Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Art in Bloom" Show Brightens Usable Space

Two of nature’s most profound forms of expression came together during the July 18th to July 20th Art in Bloom show at The Spanish Village. The presentation matched floral arrangements with paintings to create a masterful display of coordinated color. Each artist attempted to make a connection between the two formats to brighten your home and better manage open space. Prices were reasonable and focused on middle class buyers.

The color combinations chosen will naturally impact ascetic appearance and mood. For example, a study by Yildirim, et. al. (2011) found that changing colors to warm, cool, or achromatic colors also changed a person’s mood. Warm colors bring higher states of arousal, cool colors bring restful feelings and achromatic colors foster peaceful emotions.  Art in Bloom offered colored combinations across all three color schematics.

The same concepts that apply to one's home can also apply to a business lobby, conference room, meeting room, or any other place where people gather. Using proper art displays not only show the good taste of the company but also can enhance the experiences of customers and clients. If you are seeking to create excitement use bright colors while if you are seeking to calm your clients down use cool colors.

Perusing the paintings and flowers were not the only activity on the menu. As patrons strolled the courtyard they were also able to listen to music by Tin Man’s Heart and attend presentations through the Botanical Foundation. Refreshments and coffee provided opportunities to sit and relax while enjoying the bonanza of bountiful colors. 

The event was hosted at The Spanish Village in Balboa Park which is an artist’s heaven in opportunities to connect, learn, and produce unique works of self-expression. Small guilds and shops are architecturally designed to give the most ascetic appearance possible. If you are looking for art classes or want to get involved in the art community you only need to start walking around and visiting the shops. 

Spanish Village Art Center
1770 Village Place
San Diego, CA

Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Review: The Philosophy of Science A Very Short Introduction

The Philosophy of Science A Very Short Introduction by Samir Okasha discusses the very nature of science and what it means to engage in scientific thinking. The book will bring you through the definitions of science, scientific reasoning, realism and anti-realism, scientific revolutions and philosophical problems. It is solid reading for students and laypeople that desire to get a basic grasp of science.

Science started in the 1400 to 1700 with people like Copernicus who built a model of the universe and Aristotle who put forward ideas of physics, biology, astronomy and cosmology. Science is a way in which we think about the world (i.e. scientific mindset) and how we compare and contrast elements to come to conclusions of the world in which we live. 

A key component of science is a concept called falsifiable brought forward by Karl Popper. All theories and predictions must be falsifiable in the sense that experience can determine them wrong over time. Pseudo-science was described as theories of psychotherapy brought forward by Freud because anything the patient does can be explained away with no obvious observable proofs of latent functions. 

Consider the use of a theoretical model to predict that a certain event will occur. As time moves forward the event either happens or it doesn’t thereby making is verifiable. Theories that cannot be tested and shown to be false are also unlikely to be true. There must be criteria to lend support or take support away from the theory. If you can’t prove or disprove it then it isn’t a theory.

More pointedly the book discusses induction and deduction as methods of understanding concepts and coming to new conclusions. The example of deduction provided by the book is 1.) The French like wine, and 2.) Pierre is a Frenchman therefore it can be deducted that Pierre likes wine.  It doesn’t matter if the inferences actually make the conclusion true but that they can lead to the conclusion. 

Inductive reasoning is difficult to use in science but is commonly applied to everyday life. It is assumed that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West every day. Using inductive reasoning we can say that the sun will rise in the East tomorrow and set in the West. We are likely to be right but that doesn’t make it a truth while the observation isn’t necessarily proof that it will happen over and over. 

The book doesn’t move into this concept but it is possible to use deductive, inductive and probable abductive reasoning together to be more accurate. We may use deductive reasoning to go from the general down to the specific and then use inductive reasoning to rebuild the model outward in another place to see if it also holds true.  We can then use abductive reasoning to understand the likelihood of the conclusion holding true to the explanation in both examples. 

Either way you are likely to find the book interesting and provide a broad understanding of the basic principles of science. It is the type of book you should read if you have studied the sciences, plan on studying to a doctorate, or want to test something within your environment. The price on kindle is reasonable and retails for around $2.

Call for Papers: 2014 5th International Conference on E-business, Management and Economics - ICEME 2014

September 2nd & 3rd  2014

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

ICEME 2014, will be held during September 2-3, 2014, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. ICEME 2014 aims to bring together researchers, scientists, engineers, and scholar students to exchange and share their experiences, new ideas, and research results about all aspects of E-business, Management and Economics, and discuss the practical challenges encountered and the solutions adopted.

The Skills that Lead to Employment in Undergraduate Online Education

In higher education employability has come to the forefront of the debate. Arguments revolve around graduate success in finding employment.  Research by Silva, et. al (2013) helps highlight which skills seem to encourage employability in the market based upon the perceptions of students and teachers at a public university that offers online classes. The report indicates that the societal function of higher education is to encourage the highest employment readiness but cannot determine actual employment itself which is dependent on market factors. 

The study was based upon perceptions of employment skills needed for successfully navigating the market. Research subjects were drawn from an online learning center from the Universidade Alberta to help determine the most important employment skills and those skills to be developed in the online undergraduate system. 

It is beneficial to understand what the purpose of higher education is within society. Knowing how higher education fits within society will help provide a conceptual framework for determining proper skills. According to Harvey (1999) higher education should:

-Establish links to employers that assist them with developing strategies to overcome lack of qualifications.

-Contribute to solutions for education and training in highly-skilled areas with a lack of qualified workers. 

-Prepare graduates with effective skills ensuring that employability requirements are explicit within courses of study. 

Higher education follows the same supply and demand concepts within the market as other entities. Where there is a need for educated workers higher education can help fill the gap through adjusting their curriculum for maximum relevance. They cannot control the market but are able to respond appropriate to that market through understanding the needs of employers and reflecting those needs within their curriculum. 

The development of students naturally has an impact on the development of a nation. When job needs are fulfilled the employer is able to move closer to maximum productivity. Think of how low I.T. skill availability is forcing companies to outsource operations or hire foreign workers. Reich, cited by Knight, discusses the need for higher education to enhance natural skills (Knight, 2003):

-Abstraction: Theory and empirical analysis that includes formulas, equations, models, and metaphors. 

-Systems of Thought: The way the brain processes information. 

-Experimentation: Intuitive experimentation and analytical experimentation. 

-Collaboration: Using communication and teamwork to solve problems. 

The study highlights how students and faculty have a slightly different impression of the skills needed to find jobs. Both groups agree that the concepts of problem solving, planning, decision-making, and willingness to learn as fundamental skills that guild them in their careers. Adaptable and transformative profiles should be enhanced. Adaptive employees are able to learn new skills and apply them to their workplace while transformative people are able to move beyond the rules to change the workplace into a higher functioning entity. Higher education has the responsibility to improve upon the process of knowledge attainment and job skill competence but the specific employment opportunity is the responsibility of the graduate and the employer. The closer schools are to businesses and their needs the more likely relevant market skills will be developed.

Harvey, L, (1999). New realities: The relationship between higher education and
employment. Birmingham Centre for Research into Quality.

Knight, T. P., & Yorke, M. (2003). Assessment learning and employability. England:
SRHE and Open University Press Imprint.

Silva, A., et. al. (2013). Employability in Online Higher Education : A Case Study. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 14 (1).