Archive for February, 2010

Sustainable Engineering Lecture

Engineering a Sustainable World

From Rodman Scholars Program

Lecture Series sponsored by the Rodman Scholars Program at the University of Virginia, open to the University community and general public. Lockheed Martin has generously sponsored this years lecture series as a part of the larger Lockheed Martin Sustainability Grant to the Rodman Scholars Program.

Lectures will generally be held on Tuesday nights at 5. All lectures will take place in Jefferson Hall (Hotel C) on the West Range.

  • Orange, Blue, and Green: Challenges and Opportunities in Reducing UVA’s Environmental Footprint
    • Andrew Greene (Sustainability Planner, Office of the Architect)
    • 2/23
    • 5:00 PM, Jefferson Hall (Hotel C)
    • Curious how UVA is designing with sustainability in mind? Come hear Andrew Greene talk about UVA’s plans for reducing its environmental impact. From several hundred year old Lawn rooms to the brand new South Lawn Project the university faces many challenges in engineering and designing a more environmentally friendly university.

American Mathematical Society Books Online

Reposted from the February 19, 2010 Scout Report:

American Mathematical Society Books Online [pdf]

The American Mathematical Society (AMS) was founded in 1888 in order to further mathematical research and scholarship. Since that time, they have embarked on a number of outreach programs designed to educate the public about the importance of various mathematical endeavors. In the past several years, they have been developing the AMS Books Online website, and it’s quite a resource. The works were all originally published by the AMS, and they can be browsed by author or subject. The subject headings include analysis, general interest, logic and foundations, and number theory. Users can download individual chapters from each book, and there are currently over thirty books available on the site. Visitors should make sure and check back, as there are plans to add books to the site periodically.

Mobile Networking Forum

Mobile Networking Forum


11:30 – 1:00

@ the Mobile Communications Fair

Newcomb Hall Commonwealth Meeting Room

Greetings Mobile Networkers-

Our next meeting is coming up next week on TUES 23 FEB, and should prove to be quite an engaging forum.  We will be collaborating with TechConnect’s Mobile Communications Fair being held all day on the 23rd in Newcomb Hall.   We will be hosting a brownbag lunchtime session from 11:30-1:00 and the topic of discussion this time will focus upon “eReaders : eBooks,Tablets and Slates”.  Due to the current explosion of eReader technologies hitting the market today, we’ll have presentations and discussions on the latest hardware and software that is enabling mobile access to literary content.

The Mobile Networking group is open to anyone in and around UVA with interests in mobile technologies.  Our meetings encourage an informal engagement in discussion that is open to aspects of all things mobile.   If you are interested in attending the Mobile Communications Fair, the TechConnect group asks that you please register for this all day event.  Also, of further interest is a panel discussion that will be held at the conclusion of the Mobile Communications Fair entitled “The Future of Mobile Communications”.  The panel will consist of myself and other Mobile Networkers who will discuss where we’re headed in the next phases of mobile technologies development and how this will effect education, web development and the technological paradigms we live with today.  For more information and to register for the Mobile Communications Fair please visit You don’t have to register to attend the Mobile Networking meeting.

If you are interested in attending the Mobile Networking forum, then just show up next Tuesday to the Commonwealth Meeting Room in Newcomb Hall at 11:30.  To see what the Mobile Networking meetings are all about visit our blog for video clips of past presentations at  For more information you can contact Will Rourk at

See you Tuesday.

-Will Rourk

Digital Media Lab

University of Virginia


Easy Flashcard Creator

Reposted from the February 22, 2010 Researchbuzz:

Michael Fagan Wants You to Get Quizzy With It

Michael Fagan, ex-Microsoft guy and all around Nice Young Man, has revamped and re-released a tool he developed quite a while ago. Quizify, at, allows you to either enter a term list or link to a list of terms, then get a flashcard-type quiz that tests you on those terms.

The site has several examples of Web pages with term lists that turn into quizzes, but I wanted to make my own. After one failure I tried, which is a list of photographic terms beginning with A, and asked Quizify to make a test out of it. Quizify found 17 questions, and displays them before you take your test. Clicking “run quiz” starts the test.

Quizify shows the definition and you have to type in the name of the thing being defined. If you get it right the quiz continues. If you get it wrong, you’re prompted to answer it again. You can also “give up,” see the answer, and the quiz continues.

Note the quiz does not just proceed in a straight line through the questions. It’ll ask questions in a random order, sometimes asking the same questions twice. I was taking another quiz and got one answer wrong, and Quizify seemed to go back to that same question several times.

The site worked really well with taking information from an external list and formatting it properly. The only time it didn’t work was when there was HTML in the definition. In the case of Kodak’s definitions, “Aspect Ratio” included a link to another Kodak definition list with an answer. Quizify broke that link. I don’t expect Quizify to fix links like this but maybe link HTML should be removed completely from the definitions?

This is a deceptively simple site but I could see where it would be very useful. If you’re a teacher and you already have a lesson plan page that includes a definition list, it would take just a moment and Quizify to turn that list into a flashcard-type study aid for your students.

Digital Media Lab Short Courses

The Spring 2010 DML Short Course schedule has been posted! View now.

The Digital Media Lab in Clemons Library is offering 2-hour courses in everything from video editing to sound design to animation.  Learn how to use software like iMovie, Photoshop, and InDesign — or improve your existing skills.  Courses are available to faculty, staff, and students.

The short courses will take place during the evening from March 15 – 26 (the two weeks following Spring Recess).   View the schedule to see the course listings and reserve a seat!  Please do not sign up unless you are committed to attending.

Please direct any questions to Alexa Miller (, the short course coordinator for Spring 2010.

New IEEE Xplore Database Interface

As you may have seen, the IEEE Xplore digital library has been upgraded.

The Charles L. Brown Science and Engineering Library has a full-text subscription that gives you access to IEEE documents from

The new IEEE Xplore is now easier to use and has more value-added features.  You will be able to find articles faster with a new search engine and enhanced functionality.  Learn about new features and tips on how to use the new IEEE Xplore by visiting where you will be able to:

  • Sign up for free training: Live, online training available as well as pre-recorded tutorials
  • Watch the demo video: See the three-minute video demonstration of the new features
  • View the new brochure: “Experience the New IEEE Xplore Digital Library.”  A printable PDF of all the new features
  • Search tip sheets: A one page reference with tips and tricks to make searching more effective

What are the new features?

  • New interface design — intuitive, easy-to-navigate
  • New search engine — faster and more robust search results
  • Faceted search — post-search refinements allow you to narrow or expand your initial search
  • Personalization — set your preferences, save searchers, create alerts…and more

Visit the new IEEE Xplore at

If you have any questions, please contact Fred O’Bryant, Applied Sciences Librarian, at or stop by any UVa library.

Instructional Video

Reposted from Jane’s E-Learning for February 9, 2010:

Recently I have received a number of emails asking about places that offer free instructional videos (on all subjects), so I thought I would put together a posting of the main ones that I know about:

  1. 5min Life Videopedia – instructional and how-to videos
  2. Academic Earth – Thousands of video lectures from the world’s top scholars
  3. – next generation TV network
  4. Google Video – videos on all topics
  5. Graspr – The instructional video network
  6. Howcast – How-to videos
  7. iCue – A fun, innovative, learning environment built around video from the NBC News Archives
  8. Instructables – Make, HowTo and DIY 
  9. iTunes U – Faculty are using iTunes U to distribute digital lessons to their students, e.g Stangord, Trinity College Dublin, etc.
  10. John Locker – Documentaries and educational videos
  11. MindBites – Video instructional marketplace and publishing platform (Some free)
  12. MonkeySee – HowTo videos
  13. neoK12 – free educational videos and lessons for K-12 school kids
  14. Research Channel – 3,500 video titles available
  15. SchoolTube – provides students and educators with a safe, world class, video sharing webiste
  16. Sparkeo – a flexible video platform
  17. SuTree – learn virtually everything by watching how to videos from all over the web.
  18. TeacherTube – educational videos
  19. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) – a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.
  20. TV Lesson – How to videos
  21. Ustream – watch live broadcasts, explore networks ranging from music, talk shows, sports and politics and/or review our past broadcasts.
  22. Video Jug – Life explained. On film.
  23. Vimeo – a thriving community of people who love to make and share videos
  24. YouTube – videos on everything under the sun
  25. YouTube EDU – aggregates all the videos from more than 100 institutions of higher education around the US.

Note: This video list has been extracted from my page 101+ Free Websites to find out about Anything and Everything

Research 2.0 Symposium

Research 2.0 Symposium
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
In the Brown Science and Engineering Library

Be sure to add this date to your calendar, as you won’t want to miss the 2nd Annual “Research 2.0 Symposium” at the Brown Science and Engineering Library.  We will have numerous vendors from both the information resources and software package sides.  Expect to see a full list of workshops, presentations, and table sessions, along with prizes

You can find a complete outline of the day’s activities, seminar descriptions, locations and times, and other information at 

This event is provided by the Research Computing Lab and Charles L. Brown Science and Engineering Library

Advanced LaTeX Seminar

Advanced LaTeX

Aubry Verret
Research Computing Support Specialist
Monday, February 15, 2010, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
In the Brown Science and Engineering Library Electronic Classroom

This class is intended for those who are well acquainted with LaTeX and are comfortable writing documents that include basic LaTeX commands, external packages, mathematics, bibliographies, and graphics. It will focus on customizing the layout of a LaTeX document and the document creation process. Topics will include creating macros, creating custom environments, customizing counters, using minipages, and various other tips and tricks for customizing your LaTeX document.

This event is part of the Spring 2010 Research Computing Lab Short Course Series.  You can register for this course by submitting a help ticket at 

High Tech Bug Zapper

Reposted from the February 12, 2010 ASEE First Bell:

Laser System Designed To Track, Kill Mosquitoes.

The Wired (2/11, Zetter) “Epicenter” blog reports on “a ‘Death Star’ laser gun” featured at this year’s Technology, Entertainment and Design conference that is “designed to track and kill mosquitoes in flight.” Intellectual Ventures Laboratory, which developed the device, is “currently examining how cost effective it would be to deploy the device in places like Africa.”

Editor’s Note:  Sounds like overkill — but it’s a nifty idea!

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February 2010