Posts

October 24, 2014

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1:29 PM | Mendeley at JCDL 2014
The Mendeley Data Science team have been busy attending some important events around the world. One of them has been JCDL 2014, the most prominent conference in the Digital Libraries arena. The conference looks at many of the problems we’re tackling at the moment, such as article recommendations and the best ways of automatically extracting […]
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1:00 PM | Open science news – 24 October 2014
Andres Delgado thinks some of the features of Medium would be perfectly suited to writing scientific articles. F1000Research Advisory Board member Victoria Stodden gave a seminar about reproducibility in computational science. A summary of the highlights of last week’s Open Science Days at the Max Planck Institute. Today is the first day [...]
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12:00 PM | Recommended reads #38
Ecologist Timothée Poisot has what I think is a remarkable insight about the myth/cult/phenomenon of busy in academia. This is one of those topics that causes people to people spill lots of neurons and ink, often recycling a lot of the same notions. But this one is different and worth your time. Anthropologist Holly Dunsworth recently…
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12:00 PM | Trick or Treat or Barf: Researchers Use Social Media to Raise Awareness of Norovirus Season
NC State researchers are trying to raise awareness of norovirus safety through a novel (and cute) social media campaign.
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11:43 AM | Friday links: what significant results look like, optimal journal submission strategy, and more
Also this week: how to schedule a grad student committee meeting, PlanetPopNet, Wildlife Photographer of the Year, computer science vs. women, the Canadian government vs. its own scientists, and more. From Meg: This piece on how to schedule a committee … Continue reading →
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11:00 AM | Evolutionary innovations
Just what will Homo sapiens look like 1,000 years from now? …assuming we still roam this ‘smote of dust suspended in a sunbeam‘. It’s a question that was imaginatively tackled in a great article by the ever funny-facetious @garwboy – ‘Human evolution: the next stages‘ – the ‘selective hearing’ innovation struck home – I’m pretty sure I’m well […]
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7:38 AM | Cambridge Admissions – Dispelling the Myths
Myths abound about admission to Cambridge, despite all attempts to put out some real hard facts (and similarly by Oxford). The interview process itself, which both universities use, seems to be shrouded in particular mystique. Cambridge has recently posted a … Continue reading →

October 23, 2014

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11:01 PM | Bird Feeders
It’s coming up to winter so people will be conscious that our garden birds need a helping hand to get through the cold months. Bird feeders will be stocked, bread served up and water dished out. In the UK alone, almost half of households provide supplementary food for birds throughout the year. And although songbirds are usually the species that come to mind when we think of provisioning food the same principle can apply to more exotic birds, notably vultures. Indeed conservationists have […]
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7:15 PM | Genetic mutations that allow some to see many more colors The...
Genetic mutations that allow some to see many more colors The human eye can see roughly one million colors and this is due to our retinas consisting of three different types of photosensitive cells known as cones. Each cone sees a different wavelength of color - red, green and blue. The color information mixes in our brain that allows us to see additional colors similar to the artist’s animation above.  While there are genetic mutations that cause color blindness, some scientists […]
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7:07 PM | Lottery Losers: Poor Kids
In the past few decades many, many states have instituted state lottery systems, often as a way of paying for education without having to hike taxes on voters. The problem with state lottery systems designed for education funding, however, as Jamal Abdul-Alim puts it over at Diverse Issues in Higher Education, is that this lottery cash is mostly most used, not for general education funding, but scholarships for rich people. As he writes: Lotteries make inequities in higher education worse, […]
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3:34 PM | 4 Ways to Reliably Reproduce Research
Copyright ScienceCartoonsPlus.com Recent studies indicate that at least 70% of certain types of research (particularly around life sciences) is not reproducible. Funders, reviewers, and researchers are increasingly demanding improved processes to improve reproducibility rates. Rather than just talking about the problem, we'd like to share some practical effective tips for improving your lab's research reproducibility.Register to attend our free […]
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2:43 PM | Free Fibonacci Sequences
John Conway likes playing with the Fibonacci sequence. He invented many new sequences using the following trick. The next number in the sequence is the sum of the two previous number adjusted in some way. Free Fibonacci sequences were invented this way. Here is the recurrence for an n-free Fibonacci sequence: the next number in […]
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1:04 PM | The GFP That Blinked Sent W.E. Moerner On a Path from Physics to Cell Biology and on to a Nobel in Chemistry
Winners of a Nobel Prize typically get a private call from a member of the selection committee shortly before the news breaks to the public. But this year the Nobel committee couldn't reach W.E. Moerner, a professor of chemistry at Stanford University and an ASCB member. Moerner was in Recife, Brazil, on the morning of October 8, attending the Third International Workshop on Fundamentals of Light-Matter Interactions. Moerner had his cell phone turned off to save international roaming charges. […]
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11:39 AM | What if NSF preproposals WERE the proposals?
I just finished my NSERC grant (hooray!), so thought I’d fire off a quick post with some thoughts on the difference between NSERC grants and NSF grants. At the end, there’s a radical suggestion for NSF grants: do away with … Continue reading →
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11:30 AM | Regular Hours
I’ve been on my internship for almost three weeks now, and I have to say that working regular hours is marvellous. As a PhD student, it can be difficult to work regular hours when you have the freedom and flexibility … Continue reading →

October 22, 2014

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11:58 PM | How the United Kingdom Stopped Grade Inflation
Grade inflation, the long-term increase in the average GPA earned by American college students, has worried education observers for years. While the ultimate drawback is perhaps a little unclear (are people really getting hired for jobs or being admitted to law schools who don’t really know what they’re doing because admissions officers and human resource professionals were hoodwinked by high grades?), inflation is a very real thing. In 1991 the average college GPA was 2.93. In 2006 […]
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6:17 PM | Cuckoo Filters
An upcoming paper appearing at CoNext will be of interest to any Bloom Filter user or aficionado:Cuckoo Filter:  Practically Better than Bloom(Bin Fan, David Andersen, Michael Kaminsky, Michael Mitzenmacher)Let me describe a cuckoo filter and some of what's in the paper for you.  If you want to avoid a technical discussion, all you need to know is that for reasonably large sized sets, for the same false positive rate as a corresponding Bloom filter, cuckoo filters use less space than […]
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4:27 PM | Stuck at 225
My weight loss progress is progress no more. I am stuck at 225. I have my morning routine. I wake up and jog to the facilities; then I weigh myself. Why do I do this in this order? Because I do not use an alarm-clock. I depend on my own hydro-alarm that wakes me up […]
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3:49 PM | Private Companies Increasingly Drive Innovation at Public Research Universities
The new Raytheon-UMass Lowell Research Institute is housed inside the Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center, home to cutting-edge advances in nanotechnology, plastics engineering, optics and more. (Photo Courtesy of UMass Lowell). The amount of research dollars public colleges and universities receive from federal and state governments is dwindling. Private companies are picking up the slack, driving innovation at public research universities. Starting next semester, […]
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1:22 PM | From Campus DJ to Kaluza Prize Winner, Josie Clowney Connects to Science
To be clear, E. Josephine Clowney, the 2014 winner of the $5,000 ASCB Kaluza Prize supported by Beckman Coulter, says she met her husband and learned to be a good scientist as a disc jockey for her college radio station. Leaving the husband part aside, Clowney explains the scientist part this way—playing all kinds of music on the highly eclectic WCBN-FM at the University of Michigan (UMich) in Ann Arbor, including music she didn't think at first was music, such as a Thai elephant […]
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12:57 PM | What do you want to know about writing a preproposal?
I've been tasked by my Research Office to give a presentation on writing NSF preproposals. This is a topic I've written about before, but I am curious what types of questions are out there. If you were attending such a presentation, what information would you hope to hear about?
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12:00 PM | Conference report: SACNAS
Here is a detailed report on my brief experience with the SACNAS meeting, aggregated as an unordered set of observations and thoughts. Just a short while ago, I was wondering whether my students are better served attending a disciplinary meeting, or a minority-focused conference. I was given the opportunity by SACNAS to see for myself.…
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11:43 AM | Elliot Sober on the present and future of philosophy of biology
Back in Sept. I was fortunate to be able to attend a philosophy of science “summit” at the University of Calgary, with talks by a bunch of the world’s top philosophers of science. I thought I’d share my notes from … Continue reading →
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10:41 AM | Discussing the Future of Recommender Systems at RecSys2014
Maya and Kris from the Mendeley Data Science team have just returned from RecSys2014, the most important conference in the Recommender System world. RecSys is remarkable in that it attracts an equal number of participants from industry and academia, many of whom are at the forefront of innovation in their fields. The team had a […]
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8:08 AM | Are you Shutting Up and Writing?
Inspired by the awesome blog, the Thesis Whisperer and under the constant reminder that we must publish or perish, post docs from the School of Natural Sciences have been meeting on a weekly basis, on and off for the past year to sit down, shut up and write. Here is a bit of background on the Shut Up and Write ‘movement’, a little bit of what we’ve learned along the way and a big invite to any post grads, post docs and PIs in TCD’s School of Natural Sciences to come […]
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6:22 AM | OYM51: Pruning and Postdocs
On Your Mind is going international!  Liam and Kat will be heading to Washington this year for the 2014 Society for Neuroscience Meeting.  We’ve even got an exhibitor booth this year!  So, if you’re attending the conference, stop by to say hello and talk science with the team. It’s the calm before the storm for ...read more The post OYM51: Pruning and Postdocs appeared first on On Your Mind Podcast.

October 21, 2014

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11:01 PM | The light keeper’s house and elephant seals at UC Santa...
The light keeper’s house and elephant seals at UC Santa Cruz’s Año Nuevo Island Reserve. Hundreds of thousands of northern elephant seals once inhabited the Pacific Ocean. They were slaughtered wholesale in the 1800s for the oil that could be rendered from their blubber. By 1892, only 50 to 100 individuals were left. The UCSC reserve supports a 40-year ongoing study of the growing elephant seal population, which has rebounded from near extinction a century ago. Explore some […]
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5:12 PM | A peanut in the middle of our galaxy It turns out that the...
A peanut in the middle of our galaxy It turns out that the center of our galaxy resembles the shape of a peanut according to new research.  UCLA’s R. Michael Rich is looking to map this dense inner region of the Milky Way. It can be thought of as a big metropolitan area with “stellar suburbs” of stars at the edges that can be anywhere from a few million years old to some 12 billion years old. The way he plans to do this is to use images taken from a 500 megapixel camera […]
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4:25 PM | Standing on the San Andreas Fault
Having just arrived in California and still in the process of unpacking boxes in my apartment, I decided the most productive thing to do was go on a hike. Silicon Valley is near a lot of Open Space Preserves as well as various local and state parks, and I was really eager to get outside and explore. And because I'm in California, I was hungry to finally set eyes (and foot) on the biggest fault I could get to.
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3:16 PM | Louisiana, Do Your Homework: Student Absenteeism, Not Ebola, is the Real Epidemic
As a preventative measure to protect against the spread of Ebola, the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education made new emergency changes to the state’s governing handbook. However, there is no emergency — just an Ebola scare, which the board simply contributed to by making changes to sound policy. There is currently no epidemic of the Ebola virus in the U.S., where three cases have been reported, with one fatality. The best preventative measure schools can take […]
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