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Re: [SeattleRobotics] Re: Independent Study by "David Buckley"

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  • Pat Tressel
    ... Many schools use plagiarism detection tools as a matter of course these days, given how easy it is to get material online. So long as the mailing list is
    Message 1 of 16 , Oct 19, 2012
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      that way I haven't typed the answers for them to plagarize

      Many schools use plagiarism detection tools as a matter of course these days, given how easy it is to get material online.  So long as the mailing list is public and allows indexing by web spiders, it will turn up in many of these tools.  Doing a quick check...this mailing list is public and is getting indexed.

      There are tools to detect plagiarism in text and in programs -- for the latter, moss is the standard tool.  We used it at UW CSE...

      ...and while I was a TA there, guess who got sent to talk to the cheaters...  I didn't scowl at them and tell them they were being bad -- I explained that: 1) If they copied, they wouldn't actually be learning the material, and this would come back to bite them later...usually on the next exam.  2) Once it was known that they cheated -- and it generally would become knows sooner or (not very much) later -- their reputation would be spoiled.

      In case anyone has need of this sort of tool, one can (er) search for "plagiarism detection".  ;-)  But just a few links...

      moss:
      http://theory.stanford.edu/~aiken/moss/
      https://moodle.org/plugins/view.php?plugin=plagiarism_moss

      other:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism_detection
      http://www.noblenet.org/merrimack/academic_integrity/detect.htm

      Good students aren't going to plagiarize anyway.  Students who might be tempted generally know -- or they know now -- that their work will likely be checked for plagiarism, which can act as a deterrent.

      -- Pat
    • Pat Tressel
      I omitted the second punchline... that way I haven t typed the answers for them to plagarize ... The (second) point is, don t worry about plagiarism -- just go
      Message 2 of 16 , Oct 19, 2012
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        I omitted the second punchline...

        that way I haven't typed the answers for them to plagarize

        Many schools use plagiarism detection tools as a matter of course these days...

        The (second) point is, don't worry about plagiarism -- just go ahead and answer (or let others answer if you're not comfortable with it), and let the tools catch it if there is a problem.  That way everyone wins.  You don't improperly discourage sincere students, and the schools can take care of their own issues in the manner they've found to be appropriate and productive.

        -- Pat
      • Kevin Ross
        How about we agree to disagree with the following rule on the SRS mailing list: If you don’t intend to help someone who is asking questions, keep your
        Message 3 of 16 , Oct 19, 2012
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          How about we agree to disagree with the following rule on the SRS mailing list:
           
          If you don’t intend to help someone who is asking questions, keep your comments to yourself. Answering in snarky language does nothing to further the conversation, and only does damage. If you think someone is just being lazy, then why not be lazy yourself and just not answer the post. Being rude towards others does nothing useful, so please spend your cycles elsewhere.
           
          Kevin
           
           
          Sent: Friday, October 19, 2012 8:15 AM
          Subject: [SeattleRobotics] Re: Independent Study by "David Buckley"
           


          I'm afraid that I'm in agreement with David.
          The questions that were asked HAVE answers online, and in very easily found ways.
          It struck me that the questioner was asking questions that were intended to get someone to do their work for them.

          I mean I'll grant you that he did say " I am having a hard time grasping what I am Finding on the web" but
          "What is a servo" could have been asked any number of other ways...   "Are there better articles to describe a servo than http://"blah blah blah
          I typed in "uses for animatronics" just to see what would come up, the first three hits were "entertainment", and the fourth hit was disney.
          How about "other than entertainment and Disney, what are the uses for animatronics?"

          See, maybe they did read some of that stuff, but to me, the questions don't indicate that.
          I have to feel like someone that cared about the topic would have asked, and maybe the same questions content wise, but in a different way that shows us some of their background so that we know better HOW to answer the questions.

          My background that gives me this take is that I've been a lighting designer (internationally touring, live music concerts), and I have a website that gets hits from all over the world, 2 or 3 times a year there are teachers out there that give out homework assignments that tells the kids to figure out "things" about lighting designers (career path, what they do, etc), and I get emailed questions that range from thoughtful to (basically:) here is my homework assignment, can you do it for me.  I don't ever want to disillusion anyone, but I'm not about to do their work for them.  So, to start with, I tell them that if they want the answers they can call me and ask me, that way I haven't typed the answers for them to plagarize, and they will have to synthesize the information that I give them conversationally.  The ones that want their work done for them, guess what, they never call, the ones that care, guess what, they usually call, and the ones that call?  Those are fun conversations.

              John.
          --------------------------------------------
          David
          I would have thought a gifted and talented person could use Google
          I typed in "What is a servo?"
          Top of the list was http://www.servocit y.com/html/ what_is_a_ servo_.html
        • Kevin Ross
          Allow me to rephrase that. How about we agree to disagree. However, we now have the following rule on the SRS mailing list: If you don’t intend to help
          Message 4 of 16 , Oct 19, 2012
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            Allow me to rephrase that.
             
            How about we agree to disagree. However, we now have the following rule on the SRS mailing list:
             
            If you don’t intend to help someone who is asking questions, keep your comments to yourself. Answering in snarky language does nothing to further the conversation, and only does damage. If you think someone is just being lazy, then why not be lazy yourself and just not answer the post. Being rude towards others does nothing useful, so please spend your cycles elsewhere.
             
            Kevin
             
             
            Sent: Friday, October 19, 2012 8:15 AM
            Subject: [SeattleRobotics] Re: Independent Study by "David Buckley"
             


            I'm afraid that I'm in agreement with David.
            The questions that were asked HAVE answers online, and in very easily found ways.
            It struck me that the questioner was asking questions that were intended to get someone to do their work for them.

            I mean I'll grant you that he did say " I am having a hard time grasping what I am Finding on the web" but
            "What is a servo" could have been asked any number of other ways...   "Are there better articles to describe a servo than http://"blah blah blah
            I typed in "uses for animatronics" just to see what would come up, the first three hits were "entertainment", and the fourth hit was disney.
            How about "other than entertainment and Disney, what are the uses for animatronics?"

            See, maybe they did read some of that stuff, but to me, the questions don't indicate that.
            I have to feel like someone that cared about the topic would have asked, and maybe the same questions content wise, but in a different way that shows us some of their background so that we know better HOW to answer the questions.

            My background that gives me this take is that I've been a lighting designer (internationally touring, live music concerts), and I have a website that gets hits from all over the world, 2 or 3 times a year there are teachers out there that give out homework assignments that tells the kids to figure out "things" about lighting designers (career path, what they do, etc), and I get emailed questions that range from thoughtful to (basically:) here is my homework assignment, can you do it for me.  I don't ever want to disillusion anyone, but I'm not about to do their work for them.  So, to start with, I tell them that if they want the answers they can call me and ask me, that way I haven't typed the answers for them to plagarize, and they will have to synthesize the information that I give them conversationally.  The ones that want their work done for them, guess what, they never call, the ones that care, guess what, they usually call, and the ones that call?  Those are fun conversations.

                John.
            --------------------------------------------
            David
            I would have thought a gifted and talented person could use Google
            I typed in "What is a servo?"
            Top of the list was http://www.servocit y.com/html/ what_is_a_ servo_.html
          • twcarroll@aol.com
            Kevin, Well said. I should have said something similar when I commented. I hope people follow it. I firmly believe most people, when searching on Google,
            Message 5 of 16 , Oct 19, 2012
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              Kevin,
                   Well said.  I should have said something similar when I commented.  I hope people follow it. 
               
                   I firmly believe most people, when searching on Google, don't ask: "what is a servo" or similar to find an answer, but just type in "servo."  There may be a million answers to a specific question asked of the SRS, or any group, on line, but, if the person is asking the question to a group,- they truly want an answer that they haven't found.  Politely give them the answer or show them where it can be found, - or, just shut up.
               
                   Just my 2 bits,
                   Tom C.

              Allow me to rephrase that.
               
              How about we agree to disagree. However, we now have the following rule on the SRS mailing list:
               
              If you don’t intend to help someone who is asking questions, keep your comments to yourself. Answering in snarky language does nothing to further the conversation, and only does damage. If you think someone is just being lazy, then why not be lazy yourself and just not answer the post. Being rude towards others does nothing useful, so please spend your cycles elsewhere.
               
              Kevin
            • Max Cato
              For what it s worth, I actually did the google search for servo , just to see what would come up for the results. Page number 1 is wikipedia, although it s a
              Message 6 of 16 , Oct 19, 2012
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                For what it's worth, I actually did the google search for "servo", just to see what would come up for the results.

                Page number 1 is wikipedia, although it's a disambiguation pointing to servomechanism, servo (radio control), servo bandwidth, servo control, servo drive, servo magazine, servo (layout engine), and then a bunch of other semi-related terms. If I were in middle or early highschool, I would pretty daunted by that- no help there.

                The next link goes to Pololu.com, where you can buy servos of all sorts, but it doesn't explain what they are or why you would wouldn't want to use one.

                After that is ServoCity, another retailer for servos.

                After that is the Arduino playground Servo Library, which still doesn't explain what a servo is, and if you had no idea what an Arduino is, then this wouldn't be any help either.

                The last thre are all resellers of servos. Again, not terribly helpful.

                This is from the first page of google, the supposed "most relevant" links. So, bashing people for asking innocent questions is no good-- he could've easily looked into and simply come away more confused. Also, don't be so vitriolic about helping someone, even if it is their homework. He was asking "the experts". If I were his age and had a chance to ask Richard Feynman for help with my physics homework, you can sure as heck bet I would've. Being an enthusiast means that you should be enthusiastic about your hobby, and not turn people away at the door for being n00bs. This isn't some elitist club; it's about fostering an interest in science and technology.



                From: "twcarroll@..." <twcarroll@...>
                To: SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Friday, October 19, 2012 5:15 PM
                Subject: Re: [SeattleRobotics] Re: Independent Study by "David Buckley"

                 
                Kevin,
                     Well said.  I should have said something similar when I commented.  I hope people follow it. 
                 
                     I firmly believe most people, when searching on Google, don't ask: "what is a servo" or similar to find an answer, but just type in "servo."  There may be a million answers to a specific question asked of the SRS, or any group, on line, but, if the person is asking the question to a group,- they truly want an answer that they haven't found.  Politely give them the answer or show them where it can be found, - or, just shut up.
                 
                     Just my 2 bits,
                     Tom C.

                Allow me to rephrase that.
                 
                How about we agree to disagree. However, we now have the following rule on the SRS mailing list:
                 
                If you don’t intend to help someone who is asking questions, keep your comments to yourself. Answering in snarky language does nothing to further the conversation, and only does damage. If you think someone is just being lazy, then why not be lazy yourself and just not answer the post. Being rude towards others does nothing useful, so please spend your cycles elsewhere.
                 
                Kevin


              • Ryan Lum
                Dig. Sent from my HTC One™ S on Solavei. Powered by Relationships. ... From: Max Cato To: SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com
                Message 7 of 16 , Oct 19, 2012
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                  Greythorn Dig.

                  Sent from my HTC One™ S on Solavei. Powered by Relationships.

                  ----- Reply message -----
                  From: "Max Cato" <maxsthekat@...>
                  To: "SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com" <SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com>
                  Subject: [SeattleRobotics] Re: Independent Study by "David Buckley"
                  Date: Fri, Oct 19, 2012 6:20 PM



                   

                  For what it's worth, I actually did the google search for "servo", just to see what would come up for the results.

                  Page number 1 is wikipedia, although it's a disambiguation pointing to servomechanism, servo (radio control), servo bandwidth, servo control, servo drive, servo magazine, servo (layout engine), and then a bunch of other semi-related terms. If I were in middle or early highschool, I would pretty daunted by that- no help there.

                  The next link goes to Pololu.com, where you can buy servos of all sorts, but it doesn't explain what they are or why you would wouldn't want to use one.

                  After that is ServoCity, another retailer for servos.

                  After that is the Arduino playground Servo Library, which still doesn't explain what a servo is, and if you had no idea what an Arduino is, then this wouldn't be any help either.

                  The last thre are all resellers of servos. Again, not terribly helpful.

                  This is from the first page of google, the supposed "most relevant" links. So, bashing people for asking innocent questions is no good-- he could've easily looked into and simply come away more confused. Also, don't be so vitriolic about helping someone, even if it is their homework. He was asking "the experts". If I were his age and had a chance to ask Richard Feynman for help with my physics homework, you can sure as heck bet I would've. Being an enthusiast means that you should be enthusiastic about your hobby, and not turn people away at the door for being n00bs. This isn't some elitist club; it's about fostering an interest in science and technology.



                  From: "twcarroll@..." <twcarroll@...>
                  To: SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Friday, October 19, 2012 5:15 PM
                  Subject: Re: [SeattleRobotics] Re: Independent Study by "David Buckley"

                   
                  Kevin,
                       Well said.  I should have said something similar when I commented.  I hope people follow it. 
                   
                       I firmly believe most people, when searching on Google, don't ask: "what is a servo" or similar to find an answer, but just type in "servo."  There may be a million answers to a specific question asked of the SRS, or any group, on line, but, if the person is asking the question to a group,- they truly want an answer that they haven't found.  Politely give them the answer or show them where it can be found, - or, just shut up.
                   
                       Just my 2 bits,
                       Tom C.

                  Allow me to rephrase that.
                   
                  How about we agree to disagree. However, we now have the following rule on the SRS mailing list:
                   
                  If you don’t intend to help someone who is asking questions, keep your comments to yourself. Answering in snarky language does nothing to further the conversation, and only does damage. If you think someone is just being lazy, then why not be lazy yourself and just not answer the post. Being rude towards others does nothing useful, so please spend your cycles elsewhere.
                   
                  Kevin




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                • Pat Tressel
                  ... Same here -- as I was writing my definition of servo, I wanted to be sure I wasn t saying something incorrect, e.g. if there was some fiddly little
                  Message 8 of 16 , Oct 19, 2012
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                    For what it's worth, I actually did the google search for "servo", just to see what would come up for the results.

                    Page number 1 is wikipedia, although it's a disambiguation pointing to servomechanism, servo (radio control), servo bandwidth, servo control, servo drive, servo magazine, servo (layout engine), and then a bunch of other semi-related terms. If I were in middle or early highschool, I would pretty daunted by that- no help there.

                    Same here -- as I was writing my definition of servo, I wanted to be sure I wasn't saying something incorrect, e.g. if there was some fiddly little distinction between a servo and other sorts of positioning widgets that I didn't already know about, hence did a similar web search.  (There is a distinction -- servo implies use of feedback.)

                    What I saw on Wikipedia leapt right in to the middle of the explanation of feedback, without really saying what a servo was for.

                    What do you think about my definition -- has it got any howlers?  It's intended to be non-technical and use age-appropriate vocabulary.

                    Hmm...hmm...should we attempt to improve the Wikipedia entry / entries?
                     
                    He was asking "the experts". If I were his age and had a chance to ask Richard Feynman for help with my physics homework, you can sure as heck bet I would've.

                    Feynman used to hold a drop-in "ask me about anything" class (referred to as Physics X, to distinguish from actual classes for which one registered).  I only got to go to a few of these, but they were a lot of fun.  One caution re. using this as an example, though -- Feynman had a rule about how questions were asked:  One had to ask about the actual physical phenomenon, not merely the *name* of the phenomenon.  Thus one could not ask "Could you explain vacuum fluctuation?" but could ask "I heard that a particle - antiparticle pair could just spontaneously spring into being, without violating conservation of energy, so long as they disappear again really quickly.  That's totally freaking me out.  Does that really happen?  Can the particles ever 'escape' and become 'real'?"  So Feynman *did* ask students to try to understand what they were asking about first.  (Hey.  This was during the 70s.  "Totally freaking me out" is a formally correct expression.)

                    Another little caution that applies to the case of solving a problem rather than just gathering information:  In the problem-solving case, many students don't want to be "told the answer" -- if they're stuck, they want just the barest hint to get them moving again.  Being told the answer *spoils the fun*.  Coming up with a good minimal hint that *doesn't* spoil the fun is also satisfying.  (This also falls under the "teach a man to fish..." rubric.)  So if you get asked for help in a problem-solving case, find out if the student just wants a hint, else blurting out the full answer may be frustrating for them.

                    -- Pat
                  • Movie Maker
                    What about Servo Magazine?   Mel ... ________________________________ From: Pat Tressel To: SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com Sent:
                    Message 9 of 16 , Oct 20, 2012
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                      What about Servo Magazine?

                       
                      Mel

                      :-)

                      From: Pat Tressel <ptressel@...>
                      To: SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Saturday, October 20, 2012 12:42 AM
                      Subject: Re: [SeattleRobotics] Re: Independent Study by "David Buckley"

                       
                       
                      For what it's worth, I actually did the google search for "servo", just to see what would come up for the results.

                      Page number 1 is wikipedia, although it's a disambiguation pointing to servomechanism, servo (radio control), servo bandwidth, servo control, servo drive, servo magazine, servo (layout engine), and then a bunch of other semi-related terms. If I were in middle or early highschool, I would pretty daunted by that- no help there.

                      Same here -- as I was writing my definition of servo, I wanted to be sure I wasn't saying something incorrect, e.g. if there was some fiddly little distinction between a servo and other sorts of positioning widgets that I didn't already know about, hence did a similar web search.  (There is a distinction -- servo implies use of feedback.)

                      What I saw on Wikipedia leapt right in to the middle of the explanation of feedback, without really saying what a servo was for.

                      What do you think about my definition -- has it got any howlers?  It's intended to be non-technical and use age-appropriate vocabulary.

                      Hmm...hmm...should we attempt to improve the Wikipedia entry / entries?
                       
                      He was asking "the experts". If I were his age and had a chance to ask Richard Feynman for help with my physics homework, you can sure as heck bet I would've.

                      Feynman used to hold a drop-in "ask me about anything" class (referred to as Physics X, to distinguish from actual classes for which one registered).  I only got to go to a few of these, but they were a lot of fun.  One caution re. using this as an example, though -- Feynman had a rule about how questions were asked:  One had to ask about the actual physical phenomenon, not merely the *name* of the phenomenon.  Thus one could not ask "Could you explain vacuum fluctuation?" but could ask "I heard that a particle - antiparticle pair could just spontaneously spring into being, without violating conservation of energy, so long as they disappear again really quickly.  That's totally freaking me out.  Does that really happen?  Can the particles ever 'escape' and become 'real'?"  So Feynman *did* ask students to try to understand what they were asking about first.  (Hey.  This was during the 70s.  "Totally freaking me out" is a formally correct expression.)

                      Another little caution that applies to the case of solving a problem rather than just gathering information:  In the problem-solving case, many students don't want to be "told the answer" -- if they're stuck, they want just the barest hint to get them moving again.  Being told the answer *spoils the fun*.  Coming up with a good minimal hint that *doesn't* spoil the fun is also satisfying.  (This also falls under the "teach a man to fish..." rubric.)  So if you get asked for help in a problem-solving case, find out if the student just wants a hint, else blurting out the full answer may be frustrating for them.

                      -- Pat


                    • twcarroll@aol.com
                      Hey, Everybody. This whole discussion has absolutely nothing to do with servos, wikipedia, Google, what a person types into their particular search engine,
                      Message 10 of 16 , Oct 20, 2012
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                        Hey, Everybody.
                             This whole discussion has absolutely nothing to do with servos, wikipedia, Google, what a person types into their particular search engine, how one searches the Internet or any source of information.  It is about common kindness, helpfulness and just plain common decency.
                             When someone (in this case, a young student with an interest in robotics) recognizes a particular organization or group (in this case- the SRS) as a probable good source of information, - respond with kind and helpful comments.  There is a great saying in the Bible: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  If you are one who is inclined to belittle a person for some sort of perceived shortcoming on your part, - just ignore the request.
                             Now, let's just get off of this thread.  OK?
                             Tom C.


                        What about Servo Magazine?

                         
                        Mel

                        :-)

                        From: Pat Tressel <ptressel@...>
                        To: SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Saturday, October 20, 2012 12:42 AM
                        Subject: Re: [SeattleRobotics] Re: Independent Study by "David Buckley"

                         
                         
                        For what it's worth, I actually did the google search for "servo", just to see what would come up for the results.

                        Page number 1 is wikipedia, although it's a disambiguation pointing to servomechanism, servo (radio control), servo bandwidth, servo control, servo drive, servo magazine, servo (layout engine), and then a bunch of other semi-related terms. If I were in middle or early highschool, I would pretty daunted by that- no help there.

                        Same here -- as I was writing my definition of servo, I wanted to be sure I wasn't saying something incorrect, e.g. if there was some fiddly little distinction between a servo and other sorts of positioning widgets that I didn't already know about, hence did a similar web search.  (There is a distinction -- servo implies use of feedback.)

                        What I saw on Wikipedia leapt right in to the middle of the explanation of feedback, without really saying what a servo was for.

                        What do you think about my definition -- has it got any howlers?  It's intended to be non-technical and use age-appropriate vocabulary.

                        Hmm...hmm...should we attempt to improve the Wikipedia entry / entries?
                         
                        He was asking "the experts". If I were his age and had a chance to ask Richard Feynman for help with my physics homework, you can sure as heck bet I would've.

                        Feynman used to hold a drop-in "ask me about anything" class (referred to as Physics X, to distinguish from actual classes for which one registered).  I only got to go to a few of these, but they were a lot of fun.  One caution re. using this as an example, though -- Feynman had a rule about how questions were asked:  One had to ask about the actual physical phenomenon, not merely the *name* of the phenomenon.  Thus one could not ask "Could you explain vacuum fluctuation?" but could ask "I heard that a particle - antiparticle pair could just spontaneously spring into being, without violating conservation of energy, so long as they disappear again really quickly.  That's totally freaking me out.  Does that really happen?  Can the particles ever 'escape' and become 'real'?"  So Feynman *did* ask students to try to understand what they were asking about first.  (Hey.  This was during the 70s.  "Totally freaking me out" is a formally correct expression.)

                        Another little caution that applies to the case of solving a problem rather than just gathering information:  In the problem-solving case, many students don't want to be "told the answer" -- if they're stuck, they want just the barest hint to get them moving again.  Being told the answer *spoils the fun*.  Coming up with a good minimal hint that *doesn't* spoil the fun is also satisfying.  (This also falls under the "teach a man to fish..." rubric.)  So if you get asked for help in a problem-solving case, find out if the student just wants a hint, else blurting out the full answer may be frustrating for them.

                        -- Pat


                      • Peter Balch
                        ... Spot on! Has anyone done that yet? Peter
                        Message 11 of 16 , Oct 20, 2012
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                          > When someone (in this case, a young student with an interest in
                          > robotics) recognizes a particular organization or group (in this case-
                          > the SRS)
                          > as a probable good source of information, - respond with kind and helpful
                          > comments.

                          Spot on!

                          Has anyone done that yet?

                          Peter
                        • Wim Lewis
                          ... Not to mention Tom Servo from MST3K.
                          Message 12 of 16 , Oct 20, 2012
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                            On 10/20/12 7:54 AM, Movie Maker wrote:
                            > What about Servo Magazine?

                            Not to mention Tom Servo from MST3K.
                          • Pat Tressel
                            ... Yes, several of us, in the original thread. -- Pat
                            Message 13 of 16 , Oct 20, 2012
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                              > When someone (in this case, a young student with an interest in
                              > robotics) recognizes a particular organization or group (in this case-
                              > the SRS)
                              > as a probable good source of information, - respond with kind and helpful
                              > comments.

                              Spot on!

                              Has anyone done that yet?

                              Yes, several of us, in the original thread.

                              -- Pat
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