The Pedagogical Advantages of Blogging

The APS’ Forum on Education’s fall newsletter includes this fascinating article about using blogs in the classroom, something I am experimenting with this semester.  Hopefully I will see results at least somewhat in support of the author’s conclusions.


Complain about federal science funding

If you think that what is happening to federal science funding this year is a disaster, please write your congressman/woman.  The APS has made this very, very easy by creating this form that requires only your name and address.  It does the rest (including looking up your congresspeople based on your zip and sending the e-mail).

The Bayesian statistics of … little plastic pigs

I used to love this game.  Apparently there’s a whole cottage industry out there centered around the statistical analysis of the pig “rolls.”  This particular analysis is Bayesian.  I think I need to get another copy of this game and add the pigs to my odd little collection of dice.  While they’re not technically dice, you roll them as if they were.  This particular analysis, in fact, is titled Solving the Dice Game Pig: an introduction to dynamic programming and value iteration.

Alternatives to Turing tests

From arXiv blog, news of a new paper summarizing alternatives to the Turing test as a measure of machine intelligence.  It brings up a curious point.  A lot of research goes unnoticed, partly because the general field of science is just so huge and partly because scientists get entrenched in their ways and frequently dismiss novel ideas even if the work is well done.  Hence, we frequently witness the age-old adage of history repeating itself when certain ideas get “rediscovered,” etc.  For example, variable-speed-of-light theories had legitimately been proposed before Joao Magueijo “reproposed” them a few years back, but he was unaware of the work because it had been swept under the proverbial rug for various reasons.  Is there a solution to this apparent problem?  How do we prevent such things from happening again (or at least minimize the possibility)?  

Happy New Year!!

I hope everyone had a nice break!  I’m still off for another few weeks, but I did spend a week in Buffalo as usual.  Imagine this: 9 hours in a car with one wife with a severely broken finger, two anxious and excited kids (ages 7 and 4), and a neurotic dog.  Now you know why we broke down and got a minivan last year.

Someone read my dissertation!

Someone actually cited (not sure if they read it or not) my dissertation!  And it was because someone actually reads my blog!  Amazing.  In any case, I received a nice e-mail from one of the authors of this paper that I referenced on this blog back in July. Sometimes it’s the little things in life… 🙂

And here’s another video of physics & football…

And, from my students Santo, Maura, Kerry, and Matt, comes another video ostensibly about the intersection of football and physics, though it takes them awhile to get to the point. Nonetheless, Maura lays a pretty good hit on Santo toward the end (think she might consider playing linebacker for the Bills?). Here’s the vid:

Quantum Moxie goes WordPress wacky!

Well, here I am, having moved over to WordPress from Blogger.  Reason?  I liked the layouts on WordPress a little better and, besides, change is good!  Of course, now I suppose I ought to let people who link to Quantum Moxie know about the move.

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