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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Women in mathematics aim for an equals sign | Around Campus - MIT News

Female graduate students in the Department of Mathematics unite to encourage community and to extend an invitation to prospective MIT students, inform Laura Carter, Communications and Project Administrator at  School of Science.

Students and faculty share a pizza dinner in the Department of Mathematics to kick-off the Spring 2019 semester.
Photo: Boya Song
Ten years had passed since 2008's Women in Mathematics: A Celebration when a few graduate students in the Department of Mathematics approached a female faculty mentor to revitalize a Women in Mathematics group.

The group designed and relaunched the MIT Women in Mathematics website last fall. It became both a resource and a starting point of their efforts to organize and build a supportive community in mathematics at MIT and beyond. Graduate student Juncal Arbelaiz Mugica, a third-year doctoral student in mathematics, said she realized more was needed to promote and enable peer support.

“A doctoral program is a long and convoluted journey,” Arbelaiz says. “Graduate students can be greatly impacted by a sense of a belonging to a community, which can be more difficult for minority students to find. As a result, I wanted to make the women in mathematics aware that a network of peers is available to them, which the department has been very supportive of.”

Her idea: Form an active, student-led group for students already present and provide resources for women in mathematics who are interested in applying to MIT...

Oscillating progress
Although their efforts are rapidly building a close-knit family of women in mathematics, there remains a lot of work ahead to establish equality for women in mathematics.

"Currently about 35 percent of our math majors at MIT are women, but unfortunately the percentage among our graduate students is only 18, comparable to the national average for similar universities," Goemans says. The most recent data released earlier this year from the National Science Foundation showed 28.5 percent of the doctoral recipients in mathematics and statistics were awarded to women.

Source: MIT News 

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Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Best Books to Read This Spring | Entertainment - Esquire

The weather is starting to turn for the better, so go ahead and take a book outside with you.

There’s no time like spring to read. After all, as the days grow longer and you itch to get outside, why not take a book (or two) along with you? From engrossing fiction to informative nonfiction, literary heavyweights to debut authors, here’s what we’re reading this spring. 

Source: Esquire

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9 Business Books That Will Make You a Better Entrepreneur in 2019 | Business Books - Inc.

Reading is the best way to get better in any field. Read these 9 business book suggestions to learn how to become a better entrepreneur this year.

Photo: Getty Images
Reading is the most cost-effective way to learn from the world's best thinkers and creators. If you want to become more knowledgeable in any field, you have to read.

As an entrepreneur and CEO myself, I spend a lot of time reading the thoughts, advice, and knowledge of the business leaders who came before me...

The following nine books are about things like good planning, team building, and the methods other entrepreneurs used to go from good to great. Therefore, I consider them timeless: They impart wisdom no matter how recent the publication date.

Source: Inc.

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10 Best History Books You Will Ever Read | Culture - The Manual

OK, you could argue that these are actually 12 of the best history books out there, since we’rem featuring a three-part history of WWII as one entry, notes Steven John, writer and journalist. 

Photo: Steven John/The Manual
But we’ll stick with 10 because an article about 10 books just sounds so much more neat and tidy, in contrast to the subject they cover; human history, which hasn’t been all that neat and tidy at all.

Looking back on the centuries of conflict, plague, famine, imperial collapse, and the rise and fall of civilizations, it’s a wonder we made it here at all. Even more of a wonder is that beyond surviving, we came up with democracy and literature, sailed across thousands of miles of open ocean and into the unknown, underwent a Renaissance and an Enlightenment and a Jazz Age, and got guys on the moon...

Here are 10 great history books that are a pleasure to read and drop brilliant knowledge bombs page after page.
Read more... 

Source: The Manual

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Old newspaper machines distributing free books in Covington County | Community - WDAM

Charles Sherrington, Video Journalist at WDAM reports, A group of Covington County volunteers is using some old newspaper vending machines to distribute books throughout the county.

Photo: WDAM
The Friends of the Covington County Library are turning them into little free libraries.

“We’re re-purposing them and decorating them and putting them out in the community to be used,” said Gwen Hitt, president of the Friends of the Covington County Library...

“The way it works, you put a book in, you get a book out, you take it, it’s free, you can share it with anybody you want to,” Hitt said.

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11 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. 

Murder! Espionage! Fashion! We’ve got a fun grab-bag of books this week, from true crime (“The Trial of Lizzie Borden”) to memoir (Isaac Mizrahi’s “I.M.,” Aatish Taseer’s “The Twice-Born”) to three different takes on groundbreaking women: an anthology of Andrea Dworkin’s feminist writings, a group study of five female novelists and a biography of the woman who organized a spy ring for the French Resistance. In fiction, Helen Oyeyemi has a new novel, and we recommend story collections from David Means and Christos Ikonomou alongside a debut novel from Novuyo Rosa Tshuma that explores Zimbabwe’s troubled history. Finally, something from one of our own: The Times’s top newsroom lawyer, David McCraw, has written a spirited examination of truth, journalism and the First Amendment as it plays out in his job and in the culture at large. That book, “Truth in Our Times,” is a good bet for Times readers as much as Times employees, and for anyone who cares about the future of a free press.
Read more... 

Source: New York Time   

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Expanded Music Education Project Offers Instrument Lessons for Youth | Music Education - Pacific University

Pacific students offer music lessons to area youth in renowned String Project, which has has expanded to include band instruments, according to Mike Francis, Assistant Director of Communications at Pacific University Marketing and Communication.

Photo: Pacific University Marketing and Communication.
It’s not just for strings anymore.

Like an orchestral piece building its momentum, the strings are being joined by woodwinds, brass and percussion instruments and, eventually, voices. It’s such an ambitious expansion of Pacific University’s String Project that now it’s being called the Pacific University Music Education Project.

The String Project is a successful music education course that draws young people from around the area to Pacific’s Forest Grove Campus for after-school practice and lessons, which are directed by Pacific University students. It started with 12 young students in 2012 and now hosts 140 young people ages 5 and up, said Dr. Dijana Ihas, associate professor of music. If you’ve been in the Taylor-Meade Performing Arts Center on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons, you’ve seen and heard them — young people learning to play violin, viola, cello, double bass and guitar.

Pacific’s String Project, the only one of its kind in Oregon, aims to provide affordable but high-quality music education to young people, including elementary, middle and high school students. The project was honored as the 2018 Outstanding String Project of the Year by the American String Teachers Association...

The university offers two pathways for students interested in music education. A bachelor of arts in music education has long offered a liberal arts approach to the subject, along with the opportunity to add on a one-year master of arts in teaching degree for teacher licensure. Due to changes in teacher licensing requirements, though, music teachers no longer require a master’s degree, so starting this fall, the university also will offer a bachelor of music education degree that includes licensure.

The Music Education Project isn’t just for music majors, though. Current sessions also are being taught by students majoring in optometry and anthropology, for example. They are students who passed a musical audition and are enthusiastic about teaching young people. Their teaching is supervised by Ihas and others on the faculty of the Music Department.

Source: Pacific University 

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Stimulate your brain with Tuesday hand-drumming sessions | Music - Pagosa Springs Sun

Join musician and music therapist Paul Roberts for a free hand-drumming class at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse on Tuesday, March 26, at noon.

“An active engagement with musical sounds not only enhances neuroplasticity, but also enables the nervous system to provide the stable scaffolding of meaningful patterns so important to learning,” stated Nina Kraus, author of a review compiling research linking musical training to learning.

Many aspects of our brain’s physical structure and functional organization can be altered. Scientists use the term neuroplasticity to describe the brain’s ability to adapt and change by forming new neural connections.

Music is a powerful stimulator of the brain. In recent years, there has been an explosion of research focusing on the effects of music training on the nervous system...

In the hand-drumming class, we’re having a lot of fun exploring a myriad of rhythmic realms. When we think of rhythmic pulse, generally we’re thinking of four intervals or three beats. When we play in odd time signatures, such as 5/4, 7/8, 9/8 and 10/8, we have to fundamentally alter the way our brains process music and how our bodies feel it.

Unless a person was raised in a culture where odd rhythms are common, such as the Balkans or India, it can be a challenge to catch on to the symmetries of these rhythms...

Creating music is not just for a gifted elite. Nearly everyone has musical ability. 

Source: Pagosa Springs Sun

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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Revisiting Leonardo da Vinci’s faith 500 years after his death | Culture - Angelus News

Photo: Elizabeth Lev
May 2, 2019, will mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, painter, polymath, and Renaissance man extraordinaire. Worldwide tributes are underway, including some remarkable exhibitions, recommends Elizabeth Lev,  American art historian, author, and speaker living in Rome.
Presumed self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci, circa 1512. 

Experts and amateurs are lining up to pay homage to this outstanding Renaissance personality, extolling his pioneering interest in science and engineering, his exceptional drawing and painting skills, his love of nature, and (of course) his presumed sexual orientation...

The Ambrosian Library, built by Cardinal Federico Borromeo, will feature two of its treasures: Leonardo’s “Portrait of a Musician” and the “Codex Atlanticus,” another of the artist’s notebooks. And naturally, Leonardo’s gift to mural painting, “The Last Supper,” will be even more in demand, so best book tickets for your 15-minute time slot now.

The European tour of the “Codex Leicester” will continue in London, where the British Library will host an extraordinary exhibit titled “Leonardo da Vinci: A Mind in Motion” from June 7 to Sept. 8, 2019. For the first time, the British Library’s “Codex Arundel,” the “Codex Forster” from the Victoria and Albert Museum and the “Codex Leicester” will be displayed together.

A side trip to Rome would be rewarded with the Leonardo exhibition at the Quirinale Stables from March 11 to June 30, 2019, along with the several museums already in place to celebrate the artist who lived in the Eternal City between 1513 and 1516...

The last stop on the Leonardo grand tour is Amboise in the Loire Valley, where the artist died. Invited by King François I, the 64-year-old painter moved into the Château du Clos Lucé with the grand title of “First Painter, Engineer and Architect to the King.”

He spent the last three years of his life comfortably, compiling his notebooks and working on the “Mona Lisa” and “Saint John the Baptist,” which he had brought with him.
Read more... 

Recommended Reading

Visitors enjoy the live performance at the Museum of Leonardo da Vinci Experience.
Photo: CCTV
Remembering Leonardo Da Vinci, a curious soul by Michal Bardavid, currently an International Correspondent for CCTV. 

Source: Angelus News

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Cape Fear Community College hosts first Women in Science and Engineering forum | WECT

Having supportive mentors was a prevailing theme for the speakers at Friday's Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Collaborative Forum, which is interesting since the women on the panel are almost certainly mentors themselves these days. 

Charlotte Simon, right, introduces the panel at Friday's Women in Science and Engineering Collaborative Forum.
Photo: WECT
Six expert panelists in their science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields spoke at Cape Fear Community College's Union Station about how early their interests were developed, guidance received from parents, teachers and others and the future for women in STEM...

The other speakers were:
  • Kyle Horton, a medical doctor who also ran for Congress in 2018
  • Laurie Patterson, a computer scientist at UNCW
  • Carmen Sidbury, a mechanical engineer and director of UNCW's STEM Education Center
  • Alison Taylor, a professor in the biology department at UNCW
  • Holly Walters, a professor in the biology department at CFCC

Source: WECT

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