Applied Math and Science Education Repository — AMSER

The Applied Math and Science Education Repository is aimed at providing web resources for community colleges, technical schools, and the general public.  The link takes you to the science — and technology — resources.

From their home page: "AMSER is a portal of educational resources and services built specifically for use by those in Community and Technical Colleges but free for anyone to use."

"AMSER is funded by the National Science Foundation as part of the National Science Digital Library, and is being created by a team of project partners led by Internet Scout."

Science & Engineering Statistics at

National Science Foundation: Science and Engineering Statistics

"Scholars, journalists and members of the general public will have a field day with the National Science Foundation’s Science and Engineering Statistics website. Visitors will note that the data contained within the site includes publications, working papers, data spreadsheets, and analyses divided into broad areas that include "Education", "Federal Government", "Industry", "International", and "Social Dimensions". Users can delve deeper into these broad areas and come up with related publications, policy briefs, and so on. Near the bottom of the page, visitors can look over the "New Releases" area for new reports on federal science and engineering support to universities, research expenditures, and the ethnicity and gender makeup of federal scientists and engineers. Finally, visitors can also sign up to receive their RSS feed."

Source:  University of Wisconsin’s Scout Report

Instructional Podcasts from Chemical Abstracts Service

Logging in to SciFinder Scholar today, I discovered that CAS has made some interesting and elegant instructional podcasts.  Examples include: ethanol, nanoparticle drug delivery, DNA to RNA transcription, nanotechnology for energy, and lessons from Katrina.  The videos last from 4 – 6 minutes.

Connexions — an Open Education Resource

If you want to customize some lecture notes, create a textbook  or collect some special readings for your class, Connexions might help.  It is rather like Open Courseware, but it is a wiki textbook product, and developed in modules.  Prof. Peter M. Grant from the University of Edinburgh gave a presentation about it at the Friend Center yesterday.  It was developed at Rice University but now is independently run in Houston, TX, being funded by Heulett.  It’s content is continually growing…recently consisting of 500 collections, courses, or books, and 10,500 modules or chapters of 4-8 pages.  It operates under a Creative  Commons license.  147 countries are involved.  The most prevalent language is Spanish, but there is also English, Thai, Japanese and Chinese.  All subjects are present, even though it was first developed as a Communications and Digital Signal Processing (DSP) resource.  Introduction to Music Theory is a popular text available at Connexions.  However, ~65% covers science and technology.  Anyone can contribute, become an author, and most contributions are peer reviewed at some point.  "Lenses" for quality control and review are centered at IEEE, Rice and IMS, and other institutions and individuals depending on the subjects.  One very cool application is LabVIEW which displays active analytics, for example, the graphical output readings resulting from different input filtering devices in electronics.   (More about LabVIEW. ) XML is used to store content, and texts are easily uploaded from Microsoft Word or LaTeX. 

Information about the presentation and Prof. Grant which was sponsored by: The Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education.

Common Chemistry — a web-based, free resource from Chemical Abstracts Service


 CAS launches free web-based resource for non-chemists  15 May 2009

 Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), a division of the American Chemical Society, has launched a new, free, web-based resource called Common Chemistry. This resource is helpful to non-chemists and others who might know either a chemical name or a CAS Registry Number of a common everyday chemical and want to pair both pieces of information.

Common Chemistry contains nearly 7,800 chemicals of widespread and general interest, as well as all 118 elements from the periodic table. With the exception of some of the elements, all other substances in this collection were deemed of widespread interest by having been cited 1,000 or more times in the CAS databases.

While not intended to be a comprehensive CAS Registry Number (CAS RN) lookup service, Common Chemistry does provide access to information on chemicals of general interest. The CAS Registry Number is recognised throughout the world as the most commonly used, unique identifier of chemical substances. The full CAS REGISTRYSM database contains more than 46 million organic and inorganic substances. Research discovery and patent tools such as SciFinder and STN allow users to search the entire database.

Click here

Source:  Knowledgespeak Newsletter &  CAS.

Note:  Princeton University Library subscribes to the complete CAS Chemical Abstracts and Registry database — available as SciFinder Scholar.


Nature Chemistry — new online journal from Nature Publishing Group

Nature Chemistry — the second issue is now online, and covers a wide range of topics, including catalysis, mesoporous materials, synthetic methodology, anion transport, and DNA conductivity. In addition, there is a commentary about pre-university chemical education, a review article on Mobius aromaticity and a thesis article that looks at alternative forms of the periodic table.

[Princeton University Library has subscribed, but for a time, it’s free to all.]

Source: an email announcement from Nature Publishing Group

Global Health Database open to all — to assist H1N1 effort

From a May 1, 2009 news release from the United States Agricultural Information Network:
CABI today has announced free access to its specialist Global Health database – the definitive database for public health information –
{ Princeton does have a subscription which is listed under our "Articles & Databases" groupings.}

Simultaneously CABI has developed a Swine flu ‘dashboard’ that brings together up-to-the-minute information on the virus ( ‘dashboard’ includes resources from CABI and critical advice from key health organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Influenza researchers urgently need to be able to refer back to previous scientific work in this area to understand the behaviour of previous strains of the virus and to research effective mechanisms for handling earlier outbreaks.
In a fast changing sequence of events that has led to the rapid escalation of concern from WHO, and the reaction of national governments in considering their response to a possible influenza pandemic, release of the database is designed to give urgently needed support to those who need it most: scientists, medical professionals and health authorities investigating the causes and treatments of the disease and linkages to past outbreaks.

The Global Health database brings together global knowledge on every aspect of influenza since 1910. The knowledge it contains could provide a key weapon in health researchers’ response in understanding and controlling the virus.

Much of the data in Global Health is derived from publications that have long since vanished. They tell us a great deal about past pandemics, from rates and patterns of transmission, duration, timing of epidemiological peaks, geographical distribution of the disease, government preparedness and quarantine provisions through to effects on different age and social groups, severity in developing versus developed countries, symptoms, causes of mortality (secondary problems, especially pneumonia, were devastating in the Spanish flu) and mortality rates.

 By opening the door to a wealth of historical information on past pandemics, the Global Health database has the potential to reveal vital clues in the international fight against swine flu (influenza A – H1N1).
CABI Swine Flu Dashboard –
Global Health database –