We’ve all been working hard all year, and it’s time for us all to take a break before starting our new jobs or a new semester of classes. For some of us, that break may mean resting and enjoying family or traveling and acquiring new skills. But either way, there’s always room for a good book!
I’m Adira-Danique, a research graduate assistant with the Office of Digital Research & Scholarship (DRS) and one of the selectors for the Pop Lit Collection in Strozier Library for the “Travel” and “Self-Help” books. Here are a few great Travel reads I would recommend for kick-starting your Summer!
From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home by Tembi Locke (Call Number: NF Loc)
If your destination is your couch, grab Tembi Locke’s memoir and your remote to watch the Netflix series after you’re done reading. Here, Locke takes readers on a journey through Italy from Florence to Sicily and back to LA using grief, food, and her own study abroad memories. From Scratch, is perfect if you want the drama of a novel, while also craving a real world adventure.
The Impossible Road Trip: An Unforgettable Journey to Past & Present Roadside Attractions in All 50 States by Eric Dregni (Call Number: NF Dre)
For readers who are ready to jump in their cars and hit the open road, Dregni’s book is perfect. This guide has you covered from planning your road trip adventure to figuring out what attractions are a must-see and which ones you can pass by. Dregni has included a how-to guide with mapped illustrations, photographs of the most scenic routes across America, and insightful history about each stop. If you want an affordable adventure, this is the perfect pick.
Khabaar: An Immigrant Journey of Food, Memory, and Family by Madhushree Ghosh(Call Number: NF Gho)
If you’re not able to travel, no worries! Grab Ghosh’s book to take an adventure with food.
In this food memoir, Ghosh uses food and stories from her life to help readers learn about her South Asian heritage and her family’s history. The author tells how her family immigrated to India from Bangladesh during the 1947 Partition; recaps her journey into STEM as a woman of color; narrates her journey from leaving an abusive marriage; and talks about keeping her Bengali heritage alive through food. Khabaar is excellent for readers who love food and diving into history.
Secrets of the National Parks: The Expert’s Guide to the Best Experiences Beyond the Tourist Trail (Call Number: NF Nat)
Are you looking for an adventure that’s cost-effective but will also give you jaw-dropping views for your social media feed? If so, check out this National Geographic guidebook about America’s National Park to find extraordinary places off the beaten path to visit this Summer.
Here, National Geographic offers tips for finding low-key places in the Pinnacles National Park, Gateway Arch, Indiana Dunes National Park, Denali National Park and Preserve, and the Grand Canyon for a quieter traveling experience. This book is perfect for adventurers who enjoy road trips, camping getaways, and day hikes in the great outdoors.
The Catch Me If You Can: One Woman’s Journey to Every Country in the World by Jessica Nabongo (Call Number: NF Nab)
If you want to plan a more lavish trip, Jessica Nabongo, the first Black woman to visit all 195 UN-recognized countries in the world, travel memoir is the perfect book.
Listing out her favorite 100 destinations from her time traveling, Nabongo gives readers ideas about where to go, where to stay, and how to get to your destination. From horseback riding with Black cowboys at an Oklahoma ranch to making traditional Takoyaki in Japan and swimming with humpbacks in Tonga, Nabongo has stories that will capture every potential traveler’s imagination and some tips for your wallet.
Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies: And Other Rituals to Fix Your Life, From Someone Who’s Been There by Tara Schuster (Call Number: NF Sch)
Okay, so maybe travel is the furthest thing from your mind since this semester wasn’t your best one, and you’ve got a few changes you’d like to make before stepping back on campus next semester. Don’t worry! There’s a book here for you too.
Schuster, an executive at Comedy Central, writes from the perspective of someone who is successful on the outside but chronically anxious and self-medicating internally. With a few daily rituals, she was able to pinpoint some of her internal problems and get herself back on track in her personal journey. While it’s not a traditional travel read, it’s a great book if you plan on going on a journey of self-discovery this Summer.
Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich (Call Number: F Erd)
So, technically, this isn’t a travel book. BUT, It is a dynamic read that will transfer readers into the rich storytelling world of Louise Erdrich’s eight-part Native American series.
Set on a North Dakota Ojibwe reservation, Love Medicine tells a tale of love and loyalty. Here, Erdrich introduces two families, the Kashpaws and Lamartines whose fates are intertwined by the choices of their patriarch, Albertine Johnson, and his love for two women, Marie Kapshaw and Lulu Lamartine. In this series starter, Erdrich uses humor and magic to tell an intergenerational story.
If you want a bit of drama, pick this book up immediately and grab the other seven books in the series from Strozier while you’re at it!
Which read would you pack in your carry on?
This blog post was written by Adira-Danique Philyaw, is a 2022-2023 graduate research assistant with the Office of Digital Research and Scholarship Office at FSU Libraries.
Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month! May marks the official celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Established in 1990, the month of May was specifically chosen to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants to arrive in the U.S. in May 1843, as well as to honor the Chinese immigrants who worked to complete the transcontinental railroad in May 1869. (Read more history here!)
In recognizing the varied experiences of all AAPI individuals and communities, we’ve selected 13 books from across different genres to celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander authors from our collections at FSU Libraries. Our list brings together contemporary titles that highlight distinct AAPI voices and raise important questions about culture and identity in the United States.
From cozy cat mysteries to critical essays, all of the resources included can be checked out or accessed online through our website with an FSUID. Whether you’re in Tallahassee or elsewhere this month, join us in celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with these notable books!
From the indie rock sensation known as Japanese Breakfast, an unforgettable memoir about family, food, grief, love, and growing up Korean American. Rich with intimate anecdotes that will resonate widely, and complete with family photos, Crying in H Mart is a book to cherish, share, and reread.
“A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be.”
Full of Ozeki’s signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.
Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong fearlessly and provocatively blends memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose fresh truths about racialized consciousness in America. A radically honest work of art, Minor Feelings forms a portrait of one Asian American psyche—and of a writer’s search to both uncover and speak the truth.
Following two families from Pakistan and Iraq in the 1990s to San Francisco in 2016, The Bad Muslim Discount is an inclusive, comic novel about Muslim immigrants finding their way in modern America. With deep insight, warmth, and an irreverent sense of humor, Syed M. Masood examines universal questions of identity, faith (or lack thereof), and belonging through the lens of Muslim Americans.
In a stunning collection that announces the arrival of an incredible talent, Kristiana Kahakauwila travels the islands of Hawai’i, making the fabled place her own. Exploring the deep tensions between local and tourist, tradition and expectation, façade and authentic self, This Is Paradise provides an unforgettable portrait of life as it’s truly being lived on Maui, Oahu, Kaua’i and the Big Island.
A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei’s childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon — and America itself — in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love.
Seamlessly transitioning between the absurd and the tenderhearted, balancing acerbic humor with sharp emotional depth, Afterparties offers an expansive portrait of the lives of Cambodian-Americans. As the children of refugees carve out radical new paths for themselves in California, they shoulder the inherited weight of the Khmer Rouge genocide and grapple with the complexities of race, sexuality, friendship, and family.
This sassy cat mystery by Jennifer Chow follows the adventures of Mimi Lee, owner of Hollywoof – a new pet grooming business in Los Angeles. When a local breeder is found dead, Mimi must enlist her dreamy neighbor Josh and fluffy cat Marshmallow to clear her name and save her shop. A fun read with plenty of intrigue!
A powerful, darkly glittering novel of violence, love, faith, and loss, as a young woman at an elite American university is drawn into a cult’s acts of terrorism. Haunting and intense, The Incendiaries is a fractured love story that explores what can befall those who lose what they love most.
At the age of 12, Sharmila Sen emigrated from India to the U.S. The year was 1982, and everywhere she turned, she was asked to self-report her race – on INS forms, at the doctor’s office, in middle school. Never identifying with a race in the India of her childhood, she rejects her new “not quite” designation – not quite white, not quite black, not quite Asian — and spends much of her life attempting to blend into American whiteness. Part memoir, part manifesto, Not Quite Not White is a searing appraisal of race and a path forward for the next not quite not white generation –a witty and sharply honest story of discovering that not-whiteness can be the very thing that makes us American.
“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.
What does it mean to lose your roots—within your culture, within your family—and what happens when you find them? With warmth, candor, and startling insight, Nicole Chung tells of her search for the people who gave her up, which coincided with the birth of her own child. All You Can Ever Know is a profound, moving chronicle of surprising connections and the repercussions of unearthing painful family secrets—vital reading for anyone who has ever struggled to figure out where they belong.
Alisha Rai’s viral novel follows a reclusive Katrina King as she’s flung reluctantly into the spotlight of the Internet. Haunted by her traumatic past, Katrina escapes with her bodyguard Jas Singh into the country for refuge. Looming threats to Katrina’s safety reveal not-so-unrequited feelings, blurring the lines between the duo forever. This is a romantic and exciting read about family, healing, and trust.
What is family? The World Summit for Social Development defines family as “the basic unit of all society”. In modern times most would agree that family comes in many different forms, the family we are born into, the family we choose, large, small, traditional, non- traditional and beyond. However, it has not always been that way. In fact, the United Nations did not begin to recognize and study families until the 1980’s.
In 1985, the General Assembly began to put “Families in the Development Process” on their agenda and from then onward the subject of families became a part of the process to bring awareness on international levels. Research started on the ties between mega trends like technological change, migration, urbanization, and demographic change and how they relate to the family structure.
Finally, in 1993 the United Nations recognized families by marking May 15th as the “International Day of Families”. The goal of this commemorative day is to promote awareness on family related demographic, social, and economic concerns. Additionally, this day has become another platform used for achieving the 17 sustainable goals set forth by the United Nations to combat issues on poverty, hunger, health, education, gender equality, clean water, clean energy, economic growth, innovation, inequalities, sustainable communities, responsible consumption, climate, life below water, life on land, peace, and partnerships.
For more information on the International Day of Families and related content, check out the resources below.
By Katie Kimberly, Technical Support Analyst, FSU Libraries
I started stuttering at the age of four years old. Throughout my childhood, I was consistently bullied because of my stutter, which made me speak differently from my peers at school. To express myself and cope with the challenges, I turned to art as a means of communication, since it didn’t require speaking and allowed me to be creative. Stuttering is not unique to me in my family; my PawPaw (Grandpa) also had a stutter. As time went on, I made a conscious decision to be more open about my stuttering. Now, whenever I introduce myself to others, I confidently disclose that I stutter without any hesitation. It is crucial to embrace my true self and take pride in who I am as a person.
So, in honor of National Stuttering Awareness Week, I want to share 10 facts about stuttering because it is crucial to share these facts to raise awareness about stuttering.
10 Facts About Stuttering
What is stuttering?
Stuttering is a communication disorder in which the flow of speech is broken by repetitions (li-li-like this), prolongations (lllllike this), or abnormal stoppages (no sound) of sounds and syllables.
Stuttering and childhood
Stuttering usually begins in childhood, between the ages of 2 and 5 years.
Stuttering is associated with differences in the brain; it is not just a behavior that children learn or pick up from listening to other people who stutter.
About one percent of adults and five percent of children stutter.
Can stuttering be genetic?
Stuttering is a genetically-influenced condition: most of the time, if there is one person in a family who stutters, there will be another person in the family who also stutters.
Are there times when people who stutter do not stutter?
People generally do not stutter when they sing, whisper, speak in chorus, or when they do not hear their own voice. There is no universally accepted explanation for these phenomena.
Stuttering can begin gradually and develop over time, or it can appear suddenly.
Stuttering varies significantly over time: Sometimes, people will have periods in which the stuttering appears to go away, only to have it return. This variability is normal.
How many people stutter worldwide?
More than 80 million people worldwide stutter, which is about 1% of the population. In the United States, that’s over 3 million Americans who stutter.
Are people who stutter normal?
People who stutter are normal except they lack the ability in varying degrees to get words out fluently.
Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? It’s a time to encourage individuals to prioritize their mental health, seek support when needed, and work towards breaking the stigma that often surrounds mental illness. In honor of this important occasion, we’re tackling a topic that’s often overlooked but crucial to our emotional well-being: sleep. You might think that pulling an all-nighter or burning the candle at both ends is the key to productivity, but what if we told you that the opposite could be true? The sleep-productivity paradox is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the impact of sleep on our mental health. Let’s dive deeper into how the two interact, and how prioritizing your Zzz’s could be the secret to a happier, healthier you.
The Sleep-Productivity Paradox
Sleep. It’s something we all need, yet it’s often the first thing we sacrifice in the name of productivity. We live in a society that glorifies the “hustle culture,” where burning the midnight oil and working around the clock is seen as a badge of honor. But at what cost? The truth is sleep plays a crucial role in our mental health and well-being. And during Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s important to take a closer look at the impact of sleep on our cognitive state. So, what happens when we don’t get enough shut eye? Let’s explore the science behind the sleep-productivity paradox and how it relates to our mental health.
My curiosity about this subject was sparked by a TikTok video that my best friend showed me, which has since entirely changed the way I operate. The video, created by a sleep medicine physician known as @thatsleepdoc, discusses a study conducted by a team from UPenn and Harvard back in 2003. Over the course of two weeks, the participants underwent a variety of cognitive tests and evaluations aimed at measuring their memory, attention, and reaction time.
The participants were divided into four groups, each allocated a different amount of time in bed (TIB): 8 hours (TIB), 6 hours (TIB), 4 hours (TIB), or 0 hours (TIB) (Note: The 0 hours TIB participants were only involved in the study for 3 days to avoid serious health consequences.) The study’s data is presented in the graph below.
The study found that even mild sleep deprivation had a significant impact on cognitive function and performance. Specifically, the participants showed decreased attention, slower reaction time, and impaired memory recall. In addition, the participants reported increased feelings of fatigue, sleepiness, and mood disturbance. As shown on the graph, even the participants that spent 8 hours in bed had increasingly worse performance. This is because 8 hours in bed doesn’t equate to 8 hours of sleeping.
Getting enough quality sleep isn’t just a luxury – it’s a necessity for our overall well-being.
The negative effects of sleep deprivation go far beyond just feeling a little groggy the next day. Chronic lack of sleep has been linked to a host of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. In fact, studies have shown that people with insomnia are 10 times more likely to have depression and 17 times more likely to have anxiety. Additionally, sleep disorders can exacerbate symptoms in those already suffering from mental health conditions. This is why it’s crucial to prioritize your sleep and seek professional help if you’re struggling to get the rest you need. Remember, getting enough quality sleep isn’t just a luxury – it’s a necessity for our overall well-being.
Prioritizing Sleep and Well-Being
Ultimately, it’s clear that getting enough quality sleep is essential for our mental health and productivity. The sleep-productivity paradox is real, and it’s time to stop glorifying burnout culture and start prioritizing our well-being. While it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life, we must remember that our bodies and minds need rest to function at their best. So, let’s make a conscious effort to improve our sleep hygiene and make sure we’re getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Your brain – and your future self – will thank you. Happy Mental Health Awareness Month, and sweet dreams!
This post was written by Kaylan Williams, Student Engagement Assistant at FSU Libraries.
The Research Data Access and Preservation (RDAP) Summit is an annual conference focusing on management, access, and preservation of research data that brings together professionals and students from various fields such as library science, data management, and research data specialists. As a graduate assistant, I was lucky enough to have FSU Libraries sponsor my registration for the virtual conference, allowing me to attend the RDAP Summit for the first time in my professional career. The 2023 summit offered attendees a wide range of sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities.
As a virtual conference the RDAP 2023 summit was hosted on the comprehensive and digital platform, Whova, which enabled attendees to network, access conference materials, and attend presentations seamlessly. The platform was used to provide attendees with the most updated information about the conference, including schedules, speakers’ profiles, and session descriptions.
One of the features that really stood out to me and which made networking seamless was the Whova community board. The community board allowed attendees to connect with other professionals and students in their field based on demographic information provided by LinkedIn, which harmoniously connected to the Whova platform. Attendees could post questions, comments, and ideas, as well as view and respond to others’ posts under discussion threads with specific topics ranging from personal to professional. The community board was a great way for attendees to exchange ideas, establish new professional relationships, and keep up-to-date on the latest developments in the research data field.This also included a thread with several listings for employment opportunities as an information professional. This thread was perhaps the busiest as countless positions were listed by other attendees at the conference that you could interact and engage with on a more personal level than would typically be possible in normal circumstances. Whova’s platform also provided attendees with the ability to create their own virtual business card, making it easy to exchange contact information with other attendees. Attendees could easily share their business card with other attendees, and they could save other attendees’ information to their contacts list.
One other feature that made attending the conference presentations seamless was the ability to create a personalized schedule. I was able to select the sessions and workshops I wanted to attend before the conference even began to ensure that I did not miss any important sessions. Since all of the presentations were all hosted on Whova, rather than an external service such as Zoom, the schedule provided an immediate access point to presentations. Because of the direct interconnectedness of the platform to the conference panels, access to conference materials such as presentations, posters, and other materials were readily available and easy to locate.
The aspects of community building were made abundantly clear by the different opportunities to network or even share your own scholarly work. This also included the conference presentations, which highlighted the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities in research data access and preservation. The continuing need for open communication and collaboration between academic libraries nationwide through similar values that shape the world of open science and data today was abundantly evident.
One presentation that demonstrated these collectivized efforts was the first session that I attended, which focused on teaching and outreach. Ruby MacDougall, who serves as an analyst for Ithaka S+R, discussed how the infrastructure to support digital research is unevenly distributed, as the connecting links between steps in the research workflow are often weak or missing. Ruby described how data librarians from a range of institutions are working to create stronger ties to humanities researchers and identify strategies for helping humanists navigate the digital infrastructure.
For some context, Ithaka S+R is a nonprofit research organization that helps academic institutions and cultural organizations sustainably navigate the digital age. They offer a wide range of research, advisory, and consulting services to help institutions make informed decisions that enhance their missions, workflows, and user experiences. The organization conducts research on key issues facing universities and colleges, such as the impact of technology on teaching and learning, student success, and faculty development. They also work with institutions to develop strategic plans and make data-informed decisions that align with their goals and values.
This presentation was also significant and meaningful because Nicholas Ruhs, the Research Data Management Librarian for FSU Libraries (who also serves as my supervisor), is currently participating and representing Florida State University amongst the other academic institutions active in the study. At this juncture, the study is in the preliminary phases of creating an inventory of university data services by reviewing web content of various departments and offices across campus to see what services exist and where in order to create a map of all of the data services on campus. On the surface, it may appear that all of the necessary mechanisms for supporting digital research with proper data management at a university level are in place, but the connecting links between steps in the research workflow are often weak or missing. Mapping out these services will allow FSU Libraries and libraries at other institutions to better coordinate their efforts at addressing the research and scholarly needs of their students and faculty.
Speaking of accessibility, RDAP made a significant effort to diversify their presentations, but also keep them organized and efficient. The posters portion of the RDAP Summit was an opportunity for researchers and practitioners in the research data field to showcase their work in a static and asynchronous format. The poster format gave presenters an effective method to communicate complex ideas and research findings in a clear and concise way, and they offered a chance for attendees to engage with presenters and ask questions about their work, or to view the posters at their own availability and discretion. Because the poster presentations had their own section, conference attendees could visit them at any time and even start a conversation or ask questions to the presenters. Even now after the conference has ended, I can still access these posters as they exist in a digital collection.
One of my biggest takeaways from the poster presentations was again the emphasis on collaboration and community-building in the research data field. Many posters showcased partnerships between academic institutions, libraries, and other organizations to develop and implement data management plans and policies. Others highlighted the importance of building networks and communities of practice to support data sharing and reuse. The diversity of research and practice in the field of research data was also on display with the posters covering a wide range of topics, from data management and preservation to data sharing and reuse, as well as the ethical and social implications of research data. For example, one poster presented a framework for ethical data sharing in the social sciences, while another addressed the challenges of incorporating Indigenous perspectives and knowledge into data management and preservation practices.
Furthermore, one of the most discussed topics at the conference was the new NIH and OSTP guidelines on data management and sharing. The guidelines present both opportunities and challenges for researchers, institutions, and stakeholders in the research community. The policy changes aim to improve the transparency, reproducibility, and efficiency of research by requiring grant applicants to include data-management plans and make their research data publicly available. One of the main challenges of compliance is the need for researchers to have the necessary skills and resources to manage and share their research data effectively. This can involve issues such as data formatting, storage, documentation, and curation, as well as ethical and legal considerations related to data sharing and privacy. To address these ongoing obstacles, universities and other research institutions are responding by developing Research Data Management support services and infrastructure to help researchers manage their data throughout the research lifecycle. These can include data-management planning tools, data repositories, data curation services, and training and support for researchers on data management and sharing best practices. Researchers must ensure that data sharing is done in a way that protects the privacy and confidentiality of research participants and respects intellectual property rights.
While NIH and OSTP have issued guidelines and policies to address these issues, not everything has been made clear as the policies are still quite recent or new. NIH and OSTP are responding to inquiries and questions arising from these policy changes and expectations by providing guidance and support to researchers and institutions. NIH has launched a website on data management and sharing, which provides resources and guidance on data management planning, data repositories, and data sharing policies. OSTP has also issued a public access policy memo that outlines the key principles and expectations for data management and sharing across federal agencies. However, as one of the presenters pointed out, specific questions arise and exceptions that are listed in the new policy mandates may not always be clear, or even come into direct conflict with other policies already implemented. Additionally, not all of the information put forth is available within the policy itself. Abigail Goben, associate professor and data management librarian for the University of Illinois Chicago, discussed the rabbit hole she went down searching for the information her researchers needed relating to patent protection and open data sharing. She ultimately utilized guidance issued from the prepared remarks of Director Taunton Paine in September 2022 over a NIH Training Webinar and followed up with an email directly to the Sharing Policies & Data Management and Sharing Policy Implementation Team in order to get the proper information. However their response provided potentially conflicting guidance as well as information not listed or available on the sharing.nih.gov website.
Overall, conferences such as these open the door to connect and hear about the experiences of others in the profession. In so doing we continue the spread of information and ideas, some of which are not always readily or easily accessible to those who need it. Attending the Research Data Access and Preservation (RDAP) Summit 2023 was an amazing opportunity for professionals and students interested in the management, access, and preservation of research data. Discussions that address the research and scholarly needs of students and faculty highlighted the need for open communication and collaboration between academic libraries nationwide. The presentations were diverse, efficient, and organized, and the posters provided an opportunity for attendees to engage with presenters and ask questions about their work. The RDAP Summit 2023 was a great success, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in research data management in the coming years.
Florida State University Libraries has named Debra Hanken Kurtz as its new associate dean of technology and digital scholarship.
Kurtz comes to Florida State from Arizona State University (ASU), where she served most recently in the role of Director of Data Governance. She succeeds Jean Phillips, who has retired after ten years of service as associate dean at FSU Libraries.
As part of her fieldwork abroad, Leah visited archives and museums in Paris, France, and Genoa, Italy, and she was able to make a stop in Florence along the way. While visiting the study center, she met with several colleagues, including Florence Librarian Kate Dowling, and toured the spaces at the palazzo where the Study Center is newly located. Leah also offered a lecture on introductory Art History research skills to students in the Florence Study Center library.
Given Florence’s history as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, the study of art history has long been a popular discipline among students studying abroad with FSU there, whether they intend to major in Art History or not. This talk was aimed at researchers for whom Art History as an area of study might be completely new, in hopes that they would go into their coursework informed about best practices in approaching research topics and materials that are unique to the history of art.
Leah visited the study center not only as the Arts Librarian from FSU, but also as a multigenerational alumnus of Florida State’s Florence study abroad program: she was a student there in spring of 2008, and her mother studied with FSU in Florence as well, earlier in the program’s history in spring 1969.
Now, let’s get to the actual studying. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite spots on campus where we think the characters from Mean Girls would study. Strozier Library boasts five full floors of study space, ranging from a more social environment on the first two floors to a serious atmosphere on the third, fourth, and fifth. Seated at the center of FSU’s science buildings, Dirac makes an easy stop for STEM students.
This blog post will help you align your Mean Girls twin with one of the many study spots to choose from at Strozier, Dirac, and more! Are you a Damien? You might like the Mary Lou Norwood Reading Room. More of a Mathlete? Swipe into Dirac! And if you’re feeling like royal Regina George this week, check out the Werkmeister Reading Room, a hidden gem on campus.
If none of these spots sound right, keep reading! We’ve got the rooms and resources to get you started on a totally fetch finals week.
Karen Smith: The Learning District at Strozier Library
Karen would definitely need to study at the Strozier Learning District, where walk-up tutoring for Math, Physics, and Chemistry is offered Sunday – Wednesday from 8pm to Midnight. She might also stop by from 5pm to 8pm, when the Reading and Writing Center offers help on essays and other written projects. Our tutors can certainly help you spell the word “orange.” Looking for a little extra help with your finals? Head to the Learning District, located on the first floor of Strozier Library.
Regina George: The Werkmeister Reading Room, Dodd Hall
If Regina would trade her Mom for the master bedroom, then she’ll definitely trade a study room for the splendid Werkmeister Reading Room in Dodd Hall. With its vaulted ceiling, ornate blue windows, and gorgeous stained-glass murals, this is the place for Regina George! The Werkmeister Reading Room was built in 1923, serving as the original main campus library until Strozier was erected in the 1950s. Today, it’s home to the FSU Heritage Museum, where you can peruse a collection of old Florida State photographs, artifacts, and other memorabilia. If you’re looking for a little glitzy ambience to go along with your finals prep, head over to Dodd Hall for quiet study 10am-3pm, Monday-Thursday.
Gretchen Weiners: The Strozier Starbucks
“That’s why her hair’s so big… it’s full of secrets!” The Strozier Starbucks is about as close as you’ll get to a lively high-school lunchroom vibe. As the resident gossip queen of North Shore High, we think Gretchen would choose this spot. The Strozier Starbucks is open from 7:30am to 12:00am weekly, with limited weekend hours. If you want the 411, head to the café seating area on the first floor of Strozier!
Aaron Samuels: A Group Study Room
The most popular guy in school, it only makes sense that Aaron would book a group study room to hit the books with his best friends. Study rooms are available at both Strozier and Dirac and can be booked up to three days in advance. Study rooms offer projectors, floor-to-ceiling white boards, and seating for up to 12 people, depending on the space. If you’d prefer to study on your own, we’ve got you covered! Individual study rooms are also available. You can check out a key from the main desk in Strozier or book online for Dirac by clicking here.
The Mathletes: Dirac Science Library
Need to get serious about STEM? Dirac’s the place to be. We’re sure you’d find the Mathletes here, hard at work preparing for their next competition. As Florida State’s Science Library, Dirac is located at the heart of FSU’s STEM facilities, making it a convenient stop on your way to and from finals. Inside, you’ll find wall-length white boards, desks flanking the windows, and the new Dirac Media Suite, where you can complete audio-visual projects. Dirac has a quiet, serious atmosphere that’s good for finals prep; and if you need to destress, head outside to the porch or the surrounding green, where you might find some of FSU’s beloved campus cats looking for a little love.
Janis Ian: The Fourth Floor of Strozier
We think Janis would study between the stacks of the fourth floor, where you’ll find our extensive Fine Arts collection at Strozier. As a non-talking zone, the fourth floor provides a quiet, yet comfortable study space. Janis can plan her revenge on The Plastics at a study booth, or draft a new sketch for her show on the wide tables located at the center of the floor.
Damien: The Mary Lou Norwood Reading Room
Our personal favorite study spot, The Mary Lou Norwood Reading Room is located on the second floor of Strozier Library. Damien would likely find himself here, looking out over the different cliques and clubs that abound on Landis Green. The historic ambience of this room makes it truly unique to the rest of Strozier Library, not to mention its panoramic views of campus. Here, you’ll also find vintage FSU yearbooks dating as far back as the 1920s; they can make for a fun and fascinating read when you need a study break. The Mary Lou Norwood Reading Room is a non-talking, non-eating or drinking room, so you won’t be able to practice for the talent show here. It’s open from 9am-6pm Monday-Thursday, closing at 5 on Fridays.
Kevin G: The Dirac Basement
As the captain of The Mathletes, Kevin would choose the quietest spot on campus… the Dirac basement. The non-talking rule is strictly adhered to in the basement, so it’s a great spot if you require zero distractions. Here, you’ll find individual study booths along the wall, tables and chairs located the shelves, and individual study rooms available for booking. This is no place for noise, so if you need to have a Mathletes team meeting, head up to the first floor.
Cady Heron: The Restroom
Last but not least, we have Cady Heron, who’s got a bit of a habit for hanging around the restroom. While we hope you won’t have to study in the stalls, Men’s and Women’s restrooms are available on all floors of Strozier Library. They’re located in the main annex on floors 1-3; and can be found in the annex stairwell on floors 4-5. There is an All-Gender restroom located on the first floor of Strozier, behind Special Collections and to the right. Dirac Science Library has restrooms on all floors. We wish you luck on finals… it’s gonna be SO fetch!
This post was written by Lila Rush-Hickey, Student Engagement Assistant at FSU Libraries.
Artificial intelligence is a very broad topic that includes machine learning and deep learning. These terms are often used interchangeably with the assumption that they are all the same topic. However, while the terms are related, there are specific characteristics that differentiate between them. Deep learning is actually a subfield of machine learning, which is a subfield of artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence involves developing computers that are capable of mimicking human cognitive functions and following through with specific tasks. Machine learning uses algorithms to recognize patterns and trends from previous data, and then uses this information to make real-world applications. The whole goal of artificial intelligence is to allow computers to work independently, without the need for humans to instruct and interact with them. There is a large variety of applications for artificial intelligence and machine learning, ranging from essentially every industry. Artificial intelligence is widely used in the manufacturing, banking, and healthcare industries. In this blog post, we will go deeper into the definitions of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and their practical applications.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
There are many different ways to define artificial intelligence, and over the course of several years, the definition has changed drastically. Alan Turing, who is often referred to as the father of modern computer science created a test known as the Turing Test in an attempt to answer the question “can machines think?” In this test, a human has to differentiate between a computer’s response to a question and another human’s response to the same question (IBM). Furthermore, in “Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach”, Stuart Russel and Peter Norvig discuss a human approach vs. a rational approach to artificial intelligence. They discuss four different goals to pursue when designing artificial intelligence: systems that think like humans, systems that act like humans, systems that think rationally, and systems that act rationally. Each method or goal has its own advantages and disadvantages, and all of these methods are used today. An overall definition for artificial intelligence, that fits into these different goals, is that artificial intelligence allows machines to learn from previous experiences and information, and perform human-like tasks (SAS).
Along with the general definition described above, artificial intelligence can also be differentiated into weak and strong artificial intelligence. Weak artificial intelligence, also known as narrow artificial intelligence is artificial intelligence that is programmed and trained for one task. Narrow artificial intelligence can not mimic a human as a whole, but rather certain aspects, and has very specific applications. For example, narrow artificial intelligence is used in Amazon Alexa, Google Home, personalized advertisements on social media, recommended songs on Spotify, and so many more.
Strong artificial intelligence, also known as artificial general intelligence, focuses on creating a machine that can perform any cognitive task that a human can. In other words, a machine that can mimic a human. There are three main tasks that are critical to making an artificial general intelligence machine. The first is the ability to generalize knowledge (being able to use knowledge from a different area) and apply it to an issue or task. The second task involves the ability to make a prediction based on prior knowledge and experiences, while the third and final task is the ability to adapt to changes (Forbes). Notably, there are a lot of ethical arguments that come along with artificial general intelligence, and it can be argued that it is impossible to make a “strong” artificial intelligence.
Overall, artificial intelligence can be used to add intelligence to preexisting technologies. It can perform tasks reliably, with much less error than a human, and faster than a human. Artificial intelligence can also adapt through progressive learning. In the future, artificial intelligence may have even more of an impact on our everyday lives, and we can learn so much from it.
Real-Life Use Cases for Artificial Intelligence
Daily Tech Use
Depending on how much tech you interface with, you may be thinking: “Artificial Intelligence isn’t used for anything I do or use. Why would I need to know where AI is used?” To answer the question quickly…artificial intelligence is currently embedded in a lot of daily tasks that most people (possibly even you!) use.
Whether you’re trying to find something via Google, trying to decide on what you’d like to watch on Netflix, or trying to discover niche music genres on Spotify, all of these sites use algorithms via AI in order to deduce what you’re probably interested in looking at. (University of York n.d.) For example…if you’re a STEM major who happens to search for the phrase “R Programming” enough, Google will eventually pick up that you are most likely not looking for the history of how the letter R came to exist. Likewise, if you’re a linguistics major looking for how the modern letter R came to exist, you will most likely not get search results related to the R programming language. Of course, this isn’t the only situation where two people will get radically different search results. In fact, Google’s algorithmic presentation of information based on what you typically look for has a name — “filter bubbles”. The term was coined over a decade ago by political activist Eli Pariser. He demonstrated this phenomenon in a 2011 TED Talk with two different people searching for “Egypt” around the same time. While the conversation was predominantly about how filter bubbles impact politics and activism, it should be noted that filter bubbles would not exist without artificial intelligence behind them. This said, being aware of how AI algorithms can influence what you see is an important aspect of civic engagement. This concept may become even more pertinent as newer chatbots present further issues, such as giving false information when asked certain questions. Thus, the implementation of AI is important for everyone.
For a less ominous use of modern AI, there are also applications with handwriting recognition software. Even with written English, a touch-screen interface combined with AI, image processing, and computer vision to convert handwriting into text-compatible notes. This can be extremely useful for transferring text data from one computer to another. While you could take a photo of your notes for someone else to look at, this might have limited use for finding words within the text after the fact – you would not be able to search for a keyword if it was only saved as an image. Further, a computer that can convert handwriting to typed text also allows someone to use a search engine without typing. This use of AI even extends beyond the English language. Handwriting recognition research has been used for several different languages, including non-Western languages such as simplified Chinese, Arabic, Thai, and more. As a consequence, handwriting recognition AI can bypass the need to type (a skill that is separate from writing and is even less common). Further, converting from hand-written text to computer text formats is also applicable to these languages, which can be used for translation AIs – while things such as Google Translate may not be the most reliable, they can serve in a pinch in situations such as a hospital ER.
AI in Economics and Finance
Economics and Finance also embrace technology to carry out their work. For example, technology is particularly relevant to detecting credit card and insurance fraud. There are well-established ways to use mathematics and statistics to determine if someone’s financial accounts have been compromised. However, the conundrum that comes with modern finance and economics is that transactions happen at far, far faster speeds than humans can currently keep up with. An AI algorithm can calculate the probability that a financial transaction was fraudulent far faster than a human could. Therefore, as long as the humans behind the algorithm have given their AI formulas to work with, faster processing speed is of great assistance in preventing modern-day fraud.
Likewise, AI is already the cornerstone of the modern foreign exchange market (also known as FOREX). While the concept of foreign exchange has existed since Antiquity, there are some additional considerations in contemporary times. Specifically, modern currencies are traded in significantly larger amounts and at faster speeds than anything before. In fact, modern FOREX is so large and so fast that a human being cannot efficiently or consistently make profits without AI tools! This is predominantly due to the majority of FOREX transactions being carried out by AI bots instead of humans. A study commissioned by JPMorgan in 2020 determined that about 60% of all FOREX transactions were made by AI rather than humans! This is not to say that human involvement in FOREX is non-existent. Instead, the human role of a FOREX trader is no longer in the realm of physically placing trades, but in examining formulas and creating better and better code that a FOREX AI bot will operate with. Essentially, AI frees up time for human financiers to make analytical decisions as opposed to physically waiting or physically making trades…if so inclined. It should be noted that these applications of AI are still new, and often come with the risk of sudden price shifts wiping out short-term profits.
AI in Healthcare
Artificial Intelligence also has applications in healthcare. It might be odd to think about how AI would impact something as physical as your own body, but there are already several cases where it can be used.
For example, AI can be used to detect lethal drug interactions and make vaccines from scratch. For the former, researchers at Pennsylvania State University used AI to study what prescription drug combinations could cause liver damage. In the case of the latter, in 2019 researchers at Flinders University in Australia developed the first flu vaccine that was completely designed by artificial intelligence. Previously developed vaccines have been partially designed by AI, giving precedence to the first 100% AI-made vaccine. Furthermore, AI is used in physical machines developed for medicinal purposes – namely, via Robot-assisted surgery. While most robotic surgical systems are not 100% AI-driven, the very first instance of a surgical robot doing surgery by itself was back in 2006 (United Press International 2006)! This isn’t a commonplace practice at the moment, but robot-assisted surgery with human intervention is. Hence, it is worth considering whether or not medical science should completely automate surgery altogether, or use AI-surgical robots as collaborative machines.
What is Machine Learning?
Machine learning is a subset of AI specializing in taking data and improving the accuracy of predictions using that data. For example, if the temperature increased by one degree Fahrenheit every day, a machine learning algorithm could use that data to predict that the temperature would keep increasing by one degree per day. This is arguably the simplest form of machine learning, called linear regression (as there is a linear relationship between the number of days and the temperature). However, machine learning can encompass a number of different ideas and models, even including items such as weather forecasts.
Machine learning is used in many ways throughout our everyday lives, such as for Spotify/YouTube recommendations, stock market predictions, and advertisements. With more data being readily available every day, the potential applications of ML will only continue to increase. Creative destruction, in economics, is the concept that with new and better technology, some jobs may be lost in the short run. However, in the long run, productivity will increase, new jobs will be created, and living standards will increase. With AI potentially taking over some jobs such as customer service jobs, and some of those jobs being replaced by jobs requiring the coding of AI tools, creative destruction is taking place and will only continue to do so. Therefore, with ML taking over a large portion of the Internet today, it is fundamental to obtain an in-depth understanding of what it does.
Machine learning can generally work in two ways: supervised and unsupervised learning. With supervised learning, a computer is trained with labeled data and can then use that data to make new predictions. For example, if we wanted to train a computer to recognize a picture of an apple, we would first need to input a large number of pictures containing apples and pictures that do not have apples. Then, we would appropriately label them. The computer would then take this data, make a model out of it, and predict whether or not something is an apple from a new picture. Unsupervised learning is generally used to cluster or group segments of data. For example, Spotify could use this type of ML algorithm to group listeners into certain categories. One potential grouping of the listeners could be hip-hop and rap, enabling Spotify to suggest hip-hop artists to rap listeners and vice versa.
One way a computer can make a model is through reinforcement learning, which tells a computer to predict the future given the past. Going back to the apple example, the computer could start out by making random guesses on which pictures have apples and which do not. Then, the model would check the guesses against the data – if the guesses were off, the model would change to adapt. Each pass through the dataset (each time the model goes through the dataset and guesses which pictures have apples) is called an epoch. Eventually, after tens or hundreds of epochs, the model will get better and better. Ideally, a good model would be able to guess which pictures contain apples with close to 100% accuracy.
Use Cases for ML: Sports Analytics
One example of machine learning in the real world is using the rushing yards over expectation (RYOE) metric in the NFL (National Football League). To calculate RYOE, developers can calculate the expected rushing yards given a few factors, such as the speed of defenders and the number of blockers in the area. Then, given the actual rushing yards that occurred, RYOE can be calculated as (actual yards) – (expected yards). Using new data and machine learning modules based on this metric, teams can better determine whether rushing yards are the products of running backs themselves or of offensive linemen and schemes. This also allows for quantitative comparisons related to the value of passing plays versus running plays, and subsequently where teams should invest personnel resources into. Thus, with the introduction of new data and machine learning models applied to that data, we are able to make a cohesive argument to finally answer the question: do running backs really matter?
Another use of machine learning is in sports betting. By analyzing previous historical data with player ratings, injury history, and various other metrics, betting companies and bettors can use this to train a machine-learning model. By plugging in the current values of those metrics, the model is able to predict, for example, who will win a game and by how many points. By doing this, betting companies can set betting lines for games, and if the models of bettors do not align with this, the bettors may believe that their model is better and use that to bet on the game.
Furthermore, machine learning can be used to analyze game-time decisions in sports such as baseball and basketball. By looking at player performance in the past and seeing how they perform compared to other players in specific situations, such as in the rain or sun, teams can utilize machine learning to predict how players will perform in the future. Given this data, they can put their players in the best possible position to succeed.
In essence, it can be noted that Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are deeply interrelated concepts. This is especially true when Machine Learning is a subset of the broader AI field itself. Further, both broader AI and more specific Machine Learning techniques have applications ranging from entertainment such as sports and music, to daily living tasks just as hand-writing recognition and home assistant devices, to critical infrastructure such as finance and medicine. This leads one to ask where artificial intelligence is not implemented yet. While it can be hard to say when tech experts in academia and the private sector cannot come to a consensus, there is one thing that is absolutely certain. AI and Machine Learning carries least some importance to everyone’s lives in one way or another, whether directly or indirectly.
Further, This also leads to further discussions, such as “is the importance of these technologies overstated or understated?”, as the exact magnitude to which artificial intelligence and machine learning will impact society is still unknown. With the introduction of machine learning chatbots such as ChatGPT, it can be challenging to ascertain how useful it will be in the long run. While it can answer questions from “Where was Abraham Lincoln killed?” to “Code a website for me”, it fails to answer some simple logical questions from time to time. Although the tool has been trained on an astounding three billion words, it’s far from perfect at this time. However, as time goes on, ChatGPT and similar tools will be trained on even more data, computers will become even faster, and the applications and accuracy will only increase – leaving us to wonder if future applications will be indistinguishable from humans. Similar to our previous example of robotic surgeons, time will only tell if AI and ML-powered chatbots will require extensive assistance from humans or if they will be capable of being autonomous in the future. While we cannot answer this question at this time, nor do we encourage a specific stance on artificial intelligence and machine learning… we can say that it is a topic to keep an eye on.