Archive for the ‘EDUCATION’ Category

Experimental determination of circuit equations

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Jason Shulman, Frank Malatino, Matthew Widjaja, Gemunu H. Gunaratne
Kirchhoff’s laws offer a general, straightforward approach to circuit analysis.
Unfortunately, use of the laws becomes impractical for all but the simplest of circuits. This work presents a novel method of analyzing direct current resistor circuits.
It is based on an approach developed to model complex networks, making it appropriate for use on large, complicated circuits. It is unique in that it is not an analytic method.
It is based on experiment, yet the approach produces the same circuit equations obtained by more traditional means.

Written by physicsgg

September 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm


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What Teachers Make

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by Taylor Mali and Zen Pencils

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July 23, 2013 at 9:16 pm


Video: Can Humans Really Feel Temperature?

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June 1, 2013 at 10:03 am


TOP 10 REASONS Why We Know the Earth is Round

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Written by physicsgg

December 28, 2012 at 5:32 pm


The awesome lack of modern physics in US schools

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By Hamish
If you can get beyond the overuse of “awesome” and its derivatives, this video asks some important questions about how physics is taught in US schools – and in many other countries around the world.
Presented as a “letter” to President Barack Obama, the video claims that no physics developed after 1865 is included in standard curricula taught in American high schools. I say curricula, because education is the domain of the individual US states and not the responsibility of the president – but that’s a moot point.
Why 1865? The video doesn’t say, but my guess is that’s the year that James Clerk Maxwell published the first version of his famous equations.
The narrator points out that in other disciplines it would be ridiculous not to cover modern breakthroughs. Imagine a biology curriculum without DNA or geology without plate tectonics, for example.
The video rubbishes the idea that topics such as quantum mechanics and relativity cannot be taught without university-level mathematics. This, I agree with. Indeed, high-school students are taught aspects of quantum mechanics when they learn about chemical bonding without the need for advanced mathematics.
It also argues that pupils are missing out on making important connections between modern technology and modern physics – something that makes studying physics exciting and relevant.
Of course, if more high-school time is devoted to modern physics, then less will be spent on the “fundamentals”. This could lead to complaints from university educators that students are not prepared. But maybe that’s a price worth paying for more balanced and much more interesting high-school physics classes.

Written by physicsgg

November 12, 2012 at 5:00 pm


Free Tool To Let You Run Your Own Online Courses

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… from Google

Sensing the excitement from online education tools like edX, Google has just unveiled a (very beta) version of its own course building software. If you’ve ever wanted to run your own online courses, this might be worth your time.

Google’s new Course Builder software comes on the heels of a massively popular online Google class ‘Power Searching With Google‘ hosted by Google’s Director of Research, Peter Norvig.

Click here to get started with Google’s new Course Builder

Why They Did It

Norvig shared a bit more information about the impetus for creating the online course and the power searching course, saying it “was a strong success and also generated some technology that we thought would be useful to share with the world,” says Norvig. “We feel that by sharing the code that we’ve generated, we can impact more people in the education space. There is a lot of experimentation going on in the industry at this point, and we felt that contributing an open source project would be a beneficial starting point that could help everyone.”

It’s interesting that Google is trying to do something completely new rather than help build edX or an already established tool. That being said, the more the merrier as we all benefit when the mega-tech-giants like Google get involved.

Google+ Hangouts Coming Soon

Join Peter Norvig and special guests for two Hangouts on Air. Peter will answer your questions about MOOC design and the technical aspects of using Course Builder. Click here for details.

  • 19 Sept 10:00am – 10:45am PDT
  • 26 Sept 10:00am – 10:45am PDT

The Details From Google

From Peter Norvig, Director of Research

In July, Research at Google ran a large open online course, Power Searching with Google, taught by search expert, Dan Russell. The course was successful, with 155,000 registered students. Through this experiment, we learned that Google technologies can help bring education to a global audience. So we packaged up the technology we used to build Power Searching and are providing it as an open source project called Course Builder. We want to make this technology available so that others can experiment with online learning.

The Course Builder open source project is an experimental early step for us in the world of online education. It is a snapshot of an approach we found useful and an indication of our future direction. We hope to continue development along these lines, but we wanted to make this limited code base available now, to see what early adopters will do with it, and to explore the future of learning technology. We will be hosting a community building event in the upcoming months to help more people get started using this software. edX shares in the open source vision for online learning platforms, and Google and the edX team are in discussions about open standards and technology sharing for course platforms.

We are excited that Stanford UniversityIndiana UniversityUC San,LearningByGivingFoundation.orgSwiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), and a group of universities in Spain led by UniversiaCRUE, and Banco Santander-Universidades are considering how this experimental technology might work for some of their online courses. Sebastian Thrun at Udacity welcomes this new option for instructors who would like to create an online class, while Daphne Koller at Coursera notes that the educational landscape is changing and it is exciting to see new avenues for teaching and learning emerge. We believe Google’s preliminary efforts here may be useful to those looking to scale online education through the cloud.

Along with releasing the experimental open source code, we’ve provided documentation and forums for anyone to learn how to develop and deploy an online course like Power Searching. In addition, over the next two weeks we will provide educators the opportunity to connect with the Google team working on the code via Google Hangouts. For access to the code, documentation, user forum, and information about the Hangouts, visit theCourse Builder Open Source Project Page. To see what is possible with the Course Builder technology register for Google’s next version of Power Searching. We invite you to explore this brave new world of online learning with us.

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Written by physicsgg

September 12, 2012 at 3:43 pm


Harvard and MIT online courses get ‘real world’ exams

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This year has seen prestigious universities such as MIT launch online courses

Students taking online courses from prestigious US universities will be able to take final exams in a global network of invigilated test centres.

Online universities have been claimed as a “revolution” for higher education and this will be seen as a significant step forward.

Education company Pearson will provide test centres for the edX online courses provided by Harvard and MIT.

This will give online courses “real world” value, says the edX president.

As well as providing supervised exam centres they will also authenticate the identity of online learners.

It will also see formidable partnership between some of the world’s most most famous universities and the world’s biggest education firm, Pearson.

This year has seen growing interest in the idea of delivering university courses online – allowing universities to reach much bigger numbers of students and cutting the cost of tuition.

There have been claims that the emergence of online universities, and the accessibility of lectures and study groups online, will have a far-reaching impact on the traditional model of higher education.

Format war

Alliances of major US universities have been in a race to develop online courses – in a kind of academic format war – with the edX project providing courses from Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley.

A rival project called Coursera was launched by academics from Stanford in California and is now offering courses from 16 universities, including the University of Edinburgh.

So far all the courses, delivered entirely over the internet, are available for free – and almost all of them are not formally accredited by the university.

In a matter of months, these courses have acquired hundreds of thousands of students. In the UK, about 40,000 students have signed up for courses on the Coursera platform.

MIT said that a pilot course, run earlier this year, had been studied by more students than all the university’s previous living alumni combined.

But a practical question for these online students has been how their work can be recognised – and how such courses can overcome the risk of cheating and how they can validate the identity of the candidate.

The deal announced on Thursday will allow students who have studied online to sit edX exams in supervised centres, where their work can be formally tested.

Students, who will to pay a fee for this service, will be able to use test centres run by Pearson VUE, which has 450 centres in 110 countries.

The intention is that students will be able to show employers that they have taken these courses, which have been set by some of the biggest names in higher education.

However, with many students at these universities paying more than $50,000 per year for their full campus experience, there will still be a distinction between degrees from the universities and these online versions.

“Our online learners who want the flexibility to provide potential employers with an independently validated certificate may now choose to take the course exam at a proctored [supervised] test site,” said Prof Agarwal, who had been director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory before becoming the inaugural president of edX.

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Written by physicsgg

September 6, 2012 at 6:48 pm


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Whether or not to run in the rain

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Franco Bocci
Abstract: The problem of choosing an optimal strategy for moving in the rain has attracted considerable attention among physicists and other scientists. Taking a novel approach, this paper shows, by studying simple shaped bodies, that the answer depends on the shape and orientation of the moving body and on wind direction and intensity. For different body shapes, the best strategy may be different: in some cases, it is best to run as fast as possible, while in some others there is an optimal speed (…)
(….) We have solved or studied this equation for a plane surface and for bodies with a simple shape. For a plane surface, we have found the following
• An optimal speed exists subject to the sole condition that the rain wets the rear face of the surface, irrespective of the intensity of the wind and of the sign of vx.
• The optimal speed is uopt = v·A/Ax, so it depends on |v|, and then on the drop size.
• When moving at this optimal speed, the surface does not get wet.
• The optimal speed can have any value.
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Written by physicsgg

July 22, 2012 at 5:53 pm


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