Sci-Tech Library Newsletter
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- ISI HIGHLY CITED AUTHORS: NEUROSCI., CHEM., ENG., AND PHY.: A new service from ISI.
- CUR PEER REVIEW REGISTRY: A new service for finding peer reviewers!
- FIND SCIENTISTS’ HOMEPAGES WITH SCIRUS: A great new web tool to help locate reviewers!
- WOMEN ENGINEERS: A new database to help locate women engineering faculty.
- SCIENCE SEARCH ENGINES: A web portal to science search engines.
- SCOUT REPORT NEEDS BETA TESTERS: For its Internet Toolkit.
- ON-LINE GRAD SCHOOL FOR SCIENCE TEACHERS: Brought to you by the National Science Teachers Association and Montana State University-Bozeman.
- NEW E-BOOKS AND REPORTS
- NEW E-JOURNALS
- INTERESTING WEBSITES AND NEWS FROM THE INTERNET: IP @ The National Academies, EncycloZine: Worlds of Science, Yahoo News Science Slideshows; Biological Sciences: The Harmful Algae Page, Auburn University Entomology & Plant Pathology, Alien Empire — PBS [Shockwave, Quicktime], Discovernet — Learning Gateway to Australian Museums, AAAS Launches Stem Cell Webpage, Immuno Biology Animations; Computer and Information Science: The EE Compendium, Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, Music Mind Machine; Education and Human Resources: Alberts Calls for Scientists to Spur Education Change, EducationGuardian.co.uk University Guide; Engineering: Fluid Mechanics, Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering Gallery of Photographs, Design News Readers Salary Survey, High Speed Trains around the World, Intora-Firebird, Frederic Delaitre’s Lost Subways; Geosciences: The World Stress Map Project — A Service For Earth System Management, WorldBiomes.com, Two Fossil Sites, Structural Geology on the Web, Willo, The Dinosaur with a Heart; Mathematical and Physical Sciences: Spectroscopy Now, Chemmybear.com, Official Scoring Site, International Mathematical Olympiad 2001 [.pdf], Sci-Math World: An interactive Internet Workshop; Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences: Hardships in America: The Real Story of Working Families [.pdf], HistoryWired, The Internet for Economists — Inomics, The 1905–1907 Breasted Expeditions to Egypt and the Sudan: A Photographic Study, Cultures on the Edge … and more … plus news items from Edupage
- INTER ALIA: A Latin Grace with rheological allusions, Bridge Quiz.
ISI HIGHLY CITED AUTHORS: NEUROSCI., CHEM., ENG., AND PHY.
“ISI, the company that brings you the Science Citation Index and the Social Sciences Citation Index, announces ISIHighlyCited.com, ‘a free, expert gateway to the world’s most cited and influential scientific authors. Visitors to this Web-based resource will gain insight into the body of work that a particular researcher has developed over time, and assess its influence across diverse scientific fields.’
‘Researchers are not bound by their field but follow ideas, concepts and models that cross many areas of research. ISIHighlyCited.com displays how these relationships are constructed, and the influence the authors have on their field and others,’ said Marie E. McVeigh, Product Development Manager, ISI.
ISIHighlyCited.com will bring together the publication and achievement records of preeminent researchers in each of 21 broad categories in life sciences, medicine, physical sciences, engineering and social sciences.
‘ISIHighlyCited.com gives anyone working in the sciences an invaluable resource they never had before,’ said James Pringle, Vice President, Product Development, ISI. ‘ISIHighlyCited.com provides a comprehensive view of pivotal influences on a scientific field. Researchers, scientists and professors will be able to identify key individuals, departments and laboratories that have made fundamental contributions to the development of science and technology in recent decades. Legal professionals will be able to find expert witnesses. Corporations and government agencies can locate centers of excellence. In addition, the information can be used to help inform policy decisions’.
Researchers are selected for inclusion in the expert gateway based on the total number of citations received by their articles within a given category — a quantifiable demonstration of their impact or influence — as recorded in the ISI Citation Database 1981–1999. These same researchers will be continuously adding data to ISIHighlyCited.com. In addition, since new material is published daily and citation counts are adjusted at the same time, ISI will regularly expand the list of highly cited researchers as new fields and their leaders emerge.
According to McVeigh, approximately 19 million articles or source records were identified and evaluated to determine the most highly cited researchers in their respective disciplines. The researchers selected for ISIHighlyCited.com comprise less than one half of one percent of the almost 5 million researchers in the ISI Citation Database 1981–1999. ISIHighlyCited.com enables visitors to the Web site to search by individual, category, country, or institutional affiliation.
Author records contain both biographical and publication information. Biographical data includes education, faculty or professional posts, society memberships and/or offices, and current research interests. Publication information lists journal articles, books or book chapters, conference presentations, and Web sites or other Internet resources.
The ISIHighlyCited.com will be available online at www.ISIHighlyCited.com beginning in May 2001 with four categories: neuroscience, engineering, physics and chemistry. Seventeen additional disciplines will be available online by December 2001.” From the ISI Press Release.
This webpage is obviously a work in progress as many of the features are not yet functional. But you will find the lists of scientists currently to be included in each of these four subject areas. A site worth tracking!
CUR PEER REVIEW REGISTRY
Peer Registry Search (requires free registration)
Enter yourself or recommend a colleague for inclusion in the database
As yet in its infancy, this database holds definite promise as a source for locating peer reviewers. It is a service of the Coucil on Undergraduate Research designed for use by grants agencies and others needing peer reviewers in the sciences. The database requires registration (choose a username and password), but use of the database is free.
Council on Undergraduate Research
734 15th St. N.W. Suite 550
Washington D.C. 20005
Ref. NEW CUR PEER REVIEWERS’ REGISTRY
January 30, 2001
The Council on Undergraduate Research is initiating a new venture called the CUR Peer Reviewers’ Registry. The purpose of the Registry is to provide federal and private agencies in the sciences with the names of individuals qualified to serve as reviewers of grant proposals, members of advisory panels dealing with issues of science and education, and sources for science and education reporters.
This project was initiated at the urging of several program officers at the National Science Foundation. NSF and other agencies that use peer review are always looking for high quality reviewers from all types of academic institutions throughout the country. We will provide access to our database electronically to bona fide representatives of publicly recognized agencies. CUR will not evaluate the individual listings, but will solicit listings from our members whom we know to be interested in quality education and research at primarily undergraduate institutions. At the present time, the Registry is limited to individuals with backgrounds in the scientific fields covered by NSF and NIH. All submissions to the Registry must be done online, via our website at http://www.cur.org/peer/peerregistry.asp.
This project is a great addition to CUR’s services, but only with your help and participation. We encourage you to fill out a registration form so that you will be part of the Registry. We also ask you to nominate other individuals whom you feel would be particularly strong reviewers, panel members, or sources for journalists. Those who are nominated via our registry form on the CUR website will be contacted by CUR and asked to complete a registration form. I’m sure you realize that participation in the registry is a way to increase your service to science and your school, and to achieve recognition both on and off campus.
Federal and private agency representatives and journalists are interested in individuals not only with research qualifications, but also with backgrounds in academic leadership and administration. We encourage our At-Large members to participate in the Registry.
Those who participate in the Registry now will remain on file through June 2002. At that time, we will email everyone in the database and ask each person to update his or her listing. Those who do not respond will be deleted. We are hopeful that most individuals will have a CV available electronically via a link to a personal or campus website. There is a place on our Registry registration form to include a URL to link to the CV. It is not possible for CUR to maintain your CV information on our computer because of the difficulty of keeping it up to date. We suggest that you maintain your CV in the form of a PDF file that is updated at least annually, with a date shown on the document.
You may suggest to us the names of agencies that may wish to make use of our Registry by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope that you will provide feedback to us on this project.
Dr. K. Elaine Hoagland
… on behalf of the CUR Executive Board and Council
Right now information in the register is at the discretion of the registree and is on the honor system.
FIND SCIENTISTS’ HOMEPAGES WITH SCIRUS
Scirus is an interesting web tool proprietary to the Elsevier publishing company. Scirus is advertised to do the following:
- Search the web *but* only webpages with science content
- Search portions of the “deep web” unavailable to many other web search engines, including pdf, postscript, and other non-html file formats
- Search databases closed to other search engines, such as Science Direct and BioMedNet
- Restrict your search to a particular scientific discipline
One very nice feature of the advanced search screen is the ability to checkmark a box to restrict a search to only “Scientist Homepages”. Utilizing this feature allows you to search the web for researcher’s personal homepages, using the key words and phrases of your choice! No longer is it mandatory to navigate the warren of a particular university’s webpage to find that elusive spectroscopist’s personal webpage!
Users say that Scirus needs some fine tuning, but it is a tool worth a try.
CSWE Database of Women Engineering Faculty
“Welcome to the CWSE database of women engineering faculty. This site contains the name, institution, field of specialty or department, and contact information for nearly 1300 women faculty in engineering departments of U.S. colleges and universities. Where possible, a Web address and link for the faculty member has also been provided.
The information contained in this database was collected in a 1996 survey of women engineering faculty. Two hundred and thirty-nine institutions are represented in this database. Institutions that did not participate in the survey, or did not have women engineering faculty at that time are not included in the database.
The survey gathered information on demographic and educational background, academic rank and tenure status, principal field of teaching or research, salary, measures of productivity, and influences on their educational and career experiences.”
SCIENCE SEARCH ENGINES
Scientific Search Engines at LLEK
The front page links to a variety of categories, including regional starting points, thematic starting points, and a variety of reference sites. If you’re looking for teeny text there’s a disclaimer on the lower left part of the site that should suit you fine.
Links are not underlined. Instead, as you pass your mouse over them, they change color. Pick a category, like astronomy.
At the top of the page, you’ll see category links to astronomy journals from several different sources. Underneath that you’ll see astronomy-related catalogs of scientific search engines — English at the top, German underneath that. And underneath THAT is an embedded frame with additional resources. The resources have brief annotation and a note on which language they were in (I saw English and German. There’s also a German version of this page.)
So you don’t have to do too much moving around, there’s an option to load related topics — in this case, scientific search engines, physics, etc. This is where the small text got to me somewhat — having a single page of small text is one thing, but having one page of small text, and then an embedded page also filled with small text — maybe it’s just me. Maybe my eyes are too old.
I found a lot of resources here I hadn’t heard of, though I would have liked to see the search resources section expanded some. For example, their meta-search page listed SurfWax but not Vivisimo or Mamma. Worth a look. (From Research Buzz)
SCOUT REPORT NEEDS BETA TESTERS
Scout Report Portal Toolkit
From a recently received e-mail, “The Scout Portal Toolkit (SPT) is a software package, developed under a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, that is designed to allow groups with limited technical expertise or resources to make their collection of discipline-specific resource metadata available on the web.” Complete details, including the technical requirements, are available. More questions? Contact David Sleasman at email@example.com.
Beta testers for the Scout Portal Toolkit need to have the following:
- Access to a Linux web server running Apache with PHP 4.x and MySQL 3.23 support (preferably running RedHat Linux)
- Access to a database server running MySQL 3.23 or later (the database server and web server can be the same machine)
- A staff member (or consultant) with some experience using Linux or Unix
(Thanks to Gary Price)
ON-LINE GRAD SCHOOL FOR SCIENCE TEACHERS
COMING THIS FALL TO A COMPUTER NEAR YOU
Online Professional Development for Middle and High School Science Teachers from the NSTA Institute and NTEN (National Teachers Enhancement Network).
Want quality professional development in a convenient format? (Who doesn’t?)
This September, the new NSTA Institute will sponsor online graduate courses for science teachers in collaboration with the National Teachers Enhancement Network, based at Montana State University-Bozeman. Among the many benefits for you:
- The courses will turbo-charge what you teach and how you teach it.
- Classes come right to you — at home or at school.
- Classes don’t cost a fortune.
- All books and materials will be delivered to your door.
- It’s wonderfully efficient — maximum learning in minimal time.
BEST OF ALL, you’ll enjoy personal contact with fellow teachers and professors (nearly all are active research scientists). They care about their subjects — and you. As one science teacher put it: “NTEN is successful not because it is electronic, but because it is human.”
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: SEPTEMBER 5! FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO ENROLL IN THE NSTA INSTITUTE: Go to http://www.nsta.org/institute or call 1-800-282-6062. HERE’S THE FALL 2001 COURSE LINE-UP.
- ENVIRONMENTAL MEASUREMENT: Sensors and Electronics for Environmental Research.
Helps chemists understand the electronic principles involved in common environmental sensors and the simple electronic circuits that support them. 3 graduate semester credits; Sept. 10 – Dec. 14; $540 plus $50 lab equipment lending fee.
- ELECTRONIC HYDROLOGY
Focuses on hydrologic data acquisition, analysis and interpretation; teaches data download techniques and sources, statistical analysis of data, and lesson-plan development. 2 graduate semester credits; Sept. 10 – Dec. 14; $360 plus $30 materials fee.
- NUTRITION FOR FITNESS AND PERFORMANCE
Examines the latest developments that link nutrition with physical fitness, sports performance, and health promotion. 3 graduate semester credits; Sept. 10 – Dec. 14; $540 plus $25 for course manual and $70 for additional text and software.
- K-14 EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE
Integrates Internet resources, image processing, and analysis techniques with concepts from Earth system science. 2 graduate semester credits; Sept. 10 – Dec. 14; $360.
- CONCEPTUAL PHYSICS
Describes the workings of the world, from the forces on a roller coaster to basic atomic structure. Mostly conceptual, with some simple algebraic problem solving. 3 undergraduate semester credits; Sept. 10 – Dec. 14; $540 plus $50 materials fee and $85 for text.
- DEMYSTIFYING QUANTUM MECHANICS
Makes quantum mechanics easier to understand while exploring what lies behind wave functions, wave equations, atomic structure, and how the subatomic world is put together. 3 graduate semester credits; Sept. 10 – Dec. 14; $540 plus $60 materials fee.
- ASTROBIOLOGY FOR TEACHERS
The study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and destiny of life in the universe, using interdisciplinary science to discover where and under what conditions life can arise and exist. 3 graduate semester credits; Sept. 10 – Dec. 14; $540 plus $20 text.
(From Kelly Boyce)
NEW E-BOOKS AND REPORTS
Women in Academe: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Report of the Task Force on Women in Academe, American Psychological Association
Assessing the Benefits and Costs of a Science Submarine, Charles Meade, Robert J. Lempert, Fred Timson, James Kadtke, MR-1369.0-NSF, 2001
Projections of Education Statistics to 2011. U.S. Dept. of Education, 2001.
Anticipating Technological Change: Combinatorial Chemistry and the Environment, Susan Resetar, Elisa Eiseman, David Rejeski, MR-1394.0-EPA, 2001
Older Psychologists Survey. APA Committee on Women in Psychology, 1999.
Highlights of Women’s Earnings in 2000. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
(Contains tables with women scientists’ earnings.)
Policy Issues and Challenges for Interagency Space System Acquisition, Dana J. Johnson, Gregory H. Hilgenberg, Liam P. Sarsfield, MR-1372-NRO, 2001
Scientific and Medical Aspects of Human Cloning. National Academy of Sciences Meeting, 8/7/2001, partial proceedings.
Les Mouvements de Populations dans le monde: Les Pressions Migratories A Venir, (French) RB-5044/1, 2001 (HTML).
Population et Environnement: Un Rapport Complexe, (French) RB-5045/1, 2001 (HTML).
Trends in space commerce. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Office of Space Commercialization, 2001.
Six additional journals working with Stanford University’s HighWire Press have begun to participate in the “Free Back Issues” program in June 2001. That program now has 107 journals participating, making over 307,000 full-text articles free to the community; two-thirds of all online full-text articles produced by publishers working with HighWire Press are now free. These publishers comprise the largest archive of free full-text articles in the life sciences. The new participating publishers and publications are these:
- European Journal of Biochemistry
12-month rolling basis
- Pediatric Research
12-month rolling basis
- American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) four journals:
Issues prior to year 2000 are free (non-rolling basis at this time)
- European Journal of Biochemistry
INTERESTING WEBSITES AND NEWS FROM THE INTERNET
Yahoo News Science Slideshows
Yahoo!News has updated its Website with a new feature: slideshows of current news photos. Each of its news sections — Top Stories, World, Entertainment, Sports, Science, Lifestyle, and Politics — now contains a grouping of photos in a slideshow format. The slideshows are updated daily, and an archive is available. Be warned, however, that a few advertisements pop up during the slideshows. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)
IP @ The National Academies
This new site from the National Academies highlights their work on intellectual property issues. The heart of the site is the Library section, which provides annotated links to National Academies documents listed either by topic (e.g., Antitrust, Database Protection, International Harmonization) or sector (e.g., Biotech, Software). The site also provides a calendar of upcoming events and an online forum. Users can subscribe to a newsletter to be informed of site updates. [TK] (From the Scout Report)
EncycloZine: Worlds of Science
Encyclozine is an online encyclopaedia, which is aimed at young people. The Science section covers chemistry, physics and biology, as well more diverse topics such as the philosophy of science. Each section gives an overview of the topic in question, with links to other sections of the Encyclozine site. The section opens with a debate on the nature of science, encompassing some of the philosophy and statements such as an idea can only be scientific if it has the potential to be shown to be false. Some sections of this site could be used in classes to generate discussion on different areas. Clicking on the Books link takes you to the scientific section of Amazon.com, where the interested reader can browse for books on the subject they have just been reading. This is a good, if basic, website, and an excellent introduction to the many and varied fields of science. [SW] (From New Scientist)
Discovernet — Learning Gateway to Australian Museums
The current feature of this site is the dig for megafauna fossils at Alcoota. The webcast is over, but access remains to questions and answers, photographs of the dig site, diary entries, pictures of the megafauna found at the site, and a “build your own megafauna exhibit” game.
Alien Empire — PBS [Shockwave, Quicktime]
Monarch butterfly migration, termite fortresses, and the fleeting life of a mayfly are just a few of the topics covered at this educational site from PBS. “Alien Empire” is the title of a recently aired program on insects, part of PBS’s series _Nature_. The interactive Website presents short Flash animations on insect behavior and lifecycles, puzzles and activity ideas for kids, teacher resources, and video clips of bugs in action (Shockwave, QuickTime). Mac users be warned that a few animations won’t be viewable, but the site is still worth a visit. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)
Auburn University Entomology & Plant Pathology
“The main section of this comprehensive site covers a guide to the insects of Alabama trees, dividing them as pests of tree crowns, main stem and roots and root collars. ‘Crown insect pests’, for example, is further divided into routes dealing with insects attacking foliage, buds and branches, flowers and fruits, which finally lead to the individual species. For all types of readers, the text amply covers life cycles as well as crop damage with excellent photos for identification. Unfortunately not all the orders are covered yet, so the best bet is to go directly to the ‘Web publications’ icon if it’s the natural history aspect you’re interested in (bag worms, cicadas etc, etc,). Other interesting areas are Fire ants and Cockroaches.” [From New Scientist’s Site of the Day]
AAAS Launches Stem Cell Webpage
An extraordinary amount of media attention has recently focused on the issue of embryonic stem cell research, and last week President Bush made the issue the topic of his first primetime address to the nation. In order to help interested individuals gain a solid grasp of the issue and make sense of the wealth of information available on stem cell research, the AAAS Center for Science, Technology, and Congress has launched a new stem cell webpage. The site includes a summary of the issue and an extensive collection of relevant links. (From Press Release)
Immuno Biology Animations
“Based on the illustrations of Immunobiology 5th edition by Janeway, Travers, Walport and Schlomchik”. The print is a bit tiny, but the animations are fascinating. Not for beginners, however.
The Harmful Algae Page
This site focuses on the harmful and toxic effects of certain algae species, commonly called “red tide,” which contain reddish pigments, grow rapidly, and accumulate “into dense, visible patches near the surface of coastal waters.” There are pages about how algal bloom affects the economy, public health (with information on food poisoning and its treatment), and ecosystems, plus a photo gallery, pertinent scientific data, maps of harmful algal bloom (HAB), The Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (HABHRCA) (P.L. 105-383), and more. (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)
Computer and Information Science
Music Mind Machine
A research group at a Dutch university have prepared this site about their work in the computational modelling of music cognition, particularly rhythm, timing and tempo. It is not a very easy site to navigate because the windows are split into sections which tend to overlap just at the crucial place and, hence, require a lot of scrolling and resizing. There are complicated examples of analysis of rhythm, including sound, together with highly detailed papers that can be downloaded. However, the subject, which is something of a cross between musicology, psychology and computer science, is rather specialized. There is a section for downloading software but this appeared to be mostly under construction, apart from one program which was specifically stated as only being for Macintosh computers. In fact, the site makes a point of mentioning that the members of the group only use such computers. If you are a Macintosh person and interested in this field, it would be worth having a look at this site. (17 August 2001) MDH (From New Scientist)
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
Although there is absolutely no truth in the stereotype of the computer geek as a pizza loving, Star Trek obsessed, anorak wearing brainiac, another archetype that has had more currency since the explosion of the web is the hacker as guardian of free speech. The CPSR are concerned with this and an even broader range of social issues — in particular the problems caused by the disenfranchisement of those who are not “on-line”, general privacy problems caused by new technology and the possibilities for democracy arising from the ease of on-line voting. Liberal with a very small “L”, this site contains information and links on many of the political and social issues raised by computer technology in the world today. There are also details of many events held by the Society and related organisations — though with the usual strong US bias. A serious site for serious people. (28 July 2001) ARB (From New Scientist)
The EE Compendium
As the gadgets we use everyday become increasingly intelligent and responsive to our needs and desires, the importance of programming in embedded systems grows also. Describing itself as the home of Electronic Engineering and Embedded Systems Programming, this site is an invaluable resource for the beginner and expert alike. The EE Compendium covers both the hardware and software side of embedded systems design in a clear manner with appropriate use of graphics. There are reviews of products, books and even free downloads of programming tools — though the “fun stuff” section may only appeal to those who don’t get out much. The site has a heavy bias towards C based approaches and a little more coverage of the growing use of Java in embedded systems would have made this excellent site even better. (17 July 2001) ARB (From New Scientist)
Education and Human Resources
EducationGuardian.co.uk University Guide
An interactive ranking guide published by The Guardian newspaper, this site evaluates the teaching at 150 colleges and universities in Great Britain. Forty-three subject areas are evaluated in the areas of art and design, engineering, humanities, and the medical, physical, and social sciences by teaching scores, student-staff ratio, job prospects, reputation, and value added. Some international rankings for universities and research centers in the United States, Canada, and Germany are also included. Users can also create a personal rating based on criteria they feel are most important. (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)
Alberts Calls for Scientists to Spur Education Change
April 30 — Scientists and scientific institutions should do more to support the efforts of science and math teachers in the nation’s schools, said National Academy of Sciences President Bruce Alberts in an address to the Academy’s 138th annual meeting. “Our collective and individual prestige will be wasted if we do not try to make a difference in every way that we can,” he said. (From the NAS website)
Fluid Mechanics, Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering Gallery of Photographs
“This gallery of photographs was prepared by Hubert Chanson. There are a wide variety of images with large gaps in this collection. The photographs were taken primarily for use in Hubert Chanson’s teaching in order to supplement commercial material.” (Thanks to EEVL).
Design News Readers Salary Survey
Annual survey of U.S. engineering salaries.
High Speed Trains around the World
Starting with Japan’s tremendously successful Bullet Train, the “Shinkansen” back in the early ’60s, the concept of high speed trains that can compete with the airlines has spread world wide, with the TGV in France and Germany’s ICE being the best known examples. This site brings together all the world wide threads of high speed trains, including the American’s curious allergy to anything that runs on rails and the UK’s perennial attempts to make a tilting train. With the TGV recently making the Paris to Lyon run in little over four hours, France has been tied together by one of the most outstanding high speed rail systems in any country. Now, according to the “Economist” magazine, the only problem left to be solved is the debt of over 20 Billion Euros built up by the French railway system, and the slow, pokey regular trains in the French countryside. WTS (From New Scientist)
The Firebird is a helicopter invented by an American which has undergone extensive devlopment and production in the UK. Lift is supplied solely by hydrogen peroxide powered jets located at its rotor tips, and it has no engine in the conventional meaning of the term. Each of the jets weigh only 500 grams and are a mere 36 mm in diameter. The jets on each rotor develop thrust of approximately 15 kilos each, power equivalent to a 100 kg aircraft engine developing 100 hp. The hydrogen peroxide, on being fed into the jets encounters a catalyst, which turns it into oxygen and water, and the heat in the chemical reaction produces superheated steam supplying thrust. As there is no centrally located engine, torque, a major problem in conventional helicopters, is almost non existent. This well illustrated site is highly unusual in that it is one of the few that shows an actual, non theoretical application of both a unique technology and of hydrogen peroxide, an alternative fuel that is drawing increased attention. (5 July 2001) WTS (From New Scientist)
Frederic Delaitre’s Lost Subways
The first subways ever built worked penumatically. Like peas shot out through a pea shooter, the subway cars were shot down the tube by a compressed draft of air, and when it was time for them to return, sucked back by reversing the fan. Beach’s subway beneath New York City, which was tunnelled in secret in 1870 is the most famous of these, but there was also one at the Crystal Pavilion, although no trace of it remains. A curious and very well illustrated site, with links to other lost subways sites, man powered railways and even a narrow guage monorail running through the jungles of India. (19 June 2001) WTS (From New Scientist)
“WorldBiomes.com is a site covering 5 of the major world biomes. We will then attempt to provide you with various sub-divisions and examples of the 5 types of biomes we have chosen to cover, so that you may attain a better understanding of the relationships and features distinguishing one type of biome from another. We have included a news section and a discussion board, and a feedback page in order to set up an exchange of ideas, whether it be for a school project or to discuss environmental issues. An FAQ section has also been added so that you can find more answers to your queries.” [Thanks to Net-Happenings]
Two Fossil Sites
Fossil Collecting Sites in North America
The first site is a dictionary from the Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society. The second site contains nice information about publicly available sites and the types of fossils they contain.
The World Stress Map Project — A Service For Earth System Management
The World Stress Map (WSM) is the global repository for contemporary tectonic stress data from the Earth’s crust. It was originally compiled by a research group headed by Mary Lou Zoback as part of the International Lithosphere Programm (ILP). Since 1995 the WSM Project has been a research project of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. The WSM research group is located at the Karlsruhe University within the Institute of Geophysics.
The World Stress Map is used by various academic and industrial institutions working in a wide range of earth science disciplines such as geodynamics, hydrocarbon exploitations and engineering. The main operational areas for stress in application are:
- Basin modelling
- Tectonic modelling
- Reservoir management
- Stability of mines, tunnels and boreholes
- Fault slip tendency
- Seismic risk assessment
Structural Geology on the Web
A web portal page on this topic with a nice variety of interesting links.
Willo, The Dinosaur with a Heart
Prompted by the report of a 66 million year old Thescelosaurus dinosaur heart in the April 21, 2000 issue of the journal Science, this site was created to present and follow developments of this scientific discovery. There is a FAQ as well as images of the heart and body along with video files. From The Center for the Exploration of the Dinosaurian World. (From the Librarian’s Index to the Internet)
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
“This is an American site, designed for high school chemistry students. The site contains animated pictures of molecules, an element of the day and experiments with descriptions and photographs, which can be used in the classroom. The site is specifically targeted at the AP Chemistry course, and to this end, also contains study cards and reviews of study guides for this course. However, the highlight of the site are the links, which vary from the mundane to the fascinating via the downright bizarre. A high point has to be Dr. Grovenstein and Igor’s halloween lecture, which includes a script, should you get the urge to follow in their footsteps. All in all, this is a good resource if you want ideas on how to make chemistry visually appealing.” [From the New Scientist’s WebLinks]
Wiley Publishing presents this spectroscopy portal, intended to be “a definitive spectroscopy resource on the internet,” and “fully interactive ‘Virtual Community’ — the preferred forum for expert discussion, debate and the exchange of ideas.” Spectroscopy Now encompasses news, features, conferences, book releases, jobs, and directories in a variety of subdisciplines of spectroscopy. From the homepage, users can access specialized sections on atomic, infrared, Raman, UV, mass, NMR, and x-ray spectroscopy, as well as chemometrics. Many of the feature articles and primers are contributed by researchers from both public and private universities and laboratories. Also, Spectroscopy Now links to free articles and preprints from peer-reviewed science journals and news from various professional societies. Anyone interested in spectroscopy should definitely peruse this resource. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)
Official Scoring Site, International Mathematical Olympiad 2001 [.pdf]
Held in Washington DC this July, the 2001 International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) attracted talented young mathematicians from 83 nations. The contestants, all under 20 years old and without any post-secondary-school education, had two days to answer six grueling math problems. Visitors to this Website from the IMO (sponsored by Wolfram Research) can learn a little about the history of the IMO, meet the teams, and view scores and statistics. This year’s highest scorers came from the USA and China. The real highlight of this site, however, is the Competition Problems section, where users can access the actual math problems posed in the competition and read their solutions (.pdf or Mathematica). Previous years’ problems are also accessible. This is a great source of inspiration for mathematics professors. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)
Sci-Math World: An interactive Internet Workshop
This site provides annotated Web links to relevant science and math subjects arranged as directories and portals, searchable sites, search engines, and interactive Web sites. Designed and implemented by Robert J. Lackie, I-Librarian at the Franklin F. Moore Library, Rider University (Lawrenceville, New Jersey). (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)
Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences
The Internet for Economists — Inomics
“Economists have their own little corner of the Internet at Inomics (http://www.inomics.com). This site provides both a search engine and a directory of sites of interest to economists.
The search engine, at http://www.inomics.com/query/search, indexes at least 151,000 documents (I say at least because the front page mentioned something about the search engine having 171,000 documents.) It’s keyword-based search; you can choose to search the whole document, document title, document keywords, or meta-tags. There are also several different compilations you can specify with checkboxes — university economics departments, institutions and government, etc.
Searching for ‘econometrician’ at university economic sites found 43 documents. (You have to be pretty precise with your search terms; the search engine returns a maximum of 250 documents.) Unfortunately the first four were all the same; a much-mirrored collection of economist jokes.
(WE INTERRUPT THIS WRITEUP FOR AN ECONOMIST JOKE: ‘Why did the market economist cross the road? To reach the consensus forecast.’)
There were a couple of other duplicates on the page but most of the results seemed relevant. The summary information with each search result varied in usefulness. Other searches provided results in a variety of languages; it would be useful if a search could specify language.
The Economics directory is a variation of the Open Directory and is available at http://www.inomics.com/query/dir. It’s interesting, but nothing you couldn’t get at dmoz.org.
If you’re very interested in economics, this site also has a job database (71 offers at this writing), and a list of conferences (119 listings at this writing.) A free newsletter alert provides job and conference updates weekly.” (From Research Buzz)
Cultures on the Edge
Subtitled “an open look at cultural diversity around the world,” this quarterly photojournalism review is helmed by Wade Davis, itinerant ethnobiologist and author of the Haitian zombie best-seller “The Serpent and the Rainbow”. The Gallery offers a range of photographic essays, including Pablo Corral Vega’s trek through the Andes from Argentina to Venezuela. You’ll also find features on the art of surviving along the Thai-Burmese Border, what it’s like to be a 10-year-old girl in Bhutan, and the resorts and sweatshops of the remote Pacific island of Saipan. (From Yahoo’s Picks of the Week)
The 1905-1907 Breasted Expeditions to Egypt and the Sudan: A Photographic Study
The Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago hosts this online exhibition devoted to the photographs taken by Professor James Henry Breasted and his colleagues in Nubia during the years 1905–1907. In Breasted’s time, many Egyptologists were interested in recovering only buried artifacts. However, Breasted focused on preserving and documenting the historical treasures found above ground before they became too weathered. Breasted’s excursions resulted in the printing of 1,055 photographs, which are now displayed digitally (high or low resolution .gif) at this fascinating Website. a catalog and map are also featured. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)
“HistoryWired can be likened to a private tour through the Museum storage areas. Visitors select the objects that interest them; curators explain the items’ significance. Like an actual tour at the Museum, information is presented conversationally and is backed by the impeccable scholarship of Smithsonian curators. And, like a real museum experience, visitors can share with others their enthusiasm (or lack thereof) about what they see and learn.
With less than five percent of our vast and diverse collection on public display in our exhibit halls, we hope that Web sites like this will bring many more of our treasures into public view. The initial 450 objects, selected by curators from across the Museum, include famous, unusual, and everyday items with interesting stories to tell. They are not intended to be representative of the Museum’s entire collection.” [Thanks to Net-Happenings]
Hardships in America: The Real Story of Working Families [.pdf]
Family Budgets Calculator
Panel Discussion [RealPlayer]
This 115-page report, released by Economic Policy Institute (EPI) at the end of last month, “is the most comprehensive study of family hardships ever published.” The report examines the plight of the working poor by determining basic family budgets for communities across the nation — the amount of money a family needs for food, housing, utilities, child care, transportation, and health care — and comparing these figures to wage statistics. The report concludes that two-and-a-half times more families fall beneath the basic family budget levels for their communities than fall below the federal poverty line. The Family Budgets Calculator is an online supplement to the report that generates basic budgets for different kinds of families for 400,000 communities. In addition to a standard press release, EPI offers a RealPlayer version of a briefing about the report. [TK] (From the Scout Report)
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MINORITY-SERVING INSTITUTIONS: BUILDING THE HUMAN CONNECTION
Minority-serving institutions (MSIs) aim to cross the digital divide by leveraging their knowledge, training, and experience. The Advanced Network with Minority-Serving Institutions (AN-MSI) project was created through a four-year, $6 million grant from the National Science Foundation to help minority communities where information technology is in short supply. The grant was made to EDUCAUSE, which has formed partnerships with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, the Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ Executive Leadership Council, and the American Indian Higher Education Consortium for the project. AN-MSI’s partners include the United Negro College Fund, the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, and the Alliance for Equity in Higher Education. Among the projects AN-MSI supports is a Yale University initiative to conduct early internal reviews of campus networks, and the setup of wireless networks of Tribal Colleges and Universities. (Syllabus Online, 1 August 2001 via Edupage)
SENATE BILL OFFERS TACIT APPROVAL OF SCHOLARLY WEB PORTAL
The PubScience Web portal may not be scrapped after all, thanks to a spending bill the Senate approved last month. The bill does not feature a recommendation that the portal be shelved, unlike an earlier bill approved by the House of Representatives. This constitutes a tacit approval of PubScience, according to a Senate Appropriations Committee aide. The PubScience portal, hosted by the Energy Department, allows scientists to search more than a thousand peer-reviewed publications for free. The Software and Information Industry Association, in calling for the portal’s removal, contended that it was competing with private journal indexing firms. (Chronicle of Higher Education Online, 9 August 2001 via Edupage)
SCIENCE, STATE, BUSINESS BOND IN A NANOSYSTEM
In an effort to push California into the future of technology, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara are building a $350 million research institute that will house researchers, teachers, students, and industry scientists. The new facility will focus research on nanosystems that are currently being used within the electronics industry. UCLA and UCSB are both working on lights created by nano-methods that offer lower power consumption and greater incandescence; molecular semiconductors are another industrial application for which nanosystems could pave the way. The federal government is backing nanosystem research with $485 million for fiscal 2002. In addition, California is providing $100 million to three other university groups to further develop the technology industry. (Los Angeles Times, 13 August 2001 via Edupage)
DIGITAL COPYRIGHT ACT MUZZLES DUTCH CRYPTO SCIENTIST
In a court statement, Dutch scientist Niels Ferguson said he has elected not to publish research detailing “serious security flaws” in Intel’s High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection out of fear that he could be prosecuted under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). He cited the arrest of Russian cryptographer Dmitry Sklyarov as one reason he opted to stifle his research. Electronic Frontier Foundation executive director Shari Steele said Ferguson’s decision is a typical example of the dangers posed by the DMCA. “Our biggest fear with the DMCA from the very start was that it was going to put limits on scientists,” she explained. (Newsbytes, 15 August 2001 via Edupage)
BLUETOOTH GIVES DISABLED STUDENTS ACCESS TO COURSE CONTENT
Handicapped students whose mobility is severely limited can access educational course content and submit schoolwork over a wireless Bluetooth network set up by Red-M for the National Star College of Further Education in England. Red-M co-founder Simon Gawne hopes that many more colleges will follow National Star College’s lead. (Wireless Newsfactor, 14 August 2001 via Edupage)
DELAYED REPORT ON ENCRYPTION FLAWS TO BE PRESENTED
A group of Princeton computer scientists will finally present a research paper on flaws of encryption techniques for compact discs, following a delay earlier this year caused by legal action from the Recording Industry Association of America. The trade group moved to block presentation of the Princeton report, saying that it would constitute a violation to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. In turn, the researchers filed a lawsuit in June against the recording association asking for permission to present the findings, as well as the freedom to release future conclusions. The lawsuit will continue despite the presentation planned for today. (New York Times, 15 August 2001 via Edupage)
The University of Virginia spent $198 million on research and development in 1999, according to the Association of University Technology Managers. The university is accelerating its drive to commercialize research by boosting the staff of the University of Virginia Patent Foundation by over one-third and adding an in-house patenting department. Patent Foundation executive director Robert MacWright said that over 50 percent of technology yielded from university research is in the field of biotech. Meanwhile, the university’s Center for Nanoscopic Materials Design, under the directorship of Robert Hull, is working on smaller, more energy-efficient circuits. Technology startups stemming from the University of Virginia doubled to 12 between 1999 and 2000. (Washington Techway, 20 August 2001 via Edupage)
BOOK FORESEES PRODUCTIVITY GAINS AS MACHINES ARE IMPROVED
Researchers at MIT’s Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science Laboratories have joined together to develop new hardware and software that they say could increase productivity by up to 300 percent. The modules are part of the Oxygen Project, so named because of the premise that future computing should be as pervasive as oxygen and as easy to use as breathing. Two products currently in development — the Handy 21 and the Enviro 21 — feature hardware that is easily reprogrammed to switch functions so that the devices can serve as TVs, cell phones, radios, or network computers. Michael L. Dertouzos, director at the MIT Computer Science Laboratory, is writing a book about the project. He said advances such as limited natural speech recognition and response are the beginnings of a revolution in how computers and humans work together. (Chronicle of Higher Education, 22 August 2001 via Edupage)
A Latin Grace with Rheological Allusions
Created for the banquet of the XIIIth International Congress on Rheology.
Bridge of the Month Quiz
Guess the identity of the bridge in the photograph. This is actually part of a larger website on bridges that is well worth a visit.