Everyday Research Changes Lives

There is no doubt there can be a certain glamour to being a scientist, but that very much depends on where and what you research.  For every scientist appearing on the media every week in CERN there’s thousands of others quietly going about their own research.

Due no doubt partly to the media people are apt to think of scientists as busy trying to push the boundaries of our knowledge by doing such things as accelerating sub-atomic particles around a big tunnel in Switzerland or searching for microbes in the Arctic Circle. When the average person imagines a scientific genius he or she normally thinks of Einstein. Often we think the great minds are mavericks like Tesla that were misunderstood and ridiculed during their lives.

This is all partly true. However, the majority of research in engineering and science is not about radical new paradigms and ways of doing things. Rather it is about improving on existing systems; on finding new sources for resources; of making resources go farther.

Science is now reaching our TV screens more than ever and media companies are latching on to this.  Many of the BBC’s most successful programmes are based on science and technology and most of them sell well after broadcast too.  It’s worth checking out their site regularly and you can even access the BBC when abroad just follow this advice.

One such example is the case of the electrical motor. With Edison’s DC current it was found that a drive shaft would not do a 360 degree rotation because current had to be turned on and off around the casing of the shaft to create the right electromagentic conditions for movement. The solution was braided copper brushes that made contact as the drive shaft rotated thus transferring current.

It was found that the solution could be greatly improved by using carbon blocks instead. Graphite has a higher electrical resistance and allows for a more regular transference of power as the shaft rotates. Although not brush like anymore these pieces of carbon were still called ’brushes’.

Much work has been done using different compositions of graphite in carbon brushes. Also in adding metalic elements to the carbon brushes. These varying compositions all affect the performance of different types of engine. Thus, today we are able to manufacture carbon brushes that fit a multitude of engines. Research is now underway to make liquid metal brushes.

It is important that scientists and engineers work on improving our exisiting technologies as well as trying to build completely new types of technology. Perhaps, the media needs to do more in changing stereotypes to address this dual need.

Further research

News Item – BBC Block VPN Connection.

Community College can be a Path to Success

Sometimes people get stuck in a rut especially with education.  It’s so easy to follow the crowd and tread the familiar path along to University colleges.  Of course, there’s a little more prestige but with that lots more expense. More importantly, often the strict academic courses do little to provide their students with skills to enter the world of work.  Your degree in Italian Romantic Poetry could be incredibly difficult and rewarding but what does it offer a potential employer?

 

Can there be a community college in your region? If that’s the case, you might not understand exactly how blessed you’re. Not only are community schools a wonderful place to begin your school instruction and prepare for transfer to a college, they’re excellent resources for the ones that are looking to boost their own skills and knowledge of work and business interests.

The selection of courses and range of topics available in the community college level provide something of use to nearly anyone. And anyone who thinks that the quality of learning accessible is anything less than topnotch should take a second look.  Also thanks to some impressive investment in the community college network, there are some great facilities available too.  I have sat in a state of the art computer lab watching lectures broadcast from Oxford University in England using a proxy set up to the UK.

With attention being piled on 4-year universities since the brass ring for all those in pursuit of a university education, community schools are becoming a bad rap. Apart from being a place for working professionals and other non-academics to brush up or gain needed knowledge to compete effectively, community schools, as an instance, are responsible for turning out several nursing professionals in the united states.

Instead of programs at universities in which the proportion of teachers to pupils is less positive, the nursing applications in many of states’ community schools are equally, if not more, ambitious.

Bilingual pupils per educator also frequently means a larger quantity of direct clinical experience for nursing students. More hands on experience, even in a two-year associates program can signify a nursing professional more experienced in patient care than a graduate of a 4-year bachelor’s program.

This not to say that a Bachelor’s degree isn’t needed as it usually is for all but administrative positions. The point is that, the value of those initial couple of decades of training at the community college level, is often taken for granted.

Having teachers that are focused on teaching is another highly valuable benefit to starting out in a two-year community program. Taking nothing away from teachers and professors at the university level, there’s a benefit to a student whose teacher isn’t dividing time between teaching, publishing and research. When focused on the student’s achievement exclusively, the extra attention can’t help but benefit the student.

For college bound students who did not do as well in high school as they could have, community college may be a pivotal transition in their college career. The exact same can be said for people who have taken a lengthy sabbatical from upper learning. Classes in giant lecture halls filled with 400 pupils do not exist. Neither does the extremely limited number of teacher/student interaction that’s the norm at many universities.

For the ones that choose not to continue past the two-year associates program, they have the extra plus of those 2 decades and the improved earning potential provided over those with no college experience. And it’s interesting to remember that studies have revealed that people who have completed an associates program at community college and then gone on to a 4-year college are more likely to finish those four decades successfully than a student who went directly to a university.

For those considering an initial stint at a community college, there are some considerations if you’re planning on later attending a bachelor’s program. Make confident the school you anticipate transferring to accepts transfer credits for the particular courses you will take at the 2-year school. Speaking with both the university and a counselor at the community college should help iron out such particulars.

Not every necessary course will be available at each community college. And a few courses aren’t offered every semester or quarter. Plan well in advance to prevent the need to make up classes later.

As wonderful as the chance of community college is (or university for that matter), a student only gets out of it what they put in. However, for people who have the desire to learn, the value is good.

David Sinclair

The Great Value Offered by Community Colleges

Over the years community colleges have had something of a bad press, however things are starting to change.  Just like many college systems in Europe, the Community College system is offering a real alternative to the traditional University college route.

Community schools are increasing in number and enlarging their dimensions in an attempt to accommodate more pupils. As stated by the U.S. Department of Education, there are more than three million new pupils enrolled in universities and college each year in the USA alone.  You can see these figures reported in many different locations, however it was recently cited on a BBC documentary in the UK.  You can catch the documentary on the BBC iPLayer if you’re quick – here’s a link to a free trial.

That’s a good indication for schooling, but it’s also a large drain on the machine and is currently turning into a credit difficulty with these new student loans being accepted every year.

How can a community school help you attain your objectives? It’s very easy if you examine the class of a normal student in the present college system. Community schools usually cost less than a country college, and of course a private college. The majority of the classes a student takes in their initial couple of years in most schools are introduction degree classes.

It might not matter where they’re accepted, so why don’t you take them in a community college near home and save the cash for after years at a state school or college.  You can spend that money on other things, most people enjoy Netflix for instance.

Some Benefits of Community Colleges:

1. Complete year tuition and fees is averaging around $3,000 per year as of 2011. Compare this to the normal state school at $6,500 and private schools at $ 30,000 plus annually. Obtaining a few years of courses for under the price of a single year at a state school provides great price. Just be certain your course credits can be transferred to the state or private school you’re interested in.

2. If you’re not certain of your preferred career path or college major, a community college can give you the essential time to explore new courses and careers. Additionally, it permits a student to earn the adjustment to college studying and campus life while keeping costs at a minimum.

3. Community colleges now offer a great collection of athletic programs, some with athletic facilities that are far better than many small private colleges. Their theater, art, intramural activities and school clubs are expanding every year and rival many state universities for diversity.

4. Community colleges are currently offering campus housing since they’re finding their students are no longer just commuting to school, they might be coming from throughout the state. And while commuter students remain the majority on community college campuses, live in students are growing rapidly.

5. Commuting to a neighborhood school can spend less. Many students realize that they enjoy the campus life, but prefer to sleep in their very own bed and revel in the family cooking. For these students the community college is an excellent stepping stone on their way to a four-year college as soon as they finish their initial couple of decades.

6. Upon graduation from their community college, most student have some choices. They finally have a two-year degree or an associates degree in some thing. They could opt to go straight to a four-year college and transfer their credits. This would permit them to enter as a junior and finish their bachelors degree at a private or state school.

7. With their associated degree in hand, they may opt to go into the workforce and see what career opportunities develop. Many students have taken this course and found a wonderful career that enabled them to make a fantastic living and potentially take extra courses during the night or using the financial aid of the firm they work for. They can then graduate with their bachelors degree while earning a paycheck and gaining some valuable job experience.

Summary:

Unfortunately, too many students enter a costly private or state university with no clue what they’re trying for, other than they were told they “had to go to college”. Maybe they weren’t mature enough to handle it or were just “burned out” after high school. Some end up figuring it out as they go, but a lot of these students just party and go wild until either they drop out or get kicked out.

At $3,000 per year, it’s costly and unfortunate. But at $30,000 per year it’s painful lesson for both the student and their parents. A community college provides an affordable means to help these students make their adjustments. They get a feel for what to expect and learn the ropes as they go, but they do it without going heavily into debt or costing their family a bundle.

Technology Aids Language Learning

When I went to school, language learning could be a pretty dull affair.  Much of it was repetition, the phrase ‘ecoutez et repeatez’ is still etched in my mind some three decades later. The technique may be effective but it’s unlikely to inspire children to learn a foreign language. It’s unfortunate as numerous studies show that learning a foreign language is also beneficial to all other areas of learning helping to develop the brain. There are some much more interesting ways to learn languages now using multimedia and the internet for example.

There are some wonderful interactive DVDs around which can help you learn pretty much any language under the sun. They are easy to use and useful because you can even include pronunciation guides to help with mastering the language. Many commercial courses are available which encompass hundreds of different languages not just the usual French and German which are normally covered. If the internet is available there are even more options.

Many of the Worlds best Universities have started to put their college courses online, including many language departments. You can even register and get feedback although if using the free options this is likely to be fairly limited. The chance to study different languages which may be not supported in your local colleges though is an exciting prospect. However even if you use traditional books and audio course there are ways you can supplement your learning using the internet.

For example, most large media stations across the world broadcast over the internet and it’s a perfect way to hear your language spoken by native speakers. For example for anyone learning Italian, should check out some of the Italian TV stations like RAI. You can access them from anywhere in the world – although this video shows the method required for watching RAI Player abroad –

So instead of watching dry vocabulary films and clips, you can actually hear Italian being dubbed onto the latest soap or an episode of the Simpsons. There are many English Language shows which are dubbed and you can even watch English spoken with Italian subtitles to help you read through as well. The method works with all different media sites and whatever language you’re learning you can usually find a large media site or TV show broadcasting in that language. You have to just ensure that any VPN service you use has a server in the country you require.

Educational Dilemma – Is Censorship OK?

It’s a difficult problem facing most educational centers who allow access to the internet – how much should be restricted?   In an ideal world of course it would be great to basically allow unfettered access but unfortunately some students (and teachers) would be bound to abuse this situation.  Fortunately most methods now allow a fairly granular set of policies to be applied to a college or school internet connection.

The basis of most filtering technologies are white lists and black lists.  These contain sites which should always be allowed through and those on the black lists which will always be blocked.   Groups of sites can be applied to these filters – for example you can put all pornography sites in the black list so that they can never be accessed.  You should also include the sites which can be used to bypass the filters in the black list – such as ninja proxy and VPN sites used commonly for access media sites like BBC iPlayer in France.  It is essential you block these sites or installing the filter is pointless.

Alongside the technology should also be a set of procedures and policies.  Arguably the most  important is the ‘Acceptable Use Policy’ which tells all users of the network what they can and can’t do.  There is no need to be too specific in this document otherwise it could get rather large.   The document should however clearly state what is not acceptable when using the educational network.   It is also important to state that all activities are logged by the owners – which in itself should deter inappropriate use.

With these basic restrictions in place, there is no real need to implement any heavy handed censorship policies.  In fact these can sometimes be counter productive with users either not using the network or discovering ways to bypass any filters you implement.  If a network is heavily filtered it will create extra support requests when legitimate sites are blocked by accident

Further Reading: – http://www.uktv-online.com/bbc-iplayer-on-the-ipad-abroad/

Useful Tips on Starting Your First Research Project

It ought to be the rewarding and most satisfying piece of work – a student’s first research project. More times than not, yet; preparation, carrying out and writing up research, be it job, dissertation or a thesis becomes a wellspring of great anxiety and worry for a lot of pupils.

Within my ability as a research manager, especially bearing this particular at heart I put the following guidance notes for my pupils, which I trust you may find of some use.
Getting Started

Often the primary thing you will be requested to do would be to submit, or in minimum think about putting together a job/research proposition. Any general thoughts at this point, you have will likely be too obscure or overly comprehensive.

The great thing about putting together a project or research proposal so shortly to the method is that it’s going to make you refine your thoughts earlier as opposed to after. What follows, was made to get you considering the crucial phases that were first in the research procedure.

Phase 1: Developing a focus in just a broad area of interest.

This phase of the research procedure presumes you have an overall research notion at heart. I can not emphasise because it actually will discover finally you do and how easily your research goes.

That practicality and values should be considered in developing your focus of inquest recall.

Another good thing about narrowing your focus is when running your literature review you will possess a structured search strategy in place. It may seem obvious but having a definite idea about what to search for will save you energy plus precious time.

Most subject areas may have an established system of research, unless you happen to be studying something exceptional. In such instances you must familiarise yourself with the conventional/classic studies in the area, in addition to the research that is most up to date.   Obviously libraries are going to be essential but the internet is also a valuable source of information.  Using web sites is ok, but they should always be properly cited and you should ensure they are accurate. Often it’s useful to invest in a VPN system which can give you access to sites that are only available in specific countries.  A useful example is that you can only access BBC iPlayer from Ireland in this way, hiding your real location from the BBC web servers.

The primary strategy to show and keep your focus of inquiry will be to develop suitable research questions or hypotheses. There are not any hard and fast rules about what makes up a great research question/hypothesis. However, there is a practical guideline that you will be able to offer an obvious justification for the question/prediction being modeled.

Basically you have warrant each research question/hypothesis in turn’s inclusion and to take it. By The Way, you need to be able to offer the same reasoning for the research).

Developing research questions that are clear-cut and easy doesn’t mean you can’t undertake research that is advanced. You’ll learn should you be to the correct path if you answer these queries, and can ask yourself.

  • What am I expecting to investigate in the length of my research?
  • What’s the thinking behind the research questions/hypotheses of my study?
  • Am I able to get an extensive range of background stuff?
  • Can it be comparatively uncomplicated to gain access to my target public?
  • Am I on ethically safe ground?

The very best guidance I can provide you in the initial phases is to remember to get it right before you begin. keep it straightforward and be realistic. Recall research is a procedure, and you may be evaluated how good that procedure is undertaken by you.

Further Reading@

Smart DNS Proxy, Using the Internet for Research, Professor Williams.

 

Students Switch from Traditional College Courses

Education has certainly changed drastically over the last couple of decades and so has the way students approach this pivotal part of their careers.    Unfortunately money has always been an issue in choosing your education and now it has become an even bigger part of the decision making process.

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In earlier times, the four year college degree was pretty much the only option for young people seeking to continue their education but now there are lots more options.  Although this traditional route is still the most popular many students are becoming mindful of both the cost and the burden of debt that it brings for years to come.  Of course it’s true that statistics suggest that an investment in most educational course sees a corresponding increase in lifetime earnings the benefits are not quite as clear cut as they once were.

Students are starting to actively compare the expected earnings increases with the amount of debt that they will encounter in pursuing college degrees.  There is no doubt the gap in closing and in some subject areas there is little to be gained financially by pursuing a college degree in specific subjects as far as future earnings is concerned.

Americans owe more than $1.3 trillion in student debt between some 43 million students, it is a huge amount of money and only expected to rise.  Do economies and individuals benefit from taking on these levels of debt?  It is becoming an important election issue as well as a difficult life choice for individual students.  They do increasingly realise that college degrees are expensive and extremely pressurized, the days of endless frat parties and sitting around using a proxy for Netflix to watch all day are long gone.

Many are switching from the traditional routes and looking at community college educations instead.  They are generally much more affordable and flexible allowing students to continue to work alongside their studies.  In essence you can normally achieve a college degree within the community college framework for much less money although it may take a little longer.

The prospect of obtaining a degree without accumulating huge levels of debt is obviously increasingly attractive to students.    It’s also a useful safety net for students who are so adverse to accruing debts that they consider ignoring further education completely – community colleges give them other options.

The focus is perhaps more now on life-long learning rather than the four year cram that is a normal University education.  There are other benefits as well as cost, students can adapt and structure their learning over their lifetimes something that is not always possible when you have to make such an important decision at such a young age by choosing a University degree.

With thanks:

James Williams, BBC World News Streaming, Faber Press, 2015.

Is Community College an Austerity Option?

Over the last couple of years the admissions to US community colleges has fallen over 2% according to a report from a respected higher education research group. Many experts seem to attribute this to the growth of jobs and the gradual economic recovery. These two factors are considered to be very important to the numbers of people that enroll in community colleges.

The rationale is that in times of high unemployment – education is a safer option. Anyone unable to find a job is taking less of a risk by investing in their education and there are obviously less options when the number of job vacancies falls.

anonymous torrents in action

There are many different figures reported about how community colleges are doing but almost all of them point at a downward trend. The figures form an almost negative correlation with the economic success of the country.  To access the reports you may have to access from your home account as often commercial IP addresses are blocked, this service is a residential VPN if you have issues.

In some senses this is to be expected, education has always been something of a fallback position to many individuals however it does represent a more worrying trend that may affect the whole education sector. This is the fact that many people are starting to question the values and impacts of a college degree. As more and more people have degrees for example the value of these qualification will inevitably fall. Although most studies suggest earning a degree will normally be rewarded by a rise in salary the boundaries are starting to blur.

Even with community colleges, a degree is a significant investment in time and money. Without the expected rewards being available then the attraction also falls considerably – why risk everything for a negligible salary rise that may not even happen. In Europe where the number of people obtaining a college degree has risen sharply in recent years, many students are finding themselves frozen out of their chosen field simply because of the competition.

It is very frustrating for a student who has invested years of their life and many thousands of dollars in their education ending up working in a menial or low skilled job. This means that they are generally left with little prospect of ever paying off their education debts which in many European countries are linked to salary.

Benefits of a Community College Education

Because unlike four-year colleges, community colleges usually do not employ graduate novices to teach. Textbooks are an essential portion of having your college degree. Obviously, it’s all up to a student to get the most out of their college experience. It may be difficult for any person who works to get a college degree or maybe to increase upon their present degree of education.

In case you are graduating from higher school or even a parent of the graduate, you may well be taking a look at colleges and wondering in case the superior expense of college tuition is really worth it. The internet schools will commonly have access to sources for tuition like college loans and grants. Students may enjoy the particular credit and non-credit courses offered. College textbooks can be extremely pricey, but students need to have them.

I’ve had so many problems with this specific school it’s unbelievable. I’d prevent any site that claims to provide such a diploma, even in the event the other offerings seem legitimate. Non-transferrable classes usually do not permit the student afford the credit to a different school.

Quality used and new textbooks in great condition may be purchased on-line, often for less money compared to the price of those exact books available in the college bookstore. You can get textbooks at your own college’s bookstore. Go to the college’s fiscal aid office if at all possible. If you can, tour the campus to attain a feel for how you are going to fit in.

Obtaining a degree on the internet is an excellent tool for busy folks, and those who find they’re not able enough to relocate as a way to attend college in person. With the arrival of online nursing classes, more people can receive their degree and offer essential medical care to the folks of your own community. Top-level managers and significant school students are among the many folks who are enrolled as students nation-wide. Once classes start the student will log in their internet classroom.

Of course, the internet has caused something of a revolution in the education sector. Most of the large universities are offering online courses and some of the community colleges are seeing this as a further opportunity to diversify and gain access to experienced tutors and professors. There are some restrictions but just as a student can bypass region locking despite a Netflix VPN block so most resources on the internet are accessible with some effort

Selecting the best college is frequently a complicated approach. As a way to get the most out of your college experience, participation is imperative. Work together with the college’s fiscal aid counselors. Most of it’s going to the interest you didn’t pay during college.

Balancing employment as well as home life in addition to college, along with the work that appears with it, can be very an overwhelming job. `There are plenty of students who are really interested in your efforts, but can’t act as they are also current students.’ The readers want to understand who you are, how you’d fit, and what you’d bring to the university. The inquiry you’ve to ask yourself, and I’d like you to truly watch the video below in full, that should you choose to visit college know it will be tough financially in addition to mentally and physically demanding.

The standard university program is probably the absolute most time consuming approach to secure a degree, but can likewise be one of the absolute most enriching. On-line schools are a really good way to acquire a degree in a briefer quantity of time too. Check with your own community college or university to realize if they provide waivers or reduced tuition. Most college sites will obtain a listing of courses that you’re registered in.

Tuition reimbursement programs provided by employers are a fantastic means to save money on education. The government doesn’t discriminate owing to your age. Frequently, family troubles or tragedies occur, health difficulties make it very hard to continue, or in several cases, students within the military have been shipped overseas. It’ll be the United States that will suffer later on for a whole.

Your college lifestyle provides you with powerful stories to share during your lifestyle and supply you with feelings of pride, happiness, regret, and sometimes even sadness that one can share with people who will come into your own life in the foreseeable future. Your everyday living and work experience allows you to assist and inspire others at college too. Heck, you most likely deserved the degree anyway, as you have led this kind of exemplary existence. State cleary, your accreditation is pending.

Oftentimes, people have perfectly sensible explanations for why they can’t finish a class. Unfortunately, there is frequently a mandatory preparation class which you must attend to qualify to choose the test. The single stipulation is you must be enrolled at least half-time. There is quite a few loan programs out there.

Further Reading
VPNs and Information

New York College Closes it’s Doors

Many feel it is a fate awaiting thousands of private colleges across the US, as the 48 year old Dowling College has finally had to close down.  It is not unexpected with many students and staff were already aware of the fact that the college was struggling with rising levels of debt combined with a fall in enrollment numbers.

Albert Inserra released a statement this week –

“As painful as this announcement is, we want the student body, faculty and alumni to know that we made every effort to form a suitable academic affiliation so that we could keep the college open.”

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The college had supplied for almost 50 years undergraduate and graduate courses in criminal justice and some aviation programs for up to 2400 students. Although it was well known that the college had been struggling for years with numbers falling consistently over the last few years particularly.

There were other rumours that the college was not particularly well run, there have been seven different presidents over the last 12 years. Other issues included allegations of money paid by the college to businesses linked to the Board of Trustees, apparently more than $4 million.

The school was founded in 1955 as part of an expansion of Adelphi University, it became a separate institution in 1968 taking the name of it’s principal benefactor Robert Dowling who was a well known aviator and New York City Planner. It’s campus is set in beautiful grounds and as such it is not known what will happen to them.

It is surprising that Dowling couldn’t attract more students because it’s very well situated and the college courses would seem to be in popular areas. Certainly criminal justice is often cited as a growth area even in times of austerity. However the supply of these courses has also grown, in a phenomenon some have referred to as the CSI factor. The field is likely to improve too as there are growing opportunities in related fields such as forensics for example. Crime is becoming increasingly technical, for example online crime takes specialist skills to encompass computer crime. People frequently use techniques and VPNs not just to stream Wimbledon live like I do but to encrypt and hide their connections.

John Collins
IP Specialist