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15/07/24: Academic Supplement 7

Writing an Academic Journal

Publishing papers in academic journals is the mechanism by which scholarship moves forward, and is also important to researchers in terms of its impact on their career progression. Therefore, researchers seeking publication should carefully consider all relevant factors.

Journal article - Student Academic Success

Read the following article and answer the following questions: 

1-Have you ever written an Academic Journal? Have you ever heard of one?

2- In your opinion, are Academic Journals important? In what way?

3- Which of the tips do you find the most useful? Why?

4- Based on what you’ve read in our Academic Supplement 1, what other tips would you add?





09/07/24: Unit 9

The Earliest and Greatest Engineers Were the Incas

Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough treks to Peru to see how Machu Picchu was built

Huinchiri, PeruIn American universities, engineering students typically learn that military and civil engineering originated in Europe, and they study the European tradition almost exclusively—with maybe a glance back at Egypt or China. But the Inca, whose great era of imperial expansion ran roughly from 1438 to 1533, were also master builders, and Smithsonian-affiliated researchers are now bringing their accomplishments to light.

I saw examples of Incan engineering prowess firsthand when I visited Peru in 2011. I walked segments of what was once a 24,000-mile network of roads and gazed in amazement at civil and religious works perched atop, or on the sides of, steep mountains near Cuzco, the Incan capital. The structures at Machu Picchu are the best-known of the Incan triumphs, but there is so much more.

In November, the American Indian Museum hosted a public symposium on Incan engineering accomplishments and the lessons they hold for builders today, particularly in the area of sustainability.

MIT professor John Ochsendorf, one participant, has become an authority on the rope bridges built to traverse the gorges in the Andes—bridges so awe-inspiring that upon seeing them, neighboring peoples would sometimes submit to the Inca without a fight. Later, conquistadors would be reduced to crawling, petrified, across the swaying rope contraptions, although they could bear the weight of columns of soldiers.

Ochsendorf has studied historical records, built a replica bridge and visited the last remaining Incan bridge, in remote Huinchiri, Peru. It is fashioned from native grasses woven into threads, in turn braided into ever-bigger ropes. Each year nearby villagers ceremoniously cut down the existing bridge, let it float away—it’s 100 percent biodegradable—and replace it.

Ochsendorf’s tests suggest that the bridge’s main cables can support 16,000 pounds, and he believes the cables of the sturdiest Incan bridges, incorporating leather, vines and branches, could have supported 200,000 pounds.

Christine M. Fiori, associate director of the Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virginia Tech, began studying Incan roads five years ago, using tools like ground-penetrating radar. She expected to find deep foundations but didn’t. How could they have survived? “Primarily because the Inca controlled water,” Fiori says: They observed its natural course and directed it, preventing erosion.

As someone who spent 35 years teaching engineering, I know we can learn much from the Inca, who intuitively grasped how to build structures that harmonized with nature. The engineering symposium is part of a broad effort at the American Indian Museum to explore the complex relationship between Incan technology and culture that will culminate in a grand exhibition, in 2015, devoted to the Incan Road.


Answer the following questions:

  1. In your opinion, do you think we can learn a lot from the Inca in terms of engineering?
  2. Why do you think engineering professors and students worldwide have not paid too much attention to Inca’s accomplishments?


30/10/13: Welcome!

Welcome to the blog that has been specifically designed for Comprensión Lectora en Inglés – Course CLECV Plus 3 – administered by Idiomas Católica.

This blog aims at providing opportunities for participants to exchange information related to the course. Although our reading course is not meant to develop oral or written communication skills, we have noticed that many of you can and wish to “have your say” in English about issues that we look at in the course. Your participation in this blog can award you up to 5 points in the assessment area labelled Tareas de Evaluación Continua.

Ready to begin? It is easy. The questions on the next message are waiting to be answered! You may want to participate twice. The first time, just write your answers to the questions. The second time, you are supposed to reply somebody else’s answer.

Enjoy the experience!


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