The Big Bang Theory Cast

The Big Bang Theory is a show with a growing acceptance. This television sitcom is about four highly intelligent co-workers at a science university, who live their personal lives in the fantasy world of science fiction television, comic books, and video games. More specifically the two principal characters are Leonard and Sheldon, who live across the hallway from the beautiful Penny. More information below on the characters of the show.

Leonard
Leonard is played by Johnny Galecki. As principal character Leonard Hofstadter is straight man to Sheldon Cooper’s comic. Galecki you may recall from the sitcom Roseanne where he played Darlene’s girlfriend David. On Roseanne Darlene was played by Sara Gilbert, and Gilbert has a reoccurring role. Also, fellow Roseanne alum Laura Metcalf appeared on the show as Mary Copper, Sheldon’s mother. Leonard is a PhD and roommates with Sheldon Cooper. Across the hallway from their apartment is Penny, a beautiful girl that Leonard desires.

Sheldon
Sheldon is played by Jim Parsons. Sheldon Cooper has an unusually high intelligence, a fact he doesn’t mind sharing. He completed his PhD at sixteen, another fact he doesn’t mind stating. His high intelligence also makes him very removed and self-centered. He has no notion of social norms except as an intellectual curiosity.

Penny
Penny is played by Kaley Cuoco. Penny living across the hall from Leonard and Sheldon has become friends all the boys of the group, but has a flirtatious relationship with Leonard. She another LA aspiring actress but currently works at the Cheesecake Factory. She usually dates men who treat her poorly, but made Leonard jealous by going out with a comic bookstore owner he knows.

Wolowitz
Wolowitz is played by Simon Helberg. Howard Wolowitz is an engineer, working on NASA projects, but only has a masters degree. This is in contrast to the rest of the group, who have their PhD. He considers himself a lady’s man, but he lives with his mother. Another element of the character the show uses is that he is Jewish. Also, unlike the Leonard or Sheldon who dress in geek fashion of science fiction t-shirts, Wolowitz has his own retro style reminiscent of the 1970’s. He always wears a turtle neck and a wide belt with a noteworthy belt buckle.

Raj
Raj is played Kunal Nayyar. Formally, Raj is Rajesh Koothrappali but is often referenced as Raj or Koothrappali. He originally is from India but came to America to study and work as a physicist, a move his parents disapproved because of the limited earning potential. Raj cannot speak to beautiful women while he is not drinking.

Big Bang Theory Episodes List

The Locus of Control Theory

The Locus of Control Theory postulates that every human being has a “place”- the locus where he/she feels the control of his/her life rests; this place or locus of control can either be internal or external; and it is this position that creatively determines how much “in control” an individual feels about his/her life. 

People with an internal locus generally feel that they have control over their lives and circumstances; they take initiative and seek to positively change their lives. Individuals with an external locus feel that their lives are controlled by circumstances; they feel dis-empowered to do anything about their lives leaving everything to “fate”. 

These people may come from the same family; may have the same jobs and live in the same community – but with two different sets of beliefs. If I asked you which of the two groups would be happiest in life, you certainly wouldn’t have to think long and hard to give an answer. People with an internal locus of control are generally the happiest in life; even in the midst of negativity, they still feel they are in control and that they have within them the ability to make the change. The ones with an external locus of control easily succumb to feelings of helplessness in times of difficulty; they are generally the most miserable in society. 

All this is in accordance with the Law of Control that Brian Tracy talks about in his book entitled Million Dollar Habits. This Law states that “you feel happy to the degree to which you feel in control of your life; you feel unhappy to the degree to which you feel you are not in control of your life.” Your levels of confidence will therefore be largely determined by how much you feel in control of your life and everything happening to you. 

In view of the above, where do you think the locus of control lies in your life? Do you feel that you are in control of your life? Or do you think that you are just a pawn in the hands of fate? Conduct an honest self assessment; to which group do you think you belong? – Internal locus of control? Or is it External? One of the indicators you would want to use is checking the level at which you employ your initiative. Are you the kind that takes initiative or are you always waiting for instruction? Are you the happiest around even in times of difficulty? How often do you have the depressing feelings helplessness? 

There are tools on the Internet that can also help you find out your locus of control. I will not recommend any; seek and you will find. 

I remember the last time I did a Locus of Control test on the Internet; the result was 50 on a scale of 1 to 100; with 1 being the most external and 100 being the most internal. I am not so sure how scientific this test was; it involved honestly answering a list of questions about life; they are no right or wrong answers with such tests; you just answer them as honestly as possible. After the test, I got a report showing my score and what it meant in terms of my locus of control. I was amazed at its accuracy. It was like a window into my mind showing me even the most flirting thought patterns and beliefs. 

What do you think is the best locus of control- is it external or internal? For me an internal locus of control seems empowering. Anything that empowers you is best is best for you; anything that weakens you is probably not good for you. 

I honestly believe that God designed us to have an Internal Locus of Control. The Bible talks so much about the Kingdom of God being in the inside of each one of us. It also talks about how that God has put “eternity in the hearts of men.” In another place, it is written “He who is inside of us is greater that He who is in the world.” 

What do you think?

Christopher Kabamba is an IT professional with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from the Copperbelt University, Zambia. He is a student of personal growth and development. He desires to take up a professional career as an Author, Public Speaker and Life Coach. He documents some of his thoughts on Personal Growth and Development on his blog: http://kabamba.wordpress.com

Information Systems Theory 101

“The first on-line, real-time, interactive, data base system was double-entry bookkeeping which was developed by the merchants of Venice in 1200 A.D.”
– Bryce’s Law

 

Systems work is not as hard as you might think. However, we have a tendency in this business to complicate things by changing the vocabulary of systems work and introducing convoluted concepts and techniques, all of which makes it difficult to produce systems in a consistent manner. Consequently, there is a tendency to reinvent the wheel with each systems development project. I believe I owe it to my predecessors and the industry overall to describe basic systems theory, so that people can find the common ground needed to communicate and work. Fortunately, there are only four easy, yet important, concepts to grasp which I will try to define as succinctly as possible.
 


1. THERE ARE THREE INHERENT PROPERTIES TO ANY SYSTEM

Regardless of the type of system, be it an irrigation system, a communications relay system, an information system, or whatever, all systems have three basic properties:

A. A system has a purpose – such as to distribute water to plant life, bouncing a communications signal around the country to consumers, or producing information for people to use in conducting business.

B. A system is a grouping of two or more components which are held together through some common and cohesive bond. The bond may be water as in the irrigation system, a microwave signal as used in communications, or, as we will see, data in an information system.

C. A system operates routinely and, as such, it is predictable in terms of how it works and what it will produce.

All systems embrace these simple properties. Without any one of them, it is, by definition, not a system.

For our purposes, the remainder of this paper will focus on “information systems” as this is what we are normally trying to produce for business. In other words, the development of an orderly arrangement or grouping of components dedicated to producing information to support the actions and decisions of a particular business. Information Systems are used to pay employees, manage finances, manufacture products, monitor and control production, forecast trends, process customer orders, etc.

If the intent of the system is to produce information, we should have a good understanding of what it is…

 

2. INFORMATION = DATA + PROCESSING

Information is not synonymous with data. Data is the raw material needed to produce information. Data by itself is meaningless. It is simply a single element used to identify, describe or quantify an object used in a business, such as a product, an order, an employee, a purchase, a shipment, etc. A data element can also be generated based on a formula as used in a calculation; for example:

Net-Pay = Gross-Pay – FICA – Insurance – City-Tax – Union-Dues – (etc.)

Only when data is presented in a specific arrangement for use by the human being does it become information. If the human being cannot act on it or base a decision from it, it is nothing more than raw data. This implies data is stored, and information is produced. It is also dependent on the wants and needs of the human being (the consumer of information). Information, therefore, can be defined as “the intelligence or insight gained from the processing and/or analysis of data.”

The other variable in our formula is “processing” which specifies how data is to be collected, as well as its retrieval in order to produce information. This is ultimately driven by when the human being needs to make certain actions and decisions. Information is not always needed “upon request” (aka “on demand”); sometimes it is needed once daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, etc. These timing nuances will ultimately dictate how data is collected, stored, and retrieved. To illustrate, assume we collect data once a week. No matter how many times during the week we make a query of the data base, the data will only be valid as of the last weekly update. In other words, we will see the same results every day for one week. However, if we were to collect the data more frequently, such as periodically throughout the day, our query will produce different results throughout the week.

Our formula of “I = D + P” makes an important point: if the data is changed, yet the processing remains the same, the information will change. Conversely, if the data remains the same, yet the processing changes, the information will also change. This leads to a compelling argument to manage data and processing as separate by equal resources which can be manipulated and reused to produce information as needed.

3. SYSTEMS ARE LOGICAL IN NATURE AND CAN BE PHYSICALLY IMPLEMENTED MANY DIFFERENT WAYS

An information system is a collection of processes (aka, “sub-systems”) to either collect and store data, to retrieve data and produce information, or a combination of both. The cohesive bond between these components is the data which should be shared and reused throughout the system (as well as other systems). You will observe we have not yet discussed the most suitable way to physically implement the processes, such as through the use of manual processes, computer programs, or other office technology. In other words, at this stage, the sub-systems of the system simply define logically WHAT data must be processed, WHEN it must be processed, and who will consume the information (aka “end-users”), but it most definitely does not specify HOW the sub-system is to be implemented.

Following this, developers determine a suitable approach for physically implementing each sub-system. This decision should ultimately be based on practicality and cost effectiveness. Sub-systems can be implemented using manual procedures, computer procedures (software), office automation procedures, or combinations of all three. Depending on the complexity of the sub-system, several procedures may be involved. Regardless of the procedures selected, developers must establish the precedent relationships in the execution of the procedures, either sequentially, iteratively, of choice (thereby allowing divergent paths). By defining the procedures in this manner, from start to end, the developers are defining the “work flow” of the sub-system, which specifies HOW the data will be physically processed (including how it is to be created, updated, or referenced).

Defining information systems logically is beneficial for two reasons:

* It provides for the consideration of alternative physical implementations. How one developer designs it may very well be different than the next developer. It also provides the means to effectively determine how a purchased software package may satisfy the needs. Again, the decision to select a specific implementation should be based on practicality and cost justification.

* It provides independence from physical equipment, thereby simplifying the migration to a new computer platform. It also opens the door for system portability, for example; our consulting firm helped a large Fortune 500 conglomerate design a single logical payroll system which was implemented on at least three different computer platforms as used by their various operating units; although they physically worked differently, it was all the same basic system producing the same information.

These logical and physical considerations leads to our final concept…

 

4. A SYSTEM IS A PRODUCT THAT CAN BE ENGINEERED AND MANUFACTURED LIKE ANY OTHER PRODUCT.

An information system can be depicted as a four level hierarchy (aka, “standard system structure”):

LEVEL 1 – System

LEVEL 2 – Sub-systems (aka “business processes”) – 2 or more

LEVEL 3 – Procedures (manual, computer, office automation) – 1 or more for each sub-system

LEVEL 4 – Programs (for computer procedures), and Steps (for all others) – 1 or more for each procedure

Click for diagram:
http://www.phmainstreet.com/mba/pride/issss.jpg

Each level represents a different level of abstraction of the system, from general to specific (aka, “Stepwise Refinement” as found in blueprinting). This means design is a top-down effort. As designers move down the hierarchy, they finalize design decisions. So much so, by the time they finish designing Level 4 for a computer procedure, they should be ready to write program source code based on thorough specifications, thereby taking the guesswork out of programming.

The hierarchical structure of an information system is essentially no different than any other common product; to illustrate:

LEVEL 1 – Product

LEVEL 2 – Assembly – 2 or more

LEVEL 3 – Sub-assembly – 1 or more for each assembly

LEVEL 4 – Operation – 1 or more for each sub-assembly

Again, the product is designed top-down and assembled bottom-up (as found in assembly lines). This process is commonly referred to as design by “explosion” (top-down), and implementation by “implosion” (bottom-up). An information system is no different in that it is designed top-down, and tested and installed bottom-up. In engineering terms, this concept of a system/product is commonly referred to as a “four level bill of materials” where the various components of the system/product are defined and related to each other in various levels of abstraction (from general to specific).

This approach also suggests parallel development. After the system has been designed into sub-systems, separate teams of developers can independently design the sub-systems into procedures, programs, and steps. This is made possible by the fact that all of the data requirements were identified as the system was logically subdivided into sub-systems. Data is the cohesive bond that holds the system together. From an engineering/manufacturing perspective it is the “parts” used in the “product.” As such, management of the data should be relegated to a separate group of people to control in the same manner as a “materials management” function (inventory) in a manufacturing company. This is commonly referred to as “data resource management.”

This process allows parallel development, which is a more effective use of human resources on project work as opposed to the bottleneck of a sequential development process. Whole sections of the system (sub-systems) can be tested and delivered before others, and, because data is being managed separately, we have the assurance it will all fit together cohesively in the end.

The standard system structure is also useful from a Project Management perspective. First, it is used to determine the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for a project complete with precedent relationships. The project network is then used to estimate and schedule the project in part and in full. For example, each sub-system can be separately priced and scheduled, thereby giving the project sponsors the ability to pick and chose which parts of the system they want early in the project.

The standard system structure also simplifies implementing modification/improvements to the system. Instead of redesigning and reconstructing whole systems, sections of the system hierarchy can be identified and redesigned, thereby saving considerable time and money.

This analogy between a system and a product is highly credible and truly remarkable. Here we can take a time-proven concept derived from engineering and manufacturing and apply it to the design and development of something much less tangible, namely, information systems.

CONCLUSION

Well, that’s it, the four cardinal concepts of Information Systems theory. I have deliberately tried to keep this dissertation concise and to the point. I have also avoided the introduction of any cryptic vocabulary, thereby demonstrating that systems theory can be easily explained and taught so that anyone can understand and implement it.

Systems theory need not be any more complicated than it truly is.

If you would like to discuss this with me in more depth, please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail at timb001@phmainstreet.com

(For Milt and Les).

Tim Bryce is a writer and management consultant located in Palm Harbor, Florida. http://www.phmainstreet.com/timbryce.htm

He can be contacted at: timb001@phmainstreet.com

Copyright © 2009 Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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The Theory of Diversity

We are living in a new economy in our world today, placing incredible demands on businesses and their employees. Hours are being cut, pay is slashed, unemployment is higher and, along with this poor economy, so many other critical fundamentals of society are being affected in negative ways. It requires us to adjust our financial thinking and strategy. I encourage you to do whatever it takes to hold onto and increase your prosperity or use this opportunity to gain it. It can be done, even in times like this. It’s great to feel optimistic about the financial future of the world, but we also need to be realistic. The global economy is extremely tough and better times do not appear to be on the horizon. Therefore, it is absolutely critical that we do what we can to prepare for these times. We need to take action and take our finances into our own hands. And, if we want to continue providing wealth and comfort for our families, we need to do so as soon as possible.

The most critical principle of prosperity is diversity. Having only one source of income is deadly. Whenever you are over-dependent on any one thing, you are asking for trouble. This could be one marketing method, one product, and worst of all, one source of income, or one job. Most people in America, and throughout the world, do depend on one job or income source. In the past, this usually seemed to have worked out. But, times have changed and a very large number of people who ignore this principle of diversity are headed for disaster. Intelligent, responsible people are streaming to the internet for additional income sources. They are gaining education and experience in various methods so they can grasp a hold of the powerful leverage which is waiting for, and in the grasp of, anyone to use.

The business transformation the internet is providing is beyond belief. It is a global trend. It is easier and less expensive to begin a home internet business than it ever has been. And, it is more doable to earn incomes beyond imagination. No one is left out of these escalating returns with unheard of benefits. To make the most of internet diversification, and escape your single-source dependence, you will need a step-by-step proven internet system. The system should provide you with a website, marketing funnels, education sources, marketing methods, networking, and training. When you do diversify your income with a powerful, leveraged, online source, your financial future will be secure and stable, and your life will be improved beyond your wildest dreams. It is never too late to start, and it has never been so doable.

You can make unbelievable amounts of money in a short period of time with an internet business of your own. And, you can do it all from the comfort of your own home. The sooner you start, the sooner you will enjoy true wealth, financial security and true freedom. The benefits of your own home internet business go beyond the context of this article. But, best of all, it will diversify your income sources. Therefore, it will mitigate your overall financial vulnerability. You will no longer be a one-income-source statistic, waiting for collapse. Congratulations on diversifying! It’s an essential strategy to your financial success!

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Band Theory – Semiconductors

Electrical resistivity is a term used to describe the extent to which a material resists the flow of electric charges through it. Alternatively, electrical conductivity is the ability of a material to conduct electricity and is given as the reciprocal of resistivity.  A material that has very low electrical conductivity is said to be a conducting material, e.g, metals. A material that completely resists the flow of electric current through it, is called an insulator, e.g., plastics. There is another class of materials called as the semiconductors that possess electrical conductivity values in a range intermediate to that of conductors and insulators, e.g., silicon, germanium etc,. the properties of semiconductors pertain to solid state conduction. Semiconductors are an integral part of electronics.

There are numerous devices that can be fabricated using semiconductors. A few examples include transistors, diodes and solar power cells.

Energy band theory:

The behavior of semiconductors is explained using the energy band theory. Electrons are known to possess energies that are by virtue of the energy level in which they exist. At the ground level electrons possess inherent energy to be bound tightly to atoms in the material. It is also known that electrons can be raised to a higher level of energy by way of supplying external energy in terms of heat. Such a process is called excitation and it is possible to excite an electron to a level where it is displaced from its atom and exists as a free electron. The amount of energy required to convert a bound electron into a free electron is called the excitation energy and depends on the type of atom.

Such energy levels exist in the form of energy bands. The ground level band is termed as the valence band and is composed of electrons that fulfill the valency of the atom. There exists a higher energy level above the valence band called the conduction band where electrons can exist as free electrons and are hence capable of movement. Moving charges can be conducted across a medium to produce electric current. The gap or distance between the valence and conduction bands in an atom is called as the energy gap or band gap. The length of this gap varies depending on the type of conducting material. Good conductors are found to have zero band gap, wherein the valence and conduction bands overlap. Insulators have band gaps greater than 7 eV making it impossible to create free electrons in the material. Semiconductors are found to have band gaps in the range of 2eV to 4eV wherein at slightly elevated temperatures it is possible to generate free electrons in the material and convert them into conductors. This temperature varies with the type of semiconducting material. At room temperatures, semiconductors behave like  insulators.

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