Fundamental Physics Measurements with LEGO

In the late 1800's, a small, well-formed cylinder composed of platinum and a little iridium (the...

At home physics demonstrates the Coriolis effect on both sides of the globe

A note to the reader: This article requires following special instructions to watch...

Scientific Research through Creativity in "The Cloud"

Recently, I enjoyed the opportunity to solve and implement a simple web interface problem...

DARPA on the Brain

We've highlighted in the past some interesting activity from DARPA (read more via...

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Matthew T. DearingRSS Feed of this column.

Matthew T. Dearing writes the Dynamic Patterns Research Journal ( Read More »


The fundamental evolutionary advantage of human beings over all other species on this planet is our ability to make things. We make tools to make more complex tools to make end products that help us survive, thrive, and develop. Pre-humans may have started making simple tools over 2 1/2 millions years ago and serious complex tool-making took off during the Bronze Age just a brief 5,000 years ago.

The scientific literacy of the American student has been dropping for quite some time now, and we often hear about this serious problem (here and here and, oh, over here).

It all started back in the olden-days of mid-2007 with GalaxyZoo: the ultimate in online, interactive citizen science where anyone with eyes, an Internet connection, patience, and an appreciation for beautiful galactic images from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey could make a reasonably important contribution to astrophysical scientific research.

Recently, we featured an article on how new federal money -- funneled through the NOAA -- is being directed to citizen science efforts (read more).

A recent National Science Foundation Distinguished Lecture series featured Michael Goodchild, a world-renowned geographer and director of the University of California, Santa Barbara's Center for Spatial Studies. On November 17, Prof.

On the eve of Thanksgiving, we tend to start our annual pondering about how we might give more to our friends and family, and maybe even to the world. Citizen scientists--whether they consciously realize it or not--are behaving in a uniquely giving mood with every bird they count, PC time they donate, comet they spot, or galaxy structure they visually identify (among so many more important activities!). The efforts of citizen scientists are a pure form of generosity through the free distribution of knowledge.