Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Top Ten Steps To Effective Delegation

February 5, 2011 1 comment

Executives and managers are often left feeling frustrated when their staff doesn’t perform a task the way they expected. This can be eliminated by sharpening your communication and filling in the gaps that are often left open for interpretation. Here are some guidelines.

Step 1. Know what the task is.

Step 2. Have the end result/desired outcome you want to produce in mind.

Step 3. Find the person you need to delegate to and give them the task.

Step 4. Share with them the results you desire.

Step 5. Ask and inform them why it’s important. Making someone feel needed, included and part of the team helps them do a better job, rather than simply telling them what to do.

Step 6. What is the advantage for them to take care of this task? Acknowledge not only their role but how performing this will benefit them.

Step 7. Ask them how it’s going to get done. Ask questions such as, “What do you feel is the best way to handle/complete this?” “How have you handled something like this in the past?” The answers to these questions will determine if they are comfortable performing this task and whether or not they have the right tools/information/strategy needed to complete it. (Caution: while doing this, be careful not to sound condescending. I.e.: “So repeat back what I just told you.”)

Step 8. Determine the exact time frame that you want the task finished by. “When do you feel you can complete this?” This creates ownership in the person’s mind to get it done, since they are creating the time line themselves. (If the time they choose isn’t appropriate, ask what would have to happen for the task to be completed sooner.)

Step 9. Reconfirm: That can sound like, “Okay great, then you will be able to have ______done by…….. ?” Or “So, I can expect the paperwork on my desk by tomorrow at….?”

Step 10. Most importantly, make sure you follow up at the anticipated time the task was to be completed to ensure it was done. Otherwise, you run the risk of training the person not to be accountable by sending the message that it’s okay for tasks not to be completed.

Take your life and career to the next level.

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America’s 50 most stressful colleges and universities are smart

April 6, 2010 Leave a comment

According to a new list of the 50 most stressful colleges by The Daily Beast, the answer is yes.

Included on the list are all eight Ivy League colleges as well as several top engineering schools and several “New Ivies,” so to speak.

Here’s a look at the top 25:

  1. Stanford University
  2. Columbia University
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  4. University of Pennsylvania
  5. Harvard University
  6. Princeton University
  7. Vanderbilt University
  8. Carnegie Mellon University
  9. California Institute of Technology
  10. Northwestern University
  11. University of Chicago
  12. Yale University
  13. Washington University in St. Louis
  14. Dartmouth College
  15. Johns Hopkins University
  16. Duke University
  17. Cornell University
  18. University of Southern California
  19. Georgetown University
  20. Brown University
  21. Tufts University
  22. Rice University
  23. University of California, Berkeley
  24. New York University
  25. Boston College

You can see the rest here, starting with No. 26, Emory University.

The online magazine names five reasons why students might be stressed. They are:

  • Cost
  • Competitiveness and academic rigor
  • Acceptance rate (which seems redundant with competitiveness)
  • Engineering
  • Crime on campus

The problems with this stress? Besides bad grades, it could, at the extreme, result in suicide attempts.

The article cites data from a 2009 article in Professional Psychology that says that 6 percent of participating undergraduates and 4 percent of graduate students in four-year colleges said they had “seriously considered attempting suicide” in the past year.

Categories: Education

An LCD screen with multitouch and off-screen gestural control

January 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a working prototype of a bidirectional LCD (captures and displays images) that allows a viewer to control on-screen objects without the need for any peripheral controllers or even touching the screen. In near Minority Report fashion, interaction is possible with just a wave of the hand.

“This is a level of interaction that nobody’s ever been able to do before,” says Ramesh Raskar at MIT’s Media Lab, who created the prototype along with colleagues Matthew Hirsch and Henry Holtzman, as well as Douglas Lanman at Brown University.

The BiDI Screen, as it’s called, is based on LCD technology in which arrays of optical sensors are interlaced with a panel’s pixels to detect multiple points of contact with the surface. This enables touch screen interaction.  But to get the screen to see the world in front of it, the researchers displaced the sensor layer of photodiodes behind the liquid crystal layer.  The LCD screen works double duty, switching between display mode and capture mode in real time. In display mode, the LCD functions as normal with backlight and liquid crystals modulating to produce an image. When in capture mode the screen serves as a pinhole array to capture the angle and intensity of light passing to the sensor layer and the backlight is disabled. By correlating data from multiple views across the sensor array, the system images objects (such as fingers) that are located beyond the display’s surface and measure their distance from the display. Computer software then enables gestural motion control of the on-screen objects.

The researchers designed the screen to operate within the limits of consumer off-the-shelf technology and managed to keep a thin form factor despite the additional layer of cameras. The approach resulted in an increased angular resolution as compared to other approaches that use a small number of cameras behind, to the side, or in front of the displays. such as Microsoft’s Surface or Project Natal.

The research can potentially unlock a wide array of applications, such as in-air gesture control of everything from CE devices like mobile phones to flat-panel TVs, according to the MIT researchers.

Specifically, as higher-resolution video cameras and LCD screens become available, the researchers say their design should scale to provide high-resolution photographic images — enabling demanding videoconferencing, gaze tracking, and foreground/background matting applications.

The BiDi screen was presented at Siggraph Asia last week, in Yokohama, Japan.

Paper: BiDi Screen: A Thin, Depth-Sensing LCD for 3D Interaction using Light Fields (9-pages, PDF)