Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Archive for March, 2013
March 29th, 2013

1. exploit desire for new challenges

2. use the affinity for socialization

3. be generous with feedback and reinforcement

4. promote and support work-life balance

5. make on-boarding a super experience

What do you think about this advice?




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March 29th, 2013

This era is all about technology. From desktops to handheld computers, the development of technology is rapid and unobstructed.  Nowadays, computers can be held in your hand and with the internet, just about any information can be retrieved at any time. However, the easy accessibility of data, useful or not, can also compromise attention affecting productivity. Most young people today may not notice the attention deficiency related to the use of the internet and computers. A student doing his homework about the history of American liberty, for example, will most probably use the internet to search on the subject. Throughout the time spent doing homework, how many times will the student open Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, or any other website unrelated to the homework? How many times will the student be distracted, or how many minutes, maybe even hours, will be wasted?

So since attention and productivity are closely related, here are some mobile applications which can aid productivity. It is important to note though that just like about any habit, productivity is a practice and one has to exercise this practice on a daily basis to improve.

1. Remember the Milk - this app helps you remember tasks you have to do throughout the day. Simply add the tasks you have to do each day, customize the length of time you need to do it and/or customize whether you have repeat the tasks daily, weekly, etc. (available for iOS and Android – free)

2. Pomodoro – this app helps you to focus. Pomodoro is a timer with 25 minutes on the clock. After 25 minutes, you are entitled for a short or long break, depending on your preference. This could work for people who are more productive under pressure. It is also based on an honor system – don’t look at anything else aside from what you have to do! (available for iOS and Android – free)

3. Google Keep - it helps you take down notes, put notes on your desktop etc.  (available for Android – free)

Additional tips:

1. Find a good room to work in. Look for a place you’ll be comfortable working – will it be a cafe, at home or the library? Avoid crowded and loud places.

2. Whenever you have a task, close all the other tabs unrelated to your work (especially Facebook!). This will keep you from distraction and keep you focused.

2. If the place is too quiet and you feel uncomfortable working, listen to music. I personally pick classical and instrumental pieces to keep me company. I avoid popular songs as I will be unconsciously singing along with it. Listening to calm and peaceful music can relax your brain from too much noise and may increase productivity.

Of course, one shouldn’t solely rely on these mobile apps and tips. It takes willpower, determination and responsibility to finish the task at hand. Before you know it, you’ll feel so good that you finished X more tasks than you normally would have.

Guest editor  – Kristine

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March 29th, 2013

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A previous post featured the website, edX (, which provides free courses from various universities such as MIT, Harvard University, UC Berkeley etc. Another website offering free courses, no matter what your age, is Coursera (, which offers 331 free courses taught by 62 prestigious universities and colleges from all over the world. This includes Stanford University, National University of Singapore, California Institute of Technology, etc.

Online courses are becoming more prominent nowadays as the use of the internet is continually growing around the world. The great thing about these websites is that they promote education even when you’re already out of school! Moreover, they provide the opportunity for students (like me) to re-learn and review subject matters taught in school.

Guest editor – Kristine

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March 27th, 2013

Water Pressures was screened at Northwestern on 20 March and will be shown at Columbia on 5 April.  Kudos to the groups who gathered and we hope some great action plans result.

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On Mar 1st 2013, IBM Guadalajara organized an event to deliver the Students for a Smarter Planet award to the professor Ing. Jose Luis Torres. In addition, we had the pleasure to recognize the group of students who have been working with the “SIMOVU (Public transportation Real Time Tracking System)” project at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara. Some press (including a National TV network – TVAzteca) came to the event and had the opportunity to interview a couple of students.




 Professor Jose Luis Torres and Francisco Javier de la Mora (Technical Leader)

At the end, we had the chance to talk with the students and hear their plans for the project (for Summer 2013 and after that). We’ll look forward to hear more successful stories from the UAG Students For a Smarter Planet group soon.

UAG Students for a Smarter Planet chapter

Student Juan Pablo Costa interviewed by TVAzteca

Student Juan Pablo Costa interviewed by TV Azteca

Way to go!

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