September 2009 Archives

New Books for July/Aug


Here are the new physics and astronomy books received at Walter. As always you may check our new books list for all the new books received in Science and Engineering subjects.

QC133 .Z56 2009
Zimba, Jason, 1969-
Force and motion : an illustrated guide to Newton's laws
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.
ix, 428 p.
Link to MnCat Record

QC173.6 .R93 2009
Ryder, Lewis H., 1941-
Introduction to general relativity
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2009.
xv, 441 p.
Link to MnCat Record

QC174.4 .S35 2009
Schieve, W. C.
Quantum statistical mechanics
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2009.
xiv, 414 p. ; 26 cm.
Link to MnCat Record

QC176.8.E4 N398 2009
Nazarov, Yuli V.
Quantum transport : introduction to nanoscience
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2009.
viii, 581 p. ; 25 cm.
Link to MnCat Record

Keep reading...many more!

Excerpts from my May 2009 quarterly "Web Reviews" Column: Open Science: Caught on Tape...SciTech Video Sites (May 2009). SciTech News. 64 (2).

Earlier this year Bora Zivkovic, a science blogger from "A Blog Around the Clock," gave the keynote presentation (1) on open science as part of a panel discussion at Columbia University. The talk titled "Open Science: Good for Research, Good for Researchers?" gave a historical overview of the transition of scientific communication, from print to online and where this evolution is headed. The next phase, Zickovic explains, encompasses real-time scientific discovery as the scientific communication process moves away from journals toward sharable scientific ideas. Open science might include pre-prints, open notebook science, and, increasingly, video. Video, in particular, allows sharing, not just the results, but the entire scientific process, allowing people to replicate and learn techniques more effectively than through traditional communication. Open science is, in short, fast, free and effective.

(1) You can see the video from Zivkovic's talk at

Download the full pre-print or try these website that specialize in scientific video sharing:


Research Channel,

You Tube Science & Technology Channel,,


Science & Technology Media Sites

Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE),

Open Culture,

Big Think,

Lab Action,

Cool Online Tools to help you create and find Videos!

  • Quickly upload and edit up to 15 minutes of video online.
  • Converts your images and music them into a dynamic video.
  • not yet complete, Google Labs have indexed a selection of videos by voice recognition. If successful, all videos will be as searchable by the content (spoken words) as text.
  • Twitter for your video life. Record 12-sec broadcasts about your day then post to your twitter feed.
  • YouTube like social interface for posting video from your mobile phone.

Excerpts from my August 2009 quarterly "Web Reviews" Column: The State of the Nation: Government Science and Technology Sites (August 2009). SciTech News. 64 (3).

In July the Pew Research Center announced (1) survey results indicating that Americans undervalue our nation's scientific progress. Only 17% of the public surveyed agree that US scientific discoveries are the "best in the world" (an assumption that citation patterns would support). In turn, a majority of scientists surveyed from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) feel that their research is inadequately covered by the media and that the "public does not know very much about science."
So what is the solution? In the digital age the burden cannot fall on the media alone to report scientific achievements. Instead we can rely on the fast exchange of information that the web provides and made publically funded research available to all. Scientific government agencies do this and more by providing reports, articles, and raw data to anyone savvy enough to navigate their myriad of interfaces and numerous .gov's available. Here is a concise list of a few that are attempting to help the public find the scientific information they need...understanding those reports can still a problem for the media.
(1) Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. (2009). "Public Praises Science; Scientists Fault Public, Media Scientific Achievements Less Prominent Than a Decade Ago" Accessed July 29, 2009 at

Download the full pre-print or try the reviewed sites for yourself (recommended in bold):

Other sci-tech government agencies:

Defense Technical Information Center,
National Agricultural Library,
Department of Homeland Security Research,
Environmental Protection Agency,
Federal Communications Commission,
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,
National Science Foundation,
US Patent and Trademark Office,

Tutoring services moved to Walter Library

Physics, math, chemistry, and other tutoring are all free and in the library! Tutoring services previously held in Lind Hall have moved their service to Walter Libraries Smart Learning Commons.

The Smart Learning Commons is located on the 2nd floor or Walter library and accepts drop-ins on a range of subjects. See the list posted on their web site to view which tutors are available at

There are also two other Smart Learning commons locations that offer tutoring services: Wilson Library on the West bank, and Magrath Library in St. Paul.

Microsoft has put Feynman's Messenger Lectures online. There is a useful interface, including written transcription, and allows you to take notes, as well as having other
Try it :

Looking for more video? Try these sites:

"Online Archive of Legendary Physicists in Their Own Words" by the American Institute of Physics

Archive offers free, searchable archive of more than 400 interviews for writers, scholars, and teachers. perfect resource for student research papers, posters and presentations.

From AIP's press release:

The resource, created by the American Institute of Physics' Niels Bohr Library & Archives, contains both written transcripts and audio recordings of oral histories that date
back fifty years. This archive draws on four decades of interviews conducted by the staff of AIP's Center for History of Physics.

Want to know how cosmologist George Gamow felt about the term "big
bang," the coining of which is commonly attributed to him? "I don't like
the word 'big bang.' I never call it 'big bang,' because it is kind of
cliché," he said in a 1968 interview available as an online sound clip.
The complete transcript of the interview, along with audio clips, is
available online. See:

The catalog contains a total of more than 3,000 hours of audio
recordings from 1,500 physicists and astronomers.

Relevant links:

Main Oral History Site:

Search Form:

Niels Bohr Library & Archives:

More tools in New Assignment Calculator

Students and instructors can now adapt your own assignment from a bank of existing assignments (e.g. research paper, speech or video, etc.) or create your own from scratch. Use the Calculator to provide students with reasonable deadlines, specific instructions, and guidance for each step of your assignment. Students can sign up to get email reminders for each step to keep them on track.

Instructor Tips:
Student Tips:

We have added new assignments including:

Workshops at the Library for September


The Sci-Eng librarians teach 50-min workshops in Walter Library through-out the year. Here are this months free learning opportunities. All you have to do is sign-up to attend.

These workshops take place in Room 310 Walter Library. Contact Jody Kempf ( if you have questions. View the full list at

Introduction to Citation Managers
Sept 14 1:30 - 2:30pm | October 6 11:15 - 12:15pm
Learn why you should use a citation manager. This workshop will
look at three common citation managers, RefWorks, EndNote and
Zotero. Their features will be compared so you can decide which
citation manager best meets your needs. Register Here

RefWorks Basics
Sept 15 2:30 - 3:30pm
Learn the basics of using RefWorks, the Web-based citation manager
that is available to all U of M Faculty, students and staff. Adding
references to RefWorks will be covered, as well as exporting them to
Word, and selecting a style (MLA, APA, etc) for your bibliography. Register Here

EndNote Basics
Sept 21 1:30 - 2:30pm
An introduction to using EndNote. Learn to import citations,
customize your account, and format your bibliographies and in-text
citations. We'll also discuss using EndNote in conjunction with
EndNoteWeb, a web-based version of EndNote available for free to
current University of Minnesota students, faculty, and staff. Register Here

Grant Funding for Graduate Students

Sept 22 3:30 - 4:15pm
Find out more about funding opportunities available to graduate
students. Learn how to use IRIS, SPIN, and Community of Science and
the Foundation Directory to search for grant opportunities. Setting up
e-mail updates on specific subjects will also be covered, as well as
how to find internal U of M funding sources. Register Here

Zotero : Basics
Sept 23 1:30 - 2:30pm
Zotero is a *free* Firefox extension that helps you collect citations and
website information from within your Firefox browser. We'll show
you how to install Zotero and use it to capture citations, organize
your research, and format bibliographies and in-text citations. Register Here

Create Posters Using PowerPoint

Sept 28 1:30 - 2:15pm
Getting ready to do a poster at an upcoming conference? Learn
pointers about using PowerPoint to create the poster as one giant
slide, and send it to a large-scale printer. Register Here

Web Tools for Working Collaboratively
Sept 29 1:30 - 2:30pm
Whether working with your colleagues across the University or
around the world, it can be challenging to collaborate when you are
in separate locations. Learn about web-based resources, both at the
University and freely available on the web, that can help you to
effectively collaborate. We will include resources such as Google
Docs, and UThink. Register Here

Engineering : Find Better Information Faster
Sept 30 2:30 - 3:30pm
A quick tour of the resources available for finding the best
information for your engineering research. We'll demonstrate how
to find journal articles and conference papers using Engineering
Village and Web of Science, show how to access reference books
online using Knovel, and discuss best practices in patents and
standards searching. Register Here

Formatting Your Dissertation in *Word 2007*

October 5 1:30 - 3:30pm
Learn how to use Word features effectively and efficiently, including:
inserting images and page numbers, generating tables of contents
and figures; and more! Participants should have basic experience
using MS Word. This workshop covers the basic formatting you'll
need to comply with Graduate School guidelines. For advanced
formatting questions, please consult the Writing Center. Register Here

At last May's SCImagine1 event hosted by the Sci-Eng Library, the U of M's first ever Solar Decathlon team presented their engineering, and green-architectural design for what promises to be a winning house at the competition in Washington DC this fall.

But first, you can get free tour of the house on the St. Paul Campus from September 16-18, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (Visit the Solar Decathlon Web site for more info.)

The house if located at the north side of Buford Place (just east of Gortner Avenue), U of M St. Paul campus. Visitors should park in the University's Gortner Avenue Ramp. From the ramp, turn left onto Gortner Avenue, walk past Buford Avenue, and turn right onto Buford Place.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2009 is the previous archive.

October 2009 is the next archive.

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