July 23, 2004
Eric Weisssteins' ScienceWorld (or World of Science) is a pretty darn good general resource in math, physics, astronomy, chemistry and scientific biography. All the leaf level entries have citation in the literature, the coverage seems pretty complete, the entries are concise and to the point. Thank god we used to have a literature we could use to build tools sites like this. via The Scout Report.
Posted by John Dupuis at 7/23/2004 10:49:00 AM
Haven't read it, haven't seen it, but The Spam Letters by Jonathan Land looks to be a hoot. Not sure I could justify getting it for the library, though... UPDATE: Of course, there's a website The Spam Letters. It give a good feel for the kind of stuff that is no doubt in the book.
Posted by John Dupuis at 7/23/2004 10:07:00 AM
July 22, 2004
Althought mainly geared for the K-12 set, Will Richardson's presentation from the Building Learning Communities conference has a solid conceptual approach to blogs as educational tools. I like that he didn't get too bogged down in concrete examples, especially since it gave the presentation a universal feel, rather than just being tools for teens. Richardson's site is a valuable resource about using blogs in education.
Posted by John Dupuis at 7/22/2004 12:28:00 PM
July 21, 2004
The latest JoDI: Journal of Digital Information (v5i1) presents a utopian ideal of sorts for scientific (and other kinds) communication: hypertext. If everything is linked it's obviously much richer in connections and hopefully easier to understand. I'm not sure I understand (or agree with what I do understand) a lot of what's in these various papers, but they sure are stimulating -- kind of science fiction about science writing in a weird way. It's interesting that a good number of the authors are from science or computer science departments.
- The Future of Mathematical Text: A Proposal for a New Internet Hypertext for Mathematics by Robert Mayans
- Integrating Reading and Writing of Documents by P. J. Brown and Heather Brown
- Writing the Web by Angelo di Iorio and Fabio Vitali
- Unified Hyperstructures for Bioinformatics: Escaping the Application Prison by Adam Moore and Tim Brailsford
- The Next Big Thing: From Hypermedia to Datuments by Peter Murray-Rust and Henry S. Rzepa
- A Cosmology for a Different Computer Universe: Data Model, Mechanisms, Virtual Machine and Visualization Infrastructure by Theodor Holm Nelson
Posted by John Dupuis at 7/21/2004 04:03:00 PM
July 19, 2004
Peer review and the acceptance of new scientific ideas over at Sense About Science is a long piece about every aspect of peer review. The publisher's annoucement hits a few of the high points.via Open Access News.
Posted by John Dupuis at 7/19/2004 10:50:00 AM
July 16, 2004
A couple of articles well worth reading in the latest CACM:
- The field of programmers myth by Peter J. Denning is in particular worth noting. The basic premise is that the public has it all wrong: CS isn't about programming, it's about problem solving. If that misunderstanding could be corrected, a lot of the problems with recruitment and public perception could be solved, as well as the fears about off-shoring.
- Has the Internet become indispensable? by Hoffman, Novak & Venkatesh is equally indispensable reading. Their answer is that, yes, it is indeed indispensable to a significant segment of the population.
Posted by John Dupuis at 7/16/2004 01:02:00 PM
Here's the interactive stats application for 2003. York, of course, is 113 of 114 in student/librarian ratio at 588 students per librarian. The highest ranked Canadian school is UofT at 45th place, ratio of 240-1. Lots of other stats to have fun with including reference queries, presentation participants and a host of budgetary & collection-related categories.
Posted by John Dupuis at 7/16/2004 12:46:00 PM
Via ResearchBuzz, San Diego Technical Books Inc. has a bunch of feeds of their newly received books. The also have feeds of announced-but-not-yet-published books. It would be interesting to know how many libraries have feeds of new acquisitions. It's certainly something we're thinking about at York as a longer term project. We spend so much money on books, yet we spend all our time promoting eresources -- shouldn't we spend some effort on books too? Maybe that's why circ stats are going down in a lot of places...if we don't think books are important, why should our patrons?
Posted by John Dupuis at 7/16/2004 09:38:00 AM
July 15, 2004
I've always been a big FreePint fan (although I guess some of my favourite pints aren't free: here and here). The most recent issue has a good overview article on usability: Usability -- Ignore it at your peril by Sarah Agarwal. I like her simple, plain-spoken definition: "it's basically about spending time with the intended users of a website or application to make sure it does what they need it to, in a way they find reasonably easy."
Posted by John Dupuis at 7/15/2004 03:29:00 PM
July 14, 2004
July 13, 2004
An illuminating article from the latest IEEE Software, "How Higher-Education Systems Influence Software Engineering Degree Programs" by Dieste, Juristo and Moreno. The premise is that there are different kinds of software engineering programs that try and teach the same kinds of things: computing, science/math & engineering. The institutional culture of a particular country and reflect the way the software engineering programs end up being organized and, therefore, the mix of those three elements in a particular program.
Posted by John Dupuis at 7/13/2004 02:45:00 PM
July 12, 2004
July 8, 2004
This great poster is available in pdf. It's a great chronology of programming languages. The poster is based on work done by Éric Lévénez here, including files to print his version of the poster on different size paper. Lévénez has also extensive links on his page for other resources in the history of programming languages.
Posted by John Dupuis at 7/08/2004 11:43:00 AM
The Foundation Coalition is a great source of engineering educational information. Over the last few years they have created a bunch of what they call concept inventories: mini exams to test students' knowledge of core concepts in a particular area. This site gives a list of the current inventories. Of course, the exams aren't directly available online (duh): you have to ask one of the developers to send it to you. Here's a quick list of the inventories that are available or under development: Waves, Thermodynamics, Stength of Materials, Signals and Systems, Electromagnetics, Circuits, Fluid Mechanics, Materials, Chemistry, Dynamics, Heat Transfer, Computer Engineering and Electronics. And they even include references to articles about the creation of various of the inventories. via FC Newsletter.
Posted by John Dupuis at 7/08/2004 11:27:00 AM
FITS format liberation is a press release from EurekaAlert about how the European Space Agency & NASA have released a Photoshop plugin that will allow anyone to make use of the FITS file format to create their own colour images. More information here.
Posted by John Dupuis at 7/08/2004 11:14:00 AM
July 7, 2004
If you're interested in how the wizards do their work, check out Behind the Scenes at Yahoo Labs parts 1, 2 and 3. There's lots here on the Philosophy of Search (if I can call it that) as well as what's coming from Yahoo in the future. In the articles, Gary Price interviews Dr. Gary Flake who is Principal Scientist & Head of Yahoo Research Labs.
Posted by John Dupuis at 7/07/2004 12:40:00 PM