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Mike Ciavarella's blog

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Is Your Thesis Hot? Or Not? --- check it out !

Is Your Thesis Hot? Or Not?

Writing a thesis about animal intentionality and tool use is
totally hot right now. A thesis about Robert Louis Stevenson's use of
the supernatural to symbolize evil? Not so much.

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Suresh's group Fighting Malaria: Understanding the Biomechanical Properties of Red Blood Cells

Suresh's group Fighting Malaria: Understanding the Biomechanical Properties of Red Blood Cells

Subra Suresh with Quinn

MIT Dean of Engineering Subra
Suresh with graduate
student David Quinn. Photo: L. Barry Hetherington


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statistics about students in world universities

dear Friend

I am comparing italian universities with Russian ones with US and with Cuban ones. Then I need some figures.

I have been able for example to find that there are about 50% of students-workers in Russia, what about US?
I mean full time workers, not just part time.

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Ferrari Millechili project --- the next generation of sport car

I am going to Modena on Monday to talk to my collegues in the Millechili lab (MilleChili means 1000Kg in italian)


Ferrari S.p.A.


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Promotion at random is better! Tenure makes you more "incompetent" -- Peter's principle proved by two italian scientists!

If you are upset about promotion system, look at what two italian friends proved recently, which was immediately popular before the paper publication, also because they proved random promotion is more efficient!

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Euromech workshop on Multiscale effects in Fatigue, July 7-9, 2010 at the Ecole Polytechnique

Dear Collegue

We are organising in July 7-9, 2010 an Euromech workshop on Multiscale
effects in Fatigue, at the Ecole Polytechnique, near Paris in France.
Outcomes and topics are detailed on the following web site:

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Strain gradient plasticity: the flow rule of Fleck and Hutchinson violates thermodynamics ?

A recent paper on JMPS has seriously questioned the foundation of the SGP theory of Fleck and Hutchinson.  The matter is not simple, but is it a good bench test for imechanica to discuss?


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a couple of recently published papers in contact mechanics -- roughness and dynamic rolling

For those interested in a classical subject like contact mechanics, here are a couple of recent papers published in August.  One is an extension of the Greenwood Williamson theory of rough contact, and the other is a linear perturbation solution of the classical Carter rolling contact problem for a rolling cylinder, when the surface is corrugated and hence there are oscillations in both normal and tangential loads.

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biomimetics from national geographics april 2008


Boxfish Hdr

Biomimetics: Design by Nature
What has fins like a whale, skin like a lizard, and eyes like a moth? The future of engineering.

By Tom Mueller

Photograph by Robert Clark

Biomimetics: Design by Nature

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China: The prizes and pitfalls of progress

Remember when I spoke of the Easterlin paradox (a key concept in happiness economics postulated by Richard Easterlin in the 1974 paper "Does Economic Growth Improve the Human Lot? Some Empirical Evidence."[1]
It finds that, contrary to expectation, happiness at a national level

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Mars and Venus - How Europeans and Americans View and Use Science - ESOF July20th -Part 1: The Eu Perspective -

From ESOF, an interesting presentation, attached. 

Mars and Venus
How Europeans and Americans
View and Use Science<
Part 1: The European Perspective

Dr Roland Schenkel, Director General, European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC)

 Some quotes

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The full list of journals ranked by H index --- but not the list of highlycited papers :(

After some conversation with Roozbeh which are "irritatingly useful" :) I found that this site has done already all the calculations we need  except the list of highlycited papers which remains for me the most interesting aspect and which we seem to need to do manually as we did yesterday with IJSS and JMPS at Most cited papers and H-factor of some mechanics journals -- IJSS

Some results are attached as a big PDF file.

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A 25million US$ challenge for imechanica: VIRGIN EARTH CHALLENGE


Sir Richard Branson has recently announced


The Virgin Earth Challenge is a prize of $25m for whoever can demonstrate to the judges' satisfaction a commercially viable design which results in the removal of anthropogenic, atmospheric greenhouse gases so as to contribute materially to the stability of Earth’s climate.


I know it is NOT our main expertise, but should imechanica altogether run for the challenge?

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Most cited papers and H-factor of some mechanics journals -- IJSS


The full list of journals ranked by H index

It is possible to rank journals equally as authors, using e.g. the Harzing Publish or Perish sofware based on Google Scholar. I did the excercise for IJSS. It turns out the H-index is 78 (slightly higher than even the best authors in solid mechanics, but not stellar).  In the most highlycited papers, we find good names, but not stellar papers.

The results may be affected by the limitations of the software.

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Nasa engineers work overnigth in competition against other Nasa engineers !!

NASA Engineers Work on Alternative Moon Rocket

By Jay Reeves
Associated Press Writer
posted: 14 July 2008
05:23 pm ET

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Schwarzenegger, Obama, and Energy-related position at the White House

July 13, 2008, 7:31 pm

Schwarzenegger Says He Would Accept Obama Appointment

Melanie Trottman reports on the presidential race.

Guests on the Sunday newsmaker shows, including California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and John McCain adviser Carly Fiorina, spotlighted energy and the economy and paid tribute to former White House press secretary Tony Snow.

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Google launches HealthMap and PlosMedicine article -- When a mechanics web-based project?

These type of projects are interesting, when a mechanics-based one?

An example of web-based projects


 Summary Points

Valuable information about infectioous
diseases is found in Web-accessible
information sources such as discussion
forums, mailing lists, government Web
sites, and news outlets.

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Wikipedia on H-index ---- another excellent article, and also very interesting!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  (Redirected from Hirsch number)

Jump to: navigation, search

This article is about the index of scientific research impact. For the economic measure, see Herfindahl index.

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Delft 22 - 24 October


Tom Scarpas     Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Patrick Selvadurai     McGill University, Canada

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A movement to improve Peer Review in Italy and the relative Forum


Palazzo del Quirinale, 09-07-2008

Il Presidente Giorgio Napolitano rivolge il
suo indirizzo di saluto ad una delegazione dei firmatari di due appelli
in favore della ricerca scientifica


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