10 Great Minds Every Math Student Should Know

The work of mathematical geniuses can inspire intimidation or even fear into the hearts of aspiring students. And who can blame them? Often given a barrage of principles and functions with little to no real-world application offered, it's no wonder why so many students, math majors and non-majors alike, have such trouble wrapping their minds around mathematical ideas that originated centuries ago. Rarely will a math class ever provide any sort of context to the mathematical concepts taught beyond the concepts themselves. Rarely will students ever receive an insight into the person who created the idea. Sure, it may not solve all math woes, but it could definitely help foster a better understanding of so many students' least favorite subject.

  1. Sir Isaac Newton, 1643-1727: Perhaps the greatest of all mathematical minds, Newton originated several mathematical and scientific principles which changed the way people viewed the universe. His most commonly known achievement would have to be his Principia, which paved the way for classical mechanics, described universal gravitation, and described the three laws of motion. It was this work that dispelled any remaining doubts of the time, including the Catholic Church's, of the earth revolving around the sun. Sharing credit with Gottfried Leibniz, Newton developed differential and integral calculus, one of the most common causes of headache among adolescents and young adults. While Newton also created a good number of inventions and developed several advancements and many other fields of study (like optics), these gargantuan achievements in physics and mathematics originated a whole new standard of thinking about the universe that dominated thinking for about 300 years
  2. Paul Erdos, 1913-1996: Known as a "problem solver" rather than "theory developer," Erdos founded no new field of mathematics. However, he published more papers than any other mathematician in history, working with 511 different collaborators in his lifetime. Most notably, Erdos worked on problems in combinatorics, graph theory, number theory, classical analysis, approximation theory, set theory, and probability theory. Completely shattering the stereotype of the quiet, reserved nerd, Erdos led quite the unconventional life, resembling mostly that of a vagabond, traveling between scientific conferences and the homes of colleagues all over the world. He gave most of his awards and earnings to people in need an various worthy causes. Known for his eccentric personality and behavior, Erdos was known to drink copious amounts of coffee as well as to take amphetamines all for the purpose of increasing advancements in mathematics.
  3. Alan Turing, 1912-1954: Ever wonder how we got from the light bulb to that computer you're using? A large amount of credit must be given to Alan Turing who created the first detailed design of a stored-program computer. Highly influential in the development of computer science, Turing proved that a computational machine would be capable of performing any conceivable mathematical computation if it were representable as an algorithm. In some ways, Turing was way ahead of his time, creating a chess program so complex that there was no computer powerful enough at the time to execute it; nonetheless, Turing simulated the program himself. In addition to his developments in computer science, Turing was a phenomenal code-breaker and put these skills to work in World War II breaking German code.
  4. Henri Poincare, 1854-1912: Though the man supposedly flunked an IQ test, Poincare was one of the most creative mathematicians ever. He is sometimes called the Father of Topology, but he also produced large amounts of work in many areas of math including the theory of differential equations, foundations of homology, the theory of periodic orbits, and the discovery of automorphic functions. He also formulated the Poincare conjecture, one of the most famous problems in mathematics that remained unsolved for an entire century. In his research on the three-body problem (a problem that had eluded mathematicians since Newton's time), Poincare discovered a chaotic deterministic system which laid the foundations of modern chaos theory.
  5. Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, c. 780-c. 850: It's surprising sometimes how few people realize the Persian impact on mathematics. If it were not for al-Khwarizmi's work on Indian numerals, the Western world would have gotten the decimal positional number system much, much later. al-Khwarizmi wrote the first systematic solution of linear and quadratic equations in Arabic. Though once considered the original inventor of algebra, we now know that his work is based on older Greek and Indian sources. His contribution to both algebra and geometry were vital nonetheless. Essentially, al-Khwarizmi's work established the basis for innovation in algebra and trigonometry. In fact, the term algebra is derived from the name of one of the basic operations with equations (al-jabr, meaning completion, or, subtracting a number from both sides of the equation) described in his book.
  6. Pythagoras, c. 570 BC-c. 495 BC: Not only was Pythagoras credited as being the first to use axioms and deductive proofs (placing a huge influence on Plato and Euclid), he was perhaps the only mathematician to have rigorous, spiritual disciples, called Pythagoreans, who followed and extended his mathematical research. Interestingly, many of his results were supposedly due to his students though none of their writings survive. In light of the issue of crediting work, the Pythagoreans made so many advancements in mathematics, it almost doesn't matter. Discoveries include the Pythagorean Theorem, amicable numbers, polygonal numbers, golden ratio, the five regular solids, and irrational numbers. Also, the Pythagoreans were one of the few ancient schools to practice gender equality.
  7. Rene Descartes, 1596-1650: Although Descartes is often called the "Father of Modern Philosophy," he created quite a few influential advancements in the field of mathematics as well. The Cartesian coordinate system, which allowed geometric shapes to be expressed in algebraic equations, was named after him. Descartes's laid the foundation for the calculus of Newton and Leibniz by applying infinitesimal calculus to the tangent line problem. Descartes also created analytic geometry and an early form of the law of conservation of momentum. His rule of signs, which can determine the number of positive and negative roots of a polynomial, is still commonly used today.
  8. Leonhard Euler, 1707-1783: If you're having trouble understanding the notation for trigonometric functions, natural logarithms, or the function notation f(x), you can probably blame Euler. Often called the greatest mathematician of all time, Euler made important discoveries in fields as diverse as infinitesimal calculus and graph theory. Euler also introduced much of modern mathematical terminology and notation. Euler worked in about all areas of mathematics: geometry, infinitesimal calculus, trigonometry, algebra, and number theory. And that's not including his work in physics, in which he studied mechanics, fluid dynamics, optics, and astronomy. Euler was so prolific that his work output slowed very little despite the fact that he became blind later in life.
  9. Carl Friedrich Gauss, 1777-1855: Gauss first began displaying his brilliance in math at the age of three when he corrected his father's arithmetic. Known as "the Prince of Mathematics" Gauss began questioning the axioms of Euclid at age twelve, and at age 24, he published Disqueitiones Arithmeticae, arguably the greatest book of pure mathematics ever. Among Gauss's numerous contributions to mathematics are the first complete proof of Euclid's Funamental Theorem of Algebra (that an nth degree polynomial has n complex roots), hypergeometric series, foundations of statistics, and differential geometry. However being an stern perfectionist and hard worker, Gauss was never a prolific writer as he refused to publish work that he did not consider complete and above criticism.
  10. Thomas Bayes, 1702-1761: Can a man of God study numbers and probability? Bayes sure did. Both a theologian and a mathematician, Bayes was the first to use probability inductively. His work, "Essay Towards Solving a Problem in the Doctrine of Chances," laid down the basis of a statistical technique now called Bayesian probability, for calculating the probability of the validity of a proposition on the basis of a prior estimate and new relevant evidence. This is also known as inverse probability where essentially a probability is assigned a hypothesis and then tested and updated in the light of new data. Quite a progressive view on determinism for a Presbyterian minister in the 18th century.

15 Awesome Jobs for Associate’s Degree Holders

Pursuing an associate's degree is an economical way to ensure a promising future. For starters, you won't accumulate massive amounts of debt that'll adversely affect your financial future due to the rising cost of tuition. Most importantly, it'll enable you to secure a great job and fulfilling career that'll produce a bounty of rewards during your lifetime. The following 15 jobs are proof of that, providing all the perks bachelor's degree holders expect after putting in two additional years of academic work. (All salary information is courtesy of PayScale, and figures pertain to workers with 10 to 19 years of experience. All job projections are courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

  1. Cardiovascular Technologist, $59,500 – $90,731: The lifesaving work performed by cardiologists wouldn't be possible without their trusty cardiovascular technologists. By providing information and images from echocardiograms, blood vessel studies and stress tests, they help prevent and treat heart attacks, strokes and other issues of the heart and its accompanying vessels. They specialize in different areas, including invasive cardiology, noninvasive technology and echocardiography. Thanks to the aging population and increased prevalence of heart disease, cardiovascular technologists will be in high demand from 2008 to 2018, as employment will grow 24 percent.
  2. Forensic Science Technician, $48,279 – $86,474: Criminal investigations require the careful collection, identification, classification and analysis from trained forensic science technicians. Testing items such as hair and fiber, they enable the team of investigators to develop hypotheses for their cases. On many occasions, they're asked to testify as expert witnesses during trials. Employment for all science technicians is expected to increase by 12 percent from 2008 to 2018.
  3. Radiation Therapist, $61,042 – $82,733: The ongoing fight against cancer relies on the expertise of radiation therapists, who use advanced radiation therapy equipment, such as the linear accelerator, to administer treatment. They work closely with doctors to design an appropriate course of action in a patient's battle and monitor their progress through it all. Radiation therapists must be organized, pay close attention to detail and genuinely care about the well-being of others. From 2008 to 2018, the occupation is expected to see 27 percent growth.
  4. Geological and Petroleum Technician, $52,080 – $81,389: Assisting petroleum engineers and other workers in the oil and gas industry, geological and petroleum technicians study the mineral and element characteristics of geological samples. Their ultimate goal, in many cases, is to find sources of oil and natural gas. Much of their work is performed in labs where they sometimes have to operate complex equipment. Employment for all science technicians is expected to grow by 12 percent from 2008 to 2018.
  5. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, $54,640 – $74,403: A sonogram not only enables the sonographer to monitor the health of a fetus, but it also enables them to monitor the condition of vital organs such as the heart and kidneys. With their knowledge of pathology and anatomy, they can interpret the information they've obtained in the company of a physician. Like the other jobs listed in the medical field, the demand for diagnostic medical sonographers remains healthy. Employment is expected to increase by 18 percent from 2008 to 2018.
  6. Nuclear Medicine Technologist, $59,613 – $72,719: Nuclear Medicine Technologists uncover the function of organs or tissues by administering drugs that emit radiation, allowing equipment to take images of the areas. It's an efficient and effective way for doctors to diagnose problems and determine the proper treatments. Technologists are familiar with the effects of radiation, and therefore take close care when performing their jobs. From 2008 to 2018, 15 percent employment growth is expected, though competition will be high because of the amount of trained nuclear medicine technologists.
  7. Police Officer, $41,805 – $71,190: For those who want to devote their lives to serving and protecting, a career as a police officer is most appealing. Although the specificity of their duties may vary depending on whether they work for the local, state or federal government, they devote much of their time to catching suspects and documenting their experiences for court use. A good police officer must possess courage and must be devoted to the location in which they work. They are invaluable, and because of that, they'll always be needed. Employment growth of 10 percent is expected from 2008 to 2018 — aspiring officers with the most training will have the easiest time finding jobs.
  8. Registered Nurse, $49,830 – $71,106: There will always be a strong demand for registered nurses given the importance of their duties. Good nurses are strong-willed and patient, as they deal with sick patients — some of whom may be disoriented and irrational — on a daily basis and are often required to work 12-hour shifts. Of course, they must be alert at all times and there's little margin for error. Not everyone possesses the traits to be a competent nurse, so the career should only be pursued by those with a passion for caring for others. There will be plenty of opportunity for aspiring nurses in the coming years — from 2008 to 2018, employment is expected to grow by 22 percent.
  9. Court Reporter, $44,467 – $69,622: The responsibilities of the court reporter are simple but difficult. They transcribe what is said during trials and depositions, and accuracy is of the utmost importance, as the meaning of a sentence and thus entire deposition can be altered by a single word. Because there's only one court reporter in a courtroom in most cases, the entire burden falls on them. Durability, patience and a commitment to their craft are essential. From 2008 to 2018, employment is expected to grow by 18 percent.
  10. Dental Hygienist, $41,644 – $65,532: Without dental hygienists, you would be making plenty more trips to the dentist, which can prove very costly. It's their duty to examine and clean patients' teeth using a variety of tools and methods. Because it's a job that involves taking people out of their comfort zones, a dental hygienist must be good with people, calming their patients when performing their work. One of the fastest growing occupations, employment is expected to grow by 36 percent from 2008 to 2018.
  11. Physical Therapist Assistant, $43,489 – $62,508: An associate's degree equips aspiring physical therapist assistants with the knowledge they need to effectively help people with injuries and disabilities, rebuilding their strength and flexibility. Under the supervision of a physical therapist, they also record the progress of patients and help determine the right courses of action. It should be noted that if you wish to become a physical therapist, you should pursue a master's degree, an altogether separate course. A large increase in employment, 35 percent, is expected for the occupation from 2008 to 2018.
  12. Respiratory Therapist, $45,306 – $60,260: You already know that oxygen is essential for life — that's why respiratory therapists are so important. Working in settings ranging from homes to hospitals, they treat people with breathing disorders, including those with emphysema, cystic fibrosis and asthma using breathing machines. From 2008 to 2018, the occupation will see an increase of 21 percent.
  13. Paralegal, $40,975 – $59,896: A lawyer is nothing without a competent paralegal. Acting as their lawyer's right-hand man or woman, they lend their legal knowledge to research for big cases, help draft documents for litigation and reports, and follow changing cases and laws. Typically, paralegals focus on one area of law where they're the most passionate. Because of their value to the legal field, employment for the profession is expected to grow by 28 percent from 2008 to 2018.
  14. Computer Support Specialist, $40,168 – $58,557: As technology continues to expand, the demand for trained individuals who are capable of solving the problems it brings forth will continue to rise. Using their knowledge of computers and their software, computer support specialists work for companies where they assist employees or provide technical support, or for software companies that release new software periodically. Employment for computer support specialists is expected to increase by 14 percent from 2008 to 2018.
  15. Funeral Director, $38,644 – $53,868: It takes a special personality to be a trusted funeral director — a good one can help bring closure to a family after a difficult loss. The job is inherently complicated, as they help families select a casket or urn, schedule wakes, burials and the appropriate accommodations, release obituaries, and prepare grave sites. The job requires great attention to detail and patience, but it can be tremendously rewarding. Prospective funeral directors won't have too difficult of a time finding jobs in the coming years — from 2008 to 2018, 12 percent growth is expected.

Eating Healthy on a College Student’s Budget

When ramen noodles are just a few cents a pack it can be hard to justify spending several dollars on a meal made with fresh ingredients when you're on an extremely tight budget. While the ramen might fill you up, it's not even coming close to meeting your nutritional needs, nor will frozen pizzas, hot pockets or copious amounts of Oreos and Funyuns. For that, you'll have to look for healthier foods which many college students may shy away from because they're not always budget-friendly. Yet eating healthy doesn't have to take away from money you'd rather spend going out with friends or buying clothes. It can be done on a budget very easily if you know how to shop. Here are some tips to make eating healthy on a shoestring budget a reality for struggling college students.

Shop smart. Whether you clip coupons, read weekly fliers or shop outside the big box stores for produce, there are loads of smart ways to reduce the cost of your groceries.

Pick up lots of grains and beans. Both taste good and are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Better yet, they cost next to nothing when bought in bulk. If you've never cooked either before, there are plenty of recipes to help you online. Or, you can opt for pre-cooked versions and simply nuke them in the microwave.

Watch out for processed foods. Yes, they are cheap and yes, sometimes they are quite tasty, but the bottom line is that they're simply not good for you. They provide empty calories with little or no nutritional value. So, opt for natural instead of processed. For instance, instead of a bag of chips go for nuts or trail mix.

Make more food than you need when you cook. Sounds wasteful, but if you freeze the leftovers you'll have a pre-made meal for later on down the road that's healthy and can feed you fast.

Plan meals. It might be a bit of a pain, but it can paya off big time when you're on a budget. It will let you better figure out what you can afford to eat and what meals you'll make over the course of the next few weeks. Plus, you can plan to cook a big meal one night and feast on leftovers for days.

It's not impossible to eat healthy as a college student but it will take some planning to do right. Knowing what to buy and how to get it for the best price is only the start of a healthy diet. You'll also need to learn how to start cooking and planning for meals. Once you learn these skills, however, you'll have them for a lifetime.

10 Netiquette Rules Every Job Seeker Should Know

As our lives become more and more involved with the internet, we have to become more aware of our web presence. Netiquette, the etiquette of the internet, is of more importance now than it ever has been before. With online classes, online job profiles, and online dating, the way we conduct ourselves online impacts every aspect of our lives. In the online world, our communication skills are tested. The only means of communication we have on the web is through the written word, which can cause several complications. For this reason, it is imperative to communicate clearly and professionally in all online arenas. The following netiquette rules will guide a job seeker in the world of professional internet use.

  1. Be Professional: While this notion encompasses almost all of what we will discuss, being professional in email correspondence means more than the words you use and the tone you convey. Something as simple as the email address you use can mar even the most well written message. When sending an email on a serious matter it is important that you appear serious on all fronts. If the email address you are sending from sounds silly or joking, it will reflect poorly upon you and can demean your professional credibility. Now, we realize that this advice may sound dated. After all, who uses the email address [email protected] anymore? But, we believe that this notion is important enough to repeat, even if it is archaic. As a tip for today's users, sending an email to a potential employer from a dot edu or a dot org email address can give you more credibility. For one thing, using a school or organization email address proves that the educational or professional information on your resume is true.
  2. Evaluate Your Tone: Deciding on an appropriate tone of voice to use in internet communication can be difficult. Because emailing can be so impersonal, people can sometimes come off in a manner that is more informal or harsh than they intend. When writing an email from the comfort of your own home, it can be easy to slip into an overly conversational tone or a tone that sounds too direct when in writing. Because email correspondence is so quick and easy, people often send off their thoughts without properly reviewing them. Often times, people will send an email without reading it over and evaluating the way the language sounds when read by the recipient. For this reason, it is important to judge what tone is appropriate for that particular correspondence before you begin and read over the message when you are done to make sure that it accurately conveys the desired tone. When communicating with an employer about an open position or an interest in the company, it is always important to sound positive and friendly. Thank the individual you are emailing for their time and express that you look forward to hearing back from them.
  3. Use Proper Language and Titles: Another essential aspect of professional emailing etiquette is a writing a proper greeting. Be sure to include a greeting that is both courteous and official when conversing with any individual in any professional setting. Always address the individual you are speaking to with the appropriate level of formality and (though it may sound silly) be sure you have spelled their name correctly. Do not address them as you would a friend. For example, it is not appropriate to simply right "hi" or "hey" at the beginning of an email. Always address whomever you are speaking to with their official title (whether it is Dr., Mr., or Mrs.). If you are unsure of what the individual's official title is default to Mr. or Mrs. to be safe. If the individual replies to you and has used his or her first name only, then it is safe to assume you can call them by their first name. However, to be safe and remain professional, it may be wise to refer to that person as Mr. or Mrs. through all email correspondence.
  4. Use Effective Communication: This tip is key to all aspects of writing and (of course) takes some practice. Writing effective, clear messages can be difficult at first. You must be thoughtful and careful with your language. Try to be as clear and concise in your email correspondence as possible. Once you have completed your message read (and reread) it before you click send. Be sure to define and restate your words when you think necessary. Keep in mind that if something sounds unclear to you it will certainly be unclear to your reader. Within the same notion, be mindful of the words you use and the phrases that you write. As discussed earlier, it can be difficult to determine tone in writing, so if you use a phrase that is dependent upon inflection when spoken it is probably not the best choice for written correspondence.
  5. Ask for Clarification: Never assume you know the intention of an email if you are unsure. It is important to ask the sender to clarify anything that confuses you. As discussed earlier, it is easy to misinterpret emails because tone can sometimes be difficult to determine. If you think that you are misunderstanding something the other individual is saying or that you have misinterpreted their tone, just ask. It is always safer to send a quick email asking for clarification then it is to email a reply that you are not completely confident about. A potential employer will appreciate your responsiveness and maturity when dealing with confusion. Be sure to place the reason for confusion on yourself and not the sender. You do not want to come off as accusatory or blaming. A simple way to do this is to write, "I did not understand´┐Ż", keeping the burden for the misunderstanding on yourself. Accepting blame also displays a level of maturity and confidence that is important within the professional world.
  6. Do Not Over-Send: While sending emails asking for clarification is important, it is also important that you use restraint when emailing. Do not clog an individual's inbox with messages that are not completely necessary. Be sure to reread the message you are having trouble understanding and make sure that you have no way of answering the question on your own. Although it can be difficult at times, you must consider that emailing is the same as having a face-to-face conversation. Every message you send is taking time from someone's day. You do not want to waste anyone's time or suggest to them that you do not consider their time valuable by over-sending emails.
  7. Write Appropriate Subject Lines: The subject line of an email, next to your name, is the first thing the recipient sees. For this reason, it is one of the most important (and most difficult) aspects of writing an email. It is important to convey a message in this line that is clear, concise, and informative. Give the recipient the bottom line of the message they are about to read without giving a complete summary of the entire email. Be precise and include details that allow the recipient to identify what you are talking about quickly and unambiguously. As a job seeker who is emailing a potential employer, never leave the subject line of an email blank. It is important to standout to the employer you are corresponding with. You want to grab their attention (in a professional manner) without looking too showy. Employers seeking new employees likely receive dozens and dozens of emails a day. Many will completely disregard an email sent without a subject.
  8. Use Proper Grammar and Spelling: It is endlessly important to use proper grammar and spelling in emails. Slipping into an overly conversational tone can be easy when communicating through email. While informal emails are fine when conversing with friends and family, you should always speak with potential employers in a professional manner. Messages that utilize poor grammar and have several misspelled words, demonstrate carelessness. If you do not take the time to edit your emails before you send them it will imply that you do not value the recipient's time. Quite simply, an email with poor grammar and bad spelling will not be taken seriously.
  9. Sell Yourself: Going hand-in-hand with using proper grammar and spelling, it is important to look good when seeking a job online. In today's techno-savvy world, many companies require job seekers to create an account or profile in order to apply for a position. In this profile, individuals should "sell" themselves to their potential employer. Your writing is the main thing that you will be judged by online (because, for the most part, it is the only thing available). Make yourself look good online by demonstrating professional writing etiquette. Be sure to display your strengths in these profiles. Also, it is important that any profiles that already exist online reflect you in a positive and professional manner. If you have a Facebook (or MySpace) account, be sure to make it display you in a positive and professional light or make it completely private and hidden from potential employers.
  10. Be Honest: While "selling yourself" in an online job profile is important to landing the position you desire, you must also be careful to remain completely honest. Because the world of the internet is faceless, it can be easy to fabricate information and think that you will get away with it. For many reasons, lying online can get you into more trouble than admitting your weaknesses (true in all aspects of life). Demonstrating your strengths and acknowledging your weaknesses shows a potential employer that you are willing and able to grow.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Distance Learning University

Deciding to go to college and actually picking a university is an important decision in the lives of many teenagers graduating from high school and considering their college options. While distance learning and taking college courses online to earn a degree are a great option for students, there are some things to consider to really understand what distance learning means and what online courses entail. Contrary to what some people believe, online courses are not all that easy and they do require students to work.

The common misconception that online courses are easy is simply not true. Online courses require students to be extremely disciplined and to stay on top of their studies. Because there are no set physical class lectures or meetings, professors expect students to stay focused and on schedule and to keep up with required readings so that they are ready for their assignments and exams. Depending on the school, most schools also have video lectures or require students to engage in web chats and discussions so it is especially important for students to know what is going on in their courses in order to provide input, which can be graded.

This also means that online courses require students to practice time management skills. Just because you aren't required to meet at school a couple of times a week, does not mean that you can slack off with assigned readings, assignments, quizzes, and exams. It actually means that you need to work hard to ensure that you know what it going on. This means you need to find a way to balance school with other commitments and ensure you are making time for your schoolwork and studies. It is probably a good idea to comb over your personal and school commitments to come up with a schedule that will allow you to balance school and your personal life.

Online courses also require that students have access to a computer or laptop on a regular basis and that they have access to an internet connection as well. This is important because all of the communication that will be done for the course will rely on a computer. Potential students should also know that because distance learning requires quite a bit of studying and reading, it is important to have a quiet and stress free area that is free from distraction to be able to do work there on a regular basis.

New Grads Should Make the Most of the Web

Job hunting for new grads can be rough, as many are entering highly saturated markets with loads of qualified applicant but few available positions. Making the most of all the resources available to them is something every new graduate should be doing and perhaps one of the most powerful tools in their arsenal is the web. Filled with opportunities to seek out jobs, research markets and even network with others in the field, no new grad should neglect to use the varied resources offered by the internet when searching for a job. Here are some ways the web can be most useful to those fresh to the job market.

Use alumni and business networks to forge connections. There are few better places to network than the web. Start getting in contact with alumni from your program and make use of sites like LinkedIn to connect with other professionals. The more your name is out there, the better your chances of getting a job.

Search for jobs on the big sites and smaller, more targeted ones as well. Big job search sites like Monster and CareerBuilder can be great places to find job openings, but don't neglect smaller niche sites as well. You may find jobs that better suits your needs on these sites with much less time spent searching.

Research companies in your field. It never hurts to know more about the biggest names in your field. Research companies to learn which might be the best match for you. You may even be able to find the names of people you can contact who can help you get work.

Keep in touch with professors and mentors. Not only can your professors and mentors help put you in touch with people in the field they may be able to help you out with writing letters of recommendation and directing you towards new opportunities.

Showcase your skills with an online resume or webpage. Give yourself a powerful web presence by developing your own website. Even if you're not web-savvy a number of places make it simple to set up a site which you can load up with your resume, portfolio and other valuable information about yourself.

While finding a job may be an uphill battle, depending on your major and level of experience, you don't have to make it any harder than it needs to be. Use these tips to make the most of the web and get your job search off to a great start.

10 Caffeine Substitutes Every Student Should Know About

We all know how it goes: the alarm goes off, snooze, snooze, crawl out of bed, and brew the morning coffee. For many people, our day doesn't even begin until the effects of our morning roast have set in. For many, the habit starts in college. With late night studying, long classes, and tons of homework, college students often use coffee just to get through the day and make it to the hibernation of the weekend. While caffeine certainly does the trick when it comes to quick boosts of energy throughout the day, it can also lead to some fairly dangerous side effects. Caffeine is the number one addiction in the world — shown to have negative effects on learning and memory (although these results are somewhat argued), caffeine is an unwise energy choice for active students. Luckily, there are several alternatives to caffeine that can enhance energy and promote good health.; however, it is important to remember that if you are a daily caffeine drinker, any substitute will take time to work as your body deals with caffeine withdrawal. Caffeine is very strong and rivals most other energizing products. With time, the body will get used to the lack of caffeine and embrace the other choices. The following is a list of ten caffeine substitutes that every student should know:

  1. Ginkgo Biloba: From the nut of the ginkgo biloba tree, this herbal extract has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. Ginkgo leaf extract has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including asthma, bronchitis, fatigue, and more. Ginkgo biloba works as a substitute for caffeine because it increases blood flow to the brain and the extremities. This increased flow of blood can resemble the affects of exercise on the body, causing an individual to feel more awake and energized. Individuals have reported better focus and improved memory from taking ginkgo biloba extract on a regular basis. Some doctors suggest taking the supplement to help treat circulatory diseases, sexual dysfunction, multiple sclerosis, and other health conditions. Ginkgo leaf can be taken as a capsule or (if you are in the habit of drinking a hot brew in the morning) made into a tea.
  2. Ginseng: Derived from the ginseng root, this extract (like ginkgo biloba) has been used for centuries in ancient Chinese medicine. Ginseng has been used to reduce depression and stress, treat type II diabetes, help sexual dysfunction in men, and (like ginkgo biloba) increase blood flow and act as a stimulant. Today, ginseng is an ingredient found in many different energy drinks on the market. While the amount of ginseng found within most of these energy drinks has not been medically proven to work as a stimulant, many individuals have reported that ginseng root makes them feel more awake and alert. The root is most often available in dried form and would be consumed orally. However, individuals are cautioned from consuming ginseng root without first discussing it with a doctor. Ginseng does have some known side effects and negative interactions that should be taken into consideration before it is used as a substitute for caffeine.
  3. Vitamin B12: As one of the eight B vitamins, B12 plays a key role in brain function, nervous system function and blood formation. Obviously, vitamin B12 is essential to the proper function of the body for many reasons. B12 is known for its mental clarity and energy enhancing properties. If you look at any energy drink on the market, B12 will likely be one of the front running ingredients. Furthermore, B12 plays an important role in the production of melatonin in the body. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates a healthy sleep cycle. Therefore, B12 not only helps keep you awake and alert during the day, but it also aids in a normal sleep pattern at night. There are many ways to take B12, but, because of the way the vitamin is absorbed into the system, the most effective way is sublingually (under the tongue).
  4. Teeccino and Cafix: These two products are brand names for two different "herbal coffees". Fairly new to the market, Teeccino and Cafix have become popular caffeine substitutes for individuals trying to kick their coffee addiction. These substitutes are primarily made from grains, figs, chicory, and beetroot. While they do not have the exact same effects as coffee as far as stimulation goes, Teeccino and Cafix mimic the familiar taste of coffee, but without any caffeine or acidity. Like anything, individuals switching from coffee to Teeccino or Cafix should anticipate a more difficult period of adjustment, but most people trying to kick their caffeine addiction give these two products high marks.
  5. Eat An Apple: It is well known that fruit contains the fructose levels and vitamins needed for natural energy boost. While this alertness may not feel the same as the alertness you receive from coffee (jittery and jumpy), fructose increases the blood-sugar and encourages alertness similar to caffeine wakefulness. The most energizing fruits are apples, grapes, peaches and citrus fruits due to their especially high fructose content. Furthermore, citrus fruits also contain high levels of vitamin C, which is known to boost energy. As noted before, if you are an avid coffee or other caffeine drinker, it will take some time to adjust to the lesser affects natural stimulants can have. However, fruit provides a much healthier and safer substitute to your daily caffeine intake.
  6. Go for a Jog: To some this sounds a bit backwards. Running is hard and it makes us tired. How can you say it will give us more energy? A little bit of aerobic exercise in the morning not only makes you physically and mentally healthier, it can also wake you up. Study after study has shown that the energizing effects of exercise are even stronger than that of caffeine. With a regular exercise routine, an individual can add years to their life and simultaneously feel more awake and alert throughout the day.
  7. Take a Swim: As with running or jogging in the morning, swimming in the morning can also elevate an individual's energy levels throughout day. Cardiovascular exercise promotes psychological health, physical fitness, and will kick-start your metabolism. Jumping into a cool pool first thing in the morning is sure to invigorate you for the activities to come throughout the remaining hours of the day. Furthermore, because running can be particularly harsh on the joints, swimming is an excellent alternative for cardiovascular exercise. Swimming is one of the best total body workouts an individual can get and is a relaxing way to begin the day.
  8. Eat Breakfast: While it may be a tired cliche, it is nonetheless true: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Having a well-rounded meal in the morning will help wake you up and keep you fueled for the rest of the day. All too often, people get caught up in the rush of the morning and neglect their first meal of the day. An individual's breakfast should be varied and nutritious. It is important that your breakfast include fresh fruit for an instant natural sugar boost as well as carbohydrates and protein for long term energy renewal. Nuts, yogurt, and eggs are great options for a healthy source of protein in the morning. Whole bran is an excellent choice for a healthy breakfast carbohydrate. Skipping breakfast makes maintaining focus more difficult throughout the day and can cause an individual to drag.
  9. Relax and Meditate: Exercise combined with some sort of meditation can be one of the best ways to wake up in the morning and stay energized throughout the day. Yoga and Pilates have become wildly popular in the last decade or so because they offer vigorous exercise along with an element of relaxing meditation. Yoga can lead to improved strength, flexibility, and mental clarity. Setting aside some time in the morning to center oneself and prepare for the day ahead can help with both maintaining energy throughout the day and managing stress. Pilates concentrates on core muscle strengthening, which will improve an individual's balance and posture. Studies show that slouching causes an individual to take in up to thirty percent less oxygen than they would when sitting with good posture. With less oxygen entering our system, slouching can actually harm our bodies' ability to keep our energy up. Therefore, because Pilates improves posture, it has an added energy boosting agent.
  10. Get a Good Night's Sleep: Not to sound glib, but the first thing an individual seeking more energy should evaluate is their sleeping habits. If you feel tired and run down as the day goes on, it may mean that you need more sleep. However, we all know that getting more sleep isn't quite that simple. With school, work, family, friends, and more sleep often becomes the last priority on our crowded schedule. While getting more sleep can be a challenge in today's hectic society, it is also the most logical solution to morning exhaustion. Getting a thorough night's rest is vital to feeling healthy and energized for the challenges of the day ahead. To promote a healthy sleeping routine, try to avoid drinking alcohol late at night when you have to wake early in the morning. Alcohol can make an individual feel sleepy, but the sleep gained from drinking too much is often less restful than normal sleep. Also, avoid watching television or staring at a computer screen within the thirty minutes before you hope to go to bed. The light from these types of electronics can hinder a person's ability to fall asleep efficiently. While it sounds silly, sleep is the best substitute for caffeine available.

Supplies Every Student Will Need for Finals

The end of the semester leaves most students harried, tired and simply ready for a break from the trials of balancing school, work and a social life. One last obstacle stands between students and freedom for a few weeks or months: final exams. While there is no surefire way to make finals a breeze, there are some ways that you can prepare ahead of time so that you won't be running around at the last minute pulling things together. As finals week approaches, make sure you get together these essential supplies you'll need for studying and test taking.

Paper: When you're studying you're going to need all kinds of paper. Stock up on printer paper for printing out notes, assignments and emails from professors. You'll also need to invest in some notebook paper for taking notes or copying down important ideas and don't forget a few sticky notes for jotting down to-dos and marking pages.

Snacks: Instead of stocking up on unhealthy snacks like frozen pizzas and chips, pick up lots of fruits, veggies and nuts at the store. They might not be as fun to eat but they will give you the vitamins and energy you need to power through studying and test-taking a lot more than empty snacks will.

Water: You might think that getting tons of soda and energy drinks is the best route to go at finals time, but you'd be wrong. While these drinks will give you a pick up in the short term, they'll also cause you to crash leaving you feeling horrible and groggy no matter now much sleep you've gotten. Stick with water instead. It'll ensure you're alert and healthy for test taking.

Writing utensils: You do not want to be short on writing utensils over finals week. Pick up extra pens and pencils before you start your tests and always carry spares with you as you never know when a pen or pencil might give out.

Office supplies: Office supplies like index cards, highlighters and page markers can be a big help in getting you organized and helping you to study in a more effective manner. Better yet, they're cheap and you can use them next semester as well.

Headphones: Finally, whether you live in the dorms or an apartment with roomies, you're going to need some peace and quiet if you're to ever get focused. Putting on headphones and listening to calming music or even investing in earplugs can be a good way to get the quiet you need.

If you're missing out on any of these supplies, make sure you stock up for finals week. That way, you'll be ready to take on any studying challenges that come your way and won't get distracted by trips to the store.

Studying on the Go

Studying on vacation never does seem appetizing. You have just left the kingdom of education – college – and all you are looking for is some much needed R & R. However, no one is asking you to sacrifice any of your time at the beach for some extra-credit work in the family living room. What is being addressed is an opportunity many students have that can make time go by, while also accomplishing a significant amount of work that no student wants to face when the just return to their dorm room. Studying while travelling is a great concept from any angle it is viewed. Let's say you have you a flight that is going to leave you in the air for a couple hours or longer – stuck up 3000 feet can cause time to tick slowly by. But when you have some homework you know you are going to face at some point over this vacation period, why not bring that folder or notepad with you and watch time "fly" by as you kill two birds with one stone. If there is the crying baby going off three rows back, pop on those headphones attached to your pre-made playlist you constructed right before you packed up all of your necessities for the trip. Allow yourself to get lost in a musical fun land as you use whatever motivation and educational ability you have in you.

If you are back on the ground and are enjoying the scenic views offered by any great American road trip or are leaning back in your adjustable chair on the train, there is no travel vehicle that will prevent you from laying the groundwork for your cursed vacation assignment(s). The to and from of any trip is probably a better time to do work than right in the middle of your fun time. Going to or coming from college prepares your mind for what just occurred and what is to come. Without you even being aware, your mind is ready to do a dance called – the research paper. When you are travelling, there is nowhere to escape beyond the usually odor-infested private bathroom. Studying is a great alternative to staring out a window aimlessly. Many public transportation systems now offer outlets for those who need to keep their laptop or learning device fully charged. No longer will you have to battle your battery power or feel rushed when trying to finish up any work.

10 Ways to Promote Your Liberal Arts Major on the Job Market

A liberal arts degree is one of the most diverse and intellectually stimulating educations a student can earn today. Whether your focus is in art history, English, geography or philosophy, liberal arts majors prepare students to work in a wide range of careers, using the invaluable skills they’ve learned in class. Here are 10 ways to promote your liberal art major on the job market:

  1. Highlight Your Interpersonal Skills: Liberal arts majors are the quintessential communicators. They enjoy talking, listening and asking questions while engaging in meaningful conversations. If this accurately describes you, it’s important to let your strong interpersonal skills show through during interviews and job-related conversations. Don’t shy away when asked about social, economic and political topics that you can expound on. These invaluable skills will set you apart from other candidates, who often struggle to listen closely, answer open-ended questions and ask important questions when necessary.
  2. Describe Your Adaptability: With a liberal arts education, you are prepared to handle anything that may be thrown at you. It’s important to promote your adaptability to change and how you deal with change. Liberal arts education is based on the premise of history, evolution and conflict resolution. Throughout your studies, you’ve adapted to different changes and shifting ideas or opinions. Perhaps, you worked a part-time job or were involved in an extracurricular activity during school, which forced you to manage change and become more flexible. Even if you cannot cite personal examples of adapting to change, you can talk about your willingness to adapt to changing positions and duties, as well as gaining new skills.
  3. Show Your Critical and Analytical Thinking Skills: Throughout your liberal arts studies, you’ve been exposed to a wide range of subjects that promote discussion and debate. You’ve also learned how to absorb and understand complex information through careful analysis and critical thinking. Employers like knowing that you’re a deep thinker, who takes the time to look at every situation from several different viewpoints before acting irrationally. However, it’s also important to note that you’re not afraid to act quickly, when need be.
  4. Promote Teamwork: Liberal arts majors spend a great deal of their college career engaging in group discussions, giving presentations and working as a team to complete projects. Whether you’ve noticed it or not, this kind of team building has helped you develop as a student and job candidate. Of course employers want to know that you can work independently, without a lot of direction and guidance, but they also want you to be able to work well as a team member. Go ahead and cite examples of working in teams for a school project or extracurricular activity. It’ll show that you’re cooperative, empathetic and an effective leader.
  5. Show Your Written and Oral Communication Skills: There’s no doubt about it – liberal arts majors have excellent written and oral communication skills. Whether it’s from all of those research papers or heated political debates, these activities have served you some good, and now is the time to let these skills show through. Communication skills are the most important qualities an employer looks for in an applicant. Having the ability to write well and speak clearly and intelligently will do wonders for you, as long as you show these skills to potential employers.
  6. Show That You’re Willing to Take Risks: Liberal arts majors are no strangers to taking risks. Just the fact you chose a major that gets criticized and overlooked a lot, shows that you can overcome challenges and naysayers. In this current job market, you cannot afford to be overly picky about what jobs you take or what job duties you’re willing to do. All college graduates have to start somewhere, and it typically begins at the bottom. Taking a risk by accepting a so-so job could lead to great things in your future, and that experience will always be better than none.
  7. Highlight Your Diversity: Even though liberal arts is a pretty common degree, it’s no longer the most popular field of study today. As the job market changes and college students transition to more narrowly-focused degrees, your liberal arts education will continue to stand out. You’ve probably taken everything from history, anthropology to classic literature and have a breadth of knowledge in a wide range of topics, and can discuss a little bit about everything. Use this to your advantage and talk to employers about your diverse education.
  8. Show That You’re an Avid Learner: Liberal arts majors are avid learners who have a genuine interest in a range of subjects. Employers want to hire graduates who enjoy learning and want to explore topics in their entirety. As a liberal arts graduate, you should promote your willingness to learn and gain new skills. Your eagerness to learn also shows that you are capable of taking on new responsibilities and want to keep growing as an employee.
  9. Promote Your Problem-Solving Skills: As a liberal arts student, there isn’t a problem or task too complex for you to handle. Using the skills you learned as an undergrad, you are trained to dissect problems, analyze issues and develop practical solutions. All employers can use workers with strong problem-solving skills, and you should certainly promote this during interviews.
  10. Show Your Business Savvy Skills: Liberal arts graduates have a general understanding of business topics and possess important technical skills needed to excel in various career fields. It’s important to show employers that you have the ability to think critically and solve complex problems that could be used in several different business jobs. If you want to work in business, you have to stress these skills and your interest in a business career. Make employers see how your skills are relevant to their needs and your willingness to learn additional skills can help them.