Engineering

What we did on your summer vacation!

Posted August 30th, 2013 by Heather Denny

Welcome back! The MIT Libraries have been working hard during your summer vacation.  Here are some of the new things you can look forward to this fall:WhatWeDidgraphic

New Resources

  • New search tool  Finding library resources just got easier with BartonPlus. It brings together many library collections in one search interface–searching most MIT-licensed e-resources like e-books and full-text articles, as well as collections in the classic Barton catalog like books, theses, music, DVDs, and more. 
  • More options for borrowing  Borrow Direct, a partnership that allows library materials to be shared between member institutions, has expanded to include the University of Chicago. MIT users can search over 50 million volumes owned by Borrow Direct libraries through MIT’s WorldCat.
  • New guide to APIs for scholarly resources  Many scholarly publishers, databases, and products offer APIs to allow users with programming skills to more powerfully extract data to serve a variety of research purposes. With an API, users might create programmatic searches of a citation database, extract statistical data, or dynamically query and post blog content. Learn more in the APIs for Scholarly Resources guide.
  • Music Oral History Project  For over 100 years music has been a vibrant part of MIT’s culture. A new website features in-depth interviews with faculty, staff, and former students about their musical experiences at the Institute, as well as their professional careers in music or other fields.

Improved study spaces

  • Upgrades to Hayden Library  The window bays in Hayden have gotten a facelift! The windows have been cleaned, frames painted, and new shades have replaced the curtains. Also check out the  new artwork by Dennis Oppenheim that adorns the first floor wall. Additionally, a number of tables and study carrels in Hayden were refinished this summer. Coming up – we hope to reupholster some of the comfy seating on the 1st floor.

Upcoming events

  • Music & Theater Arts Composer Forums  During the fall term the Lewis Music Library will host MTA Composer Forums. Stop by the library at 5pm on Oct. 9, Oct. 23, Nov. 6, Nov. 20 to hear from featured musicians.
  •  Fall workshops Throughout the month of October the Libraries will offer a series of workshops on subject-specific resources. See the event calendar for details.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest news!

 

By JoVE, we’ve got it!

Posted July 19th, 2013 by Chris Sherratt

You might be one of the many researchers at MIT enjoying the resource JoVE. It’s a way to “read” and see science in motion!

Best explained on its website,“Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) is a peer reviewed, PubMed indexed journal devoted to the publication of biological, medical, chemical, and physical research in a video format…  JoVE takes advantage of video technology to capture and transmit the multiple facets and intricacies of life science research.”

The Barton record for JoVE lists the various sections available through the Libraries; these include Applied Physics, Bioengineering, Chemistry, Neuroscience, and more.

The Libraries heartily invites you to take a look at “The First Scientific Video Journal.”  Ask Us! for further details.

jove image

OneMine helps you dig deeper

Posted July 10th, 2013 by Chris Sherratt

Although today you won’t find a Course called “Mining Engineering” at MIT, people have been interested from the Institute’s beginning in 1865 (Course 3, geology and mining) through the present day: see the new (2012) Mining and Oil & Gas Club@ MIT. This group seeks to “catalyze interest in the mining and oil & gas industries within the MIT Community,” and the Libraries is pleased to offer something that might help.

Explore OneMine, “an innovative collaboration among societies that serve the mining and minerals community.” Gathering documents from groups like SME, (Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration), TMS (The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society), and AIME and SAIMM (for those in the know), OneMine wants to provide materials online that previously have been in print only. We are very interested in your feedback on OneMine, so try a search on “rare earth oxide extraction”, and Tell Us what you unearth!

miners

SciFinder: Same great content, slightly new look

Posted June 27th, 2013 by Chris Sherratt

Many at MIT and thousands around the globe are well acquainted with SciFinder, the most comprehensive discovery tool for chemical information. Now it sports a new interface designed to save you time and improve the search experience. Use the “get URL”: http://libraries.mit.edu/get/scifinder to see if you agree with Christine McCue of CAS who says:

“We are confident that the improvements unveiled today will enhance the SciFinder user experience and enable new and faster scientific breakthroughs.”

For more information contact Erja Kajosalo, kajosalo@mit.edu, Librarian for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. She knows tips like ‘Chrome on the Mac is not usable with SciFinder and Substance or Reaction Explores due to Java not being compatible.’  Or, use  Ask Us!

chem pic

 

Make time to “Make stuff”

Posted June 10th, 2013 by Chris Sherratt

MIT people love to make things and now that summer is here, perhaps you can make time to pick up that put-off  project or learn to use that tool everyone else (you think) already knows how to wield. The MIT Libraries has a place to get started.

Mechanical Engineering Librarian Angie Locknar has created a guide to the shops and tools on campus here:  http://libguides.mit.edu/make. “We wanted to have one place to go to find things that people might need if they like to invent/create/build … plus we’re hoping users will send other helpful links to include.”

Make this summer to design and make stuff!

ASME engineers a new interface

Posted May 9th, 2013 by Chris Sherratt

Looking for a paper from ASME?  (What IS ASME, you say?)

MIT Libraries has subscribed to The American Society of Mechanical Engineers digital library for several years. Now it has a new interface!

ASME Digital Collections is the place to search for full text articles in ASME journals (all years) or for conference papers from 2002 – present.

AND…if you need a conference paper prior to 2002?  The Barker Engineering Library has thousands of ASME technical papers in its collections. Use the ASME Papers & Publications guide to locate them.  Or just Ask Us!

Move over ACME….Beep Beep!

Save the date: Celebrate the restoration of MIT’s Great Dome on April 10!

Posted March 20th, 2013 by Heather Denny

 

 

 

 

 

Join us for a community open house celebrating the historic restoration of MIT’s Great Dome, and the opening of Barker Library’s 24-hour reading room.

DATE: Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 2-4pm

LOCATION: Barker Library Reading Room (10-500)

DETAILS: Remarks by President L. Rafael Reif. Refreshments to follow.

Grow your knowledge! Research guides for any topic

Posted March 1st, 2013 by Remlee Green

DaffodilsStart cultivating a garden of knowledge with MIT Libraries’ research guides. Our guides dig deeper than Google to uncover the best sources for information on your research topic. Each guide contains lists of resources recommended by expert librarians. Suggestions for print and electronic resources, databases, and journals—it’s all there!

  • Researching soil chemistry properties in the scholarly literature? What database does the Chemistry guide suggest?
  • Not sure what the first settlers in Massachusetts grew in their gardens? Try the Historical Newspapers guide.

We even have guides about organizing your referencesmanaging your datagetting published, and so much more! Seriously, think of a topic – any topic. Yep, we probably have that, too.

And you’re always welcome to ask us for help!

Unleashing the power of technical reports

Posted February 28th, 2013 by Chris Sherratt

Did you know the MIT Libraries has a vast storehouse of technical literature NOT in Barton, but easily accessible right here on campus? Recently our librarians have demystified this very important world: http://libguides.mit.edu/techreports.

Thousands of research reports from national and international labs and other universities or contracting companies were sent to MIT and are kept in our Annex. The collection is particularly strong in energy, including the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and all its successor agencies (ERDA, DOE).  The research guide will help you find them. And because they are often the sources behind published journal articles or conference papers, they can provide fuller accounts of the research, including designs, experimental details or other practical information.

Bottom line?  As more literature gets digitized, more citations to technical reports are discovered. Dive into this world yourself, or Ask Us!

New statistical databases

Posted February 21st, 2013 by Katherine McNeill

Doing quantitative research?  Need statistics for a research project, paper, or to provide context for a project?  Looking for a needle-in-a-haystack?  Try these new statistical databases from the Libraries!

Statista logo

Statista provides statistics on a wide range of topics, including industries, markets, demography, countries & economies.  It harvests data from market researchers, trade associations, scientific publications, and government sources, and compiles it in a central place for you to search.  Download data in tabular or graphical form and link to original data sources and related reports.  Find statistics such as:

  • Global market share held by the leading smartphone operating systems in sales to end users from 1st quarter 2009 to 4th quarter 2012
  • Percentage of U.S. population who has (or ever had) cancer, 1999-2011, by age
  • U.S. organic food sales growth forecast from 2010 to 2014
  • Monthly unemployment rate in the U.S. from January 2012 to January 2013 (seasonally-adjusted)
  • and more…

Access Statista at: http://libraries.mit.edu/get/statista.

Govistics logo

Researching local areas in the United States?  Govistics provides spending, revenue, employment and crime data for state and local governments and school districts across the U.S., pulling together data from different sources.  Find data such as the following for the City of Cambridge:

  • Government spending and number of employees in all areas, including social services, education, and public safety
  • Number of violent and property crimes
  • Investment portfolio of the city’s retirement system, with data on membership and contributions
  • and more…

Access Govistics at: http://libraries.mit.edu/get/govistics.

Statistical Abstract logo

Need data on your research topic but have no idea who collects it?  Try the Statistical Abstract of the United States!  This online reference source provides summary statistical tables of everything under the sun, and detailed citations to the original source for you to find more detailed data.  Search not only by subject but also filter your results to those available at certain demographic (e.g., age, sex, race, education, marital status), geographic (e.g., state, smsa), and economic (e.g., industry, occupation) breakdowns.  Find data such as:

  • Nonfatal occupational injury and illness cases in private industry by type of injury or illness and days away from work: 2010
  • Coastline counties most frequently hit by hurricanes: 1960 To 2008
  • Municipal solid waste generation, materials recovery, combustion with energy recovery, and discards: 1980 to 2010
  • Research and development expenditures in science and engineering at universities and colleges: 2000 to 2010

Access the Statistical Abstract at: http://libraries.mit.edu/get/stat-abstract.

Want further information on statistics and data resources?  Try Social Science Data Services or other data resources listed on our subject-oriented research guides.

Study under the Dome 24/7! Barker reading room reopens as a 24-hour study space.

Posted February 15th, 2013 by Heather Denny

Photo by L. Barry Hetherington

The Barker Library reading room has reopened to reveal the grandeur of the restored oculus atop the Great Dome. Read about the details of the project in MIT’s Great Dome is reborn.

Natural light, as well as additional lighting around the perimeter of the dome, brightens the entire space revealing beautiful architectural detail. Additional improvements include the installation of acoustic panels and a new sound-mitigation system that will help soften echoes and ambient noise. Comfortable chairs, large tables, and individual study carrels have also returned to the reading room, making it a perfect space for quiet study.

The reading room is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week to members of the MIT community with an MIT ID.

DesalData arrives on campus!

Posted January 30th, 2013 by Chris Sherratt

The MIT Libraries are pleased to announce campus wide access to DesalData.com, a business development and consultancy package from the publishers of Global Water Intelligence in association with the International Desalination Association (IDA).

Within Desal Data you will find desalination plant listings, incorporating the IDA Inventory (a catalogue of desalination facilities contracted and under construction since 1945, based on over 25 years of annual industry surveys), market analysis and economic forecasting from Global Water Intelligence, company profiles and desalination news from countries worldwide.

You can find DesalData in VERA or use this URL http://libraries.mit.edu/get/desaldata

We welcome your feedback and hope this product supports the desalination work on campus!

MIT professor and librarian collaborate on “10 PRINT”: Open access book explores computation, creativity and culture

Posted January 9th, 2013 by Ellen Duranceau

Using a home computer in the early 1980s meant knowing at least some programming to get it off and running. When you turned on your Commodore 64—which you may well have done; it was the best-selling single model of computer ever produced—a nearly-blank blue screen emerged. “READY,” it told you. A blinking cursor awaited your commands.

Many of us used prefab programs to play games or do word processing, but the tinkerers among us wrote their own code, long and short, to explore what computers could do. Take this one-liner in BASIC language that Associate Professor of Digital Media Nick Montfort found in a magazine from the era: 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10. Run it on a Commodore 64 (or an emulator on your laptop today), and diagonal slashes fill the screen in a random way, building a pleasing maze that continues until interrupted.

Montfort posted 10 PRINT to an online Critical Code Studies conference in winter 2010. A lively discussion ensued among a dozen participants including MIT librarian Patsy Baudoin, who is liaison to the Media Lab and the Foreign Languages and Literatures department. Though the code is short and there’s not much known about its history, “it was obvious that there was plenty to say about it,” says Montfort. “However concise it was, it clearly connected computation to creativity, and to culture, in really intriguing ways.”

A few months after the conference, Montfort asked the 10 PRINT thread contributors to collaborate on a book exploring different aspects of culture—mazes in literature and religion, randomness and chance in games and art, the programming language BASIC, the Commodore 64 computer—through the lens of that one line of code.

The book, whose title is the code, was published in December by MIT Press. Besides Montfort and Baudoin, the authors include John Bell, Ian Bogost, Jeremy Douglass, Mark C. Marino, Michael Mateas, Casey Reas, Mark Sample and Noah Vawter. Though 10 PRINT is freely downloadable under a Creative Commons license, its first print run nearly sold out within a month. (This is another example of increased sales accompanying open access.) Royalties go to the Electronic Literature Organization, a nonprofit that promotes writing, reading, and teaching digital fiction and poetry.

Baudoin, the lone librarian of the group, has a PhD in comparative literature, which she says proved useful during the year-and-a-half collaboration. “I understood implicitly that exploring a concise line of computer code was like reading a short poem,” she says. “[As a graduate student] I wrote a 50-page paper on Catullus’s Odi et amo, a two-line Latin poem. In one sense, this line of code doesn’t appear to do a lot, but analyzed carefully, it speaks loudly.”

10 PRINT has a lot to say about a specific time. Though we can easily edit video, chat online, and play music on our laptops today, “when it comes to allowing people to directly access computation and to use that computing power for creative, expressive, and conceptual purposes, today’s computers, out of the box, are much worse” than those of 30 years ago, says Montfort. “I can type in and run the 10 PRINT program within 15 seconds of turning my Commodore 64 on. I can modify it and explore the program quite extensively within a minute. How long would it take you to produce any program like that after you started up your Windows 8 system?”

Montfort is quick to note that his interest in code like 10 PRINT is not nostalgia for a lost era; this, he says, trivializes important ideas in computer history. 10 PRINT itself is far from trivial, which is why Montfort, Baudoin and their coauthors found it a worthy book topic. “This type of program was written and run by millions in the 1980s on their way to a deeper understanding of computation,” he says.

Find 10 PRINT events under “Upcoming” at http://nickm.com.

See also: MIT News coverage of the book

Get the most out of Google Scholar

Posted January 2nd, 2013 by Katherine McNeill

Google Scholar icon

If you use Google Scholar, you already know it’s a great tool for finding citations to literature in your research area. It’s a massive index of articles, books and other publications of a scholarly nature. (It doesn’t cover ALL the scholarly literature in any discipline, however, so be sure to include the Libraries’ databases in Vera in your literature search.)

Many of the articles in Google Scholar are licensed by the MIT Libraries through our subscriptions, so – in many cases – the full text is available to you. If you are on campus, you’ll see this link in your results list:

Image of full text link

Are you working off campus?   To take advantage of this feature, click on Settings and then Library Links.

Image of library links list

Type MIT in the search window; select it; click Save.  You should now see the full text link in your results list for articles in any of MIT’s paid subscriptions.

Scopus isn’t just for the Sciences

Posted December 19th, 2012 by Heather McCann

Have you tried Scopus, one of our citation databases in Vera?  Scopus’ main focus is in the sciences but it also includes strong coverage of the social sciences.  Use Scopus to look for journal articles, conference papers and other materials.  Once you find relevant articles Scopus can link you to other related articles in the database and show you other articles (published since 1996) that have cited the article you are looking at.

To focus your Scopus search in the social sciences literature click the Social Science and Humanities button on the search screen:

Start searching Scopus now.

 

A Knovel gift for the holidays

Posted December 13th, 2012 by Chris Sherratt

As a graduate student in Chemical Engineering, MIT’s Patrick Heider is very familiar with variables of time and pressure. And as this year’s winner of the Knovel University Challenge, Patrick will use his new iPad to optimize these just in time for the holidays.

Each year Knovel invites engineering students worldwide to enter a competition designed to show the content and powerful search functions of this collection of sci/tech handbooks. One example is Patrick’s favorite feature, the Equation Plotter. “[This] … is a great way to quickly get property information without having to dig through the text to figure out the functional form used for a specific correlation,” he writes. Users can also input names of properties and ranges of data values to search for compounds that fit these bounds. At your fingertips is a digital library that, thanks to the MIT Libraries, will bring you specific answers as well as full texts to use in coursework or research.

The Libraries salutes you, Patrick!Knovel says, “Know more. Search less.”

We say, “Keep on searching!”

Down to the wire with Energywire!

Posted December 5th, 2012 by Chris Sherratt

Where do you turn for a reliable snapshot or update of what’s happening on Capitol Hill or elsewhere in the world of energy? The MIT Libraries are pleased to announce the addition of Energywire to the family of products purchased from E & E Publishing: Greenwire, Climatewire, E & E Daily, Land Letter and more. Energywire now joins this group to summarize Congressional and other energy sector news.

The stories and headlines in Energywire can be searched by keyword or delivered to you through its alerting service. The top story in one recent alert highlighted MIT’s research on methane emissions and natural gas. Updates on oil shale, energy in the Arctic, geopolitics, water and energy, and business developments are all popular topics, along with many others.

As it says at the bottom of each daily alert, “Get all of the stories in today’s Energywire!”

Find it here: http://libraries.mit.edu/get/ew

Collier, A.J. 167. Williams coal mine 90 miles below Nulato, on Yukon River.

OA research in the news: Ocean feeding strategies

Posted November 8th, 2012 by Katharine Dunn

Detailed computer simulation shows how a patch of nutrients gets distributed in turbulent water. Image courtesy of Roman Stocker and John Taylor

Scientists have long believed that ocean-dwelling microorganisms need not move to gather food because turbulence distributes nutrients uniformly. Using a computer model that simulates a turbulent sea, Civil and Environmental Engineering associate professor Roman Stocker and colleague John R. Taylor have shown that some bacteria swim for food and others don’t, and that there are advantages and disadvantages to both. The study, published in the journal Science last week, is the first to show how the ocean environment affects feeding strategy. “We’re working at the interface between microbiology and fluid dynamics,” Stocker told the MIT News.

Explore Professor Stocker’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world viaDSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

OA research in the news: Wireless@MIT

Posted October 25th, 2012 by Katharine Dunn

The Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has launched the MIT Center for Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing (Wireless@MIT), whose goal is to bring researchers from MIT and industry together to develop next-generation wireless technologies. The center, co-led by electrical engineering and computer science professors Hari Balakrishnan and Dina Katabi, will work on problems like extending the battery life of mobile devices and figuring out how to do more with the limited radio spectrum licensed to wireless carriers.

Explore Professor Balakrishnan’s research and Professor Katabi’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

Ongoing renovations will close Barker Reading Room until early 2013

Posted October 18th, 2012 by Heather Denny

Barker Reading Room, photo by L. Barry Hetherington

Renovations to the Barker Library Reading Room have recently been expanded in scope and complexity. As is often the case with historic restoration, previously undetected structural issues have been detected and need to be addressed. At the same time this work will also allow for additional lighting enhancements to be made. Interior scaffolding will now be expanded, and will fill the remaining floor space in the Reading Room, making the room inaccessible to students and faculty for the duration of the project. The closure is effective October 18, 2012.

The Libraries understand the inconvenience this closure will cause, and sincerely regret the mid-semester disruption to student work and study habits. Library staff will make every effort to assist students in finding other suitable study spaces within the Libraries. While the Reading Room is closed, library users can find alternative spaces for studying in Barker Library on floors six through eight, as well as in other library locations.

Barker Library’s Reading Room is still expected to reopen early in 2013. At that time the Libraries also expect to debut a new entryway to the reading room that will give students 24/7 access to the newly renovated space. For more details about the renovations, see the September 28, 2012 MIT Tech article. Stay informed of progress by checking the Barker Library website or following @mitlibraries on Twitter.