Google Glass in Higher Education

Google’s wearable technology is an innovative technology in education. The following infographic lists 30 ways that google glass can be used in the classroom. It is useful to support hands-on lab experiments and field work. It is also an useful tool for online learning. For example, STEMbite, a video project initiated by Vanden Heuvel who posts short educational videos filmed with google glass.

Google Glass In Education


Open Access Jouranls: the Pros and Cons

According to Peter Suber, one of the leaders of the Open Access Movement, open access is “digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions“. It enables ideas and results of scientific research to be disseminated more rapidly and widely. Except its benefits, there are some concerns about open access. I selected Remote Sensing – an open access journal in geosciences – as an example to explain the pros and cons of this journal.

Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292), an open access journal about the science and application of remote sensing technology in geosciences, is published monthly online by Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). This journal try to encourage scientists to publish experimental, theoretical and computational results in as much detail as possible so that results can be easily reproduced.

As an open access journal, Remote Sensing gives authors feedback very quickly. Joural managers push peer reviewers to submit their comments as quickly as possible and the articals can be published within two months if accepted for publication. Compared to some traditional journals which will need six months to one year of reviewing period, it is a big benefit.

However, as there would be a financial incentive for journals to publish more articles and Remote Sensing is based on authors paying for publication(1600 CHF (>1600 USD) per processed paper if accepted for publication), peer reviewers are unduly influenced by the needs of their publishers. I heard some reviewers complained that some authors only corrected their grammatical errors but ignored the suggestions on their methods/results, but the associated editors didn’t participate in the process to make a decision. The reviewers are angry about this and doubt about the quality of this journal.

Thus, open access is still finding its way and we have a long road to go.


Research Misconduct: Han, Dong-Pyou Case

The special case I seclected to share was a research misconduct of intentional falsification of data which resulted in voluntary settlement agreements by Dr. Dong-Pyou Han, former Research Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Services, Iowa State University.

According to ORI’s report, “Respondent falsified results in research to develop a vaccine against human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) by intentionally spiking samples of rabbit sera with antibodies to provide the desired results.  The falsification made it appear that rabbits immunized with the gp41-54 moiety of the HIV gp41 glycoprotein induced antibodies capable of neutralizing a broad range of HIV-1 strains, when the original sera were weakly or non-reactive in neutralization assays.  Falsified neutralization assay results were widely reported in laboratory meetings, seven (7) national and international symposia between 2010 and 2012, and in grant applications and progress reports P01 AI074286-03, -04, -05, and -06; R33 AI076083-04; U19 AI091031-01 and -03; and R01 AI090921-01.

For researches with lab experiments, it is usual to get unexpected results because of design of experiments, data sources, selected samples, and so on. It can be painful to repeat the experiments with “bad” results. For students who need to graduate with seasonable good findings and researchers who want to publish good scientific papers, manipulating data/equipment/processes is much easier than struggling to get desired or even perfect results. We need to keep in mind that we should be honesty in proposing, performing, and reporting research in any case.


Mission Statements

I select two universities from Virginia in United States to compare their mission statements: Virginia Tech which is a public land-grant university and the University of Virginia which is a public university.

The mission statement for Virginia Tech is “Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) is a public land-grant university serving the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world community. The discovery and dissemination of new knowledge are central to its mission. Through its focus on teaching and learning, research and discovery, and outreach and engagement, the university creates, conveys, and applies knowledge to expand personal growth and opportunity, advance social and community development, foster economic competitiveness, and improve the quality of life.”

The mission statement for the University of Virginia is “The University of Virginia is a public institution of higher learning guided by a founding vision of discovery, innovation, and development of the full potential of talented students from all walks of life. It serves the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world by developing responsible citizen leaders and professionals; advancing, preserving, and disseminating knowledge; and providing world-class patient care.” They are defined by their “enduring commitment to a vibrant and unique residential learning  environment marked by the free and collegial exchange of ideas”; their “unwavering support of a collaborative, diverse community bound together by distinctive foundational values of honor, integrity, trust, and respect”; and their “universal dedication to excellence and affordable access”.

Both of them aim to disseminate knowledge, cultivate talents and serve the society. But as a land-grant university, Virginia Tech also commit to outreach and engagement. For example, in our college (Natural Resources and Environment), we have extension programs and faculty members. Based on my volunteer experience, it encorages me to share my research findings with the public and conduct scientific research that has immediate applicability to public concerns. I am so glad I am here.