Now taking registrations for the annual language leaders workshop. Discount for early booking!
Impact and public benefit are key priorities for the public funding of higher education. For example, the 2014 Research Evaluation Framework (REF) requires universities to demonstrate that their research has benefits outside the university as well as within the academic community. The strategies of AHRC and ESRC emphasise the commitment to interact with public life and bring benefits to the country. The Finch report has called for all publicly funded research outputs to be open access so they can be read by anybody who wishes to read them without payment or library subscription. The Open Educational Resources (OER) movement promotes the free sharing and re-sharing of teaching resources without copyright restrictions and MOOCs (Mass Open Online Courses) attempt to reach new audiences all over the world. The public benefits universities provide to their local communities through outreach work, continuing education and public engagement is a key part of demonstrating impact outside academia. Universities also need to have access agreements in place to promote university study to groups who have traditionally found it difficult to access higher education.
The washing machine packed up this weekend. My sister-in-law is staying with us at the moment so my wife and I went on an impromptu date to the electrical store this evening while my SIL babysat. It is the first time we have ever bought our own washing machine. Prices varied between about £200 and £900. Most were A, A+, A++, or A+++ energy rating. Most were white, though some were grey or even black. Some had 1 year guarantees, some 2 and some 5. We were confused.
We were starting to take an interest in a particular model when a women approached. "I would never buy a [major brand] if I were you. I've had them out to mend mine three times now. Eventually I told them just to take it away. They gave me a better model and the same thing happened to that as well". In the confusing situation of purchasing a washing machine any advice which led to eliminating certain options seemed helpful. No one came up to offer a contrary opinion. It would seem almost rude to have have ignored this unsolicited piece of advice. We have ended up choosing a another brand.
It is interesting to reflect on how (and even why) we accepted this advice. We had no opinion and she offered one.
In the complicated process which is university choice I wonder whether negative advice from random people can actually be the most influential factor.
I can't stand the term 'mini'-project. Why the prefix 'mini'? The project might be small in scale, but why call it a mini-project? 'Mini-project' only seems to occur in the context of learning and teaching; nobody gets mini-project funding from a research council or a prestigious funding organisation. Most of all 'mini-project' implies the project is not particularly important and therefore can be put to the bottom of any priority list.
Nerdy note: I mentioned my dislike of 'mini' to the philosopher George MacDonald Ross a few years back. He pointed out that 'mini' comes from miniature, but miniature does not mean small. According to the OED miniature dates from the 1300s and comes from the Italian miniatura, the small brightly coloured images used to decorate books, manuscripts, etc. Miniature, in the sense of small portrait dates from the 1500s. They are miniatures not because they are small, but because they resembled the aforementioned miniatura. The prefix mini- and miniature to describe a small version of something only dates from the 1930s.
No. It's pronounced "Lah-tech" or "Lay-tech". For the uninitiated LaTeX is a programming language used to produce documents. It can be used for books, articles, posters, presentation and many more things.
So a bit like Word then?
Nothing like word or any other word processing programming. Word processing programmes are great when you have nothing but text. However, I'm sure that everyone has experienced the annoyance of trying to put an image into a word document then finding it disappears onto another page or behind your text. Word and similar programmes are "What you see to what you get" (WYWISYG). LaTeX is "What you mean is what you get".
What do you mean?
If in Word I want to put an image 2.54cm from the right hand edge of the paper and 5.53cm from the top I may succeed to start with. However, once I add another image or some text there is no knowing whether it will stay there or not. In LaTeX it will stay exactly where I told it to.
Who should use LaTeX?
The great thing about LaTeX is that you can add packages to the basic installation. Packages can deal with mathematics, make graphs, posters, define colours, make books. If you use equations, graphs etc. you may find it worthwhile. also great for phonetics, ancient languages and languages using less commonly used alphabets.
Sounds a bit complicated...
Yes it is. I had a few false starts. There is quite a good introduction on wikibooks. At some point I plan to write a very basic introduction myself. The LaTeX project page is also a good place to start.