Archive for October, 2009

Real Time Energy Monitoring at UVa

This from the October 29 UVatoday Daily Report:

Monitor Tracks Utility Consumption at U.Va. in Real Time
Sustainability officials at the University of Virginia believe that supplying people with information can change their habits. Their latest tool is a “building dashboard,” a kiosk that publicly displays utility consumption numbers in Newcomb Hall in real time.  (Click above link for complete article)

Or visit the Newcomb Hall Real-Time Energy Monitor directly at this address.

Roll-Up Computer

This from the recent AskBobRankin Geekly Update for 28 October 2009:

“The Rolltop computer is one of the coolest gadgets I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a laptop that literally rolls up like a newspaper, and unrolls into either a 17-inch flat screen or a tablet configuration. There’s just one problem, it only exists as a design concept. But the video is worth a look.”

Nuts and Bolts Editor’s Note:  Although just a “concept”, it is certainly an intriguing one!  Enjoy!  Getting to the video is a bit awkward, but click on Rolltop link above, then the link at the bottom of the resulting screen and be patient while the cookie displays!

Sustainable Transportation Seminar


Maglev: Sustainable Transport For The 21st Century & Beyond

Kevin C. Coates

Executive Director, North American Maglev Transport Institute (NAMTI)

Friday, October 30, 2009

120 Olsson Hall

2:00 PM 


America’s highways and airports are overcrowded. Suburban sprawl continues unabated. Oil, gas and electricity prices spike and then plummet, throwing world economies into uncertainty.  This cycle will continue, and likely intensify as long as political and industry leaders attempt to apply old solutions in the face of continued explosive growth.   The nearly simultaneous convergence of rapidly increasing world demand for energy and increasing demands on transportation systems will eventually force America to reassess its present land development and transportation policies. America must find ways to link any new policy with more sustainable energy and transportation solutions.

Augmenting the existing car/air travel duopoly will not be easy, but without high capacity passenger (rail or maglev) modes between cities, intercity travel will continue to become more and more difficult. For many cities in the U.S., traffic levels are already unacceptable and the situation continues to deteriorate. If America is to regain its competitive edge, an important step must be to adopt more workable and sustainable transportation solutions.

High-speed magnetic levitation transportation is the first logical step industrialized countries can take to free themselves from short haul air travel between city pairs and reliance on oil for intercity travel.  Non-contact maglev technology is a faster, safer, and more cost effective alternative to steel wheel rail technology. The technology lasts longer, costs less, and has much lower environmental impact than traditional high-speed rail or short haul air travel.

The CEE seminar series is open to the University community.  CE undergraduate students are especially invited to attend.

Refreshments served at 3:00 PM in THN D204 (CEE Lounge)

Database of the Week: Inspec

Inspec includes bibliographic citations and indexed abstracts from publications in the fields of physics, electrical and electronic engineering, communications, computer science, control engineering, information technology, manufacturing and mechanical engineering, operations research, material science, oceanography, engineering mathematics, nuclear engineering, environmental science, geophysics, nanotechnology, biomedical technology and biophysics.  Coverage extends from 1969 to the present.

Inspec is a part of the Engineering Village suite of databases.  You may begin searching the database at Inspec.

Inspec is one of many information resources brought to you by the Brown Science and Engineering Library!  Ask for a demonstration of this database or about other resources that can help you work faster, smarter and better!

(Use of this database from this address restricted to University of Virginia users only.  Please contact a librarian for assistance, if you are having trouble connecting.)

GIS Workshop

The Scholars’ Lab will continue its series of workshops on geographic information systems (GIS) this Thursday, October 29 at 2:00 p.m. in the Alderman Library electronic classroom.   GIS Specialists Chris Gist and Kelly Johnston will help participants understand and use virtual globe software tools (NASA World Wind, Google Earth) to discover and visualize datasets.

Anyone interested in GIS is encouraged to attend!  While there are no prerequisites for attending the workshops, a basic knowledge of Windows computers is helpful.  Each 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 you are encouraged to arrive early as space is limited. 

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

Info Tool of the Week: Interlibrary Services

The combined libraries of the University of Virginia contain over 5 million items — but, unfortunately, we can’t own everything!  During the course of your research you will sometimes need a book, journal article or other item not available at UVa.  When this happens, it’s time to turn to Interlibrary Services!

Interlibrary Services or ILS  provides loans of non-UVa materials from libraries worldwide for University of Virginia faculty, students and staff.  Materials that you may borrow from other universities worldwide are articles, books, dissertations, government documents, technical reports, patents and newspapers on microform.  In some cases videos and sound recordings are also available. Response time is usually 3 – 10 working days and the service is typically free.

Before using ILS for the first time you will need to register with the system.  You may do this at the ILS logon screen or from within VIRGO under the “Requests” tab.  Once you have registered with the system you will be able to make requests, see records and status of requested items, and perform other tasks related to interlibrary loans.  Please see the ILS Borrowing Information page for more information and instructions.

Interlibrary Services also operates the LEO delivery system for faculty and Instructional Scanning Services for faculty.  You may learn more about these services from the ILS Home Page.

So the next time you need a book or article not at UVa don’t despair – contact ILS instead!

Game World Talk

Disruptive Construction of Game Worlds

By Shane Liesegang of Bethesda Softworks

Thursday, October 29 at 2:00 p.m.

Where:  the Scholars’ Lab in Alderman Library

Please join us this Thursday, October 29th at 2:00 p.m. in the Scholars’ Lab for a talk on “Disruptive Construction of Game Worlds.”  Shane Liesegang, a game designer for Bethesda Softworks and a former game designer for Electronic Arts, will illustrate approaches to creating intricate and challenging virtual worlds in computer and video game environments.

All talks in the Scholars’ Lab are free and open to the public.  For a full listing of events in the Scholars’ Lab this semester, please visit

Upcoming RCL Short Course

Intro to Logistic Regression

Kathy Gerber
Research Computing Support Specialist
Thursday, October 29, 2009, from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
In the Brown Science and Engineering Library Electronic Classroom

This session was initially scheduled for Thursday, October 15, 2009, from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

This session will provide an overview to logistic regression, as it pertains to quantitative statistics.

You can register for this course by submitting a help ticket at

Upcoming RCL Short Course

Image Data Management for the Sciences

Kirsten Miles
Research Computing Support Specialist
Wednesday, October 28, 2009, from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
In the Brown Science and Engineering Library Electronic Classroom

This session will offer an overview of the current issues in managing image data in the sciences.  It will cover image collection, manipulation, processing, publishing, and management.  The core objective of the course is to raise awareness around image integrity and responsibility in scientific publication.

You can register for this course by submitting a help ticket at

Upcoming RCL Short Course

Programming in R

Kathy Gerber
Research Computing Support Specialist
Tuesday, October 27, 2009, from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
In the Brown Science and Engineering Library Electronic Classroom

This session will offer an introduction to programming in the statistical environment R.  No previous experience is expected.

You can register for this course by submitting a help ticket at

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October 2009