Archive for September 28th, 2009

Info Tool of the Week: RefWorks and RefShare

RefWorks and RefShare are software applications that enable you to…

  • Download citations from databases and put them into a personal RefWorks research database
  • Format bibliographies and citations automatically in over 400 styles including APA, MLA, etc.
  • Use in conjunction with WORD to write papers, dissertations, etc.
  • Access your RefWorks account from any computer, anywhere
  • Create a database and share it with colleagues around the world

To use RefWorks, you must sign up for a free account that will identify you as a University of Virginia student, faculty or staff member.  You can do this at and the process takes only a minute.  You can learn more about RefWorks at or stop by any UVa library for more information.  RefWorks also offers free online webinars; the October schedule is at

Georeferencing an Image

The Alderman Library Scholars’ Lab continues its series of workshops on geographic information systems (GIS) this Thursday, October 1 at 2:00 p.m. in the Brown Science & Engineering Library electronic classroom (Room 133).  GIS Specialists Chris Gist and Kelly Johnston will guide participants through the process of georeferencing, or aligning a digital image–such as a scanned historic map–with its spatial location.  While there are no prerequisites for attending the workshop, a basic knowledge of Windows computers is helpful.  The session will build on skills from previous sessions but those unable to attend earlier workshops should feel welcome to attend later sessions.  No RSVP is required, though we encourage you to arrive early as space is limited.

 For a full listing of events in the Scholars’ Lab this semester, please visit

Helping Hands

Technology Review (9/28, Grifantini) reports, “Researchers from Harvard and Yale Universities have developed a simple, soft robotic hand that can grab a range of objects delicately, and which automatically adjusts its fingers to get a good grip. The new hand could also potentially be useful as a prosthetic arm.” Unlike other soft robotic hands, this one “has just a few sensors and a single motor, but can pick up a variety of objects with the flexibility of a human hand.” The researchers noted that “people do not normally use a rigid grasp, but keep their fingers relaxed” when reaching for an object in order “to avoid knocking the object over.” Similarly, “making the robotic hand flexible allows it to pick up objects even with minor calculation errors” while “embedded sensors…allow the new hand to feel an object and adjust its grip.”


From ASEE First Bell, September 28, 2009.  All rights reserved.

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September 2009