Edward Dimenberg Academic Publishing Workshop

February 4, 2016 § Leave a comment

A few insights from a recent workshop lead by Edward Dimenberg on academic publishing. Writing scholarly monographs is a creative process. ED uses the term  « creative scholar » to describe the intersection between creative writing and scholarship crafting.  The myth of the romantic author who inspired by a muse transcribes from scratch complex works is seriously harmful. « Ask senior colleagues how do they write » he suggests, betting that the answer will include a surprising array of idiosyncratic responses reflecting how brilliant minds work, but a very dull list of common concerns. They will all stress in one way or another the importance of having a daily routine,  that writing less often is much better than writing a lot sporadically, and that leaving the page in a middle of a paragraph, or even a sentence is much more powerful than trying to end in hard stops such as the end of chapters or sections. Leaving writing mid-sentence is the best way to avoid writer’s block and the time it would take otherwise to start again.

ED stresses that a scholarly monograph requires sacrifices and both to discipline one-self to ignore the call of the sirens that become louder the longer one spends working on a manuscript, and also a work-life balance to keep one’s sanity and energy. I will add what Sabina Berman once told me, « You always need a group of fierce bouncers to keep out all fascinating digressions that will show up uninvited to your writing process. » Wallace Stegner points out that the difference between an amateur and a professional writer is only the quality of their re-writes: all drafts are similar! One should be able to distinguish between what is interesting and what advances our argument. What is interesting should be caught off, and placed in a folder for later. Lastly, for ED time is of the essence. As Jacques Lacan pointed out « There is no creativity without a sense of urgency. »

In the humanities, scholars are less aware of their method, which is in fact what makes most of the value of their work as it is not the what but the how that advances the discipline. A crucial task is to find, construct and keep a writing network of 2-3 people you respect and with whom to exchange creative and constructive criticism. This group doesn’t necessarily needs to match your tribe, or need to be willing to take responsibility for you or even accept your work as part of their field. « Find 3-4 books that you think yours might look like, would save a lot of misunderstandings when talking to editors, and also when figuring out fields, sub-fields and search keywords you want to include in yours.»

Editors don’t want to publish something that is available out there. As a rule of thumb, from one article/chapter to a maximum of 25 percent of a book may have been pre-published in the form of an article, or dissertation, never more.

Edward Dimenberg is a Professor of Film & Media Studies at UC Irvine


Squash Coaching

September 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

Thomas Lowish,  UC Berkeley Squash coach, has graciously shared with me the three resources he uses the most to structure the team practice. I am looking forward to adapt some of these materials for the Wake Forest Squash Team.

(1) http://www.squashsite.co.uk/squash_drills.htm (Not available anymore. But can see it on Wayback here)

(2) http://www.squash-training.com/squash-resource.html (Not available anymore. But can see it on Wayback here)

(3) Roger Flynn « Tactics and Strategy in Squash »

Invitation to submit a paper

June 10, 2014 § 1 Comment

I recently attended a conference at the University of Colorado at Boulder. A few days later I started receiving invitations to submit the paper of my communication to a series of journals I didn’t know about. After a simple search online it turned out that these were not legitimate venues. The way the scam operates is quiet elaborate. After a pseudo-peer review process your paper is accepted but you are asked to pay $50.00 per page. For a normal 25-30 pages pager they would ask you $1,250-$1,500. Here is a blog that details the experience of someone who decided to submit a paper. Here is a response of a librarian from the University of Houston about one of these journals.

Paying for publication in serious open-access journals is not unheard off and is in fact a new business model being explored in lieu of copyrights. However, these journals are not serious, legitimate or exist even.

Here are copies of two of those emails. One of them included a PDF of one issue of the “journal”

Dear [NAME] ,

This is Modern Education Review (ISSN 2155-7993), a professional journal published worldwide by Academic Star Publishing Company, New York , NY, USA.

We have learned your paper”[PAPER] “at [CONFERENCE]. If  you  have  the  idea  of  making our  journal  a vehicle for  your  research   interests, please  send  the electronic version  of your  latest paper  to  us through  email  attachment  in MS word  format. All of your original   papers  and  books  which  have  not  been  published  are  welcome.

Hope to keep in touch by email and publish some papers or books from you and your friends in USA. As an American academic publishing group, we wish to become your friends if necessary. We also want to invite some people to be our reviewers or become our editorial board members. If you are interested in our journal, you can send your CV to us.
You can find our sample issue in the attachment. Expect to get your reply soon.

Best regards,

Journal of Modern Education Review
Academic Star Publishing Company
education@academicstar.us, moderneducation@academicstar.us
228 East 45th Street, Ground Floor, #CN00000267, New York NY 10017
TEL: 347-230-6798, Fax:347-426-1986

Call for Paper


Journal of Modern Education Review (ISSN 2155-7993) is an international, professional, and peer reviewed journal, monthly published in English by Academic Star Publishing
Company, USA. It is a scholarly journal of opinion and research in education. Its mission is to provide an interdisciplinary forum for discussion and debate about education’s most
vital issues. It covers a wide range of topics of current concern in education. Each issue of it will contain a variety of articles, essays, and book reviews. We are interested in receiving
well-written and timely papers from individuals for possible publication. The focus of the publication is original completed research that has application to academicians, researchers,
policymakers, administrators, and teachers within the broad areas of education.

We would welcome manuscripts on (but not limited to):
*cultural and linguistic continuity and change;
*ethnicity, class, gender and diversity in education;
*systems and infrastructure development;
*cultures and discourses of educational organizations;
*educational policy responses;
*migrant and indigenous education;
*historical and current educational relationships between Asian and Pacific countries and systems;
*relationships with the educational ideas and systems of the “North” and “West”;
*the impacts of new communication media and technologies, new and hybrid cultural forms and practices, and globalised economies on education;
*science education;
*technology education;
*engineering education;
*education technology;
*other topics related to education.

Information for Authors
1. The manuscript should be original, and has not been published previously. Do not submit material that is currently being considered by another journal.
2. The manuscript should be in MS Word format, submitted as an email attachment to our email box.
3. Manuscripts may be 5000-12000 words or longer if approved by the editor,including an abstract, texts, tables, footnotes, appendixes, and references.
The title should be on page 1 and not exceed 15 words, and should be followed by an abstract of 100-200 words. 3-5 keywords or key phrases are required.
4. The title of the paper should be on the cover sheet as well as the top of the first page of text. Author names and affiliations should be on the cover sheet only.
5. Authors of the articles being accepted are required to sign the Transfer of Copyright Agreement form.
6. Authors will receive 2 hard copies of the journal within their papers.
7. It is not our policy to pay authors.

Peer Review Policy
Journal of Modern Education Review is a refereed journal. All research articles in this journal undergo rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and anonymised
refereeing by at least two anonymous referees.

Editorial Procedures
All papers considered appropriate for this journal are reviewed anonymously by at least two outside reviewers. The review process usually takes 4-6 weeks. Papers are accepted
for publication subject to no substantive,stylistic editing. The Editor reserves the right to make any necessary changes in the papers, or request the author to do so, or reject the paper submitted. A copy of the edited paper along with the first proofs will be sent to the author for proofreading. They should be corrected and returned to the Editor within seven days.
Once the final version of the paper has been accepted, authors are requested not to make further changes to the text.

Submission of Manuscript
All manuscripts submitted will be considered for publication. Manuscripts should be sent online http://www.academicstar.us/onlineupload.asp?shaction=show or as an email attachment to: education@academicstar.us, moderneducation@academicstar.us
Address: Academic Star Publishing Company, 70 West 86th Street, #CN0267, New York, NY 10024, USA
228 East 45th Street #CN0267 New York NY 10017 USA
Email:education@academicstar.us, moderneducation@academicstar.us
Journal of Modern Education Review


From Knowledge to Wisdom
US-China Education Review A & B, USA
ISSN: 2161-623X & 2161-6248
Frequency: monthly

Dear Mr/Ms. [NAME],

The journals of US-China Education Review A & US-China Education Review B, two award-winning peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary periodicals published in English by David Publishing Company, Chicago, USA since 2003, welcome the submission of original manuscripts reporting innovations or investigations in the Education area.
We have learned your paper titled  “[PAPER]” from [CONFERENCE],which you have taken part in.
We are very interested in your research, if you have the mentioned paper or the other unpublished papers in hand and have the idea of making our journal a vehicle for your research interests, please feel free to send the electronic version of your papers or books to us.
If you have the idea of making our journals as vehicles for your research interests and you have unpublished papers in hand, please send your WORD format manuscripts (papers or books) through the e-mails/submission system (for more details refer journal Web page). We appreciate your support.
We also seek researchers who have deep research in and outstanding contribution to Education area to be our reviewers/editors. Good review board has insightful understanding in Education field, and can provide professional suggestions to authors. If you are interested in our journals, please send us your CV. Expect to get your reply soon.
The below is more information on our journal and some guidelines for you and you can visit our journal’s website: http://www.davidpublishing . org or http://www.davidpublishing . com.

US-China Education Review A & US-China Education Review B, two monthly professional academic journals, are striving to provide the best platform for researchers and scholars worldwide to exchange their latest findings and results.

Current columns involve Higher Education, Higher Educational Management, Educational Psychology, Teacher Education, Curriculum and Teaching, Educational Technology, Education Economics and Management, Educational Theory and Principle, Educational Policy and Administration, Comparative Education, Vocational and Technical Education, Special Education, Educational Philosophy, Elementary Education, Science Education, Lifelong Learning, Adult Education, Distance Education, Pre-school Education, Early Child Education, Secondary Education, Art Education, Rural Education, Environmental Education, Health Education, History of Education, Sociology of Education, Educational Methodology, Education and Culture, Legal of Education, Educational Evaluation and Assessment, Physical Education, Educational Consulting, Educational Training, Moral Education, Family Education, as well as other issues.

US-China Education Review A & US-China Education Review B are collected and indexed by the Library of U.S Congress, on whose official Website (http:/catalog.loc.gov/) an online inquiry can be triggered with their publication number ISSN Nos. as key words in “Basic Search” column. In addition, these journals are also retrieved by some renowned databases:
★ Database of EBSCO, Massachusetts, USA
★ Chinese Database of CEPS, American Federal Computer Library center (OCLC), USA
★ Chinese Scientific Journals Database, VIP Corporation, Chongqing, P.R.C.
★ Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory
★ ASSIA database and LLBA database of ProQuest
★ NSD (Norweigan Social Science Data Service), Database for Statisticson Higher Education (DBH), Norway
★Universe Digital Library Sdn Bhd (UDLSB), Malaysia
★ Excellent paper in ERIC
★ Summon Serials Solutions
★ Google Scholar
★Scribd Digital Library
★Academic Key
★Electronic Journals Library(EZB)

Information for Authors
1. Submission of Manuscript: The manuscript should be original, and has not been published previously. Do not submit material that is currently being considered by another journal. The manuscript should be in MS WORD format, submitted as an email attachment to our email address.
2. Some requirements: Manuscripts may be 3000-8000 words or longer if approved by the editor, including an abstract, texts, tables, footnotes, appendixes, and references. All of these must be write in APA format. The title should not be exceeding 15 words, and abstract should not be exceeding 400 words. 3-8 keywords or key phrases are required.
3. Transfer of Copyright Agreement: Authors of the articles being accepted are required to sign the Transfer of Copyright Agreement form.
4. Hard Copies: Authors will receive two copies of the issue of the journal containing their article.

Peer-Review Policy
US-China Education Review A & US-China Education Review B are peer-review journal. All research articles in the journals undergo rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and refereeing by at least two anonymous referees.

Editorial Procedures
All papers considered appropriate for the journals are reviewed anonymously by at least two outside reviewers. The review process usually takes two to three weeks. Papers are accepted for publication subject to no substantive, stylistic editing. The editor reserves the right to make any necessary changes in the papers, or request the author to do so, or reject the paper submitted. A copy of the edited paper along with the first proofs will be sent to the author for proofreading. They should be corrected and returned to the editor within seven days. Once the final version of the paper has been accepted, authors are requested not to make further changes to the text.

Best Regards,

Sunny, H.
Assistant Editor
Journal of US-China Education Review A, ISSN2161-623X, USA
Journal of US-China Education Review B, ISSN2161-6248, USA
David Publishing Company
240 Nagle Avenue #15C, New York, NY 10034, USA
Email: teacher@davidpublishing.org; teacher@davidpublishing.com;  edu1658@yahoo.com; education2161@yahoo.com or education1548@hotmail.com
Tel: 1-323-984-7526; 1-323-410-1082     Fax: 1-323-984-7374; 1-323-908-0457

Squash strings

May 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

From Dominique Chiquet, UC Berkeley Squash pro:

Stringing Recommendation:

Restring your racket each year as many times as you play each week. Always restring at least once a year. Most Racquets come prestrung with cheap Nylon, which looses tension the fastest and needs to be replaced the quickest. Some come prestrung with high-end strings (Black Knight, Tecnifibre racquets) that play well untill they break.
The mains should be strung 2 lbs/1kg tighter than the crosses.
String the thinner string 3lbs/1.5kg looser than the thick to get the same feeling.

Attention: Give your racquet directly to a squash stringer!!
Literally all places offering restringing in SF don’t carry squash strings(except squash clubs).
=> your racquet comes back with thin tennis strings, often strung with the wrong tension.
a thin tennis string is completely different than a squash string. Tennis strings are much stiffer than squash strings = not elastic enough => you will get little power and feel for squash.
Tip: If you go to a shop, ask them for the package or reel of the string.

Thickness of a string, measured in gauge

Gauge Diameter
18 1.06 – 1.15 mm thin => stretch more => more touch and power
17 1.16 – 1.25 mm thick => remains flatter => more control and durability
16 1.26 – 1.34 mm (never used for squash)

a 17 gauge tennis string is not the same as a 17 gauge squash string!!

String Tension

Higher tension = more control
Lower tension = more power
Racquets tend to be strung at 25-29 pounds or 11 – 13 Kilos, anything outside of this range is quite extreme.
Larger racquetheads need slightly higher tension for comparable playability.
High tension and hard hitting => pop more strings.
Very low tension => pop strings by wearing them out by abrasion, (strings tend to saw back and forth against each other more).

Elasticity: . Non-elastic strings (nylon and synthetic gut) => more control
Elastic strings(Tecnifibre/Ashaway and natural gut) => more power and touch.

Tension loss/Performance life

All strings lose a significant amount of tension after stringing and after play.
(roughly 10 percent by the day after they’re strung. The more you play, the greater the loss of tension.

Performance life = the time until strings no longer lose tension; they are “dead” = most elasticity is lost => playability is very poor => time to restring.
Performance life is the key measure of how long a string lasts. It has absolutely nothing to do with string life (durability).
Nylon strings are recommended to be replaced within 3 month as they loose tension very quickly. Many racquets come prestrung with Nylon.
Synthetic strings loose tension slower than Nylon, elasticity is lost completely after about 6 months for monofilament to 12 months with multifilament strings.
Tecnifibre/Ashaway/Natural Gut and other high-end strings don’t need to be replaced until they break because they lose tension very slowly.

Heat and moisture are enemies of racket string.=>
-Don’t store your racquet in the trunk of your car on a hot, humid day, or in a damp basement during the off-season.

String types

Monofilament strings => durable but stiff => poor performance life => cheap and only for recreational players,

Multi-filament construction = large number of strands of the same material and diameter twisted together. Multi-filament strings are considered to be the softest, offering the most feel but shortest performance life.

Trouble with tennis elbow?

Ideally use natural gut, the most elastic string there is, but hard to find these days.
Tecnifibre is almost as good.

Different stringing machines

Different stringing machines may produce very different results: for example, 30 lb. on one machine may be equivalent to 25 lb. on another.
In order to get consistent results, find a stringer you like to work with and stay with him or her.
The biggest difference is between manual, or ‘lock-out tension’ machines, and ‘continuous pull’ electronic machines. You’ll get about 10% higher tension with an electronic machine, both set to the same weight.
The other thing is that rackets strung with electronic machines hold tension better.


Thinner strings are better. They dig a bit deeper into the surface of the squash ball, generating better traction for more spin control.

Graphical Representation

April 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

Visual communication predates writing…

Caves of Chauvet, Paleolithic Era Circa 35,000 b.C.

But together with writing it implies a degree of abstraction that both helps communicate and also think the world around us. On the Mayan Codex of Dresden we can see for example, side by side, columns of phonetic scripture and numeric representations in base five, which helps understand and signify the number « O » common in Mesoamerican carvings in the first century b.C, 1300 years before Arab mathematicians introduced it to Europe, in the 12c.

Mayan writings circa 8c, reproduced in the Codex Dresden circa 11c a.D.

Graphic representations and texts complement each other and serve a double purpose of thinking and communicating. Pythagoras theorem by Leonardo or Euclides’ Elements circa 300 b.C. offer a good example of the later, while the graphical representation of Orbis Terrarum in Medieval manuscripts illustrates the later.

Leonardo’s illustration of Pythagoras theorem

Oliver Byrne’s edition of Euclides’ Elements, London 1847

Orbis Tertius & Mare Oceanum

The idea that graphic representation needs to accurately depict the relative magnitudes of what it is representing is necessary for deriving conclusions and using them as a thinking devices, but not for telling a story as is the case of the schematic representation of Orbis Tertius.

William Playfair’s 1821 engraved charts of historically declining purchasing power in the UK, Florence Nightingale’s rose graphs showing poor living conditions of military barracks in 1855, and especially Charles Minard’s graphic representation of Napoleon’s Russian campaign of 1812 started a turning point in visual representation of statistical data.

Edward Tufte’s The visual display of quantitative information (1983), Envisioning information (1990) and Beautiful evidence (2006) are considered the start of its associated scholarly inquiry. The chapter entitled « Chartjunk » in Beautiful evidence is often used as a basis for workshops on «Power Point communication best practices » for example the one that Ray Lyons addressed to medical research professionals in Baltimore, MD on 2010: “Best Practices in Graphical Data Presentation.” Stephen Few wrote an interesting review of the state of the “Chartjunk debate” in 2011 for business professionals.

Often quoted sources are Howard Wainer Visual Revelations (1997)Graphic Discovery (2005) and Picturing the Uncertain World (2009); Dona Wong the WSJ Guide to Information Graphics (2010) and Stephen Few Now You See It (2009), Show me the Numbers (2012) and Information Dashboard Design (2013). In terms of a textbook with a systematic step by step overview of the discipline, my favorite is Ricardo Mazza’s Introduction to Information Visualization (2009). The discipline has grown significantly in recent times with research focusing on data mining and visual thinking of big data.

Common Core frustration and ignorance

March 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

I read in Yahoo a comment on a Facebook posting going viral. The title: ” Read Parent’s Facebook Response to ‘Ridiculous’ Common Core Math Homework.

What this tells me is that Yahoo is siding against CC. Not only the title but also reading the text of the article confirms that. What I see in the assignment and the comment is a profound disrespect on the part of the parent for the teacher and for knowledge, as well as bewildering arrogance in imagining that a bachelor degree in Engineering establishes  authority beyond discussing the actual content of the assignment.

Even without knowing the full idea behind this assignment, it seems to me that the question goes further than learning how to solve a simple subtraction, for which most people today would sadly turn to a calculator, or repeat a simple formula or technique (which the parent does). It offers the possibility of using a visual approach to allow students to dive into more abstract mathematical concepts.

One key difference between undergraduate and graduate education, is that in college (and before) students have been taught what we know about all kinds of things. Graduate school is about creative solutions to what we don’t know. This assignment seems to prepare students better for life-long learning and advanced intellectual inquiry than the traditional approach which conversely has resulted in the US lagging behind the industrialized countries of the OECD in many instances, and math in particular.

I can see how a person who dismisses being challenged to think through a new approach would be a technology user and information consumer, while the one who trains his or her brain to go deeper, could be a technology and knowledge maker.

Whether this precise approach should or not be part of CC is a discussion worth having, but it does not undermine the concept of CC in its entirety. It is crucial to realize that CC is not only an instrument of accountability. Specifying what one particular course or level has to cover, enables advanced classes to build on previous ones and frees them from having to re-teach again core concepts that not every student in the class has mastery of. It frees classes from being remedial, reduces the chances of students being bored to death when they have to review fractions for the seventh time throughout their k-12 years, and also allows them to get to more complex and sophisticated levels of intellectual practice. The fallacy of freedom for one program or teacher to teach only whatever he or she feels like, dooms the system to stay remedial and US k-12 and undergraduate education to be locked within the superficial.

This does not imply either that CC is all students have to learn. CC as I see it is a minimum not a maximum. Setting the minimum at preparing students to enter a non-selective community college is certainly too low, but inferring that kids in general are not prepared to enter college because of CC is such not only a fallacy, it seems to be an intentional strategy to mislead and deceive, which is much worse.

Stating the importance of a common core does not pretend to imply of course that extensive standardized testing, and linking teacher’s pay to student’s performance is not wrong. It does not mean either that CC solves the central problem of pervasive inequality in the distribution of resources in education and how the system reproduces class and socioeconomic differences across generations. It only means that common standards are indispensable to achieve higher levels of education for the nation.

My kids will be starting kindergarten soon and I find disheartening that ignorance finds so many pundits who rally behind such poor and arrogant attitudes. I really hope the parents in my kids classrooms will be more respectful of the teaching profession,  curious intellectually and willing to accept that the first principle of learning is to recognize there is something we don’t know.


Titillius demonio de las erratas

March 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

Titillius demonio de las erratasIn the Middle Ages typos and mistakes in books were attributed to the Daemon Tititvillius. They were not permanent, so once time you could see them and perhaps another time you couldn’t. I am sure he is still very active today.