Posts

November 21, 2014

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6:57 PM | Oh, Behave! Experiences at NABT 2014
I just got back from presenting at the National Association of Biology Teacher’s annual meeting in Cleveland, Ohio. Despite the mountains of snow, I had a really fun time and met plenty of outstanding teachers in biology and biology education. I was lucky enough to be able to go this year through an invitation from […]
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4:00 PM | Used Tips – ‘Science journal’
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2:45 PM | #AcWriMo progress report, 2/3 of way through
We’re in the homestretch now for #AcWriMo 2014! It’s hard to believe there are less than 10 days left in this madwriting frenzy. I’ve made some really good progress on my first goal (revising my grant proposal) since I last posted an update on my progress. I’ve spent much of my writing time writing code instead of […]
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1:59 PM | Debt Collection Expert to Buy College Chain That Excels at Student Debt
If there was one thing Corinthian Colleges excelled at in the last few years it was sending students into debt with questionable credentials that were almost certainly going to lead to default. So maybe it’s fitting that its new owners are a company whose revenue and resource base is built upon collecting defaulted student loans. That’s what would happen under the sale announced today in which Corinthian Colleges would sell almost all of its non-California U.S. campuses to the […]
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1:51 PM | Financing Dual Language Learning: The Data Matter
Title III, the law that governs federal funding and programs for dual language learners, provides relatively small amounts of money to states. As we explained in part one of our three-part blog series on the financing of dual language learners (DLLs), the formula provides 80 percent of federal dollars on the basis of each state’s share of dual language learners, and 20 percent on each state’s share of immigrant children. Importantly, though, when lawmakers rewrote the bilingual […]
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1:00 PM | Recommended reads #40
A peer-reviewed paper in a computational biology journal called “Ten simple rules for better figures.” Lisa Buckley explains “Why I will always give new students scut-work.” Sounds mostly right to me, at least in that experimental system. Jon Christensen, a historian at UCLA, wants us to abandon the legacy of John Muir. “‘Muir’s a dead end,’ he…
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11:17 AM | Friday links: on live tweeting talks, measurement vs. theory, #myworstgrade, and more
Also this week: the ethnography of Wikipedia, why statistically significant parameter estimates are biased estimates, and more. Plus a hilarious prank instructors can play on their TAs! For some value of “hilarious”. From Jeremy: Lots of sensible discussion in the … Continue reading →
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11:00 AM | Used Tips – ‘first author’
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8:49 AM | Internal Affairs
So for various reasons, one of which was being unsure of whether a PhD was for me, I found myself asking to work as an Intern with the good people in the Zoology Department at TCD. To give you a bit of background, I am a Zoology graduate with an MSc in Marine Biology, so not just some random bloke who happens to like animals and fancied chancing his arm. Anyway, I approached Dr. Ian Donohue whose research group interested me and thus began a 9 month Internship as a Research Assistant. With a […]
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8:30 AM | Does Miss America really promote gender equality in science? | Steve Caplan
Despite good intentions and a strong dedication to the promotion of science and technology, pageant winners chosen largely by their attractiveness in swimsuits perpetuate gender inequality and serve as poor role modelsThe lives of scientists can be seen as a microcosm for the world at large – tenure and promotion, hierarchies, friction between faculty or between students and faculty, university politics and so on. Even marketing and branding have worked their way into scientific and […]

November 20, 2014

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10:55 PM | In which we despair: show and tell is alive and well
I have a theory about best-selling authors. Once they have finally made their breakthroughs, they tend to get lazy. I have noticed that subsequent novels often become longer – just eyeball your collection of Harry Potters on the bookshelf and … Continue reading →
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10:01 PM | AAUP Questions Cuts at U. of Southern Maine
A national organization representing thousands of university professors is criticizing program cuts and faculty layoffs at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. In a letter addressed to President David Flanagan, the American Association of University Professors questions the severity of the university’s financial woes. AAUP, which was founded by philosopher John Dewey, says the actions being taken are in “blatant disregard” for tenured faculty. Citing low enrollment […]
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9:47 PM | How does Hollywood depict science in Interstellar? David...
How does Hollywood depict science in Interstellar? David Schlegel’s eyes have been aimed at the stars since he was a kid. As an adult, he’s helped to map the cosmos in awesome detail. Schlegel, a senior scientist at Berkeley Lab, worked on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey as a young scientist. He’s currently working on the Berkeley Lab-managed Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), a project being designed to produce the largest 3D view of the universe while […]
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9:00 PM | Wasting Time on the Internet, for Penn Credit
This had to happen eventually. Kenneth Goldsmith--the poet famous for wearing that suit to the White House in 2011--will teach a course at the University of Pennsylvania in the spring called “Wasting Time on the Internet.” And this is no gimick title designed to hoodwink kids into signing up for some boring psychology elective. No, it really is a course about wasting time online. As Goldsmith writes in the New Yorker: Come January, fifteen University of Pennsylvania […]
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7:05 PM | The cartographers of our brain
This year’s Noble Prize of Medicine or Physiology went to Dr John M. O’Keefe, Dr May-Britt Moser, and Dr Edvard I. Moser “for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain”. O’Keefe discovered place cells in the hippocampus that retain signals of position and allow us to create our own coordinates…
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4:00 PM | Used Tips – ‘hip sway’
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1:08 PM | Meet the lab: Sarah Loboda
This is the second in a series of posts that will introduce the members of the arthropod ecology lab. This one is about Sarah Loboda: I am not one of those people who can reflect back on my childhood with memories of chasing butterflies with a net. Instead, I could be found shouting loudly when […]
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12:37 PM | #digiwrimo check-in
November is flowing by, now 2/3 gone. I started #digiwrimo with the goal to write everyday. Technically I’ve done that. But the real intention was to spend at least half an hour everyday writing for myself. I’ve come (surprisingly) close to … Continue reading →
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12:22 PM | Sea Level Rise - Not as Simple as Melting Ice
One of the most worrying and regularly discussed consequences of climate change is sea level rise. Dramatic predictions show vast swathes of the UK and low-lying countries around the world, such as the Netherlands and Bangladesh, under several metres of water. The magnitude of these changes is dependent on extrapolations of future emissions and complex feedback loops between oceanic and atmospheric processes. In order to understand these processes and improve the accuracy of predictions, it is […]
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12:00 PM | On Mathematics, Mandelbrot, and Beauty
I have a confession to make. I suck at math. I always have, and maybe always will. Despite possessing two engineering degrees and being very close to completing a third, I can’t say that I am comfortable with math. So you might be surprised if you ever drop by my office on a Sunday afternoon. […]
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11:00 AM | Used Tips – ‘reliance’
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11:00 AM | So you're not a programmer. Are you sure?
In a recent lab meeting, we had a discussion about some good practices in programming – unit testing, defensive programming, coverage analysis, all that. For most of my undergrad, a substantial part of my master, and some of my PhD, I have been running experiments, either in lab classes or for actual research. My undergrad in particular was in cell biology and genetics. The experiments in this field are only as good as the controls: a smaller experiment, or additional condition, that you […]
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8:01 AM | Over on the sister blog
Over on the sister blog, I have written about why images of women in science are important, in reference to #thatothershirt. About the sister blog: Belle Jar is a collaborative feminist project, committed to smashing patriarchal norms, one day at … Continue reading →
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4:15 AM | On proof and progress in feminism
The recent allegations against several celebrities have led to a broader conversation on how we, as a society, don’t believe women. In a “he said, she said” situation, we trust the man and assume that the woman is either mistaken … Continue reading →
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1:35 AM | Generation Open: A Diary of OpenCon 2014
Day 0 of OpenCon started with me missing the pre-conference drinks reception because my flight from Chicago was delayed by 2 hours. I got into Washington, D.C. (DCA) at about midnight & then had to wait half an hour for a blue line train to take me the short distance from the airport to the … Read more →

November 19, 2014

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11:36 PM | ANU hiring postdocs
Amnon Neeman has just put up an ad for two postdoctoral positions at the ANU. He says: “The successful applicants should have strong research interests and activities in or related to one of the following fields: Algebraic Geometry, Commutative Algebra, Representation Theory, Algebraic Topology, Algebraic K-Theory. Skills at applying the techniques of triangulated categories to […]
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7:39 PM | Failed Replications: A Reality Check for Neuroscience?
An attempt to replicate the results of some recent neuroscience papers that claimed to find correlations between human brain structure and behavior has drawn a blank. The new paper is by University of Amsterdam researchers Wouter Boekel and colleagues and it’s in press now at Cortex. You can download it here from the webpage of one […]The post Failed Replications: A Reality Check for Neuroscience? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.
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7:00 PM | Study Abroad: Not Enough of it, and It's Mostly Rich Kids
The Institute of International Education recently released Open Doors, its report about the state of international education, or study abroad, around the world. There are several trends worth discussing here, in particular an increase in the number of students studying in foreign nations, but in general it appears study abroad isn’t that common. It’s mostly just rich kids doing it, and a whole lot of students (at least the American ones) aren’t even learning a foreign language […]
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5:35 PM | A Cynical Game that College Admissions Offices Play
Kudos to Amanda Graves, a high school senior in New Jersey, for calling attention to one of the most cynical games that selective colleges play to boost their prestige. In a column in the Washington Post on Monday, Graves wrote about how she has received letters and emails from top colleges urging her to apply to the schools. For example, Yale University sent the following message to her in September: Dear Amanda, As the Dean of Yale College, I write to congratulate you on your academic success […]
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5:30 PM | Financing Dual Language Learning: Here’s How it Works
States are facing considerable challenges in meeting all children’s educational needs, especially given growing numbers of low-income and dual language learners (DLLs) in schools. For the most part, states and school districts bear the responsibility for serving DLLs. But the federal government, although it pitches in only about $723 million, has taken on a growing role in educating DLLs–albeit a still-controversial one. Since 1968, shortly after ESEA first became law, lawmakers […]
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