By timothy from Slashdot's your-war-stories-below department
writes "Christopher Drew writes that President Obama and industry groups have called on colleges to graduate 10,000 more engineers a year and 100,000 new teachers with majors in science, technology, engineering and math but studies find that roughly 40 percent of students planning engineering and science majors end up switching to other subjects or failing to get any degree — 60 percent when pre-medical students are included. Middle and high school students are having most of the fun, building their erector sets and dropping eggs into water to test the first law of motion, but the excitement quickly fades as students brush up against the reality of what David E. Goldberg calls 'the math-science death march' as freshmen in college wade through a blizzard of calculus, physics and chemistry in lecture halls with hundreds of other students where many wash out. 'Treating the freshman year as a "sink or swim" experience and accepting attrition as inevitable,' says a report by the National Academy of Engineering, 'is both unfair to students and wasteful of resources and faculty time.' But help is on the way. In September, the Association of American Universities announced a five-year initiative to encourage faculty members in the STEM fields to use more interactive teaching techniques (PDF)."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's you-must-have-some-steak-with-the-sizzle department
An anonymous reader writes "Why are Android device commercials showing giant robots and lightning bolts and not advertising features? Here is an interesting blog post of things Android device manufacturers could be doing to get ahead of Apple, but aren't."
On a similar front, as a mostly happy Android user, I must admit envy for the jillions of accessories marketed for the iPhone, especially ones that take advantage of that Apple-only accessory port
; maybe the Android Open Accessory
project will help.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's drag-out-your-cliches department
AlexDomo writes to point out this statistical breakdown of the programming languages represented at StackOverflow
One of the attached comments makes an interesting point about the difficulty in divining meaning from such statistics
, though.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's well-it's-just-a-theory department
esocid writes with excerpts from a piece written by Ben Goldacre of The Guardian: "Baroness Susan Greenfield, Professor of pharmacology at Oxford, apparently announced that computer games are causing dementia in children. ... Two months ago the same professor linked internet use with the rise in autism diagnoses (not for the first time), then pulled back when autism charities and an Oxford professor of psychology raised concerns. ... When I raised concerns, she said I was like the epidemiologists who denied that smoking caused cancer. Other critics find themselves derided as sexist in the media. If a scientist sidesteps their scientific peers, and chooses to take an apparently changeable, frightening, and technical scientific case directly to the public, then that is a deliberate decision, and one that can't realistically go unnoticed. ... I think these serious scientific concerns belong, at least once, in a clear scientific paper. I don't see how this suggestion is inappropriate, or impudent, and in all seriousness, I can't see an argument against it."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's paywalls-are-a-disease department
First time accepted submitter ecorona writes "This Google Maps mashup was published in Science (paywall warning) this week. It shows genetic risk for multiple diseases distributed across the globe. It's easy to follow the migration path and see which diseases increase/decrease in risk along human migration paths. Click on the populations to see the relative risk of the selected disease for each population. You can pick your a disease and see which populations are more susceptible. The article is behind a paywall, but the website is free to use."
On a similar note, an anonymous reader points out
a British research project that "used Twitter to track and map flu-like illnesses across the U.K. to determine if epidemics were emerging. The research culminated into an online visual tool, the Flu Detector
, that maps tweeted flu rates in several regions across the U.K.
"Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's please-slide-here department
Lord Byron II writes "My grandma is in her 80s, is bed-ridden, in a nursing home, and is basically reaching the end of her life. Her legs are weak, meaning that she is confined to her bed, and her hearing is pretty much gone. Her sight is good and her mental facilities are still there, but even so, she spends most of her days just watching daytime TV, like the Price is Right and talk shows. The family has tasked me with finding her an easy-to-use, not overly expensive device that would mentally challenge her. Ideally, I would like to get something iPad like so that she could play card games and such. But the Internet connectivity and advanced features are completely unnecessary. Is there a simple device that will let her easily play some games?"Read Replies (0)