academia

Category archives for academia

What should a high school student do to get on a track to become an astrophysicist?

Augmented Reality Layar at AAS

An interesting new twist for the 223rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society will be the “Augmented Reality” poster – an instantiation of the very rapidly growing augmented reality features appearing everywhere through smartphone apps or google glass. V838 Mon poster by Vogt et al will have a layar augmentation: using layar creator, tags are…

The Lights Are Going Out…

When it is darkest, men see the stars. This afternoon I needed to check something urgently, and as is my habit in this day and age, I jumped to a website where I knew the information was available. A few seconds later, with some irritation I went to hit “refresh” as the request failed to…

educational tidbits

the venerable Chronicle of Higher Education had a few interesting tidbits in last week’s issue: How a College Took Assessment to Heart, Lebanon Valley College takes an accreditors warning to heart – the key issue being that the informal committee of “General Officers”, the Vice Presidents, with the college President, were making all decisions, and…

Cargo Cult Administration

Many physical scientists learned of the curious phenomena of the Cargo Cult from Feynman’s commencement address at Caltech, as reproduced in his book, “Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman!”. In the address, Feynman cautions us against the conceptually similar notion of Cargo Cult Science, where people go through the motions of mimicking a scientific process, while…

EU Science Slam

This is a public service announcement: the EU is running a FameLab like Science Slam EURAXESS Researcher in Motion Science Slam, sponsored by the European Commission. “If you are a researcher currently based in North America (US and Canada), enter the competition by posting a video featuring your science slam on our LinkedIn site, or…

Weak Justifications

I am at a meeting at an undisclosed location, and concurrently the weak lensing folk are having a workshop on future surveys, so I am slumming at their sessions in my copious spare time. This morning Tony Tyson is leading a discussion on the technical aspects of the surveys, with LSST as the working example.…

They were amateurish videos, often black and white, sometimes just a disembodied hand writing simple equations on a blackboard as a quirky voice from off screen gave well practiced short lectures highlighting the essential learning elements. The pedagogy was revolutionary, university level material freely accessible by vast, unimaginable numbers – set to revolutionize education. Yes,…

Just read a series of interesting articles on inquiry based science: Inquiry Science rocks: Or does it – David Klahr tries to test the efficacy of discovery learning (APS News 12. 2012). Direct Instruction rocks: Or does it – Richard Hake takes issue with Klahr’s inferences. To be contrasted with: The Efficacy of Student-Centered Instruction…

Their Way

“I came with all my books, lived in dorms, followed directions. I worked, I studied hard, met lots of folks who had connections. I crammed, they gave me grades, and may I say not in a fair way. But more, much more than this, I did it their way.” Many years ago, I heard this,…