September 29, 2012

Cultural Norms of the United States of America

Hello folks. Today I would like to write on an interesting topic. If you are already in U.S or planning to come to U.S, it is very important to know the cultural norms of the United States, so that you won't get into any serious troubles. In fact it helps you understand Americans more quickly and assists in your career growth.

Gender Equity : All people in the United States are to be treated as equals. In other cultures women may fall into what is viewed as "traditional" or may be treated as second-class citizens.

Dating : It is a common place for people in the United States to g through a series of romantic attachments before settling into a marriage. Dating is generally seen as a way to test which type of person you will want to spend the rest of your life with, without committing to do so. In the United States, to assist this process there are companies who provide dating or "matchmaking" services to people seeking partnership. Although these services provide people with partners, arranged marriages are not common in U.S Culture.

Dating in non-western world may be seen as inappropriate because a person should only have on intimate or romantic attachment for their lives.

Body Language : People in the United States on the whole tend to speak with their bodies, such as using their hands when they speak and do not view it as distracting.

In other cultures people tend to do less speaking with their bodies and do not make such dramatic movements.

Physical Contact : Depending on the situation light physical contact such as pats on the back, head or shoulders can be seen as harmless. Touching in inappropriate places or touching a person against their will, even if you think its innocent, is wrong. Physical contact between men is generally reserved for greetings, which may be simply a handshake, or a pound hug. It is not typical for men & men or men & women to kiss on the cheek when greeting.

In other cultures, physical contact may be reserved only for members of the same sex or between spouses in private. Physical contact may be reserved solely for greetings or goodbyes.

Public Displays of Affection : In the United States it is commonplace to see people who are romantically involved hug, hug, hold hands, or have their arms around each other.

Public Displays of Affection in other countries may be considered shameful to do in public or is meant to be private.

Manner of Dress : In the United States people may be more casual(informal) with how they dress, especially in school settings,. Americans have a tendency to be more revealing with their attire but this is not a reflection on their attitudes.

In other cultures a certain dress code may be required in school and may be more conservative (less revealing) in their personal lives.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Culture : In the United States LGBT Culture is widely accepted, in fact some states in the US have passed laws allowing same-sex marriage and civil unions.

In other cultures GLBT Culture may be illegal, taboo, "frowned upon" or simply never spoken of. Then again it may be accepted on the whole.

Hope that helps. See you next time with another interesting post.

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September 24, 2012

Register for Stanford Univeristy Free Online Computer Networking Course

Free Online Course Title: An Introduction to Computer Networks

Start Date: October 8, 2012

About the Course

This is an introductory course on computer networking, specifically the Internet. It focuses on explaining how the Internet works, ranging from how bits are modulated on wires and in wireless to application-level protocols like BitTorrent and HTTP. It also explains the principles of how to design networks and network protocols. Students gain experience reading and understanding RFCs (Internet protocol specifications) as statements of what a system should do. The course grounds many of the concepts in current practice and recent developments, such as net neutrality and DNS security.
You will be awarded a signed certificate from Stanford University after successful completion of the course. Though this online course gets you zero credits, the certificate will help you finding your future endeavors. Watch the following video from course instructors.

So why late. Register for the course here: Signup


Nick McKeown has been a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Stanford University since 1995. He grew up in the UK and received his BEng from Leeds University in 1986. He moved to the US in 1989 to do an MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at University of California at Berkeley. His research group works on new Internet architectures, software-defined networks and how to make routers faster. He co-founded several companies based on technology started at Stanford. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and recently received the ACM Sigcomm "Lifetime Achievement" Award.

Philip Levis is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He received his Sc.B. from Brown University in 1999, his M.S. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2001, and his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 2005. In 2008 he received an NSF CAREER award and a Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellowship. He researches the design and implementation of networked systems, including operating systems and protocols for embedded wireless devices, wireless mesh protocols, network infrastructure for virtual worlds, and energy efficient computing. The results of his research, including the TinyOS operating system, nesC language, Trickle algorithm, and the collection tree protocol (CTP), have been adopted by tens of thousands of users and researchers worldwide. He is a co-founder and the President of Kumu Networks. He really likes excellent engineering and has a self-destructive aversion to low-hanging fruit.


Students need an introductory course in probability, a strong understanding of bits and bytes, and knowledge of how computers lay out data in memory.
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University of Maryland, College Park to Offer Free Online Courses

Four of University of Maryland, College Park’s most popular courses will be available online this spring 2013 for free.

The university is the most recent to offer classes at no charge through Coursera, an online platform that aims to expand access to education by giving users free to access courses from well-known universities, including Stanford, Columbia, Princeton and Johns Hopkins.

Students who take the courses online can not earn credit from the university, but can receive a certificate from Coursera.

The University of Maryland courses that will be available through Coursera are:
  • Developing Innovative Ideas for Real Companies
  • Women and the Civil Rights Movement
  • Exploring Quantum Physics
  • Software Defined Networking
Coursera announced its first university partners in April and now works with 33 schools.
Courtesy: Business Journal

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September 22, 2012

Documents Required to Apply for SSN (Social Security Number)

In my previous post, I explained the eligibility criteria to apply for Social Security Number. You can find the post here: Eligibility Criteria to get your SSN (Social Security Number)

In this post I would like to tell about the necessary documents required to apply for Social Security Number. To start you must fill out an application, FORM SS-5.

You can get the form online at: Social Security Form SS-5 or at the Social Security Office. You must bring this form, in person, to any Social Security Office.

Bring with you all of the following documents to Social Security Office:

  • Passport
  • F-1 or J-1 Visa
  • SEVIS I-20 or DS 2019
  • Signed Employment Offer (F-1) or Letter (J-1) from University position
  • Valid I-94
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Eligibility Criteria to get your SSN (Social Security Number)

If you are in U.S, you may know the importance of SSN(Social Security Number) and if you are planning to come to U.S you should know the importance of SSN. Whether it might be getting a house on lease, getting a credit card, taking the U.S driving license test or want to get a bank loan? Almost every where you will be asked for your SSN. But in order to get your SSN you should know the eligibility criteria.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be a valid F-1 or J-1 Visa status student.( Wait for 10-15 days after entering the U.S to ensure your entry information has been processed at the port of entry )
  • F-1 Students must bring to Social Security Office, a special "Offer of employment form" signed by supervisor and an authorized university International Student Center personal.
  • J-1 students must have an authorization letter from the university International Student Center in addition to other documents.
  • F-1 and J-1 students must be registered for a full credit course load and the university Internatinal student center must have reported your registration to SEVIS before you go to the Social Security Office.
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