Accelerating Science Discovery - Join the Discussion

Published by Dr. Walt Warnick
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Many casual users of federated search criticize the technology for being slow to retrieve results. Serious researchers recognize the unique ability of federated search engines to mine the deep Web for quality science information that Google cannot find. These users recognize that there is no practical alternative to federated search for the best information. Still, everyone wants everything faster, and those users who are willing to trade quality for quickness focus on how federated search doesn't return results in "Google time."

Published by Sharon Jordan
carbon-60 Bucky Ball

 

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Such is the justification and hope for visualizations.  Examples of enlightening visualizations are structural models of molecules like the carbon-60 Bucky Ball used in OSTI’s recent YouTube video.  The model shows a carbon atom at each intersection of molecular bonds. 

Another example of an enlightening visualization is Charles Joseph Minard’s famous graph showing the decreasing size of Napoleon’s army as it marches to Moscow and back with the size of the army equal to the width of the line.

Visualizations are often beautiful, but to be useful they must also convey a message.   At OSTI, we have adopted what has come to be called the Jordan Aha! Test as a metric of success for visualizations.  The concept is that a visualization is useful if the observer is informed by it so that she can exclaim “Aha!” 

Our experience at OSTI suggests that crafting a visualization that passes the Jordan Aha! Test is often surprisingly challenging.

Sharon Jordan

OSTI

Published by Kristin Bingham

“World Wide Science is the world’s most important scientific resource, where the global science community can share knowledge.”  This remarkable encomium did not come from just any casual observer, but from a leader of one of the world’s top information organizations.  While interviewing with Information World Review, Richard Boulderstone, director of e-strategy and information systems at the British Library, shared this perspective. 

Published by Dr. Walt Warnick

A term of art now catching on is “e-Science.”  According to Wikipedia, “The term e-Science (or eScience) is used to describe computationally intensive science that is carried out in highly distributed network environments, or science that uses immense data sets that require grid computing; the term sometimes includes technologies that enable distributed collaboration, such as the Access Grid. The term was created by John Taylor, the Director General of the United Kingdom's Office of Science and Technology in 1999 and was used to describe a large funding initiative starting in November 2000. Examples of the kind of science include social simulations, particle physics, earth sciences and bio-informatics.”

Published by Linda McBrearty

There was good news coming from the University of Tennessee (UT) and the State of Tennessee in 2009!  A $1.8 million grant was announced that will help put more math and science teachers into Tennessee schools!  This program, called VolsTeach, is designed to meet the increasing need for more math and science te