AppsForHighSchool-Apple-May2013

 

From DSC:
With thanks going out to Mr. Mike Amante (@mamante) for posting this item out on Twitter.

White light separates into a dazzling array of colors– from mymodernmet.com by Stephen Knapp

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ScienceCafes-Feb2013

 

Also see:

  • Science cafes offer a sip of learning — from reuters.com by Barbara Liston — with thanks to Annie Murphy Paul (@anniemurphypaul) who used twitter to ask: Americans resist studying science in school, but they flock to “science cafes” on their own time. What gives?
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    Excerpt:
    (Reuters) – Americans may be turning away from the hard sciences at universities, but they are increasingly showing up at “science cafes” in local bars and restaurants to listen to scientific talks over a drink or a meal.

 

Article:

 

JeffreyWright-AmazingTeacherNPerson-1

 

Video:

 Mr. Wright said he decided to share his son’s story when his physics lessons led students to start asking him “the big questions.”

“When you start talking about physics, you start to wonder, ‘What is the purpose of it all?’ ” he said in an interview. “Kids started coming to me and asking me those ultimate questions. I wanted them to look at their life in a little different way — as opposed to just through the laws of physics — and give themselves more purpose in life.”

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JeffreyWright-AmazingTeacherNPerson

From DSC:
My thanks go out to Mr. Joseph Byerwalter for this very powerful piece…

Comments (emphasis DSC)

  • If you ever wanted to know what four dimensional geometry could be like, install this app. For the low, low price of $2.99, you’ll take an exciting journey into the Fourth Dimension. “Textbook” doesn’t do this app justice, virtually every page is interactive.  — Nicholas Nguyen March 19, 2012
  • “The app is very cool, and it’s unlike pretty much anything we’ve seen in the App Store.” — Sam Byford, The Verge
  • “This is one of my most favorite iOS apps ever.” — George Musser, senior editor at Scientific American and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to String Theory
  • “Fantastic! This is what someone really smart, and who really knows how to teach well, can do with a tablet. And the authors are funny, too, which is a neat bonus.” — DNY
  • “Blew my mind. I generally don’t use ‘learning’ apps as they’re mostly gimmicks. This one, though, truly made me think. I hope this developer comes out with more outstanding apps such as this one. Bravo!” — Iceitic
  • “Fantastic app. I work at a leading UK university. If only all our material was this well written and presented. Definitely worth buying and then spending a bit of time with over a day or two to get your head around the fourth dimension. Great app!” — JulesFM

Also see:

  • fourthdimensionapp.com
  • ‘The Fourth Dimension’ for iOS: learn to see in 4D (hands-on) — from the Verge.com by Sam Byford
    It’s priced fairly low ($2.99 for a universal iPhone/iPad app) and uses innovative design to explore a single, focused concept, and while you’ll be done with it after twenty minutes or so that actually adds to the appeal. It’s a bite-sized chunk of brain training that’s a lot of fun to wrap your head around, and it probably couldn’t have been produced any other way. That’s about the most you can ask for in an app these days.

 

Physics for the 21st Century
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Description:

A better understanding of the fundamental interactions is a key to physicists’ search for a new, underlying theory of the physical world. One starting point is to investigate the microscopic description of forces: electromagnetism, gravity, and the two nuclear forces, strong and weak, with increasingly energetic collisions. The Large Hadron Collider at CERN has not only the highest energy yet achieved in a particle accelerator, but also the highest luminosity—with events measured in millions of collisions per second. This presents a challenge for physicists to capture only the most interesting events and to find reliable ways to analyze these to reveal interactions that have never been seen before.

Featured Scientists

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Building Learning Communities 2011 Keynote: Dr. Eric Mazur — from November Learning

Excerpt:

Today, we are officially relaunching our opening keynote from BLC11 with Dr. Eric Mazur. Dr. Mazur is the Area Dean of Applied Physics and Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA.

In his keynote, Dr. Mazur shares his vast research on teaching and learning. Students in Dr. Mazur’s class are moving far away from the traditional stand and deliver lectures given in many k-12 and university classrooms around the world, and they are gaining a much deeper understanding of the material being taught in the process.

As you watch this video, we invite you to take some time and respond to one or more of the following questions…

 

From DSC:
What I understood the key points to be:

  • Teaching and learning should not be about information transfer alone; that is, it’s not about simply having students “parrot back” the information.  That doesn’t lead to true learning and long-term retention.
  • The more a teacher is an expert in his/her content, the more difficulty this teacher has in understanding how a first time learner in this subject struggles
  • Rather we need to guide and use peer instruction/social learning/collaboration amongst students to construct learning and then be able to apply/transfer that learning to a different context
  • Lecturing is not an effective way to create a long term retention of information
  • Peer instruction/human interaction creates effective learning
  • “The plural of anecdotes is not data.”
  • Eric is seeking data and feedback to sharpen his theories of how to optimize learning
  • Technology serves pedagogy — technology should afford a new mode of learning
  • Towards that end, Eric and team working on “Peer instruction 2.0”
  • How do I design good questions?  Optimize the discussions? Manage time? Insure learning is taking place?
  • Eric is working with several other colleagues to create a system for building and using data analytics to give useful information to instructor about who’s “getting it” and who isn’t; about how we learn
  • Peer instruction not without issues — how people group themselves and who students choose to collaborate with can be problematical
  • Why not have the system do the pairing/grouping?
  • System uses algorithms, facial recognition, posture analysis; cameras, microphones
  • Surveys also used
  • The system is attempting to help Eric and his team learn about learning
  • The system being used at Harvard and by invitation only

Eric ended with a summary of the 2 key messages:

  1. Education is not about lecturing
  2. We can move way beyond the current technologies and use new methods and technologies to actively manage learning as it happens

 

From DSC:
After listening to this lecture, the graphic below captures a bit of what he’s getting at and reflects some of my thinking on this subject as well.  That is, we need diagnostic tools — along the lines of those a mechanic might use on our cars to ascertain where the problems/issues are:
 


 

Interactive streaming video technology from Stanford - Summer 2011

Stanford researchers designed software that allows a viewer to zoom and pan while streaming online courses. They recently released the code to the public.

20 most impressive science fair projects of all time — from onlineuniversities.com
 

Kevin Slavin: How algorithms shape our world [TED]

Description:

Kevin Slavin argues that we’re living in a world designed for — and increasingly controlled by — algorithms. In this riveting talk from TEDGlobal, he shows how these complex computer programs determine: espionage tactics, stock prices, movie scripts, and architecture. And he warns that we are writing code we can’t understand, with implications we can’t control.

Relevant to mathematics; shaping our world; ethics; media; culture; society;
computer science; technologies; stock markets/business; architecture.

Excerpt:

Microsoft has developed an iterative MapReduce runtime for Windows Azure, code-named “Daytona.” Project Daytona is designed to support a wide class of data analytics and machine learning algorithms. It can scale out to hundreds of server cores for analysis of distributed data.

Project Daytona was developed as part of the eXtreme Computing Group’s Cloud Research Engagement Initiative, making its debut at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit. One of the most common requests we have received from the community of researchers in our program is for a data analysis and processing framework. Increasingly, researchers in a wide range of domains—such as healthcare, education, and environmental science—have large and growing data collections and they need simple tools to help them find signals in their data and uncover insights. We are making the Project Daytona MapReduce Runtime for Windows Azure download freely available, along with sample codes and instructional materials that researchers can use to set up their own large-scale, cloud data-analysis service on Windows Azure. In addition, we will continue to improve and enhance Project Daytona (periodically making new versions available) and support our community of users.

Also see:

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From DSC:
First of all, I ran across this item:


250 years of Bayes Theorem -- a brilliant minister and mathematician; the man behind Bayes Theorem

 

Which reminded me of this item:


And they say God does not exist -- and I ask, then what about His fingerprints?

Which reminded me of some great feedback from Randall Pruim, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at Calvin College, who wasn’t impressed with the importance or mysteriousness of this particular sequence or the above video clip…but who also provided me with some papers, each with the words “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics” in the title:

Anyway, I can’t say I understand all of this. But I believe God’s fingerprints are on many events, things, and changes that we experience — some of these things we see, but many are invisible.

May your Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter morning be especially meaningful this year for you and yours! Here’s to our Creator, Redeemer, and Friend!

Peace,
Daniel Christian

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Science Simulations: A Virtual Learning Environment — from Journey in Technology by Dolores Gende

Where do I find simulations?

One of the best websites for science simulations is PhET from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Originally founded by Physics Nobel Prize laureate Carl Weiman, PhET provides fun, interactive, research-based simulations of physical phenomena for free. These simulations can be downloaded or played directly on your browser.

Teachers can access the Teacher Ideas & Activities page for teacher-submitted contributions, designed to be used in conjunction with the simulations.

These are the links to the core science courses simulations. The PhET website also contains excellent Math simulations.

Simulation Resources

Biology
Chemistry
Earth Science/Geology
Physics

http://www.brightstorm.com/

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Video abstracts at the New Journal of Physics

Video abstracts at the New Journal of Physics

video abstract icon

Video abstracts are a brand new content stream for New Journal of Physics, aimed at increasing yet further the visibility of our authors and their work. Through this video media authors can now go beyond the constraints of the written article to convey their research, and provide a new, enhanced user experience for the journal’s global audience.

NJP articles with a video abstract are flagged with the video abstracts icon symbol. Full details about this new feature can be found in the video abstract guidelines. You can also read some of our author quotations.

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