The Scout Report -- Volume 17, Number 24

June 17, 2011

A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Sponsored by University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries.

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

In The News

Research and Education

AMSER Science Reader Monthly: Bionics

Every month Scouts sister site AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Education Repository, publishes their Science Reader Monthly (AMSER SRM). The AMSER SRM provides STEM educators with a useful online collection of information about a particular topic related to applied math and science, by combining freely available articles from popular periodicals with curriculum, learning objects, and websites found within the AMSER portal. Like all the resources and tools within AMSER, the AMSER Science Reader Monthly is free to use and can be used in a variety of educational settings. This months AMSER SRM features the National Geographic piece "Bionics", which was written by Josh Fischman. The AMSER SRM provides an introduction to the article, which includes an explanation of the field of bionics; a look at the exciting work being completed on artificial limbs; and examines other new bionic technologies including cochlear implants and bionic eyes. The AMSER SRM also provides links to several resources from within the AMSER collection, which will supplement the information and topics found within the article. Some of the AMSER resources include a lesson plan on building a robotic arm, Carnegie Mellons Robotics Academy, and a site from the University of Toronto dedicated to their Artificial Perception Lab. [CMH]

To find this resource and more high-quality online resources in math and science visit Scout's sister site - AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at

Americas Archive in the Rice Digital Scholarship Archive

Rice University has a well-developed digital scholarship archive and this particular area of the site "strives to represent the full range and complexity of the Americas history by bringing together key documents." The Americas Digital Archive project is under the direction of two scholars at the university, and they have worked with colleagues to digitize over 1,000 documents. Visitors to the site will note that there are visual materials, translated documents, and a set of scholarly papers and presentations. The collection contains many materials related to the American Southwest and its borderlands area. Sample documents include reports on the United States and Mexican boundary survey from 1859 and translated documents from administrators in northern Mexico. Also, visitors are encouraged to browse the collection by date, author, title, or subject. [KMG]

Plant Genome Research Outreach Portal [pdf]

Based at the Iowa State University, the mission of the Plant Genome Research Outreach Portal (PGROP) is "to provide a centralized access point for location plant genome research outreach activities, programs and resources." The site contains fact sheets, lesson plans, and other materials for students and educators, including specifically themed resources on crops like maize, rice, sorghum, soybeans, and wheat. On the right-hand side of the page, visitors can use the "New and Noteworthy" area which contains links to genome databases like the Maize Genetics & Genomics database and the helpful "Fast Plants" website. Also, the "Resources Concerning" area includes peer-vetted links organized by topics like bioinformatics, genomics, molecular biology, and DNA. Finally, the site also contains the detailed report of the National Plant Genome Initiative. [KMG]

To find this resource and more high-quality online resources in math and science visit Scout's sister site - AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at

American Association of Anatomists: Anatomy Resources [pdf]

The American Association of Anatomists (AAA) has organized this diverse and robust set of anatomical links for use by students, educators, and the generally curious. The site presents seventeen different thematic link areas, including "Awards", "Anatomy Education-Evolution", and "Journals". Each thematic area presents the top five websites visited by AAA members. The first area to visit is the "Anatomy Education-General" area. Here visitors can look over interactive anatomy exhibits and they will also find several helpful Flash animations. Moving on, the "Students and Professionals" area includes links to digital illustrated textbooks from Dartmouth Medical School and anatomy tables from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Also, the "Journals" area includes links to key journals in the field, although not all of the content here is available for free. Finally, for those who might be interested in such an option, there are also sites about willed body donation here as well. [KMG]

To find this resource and more high-quality online resources in math and science visit Scout's sister site - AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at

Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL): Learning Spaces Collaborative

Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) recently started the PKAL Learning Spaces Collaborative in order to bring together educational leaders who are "taking responsibility for transforming institutional policies, practices, and programs to ensure robust learning spaces for all American undergraduates." On their site, visitors can learn about their work with creating dynamic learning environments via the "Who We Are" section. Moving on, the "Resources" area contains links on how to plan and create such an environment. The "Stories from the Field" contains first-hand narratives about this process, along with interviews and conversations. On their homepage, visitors can also learn about upcoming events and also take in recent commentary pieces like "What makes a good learning environment for undergraduate mathematics students?" [KMG]

STEM Equity Pipeline

As a past president of the National Academy of Engineering put it, "A consequence of lack of diversity...[is that] we pay an opportunity cost, a cost in designs not thought of, in solutions not produced." Thus, in an effort to increase the diversity of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce, STEM Equity Pipeline was developed. The "Online Resources" section of their website offers visitors a wide variety of resources, including "pamphlets/brochures", "posters", "scholarships" and "videos". The "Curriculum" resource is particularly rich and it offers over 50 websites that contain single activities, whole lesson plans or hands-on explorations. Some of the titles visitors might find valuable are "Some Disassembly Required", which employs reverse engineering (or taking things apart) to learn how they work, "Teaching Tool for Introductory Programming Concepts", to teach students computer programming in a 3D environment, and "Home Science Adventures", science lessons and plans for home- schoolers. [KMG]

To find this resource and more high-quality online resources in math and science visit Scout's sister site - AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at

Chemical & Engineering News

The American Chemical Society produces the weekly magazine "Chemical & Engineering News" which reports on topics ranging from business to government to education drawn from across the world of chemistry. Although much of the content on the website is password-protected for those with a subscription to the magazine, the fascinating "Multimedia" section of the website is accessible to all visitors. The "Latest Photo Galleries" section has the must see gallery "Another Kind of Landscape" from May 2, 2011, which is about a new book on environmental degradation. There are just five photos, all aerial views, that at first blush look beautiful and like works of art, but upon reading the caption, visitors will learn that the photos are of the run-off from a fertilizer plant, an aluminum producer, and a coal mine. The enlightening and interactive article from June 2007 (under "Other Multimedia") titled "The Incredible Vastness of Data lets visitors visualize the differences between chemical research conducted in 1907 and 2007. Overall, the multimedia has much to offer and warrants several return visits. [KMG]

To find this resource and more high-quality online resources in math and science visit Scout's sister site - AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at

Center for Research on Learning and Teaching

The University of Michigan 's College of Engineering teamed up with the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching in 2004 to help better train graduate student instructors (GSI) in engineering and promote a culture of teaching and learning. This website provides visitors interested in perusing the "Research and Scholarship in Engineering Education" ample amounts of material. They will find the following categories "U-M Engineering Projects", "Posters Presented at U-M", along with "Select Publications by CRLN-Engin Staff". The Posters are displayed each fall, and show research by the College of Engineering faculty and graduate students. One intriguing poster from the fifth annual poster session was entitled "Who Majors in STEM: Psychological Measures that Predict Major Choice". The U-M Engineering Projects cover four main topics, and multiple subtopics, such as "Engineering Student Retention", "Technology in the Classroom", and "Innovative Course Content". [KMG]

General Interest

Baltimore Ecosystem Study - Education

The Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) is an ecological study about "the particularly dynamic and patchy ecosystem type found in and around cities, and enhances ecological understanding by including an ecosystem type rarely studied by ecologists." Visitors will find that the website's "Education" section proposes to answer the question about how urban residents can improve their environment and daily lives by understanding the dynamics of their ecosystem. In order to find the answer to that question, visitors should click on the "Education Research" link. Here, visitors will find studies under the topics of "Investigations in Ecology Teaching" and "Investigations in Student Thinking and Learning". Visitors will find a brief summary of findings for each of the studies, illustrated by charts and graphs. "The Baltimore Ecosystem Study Demographic and Social Science Research" link at the bottom of the outline contains a colorful 3D map of the existing "canopy & lifestyle" of Baltimore that shows lifestyle classes are related to landscape structure. [KMG]

To find this resource and more high-quality online resources in math and science visit Scout's sister site - AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at


Created "to champion the selfless acts of others" and "to create a portal into the soul of humanity" the Explore website was created in part with support from the Annenberg Foundation. On this website, visitors can view films that cover themes such as animal rights, poverty, the environment, and spirituality. Clicking on the "Films" tab brings up a grid of recently added films, complete with another section that divides them up by "Places" and Causes". The films range in length from a two to thirty minutes, and visitors can also create their own playlist of films for their own use. Some of the more recently added films of note include "Fish Out of Water" and "Gorillas98.6% Human". Also, visitors can connect with other parties by using the "Discussions" section to talk about travel, philanthropy, or filmmaking. The "Minds" area features profiles of the filmmakers and others profiled throughout the site, and visitors can filter them by countries and causes. [KMG]

AP Central: AP Calculus AB Course Home Page [pdf]

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the AP College Board have a number of excellent resources at their disposal, and this site provides a cornucopia of materials about teaching and learning calculus. First up is the information about the actual AP Calculus AB course, which may be most useful to those teaching the course at the high school level. Most visitors will want to take their time looking over the "Classroom Instruction and Resources" area. Here visitors will find special focus materials on approximation and differential equations, along with sample lesson plans and curriculum modules. The modules cover extrema, motion, and reasoning from tabular data. History of mathematics-types shouldn't miss the "History of Calculus" area, as it is quite a pip. [KMG]

To find this resource and more high-quality online resources in math and science visit Scout's sister site - AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at

World Bank: China

The World Bank has a number of marvelous country profile websites, and their site dedicated to China is top-notch. It's not just a simple demographic overview of this dynamic country; it is a series of meditations on the state of their economy, political culture, urban development, and other affairs. First-time users will want to look at the "Country-At-A-Glance" section at the top of the homepage to get a thumbnail sketch of the country's current state of affairs. Over on the left-hand side of the page, visitors can look over the "Projects & Programs" area, which talks about the Bank's activities in the country, which include energy efficiency projects and sustainable biodiversity conservation works. Moving on, the "What's New" area features opinion pieces from World Bank officials, press releases, and information about lending policies. Users are also invited to sign up for their RSS feed and email updates here. [KMG]

Moving Image Source

If you enjoy films, you will probably be delighted to learn about the Moving Image Source website. Created by the people at the Museum of the Moving Image, the site contains interviews and articles with film critics, filmmakers, and other commentators. The site contains four primary areas: "Articles", "Calendar", "Dialogues", and "Research Guide." The "Articles" area contains guided tours through Jean-Luc Godard's "Film Socialisme", the virtual visions of Marco Brambilla, and the many faces of Catherine Deneuve. The archives of these articles date back to 2008, and visitors can also search this collection by author. The "Dialogues" area contains audio files of conversations with film figures like Michael Caine, Amy Ryan, Terry Gilliam, and David O. Russell. The site is rounded out by the "Research Guide" area, which includes helpful links to sites that deal with film criticism, scoring, history, and technology. [KMG]

British Library: Out of this World Exhibit

What will the future look like? Many pundits, writers, and speculators have written about this via the science fiction genre. Some have drawn up dreadful dystopias, and others have imagined a technofuturist paradise that solves all human ills. This digital exhibit, Out of This World: Science Fiction But Not As You Know It, is meant to look into such matters, and it was created by staff members at the British Library to complement an in-situ exhibit. Visitors can get started here by watching a short introductory video and learning a bit about the works featured within. The "Videos" area contains responses by various authors and scientists to questions like "What work of science fiction has had most impact on you, and why?" and "What fictional technology do you look forward to becoming reality?" Additionally, the site contains links to related sites, such as the British Science Fiction Association and New Scientist. [KMG]

American Radicalism

The Michigan State University Libraries has created this digital collection to highlight a range of books, periodicals, posters, and ephemera that deal with various radical movements in the United States. The materials here are divided into twelve different headings, including "Rosenberg Case", "I.W.W.", "Hollywood Ten", and "Black Panthers". The "Hollywood Ten" area is a good place to start as it contains mimeographed documents created by the wives of the movie industry people singled out by the House Un-American Committee (HUAC) and other related items. The "Sacco-Vanzetti" area contains a cartoon version of their trials created by the Daily Worker publication in 1927 and the compelling pamphlet "Ten Questions that have Never Been Answered". Overall, it's quite a collection and one that will delight all students of the American condition. [KMG]

Big Apple History - PBS Kids Go!

The PBS Kids Go! website dedicated to the history of New York City is loaded with information. The site includes a timeline which covers most aspects of New York City history, including "Early New York", "Business and Politics", and "Coming to America", which addresses the immigrant experience. Each of these topics has drop-down menus that teach visitors what life was like during each period, and they include "important events" and "cool people from the past", such as the Robber Barons, Marcus Garvey, and W.E.B. Du Bois. Visitors should definitely check out the "Activities" link located on the dirigible in the upper right-hand corner of any page. Two interesting activities are "Epidemic! under the "New York Living" topic and "Play the Market" in the "Business and Politics" topic. The "Epidemic!" activity focuses on the flu epidemic of 1918, and encourages visitors to research a local epidemic, devise public health measures to quell or slow the epidemic, and present the public health measures. The "Play the Market" activity teaches kids to track stocks they have picked and bought with imaginary money. [KMG]

Network Tools


Before a book is released to the general book-buying public, the publisher will send out galley copies to potential reviewers, bloggers, journalists, and librarians. With NetGalley, interested parties can make requests for galleys to be sent to them electronically. First-time visitors will need to log in first and fill out a profile before they request any galleys. Visitors can use the site to browse the catalog of available titles and they can also check out the "FAQ" area. This version of NetGalley is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]


Recently, there's been a great deal of talk about the "cloud" and its potential computing advantages. Those who would like to take advantage of the cloud should take a look at the CloudSave application. Visitors can use CloudSave to save files from Google Docs, Amazon Cloud Drive, Facebook, Picasa, and many other programs and applications. Currently, this version of CloudSave works with all operating systems running the Google Chrome browser. [KMG]

In The News

IBM at 100: How do they do it?

IBM: 1100100 and counting

IBM Press Room: IBM Centennial

As centennial looms, IBM CEO succession talk perks up

The Backstory on IBM's Centennial Book: Making the World Work Better

Corporations: The Brain Builders,9171,937187,00.html

IBM Research: Deep Blue

On June 16, 2011, IBM celebrated its 100th year anniversary, and it has been a rather interesting trip for a company that began with the merger of four companies in 1911. The company is known colloquially as "Big Blue", and over the past century they have sold computer hardware, engaged in multinational consulting projects, and been a leader in nanotechnology. As this centennial is celebrated, many have asked, "How has IBM done it?" It's a good question, and one that has been the subject of TV programs, scholarly discussions, and industry blogs in the past several weeks. Professor Moss Kanter of the Harvard Business School suggests, "From the beginning, IBM had a concept of itself as an institution, not just a technology company." Another reason for their longevity may be IBMs move, in recent years, to become much less hierarchical and more open to suggestions from internal sources, like key employees. Finally, the company has also embarked on a much more ambitious and methodical set of financial plans, including selling off businesses that no longer yield a sufficient profit margin. No matter what they have done or plan to do in the future, celebrating 100 years in business is a remarkable feat. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to a recent piece from The Economist which reports on how IBM has changed with the times over the past century to remain profitable and relevant. The second link leads to the official film made by IBM for their centennial. Moving along, the third link leads to a piece from this Monday's ZDNET about the next possible CEO at IBM. The fourth link will whisk users away to a piece from the "Building a Smarter Planet" blog which profiles Steve Hamm's work on creating the IBM centennial book, "Making the World Work Better". The fifth link leads to a terrific piece from the Mar 28, 1955 edition of Time magazine about the world of corporations, with tremendous detail on the state of IBM in the mid-1950s. The final link leads to IBM's homepage for the fabled 1997 chess match between world chess champion Garry Kasparov and the Deep Blue Supercomputer. Visitors to the site can learn about the match, check out the chess moves deployed by the two participants, and learn more about Deep Blue.

Below are the copyright statements to be included when reproducing annotations from The Scout Report.

The single phrase below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing any portion of this report, in any format:

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2011.

The paragraph below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing the entire report, in any format:

Copyright Internet Scout, 1994-2011. Internet Scout (, located in the Computer Sciences Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provides information about the Internet to the U.S. research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the entire Scout Report provided this paragraph, including the copyright notice, are preserved on all copies.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, or the National Science Foundation.

The Scout Report (ISSN 1092-3861) is published weekly by Internet Scout

Internet Scout Team
Max GrinnellEditor
Chanda HaldermanManaging Editor
Edward AlmasyCo-Director
Rachael BowerCo-Director
Andrea CoffinMetadata Specialist
Bryan SchneiderInternet Cataloger
Autumn Hall-TunInternet Cataloger
Tim BaumgardWeb Developer
Corey HalpinWeb Developer
Rusty LalkakaTechnical Specialist
Benjamin YuleTechnical Specialist
Emma SchneiderAdministrative Support
Matt LinsonAdministrative Support
Debra ShapiroContributor

For information on additional contributors, see the Internet Scout staff page.