Category Archives: Uncategorized

Talking Science(ish) in Swansea

A friend saw the show, presented by Rick Edwards and Michael Brooks, and wrote a nice piece about it for the British Science Association blog which you can read here: 

Talking relationships, identity and technology with Science(ish)

More good science communication like this show needed!

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In her own words: honouring Hanna Neumann

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Hanna Neumann (1914-1971, born Johanna von Caemmerer) was a German-born UK and Australian group theorist. She was the first woman Chair of Pure Mathematics in Australia. She had a fascinaging life story. With her husband Bernhard Neumann, they had five children, four of whom became mathematicians.

A new page on Facebook follows her story told in her own words, like a scrapbook of letters, documents and images – great use of facebook as a platform for telling oral history!

https://www.facebook.com/IHOWNeumann/posts/1103790999712245:0

if you are on Twitter, you can also follow this #NatSciWk, told in her own words (hashtags: #InHerOwnWords #AussieScientist).

The project is created by Women in Science Australia, Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS), the NFSA, and The National Museum of Australia.

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The founding mothers of Silicon Valley

It’s not entirely true that one can’t be what one can’t see, as this article argues. But it is almost true, much harder, and only exceptions will make it. Therefore, great idea: https://backchannel.com/a-womens-history-of-silicon-valley-feea9279d88a#.vkjefwu4b

Still missing: Fergus McInnes

I was randomly looking through old posts and came across a sad one: a year and a half ago, Fergus McInnes from the Centre for Speech Technology Research (CSTR) at the University of Edinburgh went missing in September 2014 after boarding a flight to go to a conference in Switzerland. So I checked… but there is nothing newer on the Internet. The case is still unresolved, as this news item from Sept 2015 reports:  www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/crime/case-of-missing-fergus-mcinnes-unsolved-a-year-on-1-3880744

Not wanting to be disrespectful at all, I think it’s important to honour people’s legacies, whether they are around us, not around us, or we don’t know where they are. Whatever happened to Fergus, he must be or have been an interesting person. So after some hesitation, I looked up his homepage which comes up as the third result in my Google search. And after some more hesitation, here is a link to Fergus’s fascinating homepage, to which he referred as “Fergus’s brain online”: http://homepages.inf.ed.ac.uk/fmi/brain/Fergus’s_Brain_Online.htm

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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper droids prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,100 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

“Who needs Oxbridge?”(The Guardian)

Optimistic title for what is still a very small trend. I hope the trend gets bigger and UK universities realise that their fees are unsustainable. And since there are already plenty of foreign-degree graduates working in the UK, conversion of grades should not pose a problem. Another very important point mentioned in passing in the article: in Europe fees may be small or zero, but the pass rates are much lower. You really have to study to pass from year one to year two!

By the way, in the 1990s and 2000s Bulgaria’s medical schools already had lots of international students, but they were mostly from Macedonia, Turkey and Greece, and a few ethnic Bulgarians from Bessarabia. Local students used to say that oftentimes the internationals had an easier time passing exams.

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/oct/03/british-university-students-who-study-abroad-europe

Not Even Wrong 

Interesting blog about mathematics and physics (with a cool title), by Peter Woit:

http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/

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