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Links & Drinks

January 6, 2012

It’s a good day for introspection and reflection. And given the time of year it’s also a common time for resolutions and goals. So as I enjoy my Starbucks Mocha (pictured in the photo) here’s some links to feed your brain:

I wrote a post over at Engineer Blogs today on how to succeed in your engineering internship. Of course the lessons there are probably not specific to the engineering field so all you budding young folks looking for internships please stop by. And you more experienced mavens of the working world can go over your own advice, maybe what you wish you’d known at your first internship or maybe what you just learned from the last intern you hired.

Barefoot Doctoral is accepting a new postdoc position and talking about the difficulty of explaining the long commute involved to her extended family. She talks about how her family has seemingly placed “family before ambition”. I’ve definitely seen this in the small town where I live and with many coworkers whose wives do the same and they seem surprised when others make different decisions. Probably not so much the different mindset but the judgment from one side to the other that is the problem.

Zuska talks about when it’s appropriate to speak up. She gives some great advice to not wait until you have been harassed or discriminated against. But to have a plan ready ahead of time. She’s responding to this post by Hermitage where she wonders whether academia has an anti-whistleblower policy.

Over at Academic Jungle GMP is talking about recruiting international students and the discrepancies between test scores and how to really find that qualified student and separate it out from what the numbers might say or suggest. Since some countries might have really different standards from other countries, a mediocre score in one place could still mean an excellent student whereas a better score in another country might be meaningless. I think this is such a universal issue, namely wonder about this when you are looking at recent engineering graduates and their GPAs versus what institution they came from or what level of engineer they might end up becoming.

And lastly, Cherish is volunteering to help out with advanced math concepts in an elementary school classroom. This week she’s using other numbering systems to teach the kids about different bases. Of course I’m impressed second graders are getting exposed to this but I think it’s fantastic. I remember learning about Mayan numbers in junior high and that lesson has really stayed with me. Also if you are interested in numbering systems you might enjoy Terry Jones’ documentary The Story of One. Goes into our modern numbering system and how it derived and affected history as it developed in an amusing style that only Jones can pull of. And it’s streaming on Netflix if you have that.

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