Blogosphere

Steam & Gas Engines Show offers new attractions, old favorites

Northfield News - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 4:30pm
With new attractions accompanying hundreds of antique tractors and machines, the 45th annual Rice County Steam and Gas Engines show promises an enjoyable few days of family-friendly entertainment.
Categories: Local News

Merchants Financial Group completes acquisition of First National Bank of Northfield

Northfield News - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 4:15pm
Merchants Financial Group, Inc., the parent company for Merchants Bank, has taken ownership of the First National Bank of Northfield, according to Merchants Financial Group, Inc. President & CEO Gregory M. Evans.
Categories: Local News

Information Has Value – Computer Science edition

Pegasus Librarian - Iris Jastram - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 2:46pm

After yesterday’s post I had a fascinating discussion with someone who codes for a living about whether patents were a viable research resource in CS. First off, they’re extremely hard to understand. And yes, I definitely agree, and it’s a good reminder that when I talk about this with students I also talk explicitly about what I expect they’ll be able to learn from the exercise.

Hensel, Otto A. 1900. Rocking or oscillating bath-tub. United States US643094A, filed January 6, 1899, and issued February 6, 1900.
  1. If you find a patent that you think is related to your topic, look at other similarly classified patents to see what problems people are tackling in the field and who is tackling them.
  2. As you look through similarly classified patents, collect vocabulary that you can use in future searches. After all, most search systems simply match letters in a row rather than semantics, so if people are talking about the same thing but using different words to do so, you won’t find that whole side of the conversation.

While reading in order to understand the patented process is probably not feasible for most people, reading instrumentally has been super useful for me when exploring CS topics.

So far so good, but what really set me thinking was this industry coder’s take on the disadvantages of reading patents. Apparently he’s told not to read patents because knowingly infringing on someone else’s IP brings worse penalties than unknowingly infringing. In order to mitigate penalties, they don’t look at patents. So now I’m wondering how to guide students as they prepare for a world in which, at least some of the time, lack of information has value. And how do I square that with the idea of the very real costs involved in having a bunch of people reinventing wheels and falling into the same pitfalls, all so that if they get sued it won’t be quite so bad? And how do I square that with how this upends the progress narrative of the sciences in general, a set of disciplines which so carefully finds gaps in knowledge and then fills them, or finds the limits of current knowledge and then pushes those limits back bit by bit?

I wonder if it matters what sector you’re in, or even what specific companies you’re working for. And I wonder how liberal arts students might engage with this conundrum in a way that prepares them for life after graduation, whether that life involves CS careers or not.

Categories: Citizens

Greenvale Twp. lifts moratorium on single-family homes

Northfield News - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 1:57pm
The Greenvale Township Board of Supervisors on Wednesday lifted its moratorium on single-family homes.
Categories: Local News

Moratorium to lift in Greenvale Township; Sibley and Greenvale Elementary Schools give progress reports; Bus safety as kids head back to school

KYMN Radio - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 12:02pm

By Teri Knight, News Director Greenvale Township Planning Commissioners approved the “tightened up language” to their 2017 Building Eligibility policies. On Wednesday evening, the commissioners reconvened their meeting from Monday and the Board of Supervisors met immediately afterward, approving the ordinances and voting to lift the moratorium on building single family homes that was put

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Jae Morrison

KYMN Radio - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 11:58am

Wayne’s guest is Jae Morrison, who began working for the City of Northfield this year.

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City of Northfield seeks your input on Motor Vehicle (DMV) services

KYMN Radio - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 11:56am

 Residents can give input via app, website or paper  Northfield, MN (August 30, 2019) –  The City of Northfield is asking for the public to participate in short survey questions related to what is the important attribute to a good DMV experience by using POLCO, a public engagement platform. Survey results will be tabulated and

The post City of Northfield seeks your input on Motor Vehicle (DMV) services appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Task force bust turns up nearly 1,000 oxycodone pills

Northfield News - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 11:38am
Task force agents this week busted a local man allegedly in possession of nearly 1,000 oxycodone pills and other illegal drugs worth nearly $100,000.
Categories: Local News

Highway 60 closed in Morristown right now

KYMN Radio - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 10:47am

Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn reports that Highway 60 in Morristown is closed now between County Road 16 and County Road 44 due to a very serious injury accident. The State Patrol is on scene and will be reconstructing the accident. They expect the closure to remain in place until about 12:30 p.m. Please use

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Environmental Quality Commission Meeting

City of Northfield Calendar - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 9:54am
Event date: September 5, 2019
Event Time: 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM
Location:
801 Washington Street
Northfield, MN 55057

Jesse Thomas

KYMN Radio - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 9:39am

Wayne interviews Jesse Thomas about his life and career as Chief Deputy of the Rice County Sheriff’s Department.    

The post Jesse Thomas appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Jill Metz and Nancy Carlson

KYMN Radio - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 9:30am

Jill Metz and Nancy Carlson recap the Northfield Shares community dinner that served over 1,000 residents and 200 volunteers on Division Street in Northfield on Sunday, August 25.  

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Dundas Council approves $1.62M contract for new City Hall

Northfield News - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 9:30am
The Dundas City Council on Monday night unanimously approved a $1.62 million contract to construct a new City Hall.
Categories: Local News

Subscribers will see changes to online editions

Northfield News - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 9:00am
As of Sept. 3, online subscriptions to APG of Southern Minnesota newspapers, which include the Northfield News, will undergo changes.
Categories: Local News

ArtZany: Riverfront Fine Arts Festival & The Great Northfield Bank Robbery: A Love Story

KYMN Radio - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 1:55am

Today in the ArtZany Radio studio Paula Granquist features two Northfield Arts Guild events happening during the Defeat of Jesse James Days: First, Heather Lawrenz will join the show to preview the Riverfront Fine Arts Festival and then ArtZany will feature playwrights Bill McAuliffe and Graydon Royce, actor Steve Lawler and director Rachel Haider from the world premier production of the

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Northfield Music, Volume 1

KYMN Radio - Thu, 08/29/2019 - 7:00pm

Continuing his look at local music, Rich gives us a list of Northfield musicians and songs.

The post Northfield Music, Volume 1 appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Wheeling Township farmer welcomes international trade teams

Northfield News - Thu, 08/29/2019 - 5:30pm
Keith Schrader, a former chairman of the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, hosted two international trade teams at his Wheeling Township farm this week.
Categories: Local News

Northfield Rotary Cogwheel | August 29, 2019

Northfield Rotary Club - Thu, 08/29/2019 - 5:06pm

TODAY’S PROGRAM | Thursday, August 29, 2019

Today: Thacker, Classification (Koenig)

Next Week: Bike Tour Prep

Birthdays: Rotarians Around the World

Last Week: 

Mark Lancaster, Northfield Insurance Agency

Mark moved here last October after purchasing Northfield Insurance Agency. Kevin Rodgers and his wife are both still working there and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Mark’s wife of nearly 10 years, Tricia, is a corporate attorney for Taylor Corp in North Mankato. Both are former college basketball players, and at 6’9” and 6’3” they are one of the tallest married couples in the world. They met when his sister signed him up for a membership in TallConnections.com; all it took for both Mark and Tricia was a one-month membership.

Their daughter Mackenzie, a sophomore at UW River Falls, wants to be a veterinarian. Their six-year-old twins, Eleanor and Coraline, are the tallest twins in their age group in the country right now. And their youngest, Josephine, is four. 

Mark is from Amboy, Minn., and played basketball in Maple River, where they won a state championship in ‘93. He played on an all-star team with Northfield’s Sam Richardson and was a McDonald’s All American player. Tricia played basketball at Gustavus.

They are very happy in Northfield — a nice bonus, since they came here only because of the business opportunity. They feel confident they have found their forever home.

The name Mark means “strong defender” and he has chosen to live his life that way. His father told him you can be intimidating and bully people, or you can choose to be caring and use your size to defend others. Mark sees his business role that way as well, helping people protect their most important assets.

Mini-Classification:

Rick Estenson moved to Northfield 29 years ago. His wife, Kris, works at the Piper Center at St. Olaf. Their son Sam, a former Outbound to Japan, works at Google. Their daughter Maria works for Ashoka, which is DC-based, but is now working remotely from Salt Lake City, where she has recently moved for her husband’s job. Rick works at First National Bank of Northfield, whose ownership will change a week from tomorrow though nothing else will change for quite a while. Perhaps next May or June they will lose the FNB name and become part of the Merchants network. Merchants is a Winona-based bank. They’ve been told they’ll still pretty much run independently.

Exchange Students Arriving:

Vice President Vicki Dilley introduced four of the five 2019-2020 Inbound students who have recently arrived: Mark from Hungary, Diogo from Brazil, Oliver (Ollie) from Slovakia and Araceli (Ara) from Paraguay.

2017-2018 Inbound Bea from Brazil is back in Northfield to start college at St. Olaf. She introduced her sister and her mother, who is a Youth Exchange Officer at her Rotary club in Brazil.

Statement of Purpose: The Rotary Club of Northfield is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet.

Pascal Cogan (Charlie Cogan); Tanya Charlick-Paley, Rotary member and YEO from Owatonna, now working at St. Olaf’s Institute for Freedom and Community (Jean Wakely).

Scholarship Enhancement: Ollie

Announcements:  

• The Bike Tour still needs a few volunteers, especially sag drivers on Saturday but also helping putting up the route signs on Friday and base cleanup from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

• The Rotary Foundation was named the #1 charity on Charity Navigator’s recent “10 best” list!

• Nigeria has now gone three full years with no new cases of polio, so polio has been declared eradicated in Nigeria. If there are no new cases in the next year, all of Africa will be declared polio-free.

• Rick Olson from Prior Lake Rotary will be talking about renewable options for your home August 22 here at the Methodist church.

• The new Rotary-sponsored EV charging station downtown is already in frequent use and serves as an education tool as well as being useful. 

• The CRWP’s fishing event at Ames Park is August 24, 1-3 p.m. 44 kids have signed up. If you love fishing and want to come and help kids learn, they would love the help. 

Happy News:  

• Bruce Morlan surprised and converted a northern Minnesota audience member when they learned he is a conservative who supports doing something about climate change. • Ann and Mike Leming went to the recent EV test drive in Faribault and bought a Tesla.

• Kristi Pursell and her husband are celebrating  their 10 year anniversary. • Penny Hillemann is delighted to have purchased a powerful electric lawn mower that can manage the overgrown grass in her yard. • Larry Vorweck and his wife are celebrating their 23rd anniversary. • Virginia Lorang is proud new grandmother of a baby girl. • Fred Rogers and his wife celebrated their 43rd anniversary yesterday.

RotaryCogwheel_8.29.19

Categories: Organizations

City Council Meeting

City of Northfield Calendar - Thu, 08/29/2019 - 5:05pm
Event date: September 3, 2019
Event Time: 06:00 PM - 09:00 PM
Location:
801 Washington Street
Northfield, MN 55057

Becoming a librarian for Computer Science

Pegasus Librarian - Iris Jastram - Thu, 08/29/2019 - 3:48pm

For 14 years, I’ve been a librarian for a pretty cohesive set of language and literature departments. My BA and MA are both in literary criticism, and I studied a few languages (not fluent in any of them any more, sadly), so my core departments have felt very much like home to me.

Photo by Jorge Jesus from Pexels

As you probably know, I also love computer stuff. I’ve never been formally trained in any of it, but I’m a huge fan and an intrepid experimenter. Plus the CS faculty here are awesome and many of them were friends of mine already, so when the chance came for me to be their liaison I said YES. Besides, I could draw parallels from some of the strategies of language research to the strategies of CS research.

But there’s also a lot that’s very very new to me, starting with exactly how information literacy works in CS… You know, just a small thing. Where does information literacy fit into a curriculum that’s full of coding and not a whole lot of traditional literature searching?

Thankfully the faculty here and the absolutely outstanding CS and STEM librarians at the Library Society of the World have been great partners and resources for me in my first year of being the CS librarian. I’ve also made a point of attending as many presentations and functions in that department as I can, listening for how information literacy works in CS. Here’s what I’ve found so far.

Information literacy in CS – Early observations
  • You’re going to need a good, well-evaluated corpus to train your AI.
    You kind of have to know what gets included in a corpus, and how, and where that stuff originated from in order to understand what your AI can or should do with the stuff, or to interpret what it spits out. Misunderstanding your corpus can result in wonky AI results. Luckily, librarians happen to have a long history of working with the kinds of things that get included in large text or metadata corpus-type-thingies — finding, evaluating, and using them!
  • You’re going to need good data to develop your visualizations.
    I’m learning a lot from our data librarian here. The one thing I found most interesting this past year is that CS students here have high confidence that they can knit datasets together to get what they want, but they have low levels of experience in determining if the datasets in question are built on compatible methodologies and variables. Next year I’ll spend a lot more time emphasizing that I’m not cautioning against combining datasets because the combining is hard — I’m cautioning against it because the thing you create might be the worst kind of chimera.
  • You’re going to need to think about license agreements and copyright if you’re using stuff that other people built, including APIs.
    Luckily, librarians have a long history of working with intellectual property topics!
  • You’re probably going to need to find libraries (the code kind, not the institution kind) or algorithms or code bases to work with.
    I haven’t really dipped my toes into this water yet, but what I have noticed is that students talk about this process differently than faculty do. Students talk about “looking online” and evaluating for speed, memory needs, and functions. Faculty talk about finding something that will be stable over time, with good documentation and a track record. There are undertones of publisher/author credibility, reliability, and stability threaded throughout. Definitely something for me to think about.
  • If you want to build something new, you’ll have to know the state of the art, past and present.
    This is where I’m learning more… and it needs more than a sentence or two, so I’ll give it a couple whole sections.
Finding The Current State of the Art

How do you know that what you’re building is new? And how do you make sure you’re building constructively on what’s already known? Translated into library-speak: What’s the conversation on this topic, and how does this project move that conversation forward? The information need is familiar to me, but the places to find that information are … not. CS has traditional scholarly publication venues, sure, but unlike my other fields, CS draws heavily on conference papers, research and technical reports, and patents. Not only that, but a bunch of stuff is proprietary — decidedly not the case for the latest interpretations of Hamlet.

So I’ve been trying to build up my skills in the grey literature area. Current strategies include using more familiar library databases to find out the names of people, associations, or institutions that are active in an area, and taking that knowledge over to Google for some advanced googling. I’m curious to see if Inspec Analytics turns out to be helpful with this, too, to help me figure out which institutions are active in an area and might have repositories of research and technical reports.

Patents are playing a larger and larger role in my work because that’s one of the only ways I’ve found of peeking into the proprietary research. That’s where company secrets comes right up against the desire to protect IP for future profit. So I’ve been exploring ways of navigating patents and analyzing publication and citation patterns to help me figure out the past and present of a process or topic. Are there key people or companies at play in a particular area? Do those people or companies have other reports available to the public?

Delving into the past to improve the future

There was a fascinating talk here last spring by an engineer working on Non-Volatile Memory. One of her many useful insights during the talk was that back in the 1960s people were working on Mmap, and in the 1980s “Bubble Memory” was set to be the memory of the future. It didn’t become the memory of the future, so most people now don’t know the term or remember the concept, but there are a lot of things about Bubble Memory that are the same as NVM. There’s also a nearly 40-year conversation about developing persistent languages (apparently called “persistent foo,” which is awesome) vs persistent databases. One of the speaker’s points was that finding out these kinds of histories can save people from reinventing wheels, falling into the old pitfalls, and basically repeating history in the worst way.

Of course this set me to wondering how a librarian could coach students in a research strategy to find things that are the similar but not necessarily the same, and that don’t share a lot of keywords. And how would you map out and synthesize what you find in meaningful ways, but as efficiently as possible? So next I think I’ll explore the literature around persistent memory, starting with the specifics this speaker mentioned in her talk, and see which search tools give students a good way to discover this kind of overlap with historical avenues of research. Strategy suggestions welcome!

So much more to learn

Soon we’ll launch into my second school year as the CS liaison, and I have a long way to go before I’ll feel like I really know how information works in this field. What do YOU think I should know in order to be the best librarian I can be for this field?

Categories: Citizens
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