June 18, 2009

Changes in the Science & Engineering Library

With the retirement of our esteemed colleague Gary Fouty, we're shifting subject responsibilities. I'll still be the liaison for Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, and I'll be adding Electrical & Computer Engineering, Computer Science & Engineering, and History of Science & Technology.

Jon Jeffryes is taking over liaison responsibilities for the Civil Engineering department. If you'd like to follow Jon's Civil Engineering blog, you'll find it here.

With a new list of departments to work with, and the rollout this week of a new UThink blog platform, I'll be shutting down this blog. You can find my new website (and blog) at http://blog.lib.umn.edu/frans005/myblog/.

April 16, 2009

New Books in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics

We have some of the new books available online or at Walter Library that may interested students, faculty, and staff in Aerospace Engineering. You can always find complete lists of new books on our website.

Historical dictionary of aviation : from earliest times to the present day.
Stroud, U.K. : History Press , 2008.
vii, 344 p. ; 25 cm.
TL509.W73 2008
Link to MnCat Record
Read about this book on Amazon

Introduction to modern navigation systems
Norwood Mass. : Books24x7.com , 2005.
Read this book now
Link to MnCat Record
Read about this book on Amazon

Lighter than air : an illustrated history of balloons and airships
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press ; , 2009.
191 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 22 cm.
TL605.C76 2009
Link to MnCat Record
Read about this book on Amazon

The Space Shuttle Program : how NASA lost its way
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co. , 2008.
viii, 346 p. : ill., map ; 26 cm.
TL867.G65 2008
Link to MnCat Record
Read about this book on Amazon

April 14, 2009

Scimagine! 2009: Solar House

SCImagine! 2009:

Solar House on the Prairie


UMN Solar House Decathlon Team


Over 150 students in 10 teams from all over campus working to build one house completely powered by the sun! Come learn about their innovation!


Free, open to the public 101 Walter Library University of Minnesota, Twin Cities


Friday, May 8th, 2009
3:00-4:30 p.m.

What's a Solar House Decathlon?

(Picture of a Solar House team working on a system design.)

Solar House group web site: http://www.solardecathlon.umn.edu/

One of 20 international teams invited to compete in Washington D.C. , this group is developing a house that relies only on solar power that is tailored to the Minnesota climate.

The team is broken down into 10 departments focusing on architecture, communications, commissioning, construction, marketing, interior design, logistics, procurement, solar integration, and structural engineering.

What is SCImagine!?
SCImagine emphasizes the Science & Engineering Library's role as an intellectual gathering place on campus. Each spring, the Library showcases University teaching, learning and research in the physical sciences and engineering, offering fascinating presentations and lively discussions.

March 13, 2009

Register your team for the Science Quiz Bowl!

Quiz Bowl.jpg

The Science Quiz Bowl is coming up as part of IT Week. It's the annual friendly knowledge contest sponsored by the Mathematics and Science & Engineering Libraries. Registration is open and limited to IT students.

Teams consist of four members. If you don't have a team but still want to participate there are possibilities to be on a randomly generated team. Registration closes on March 25 and only the first 32 teams to register will be able to participate.

Learn more and REGISTER here!

February 16, 2009

Who owns your scholarship?

Registration is officially closed, but you can still join us TODAY (Monday, February 16) at 2:30 in the Coffman Great Hall to hear a presentation by Dr. Kenny Crews, Founding Director of Columbia University's Copyright Advisory Office. Dr. Crews is known as an engaging and knowledgeable speaker, and in just two hours you will:

  • Get concrete ideas on how to increase the visibility of/access to your work while still retaining ownership
  • Find out how the U's new copyright policy (approved by the Regents in 2007) applies to you
  • Discuss these issues with faculty from across the campus
  • Satisfy the Awareness/Discussion component of the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) continuing ed requirement

All that, and refreshments too! More information here.

January 7, 2009

Science and Engineering Library Winter Workshop Series

These workshops are located in Walter Library Rm 310. Many more workshops are available through the University Libraries. Find out more by clicking links below!

Monday, January 12, 2:00-3:00: Research Made Easy: Discover the Web of Science
Tuesday, January 13, 2:00-3:00: Google for Researchers
Tuesday, January 13, 3:00-4:00: Getting Published: How to Publish Your Science Research Article
Wednesday, January 14, 3:00-4:00: Web Tools for Working Collaboratively

Morning workshops are also available at Magrath Library.

Continue reading "Science and Engineering Library Winter Workshop Series" »

November 17, 2008

International Education Week Library Information Fair

Via Jon Jeffryes:


On Tuesday, November 18 from 11-2 the Science and Engineering Library along with University Libraries is hosting a Library Information Fair to celebrate International Education Week.

This is an opportunity to find answers to those questions you've been trying to solve all semester long when it comes to library resources. Meet with a librarian for a one-on-one interaction to answer your questions. We'll also be featuring an international soundtrack, the chance to find international newspapers using Library PressDisplay, and light refreshments.

The event will be in the Upson Room of Walter Library (Room 102).

All are welcome!

Any questions, let me know!

October 30, 2008

Politics and Science

As I was catching up on my podcast backlog over lunch, I listened to an MPR Midmorning episode broadcast last week. The discussion centered around Science Debate 2008's efforts to get the presidential candidates to answer questions about US science policy. Although the discussion was shorter than it should have been due to Pledge Drive breaks, the guests still had time to make a pretty good case for why science and technology policy is at least as important as economic or foreign policy.

October 23, 2008

Promote engineering education, and maybe win a t-shirt

The ScienceWomen blog is providing even more incentive to participate in the DonorsChoice Challenge they launched as part of Blog Action Day 2008. Donate to one of the science and engineering related public school projects listed with DonorsChoice, forward your receipt to Sciencewomen's Alice Pawley, and you'll have a chance to win one of these custom-designed shirts.


For more details, see the original ScienceWomen DonorsChoice post.

October 13, 2008

Finding NASA and NACA Publications

Since I moved into my office in May, I've been avoiding a box in the corner labeled "NASA Technical Notes 1960-1974." A note addressed to a long-gone student employee rests on the top that says, "You can ignore this." Believe me, I've been doing my best. But I had a relatively meeting-less week last week and decided to clear the clutter. I needed to figure out what those Technical Notes were and whether we already had them. If they weren't a part of our collection already, I'd need to decide whether to add them.

Turns out we do already have them in print, and most of them are available online through the NASA Technical Reports Server. The contents of the box will be responsibly recycled. But the research process was, as always, instructive.

NASA has published several types of papers over the years. I found descriptions on the back of one of the destined-for-the-recycling-bin notes. If a paper isn't available online, or you just want to put your hands on the paper, print versions (typically bound by year) can be found in the Walter Library sub-basement shelved by Library of Congress number:

Technical Reports are "scientific and technical information considered important, complete, and a lasting contribution to existing knowledge." You can find Technical Reports from 1959-1977 are at TL521.A3312x.

Technical Notes are "less broad in scope but nevertheless of importance as a contribution to existing knowledge." You can find Technical Notes from 1959-1977 at TL521.N37x.

Technical Memorandums are "information receiving limited distribution because of preliminary data, security classifications, or other reasons." Technical Memorandums from 1921-1958 are in storage, but you can use the Get It link to request that the volume you need be sent to your office or favorite University library.

Contractor reports are "technical information generated in connection with a NASA contract or grant and released under NASA auspices." We have print Contractor Reports from 1963-1991 at TL521.3.C6 A3.

We also have many (but not all) NASA Technical Papers from 1984-1992 at TL521.3 N18. Material this recent, however, is the most likely to be easily available online.

September 30, 2008

Knovel University Challenge

Could you use a Nintendo Wii or a new iPod? Check out this contest, via Jon Jeffryes:

The online reference book website Knovel is putting on a contest, the Knovel University Challenge.

The contest begins today and goes through November 7th. It's open to all UMN students. All you have to do is enter via the widget below and get three answers correct using Knovel Ebooks.

If you get three correct answers you will be eligible for Knovel's drawing. They plan to give away 2 Nintendo Wiis, 3 iPod Nanos, and 6 iTunes Gift Cards.

You'll be able to familiarize yourself with this great reference resource and may just win a prize. For more information about rules and regulations, click here.

September 25, 2008

All about Airfoils

Are you (or your students) looking for information about NACA airfoils? You can find the classic reference book on the topic, Theory of Wing Sections by Ira H. Abbott and Albert F. von Doenhoff, in the Reference Room on the second floor of Walter Library (call number TL672 .A2). The Google Books preview below will give you a pretty good idea of what you can find there. Or look at a full screen preview here.

If you want to see the data for NACA's original wind tunnel tests on a number of NACA airfoils, take a look at this report published by NACA in 1933:

Jacobs, Eastman N.; Ward, Kenneth E.; and Pinkerton, Robert M.: The Characteristics of 78 Related Airfoil Sections from Tests in the Variable-Density Wind Tunnel. NACA Rep. 460, 1933.

Like most NACA and NASA technical reports, you can find it online at the NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS). Click on the report's title to see a link to a PDF.

September 24, 2008

Librarian Redirect

Are you a librarian?

Thanks for following the link from the AP List email! For many more examples of what a liaison librarian might write about, I'm going to send you over to the blogs of my colleagues Jon Jeffryes and Lisa Johnston. They're both great about keeping their blogs fresh, and I learn from them every time I read their posts.

September 8, 2008

Off Topic: If you liked Quicksilver, you might like...

For the most part, I'll be using this blog to tell you about library "stuff": Workshops, Web-based tools, new books and journals. But I'm going to play "public librarian" just for today.

There are some authors whose books seem to resonate with engineers and computer scientists, and Neal Stephenson is one of them. I'm a big fan of Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon, and Diamond Age, and Quicksilver (along with the rest of the Baroque Cycle) is taunting me from my bedside table. Stephenson's latest, Anathem, is due in bookstores this week.

If you want a signed copy, Stephenson's book tour will take him to the Barnes & Noble at the Galleria in Edina on September 26.

Want the shortest-possible synopsis? The librarian cartoon Unshelved published their Anathem book talk on Sunday.

September 3, 2008

Keeping Track of Your Research

Tired of keeping long lists of citations you might need later in a Word document? Or worse, a stack of notecards?


To make your life easier, University Libraries subscribes to RefWorks, an online citation management tool. Refworks helps students, faculty, and staff by making it easy to save citations (usually without transcribing anything), sort or filter them, and format them into bibliographies. You can create as many RefWorks accounts as you need, making it an ideal tool for sharing citations with your research group.

Want to get started? Jon Jeffryes and I will be teaching an hour-long RefWorks Basics workshop on September 9 at 2:30. For more information or to register, click here.