Monthly Archives: April 2017

Know About an Academic Paper

As we’ve said before, the publish or perish culture in the academic world is real—if you’re thinking about publishing a paper, you need to read this.

It’s possible—and entirely within your grasp—to publish a master’s level academic paper.  There are rules and some tricks of the trade though.

Trick #1? Consider co-publishing with your academic advisor.  Why?  Clout.  If your advisor is respected in the field, and signs his or her name to your work, then you’ll share some credibility.

Trick #2? Do your homework.  It’s not really a trick—it’s something you have to do.  Read academic journals and select a few that fit with your research and writing style.  Then, talk to that advisor about how to prepare your manuscript for submission.

Intrigued?  You should be.  Read on to learn more about how to write that paper—and then get it published.

1. The Abstract

The traditional academic paper has a brief synopsis of the paper, its salient points, and its conclusion.  Take note: this is the hardest part of the paper to write.  Why?  You have to boil down all of your research to about a paragraph.

What goes into the abstract?  A synopsis of the problem you researched and why it’s interesting, how you solved the problem—in brief—the results of your research, and your conclusion.

Our advice?  Write the paper first.  The summarize each section of the paper with one pithy sentence.  Voilá: abstract!

2. The Introduction

The key here is engagement.  You need to hook your readers so that they read all of your brilliant work.  How do you do that?  Start big.  What’s the biggest idea you tackle in your research?  Then narrow down so that eventually you come to your thesis—your primary argument.  Why you did what you did and why it’s important.

Let the introduction read as a roadmap—with an exciting destination for a conclusion.

Stuck?  Write the rest of the paper first, except for the abstract.

General Election Mean for Students

The people of Britain head to the polls today to pick a new government.  If you’re not up on your current events you may be asking yourself: “Wait a second…didn’t this just happen?” Indeed, while just two years have passed since the last election, a lot has changed in that time. (Did someone say “Brexit”?) As a result, Prime Minister Theresa May called for an early election, AKA “snap election,” which can be held if enough members of the country’s lawmakers — two-thirds to be exact — agree to it.  And while forecasts vary wildly regarding who will win and by how much, experts agree that the results will play a huge role in the UK’s transition out of the EU.

Caught in the crossfires of it all? The UK’s significant student population. Here’s a closer look at where higher education factors into today’s vote.

What Domestic Students Need to Know

There’s no arguing that the majority of Britain’s young people feel disenfranchised by the country’s increasingly Conservative sway. However, these same people are also uniquely positioned to make a difference in today’s election.Says Quartz, “Whether the Conservative government wins by a landslide, by a small majority, or it loses its majority in Parliament (a prospect that sent the pound tumbling) is dependent on youth turnout. In short, the future of the Britain will be decided by its most disillusioned voters.”

But being fed up with rising tuition fees, lack of government funding, loss of housing benefits, and deteriorating job markets is not a reason not to vote. Why? Because we’ve all seen how that story ends. Pollsters predict that if youth turnout is as low as it was in 2015’s election, then the Conservative party will win in a landslide — meaning more of the same moving forward. If, however, the UK’s two million-plus students do turn up and vote, they could make their dissenting voices heard toward greater cross-party balance.

So which parties believe what when it comes to higher education? One of the biggest differences between the parties pertains to higher education tuitions. While fee structures are expected to remain consistent under both the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats, the left-leaning Labour Party has pledged to completely abolish tuition fees and write off existing student debt — in accordance with its viewpoint that higher education should be free because it’s a public service for the “collective good.”

And while all parties acknowledge the importance of increasing science and education funding, the Conservative Party has designated the smallest increase in spending (2.4 percent by 2027) to this area when compared to the platforms of the Labour Party (3 percent by 2030) and the Liberal Democrats (doubl[ing] innovation and research funding across the economy” as a “long-term goal.”)

 

Should Study Urbanism

Turns out, human networks are important—and the biggest knots of them are in cities.

A combination of urban planning, design, architecture, and sociology, urbanism takes an interdisciplinary look at how people who live in towns and cities interact with their built environments.  What’s at stake?  Human networks.

As Margaret Mead said, “A city is a place where there is no need to wait for next week to get the answer to a question, to taste the food of any country, to find new voices to listen to and familiar ones to listen to again.”

Let’s take a closer look at five reasons you should study urbanism—the study of cities, and how they—and the people in them—tick.

1. Cities are population centers

Over half the world’s population lives in cities—at least 54 percent as of 2014.  By 2050, that number is expected to hover near 70 percent.  In 2014, the United Nations predicted that China, India, and Nigeria will see the largest urban population growth.

Where are the most populous cities?  Asia currently has over 53 percent of the world’s urban population.  Europe follows with 14 percent, and Latin America and the Caribbean carry a combined 13 percent.

Also of note: currently, there are 28 mega cities with populations higher than 10 million inhabitants.  Where are they?  Asia has 16 mega-cities, Latin America has 4, Africa and Europe each have one, and there are two in North America.

The UN predicts that the world will have at least 41 mega-cities, each with a minimum of 10 million occupants.  It’s no surprise then that universities around the world offer relevant Master’s degrees. Study Urban Management in India, Urban Design in Scotland, Architectural and Urban Studies in Turkey, or Planning in Australia.

 

2. Be part of something big

To study urbanism is to play a role in how the planet demands—and uses— resources.  The rise of urban populations (see #1) contributes to a rising need for resources for housing, food, and transportation.  Are those resources renewable or not?

In cities, environmental, economic, and social sustainability need to be addressed and planners are turning to smart solutions for smarter cities.  This requires input from an educated public, places for people to live and work, technology for people to move around, and resources for thoughtful growth and development.

Want to be part of creating a sust

Read After Grad School

You’ve graduated.  Congratulations!  Now what?

Fret not, graduate!  You can still have a vibrant literary life after grad school—you might even find that you miss all that time you had for reading.  From common knowledge, to life lessons and novels, find something to whet your palate and dig in.

Take a look at these six reading suggestions that are sure to engage your brain.   Kick back and gobble up one of these delights.

1. Common Knowledge

Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything offers science snippets that you may have forgotten, or maybe didn’t have the chance to explore in graduate school.  In his quest to explain “nearly everything,” he delves into the history of civilization, the Big Bang, and arcane—but fascinating—questions from archaeology, anthropology, mathematics, philosophy, science, and, well, a taste of “nearly everything” else.

2. The Novel

If you haven’t read Jeffrey Eugenides’s Pulitzer Prizer winner The Marriage Plot, now is the time.   Follow three Ivy-leaguers as they negotiate writer’s block with their theses, tangled romantic relationships, spiritual crises, and the decisions that most of us face at some point in time.  Think you’re the only one going through it?  Think again.  You won’t be able to put this one down.

3. Office Life

Joshua Ferris’s National Book Award Finalist Then We Came To The End charts office life—the good and the bad.  How well do you really know those with whom you work?  What is it about gossip, practical jokes, and coffee breaks that makes office life so… officey?  Ferris offers his readers—and especially new trads—a poignant and funny look at office life in the 21st century.

 

Part of Barcelonas Digital Ecosystem

Barcelona. Mere mention of the name brings to mind thoughts of miles of breathtaking beaches, some of the world’s most spectacular modernist and gothic architecture, exquisite Catalan cuisine (tapas, anyone?), creative and boundary-pushing fashion, nonstop nightlife, and plenty of other amazing attractions. In other words, it’s not one of Europe’s most visited cities for nothing.

And while Barcelona definitely attracts tourists with its wealth of culture, the city is also a major hub for newcomers who want to study and work. Why? Barcelona’s cutting-edge digital ecosystem. With more active Big Data projects than anywhere else in Europe and a thriving digital economy, Barcelona is a European Capital of innovation.  This culture capital has become the Mobile World Capital and plays host to some of the world’s biggest tech events.

All this means that, in terms of ‘digital’ destinations, Barcelona should be at the top of your list. Here’s a closer look at the city’s tech hub status, along with one master’s degree program which can help you gain an inside edge in reaching your own digital career goals against a bustling backdrop of all of Barcelona’s amazing offerings.

From Ancient Village to Venture Capital Hub

Barcelona’s origins as the Iberian village of Barcino date all the way back to the 2nd century.  Two thousand-some years later, it’s now undergoing a massive transformation as part of its innovative Barcelona Digital City 2017-2020 plan, “the city’s roadmap to drive technological sovereignty for citizens.”

According Barcelona Digital City, Barcelona “aims to progressively provide all areas of the city with infrastructures, resources, incentives and programmes so that each community, neighbourhood and district has access to the resources that allow citizens, of all ages and statuses, to use technology ensuring better public services and a more balanced and sustainable economic and social growth.”

And given its visionary ambition, it’s hardly surprising that so many digital startups, startup incubators, top international VCs have chosen to focus their attention on this magnificent metropolis. In fact, according to just-released data from the Government of Catalonia, Barcelona’s digital ecosystem, including investment rounds and sales (exits), moved a whopping 1,200 million euros in 2016 alone. Additionally, as home to 28.4 percent of all Spanish startups, Barcelona is the country’s largest tech hub and also lands a spot among Europe’s top five when it comes to its tech startup numbers. From big data to entrepreneurial enterprises, more big thinkers are setting their sights on Barcelona.

Concludes Culture Trip, “[Barcelona has] always been looked upon as a city of great thinkers, artists and architects, but now it can add “smart city” and “leading startup hub” to its repertoire, rendering it a prime location to launch a startup and attracting increasing numbers of international talent to its shores. In fact, Barcelona has now secured its status as one of Europe’s hottest startup capitals.”

Be at the Center of it All

We’ve established that Barcelona is the place to be for up and coming titans of technology, which begs the question: Which program offers the best pathway to a leading digital career? Consider Barcelona Technology School’s Master in Digital Solutions Development. An advanced degree designed to train the next generation of developers and entrepreneurs, this nine-month, English language program prepares grads to assume their places at the forefront of the fast-paced international high-growth internet and digital sectors.