Monthly Archives: January 2013

Assassin’s Creed 3: An Imperfect trip to the past

“Assassin’s Creed 3,” the fifth installment of the popular franchise, takes players to the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Connor, an American Indian, must fight to protect his home and, in doing so, realizes that his life will never be the same. As the continuation of an established franchise, “Assassin’s Creed 3” builds upon the previous games, providing some new features, but in other ways falling short.

The Arab Spring and Islamism: Stories from the Syrian frontline

Since March 2011, Syria has been the site of a growing conflict between rebel and loyalist factions. More than 60,000 are believed dead from this clash, with the status of many more unknown. Upwards of 500,000 Syrian refugees have fled to other countries. Despite the scale of this fight, most Americans remain largely unaware of events in Syria or their significance. National Public Radio’s Foreign Correspondent, Deborah Amos, spent some time Thursday evening giving a much closer and more direct perspective on the fighting and its ramifications for the rest of the world.

Dr. Dana Christensen and Dr. Chuck Kutscher to deliver opening and closing keynote addresses at the 2013 CEER

The Spring 2013 semester is upon us, and with that comes the cornerstone event that the CSM Graduate Student Association (GSA) has become known for, The Conference on Earth & Energy Research (CEER) 2013. The event will take place at the Green Center on February 21-22, 2013, showcasing the best and brightest earth- and energy-related research from across the Mines campus, as well as other Colorado graduate institutions. Through a partnership forged by VP of Research, Dr. John Poate, NREL will be participating in CEER 2013 through presenters, judges, as well as the opening keynote speaker. CEER 2013 is very proud to announce that the opening and closing keynote speakers for CEER 2013 will be Dr. Dana Christensen and Dr. Chuck Kutscher, respectively.

Scientific discoveries this week: 1/20/13

Pennsylvania, United States
Last year a team of physicists showed how to undo the “coffee-ring effect,” which occurs when drops of liquid with suspended particles dry, leaving a ring-shaped stain at the drop’s edges. The team discovered that different particles make smoother or rougher deposition profiles depending on their shape. The two deposition profiles of particular interest are “Poisson” and “Kardar-Parisi-Zhang” processes. Poisson processes arise when growth is random in space and time; the growth of one region is independent of neighboring regions. Kardar-Parisi-Zhang (KPZ) occurs when growth of an individual region depends on neighboring regions. A mathematical simulation of these growth processes might be a game of Tetris, but with single square blocks with the blocks falling at random into a series of adjacent columns, forming stacks. In a Poisson process a tall stack is just as likely to be next to a short stack as another tall stack. As such, Poisson processes produce a very rough surface, with large changes in surface height from one column to the next. On the other hand KPZ processes lead to blocks sticking to adjacent columns. When they fall into a column, they do not always fall all the way to the bottom but instead can stick to adjacent columns at their highest point. Thus short columns will catch up to their tall neighbors over time, and the resulting surfaces are smoother. There will be fewer abrupt changes in height from one column to the next.

Headlines from around the world: 1/20/13

The United States is about halfway through the current flu season and although it is hitting the elderly hardest, 29 children have also died from influenza. 48 states reported widespread geographic influenza activity and more than 5,000 people were sick enough to be hospitalized. The early season has caused a run on flu vaccines, and now some areas report shortages. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, flu vaccine makers were able to squeeze out 10 million more doses than expected for a total of 145 million doses.


Club Sport of the Week: Ski Team

The ski resorts here in Colorado make the state the nation’s number one ski and snowboard destination. Colorado’s resorts allow skiers and snowboarders more time on the mountain, as the 26 resorts generally open earlier and stay open later than anywhere else in the country – usually October to April. Colorado also has the highest altitude lift-serviced terrain in the country, making this state an ideal location for the Colorado School of Mines Ski Team to compete.

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