Thursday, October 13, 2011

Visit the UW Research Commons!

The UW Libraries Research Commons, located on the ground floor of the Allen Library South, has many spaces available for students and faculty to support group research, presentations, seminars, and colloquia. The Research Commons opened a little less than one year ago, and is designed as an evolving, flexible space that fosters interdisciplinary conversation and provides research support via the Libraries and campus partnerships.

A few highlights this quarter:

Graduate Student Workshops: In partnership with the Graduate School, the Libraries is kicking off a new year of graduate student workshops in the Research Commons. Check out the full list of offerings this fall at: Many workshops are happening this week.
Drop-in Writing Consultations: The Odegaard Writing and Research Center is now offering morning drop-in consultations in the Research Commons -- for graduate students only -- twice a week. Tutors staffing these consulting hours are experienced in supporting graduate level research and writing for a wide range of academic and professional purposes. Unlike traditional OWRC sessions, these consultations may last up to 1.5 hours to better accommodate larger projects. Autumn Quarter: Mondays and Thursdays 10:30am-noon. No reservations required. First-come, first served.

New Collaboration Screens: Student Technology Fee funds enabled us to add large screens, which can be used with your laptop, in many of our reservable spaces:

New Presentation Spaces: The Research Commons has undergone a few changes based on user feedback to better support large group research work and presentations. We’ve added a new room, Green A, that seats up to 25 people. Later this quarter we’ll have two additional enclosed reservable spaces for group projects and events.

GIS Day: On Wednesday, November 16th the Research Commons will serve as a venue for a full day of GIS activities coordinated by the UW Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology and the Libraries. Stop by the Research Commons to hear talks by students and faculty involved in Geographic Information System projects, view a GIS poster session, or visit the "GIS Doctor" to get help with a GIS-related question.

Whiteboard Capture: The Research Commons features whiteboard surface tables, mobile whiteboards, whiteboard walls and dry-erase markers for checkout. We also have an EBeam Edge interactive whiteboard system that can be checked out and used within the Research Commons to turn any whiteboard surface into a digital and interactive copyboard. Use the EBeam to create a video or image capture of a presentation, brainstorming session, or TA consultation in the Research Commons.

Information Design Exhibit: On display in the Research Commons are posters created by students in Assoc. Professor Karen Cheng’s ART 478: Information Design course. In this senior-level undergraduate studio class, Visual Communication Design students research and design a series of information graphics that visualize a subject, social issue, event, or controversy. These data graphics are composed into a pair of narrative information design posters/panels and a web-based module.

Interested in seeing your students’ work displayed in the space for a poster session or longer-term exhibit? Contact

Visit the Research Commons website or our blog to learn more about the development of the Research Commons.

Use the Feedback link on the blog to give us feedback, or email

Opera Is For The 99%: Here's What You Told Us

"Yesterday's post about popular perceptions of opera as an entertainment for the rich definitely struck a nerve. We've been (happily) deluged with responses both on our site and on Facebook – and much of the conversation has contradicted a very tired stereotype. Here's just a small sampling of what you've told us."

For the full story, please see

Are Gibson guitars killing the rainforest?

"Up here you grow up liking Fenders or you grow up liking Gibsons," says Billy Jack, 55, sat in a Nashville music store eyeing up a trio of shiny new Gibson guitars.

Cradling a $3,800 (£2,413) Gibson Les Paul, Mr Jack, a veteran guitarist, recalls riffs gone by as he explains his fondness for one of rock's iconic instruments."

For the full story, please see

Monday, October 10, 2011

Music Training Enhances Children’s Verbal Intelligence

"A just-published study from Canada suggests early music education stimulates a child’s brain, leading to improved performance in an entirely different arena – verbal intelligence."

For the full story, please see

Dealing With the Committee

"Your dissertation committee has to approve your dissertation before you graduate. Committee members can also serve as mentors and coaches who can help you reach your professional goals. Therefore, you need a strong working relationship with them. Here are some guidelines:"

For the full story, please see InHigher Ed.