All entries for Sunday 22 July 2007

July 22, 2007

NMR Week 5

This week brought more complex simulations in the form of Post C7 3-spin (3 atom) ones (after working out the problems of last week’s 2-spin ones). With more spins the Simpson simulation becomes a lot slower. I only managed one arrangement of the 3 spins (at different spinning speeds and number of pulse sequences) in one day, although this process had to be done accurately for suitable comparison with the equivalent setup using the Spin Evolution simulation.

Throughout the week I tried three more arrangements of three atoms, modelling them on the compound alanine and looking at both carbon and hydrogen spectral simulations. The amplitudes of each arragement’s spectra after different numbers of pulse sequences produced what is known as a build up curve. They should look fairly similar in shape…some did but some of the later ones didn’t…This is probably a problem with estimating the spectral peak amplitudes and I will try different methods at some point. If I do get good curves, it it a good indication of the simulations working correctly.

Amy put B05 in the spectrometer so now we have all six of the CP spectra!


Americanisation rather than commodification?

Follow-up to Friedman and education voutchers from The URSS Blog

I decided not to go into uni today, but to do some reading at home in Leamington instead. It was a good decision, since I got far more done than I thought I would and I feel more confident about my report tomorrow.
Essentially, today’s reading helped to get some overview over the debate on higher education, which has taken place in Germany over the past forty years. Most helpful today was an article by Andreas Stucke on the role of a “myth of American universities” in this particular German debate. This was so important to me because it confirmed my guess that the current Bologna reforms have been discussed beforehand, only then they were forwarded to make German universities (and the economy as a whole) more competitive compared to American. Roman Herzog, the former President of the Federal Republic of Germany, of whom I read a speech today, mentioned all the major points of the current Bologna reforms then already (baring in mind that the speech was held in 1996). Moreover, he says “…all the debates have taken place already, it is now time to act!…”.
The second key finding of today was a better understanding of the practical dilemma a Humboldian model of higher education faces in times of mass higher education and reduced public spending. An article by Uwe Schirmank and Markus Winnes reiterated the argument, which other stated before as well, that the research university is by definition elitist. I would not go as far, since further funding might open some possibilities. However, they may be right that many students in the current situation may not even want to study at a research led institution, but do so because of the reputation that goes with it. I am not sure what my point on this is yet, but it is certainly a very interesting debate (I also think that this argument is essential in the debate on establishing so called “elite” universities in Germany).

Tomorrow I will work in the library again
max


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