Archive for July, 2009

Video Lectures

Looking for a different viewpoint on a topic?  Enjoy attending lectures by engaging and thoughtful scholars but can’t afford to?  Want to broaden your knowledge in an area tangential to your research or major?  Give Academic Earth a try!  Academic Earth is a web site that delivers thousands of video lectures by the world’s top scholars on subjects ranging from computer science and engineering to history and philosophy to literature, finance and more.


CiteSeerx is a scientific literature digital library and search engine that focuses primarily on the literature in computer and information science. CiteSeerx aims to improve the dissemination of scientific literature and to provide improvements in functionality, usability, availability, cost, comprehensiveness, efficiency, and timeliness in the access of scientific and scholarly knowledge.  CiteSeerx provides citation searching and customizing options for ease in searching over a million documents.

Biotechnology Demystified

The Knovel Library contains hundreds of full-text online resources in a wide variety of science and engineering disciplines, as well as innovative research and analysis tools for using them. Here is one of the latest items to appear in the Knovel Library:


Basic Concepts in Biochemistry – A Student’s Survival Guide (2nd Edition)
Publisher: McGraw – Hill

Description: This second edition of Basic Concepts continues to innovatively review the toughest concepts in biochemistry for maximum comprehension in a short period of time. Unlike conventional texts or review books that stress memorizing facts, this book stresses the mastering of fundamental concepts, so that the reader truly comprehends the material and feels comfortable applying it.  The book uses simple, jargon-free language and award-winning teaching techniques including algorithms, mnemonics and clinical examples.

The Robots of Summer

For all you baseball fans out there, an interesting tidbit from the American Society for Engineering Education’s First Bell news digest of July 27, 2009:

Robots Developed To Pitch, Hit With Accuracy.

The AP (7/24) reported, “A pair of baseball-playing robots that can pitch and hit with incredible results have been developed in Japan.” The three-fingered “pitching robot…can throw 90 percent of its pitches in the strike zone,” although the ball it uses is polystyrene and the pitch travels at 25 miles per hour. University of Tokyo professor Masatoshi Ishikawa “is hoping to increase the speed to 93 mph and make it able to throw off-speed pitches like curves and sliders.” The batting robot, meanwhile, “has a sensor to determine if pitches are strikes or balls,” and “hits balls in the strike zone almost 100 percent of the time” and “doesn’t swing at pitches outside the strike zone.”

        Popular Science (7/24, Smith) reported that the pitching robot “can open and close its fingers 10 times a second,” which “allows for precise pitching. … The batter is an arm developed by MIT that has a 1000-frame-per-second camera eye attached to detect incoming pitches.”

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July 2009