Lunch & Learn: Dr. Martin Wikelski: Automated Radio-Tracking of Rainforest Animals with Martin Wikelski and Axel Haenssen

radiotower.jpgImagine getting an alert on your Blackberry because a two-tied sloth had just died in Panama.
The March 29 Lunch ‘n Learn featured Martin Wikelski and Axel Haenssen discussing an Automated Radio-Tracking of Rainforest Animals. Four years in the making, this enormous interdisciplinary effort has established and maintained a high-tech observatory for animals in a tropical rainforest. The effort involved capturing and tagging ocelots, mice, coati, paca, agouti, spiny rats, iguana, and two- and three-toed sloths on Barro Colorado Island in Panama and then, with numerous radio receivers, tracking their movements. As a result, we have a better understanding of their interaction, their reproduction, as well as their social and predation activities.

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Lunch & Learn: Dean Maria Klawe: “The Truth About Females and Computing”

Dr. Maria KlaweIn a special March 1 Lunch ‘n Learn presentation, Dr. Maria Klawe, dean of Princeton’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, presented Gender, Lies and Video Games: The Truth about Females and Computing. The event was simulcast via Internet2 to other NJ K-20 institutions including Montclair State University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Passaic Valley High School.
Dr. Klawe’s March 1 talk explored how girls and women differ from boys and men in their uses of and attitudes toward computers and computing. For example, why do fewer young women play computer and video games, take computer science courses, major in computer science, go into computing careers, and end up in senior positions?
Dr. Klawe began by exploring and exploding some of the myths (lies?) about computing. For example, are computers a boy toy? In fact, teenage girls spend more time on the internet than boys. However, many of the myths persist in influencing students, teachers, parents, and the media. And such myths can play a pernicious role in influencing women away from computing professions.

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Lunch & Learn: Millions, Billions, Zillions – Why (In)numeracy Matters with Dr. Brian Kernighan

Dr. Brian KernighanAt OIT’s Lunch ‘n Learn seminar on Wednesday February 22, Computer Science Professor Brian Kernighan presented Millions, Billions, Zillions – Why (In)numeracy Matters. In 2004, Newsweek magazine stated: “Perhaps the Bush administration could use the 660-billion-barrel Strategic Petroleum Reserve to push prices down. Given that the average vehicle uses 550 gallons a year, assuming that there are 300 million cars and that a barrel contains approximately 50 gallons, our yearly oil needs work out to about 3 billion barrels a year. And so, offered Dr. Kernighan, “Why are we so worried about oil?”
The answer is, of course, that our Strategic Petroleum Reserve is actually 550 million barrels, enough for 200 days, not 200 years.

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Lunch & Learn: Faculty Demonstrate Interesting Uses of Blackboard for Teaching and Learning with Keiko Kuriyama, Antonio Calvo, Ana Figueroa, Rena Lederman, Lee Mitchell, Lee Silver, and Laurel Goodell

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Many of you are well aware that the Blackboard Course Management System provides easy access to a syllabus, a facebook, a gradebook, a sectioning tool, e-mail lists, links to reserve reading, and other course documents. At OIT’s February 8 Lunch ‘n Learn, faculty members Keiko Kuriyama, Antonio Calvo, Ana Figueroa, Rena Lederman, Lee Mitchell and Lee Silver and Technical Staff member Laurel Goodell proved you can also use Blackboard to enhance the learning experience for students.
For example, you can now create reusable, automatically graded exams. With self-correcting questions, you can make sure that students keep up with the reading and lectures. And by using Blackboard’s discussion boards, you can extend the classroom discussion and sustain interest in key topics throughout the semester.

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Experimenting With New Ways to Make Music

Princeton NJ — Pass by the basement rehearsal space in Woolworth on a Thursday afternoon and you may hear electronic raindrops, a fast-forward reading of Dr. Seuss or a deep moaning that seems to emanate from the bottom of the ocean. You may even hear something you recognize as music, like a rockabilly jazz melody.
It’s hard to predict just what the Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk for short) will play next, and that is exactly the point according to computer music mavericks Perry Cook and Dan Trueman, who assembled the orchestra as a freshman seminar this semester.
Read complete Princeton Weekly Bulletin article here.