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Saturday, November 17, 2018

UCCI set to unveil new degree program for working adults | Education - Cayman Compass

University College of the Cayman Islands President Roy Bodden believes the country’s adult population is an untapped resource for college study, inform Mark Muckenfuss, Journalist. 

Photo: University College of the Cayman Islands
“I was always interested in growing the numbers of the institution,” Mr. Bodden said, noting that enrollment in recent years has plateaued at about 1,200 students, almost all of whom are in their late teens or early 20s.

Recently, he said, he was at a conference when he heard Goldie Blumenstyk, a senior writer at the Chronicle of Higher Education, talking about adult learning.
“I said, ‘Voilà!’” Mr. Bodden said.

Ms. Blumenstyk will be the keynote speaker on Nov. 29, when UCCI hosts a “soft launch” of its Prior Learning Assessment program. Mr. Bodden said he expects the school will soon begin evaluating and accepting students for the program, with the first courses beginning in fall 2019.

The new program is designed to give adults with experience in the working world a leg up on pursuing or completing a college degree. Program administrators will grant prospective students with appropriate work experience course credit toward a degree, thus shortening the time it takes to graduate...

The initial course offerings are expected to be limited to business studies. Mr. Bodden said students will be assessed individually.
Read more...

Source: Cayman Compass


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How do mathematicians think?| The London Mathematical Society

This 60 minute documentary film features nine UK-based mathematicians offering insights into their mathematical thinking across a broad range of mathematical research fields.

Watch the Video - Vimeo

Through explorations of their various thought processes, the film portrays mathematicians who are grappling with advanced mathematical ideas. We are presented with the concepts of imagination, intuition, and wonder, as well as rigorous mathematical deduction.

The film features Kevin Buzzard, Peter Donnelly, Tim Gowers, Martin Hairer, Roger Penrose, Caroline Series, Richard Thomas, Reidun Twarock, and Karen Vogtmann.

Thinking Space is directed and produced by Heidi Morstang. The interviews were conducted and selected by Martin Hyland.

Source: The London Mathematical Society and Vimeo


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Adventures in Memory - The Science and Secrets of Remembering and Forgetting | Books - greystone books

Novelist Hilde Østby and neuroscientist Ylva Østby uncover the secrets of human memory.
 

Adventures in Memory
The Science and Secrets
of Remembering and Forgetting

What makes us remember? Why do we forget? And what, exactly, is a memory? Forgetting things is a positive sign. A new book by a Scandinavian neuropsychologist and her sister concludes that forgetfulness is essential for a healthy brain.

With playfulness and intelligence, Adventures in Memory answers these questions and more, offering an illuminating look at one of our most fascinating faculties. The authors—two Norwegian sisters, one a neuropsychologist and the other an acclaimed writer—skillfully interweave history, research, and exceptional personal stories, taking readers on a captivating exploration of the evolving understanding of the science of memory from the Renaissance discovery of the hippocampus—named after the seahorse it resembles—up to the present day. Mixing metaphor with meta-analysis, they embark on an incredible journey: “diving for seahorses” for a memory experiment in Oslo fjord, racing taxis through London, and “time-traveling” to the future to reveal thought-provoking insights into remembering and forgetting.
Read more... 

Source: greystone books


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11 Things You Need to Know About Generation Z | Hunt Scanlon Media

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media.


Photo: Kevin Sheridan
Kevin Sheridan, a renowned talent consultant, provides 11 traits you should know about this digital native generation, along with insights from expert recruiters from Bridge Partners and Executives Unlimited. - They have known the digital world since birth, and now they are entering the workforce.
 
Photo: Hunt Scanlon Media

Generation Z. It is the first generation to know only a digital world. Its members grew up playing on their parents’ mobile devices, and many had their own smartphone as early as elementary school. Now that they’re on the brink of entering the job market, older workers are wondering how these ‘digital natives’ will impact the workforce.
There are many other monikers given to this generation, including Digital Natives, Globals, Post-Millennials, Millennials-On-Steroids, iGeneration, Plurals, the Homeland Generation, Centennials, and Delta Generation, or Deltas. That the generation has such an array of names in many ways illustrates the general lack of understanding about them, says a new report by talent consultant Kevin Sheridan.

Mr. Sheridan is an internationally-recognized keynote speaker, a New York Times bestselling author and a sought-after voice on the subject of employee engagement. Having spent 30 years as a human capital management consultant, he has helped some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild cultures that foster productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors.
Read more...

Source: Hunt Scanlon Media


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How To Create A People-First Culture In The Digital Age | BrandVoice - Forbes

This story also appears on Medium: Innovation Spotlight.


I recently had the opportunity to chat with Future of Work Expert and Founder of NextMapping, Cheryl Cran, about the future of the workplace and leadership strategies that foster employee growth across digital platforms, says Daisy Hernandez, Global VP, Product Management, Enterprise Collaboration, SAP

Ultimately, companies should create a culture where people want to be working there — whether that’s in the office, remote, or a combination.
Photo: SAP
With the rise in digital technologies and remote work, the workplace is in a state of transition. Today’s leaders must find a way to bring technological advancements and people-first cultures together. 
Read more...

Source: Forbes  


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Are the digital natives ready to come to work yet? | Automation - Tech Wire Asia

Soumik Roy, business and technology specialist summarizes, Understanding millennials have been a challenge for companies as the group has different expectations from their career and their life than their previous generation.

Is the Gen Z ready to join the workforce?
Photo: Shutterstock
Now, as companies finally seem to have understood how to provide millennials with the ideal ecosystem where expectations are met and productivity soars, they have yet another demographic to understand. The Gen Z.

These are “the youngest executives” joining the workforce today — being between 19 and 23 years old.

It’s a group that could represent up to 20 percent of the workforce by 2020, especially in countries currently benefiting from the “demographic dividend” such as India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. 

Here, hundreds of thousands of young people join the workforce every month.

According to a new study, Gen Z could be a tough group to manage — after all, their confidence in their tech skills doesn’t equate to workforce readiness.

However, being digital natives, they may have a unique edge compared to “their seniors” and could provide significant support to the digital transformation agenda and accelerate the journey to digital maturity in most industries...

Overall, as organizations prepare to welcome Gen Z-ers into the workplace, the study recommends that schools teach students how, not just what, to learn, and suggests that companies help Gen Z-ers build soft skills and confidence through internships, job rotations, and other programs.
Read more...

Source: Tech Wire Asia 


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Friday, November 16, 2018

4 UK Business Schools triggering agile MBA talent | University - Study International News

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a golden ticket into a vast array of graduate jobs, as Study International Staff reports.

Photo: University of Leicester
From a different angle, however, an MBA also has the power to enhance a business executive’s life by elevating their career to the next level.

Filled with invaluable management skills and offering entry into an extensive network of business contacts, it’s clear to see why so many international applicants apply for a UK MBA.

But what are top employers searching for from today’s fresh pool of MBA graduates?

That’s the question the Financial Times decided to tackle in a recent investigation.

During their discovery, four key advantages were disclosed...

To address the need for agile talent, the Financial Times suggests that schools build dynamic classrooms that allow students to work with a unique selection of individuals on unfamiliar challenges.

By encouraging MBA students to take a huge leap into the unknown, they are empowered by resilience and increased adaptability for the future workplace. This leads them towards ultimate success.

Here are four UK Business Schools that trigger agile talent with the MBA degree
Read more... 

Additional resources 
University of Leicester School of Business – A world-leading MBA education
"The University of Leicester School of Business is a vibrant, international and interdisciplinary community of over 200 academics." 

Source: Study International News 


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Ofsted Watch: Difficult week for FE as providers hit with low grades | FE Week

FE has faced a difficult week in Ofsted inspections as three providers were hit with ‘inadequate’ ratings, notes Pippa Allen-Kinross, Senior Reporter at FE Week.

Photo: FE Week
Three others were graded as ‘requires improvement’ in a week which saw 15 inspection reports published for FE and skills providers.

Norfolk’s Easton and Otley College was hit with its second grade four rating in a row in a report published on November 12, which raised concerns about poor quality study programmes and adult education courses and low completion rates on both.  

More than a quarter of students on study programmes and adult learning programmes, which together make up a large majority of the college’s provision, do not achieve their qualifications,” the report said.

Two independent learning providers also received ‘inadequate’ grades this week. Inspectors found that the 500 learners at the Harrow-based Academy Training Group had received “no teaching” and some were “not aware” they had taken out an advanced learner loan...

Bolton’s Focus Training was criticised for having too many learners leave their course early and too few achieve their qualifications.
Focus Training’s courses consist of distance learning via an online learning platform and planned telephone support tuition sessions. However, inspectors said leaders had not “been swift enough to improve the quality of the telephone support tutorials” and said tutors “do not provide effective telephone support”.
Read more... 

Source: FE Week


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Math needs more stories | Blog - American Mathematical Society

Photo: Beth Malmskog
Math needs more stories. All kinds of stories: about where ideas come from and what they mean; about the people who do math–how, why, and where they came from; about the beautiful and messed up parts of the community, and how these are and are not changing, says Beth Malmskog, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Colorado College.

Welcome to AMS Blogs

Stories are the connective tissue of a body of ideas, essential to making these many theorems into a community. The kinds of stories we hear and the people who tell them influence how we imagine and understand this community, and ourselves in relation to it. 

That’s why math needs more stories–because so many of the stories we hear come from voices and are about people similar to those that have been dominant in math for hundreds of years. If we want a broader, fairer, more inclusive mathematics, we need to make a point to hear everyone’s stories.

In some ways, stories are the whole point of this blog–we share our stories as early career mathematicians to connect with others who are, will be, or were early career mathematicians themselves.  However, I confess that I’m more interested in other people’s stories than my own.  In one part of my dream life I would be a sort of mathy Studs Terkel, interviewing people about their lives and their reflections on mathematics.  I probably need to get tenure before I can start spending too much time on that. Luckily, there are other people out there doing a great job of gathering stories.  You may have gotten the same email I did from the AMS yesterday about two new books of stories about mathematicians: Limitless Minds: Interviews with Mathematicians, by Anthony Bonato, and Mathematicians: An Outer View of the Inner World, by Mariana Cook.  These look great, and I just impulse bought them (when I’m going to have time to read them, who knows).  Probably the right choice would have been to ask my library to buy them so that everyone at my institution could read them… okay, now that I think about it, I will probably do that after I get done writing this blog.
Read more...

Source: American Mathematical Society


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How to Help Students Heal From 'Math Trauma' | Teacher Voices - Education Week

A previous version of this piece was published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.


Timed tests and "drill-and-kill" approaches to math education can leave students with long-lasting anxiety, writes researcher Jennifer Ruef, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at University of Oregon.


Photo: Getty
I teach people how to teach math, and I’ve been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I’ve met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math anxiety. In its worst manifestations, math anxiety becomes what my colleagues and I call math trauma—a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

When people share their stories with me, there are common themes. These include someone telling them they were “not good at math,” panicking over timed math tests, or getting stuck on some math topic and struggling to move past it. The topics can be as broad as fractions or an entire class, such as algebra or geometry.

The notion of who is—and isn’t—a math person drives the research I do with my colleagues Shannon Sweeny and Chris Willingham on people earning their teaching degrees...

The myth that fast recall of basic math facts should be drilled into children has deep and pernicious roots. It comes from the best of intentions—who wouldn’t want kids to be good at calculating? But research shows that automaticity (the ability to easily recall facts, like 3 x 5 = 15) is best developed from first making sense of arithmetic operations. In other words, the first step in building a mathematical memory is understanding how that math works.

As an example, the area, array, and equal groups models in the image below represent multiplication and division fact families. These models can help students focus on making sense of the related facts 3 x 5 = 15, 5 x 3 = 15, 15 ÷ 3 = 5, and 15 ÷ 5 = 3. They can be used to assess fact fluency and automaticity.

Skipping the sensemaking step makes for fragile understanding and cognitively expensive memorization. When someone only memorizes, every new fact is like an island unto itself, and is more readily forgotten. In contrast, understanding patterns in math facts compresses the cognitive load required to recall related facts. Sensemaking promotes deep, robust, and flexible understanding, allowing people to apply what they know to new problems.
So what can teachers do to support fact fluency?
Read more... 

Source: Education Week


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A University of Diversity and Innovative and holistic learning | South China Morning Post

Take a closer look at the HKUST campus.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

A University of Diversity
When students first arrive at the HKUST campus, many are surprised at its highly diverse student body.  One in four students at HKUST come from outside of Hong Kong - the proportion of the University’s international students is the highest in the city.

HKUST’s vision of diversity is also shared by our students.  They often take the initiative to host welcoming gatherings for newcomers from different cultures. As another example, our students collaborated with classmates from India, Greece, US and Korea to produce a 110-minute feature film. 

Diversity is not just about race, but also about gender and ability.  To promote diversity in all dimensions, HKUST organized the first workshop in Asia to attract quality female candidates into the traditionally male-dominated engineering academia sector. We also hosted events on the International Women’s Day earlier this year to reinforce the importance of gender diversity.  The University has revisited its admission criteria and introduced new scholarships to attract students with talents and achievements in non-academic areas.  HKUST continues to enhance resources for students with special educational needs (SEN), a creative campaign called DiversAbility was recently organized for students to experience the daily obstacles met by those who are physically challenged. 

Innovative and holistic learning
In a world where sustainable development, wealth distribution and international order are at stake, university students, who are future leaders and global citizens, are expected to help address these pressing global challenges.  To achieve this, innovative thinking and a holistic mindset are fundamental requirements...

At HKUST, it’s not just about learning hard knowledge.  We blend humanities, social science and social services into the curriculum so science, engineering and business students will also be able to appreciate art, culture, music and develop a sense of responsibility towards society.  Over the years, we have been happy to see that regardless of what our students do – be they entrepreneurs or employees who find new solution to an age-old problem, their ideas and sense of social responsibility have helped make the world a better place.


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The Future Of Learning? Well, It's Personal | NPR

Anya Kamenetz, NPR's lead education blogger explains, Personalization is a huge ed-tech buzzword, but not everyone agrees on what that means or if it's a good thing.
 

Photo: Drew Lytle for NPR

If you do a Google image search for "classroom," you'll mostly see one familiar scene: rows or groups of desks, with a spot at the front of the room for the teacher.

One teacher, many students: It's basically the definition of school as we know it, going back to the earliest days of the Republic. "We couldn't afford to have an individual teacher for every student, so we developed a way of teaching large groups," as John Pane, an education researcher at the RAND Corporation, puts it.

This model keeps costs down, but it requires sacrifices. Teachers and students have a hard time getting to know one another well. The curriculum can hardly speak to the passions and interests of each student.

And a fundamental problem is pacing. Teachers introduce fractions because it's the 10th day of the third grade, not because every student in a class of 28 is ready to learn that concept. The Common 
Core State Standards, in use in 41 states and Washington, D.C., follow this grade-based progression. And every state gives high-stakes tests to students based on when they've completed a certain number of semesters of school — not when each is deemed ready.

But students are people. And people are different from each other...

Personalized learning is also a major priority of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (which is a supporter of NPR's education coverage) and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The commitment by the Facebook founder's philanthropy is expected to run into the hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

OK, so this is going to be big. But what is personalized learning, exactly? The term has buzz, for sure. But it's also a bit — or more than a bit — baggy.

In fact, in speaking about it with more than a dozen educators, technologists, innovation experts and researchers, I've developed a theory: "Personalized learning" has become a Janus-faced word, with at least two meanings in tension:
  1. The use of software to allow each student to proceed through a pre-determined body of knowledge, most often math, at his or her own pace.
  2. A whole new way of doing school. Not necessarily focused on technology. Students set their own goals. They work both independently and together on projects that match their interests. Adults facilitate, investing time in getting to know each student one-on-one, both their strengths and their challenges.
Which vision of personalization will prevail? Pace alone, or "Personalize it all"? And what proportion of the hype will be realized?...

For a report published in 2018 by the Center on Reinventing Public Education, researchers interviewed and surveyed hundreds of teachers at schools that had received funds from the Gates Foundation to design and implement personalized learning. They found that, while many teachers were wildly enthusiastic, they were often left on their own.
Read more...

Source: NPR


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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Boundless complexity - University of Victoria | Science - UVic News

Astronomy professor Sara Ellison, who plays violin in her free time, says studying the night sky is like learning to appreciate the intricacies of music.

Leading astrophysicist Sara Ellison unravels how galaxies, such as the Milky Way, form and evolve.
Photo: UVic Photo Services.
When Sara Ellison looks up at the stars, she does so with the hallmark precision of a scientist. “After so many years of studying astronomy, it’s hard for me to channel the humanist wonder that most people have when they look into the night sky,” says the University of Victoria astrophysicist. But her wonder been replaced with something more profound.

As a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ellison is part of UVic’s distinguished astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology group, one of the best such programs in Canada. Her work focuses on galaxies—gravitationally bound systems, such as the Milky Way, that contain millions to trillions of stars, along with gas, dust and dark matter—and tries to unravel how these endlessly complex systems form and evolve.

Ellison has been examining galaxy mergers—a deceivingly benign-sounding process wherein galaxies are pulled towards each other by gravitational forces, causing the orbits of billions of stars to break and reform. Less visibly, but more importantly, the gas that is spread between the stars is also affected by gravitational forces, spiralling inwards where it can pile up to form new stars and cascade onto the galaxy’s central supermassive black hole...

Over the past couple of years, Ellison has spent her spare time—between being a researcher, graduate advisor, supervisor and mother—learning how to play the violin. “I started with learning ‘Three Blind Mice’, and I’m still quite bad,” she says. “But I’m playing with a local folk orchestra and it’s a lot of fun.”
Read more...

Source: UVic News 


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For 21st year, Jeff Buckley’s musical fans honor his classic Chicago concert | Music - Chicago Sun-Times

The late singer-songwriter’s manager says the shows at Buckley’s first local venue, Uncommon Ground, “keep Jeff’s memory alive.”

Manager Dave Lory with Jeff Buckley.
Photo: Merri Cyr
Jeff Buckley only played Chicago three times before his untimely passing in 1997, but his first was arguably his best.

On a cold, snowy night in February 1994, the revered singer-songwriter filled the quaint listening room at Uncommon Ground on Clark Street with soulful, spine-tingling renditions of songs like “Mojo Pin” and “Eternal Life.” Both were featured on his “Live at Sin-é” EP debut (recorded at a coffeeshop in New York City’s East Village in 1993) and would later become the material of “Grace,” Buckley’s only completed studio album, synonymous with the epic, haunting cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” that refuses to fade away.

Every November, that original, haunting performance is memorialized with a popular series of tribute shows at Uncommon Ground on Buckley’s birthday, now in its 21st annual edition. Buckley’s mom Mary Guibert is often in attendance, and proceeds are donated to the Old Town School of Folk Music scholarship fund to help the next generation of great songwriters, making it even more special...

Earlier this year, Lory opened up about Buckley in a book, “Jeff Buckley From Hallelujah to the Last Goodbye.” Released in May, it has been lauded for its rare intimate look at the talent, starting at the moment Lory nearly walked out on Buckley at their first meeting because he was 45 minutes late, to the day he got “the call” about Jeff’s disappearance, later discovering that he had drowned accidentally in Memphis. The release of Lory’s book was followed by a worldwide tour over the summer where audience members could ask him questions and had the first chance to hear a live album, recorded at Australia’s Triple J studios, that has never been released.

“People ask why it took me 21 years to write the book, but the truth is I found it too painful, too raw to revisit,” says Lory, who was finally convinced after seeing a psychic and believing he got a message from Jeff from the other side. “I realized I never really grieved for him until writing this book.”
Read more... 

Related link
Jeff Buckley - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times


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Google releases Magenta studio beta, an open source python machine learning library for music artists | Data News - Packt Hub

Melisha Dsouza, Author at Packt Hub reports, On 11th November, the Google Brain Team released Magenta studio in beta, a suite of free music-making tools using their machine learning models. 

Photo: Magenta Studio (beta)

It is a collection of music plugins built on Magenta’s open source tools and models.  These tools are available both as standalone Electron applications as well as plugins for Ableton Live

What is Project Magenta? 
Magenta is a research project which was started by some researchers and engineers from the Google Brain team with significant contributions from many other stakeholders. The project explores the role of machine learning in the process of creating art and music. It primarily involves developing new deep learning and reinforcement learning algorithms to generate songs, images, drawings, and other materials. It also explores the possibility of building smart tools and interfaces to allow artists and musicians to extend their processes using these models.

Magenta is powered by TensorFlow and is distributed as an open source Python library. This library allows users to manipulate music and image data which can then be used to train machine learning models. They can generate new content from these models. The project aims to demonstrate that machine learning can be utilized to enable and enhance the creative potential of all people.
Read more...

Source: Packt Hub


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We're Still Learning How Music Helps Us Sleep | NewsChannel5.com

In a new study, scientists surveyed about 650 people to see if they used music as a sleep aid, as NewsChannel5.com reports.

Bach and Mozart
Use music to help yourself sleep? You're not alone.

Roughly 62 percent of respondents said they used music to help fall asleep, with classical composers like Bach and Mozart being among the most popular choices. Those who used music were on average younger, reported higher levels of stress and had a poorer sleep quality than those who didn't.

Researchers noted most participants relied on music to relax because they thought it stimulated sleep and blocked noises that might wake them up.
Read more... 

Additional resources 
The music that helps people sleep and the reasons they believe it works: A mixed methods analysis of online survey reports.
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0206531

Source: NewsChannel5.com 


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Embarking on a PhD: failure is inevitable in the face of progress | Student - Times Higher Education

Blogger Olly Bowling, is doing his PhD at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh felt the fear of failure before starting his PhD but some wise words from literature helped to assuage those feelings.

Photo: iStock

As a person just beginning a PhD, there are many feelings floating around about my upcoming three (plus) years. Least of all is the fear of failure; that incessant thought that casts doubt on your abilities. Recently, I discovered a quote by the writer Samuel Beckett: “[E]ver tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

Despite the fact that this quote is from a typically bleak writer, it is comforting to hear someone so well respected express that failure is not only inevitable but entwined with any form of progression.

This has brought me some comfort in starting my PhD. I know that the academic world can be intimidating, filled with words that we don’t fully understand, and well-read academics who throw them around. However, now that I have started, I’ve become more at peace with the fact that I am new to this world. The knowledge will come with time and lots of hard work. I’ll do things wrong. I’ll write terrible first drafts that I’m sure I’ll look at in a few years and cringe. There’s a sense of comfort in accepting that I will fail but that I have to keep going if I want to improve...

Time away from research is necessary, and I found this to be a really important part of doing my master’s; having a routine of when to work and when not to work helped balance my life so I could still fit in seeing friends or playing sport and doing the other things that I enjoy doing in my spare time.
Read more... 

Recommended Reading

Photo: Harvard Yard
Third of top US professors got PhD at five universities by Simon Baker, data editor. 
"Figures have ‘alarming’ implications for equality in US academia, says researcher who analysed professoriate’s background."

Source: Times Higher Education


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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

NC State Education Adds Ph.D. Program Specialization in Social Justice Education | Academics and Programs - NC State University

Cherry Crayton, director of marketing and communication at College of Education at NC State University notes, The NC State College of Education has added a Doctorate of Philosophy in Teacher Education and Learning Sciences with an emphasis in Social Justice Education that will prepare scholar-activists to lead in championing educational success for all.

Photo: NC State University
Applications are now being accepted for this specialization area, which will enroll its first students in Fall 2019. The deadline to apply is Dec. 1, 2018.

“The goal of the program is to help educators recognize and disrupt systems of oppression by helping to foster and create equitable learning environments,” said Jessica DeCuir-Gunby, a professor of educational psychology and Director of Graduate Programs for the Teacher Education and Learning Sciences Department.

The Ph.D. in Social Justice Education Program will be housed in the Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences, and its core faculty will come from a variety of focus areas within the field of education, including educational psychology, literacy education, multicultural studies, social studies, English Language Arts education and special education. Their research focuses on social justice teacher education, multicultural education and literacy, education and immigration, and diversity and equity in schools and communities...

Learn more about the program’s coursework and admissions requirements on its program specialization page. You can also complete the form below to have a faculty member follow up with you with additional information.
Read more... 

Source: NC State University


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UWF and IHMC partner to launch new robotics research doctorate program | Pensacola News Journal

Jim Little, Reporter at Pensacola News Journal inform, Graduate students looking to go into robotics research will soon be able to add the University of West Florida to their list of potential schools, thanks to a new partnership with the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition.

A robot at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition
Photo: Courtesy of the University of West Florida

UWF announced this morning it was partnering with IHMC to develop a doctoral program in intelligent systems and robotics after the Florida Board of Governors approved the creation of the program at its meeting Thursday.

The program will be the first robotics doctorate program offered at any university in Florida, and nationwide, the program is only offered at universities like Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and the Georgia Institute of Technology...

The field of robotics is a growing one and has drawn the interest of students at UWF, with 66 percent of 149 engineering and computer science students responding to a survey that they would be interested in the program.

"The national demand for experts in intelligent systems and robotics is large, yet universities and technology firms such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon struggle to find people with the expertise and skills their organizations need," said Mohamed Khabou, interim program director, in a press release...

The program will be modeled after doctorate programs in Europe, where the work will be tailored to the student and the researcher with whom the student will be working at IHMC.

"We call it the European model because it's much more similar to the kinds of doctorates you see at Oxford and Cambridge than it is to, I guess, what you'd call the typical U.S. doctorate," Saunders said. "That adds a dimension that we think is on the front end, and will serve as a model for others to come in the state."  
Read more...

Source: Pensacola News Journal


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Good practice in PhD writing | General - e4innovation.com

I have been reading and examining a lot of PhDs recently (4 in as many weeks!) and this has got me to reflect on some principles of good practice, says e4innovation.com.

Doing a PhD is a significant undertaking and dominates the person’s life for a number of years, so it is important that this adventure isn’t taken lightly. Chosen a good supervisor is vital, their role is to guide you and keep you on track, it’s all too easy to go down blind alleys, it is important to remain focused on your core research questions.

I always advise my students to keep an ongoing bibliography of references and for each reference to summarise the main points and indicate how the reference might be used in the thesis. It is a good idea to keep references in referencing software, such as Endnote, Zotero or Mendeley. Write as you go along and stick to a standard structure such as: introduction (setting the scene, explaining why the focus is important, an indication of the contribution to the field and research questions), literature review and explanation of key terms, methodology (data collection and analysis), findings, discussion, conclusions and suggestions for further research. The THES provides a useful set of tips for writing a PhD.
Read more...

Source: e4innovation.com


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Graduate School Should Be Challenging, Not Traumatic | Advice - The Chronicle of Higher Education

No, doctoral students complaining about a toxic adviser aren’t just whining about the workload, according to Kathryn R. Wedemeyer-Strombel, Ph.D. candidate in environmental science at the University of Texas at El Paso, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow.
 

Photo: iStock
As a doctoral student, I have at times found the culture of graduate school to be toxic. When I’ve mentioned that — in conversations in person or on Twitter — some professors and fellow students rush to contradict me. "You’re just complaining because you don’t want to work hard," they say. Or, somewhat more politely, "a Ph.D. should be challenging."

Yes, graduate school should be challenging — but it shouldn’t be traumatizing. There is a difference.

I recently created a Twitter thread to share my views on the difference between intellectually demanding hard work and a toxic or hostile work environment. The response was astounding: In 24 hours there were more than 1,000 likes and 300 retweets. Even two weeks later, the thread was still getting traffic. Clearly, this topic resonates.

I am open and honest — some may think too much so — about the struggles I have experienced as a doctoral student. Hearing on Twitter from hundreds of people who can relate makes me feel less alone, but it also angers me that these struggles are widely relatable yet not talked about nearly enough. So let’s talk about them.

What are the differences between a challenging graduate-school culture and a traumatizing one?...

For professors and graduate-program directors looking for ways to promote a healthy, challenging culture in your department, here are some ideas:
  • Provide graduate students with links and phone numbers to campus counseling services. Normalize seeing a therapist in graduate school for your students.
  • We all know that a Ph.D. program means long hours of reading, writing, research, and stress. Recognize that your students are more than research robots. Encourage reasonable work hours, mental and physical health, and time with family.
  • Encourage your students to pursue hobbies unrelated to the degree program. For students new to the area, recommend local sports leagues, book clubs, and the like. Support their having a life outside of the intense focus of graduate study.
  • If you notice a student in your department who appears to be stuck in an unhealthy, toxic relationship with an adviser, reach out to that student. Or find someone in your department who can. Struggling students may not know whom they can trust — you can at least let them know they have options (including the three I suggest below). If they decide to change labs or switch advisers, support them however you can, even by just being an advocate and a positive reference as they search for a new adviser.
  • Especially if you have tenure, work to resolve problems in your own department. Or find someone who can in the departmental or institutional leadership. Do not put that onus on the student.
For current graduate students feeling stuck in an environment that seems more toxic than challenging, here are some suggestions:
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Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education


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How to turn your interests into a career | CAREER FEATURE - Nature.com

Emily Sohn, freelance journalist in Minneapolis, Minnesota observes, Scientists are merging their life’s passions with their academic studies, and coming up with new fields in the process. 

Danish neuroscientist Peter Vuust heads a lab, teaches music and plays his bass in 60 concerts a year.
Photo: Mads Bjoern Christiansen
Indre Viskontas took piano lessons as a child and made her opera debut at age 11. But her mother, a professional conductor, told her that music did not pay well. So Viskontas, who often listened to the opera singer Maria Callas while doing homework, decided to pursue science instead, earning an undergraduate degree in psychology and French literature at the University of Toronto, Canada, and a PhD in cognitive neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles. During a year in London, she took singing lessons that she continued during her PhD, when she also sang opera.

Viskontas saw neuroscience as a stable career choice that might offer ideas about how to better embody roles in operatic performances. But after years of alternating her focus between science and music, she found a way to combine the two, by applying neuroscience to musical training. She now works as an opera singer and cognitive neuroscientist, with positions at the University of San Francisco, California, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Scientists who have successfully crafted a research career out of their non-academic passions and talents say that persistence and patience are key, especially when trying to merge two professional paths that might not seem obviously connected. Melding worlds can be unsettling, and it takes time and creativity to persuade funders and advisers that the work is worthwhile...

During the time it can take to work out how to combine science with an outside interest, it might be necessary to pursue both in tandem. Good organizational skills can help researchers to juggle two identities at once, says neuroscientist Peter Vuust, who is director of the Center for Music in the Brain at Aarhus University in Denmark. He also teaches music at the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, and is a bassist. His research addresses questions about how the brain processes music, with projects such as the use of music in health care.

Vuust started playing music professionally when he was 16, but studied French and music as an undergraduate, mathematics for his master’s degree and neuroscience for his PhD. Even now, as a working scientist, Vuust plays music every morning at 6:30 for up to an hour and a half. It’s meditative time for him that helps him to maintain a performance schedule of 60 concerts a year...

Vuust took a different approach to the same need for freedom. For two years, he worked every day on applying for a major grant from the Danish National Research Foundation, which is given to about ten scientists once every three years. He didn’t get it, and had to rely instead on smaller grants. In 2014, with a polished application, he got the grant, allowing him to focus on his research and his music without worrying too much about the need to constantly seek more money...

Researching any type of science requires intense dedication and energy, Vuust says, adding that the best scientists are those who study what they love. “In order to be a really good researcher, it has to be a passion,” he says. ”What you do has to be fun.”  
Read more...

Additional resources 
Nature 563, 431-433 (2018)
doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-07357-2

Source: Nature.com


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