Archive for November, 2009

Happy 350th Birthday, Royal Society!

The AP (11/30) reports that Britain’s Royal Society “is marking its 350th anniversary in 2010 by putting more than 60 of its most important scientific papers online, alongside commentaries by modern scientists. The site — — goes live Monday November 30th, launching a year of anniversary activities.” The society “hopes to use the anniversary year to raise the profile of science as a vital part of Britain’s cultural life. In the society’s early years, science and art influenced one another,” but “today, the two worlds rarely meet.” Keith Moore, the Royal Society’s head librarian, “said one of the society’s goals was ‘to get to the point where people are as comfortable talking about the latest developments in science’ as about the last movie they saw.” Moore said, “Newton, Franklin – these men have entered the popular consciousness. And it should be the same today.”

Info Tool of the Week: Ask a Librarian

When you have a question about the library or where to find the information you need for your research, there are lots of ways to get in touch with a librarian:

For more information and hours of availability for the above services, please check our “Questions? Ask a Science Librarian” web page.  We look forward to hearing from you!



Info Tool of the Week: Purchase Request Form

Even though the University of Virginia libraries own several million items, we can’t own or have access to everything.  In many cases when the library doesn’t own something you need, asking for the item via interlibrary loan will be your best strategy.  However, there may be some occasions when you may wish to ask the library to purchase a copy of an item.  To do this, please submit the information about the item using our online purchase request form.

The library is happy to consider purchase suggestions from its users.  However, be aware that items are added to the collections in support of the teaching and research needs of the University.  Items that do not fall within those areas may be rejected.

If you have concerns about any item not in the libraries’ collections, please consult with the Subject Librarian for your department or area of interest.

Sustainability Research Grants

Sustainability Research Grants

Courtesy of the Rodman Scholars Program

Are you an undergrad doing research and need money?  We will provide $3,000 each for up to five sustainability-themed projects.  Please visit our website and apply today!  Deadline for submission is December 4th.

Blair Taylor Stocks
University of Virginia
SEAS Undergraduate Class of 2010
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Rodman Scholars President
(703) 772-4739

Thornton Art Gallery Opens

The following reposted from an E-mail announcement sent to SEAS faculty and students by Mary E. Lane.

We are pleased to announce the opening of the Thornton Art Gallery, the newest art exhibition at the University of Virginia.  Hosted by the Department of Science, Technology and Society and SEAS, the gallery is located in the foyer of the 2nd floor of Thornton Hall (A-wing, West side).  The first installation in the gallery is currently on display.  It consists of four paintings by local artist and UVA graduate student Katelyn Sack.  If you have not yet had the chance to see the display, please feel free to saunter by and linger. 

The Gallery seeks first to exhibit work by students, but will also grow to present work by faculty and local residents.  This first installment will run through mid-Spring, at which time a new installment will follow.  The gallery is co-curated by Benjamin Cohen (faculty, STS) and George Cahen (faculty, Department of Materials Science and Engineering), with a curatorial committee that includes Kent Wayland (post-doc, STS) and Doug Jerolimov (faculty, STS).  The committee welcomes and actively seeks inquiries from other SEAS faculty who wish to join and contribute to decisions about future installments in the Gallery. 

Most importantly, the committee seeks inquiries from student-artists who would like to display their work.  Please note that although the first installment presents paintings, the Gallery will also display photographs in the future. 

The selection process for the second installment will start at the beginning of the Spring semester. For those interested in displaying work, please contact Benjamin Cohen at:  Include “Thornton Art Gallery” in the subject header.  For those faculty members interested in joining the curatorial committee and contributing to decisions about future installments in the Gallery, please use the same contact address.

NTIS Newsletter Highlights Civil Engineering and Transportation

The November 15, 2009 issue of the NTIS Technical Reports Newsletter highlights reports dealing with civil engineering and transportation topics.  This newsletter is designed “To bring you a sampling of the latest documents added to the NTIS Database and to help you gain a greater understanding of the wealth of scitech information available from the National Technical Information Service.”  The National Technical Information Service (NTIS), is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive source of government-funded scientific, technical, engineering and business-related information.  You can access this issue of the NTIS Newsletter at or subscribe to receive future issues.

NOTE:  You will not be able to access the full text of reports from the above link.  Please check VIRGO for desired items or request needed items using Interlibrary Loan.  You may also find that searching for NTIS reports from within the Engineering Village suite of databases provides you with more detailed abstracts and other information about the reports.  You will still need to rely on other means to access full text, however.

A Robot for My Co-Pilot

In-Dash Robot Uses Facial Expressions To Communicate With Driver

The Wired (11/17, Squatriglia) “Autopia” blog reported, “Audi and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology envision a future where robots riding shotgun make us happier, safer drivers and create a ‘symbiotic relationship’ between car and driver.”  The robot, called Affective Intelligent Driving Agent, or Aida, “would analyze our driving habits, keeping track of frequent routes and destinations to provide real-time traffic info, and make friendly suggestions along the way,” as well as “give gentle reminders to buckle up, watch our speed or slow down for that school bus up ahead.”  The robot “uses a small laser video projector to convey facial expressions and other information.”  Having “human-like motion” and the ability to express emotions, researchers say, “makes it easier to convey information,” since “reading a facial expression is instantaneous.”  The researchers “plan to build a driving simulator for a controlled study” by next year, and “real-world tests will follow in 2011.”

Reposted from the November 18, 2009 ASEE First Bell briefing.

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November 2009
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