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Saturday, August 24, 2019

Five classes you should take at UMKC | Course Catalog - University News

The UMKC course catalog is 1,113 pages long and lists hundreds of classes, according to Mason Dredge, University News.

Photo: University of Missouri–Kansas City (UMKC)
That’s a lot to ponder, especially at the start of a new school year when you’ve got to navigate moving in, getting to know the layout of the campus and memorizing where Kasey the Kangaroo is at all times, so you never have to cross paths with him.

That leaves little time to consider everything UMKC has to offer when it comes to picking classes. Luckily, we’ve picked five of the many classes you might consider for future semesters...

So if you’re ever in the need of a few easy credit hours or an excuse to relax for a couple hours (you’d be hard pressed to find a college student that isn’t), give some of these classes a look. If none of them strike an interest, you could always crack open that 1,100-page course catalog.

Source: University News

The Benedictine monk who changed the way we learn music | Art & Culture - Aleteia EN

For nearly two millennia, the Catholic Church has worked to develop music and its notation from its origins in chant right up to and through the limitless beauty of polyphony, continues Aleteia EN.

Photo: Levan Ramishvili | Flickr | Public Domain
Music helps to enhance our prayers so that we may better glorify God, which makes sense considering the angels are commonly depicted as singing in a choir to praise their maker.

To this end, countless composers have devoted their lives to writing sacred music, but they learned early on that they would need a way to disseminate their tunes. Thus musical notation was born, allowing for the widespread performance of hymns that would otherwise be trapped in the cathedral or monastery where the composer was stationed...

It was in the early 11th century that Guido of Arezzo, an Italian Benedictine monk and music theorist, began to work on developing a method for teaching the singers to learn chants in a short time. This method was most likely the Guidonian hand, a mnemonic system where note names are mapped to parts of the human hand. Although sources suggest Guido was not the original designer of the system, his work popularizing the hand led to his name’s attachment to it...

Today, solfège allows singers to easily read new music by ignoring the key — aside from the tonic tone (ex: in the key of G, G is tonic) — and determining the pitch based purely on the intervals between notes. This allows singers to face music in a variety of keys with the same method.

Source: Aleteia EN

Taking the Classroom on the Road | Academic - Millikin University

When it comes to learning about the music industry and touring, sometimes there is no better teacher than the road, and for Millikin University faculty member Martin Atkins, he's taking this approach and developing it into his boldest project yet, inform Dane Lisser, Dir/Media Rel & Publications.

As an educator, it's no secret that Martin Atkins enjoys incorporating his experiences into his teachings at Millikin as coordinator of music business. But this fall, he will be taking things a step further with an immersion course called Tour:Smart Bus Edition where students get to join a real live rock tour.

Designed by Atkins and inspired by his best-selling book, "Tour:Smart," Bus Edition embeds students on a U.S. concert tour for four to five shows throughout the country. Students can learn tour management in real-time with real people, with real outcomes. As Atkins says, "the tour is the classroom," where students learn, live and work on the tour bus, behind the stage, in the green room, on the road and at the merchandise booth...

According to Atkins, the class already has 93 people waitlisted. "It's an opportunity for students to network with the next wave of people who are going to be doing this. That's how the music business works – it's who you know, who can you call. It's an instant network with a common experience," he said.

The first leg of the tour begins Nov. 12 in Chicago with pre-production and dress rehearsal. The tour will include stops in New York, Dallas, Austin and Atlanta. The last show of the tour is scheduled for Dec. 1.

Source: Millikin University

How ‘Sesame Street’ Started a Musical Revolution | Music - The New York Times

Fifty years ago, the television show united children’s education, puppetry and songs. Pop stars have been singing the Muppets’ tunes (and vice versa) ever since, as New York Times reports.

Henson designers making instruments into Muppets consider what kind of eyes (and what kind of attitude) they want each piece to have.
Photo: Vincent Tullo for The New York Times

How many ways can you sing about the letter B? On “Sesame Street,” that question has many furry answers.

Since its inception in 1969, the public television show has redefined what it means to teach children through TV, with music as its resounding voice. Before “Sesame Street,” it wasn’t even clear that you could do that; once the series began, as a radical experiment that joined educational research and social idealism with the lunacy of puppets and the buoyancy of advertising jingles, it proved that kids are very receptive to a grammar lesson wrapped in a song.

Big-name stars lined up to make guest appearances that have become the stuff of legend (Stevie Wonder and Grover; Loretta Lynn and the Count; Smokey Robinson and a marauding letter U). And long before inclusion was a curriculum goal, “Sesame Street” made a point to showcase Afro-Caribbean rhythms, operatic powerhouses, Latin beats, Broadway showstoppers and bebop alongside its notably diverse cast.

“Sesame Street is one of the earliest examples of a musical I experienced,” said Lin-Manuel Miranda, who grew up adoring “I Love Trash” and called its singer, Oscar the Grouch, “a character so singular that he changes the way you see the world at large.” 

“I learned from ‘Sesame Street’ that music is not only incredibly fun, but also an extremely effective narrative and teaching tool,” he added in an email. “On top of that, their songs are the closest thing we have to a shared childhood songbook.”...

And as the “Sesame” universe expanded, it pulled more and more major musical talent into its orbit. The jazz musician Toots Thielemans, who performed with Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald and Charlie Parker, played harmonica on the theme song. Grace Slick provided vocals for animated counting sequences. The guitarist in the first “Sesame” traveling band was Carlos Alomar, who toured with James Brown and then wrote the riff for David Bowie’s “Fame.” Alomar’s replacement, who was 19 or so and showed up at his audition with a Muppet-esque green-tinged Afro, was Nile Rodgers. It was his first real paying gig as an artist.

“Sesame Street” was “part of my musical development,” said Rodgers, the Chic frontman and Grammy-winning producer.

Music learning is fading out from schools. We’ll lose more than the screech of recorders | Voices - The Bristol Cable

Media Lab graduate Marcus Smith goes back to his old school to find out what’s happening to music education.

Photo: Praiwan Wasanruk
Music lessons were some of my fondest moments of school. But in a city renowned for live music and across the country, music learning is under threat. To find out what is going on, I caught up with my old music teacher at King’s Oak Academy in Kingswood.

“The most important thing about music is being able to work and play together in a team… also building self confidence,” says Tim, who has been teaching music for over 30 years at various schools in east Bristol.

“Anybody that gets a qualification in music or can play something, demonstrates stick-ability,” he explains. “Any job in the world… a cleaner or the world’s top chemist, you’ve got to stick, if you’ve got to solve a problem, there’s no point in giving up after three goes.”

Despite the widely agreed benefits of learning music, a survey by Sussex University found schools in UK are cutting back music education...

Video killed the radio star  
A new report also suggests a disconnect between how young people use technology to access and create music, compared to how music is taught in schools. However, this latest and accessible technology could save music education from disappearing.

“What I’ve done is almost taken away the clarinet and saxophone players, and now we have lots of singers, guitar players, keyboard players…” Tim explains.

“In one way, I’ve killed off music as a specialist subject, but the positive is that lots of kids come to school and think ‘We’re gonna make music! We’re not gonna talk all day about Beethoven’s nine symphonies. Not to say that’s not important, but in the real world… it ain’t!”

Source: The Bristol Cable

Friday, August 23, 2019

How to use artificial intelligence today | Editor's Pick - Accountancy Age

Nash Riggins, Author at Accountancy Age writes, Artificial intelligence is no longer a piece of science fiction. 

Photo: Accountancy Age
Enterprising fintechs are rolling out an increasingly wide range of AI solutions poised to redefine the way accountants work. Nash Riggins explores what’s currently on the market, how it’s shaping the industry and the roadblocks AI has yet to overcome.

Automation has been at the forefront of global accountancy for decades, and professionals are constantly hungry for new tech innovations that will enable them to improve effectiveness and efficiency levels for clients. Yet while demand has continued to grow for the availability of smarter and more dynamic accounting systems, adoption has been pretty slow – particularly when it comes to artificial intelligence (AI). It looks like that’s finally starting to change.
Computer scientists have been tinkering with AI for more than half a century, and the concept itself is quite simple. By utilising a series of defined algorithms, AI-powered applications are able to draw from big data sources and use deep, machine learning functionality to process data, perform high-volume tasks, recognise patterns and even make decisions – and while that may sound like space-age science fiction to some practitioners, AI-powered apps and modules have already started to make a serious impact across the global accounting sector...

Apps powered by machine learning can automatically extract data from receipts, accounts and spreadsheets and then classify that data based on pre-defined categories in order to populate dynamic custom reports on-demand. Better yet, AI reporting tools are then able to use deep learning in order to assess patterns from various data streams and go on to provide unprompted insights around budget forecasting, spending and investment opportunities.

Plenty of mainstream accounting solutions providers have already brought these sorts of products to market. For example, QuickBooks Auto Categorization is an easily enabled product feature that learns from manually recorded transactions and then automatically repeats those categorisations and organises future transactions accordingly.
Read more... 

Source: Accountancy Age 

Buddhism, robots and artificial intelligence, the new frontier | Technology - The Washington Post

Peter Holley, technology reporter at The Washington Post summarizes, The $1 million robot preaches in a Japanese temple. Will it one day learn to think on its own? 

This temple in Japan has a robot priest

As interest in religion wanes around the world, and secularism surges, religious leaders have begun searching for innovative ways to spread their message and connect with potential adherents.

In the United States, some churches have relaxed dress codes, revamped worship spaces and churned out sermons that place less emphasis on sin, all while embracing Instagram and refashioning faith as a lifestyle brand.

In Japan — where low fertility rates and an aging population are reducing religious affiliation — Buddhist priests have been warning for more than a decade that their ancient tradition risks extinction. To reverse course, a Kyoto temple has settled on a new plan for connecting with the masses, one that channels ancient wisdom through the technology of the future...

The robot was created by a team led by Hiroshi Ishiguro, a renown roboticist and professor of intelligent robotics at Osaka University.

Reached by email, Kohei Ogawa, an associate professor at Osaka University who helped design Mindar, said researchers’ goal was to redesign a Buddhist statue using modern robotics technology. The result was a $1 million collaboration between the temple and Osaka University in which researchers decided Mindar should channel Kannon Bodhisattva, the Buddhist deity of mercy.

Source: The Washington Post and The Hindu Channel (YouTube) 

Sometimes You Don’t Need Deep Learning: Eye on A.I. | Artificial Intelligence - Fortune

Schneider Electric is using basic data crunching in some of its technology. And that's just fine by them by Jonathan Vanian, Fortune.

Photo: Getty Images
Ibrahim Gokcen, the digital chief technology officer for industrial giant Schneider Electric, has some words of caution about deep learning—the latest craze in artificial intelligence. Sometimes, conventional data crunching works just fine.

All of the technology sold by Schneider that warns corporate customers when their industrial equipment may fail uses basic analytics or statistical analysis to make predictions. Although the software incorporates machine learning, it doesn't use deep learning, a technology that has led to breakthroughs in image and language translation.

But that's okay, Gokcen explained...

Traditional data analytics and machine learning work perfectly well for Schneider Electric, the 180-year old company that is known for its circuit breakers and other electrical equipment. Additionally, using older data crunching technology makes it easier for the company's data scientists to understand how those systems reach their conclusions—a challenge for even the best deep-learning experts.

Source: Fortune

Computer power opens doors for AI and machine learning – a NVIDIA research scientist explains | Artificial Intelligence - WRAL Tech Wire

Editor’s note:
This is the latest in the UpTech series focusing on Artificial Intelligence brought to you in partnership between and WRAL TechWire. Alexander Ferguson is founder and CEO of YourLocalStudio. Links to some earlier posts in the series are embedded for your convenience and information.

Computer power opens doors for AI and machine learning – Alicia Klinefelter, research scientist for NVIDIA explains below.

Defining AI and Machine Learning | Interview with Alicia Klinefelter (Part 1)  

Welcome back to UpTech Report Series on AI. In this video and online transcript, we sit down with Alicia Klinefelter, research scientist for NVIDIA, and ask her to help define AI and the different types of AI that we often hear about.

Alicia is an expert in her field. She has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia. Since joining NVIDIA, her focus has turned more towards high-performance hardware, including machine learning circuits and systems.

Source: WRAL Tech Wire and UpTech Report Channel (YouTube)

7 Great Free Online Courses to Help You Learn about AI and Machine Learning | Education - Interesting Engineering

These online courses will help you get started with the basics of AI and ML, says Christopher McFadden, Author.

Photo: Mike MacKenzie/Flickr , Mike MacKenzie/Flickr

With all the hype around artificial intelligence and machine learning, it might have crossed your mind if these are viable fields for a career or career change. But before you make a big decision like this you might want to find out what they are all about first. 

Here we have gathered some of the best-rated and reviewed courses on these subjects that you can take for free. These are just suggestions and you can find many more on the net...

LinkedIn might be a good start here. Try to connect with someone in the field and start a conversation - who knows where it will take you!

If you want to learn about a beginner's adventure from zero knowledge to mastery, you might want to read the following story on

Where can I learn about Artificial Intelligence for free?
There are a few places you can learn about Artificial Intelligence online and for free. For example, many of the top tech universities in the world have uploaded content you can watch for free on sites like YouTube.
Read more...  

Additional resources

Women learning engineering at home
Photo: MStudioImages/iStock
Discover the Top Online Engineering Courses to Take in 2019 by Nader Mowlaee, Electronics Engineer.

Source: Interesting Engineering