Holy Grail of energy policy in sight as battery technology smashes the old order

The world’s next energy revolution is probably no more than five or ten years away. Cutting-edge research into cheap and clean forms of electricity storage is moving so fast that we may never again need to build 20th Century power plants in this country, let alone a nuclear white elephant such as Hinkley Point.

The US Energy Department is funding 75 projects developing electricity storage, mobilizing teams of scientists at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and the elite Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge labs in a bid for what it calls the ‘Holy Grail’ of energy policy.…Read More


Stephen Hawking and Yuri Milner launch $100m star voyage

In an unprecedented boost for interstellar travel, the Silicon Valley philanthropist Yuri Milner and the world’s most famous cosmologist Stephen Hawking have announced $100m (£70m) for research into a 20-year voyage to the nearest stars, at one fifth of the speed of light.

Breakthrough Starshot – the third Breakthrough initiative in the past four years – will test the knowhow and technologies necessary to send a featherweight robot spacecraft to the Alpha Centauri star system, at a distance of 4.37 light years: that is, 40,000,000,000,000 kilometres or 25 trillion miles.
Read more

Telegraph STEM Awards

STEM Awards: your chance to win £25,000
If you’re an undergraduate STEM student at a UK university or college of higher education and you have a brilliant, original idea that would be beneficial to society, then this competition is for you.

Enter your brilliant idea for The Telegraph UK STEM Awards.
Focusing on one of five STEM sectors, you can set yourself a challenge that complements your field of study, or answer a set question for the expert judges’ analysis. Points will be awarded for innovation, financial viability and the idea’s benefit to society and the environment.
The overall winner, whether it’s an individual or a team, will receive £25,000 and a bespoke mentoring programme from a senior engineer within Babcock International Group. The award will be presented at a dedicated ceremony in London during Universities Week in June 2014.
Pick one of these five challenges
Choose the one that relates to your field of study

Checkout these great mathematics and science apps from Wolfram

Here are some great Apps developed by Wolfram makers of Mathematica

Calculus Course Assistant
Taking calculus? Then you need the Wolfram Calculus Course Assistant. This definitive app for calculus–from the world leader in math software–will help you work through your homework problems, ace your tests, and learn calculus concepts. Forget canned examples! The Wolfram Calculus Course Assistant solves your specific Calculus problems on the fly including step-by-step guidance for derivatives, integrals, and much more.

Wolfram Alpha
Remember the Star Trek computer? It’s finally happening–with Wolfram|Alpha. Building on 25 years of development led by Stephen Wolfram, Wolfram|Alpha has rapidly become the world’s definitive source for instant expert knowledge and computation.
Across thousands of domains–with more continually added–Wolfram|Alpha uses its vast collection of algorithms and data to compute answers and generate reports for you.

Multivariable Calculus App
Taking multivariable calculus? Then you need the Wolfram Multivariable Calculus Course Assistant. This definitive app for multivariable calculus—from the world leader in math software—will help you work through your homework problems, ace your tests, and learn calculus concepts. Forget canned examples! The Wolfram Multivariable Calculus Course Assistant solves your specific multivariable problems on the fly, providing step-by-step guidance for limits, derivatives, integrals, and much more.

Precalculus Course Assistant
Taking precalculus? Then you need the Wolfram Precalculus Course Assistant. This definitive app for precalculus—from the world leader in math software—will help you work through your homework problems, ace your tests, and learn calculus concepts. Forget canned examples! The Wolfram Precalculus Course Assistant solves your specific precalculus problems on the fly, including solving equations, vector arithmetic, statistics, and much more.
This app covers many topics applicable to precalculus and trigonometry.

Origami used to design 50 cent field microscope

Perhaps you’ve punched out a paper doll or folded an origami swan? TED Fellow Manu Prakash and his team have created a microscope made of paper that’s just as easy to fold and use. A sparkling demo that shows how this invention could revolutionize healthcare in developing countries … and turn almost anything into a fun, hands-on science experiment. (From TED website)

How do I start to learn computer programming?

We think a good place to start is Khan Academy’s new Introduction to Computer programming. The site gets into drawing shapes and animations straight away. This takes away the feeling that there is a massive learning curve before you can start doing anything interesting.

We also recommend the MIT Scratch site and Codecademy.

With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community.

Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.

Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is provided free of charge.

Codecademy’s mission statement is ‘Teaching the world to code’.
There About statement reads:

Codecademy is an education company. But not one in the way you might think. We’re committed to building the best learning experience inside and out, making Codecademy the best place for our team to learn, teach, and create the online learning experience of the future.

Six online learning portals we really like

Some of the learning materials on these sites you have to pay to use, but some really good stuff is free.
Tutor hub lets you locate online tutors in the UK in most subjects. Udemy, Lynda and Udacity have a host of more business orientated learning modules. We are currently working through the ‘How to build a startup’ course. TES and Discovery Education are both excellent portals for teachers and pupils of primary and secondary education.

Learning Maths should be childs play!

From the Wolfram Forum pages

Posted 21 November 2013 – 06:07 PM

I used Scratch http://scratch.mit.edu, Kerbal Space Program https://kerbalspaceprogram.com/ and Minecraft https://minecraft.net/ to teach basic algebra to 1st graders. Blender 3D http://www.blender.org/ is great way to introduce students to trigonometry at a young age. But don’t call it math just let them play. My son is now taking College Calculus in High School. He will have 50 college credits when he graduates from High School in 2014. Get students to play on these tools they will learn math. I am a former high school math teacher, I train college interns in computer science. I worked on Human Genome Project, electric power grids, chip design, state accounting systems and radio telescopes. Make math fun first and early. They will take math because they want to if you let them play early. Raspberry Pi and Mathematica will be great. Use ($35)Raspberry Pi to learn digital electronics, Minecraft, Scratch.http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/5282