Find of the Week: Search for LaTeX code!

One of our favorite (ok, MY favorite) eBook and journal publishers, Springer, has LaTeX coding searching! Instead of trying to type an equation in google or another search engine, a searcher can enter the code for an equation and search within Springer publications. LaTeXSearch can find equations containing specific or similar LaTeX code, equations belonging to a specific DOI and equations belonging to articles with a particular word or phrase in their title.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Space Junk!

Closing Session: Scientia In Absentia: An Inconvenient Truth About Space Traffic

This is the session I was looking forward to all conference! Dr. Moriba Jah catalogs “space debris” left over from all of our space exploration.  His slides are here, so I’ll just hit the highlights! (Although this man was a phenomenal speaker & I wanted to write down pretty much every word he said!)

There is a lack of scientific research being done into the abundance of man-made objects in space…Of the 23 thousand objects floating around in space (that we know about!) only about 1300 are functioning! 96% is TRASH!l

 

Why do we care? degradation/interruption of space capabilities (DISH signal going down during the game…), climate impacts? This issue has turned into a Tragedy of the Commons” (people are acting in their own self-interest…space junk is someone else’s problem!”

Space Environment has harsh effects on items. Modeling has all been done up to now with all items as spheres, but all objects aren’t spheres )or, if they were they don’t stay that way!) poor communication and NO TAXONOMY. There are lots of known icebergs, but really poor communication and very little sharing of information.

Things to do/think about:

  • Make everything we send up there trackable
  • need space “Rules of the Road”
  • Monitor what is already there to inform policy
  • Use physics to make predictions about what is there.
  • COMMUNICATE

Dr. Jah’s TedTalk on Space Traffic

 

 

 

Break on through to the other side!

Break Out of Your Library: Set Physics Loose with e-Books, Outreach, and Open Textbooks!

Science Outreach: Bruce Bailey, Associate Professor of Mathematics, UA & co-founder of The Physics Factory and the Arizona Mathematics Road Show

“The best thing about math is all the fun physics you get to do.” (He said it, I didn’t.)

When talking about the Warrington Perambulating Library, a friend suggested they get a physics bus & the rest is history!  The biggest challenge–COST!  In maintenance, supples, staff. It is a real labor of love. Opportunities in professional development & helping to build community strength (ex. Navajo Nation Math Festival/math circles.)

eBooks: Eric Pepper from SPIE & John Greivenkamp, UA College of Optical Sciences & editor of the SPIE Field Guides series

  • Spotlights: Concise, topically focused, mini-tutorials (on an application or technique).
  • Tutorial Texts: introductory learning texts
  • Field Guides: Concise quick-reference guides to key information that students, practicing engineers, and scientists need in the lab and in the field.

Important features of SPIE eBooks: No DRM, full pdf downloads, unlimited use, MARC records & counter stats.  Downside: can only rent/buy entire collection.

Cool thing? Free eBooks for high schools!

Field Guides are a great way to publish.  Right now there are ~35 on various topics (see link). Each is spiral bound, one page per topic. outline of key concepts, color highlighting & good bibliographies.  (Each title has sample pages. Check it out.)

“Free” resources to check out:

Fundamentals of Photonics

Optipedia: Wiki style free resource with fundamental concepts related to optics and photonics from SPIE Field Guides.

Open Education Resources: Cheryl Cuiller, UA OER Coordinator

Slides from talk

OER 101 Handout for faculty

Creative Common Licenses breakdown

I’m not really going to retype all my notes because her slides & handouts have most of it, including overviews of different OER libraries and sample books, but I did want to point out one thing she talked about during her lessons learned: When talking to faculty, focus on the student success angle. When talking to students, focus on the complete academic freedom angle and frame OER as a social justice issue!

Wait, that was used how often?

Journal Collection Assessment: Verifiable Tips and Tricks to Make Cost Effective Decisions

Luti Salisbury, UA, Fayetteville, is a *very* old friend and a fellow fan of bibliometrics! She presented reasons why looking at just counter statistics when making journal selection decisions is only giving us part of the picture. And shared the system she uses when evaluating chemistry and biochemistry journals. Her method, using counter statistics, in-house use, and faculty publications and citations gathered from various databases, helps to identify not only which journals are being used, but which journals faculty are publishing in and which ones they are citing. I’ve already begun trying out this method as we look at some of our titles up for renewal this year.

Materials Science Resources

Today’s Resources in Materials Science

Highlights from the roundtable overview of new & updated materials resources.

OERs:

CORE-Materials — many use creative commons license, although a few are copyrighted. Not really easy to search, but resources are interesting, if not too advanced.

MIT OpenCourseWare–Can find graduate and undergraduate resources by topic, instructional approach, and type of materials used.

nanoHub–Community portal and open resources for nano science. Includes simulation tools and learning modules, as well as a workspace to collaborate.

 

Other resources:

TRAIL – Technical Report Archive and Image Library:  unrestricted access to over 61,000 digitized federal technical reports.

MatWeb: searchable database of materials properties.

We finished the meeting with a roundtable discussion on how we use non-materials focused resources to find materials information, but I had to leave early to go to another session. I’ll post the slides here when the get published.