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Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) Laboratory Cool. Fuel.

Musings of a new Cryogenecists: Day 2 – The test chamber

The test chamber may not be the most technically challenging or complicated part of the cryo-design, but it is arguably the most important. Without it, you have no chamber to pull a vacuum on, no enclosed boundaries for your cryocooler to take energy from, and nothing to mount your experiment to. Luckily I am inheriting an already functioning test chamber from Jake Fisher. As I noted in the first post, you must balance time, cost, and ease of design. This means that while I could design a completely new test chamber that fit the specifications for my experiment exactly, … » More …

Communication mediums and societal memes

In a prior post I defined spiral memes (SD) as the taxonomy of epistemological character development levels identified in human history by psychologist Clare Graves. After reading Beck and Cowan’s book on SD, I started connecting other facets of society to the SD taxonomy. One of the most compelling examples I’ve come up with is the dominant information transfer mode of an SD level. The theory being that a distinctly different societal meme/phase should flow information differently the phases that came prior or after. Here’s a quick figure showing what I’m alluding to:

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Musings of a new Cryogenecists: Day 1 – A new journey

This post is my thoughts as I’m designing my graduate experiment setup. If you’ve never done anything with cryogenics, but are planning on doing it in the future, hopefully it will dissuade you from some of the pit falls that I will invariably fall into; and for those that have done cryogenic work in the past, you can see me as I walk head-long into some of those pit falls. This is by no means supposed to be a comprehensive list to follow!

Designing any scientific experiment is an acquired skill, requiring some experience before it really becomes second nature. You have to figure out … » More …

Transfer learning in toddlers and engineers Part 3: The Solution

In parts 1 and 2 of this series post we identified a key problem with Bloom’s taxonomy as applied to children and engineering. We then placed the problem into the broader memetic framework of spiral memes to establish limits on Bloom’s and initiated a path towards new needs for societal and educational growth. Here in part 3 we’ll present a new set of taxonomys and examples to guide future learning paradigms.

While the flipped classroom is a welcomed performance/communitarian meme shift approach to learning, it often … » More …

Transfer learning in toddlers and engineers Part 2: The Theory

So why is transfer learning (Bloom’s synthesis) so hard? It’s because of memetic imbalance. But what does that mean?

Let’s take a quick aside to provide some context:

Richard Dawkins coined the word meme in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene to describe the propagation of ideas and information through society similar to the genetics of Darwinian evolution. Stated simply, advantageous individual traits will propagate into the collective, whether they be genetic or memetic. Dawkin’s memetic philosophy paralleled the epistemological character levels defined by psychologist Clare Graves which formed the foundation for spiral memes. Graves’ looked back at human history to identify distinct societal … » More …

Transfer learning in toddlers and engineers Part 1: The Problem

Meet my 20 month old son and his pet snake:



He pulled the belt out of a pair of pants, threw it onto the floor, made a “ssssss” sound, pointed at the belt, said “snake”, and backed away slowly. As far as Chelsea and I know, it was the first time he played with one of our belts, and the first time he (or either of us) called something a snake in the house. I imagine that he transferred this from … » More …

WSU Rubotherm System Overview and Experimental Capabilities

Rubotherm IsoSORP instruments utilize a Magnetic Suspension Balance to provide highly accurate fluid density and sorption measurements. The system utilizes Archimedes’ principle to determine fluid density by suspending a sinker of known mass and volume in a fluid and measuring the weight with a precision balance. The applied force is transmitted to the balance by the magnetic suspension which decouples the testing fluid from the balance. The Rubotherm IsoSORP at Washington State University has recently been retrofitted for cryogenic temperatures and pressure up to 4000 psi. By placing the test cell in a vacuum chamber and thermally connecting it to a Cryomech cryocooler I have … » More …

HYPER – Technical Information

As a resource for the future of the HYPER lab, and as a service to other researchers looking for helpful information, advice, and technical knowledge, a new Technical Information section has been added to the website. Here you will be able to find explanations of the technical aspects of hydrogen research, as well as descriptions of what we’ve found to be best practices for a variety of common engineering problems. All information is from the first hand experience of lab members, and describes what we’ve found to be useful.

End engineering paper

I’m guilty too. The AIAA club I advise sells pads of engineering paper purchased in bulk to raise funds for the club. It’s a great fundraiser because most engineering faculty around the country still require homework to be completed on engineering paper.

What’s engineering paper you may ask? To quote the wiki:

Engineering paper is traditionally printed on light green or tan translucent paper. The grid lines are printed on the back side of each page and show through faintly to the front side. Each page has an unprinted margin. When photocopied or scanned, the grid lines typically … » More …

Calculators are typewriters

What would happen if a professor forced students to write a report with a typewriter instead of a word processor?

If it were only once it might be an interesting experience. Like going back and trying to do math with a slide rule. If it happened all the time, the students would riot. Times have changed. We’ve evolved.

Calculators are the typewriters of math. Definitely an evolution from slide rules. Far inferior to math processors like Engineering Equation Solver (EES), Mathematica, Maple, or Matlab. We all carry laptops or tablets. Yet the vast majority of scientists and engineering students around the world are still forced … » More …