing in August

"Dr. Linda Allen has been named the Association for Women in Mathematics-Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Sonia Kovalevsky Lecturer for 2015 in Beijing, China, August 10-14." according to Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Photo: Linda J. S. Allen

The   Association   for   Women   in   Mathematics (AWM) and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) have selected Linda J.S. Allen to deliver  the prestigious Sonia Kovalevsky Lecture at the 8th International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM) in Beijing, China, August 10 -14, 2015. Allen is the Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of  Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Texas Tech University.

She  was selected  as the AWM -SIAM Sonia Kovalevsky Lecturer for her outstanding contributions in ordinary differential equations, difference equations and stochastic models, which have significant  applications in the areas of infectious diseases and ecology.

Read more...

Additional resources 
SIAM: The AWM-SIAM Sonia Kovalevsky Lecture 
Home page of Linda J. S. Allen at Texas Tech University , Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Source: Texas Tech University


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Monday, April 27, 2015

10 essential skills they don't teach us in college

Photo: James Altucher
James Altucher, managing partner at the hedge fund Formula Capital writes, "He dropped out of high school. Started a company that didn’t work. Read a lot. Then started another company. He wanted me to advise his company."

Photo: Business Insider

I didn’t do it. But we spoke for awhile about his being a high school dropout.

He said, “Once I figured out how I can learn to learn then I didn’t need school anymore.”

I didn’t know whether to believe him. But I liked that phrase, “learn to learn.”

He made an app that didn’t work. Nobody wanted it. Not even his friends who said they wanted it. I was thinking a year or two later: Thank god I didn’t advise that company.

So he backed off and asked himself why the app wasn’t as popular as he thought it would be. Nobody can predict the future. A Harvard Ph.D. and a high school dropout have equal skills at prophecy.

He called up the top people at many companies and asked them if there was any part of his app that they would want.

He met with maybe 50 heads of technology at all sorts of different companies in different industries. 

He figured out what their problems were. He listened and studied.

Then he rewrote his app. Just slightly. He also rewrote the way he described the app. Just slightly. It’s now four years later.

I’m not saying the name of his company because I don’t know if news was announced yet. But he just raised $60 million at a $250 million valuation. He’s on track for great revenues this year.

My friend who was giving me this update said, “I’ve never seen anything like this. He has a 100% close rate on his sales calls. Everyone buys.”

Is he uneducated? Of course not. He reads constantly. Maybe more than anyone I know.

Did he not get networked enough? Of course not. He created his network by helping them solve their problems. If I’m not mistaken, Google is one of his top investors.

Do I regret not advising his company? No. I’m not a very good advisor I think. I like to sit in my room with the shades closed.


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New teacher license tests tough to pass, and students say they’re not prepared

"Would-be teachers had two options on their path to a state license last fall. Both were daunting." according to Mará Rose Williams, The Kansas City Star.
 

Photo: Kansas City Star

They could hurry and cram for a test that would soon go away, chock full of material they’d yet to see in class.

Or they could wait a while longer and take their chances on a new, more exacting exam without much sense of their odds of passing or how many times they might end up paying to retake that untested test.

Diana Rogers-Adkinson, dean of the education college at Southeast Missouri State University, said the transition left education students unprepared for either choice.

“It just made me sick to the stomach,” watching so many students fail, said Rogers-Adkinson, who worries it could mean a shortage of teachers, especially in science and math.

Yet others say these weren’t pop quizzes. Prospective teachers, and the universities accepting tuition to prepare them for the classroom, had long known about the switch. If the students weren’t ready for the tests, they say, that reflects failure of either their preparation or the professors who should have guided them.

Missouri state educators switched from the old, Praxis II, exams that prospective teachers needed to pass to get their licenses to the new, Missouri Content Assessment tests, as of September 2014.

Paul Katnik, assistant commissioner for educator quality at the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, said teacher candidates had about 15 months to prepare, take and pass the the old exam before it was discontinued.

For many students, rushing to take the old test meant just “putting their head in a book and cramming for an exam they just weren’t ready to take,” Rogers-Adkinson said.
Missouri’s teacher candidates this spring, Rogers-Adkinson said, got caught in the middle of the state transitioning to new subject content exams that they have to pass before they’re certified to teach.

Want to teach math or science, history or English? You have to pass the test that proves you mastered the subject. As more rigor was infused into Missouri K-12 standards, teacher tests got tougher too.

The state could have lowered the passing score the way it did when the new Missouri college teacher-preparation program entrance exam was rolled out, said Dan Gordon, chairman of the professional education department at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville. A low pass rate, Gordon said, would give students and faculty time to get more familiar with the new test, and state officials time to fix problems.
Read more...

Source: Kansas City Star

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article19692378.html#storylink=cpy


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New teacher license tests tough to pass, and students say they’re not prepared

"Would-be teachers had two options on their path to a state license last fall. Both were daunting." according to Mará Rose Williams, The Kansas City Star.
 

Photo: Kansas City Star

They could hurry and cram for a test that would soon go away, chock full of material they’d yet to see in class.

Or they could wait a while longer and take their chances on a new, more exacting exam without much sense of their odds of passing or how many times they might end up paying to retake that untested test.

Diana Rogers-Adkinson, dean of the education college at Southeast Missouri State University, said the transition left education students unprepared for either choice.

“It just made me sick to the stomach,” watching so many students fail, said Rogers-Adkinson, who worries it could mean a shortage of teachers, especially in science and math.

Yet others say these weren’t pop quizzes. Prospective teachers, and the universities accepting tuition to prepare them for the classroom, had long known about the switch. If the students weren’t ready for the tests, they say, that reflects failure of either their preparation or the professors who should have guided them.

Missouri state educators switched from the old, Praxis II, exams that prospective teachers needed to pass to get their licenses to the new, Missouri Content Assessment tests, as of September 2014.

Paul Katnik, assistant commissioner for educator quality at the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, said teacher candidates had about 15 months to prepare, take and pass the the old exam before it was discontinued.

For many students, rushing to take the old test meant just “putting their head in a book and cramming for an exam they just weren’t ready to take,” Rogers-Adkinson said.
Missouri’s teacher candidates this spring, Rogers-Adkinson said, got caught in the middle of the state transitioning to new subject content exams that they have to pass before they’re certified to teach.

Want to teach math or science, history or English? You have to pass the test that proves you mastered the subject. As more rigor was infused into Missouri K-12 standards, teacher tests got tougher too.

The state could have lowered the passing score the way it did when the new Missouri college teacher-preparation program entrance exam was rolled out, said Dan Gordon, chairman of the professional education department at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville. A low pass rate, Gordon said, would give students and faculty time to get more familiar with the new test, and state officials time to fix problems.
Read more...

Source: Kansas City Star

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article19692378.html#storylink=cpy


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Sunday, April 26, 2015

6 Ways to Make Math, Science and Technology Fun for Girls (and Boys)

Photo: Leyla Seka
"Over the past few months there's been a lot of conversation about whether women are getting a fair shake in Silicon Valley." according to Leyla Seka, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Salesforce Desk.com.

Photo:  Huffington Post Canada

It's fantastic that there's so much focus on gender equality, but most of the discussion bypasses the fact that we still need to get more women to even try to succeed in technology. As we look ahead to the next generation, we need to be sure that we raise girls who believe they can do anything they want to do, and that we foster their interest in math, science, and technology early on. Here are six ways you can help:

1. Change Your Thinking. 
We need to take a hard look at the way we think and the messages we give to our children. Many of us were brought up to believe that girls "didn't do" math. So when I had the opportunity to learn to code I didn't take it. That was something boys did. We need to change this way of thinking, and we need to change it now! Give your girls screwdrivers and power tools. Teach them to code. Encourage them to get dirty. My kids are both boys but I promise to raise them to believe that girls can do anything they can do. 
Read more...

Source: Huffington Post Canada


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