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Making Contacts at Conferences

By | April 4, 1988

Conferences serve many purposes, both professional and social. They aim to foster efficient information exchange, offer the opportunity to investigate employment possibilities, and provide a chance for old friends to get reacquainted. With a certain regularity and for a brief time a far-flung community comes together. I am not the only one to have noticed, however, that many conferences serve younger professionals poorly. Graduate students and recent postdocs—the people who have the most

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Version 2.0 MathSoft One Kendall Square Cambridge, MA 02139 1-800-MathCAD Price: $349. Student version: $40 (sold through Addison-Wesley). Requirements:IBM PC/XT/AT or compatible. 512 K RAM (640 K recommended). DOS 2.0 or later. Math coprocessor recommended. MathCAD has the simplest user interface of the six packages reviewed here. After booting up, you get a blank screen, except for a single “Command:” line at the top. It is a bit intimidating to the uninitiated, but the unclutte

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NSF's Bloch On Funding For Science

By | April 4, 1988

Under Erich Bloch, who was appointed director of the National Science Foundation in 1984, the agency has broadened its activities beyond its traditional support of individual laboratories and researchers. Bloch has strengthened NSF’S engineering component and put greater emphasis on on industry university cooperation, including the establishment of research centers around the country as the focus for advanced study in areas ranging from computers to exotic materials to basic biology. He a

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Universal Technical Systems, Inc. 1220 Rock Street Rockford, IL 61101-1437 (813) 963-2220 Price: $395. Student version: $44.95 (sold through McGraw-Hill). Requirements: IBM PC/XT/AT or compatible. 512 K RAM. Dual floppy/ hard disk. DOS 2.0 or later. TK!Solver, the oldest equation solver, hit the market in 1984. It had a brief moment of glory as the first of its kind, but, burdened with a difficult and confusing user interface, it never achieved widespread use. Universal Technical Systems sa

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WASHINGTON--The $3.3 billion increase in spending for science and space programs proposed by the administration for 1989 is shrinking rapidly as it begins to make its way through Congress. On March 17 the House Budget Committee sliced the request in half. But the panel’s non-binding reductions in spending authority varied greatly by agency. The National Science Foundation, for example, received $300 million of its $330 million increase, while the $400 million increase for general scienc

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Version 1.0 Pacific Crest Software 887. NW Grant Avenue. Corvallis, OR 97330 503-754-1067 Price: $295.. Sold to students and faculty on an individual basis for $75. Requirements: IBM PC/XT/AT or compatible. 256 K RAM. DOS 2.0 or higher. The name of this package comes from the vendor’s description of the product’s main features under five headings: (1) a programmable calculator with built-in functions; (2) a data analysis system in which data can be sorted; analyzed, transformed an

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Problem-Solving Software

By | April 4, 1988

Holy trinity of software. beware! Move over spreadsheet data base handler and word processor. Make room for the equation solver, the simulation/prediction program for those who live by the numbers. What is an equation solver? Basically, it's: a software package that will do complex mathematical computations without being programmed by the user. Most solvers are more than just souped-up calculators. In addition to built-in trig functions, step functions, math routines, etc., they can plot cal

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WASHINGTON—Leftist members of the peace movement here have challenged the commitment of renowned physicist Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker to their cause, sparking a debate over the role of scientists in political issues. Weizsäcker, at 75 an elder statesman in the movement, was a key member of a small team of German scientists who worked unsuccessfully on controlled nuclear fission during World War II. For the past 40 years he has analyzed the dangers of nuclear war. Last fa

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Society Learns From Magazine Sale

By | April 4, 1988

WASHINGTON—The pending sale of Psychology Today to the owners of American Health marks more than the end of a costly and divisive episode in the life of the American Psychological Association. APA’s experiences with the magazine, according to its new owners and several psychologists closely connected to it, offer valuable lessons to any scientific association thinking about educating the public through a commercial magazine. “We have a better chance of serving the vision of

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Some Choice Words From Waksman

By | April 4, 1988

Since scientists operate in small worlds populated by people with common research interests, they repeatedly encounter one another in the literature as well as at conferences. The world I inhabited as a graduate student and for some years thereafter revolved around the study of antibiotics. I earned my doctorate in the department of microbiology at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, where antibiotics were the focus of interest. The chairman of the department was Selman A. Waksman. He

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