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yoursdhruly's picture

CALLING ALL STUDENTS! (and everyone else)

Recently, Prof. Suo and several of us students have been discussing the possibility of increasing student presence and activity on iMechanica . With this in mind, two of us: Mahdi Kazemzadeh and I, have identified three important issues we would like to get your thoughts on. Please comment and let us know what you think, even if you are not a student. Also, if you wish to add any more issues you think we should look at, please post your thoughts in this regard as well.

Zhigang Suo's picture

Why do people become registered users of iMechanica?

The number of registered users of iMechanica is approaching 3000.  This sustained growth has been surprising to many, considering that iMechanica was launched less than a year ago, in September 2006, that iMechanica uses an off-the-shelf open-source software, Drupal, and that everyone can read everything without registration.  Why have so many people registered?  There might be many reasons, such as


hi all,

i would like to know how can i find the error in a heat transfer problem with the help of

zienkiewicz zhu error estimator.

Zhigang Suo's picture

Why is Google cool, but Elsevier is not?

Elsevier-bashing has become a sport among researchers.  The company is singled out, among publishers of research journals, perhaps because it is the largest.  We might as well use Elsevier as a representative of the publishers, and hard-working people at Elsevier should not be offended. 

A common point of contention is that Elsevier makes too much money.  This is odd, given that many other companies make far more money, and that money symbolizes success in many cultures.  So making money, by itself,  should not be the reason that upsets researchers.

Nice Tips for Google Search Engine

In the current time computer and internet helps to everyone
in their daily routine. Thousand of people take help from search engine for
getting knowledge from internet per day. Mostly people use Google one of the
biggest search engine in the internet. As a Google user, you must aware about
the speed and accuracy of Google Search. How exactly Google search for the
particular word and give the right results in the front of the user. No doubt
Google is one of the most powerful search engines, and there is millions of

Teng Li's picture

Minutes of iMechanica get-together at McMat 2007

On 6 June 2007, about 50 mechanicians attended a special session at the McMat 2007, " get together". The attendees of this special session came from various job sectors, such as academia, industry as well as government agencies. The session was chaired by K. Ravi-Chander and Rui Huang, who also served in the organizing committee of McMat 2007.

Zhigang Suo's picture

An old and unfunded proposal to NSF to create iMechanica

In response to a NSF call for proposal on Cyberinfrastructure Training, Education, Advancement, and Mentoring for Our 21st Century Workforce (CI-TEAM), in June 2006, several of us submitted a proposal entitled "iMechanica:  Leveraging Cyberinfrastructure to Evolve All Knowledge of Applied Mechanics"

Why lionize mathematics in science/engineering?

This has reference to (only) the *last paragraph* in Prof. Harry Lewis' recent post, found at: node/1423#comment-2880.

The reason I write the present post is because I always seem to have had a view of inventing, learning, or teaching mathematics that is remarkably at odds with what Prof. Lewis' last paragraph *seems* to imply.

Zhigang Suo's picture

Google will videotape all Harvard classes and make them universally accessible

I wish that this thought had come to me earlier, so that I could have posted it on April First.  No, I'm unaware of such a program.  Instead, Harvard faculty have just emerged from a multi-year review of curriculum, and reaffirmed the commitment to liberal education, after voting out a president not too long ago.

Henry Tan's picture

Can iMechanica replace mechanical seminars in the future?

Reading the article, future role of iMechanica (node/908) posted by Teng (user/10), I am thinking that iMechanica may replace mechanical seminars, lectures conducted by invited mechanicians, in the future.

Academic seminars have several functions: first, to exchange information; second, to build up connections.

Mogadalai Gururajan's picture

New category for open source codes

Update: An Open Source Review page has been created. Please feel free to leave links, codes and comments on the page. 

Dear Mechanicians,

I have seen that there is lot of code sharing among the mechanicians at iMechanica; a search for the word "code" for example produces nearly fifty entries, of which, I believe, at least half of the posts are pointers to codes and their sharing.

Henry Tan's picture

Overlaps in our knowledge structures

Each one of us developed his own knowledge structure. After graduation we followed different research interests, took different projects, and adopted different approaches, analytical, numerical, or experimental. Therefore the knowledge structure is unique for every person, coming from his/her education background and scientific experiences.

There are several levels for the overlapping in our knowledge structure.

Does the term "community standards" include such matters too? Or rather not?

Choose a channel featured in the header of iMechanica: 

Please see the attachment

I guess, it is an example of as apersonal and unspirited a paper as can at all be produced.

More information is available by following the link:

Community Standards for iMechanica

As a moderator here on iMechanica, I have deleted a few posts recently that were clearly spam. As iMechanica grows and becomes more visible within the mechanics community and the broader internet community, we can expect the frequency of these kinds of posts to increase.

Mogadalai Gururajan's picture

On the need for popular science articles by mechanicians

Recently, the Royal Society Science book prize shortlist was announced; though the shortlisted books cover psychology, evolution, biodiversity, medicine and neurobiology, none in the area of materials or mechanics made it to the list. Or, pick any Best American Science writing volume--there are hardly any articles about materials or mechanics that make it to these anthologies.

Zhigang Suo's picture

If degrees were not a discriminator for hiring, would lying about degrees still be a serious offense?

I'm saddened by the recent resignation of Marilee Jones, the dean of admissions at MIT. By all accounts she has been an excellent employee, but she lied about her degrees when she first applied for an entry-level job 28 years ago.

I do think that lying is wrong, and I can't blame the administration of MIT for taking actions. However, I'm uneasy about the general practice of employment.

Robert Paynter's picture

iMechanica needs a logo

I agree with Michelle, we need to get beyond the default Drupal water drop.

How about my little offering, that came to mind:


It's overall shape approximates that of the letter i

At a glance it can look like a Mass on a Spring - major components of mechanics.

It has a globe because this is international

and it says iMechanica at the bottom.

Sure, it need some polishing, but perhaps offers a start.


Oxford, UK

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 
Kyung-Suk Kim's picture

Sharing sadness for loss of dear friends and students

Upon hearing the painful news of VPI tragedy, I am deeply saddened that we lost our young students and fellow faculty, in particular, Liviu Librescu, G. V. Loganathan and Kevin Granata. I would like to share the sorrow with the family and friends of the victims who lost their lives in the senseless crime. I am deeply compelled to write this message, since I am a faculty teaching young students applied mechanics/engineering like professors Librescu, Loganathan and Granata, and belong to a small community of Korean Americans. I feel helpless and guilty that I could not mentor our young people and hear such incomprehensible tragic news.

Some weekend reading

Terence Tao (one of the Fields Medal winners this year) has started blogging. He has a detailed discussion on the Navier-Stokes equations here. It's long but definitely worth reading - particularly because of the wide range of ideas that he talks about.

Pradeep Sharma's picture

J-club Editor: Election versus Appointment?

Choose a channel featured in the header of iMechanica: 

As many of you know, last year we had a lively debate prior to the launch of the j-club regarding the rules and regulations governing the functioning of the j-club. This continued in a more low-key fashion this year. One of the more important topics under discussion has been the selection of the future editors (which is to be done each year). I, and perhaps a few other people, had reasoned that the editor should be elected by popular vote. It was proposed that candidates will either self-nominate themselves or be nominated by other mechanicians.


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