We are excited to share the video from this week’s STEM talk from computer scientist Ben Lenard. His talk focused on supercomputers at Argonne National Laboratory’s Leadership Computer Facility which help solve problems within the world, from physics to medicine.
Ben is responsible for overseeing the administration and improvement of database systems in the ALCF’s supercomputing environment. These databases are critical to many of the facility’s support services, including job scheduling, job accounting, and business intelligence. In 2016, Ben deployed the IBM Data Server Manager to help streamline database administration tasks. With this tool in place, Ben has a better idea of how the databases are being used, while developers have an improved method for identifying and addressing any performance issues with their queries. In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Ben has been strong advocate for the ALCF and for computer science, volunteering for events like the Hour of Code and Argonne’s public open house. He is also currently pursuing a PhD in Computer and Information Sciences at DePaul University. Prior to Argonne Ben worked in the financial services industry for 13 years as well as academia for 2 years.
Libraries across US are speaking up today in support of Net Neutrality. The FCC is moving to create a two-tiered system (fast lane vs slow lane) on the Internet. For decades, libraries and librarians have stood up for privacy and fairness in accessing information. You can contact the FCC and lawmakers here: Battle for the Net.
This impacts all of us and will have implications for Moraine Valley students who may not have access to technology at home or who cannot pay additional money to access the fast lane. This is an important issue, and we should take note.
What is net neutrality?
“Net neutrality is the principle that Internet providers like Comcast & Verizon should not control what we see and do online. In 2015, startups, Internet freedom groups, and 3.7 million commenters won strong net neutrality rules from the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC). The rules prohibit Internet providers from blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization—”fast lanes” for sites that pay, and slow lanes for everyone else” (from Battle for the Net website).
Here are a couple of videos that explain the issue:
Need to record a podcast or narrate your powerpoints?
You can check out microphones and other recording equipment from the library to help you create podcasts, soundtracks, or other audio assignments. Or check them out for your own personal use.
For example, the iRig handheld microphone helps you easily make professional quality recordings with your phone or tablet—the microphone plugs into the headphone jack. A tripod stand is also available. You can check out the iRig microphone for 4 hours or for 1 week.
Cameras, headsets, laptops, microphones, cables, calculators, flash drives, adapters, and chargers are also available. Loan periods vary, depending on the item. Ask at the Circulation Desk.
There are a lot of apps to choose from, but if you or family members have boxes of old pictures taking up space, you may want to download this app. The PhotoScan app lets you scan printed pictures in a short amount of time.
“The Internet-based world we live in means that common web-based homework tasks need easy and fast solutions. Ice Cream Apps fills the bill by providing students the software to take care of tasks like capturing screenshots, converting video formats, making slideshows and all kinds of stuff that college students’ coursework can require” (Mooney).
The company’s “mission is to provide millions of users all over the world with great and still free analogues to the popular paid applications for Windows systems. . . .Some of our products are absolutely free, some free versions have limited features with an upgrade possibility to PRO version which have special features and no limitations” (Icecream Apps).
As a former Master’s degree student, what I like about the Icecream Apps website is it is like a “one-stop shop” for applications that most college students will eventually need to use.
PDF Converter – a PDF format of a document is easier to access and use especially if an instructor does not use Microsoft Word; I have also used this feature many times responding to job applications when a PDF is required. Converts a file to (and from) PDF.
Screen Recorder – I had to create a presentation for one of my online classes showing a demonstration of something on-screen.
Ebook Reader – this could come in handy if a student is researching and saving online articles that are in an EPUB format.
PDF Split and Merge – could be useful if a student is saving an article they found in an online database, but only wants to keep specific pages of pertinent content.
Slideshow Maker – could help a student create a presentation or just a slideshow of personal pictures.
Image Resizer – I tested this to resize a background photo for my LinkedIn page and it is very user-friendly.
All of the above software applications work on Windows-based systems; only two (Screen Recorder and PDF Split and Merge) work on Mac based systems so far.
Other features that I like about this website are: there is a “Help Center” drop down menu which offers *manuals and how-tos on using the software; on each separate software product page there is a short video presentation highlighting features of the software; and all the software products offer translations into many different languages for people all around the world.
*Screen shot of the on-screen manual. I created this using the software and added the arrows and the text. Very user-friendly for not having read the manual.
Mooney, Paula. “Articles. Technology: 21 Most Useful Websites Every College Student Needs to Know.” n.d. Lifehack Website. Document. 7 September 2016. <http://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/21-most-useful-websites-every-college-student-needs-know.html>.
Interested in starting your own podcast? Want to learn about audio recording tools available in the library? Check out the YouCast: Digital Broadcasting Workshop Series. These workshops are free and open to current Moraine Valley students.
Recording Your Podcast or Interview with a Digital Recorder —Wednesday, October 5th, 2pm-3:30pm, Library media lab
—Thursday, October 12th, 2pm-3:30pm, Library media lab
Join us for a workshop on using a digital recording device to create a podcast or conduct an interview! During the session we will show you how to use the library’s H6 Digital Recorder including: connecting microphones, monitoring your sound, creating and managing files, and tips for getting a good set up.
Email Librarian Dan Matthews (matthewsd29[at]morainevalley.edu) to reserve your seat.
Editing Your Podcast or Interview Files Using Audacity
—Tuesday, October 11th, 2pm-3:30pm, Library media lab
—Wednesday, October 12th, 2pm-3:30pm, Library media lab
Come check out Audacity, a digital audio editing program available at the library! During the workshop we will show you how to edit your recordings, combine multiple recordings, eliminate some background noise, and add different effects to them. We’ll also show you how to manage and export your recording files.
Email Librarian Dan Matthews (matthewsd29[at]orainevalley.edu) to reserve your seat.
Looking for an interesting day trip this summer? There is a great place to visit and it is less than 10 miles from MVCC. Argonne National Laboratory is managed by the University of Chicago and has a history of being on the cutting edge of many scientific discoveries (including work on the Manhattan Project). The laboratory offers guided tours of the facility. Visit this historical site and take time to walk through the adjoining forests to visit the waterfall and remnants of the Chicago Park District nursery. Also check out the view of the Des Plaines Valley.
The Illinois Presidential Primary and State Primary election is coming up on March 15, 2016. If you haven’t had much time to look in depth at the presidential candidates’ individual websites, or you’re looking for a quicker option/comparison, Google has a way! Go to Google, input any presidential candidate’s name and the word “stance” (unquoted) into the search box.
The results are presented in a box titled “Issues” with drop down arrows. Once you click on the arrow for a particular issue you’re presented with quotes from the candidate (from different sources) on that particular issue, showing their stance.
“A Digital Native is a person who has been familiar with information technology since childhood.” Many educators and psychologists are analyzing the effects of this phenomena. If you want to explore this topic, check out the MVCC catalog or the library databases and find out how the digital movement is changing the way young people interact in every aspect of their lives.
You may also want to read this article from the December/January issue of Popular Mechanics.