Science News & Announcements

Webinar: NCBI and the NIH Public Access Policy – PMC Submissions, My NCBI, My Bibliography and SciENcv, Mar. 5

On Thursday, March 5, 2015, NCBI will host a webinar outlining how to use My NCBI to report public access policy compliance for NIH grant holders. Topics will include the NIH Public Access Policy, NIHMS and PubMed Central (PMC) submissions, creating My NCBI accounts, use of My Bibliography to report compliance to eRA Commons, and using SciENcv to create BioSketches.

To register for this Webinar, go here:

Text from the NLM Technical Bulletin.

Workshop: Introduction to OpenMP, Wednesday, Feb. 25

Wednesday, February 25, 1–3 PM, Crerar Library, Kathleen A. Zar Room

Douglas Rudd, Research Computing Center

This workshop will give a brief introduction to shared-memory parallel programming using the OpenMP standard. It is designed to give people with little to no parallel programming experience knowledge of basic parallel programming topics, examples of applying OpenMP to existing problems, and strategies for avoiding common errors and pitfalls. The tutorial will begin with an introduction to the concept of parallel programming and a discussion of how to identify problems that may benefit from parallelization. This will be followed by an introduction to the OpenMP API, with an emphasis on parallelizing existing serial codes. Examples in both C and Fortran will be provided.  

 Prerequisites: Familiarity with C, C++, or Fortran.

Register here.

Write-In for science honors students

The science librarians at the Crerar Library invite all students participating in a science honors program to a “Write-In” at Crerar.  Come together with other honors students for an afternoon of dedicated research and/or writing time.  The Write-In provides a quiet space free of distractions, free pizza, and science librarians to answer questions regarding citations and resources.

DATE: Sunday, February 22, 2015

TIME: 12:00-4:00 PM

LOCATION: Kathleen A. Zar Room, 1st Floor, Crerar Library

RSVP to Deb Werner, Librarian for Science Instruction & Outreach, at, indicating your program of study.

COMSOL 5.0 workshop, Feb. 17, 1-4 PM

COMSOL 5.0 and Application Builder Workshop
Mian Qin, COMSOL, Inc.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 1:00–4:00 p.m.
Kathleen A. Zar Room, John Crerar Library

 Join us for this unique opportunity to advance your skills in multiphysics simulation. This half-day workshop begins with a walk-through of the fundamental modeling steps in COMSOL Multiphysics. Attendees will then have the chance to set up and solve a simulation through a hands-on exercise, guided by a COMSOL expert. You will leave with new skills to work on your own applications using your free, two-week COMSOL trial.

  • Discover the capabilities and features of COMSOL Multiphysics and get a quick overview of the add-on products
  • Learn the natural workflow of the COMSOL Desktop user interface through which all physical phenomena are set up
  • See how to efficiently create and modify your models, and optimize your designs, step-by-step
  • Experience the speed and ease of modeling in the COMSOL environment, shown through a hands-on multiphysics simulation example
  • Learn to convert an existing COMSOL model into an app using the COMSOL Application Builder
  • Set up and solve your first simulation
  • Have a conversation with a COMSOL specialist about your application area
  • Start your two-week free trial and work through your own simulations helped by the COMSOL Technical Support Team
  • Try the Application Builder for designing COMSOL applications

Prerequisites: A computer running Windows is needed for the Application Builder. To participate in the hands-on session you will need to bring a laptop to run a free two-week trial license of the COMSOL software. If you are unable to bring a laptop, we’ll ask you to pair up with another attendee during the hands-on part of the workshop.

Register here.

Sweet science at the John Crerar Library

February 14th: Whether you love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is a holiday that brings out strong sentiments. The flurry of gift-, flower-, card-, and candy-exchanging observed today is, in fact, nothing new– a rise of the American middle class in the mid-19th century brought these traditions and customs to the fore.  Food, and especially candy and confectionery items, became inextricably tied to Valentine’s Day after the American Civil War, when the U.S. economy witnessed a decrease in the price of sugar and a subsequent rise of the confectionery industry.

The John Crerar Library is home to a veritable treasure trove of cookbooks, both vintage and modern. This Valentine’s Day, we have chosen to highlight some of the library’s more “vintage” confectionery cookbooks. To the left, you will find two recipes selected directly from our turn-of-the-century holdings, and below, the products of these recipes made nearly a century after their original publication.

Lovers' Layer-Cake, baked February 11, 2015. Lovers' Layer-Cake and Cocoa Fudge, baked February 11, 2015.





More from these cookbooks:

Title Page: Choice Recipes, by Maria Parloa. Published 1899.

Walter Baker & Co's Vanilla Chocolate Color Label

Walter Baker & Co's Breakfast Cocoa and Baker's Chocolate. Color Labels.

Walter & Baker Co's German Sweet Chocolate, Color Label

Cover: The Everyday Cake Book, by Gertrude Paul. Published 1921.





More at The University of Chicago Library:

Sweet Home Chicago: Chocolate and Confectionery Production and Technology in the Windy City

Selected Valentine’s Day Readings

Workshop: Introduction to EndNote (Online Version), Feb. 6

When: Friday, February 6, 2015 12:001:00 p.m.
Where: Crerar Library, Computer Classroom
5730 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL
Description: EndNote offers an online version of its popular citation manager that is available to the University of Chicago community freely through the Library. The online version offers the key features of the popular EndNote software, but with added enhancements of cloud storage, syncing, and the ability to easily share and collaborate. Come to this workshop and see if EndNote’s online version works for you.
Contact: John Crerar Library
More info:
Tag: Workshops, Training, Graduate Students, Staff
Notes: Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact the event sponsor for assistance. For events on the Student Events Calendar, please contact ORCSA at (773) 702-8787.
Information on Assistive Listening Device

Workshop “Introduction to R” Feb.12 and 19, 2-4 PM

Introduction to R
Lian Huan Ng, Instructor, Research Computing Center

Thursday, February 12, and Thursday, February 19, 2015, 2:00–4:00 p.m. | Kathleen A. Zar Room, John Crerar Library

This workshop is a two-part series on an introduction to the statistical software R. 

Session 1 (February 12): Attendees will gain hands-on experience working with an example data set using R while learning about the basic features of R.  Topics to be covered include: using R as a calculator, common data types (vector, matrix, list, data frame), importing and exporting data in R, and some basic statistical analyses.  No prior experience with R is required.

Session 2 (February 19): We will continue from where we have left off from the first workshop.  Topics to be covered include: additional basic statistical analyses, plotting, the “apply” family, using external packages, and basic programming syntax (if time permits).  Attendance at the previous first workshop is not required but you should be comfortable with some basic R commands, such as how to import a data set into R as a data frame.

Prerequisites: Attendees are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop to participate in the hands-on session and have access to both R and the RStudio software.  If you already have access to an RCC account, then you can use the RStudio software via RCC’s ThinLinc.  Otherwise, you can download and install the stand-alone R and RStudio software onto your laptop prior to attending the workshop.

Register here.

The science of snowstorms

Although the snowfall from winter storm Juno has not quite measured up to the predictions of a dangerous and historic snowstorm made this past weekend, the storm has had a heavy impact on New England, causing flooding, power outages, and dumping up to 30 inches of snow on parts of the region. The National Weather Service’s predictions prompted swift action from public officials and an avalanche of media coverage across the nation (including a map from the Smithsonian allowing viewers to track the storm through social media).

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), forecasting snowfall is a difficult science. This observation from the NSIDC seems to resonate strongly with the spotty snowfall observed during winter storm Juno:

“In addition, snow does not fall evenly everywhere. Even during the same storm, one neighborhood may receive deep snow, while an adjacent neighborhood may only receive a light dusting. At the local scale, variations in snow depth are caused primarily by wind during and after the storm, and by melting after the storm. At the larger scale, say across an entire state, it also depends on the storm track. Places in the middle of the storm track may receive significant snowfall, while locations along the edges of the storm may receive much less.”


Interested in keeping warm, snuggling up indoors, and reading about weather and climatology? The John Crerar Library offers a multitude of resources that will allow you to explore the storm from a safe distance:

In Print


Other Online Resources

PubAg: new search engine for published USDA research

National Agricultural Library“The National Agricultural Library (NAL) has unveiled PubAg, a user-friendly search engine that gives the public enhanced access to research published by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists. NAL is part of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

PubAg, which can be found at, is a new portal for literature searches and full-text access of more than 40,000 scientific journal articles by USDA researchers, mostly from 1997 to 2014. New articles by USDA researchers will be added almost daily, and older articles may be added if possible. There is no access fee for PubAg.”

Text from the USDA Agricultural Research Service.

The Science Writing Prize for College Students accepting submissions for 2015


The annual John Crerar Foundation Science Writing Prize for College Students honors the memory of John Crerar – industrialist and philanthropist whose estate established the John Crerar Library.

This competitive award for excellence and clarity in science writing acknowledges the ability of a University of Chicago College student to produce a paper, on a scientific topic, which is thorough in its arguments but accessible to a broad readership.

Students will submit a 2,500-3,000 word essay on a topic in science, medicine and/or technology. Essays should describe how the topic is relevant to the student’s studies and describe the topic’s impact on society today and into the future. Submissions must be scientifically and technically accurate, make reference to the relevant literature, and be accessible to a readership with a general knowledge of science. We encourage and welcome submissions from all perspectives.

  • First Prize is $1500
  • Second Prize is $500
  • Deadline for submission is: APRIL 20, 2015


Click here for more details and competition guidelines.


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