Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Students present research at Annual meeting for Society for Freshwater Science

Jennifer Tuomisto, a Biology graduate student, and Aaron Gordon-Weaver, a senior Environmental Biology major, recently presented research results at the Annual meeting of the Society for Freshwater Science in Raleigh, North Carolina. This conference is typically attended by approximately 1000 freshwater scientists from around the world. Jennifer gave an oral presentation entitled, "Effect of temporal changes in phosphorus supply on stream biofilms and phosphorus limitation indicators" and Aaron gave a poster presentation entitled "Response of stream biofilms to pulsed versus steady-state phosphorous additions". Both are students of Dr. Steven Rier, professor of Biological and Allied Health Sciences, who heard a number of positive comments from his colleagues on the quality of both presentations.

Friday, June 16, 2017

EGGS 211 Norway - Røros

Breakfast in Røros

Dusting of snow in Røros
When we awoke in Røros and got ready we were given a free breakfast from our hotel. This was our first traditional Norwegian breakfast. There was a lot of lunch meat including ham and salami. But perhaps what was the most unique was the liver pate that you can eat alone or on a slice of bread. While this sounds disgusting for breakfast, it actually wasn't too bad. What stuck out to me was what is now one of my most favorite types of cheese. In Norway, this is simply known as brunøst or brown cheese. It is sweet and fairly fatty and creamy. It is excellent on a slice of bread or on a waffle. A waffle with brunøst and jam is now one of my favorite snacks. After breakfast we went to the Røros copper mine. Røros is unlike most of Norway; it has a barren landscape and feels much like some areas around Bloomsburg. This is due to the presence of the copper mine which operated for about 300 years. Within the town exist mounds of tailings, or the waste product from the smelting process which extracts the copper. In a way, it looks a lot like a coal mining town from around Bloomsburg such as Ashland. After the mine museum, we went for lunch at a pub in the main town. The streets are surprisingly nice for a mining town and there were plenty of smalls shops along the street to find a nice souvenir. After exploring the town more, we found a stray soccer ball on the field next to our hotel and many of us ended our day by kicking around the ball and enjoying the landscape. While this stop in the trip was brief, it was certainly a memorable experience and one of the most unique towns in Norway.
~Ryan Sullivan
Buildings in Røros

Thursday, June 15, 2017

EGGS 211 Norway - The Arctic Circle

Tricia at the Arctic Circle

Today we traveled to the Arctic Circle Center and Nordland National Park Center. The snow on the mountains was so white that it was almost hard to distinguish mountain from cloud. We had the chance to hike around the area, occasionally falling knee deep into the snow until we found an easier path close to the train tracks. Feet of snow were still on the ground despite it being June. All the snow will melt by September before accumulating again in the winter. Markers were placed across the area at the latitude of the Arctic Circle. As we drove to the National Park Center we spotted a few reindeer and managed to snap some pictures. Reindeer is a common food here. It's usually made into a stew or hotdog. Spending the day outside and seeing some wildlife was the perfect break from our busy travel schedule. ~Tricia law

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Glacier - EGGS 211 Trip to Norway

Today, May 28th, we climbed a glacier. We traveled about 45 minutes on curving winding, bumpy roads to get a to a Viking-helmet-shaped building, where inside there was a cute store and a restaurant that served lamb pizza along with many other Norwegian delicacies. From the restaurant, the glacier that we were about to climb looked small -- which we soon would learn was a trick of the eye. After we finished eating we got back in the car and traveled down a short road to where we met our climbing guides. There they fit us for spikes to go over our shoes and give us a pick axe for safety. We then hiked an hour across rocky terrain, rapid waters, and Norwegian shrubbery, before arriving at the glacier which was, in reality, huge. Here we received harnesses and were roped together. With our guide up in front and the rest of us strapped together we start our journey upwards on the glacier. The temperature dropped and the hike was steep. The climb to the top was about an hour and once up there the view was beautiful. Then it was time to go back down. The way down was a little scary but our guide, using her pick axe, made steps for us in the ice to walk down comfortably. Once we get back from the glacier the feeling of accomplishment and amazement sinks in and the eight of us will have a unique memory that will last forever.
~ Madeline Murtin

Friday, June 9, 2017

Lofoten Hike - EGGS 211 Trip to Norway

Norway is a country of never-ending beauty but also never-ending sunlight. I woke up at 3 am to yellow rays radiating in the room, blinding me as I opened my eyes. The midnight sun is a phenomenon in northern Norway due to the tilt and rotation of the earth around the sun during this time of year. The day continued with a hike around the coast where we saw countless sheep sun bathing on the rocks. Our view was the turquoise waters of the Arctic Ocean, and a backdrop of snowy covered mountains. The beach looked like the Caribbean with a sandy coast and small waves crashing on the land. Three of our classmates were brave enough to dive into the freezing water. One of them actually submerged himself three times. Maybe the numbness from the first jump made the following two a breeze. I on the other hand was satisfied with just touching the water with my fingers. We ended our time at the beach with pictures before heading back to our cabins for our last night in Lofoten.
~Lauren Levengood

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

ACM students take Second Place in PACISE Programming Contest

Brian Fekete, Jacob Daniel,and Brett Logan took Second Place
A nine-member programming squad from Bloomsburg University's ACM student chapter competed at Edinboro University in the PACISE 2017 programming contest on Saturday, March 31, 2017. Seniors Jacob Daniel, Brian Fekete, and Brett Logan took Second Place overall among 15 teams from the PASSHE school system. Squad members Jared Frank, John Gibson, Laura Josuweit, Daniel Kilgallon, Luke Vuksta, and Rio Weber also did well, taking Fourth and Eighth Places. This is the third year in a row that a Bloomsburg team has taken second at PACISE contests. It is also the largest squad the ACM chapter has fielded, and augurs well for future contests. BU's Department of Mathematical and Digital Sciences is a member of PACISE, the Pennsylvania Association of Computer and Information Science Educators, representing computer programs across the PASSHE member schools. The programming squad coach, Dr. Robert Montante, represents BU at PACISE. He is also a member of ACM, an international professional organization of computer scientists and computer science educators with student chapters at many schools.

From left: Laura Josuweit, Jared Frank, Rio Weber, Brett Logan, Brian Fekete, Jacob Daniel, John Gibson, Luke Vuksta, Daniel Kilgallon

Sunday, May 28, 2017

COST Mathematics Professor Publishes New Text

A truly committed instructor understands and embodies the classic saying: “Deeds, not words!” Several inspiring examples of that old chestnut are evident in the work of Dr. Kevin Ferland, professor in the Department of Mathematical and Digital Sciences. Kevin saw his first book, Discrete Mathematics: An Introduction to Proofs and Combinatorics, published in 2009. He began teaching the subject some ten years earlier, whereupon he discovered that he was unable to find a suitable text, i.e., one that in his words, “both covered the topics we needed and did so with sufficient support for students that may struggle with the ideas.” Consequently, Kevin decided to create a book that would offer both theory and practice and at the same time, would engage his students, rather than intimidate them. In his words:

“In 2001, I started writing the first edition of this book with a central focus upon providing quality and well-explained examples that are then well supported by many exercises that are tied directly to those examples.”

Eight years later, the aforementioned first edition of Kevin’s discrete mathematics text was born. Even so, he immediately began making substantial notes in his copy of the first edition, which were based largely upon student feedback each semester; it was these notes that formed the foundation for most if not all of the modifications which became the basis for the updated second edition, Discrete Mathematics and Applications. He suggested that

“Ever since the first edition came out in 2009, I have paid close attention to the efficacy of my approach. By improving and adding examples and exercises, I have subsequently made significant improvements that I know will benefit students even more in this second edition. What I have learned from using my textbook for eight years and receiving feedback, has been invaluable to me and I expect that users of this new edition will appreciate it as well.”

Happily, the new edition of Kevin’s book has been published recently by the prestigious Taylor & Francis publishing group. For additional substantive information about Discrete Mathematics and Applications, please refer to the following link:
--- Michael Stephans