Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Research Methods and Proposal Writing, Tuesday 2-4pm and Thursday 4-6pm

Victor Aduba, DT286
Andrej Bartko, DT230
John Brogan, DT217
Kenneth Bryne, DT286
Thomas Bryne, DT285
Chenje Cao, DT285
Liam Carey, DT217
Brendan Cregan, DT230
Colclough Doran, DT230
Niall Dowdall, DT210
Garrett Duffy, DT286
Eloho Egivuferai, DT217A
Keith Ellman, DT285
Fatima Emmanuel, DT286
Olu Folarin, DT286
Edward Robert Freyne, DT286
Jelena Haiduroua, DT230
Robert Huczek, DT217A
Frank Kendlin, DT285
Tair Kuanyshev, DT285
Raj Kumar, DT286
Gabriel Lawless, DT202A
Lira Maricar Mariano, DT285
David Marvroudis, DT285
Vincent McKenna, DT217A
Marcus McQuiston, DT217
Eamonn O'Brien, DT230
Philip O'Donnell, DT286
Christina Shannon, DT217

Saturday, January 28, 2012

What scientists say in research papers vs. What they actually mean


There's a secret code hiding in many a scientific research paper, but it's not the key to immortality or a way to turn maple syrup into rocket fuel. No, it's the code that tells you precisely what was going through the researcher's head as he or she was writing the paper. Fair warning: once you've seen what thoughts lurk behind these seemingly innocuous phrases, they cannot be unseen.

While I suspect that whoever is behind these good-natured jabs has written a lot of scientific papers themselves, I'd love to see them take on other academic disciplines and their best crutch phrases.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

History’s Greatest Scientific Articles

You can now access thousands of scientific articles (written by some of history’s greatest minds) for free


When it comes to old academic societies, there isn't an organization on Earth that can hold a candle to Britain's Royal Society. Founded all the way back in 1660, The Royal Society has been pumping out peer-reviewed scientific literature since 1665, when the first edition of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society made its debut.

And today, almost 350 years later, The Royal Society has opened up his historical archive of journals to the public, free of charge.

All told, the fully searchable online archive comprises around 60,000 scientific papers. And while complimentary access is limited to those articles published before 1941, don't let that distract you from the incredible collection of publications included in the archive.

Ben Franklin's original paper on his electric kite experiment? It's in there, dating back to 1752. Geological experiments conducted by a young Charles Darwin? Here you go. Isaac Newton's first scientific paper ever? That's there, too.

BBC has a handful of gems that they've already found in the archives, but don't forget, the collection is searchable, so be sure to check it out and see what other historic experiments you can dig up.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Language is hardwired to be optimistic, even if people aren’t

Between political disagreements, economic instability, and climate troubles, you might assume every newspaper is full of bad news. Weirdly enough, the exact opposite is true. No matter what's going on in the real world, English is a perversely positive language.

That's the rather counter-intuitive finding of mathematicians at the University of Vermont, who just last month used Twitter data to argue that global happiness had decreased over the last two years. And yet, whatever these short-term trends, English seems to remain "strongly biased toward being positive", as team member Peter Dodds puts it.

Of course, that might seem like such a huge statement that it's impossible. To reach that conclusion, they examined billions of words used in such diverse sources as the last twenty years of The New York Times, 50 years worth of music lyrics, Twitter, and the Google Books Project, which includes millions texts dating as far back as 1520. They then looked at the top 5,000 words for each of these, and then enlisted volunteers to rate on a scale of 1 to 9 the happiness of the 10,222 most common words taken from these four sources.