Articles by Magnus Chun

Scientific Discoveries this Week – 10/26/14

Austin, Texas: A new study has found that the brain mechanisms engaged when people allow their minds to rest and reflect on things they have learned before may actually boost later learning. Researchers at University of Texas at Austin have concluded that mental rest strengthens and consolidates memories from recent learning tasks that will in fact boost future learning. Margaret Schlichting, a graduate student researcher, and Alison Preston, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, gave participants in the study two learning tasks in which participants were asked to memorize different series of associated photo pairs. Between the tasks, participants rested and could think about anything they chose. Brain scans showed that threads of information were making connections that helped in absorbing information for a later use. Preston suggests that this can be applied to everyday learning. Teachers or professors can spark initial thinking of what students already know before actually teaching a new topic, in order to help students’ transition and connect their knowledge with new topics.

Headlines from Around the World: 10/26/14

The Ebola scare continues, and, even with positive stories such as Nina Pham being cleared from her Dallas hospital, the cultural and economic strain of the virus is having a continued effect. In the end the greatest effect of the virus may be on the American economy as travel bans and fearful citizens have already caused airline stocks to drop and predicted economic losses swell to over $32.6 billion.

My Career Path: Anita Peil, Mines SWE Founder (Chevron Lecture Series)

Dr. Anita Peil, a graduate from Colorado School of Mines with a BS in Mineral Engineering Chemistry in 1971, recently gave a speech regarding the career path that she chose and how it has impacted her and her ideas. Dr. Peil founded the SWE section at Colorado School of Mines and served as the first president. Then, she went on to obtain a PhD in Food Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After her studies, she went on to work in the pharmaceutical section and now currently has over 30 years of global leadership in both public and private companies across the world.

Scientific Discoveries this Week – 10/20/14

Japan- Dr. Misao Fukuda of the M&K Health Institute in Japan found evidence to support the possibility that human sex ratios may be influenced by temperature, although in a more subtle way, through a different mechanism. Research shows that in 1968, 1.07 boys were born in Japan for every girl. By 2012, that was down to 1.05. “Male conception seems to be especially vulnerable to external stress factors, including climate changes,” Fukuda concludes. Furthermore, Fukuda investigated the data for fetal deaths in the ratio of male to female, which were 2 male per female. Nonetheless, changes to sex ratios for humans are so small that, there is no threat to our survival. But, “an increase in miscarriages for all fetuses may be one more effect of rapidly changing climates,” Fukuda says.

Headlines from Around the World: 10/20/14

The Ebola outbreak has amounted to 4000 deaths in the world and has affected West Africa, such as Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, the worst. One of those deaths belonged to Thomas Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. The UN says more than 233 health workers working in West Africa have now died in the outbreak, the world’s deadliest to date. A senior official said that they did not anticipate the scale of the Ebola outbreak. Chris Dye, from World Health Organization, said, “We’ve asked for a response of about $1 billion, so far we have around $300 million with more being pledged, so a bit less than half of what we need but it’s climbing quickly all the time.” President Barack Obama ordered screenings for Ebola at five American airports in the United States, including JFK International Airport in New York after being briefed by Center for Disease Control chief Dr. Tom Frieden earlier this week.

Headlines from Around the World: 10/07/14

The first Ebola virus case has now spread to the USA. Currently, the Ebola patient, Thomas Duncan, is in full isolation in a hospital in Dallas. His family members are kept out of school and monitored for symptoms. Duncan got the Ebola virus when he went to Liberia and helped an Ebola virus patient to a hospital. He went back home to Dallas, where he carried the virus. Ebola spreads only through contact with bodily fluids, like blood. It is not contagious when there are no symptoms, and Duncan apparently had no fever when he got on the plane. He would have been contagious in Dallas, though, raising the possibility of the first case not just spotted but contracted in the United States. The World Health Organization now estimates that the virus has killed about 70 percent of people infected in West Africa. Also, in Liberia, an American cameraman working for NBC News has tested positive for Ebola and will be flown back to US for treatment.


Swimmers Ready to “Dive” into the Season

The Mines swim team looks prepared and ready to swim fast as the team competed in their first intersquad meet of this season on Sunday (9/27). Many swimmers on the team swam their best and felt they were ready to swim fast this season. The top times were as follows for the meet- 50 backstroke: 25.27 seconds (men) and 28.10 (women), 50 breaststroke: 28.24 (men) and 33.72 (women), and 50 freestyle: 22.40 (men) and 26.10 (women). The head coach for the swim team, Nate Rothman is now entering his fifth year as head coach.

Academic Success at Mines

You just failed your first exam of the year. You are thinking to yourself, “There are two more exams, so if I get an A on both exams, I can still get a B in the class.” Want to achieve a better GPA at Mines? Want to be more effective in studying and learning new concepts? If you answered yes to either question, you should know that academic success will come with hard work and motivation. Understanding a concept and excelling at exams is not a walk in the park. CASA (Center for Academic Support Resources) at Colorado School of Mines suggests these strategies for academic success: time and stress management, cooperative learning, and effective studying.

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