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“What do you ask all your incoming graduate students to read before they arrive in the fall?”

This was a question that was asked at the IT Deans meeting I attended last year (for Dean Penniman). Almost all the schools assign a book to read in the summer; we are one of the few that does not. I thought some of the titles might be appropriate for our own students.

* Nardi, Information Ecologies: Using Technology with Heart

* Campbell, Grammatical Man

* Siegfried, The Bit and the Pendulum

* von Baeyer, Information: the New Language of Science

(A couple of schools are using the latter, which I have not read, but will.)

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4 Comments

  1. Posted 7/5/2005 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    are there some lists out there. i’d like to see them.

    i’d probably add things like:

    Theories of the Information Society/Information Society Reader

  2. Posted 7/6/2005 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    They should also be WRITING about what they read! I’m going to go ahead and suggest the Purple Cow book by Seth Godin – it’s not explicitly about technology, but it is about ideas, and that could be useful as these incoming students generate projects and papers.

  3. Stefanos
    Posted 7/6/2005 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    If I was in entering graduate student I would look through all books and find the one that reads the best. There is a special relationship between reader and writer: people just connect with certain writing styles better than others. If it’s the summer before starting an intense graduate program the book will help the best is that reads the best and the one that will be read and reread during the summer. They’re many books that when stares into one says okay again at so many words and their other books when you pick the mob it’s like this is amazing. There is tremendous insight here. Currently I’m using a voice recognition system and blogging. I got this thing to work by reading what I enjoyed the more I read the more files available for the program to search through fragments of my voice to estimate what phrase or words are being spoken by me. If I speak a certain way or five right at certain way it seems that the machine understands it better.

    If I was a graduate student I would need to type a lot: unfortunately my wrists hurt and ache. I’m finding that I would probably be more efficient using voice recognition able to complete essays and to build an interesting theses; what is very fascinating is that to get the voice recognition to work I read what was interesting when I found as connecting with my inner being. There was lots of poetry some philosophy and lots of dictated notes of at them in the past; even some long crazed e-mails on the topic of Souveillance. So essentially I would find a book that would help me configure my voice recognition system to improve my cybernetic efficiencies towards being the best graduate student that I can be.

    I wonder if that’s the intent of reading a book prior to commencing graduate studies; that is, is in a way of tuning the brain to the subject matter and to the general lingo of the area study when his entry.

    Sorry for the long blog post, but it seems that though my spelling is improved and perhaps even my grammar that my blog posts are becoming much longer now and perhaps more autobiographical.

    Regards;

    Stefanos

  4. Stefanos
    Posted 7/6/2005 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    well, the machine makes errors…but its interesting empiric info about voice, and reading aloud, and creating the frame of mind for graduate work.

    So I would download tons of pages to train the voice recognition program, but this process, of analysing the book via hidden markov models (the math and programming behind getting voice recognition to work) leads to building an intuitive knowledge of markov models and their influence on language, and hence, the idea of search engines as influencing the media its self.

    (of note, the first blog post was voice dictated, and the second type written: I guess that this would touch upon what prosody means and also the idea of using a voice engine to measure aprosody post head trauma)

    http://alumni.media.mit.edu/~tara/thesis_pf.html

    http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb1397/is_200406/ai_n5715103

    http://archneur.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/49/9/971
    Hence I would probably converge my history as a doc with media research, using media as a form of assistive technology.

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