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Sunday, March 18, 2018

UA library to put bulk of books into storage | Arkansas Online

"Study space, not print editions, in demand" according to Jaime Adame, University of Arkansas Reporter.

Books fill the shelves Saturday in the Mullins Library on the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville campus.
Photo: Andy Shupe 

Renovations to the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville main campus library will result in up to three-quarters of books and other printed materials moving to a new off-campus storage facility.

The move comes as campuses nationally have seen declines in the number of items being checked out, with UA also seeking to add more group study space within Mullins Library to keep up with growing numbers of students.

About 1.2 million books and other bound printed materials sit on the shelves of the four-level, approximately 227,660-square-foot Mullins Library, said Kathleen Lehman, head of user services for UA libraries. She said the 1.2 million estimate leaves out some categories of printed materials, including textbooks kept on reserve, a collection of books for children, and oversized volumes.

An estimated 300,000 to 350,000 books and bound serials will remain after items are transferred into storage, said Joel Thornton, head of instruction and liaison services for UA libraries. Lehman said the moving will begin as soon as this summer, while renovation work is scheduled to begin in late 2018, according to information posted online by UA.

"Many libraries in the U.S. are going through this exact same process, or have been through it recently in the last five years," said Carolyn Henderson Allen, dean of UA libraries.

The number of items checked out at UA -- including some materials that are not books, such as DVDs -- decreased by about 49 percent in academic year 2016-17 compared with four years earlier. In 2016-17, initial circulations, not including renewals, totaled 31,320 across all UA libraries, down from 60,964 in 2012-13.

The decreases in circulation took place even as UA's total number of undergraduates increased to 22,548 in the fall of 2016 compared with 20,350 the fall of 2012. Last fall, UA enrolled 23,044 undergraduates and a total of 27,558 students, according to university data...

The Special Collections Department houses items such as the collected papers of former U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright, as well as some nonprint artifacts of historical interest. Some items will move to the new storage facility, Lehman said.

However, as libraries evolve, the emphasis is more on such historical items than the sheer size of a collection, Lehman said.

"We're less of a warehouse for stuff that other people have, and try to focus more on what can we provide that's unique," Lehman said.

In addition to special collections, at libraries it's now "more about what journals do I have access to, how quickly can my request be fulfilled," said Lehman, adding that there is greater emphasis on utilizing networks of libraries to provide access to materials requested by patrons.

Source: Arkansas Online

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Five Cub Scouts donate close to 600 books to promote literacy | WJBC News

Photo: Crystal Donaldson
Crystal Donaldson says, "Five second grade Cub Scouts collected close to 600 books as their first community service project of the year." 

Pack 3957 donated 575 books to the nonprofit organization Books to Benefit.
The pack said they wanted to promote literacy in the community.

Photo: courtesy Pixabay
President of the nonprofit, Jackie Langhoff, said Books to Benefit will donate proceeds from their semiannual book sale to STAR Adult literacy and YouthBuild McLean County literacy programs.

“We also try to re-hone books that are of scholarly value to academic and scholarly libraries across the united states,” she said.

The semiannual sale will take place June 14-17.

Source: WJBC News

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Suggested Books of the Week 11, 2018

Check out these books below by Ancient Origins and TradePub.

Genesis Characters and Events in Ancient Greek Art 

Genesis Characters and Events
in Ancient Greek Art

The Greek gods look exactly like people because they are people, glorified ancestors in the way of Cain, boasting of their exaltation of humanity as the measure of all things in the post-Flood world. Despite Socrates’ testimony that Zeus and Athena were his “ancestors,” this significant interconnection has remained the overlooked key to understanding our true origins—until now. (See for the human genealogy of the gods). The 170 full-color ancient vase and sculpture images in this extraordinary book depict:
  • Zeus’ and Hera’s relation to the serpent-entwined apple tree
  • Cain killing Abel on the Parthenon
  • Seth-men as Centaurs seizing Cain-women as their wives (Genesis 6:2)
  • How the Greeks remembered Noah’s Flood • Naamah (Genesis 4:22), the Cain-woman who survived the Flood as Ham’s wife
  • Naamah/Athena consecrating her grandson Nimrod/Herakles to the way of Cain
  • Nimrod/Herakles usurping the authority of Noah/Nereus
  • The altar of Zeus in Pergamum as the throne of Satan from Revelation 2:13
  • The post-Flood Cainite onslaught against the line of Seth
  • The true identity of the Amazons, and much more.
Read more...  

The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization
The Cave and the Light:
Plato Versus Aristotle, and the
Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization

Plato came from a wealthy, connected Athenian family and lived a comfortable upper-class lifestyle until he met an odd little man named Socrates, who showed him a new world of ideas and ideals. Socrates taught Plato that a man must use reason to attain wisdom, and that the life of a lover of wisdom, a philosopher, was the pinnacle of achievement. Plato dedicated himself to living that ideal and went on to create a school, his famed Academy, to teach others the path to enlightenment through contemplation.

However, the same Academy that spread Plato’s teachings also fostered his greatest rival. Born to a family of Greek physicians, Aristotle had learned early on the value of observation and hands-on experience. Rather than rely on pure contemplation, he insisted that the truest path to knowledge is through empirical discovery and exploration of the world around us. Aristotle, Plato’s most brilliant pupil, thus settled on a philosophy very different from his instructor’s and launched a rivalry with profound effects on Western culture.

The two men disagreed on the fundamental purpose of the philosophy. For Plato, the image of the cave summed up man’s destined path, emerging from the darkness of material existence to the light of a higher and more spiritual truth. Aristotle thought otherwise. Instead of rising above mundane reality, he insisted, the philosopher’s job is to explain how the real world works, and how we can find our place in it. Aristotle set up a school in Athens to rival Plato’s Academy: the Lyceum. The competition that ensued between the two schools, and between Plato and Aristotle, set the world on an intellectual adventure that lasted through the Middle Ages and Renaissance and that still continues today.

From Martin Luther (who named Aristotle the third great enemy of true religion, after the devil and the Pope) to Karl Marx (whose utopian views rival Plato’s), heroes and villains of history have been inspired and incensed by these two master philosophers—but never outside their influence.

Accessible, riveting, and eloquently written, The Cave and the Light provides a stunning new perspective on the Western world, certain to open eyes and stir debate. 
Read more... 

The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens and Rome

The Ancient City:
Life in Classical Athens and Rome
In this superbly illustrated volume, Athens and Rome, the two greatest cities of antiquity, spring to life through the masterful pen of Peter Connolly. For the first time ever, all the evidence has been painstakingly pieced together to reconstruct the architectural wonders of these mighty civilizations. By re-creating their public buildings, their temples, shops, and houses, Connolly reveals every aspect of a person's life in glorious detail, including religion, food, drama, games, and the baths.
The first part of The Ancient City covers the development of Athens in the hundred years following the Persian Wars, which began in the 4th century B.C. These chapters encompass the Golden Years of Athens; the establishment of democracy; the building of the Parthenon, the Erechtheum, and the municipal buildings of the Agora; a typical Athenian workday; and the construction of the Long Walls.

Part II examines the development of Rome in the hundred years from Nero (emperor of Rome from A.D. 54 to 68) to Hadrian (emperor of Rome from A.D. 117 to 138)--the great building period of Rome. Visit Nero's Golden Palace and the buildings subsequently built over it, the Colosseum, the Flavian Palace, the Baths of Trajan, the Temple of Venus and Roma, as well as other buildings such as the Circus Maximus, the Theatre of Marcellus, and Trajan's Forum and Market. In addition to reading about the great monuments and moments of classical Greece and Rome, readers learn about a typical day in the life of an Athenian and a Roman. They read about--and see--the houses people inhabited; attend 5-day festivals and go to the theatre; fight great battles and witness the birth of Rome's navy; visit temples and spend a day at the races. The fascinating artwork and vivid descriptions provide a window into the great history of these two extraordinary cities and civilizations. 
Read more... 

Why Collaboration Boosts Creativity
Download Now
British innovators can help you push the boundaries.

The UK is Europe’s leading App Economy country, with London being Europe’s leading App Economy city. From carbon fibre to graphene; microprocessor IP to IoT, UK Tech is in demand globally and account for 46% of all exports from the UK creative industries. 

Also home to 23 of the top 100 games development studios, the UK is at the forefront of global trends -  artificial intelligence, augmented reality, massively multiplayer online games (MMOG / MMO), mobile games, social, virtual reality. The UK is actively exploring the artistry of Virtual Reality (VR) and creative storytelling to push technology further. 
Trust British creative services to deliver your next big idea.

Break Through the Hype: Uncover the Reality of AI 

Download Now
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a hot topic in commerce marketing and may be the fastest growing technology trend today. Experts believe AI will have a huge impact on our daily lives, our interactions with one another and the broader economy.
Remember that technology is simply a tool to expand and accelerate your own efforts. It’s the combination of your team’s expertise and the technology you use to automate marketing tactics that will win the day.
Read more...   

Robots in Recruiting

Download Now
Learn various ways that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the way recruiters find, engage and screen candidates. AI is applied to machines and algorithms that mimic the cognitive functions of human beings. Although it does not and may never possess a “general intelligence” like that of a human brain, AI machines are constantly improving and evolving.
  • Lower your sourcing costs
  • Enhance the candidate experience
  • Leverage automation technologies
Learn how artificial intelligence is quietly changing the way recruiters find, engage, and screen candidates. 
Read more... 

Enjoy your reading!   

Source: Ancient Origins and TradePub

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

“Fake news” versus “Fake statistics” | The Online Citizen

This entry was posted in Opinion.  

A friend asked me – with all the hoohah on “fake news” – got “fake statistics” or not?

Photo: The Online Citizen
Well, from my experience analysing statistics for the last two decades or so – “fake statistics” are very very rare.
What we have are often:
  • no disclosure of the statistics
  • partial disclosure of the statistics
  • omitting statistics
  • changing the definition of the statistics
  • changing the time period of the statistics
  • not reporting statistics using international norms
  • changing the base population of the statistics
  • a combination of the above
Let me try to give some examples to illustrate the above.

“no disclosure of the statistics” – the HDB does not breakdown the price of HDB BTO flats into contruction, land and other costs. All that we know is that land is charged at market rates

“partial disclosure of the statistics” – the employment growth statistics are broken down into locals and foreigners, but not Singaporeans

“omitting statistics” – the GIC’s annualised returns are for up to 20 years in US$ – but not the annualised return from its inception in S$. In contrast, Temasek also discloses its annualised return from its inception in S$

“changing the definition of the statistics” – a part-time worker used to be defined as working not more than 30 hours a week – this was changed to 35 hours. So, arguably, by the stroke of a pen – both the categories of full-time and part-time workers’ median wages increased

Source: The Online Citizen

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From rural to actuarial | Independent Online

"When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. This was the idiom young Sfundo Manyathi, a star achiever in the 2017 matric exams, said most accurately summed up is life and, more particularly, the last three years of high school" notes KwaZulu-Natal - IOL.

The confident pupil who recently matriculated from Star College in Durban, Sfundo Manyathi, who this year aims to pursue Actuarial Science at UCT. He scored a spectacular As in the NSC matric exams.
Photo: Supplied
Sfundo told The Mercury of his journey to achieving top marks in the 2017 NSC exams.
“I was given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet with Star College, which opened doors to a new and improved life for me,” said Sfundo. “I was taken from a relatively poor township (Ntuzuma), where everything was jovial and easy, to a place where everything was challenging and serious.”
Sfundo said despite the independent school being the best thing that had happened to him, it presented a number of challenges.
One of those was trying to fit in, socially and academically. 
“It took a while for me to change my colours from street smart to academically smart, making new friends all around the school and most importantly, knowing and loving my teachers,” the charismatic student said.
Sfundo was offered a full scholarship, free stay in the school’s dormitory, free books…

He said people at the school were generous with help and emotional support throughout his schooling there and he wanted to make his teachers proud...
The principal, Osman Karayvaaz, said Sfundo was a great motivation and inspiration to other pupils.

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'Active Learning' Math Initiative Expands to 12 Universities | Inside Higher Ed

Photo: Doug Lederman
"A National Science Foundation-funded initiative aimed at expanding the use of "active learning" techniques in introductory mathematics courses is expanding from three to 12 universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities announced today" inform Doug Lederman, Editor at Inside Higher Ed.


The project, known as SEMINAL: Student Engagement in Mathematics through an Institutional Network for Active Learning, has been led by San Diego State University, the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, which have reworked their math curricula to improve student success in early courses, particularly students from underrepresented minority groups.

The nine universities joining the effort are California State University, East Bay; California State University, Fullerton; Kennesaw State University; Loyola University; Morgan State University; Ohio State University; the University of Maryland at College Park; the University of Oklahoma; and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Source: Inside Higher Ed

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Machine Learning Engineers and Data Scientists Report Highest Job Satisfaction Among Data Professionals | Customer Think - Technology

Results from the Kaggle State of Data Science and Machine Learning survey of data professionals revealed that job satisfaction varies widely across job titles. Data professionals who reported the highest level of job satisfaction were: 1) Machine Learning Engineers, 2) Data Scientists and 3) Predictive Modeler. Data professionals who reported the lowest level of job satisfaction were: 1) Engineers, 2) DBA/Database Engineers and 3) Programmers.

Photo: Bob E. Hayes
"Kaggle conducted a survey in August 2017 of over 16,000 data professionals (2017 State of Data Science and Machine Learning). Their survey included a variety of questions about data science, machine learning, education and more" reports
Bob E. Hayes, PhD (Business Over Broadway) scientist, blogger and author on CXM and data science (TCE: Total Customer Experience, Beyond the Ultimate Question and Measuring Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty).

Photo: Customer Think

Kaggle released the raw survey data and many in the data science community have analyzed the data (see link above). I will be exploring their survey data over the next couple of months. When I find something interesting, I’ll be sure to post it here on my blog. Today’s post explores the difference among data professionals on their level of job satisfaction.

The Value of Job Satisfaction 
Job satisfaction is useful metric to study in business, often used to monitor and manage employee relationships. There is much evidence supporting the utility of using job satisfaction as a way to manage your business. For example, employees who are satisfied with their job also perform better on the job and will likely stay on the job (lower turnover) compared to employees who are dissatisfied with their job. Additionally, satisfied employees deliver a better experience to their customers compared to dissatisfied employees, ultimately improving other organizational outcomes like productivity and profit...

Job Satisfaction Varies by Data Science Job Title 
Results showed that data professionals are satisfied with their current job (Mean = 6.8). I found that 75% of the respondents indicated they were satisfied (ratings between 6 and 10 inclusive). Nearly 1 out of 5 (19.4%) data professionals indicated that they were very satisfied (ratings of 9 or 10) with their job. A quarter of the data professionals said they were dissatisfied with their current job.

Results showed that job satisfaction varies significantly across job titles.

Source: Customer Think

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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Reality behind an Actuarial ‘Science’ Course… | Moneylife - Personal finance - Career

"Giri (my better half) always chides me for attempting to show things in poor light. But I cannot help it, can I? Even as I plan my annual trip to the US in February, I thought I must share certain happenings that will definitely be in the interest of the larger public" continues Moneylife

Photo: Moneylife
I know that Moneylife stands in the forefront when it comes to issues such as these, as part of its exemplary efforts in setting a new journalistic trend.
My nephew, who is based in Mumbai, was keen on his son pursuing a course in actuarial science. He sought my help, since he, somehow, believed that a seasoned academician like me will be of great help to him. I had already forewarned him about my activist instincts. Despite being a senior citizen, I have still managed to maintain my contacts in academia. It always helps. Thanks to social media networks, I have managed to stay connected.
As I began talking to one person after another, the real truth behind an actuarial science course started coming to light. It was, indeed, a shocker for me! Anyway, readers must have heard/ read about how an actuary is a most sought after person in the insurance industry and how actuaries draw huge sums of money as salaries and bonuses. Actuaries are responsible for using statistical methods to compute the amount of insurance premium. This is the main function of an actuary, though they have other roles like risk modelling, etc.
When I contacted Satish Nair (not his real name) through one of my acquaintances, he dropped a bombshell. Since pursuing an actuarial science course from India was next to impossible (I will come to it later), his daughter pursued a two-year actuarial science course from UK wiping out half of Satish’s  retirement funds. When she returned to India, hoping to land a plum job, there were no takers. After waiting for close to six months and twiddling her thumbs at home, Satish’s daughter managed to get a job in an insurance call centre (of all places) in Pune. Satish was fuming so much that if a kettle of cold water had been kept before of him, it would have heated up in no time.
So where is the problem? Why is doing an actuarial science course in India not such an exciting proposition? There are very few educational institutions that impart an actuarial science course in India. Of these, 50% offer courses that are not recognised by the industry. Gullible students get attracted to all the marketing nonsense being dished out by these institutions and end up wasting money, time and effort. Some of them end up ruining their career too.
Actually, there is a coterie that exists in an unofficial form. In one of the well-known institutes in India’s business capital that offers an actuarial science course, an outstanding student will take at least seven years to get a degree in actuarial science after his graduation—provided, he doesn’t lose interest halfway through the course.  
Source: Moneylife

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Making a good career match | New Straits Times Online - Education

"AS Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) school-leavers close one chapter in their life and start another, they now face the daunting task of taking the next step — choose the right course of study" summarizes Zulita Mustafa, Specialist Writer at New Straits Times.

Nik Faiz Iskandar Nik Zahari conducting a motivational talk for SPM school-leavers.
Photo: New Straits Times Online

After a structured school system where students generally pursue either the science or arts stream, how best can they decide on the field of study and programme?

A profession should be chosen with great care and it should not be taken lightly. The decision is the first step towards determining the path the future will take.

Nurhanani Hazamah Anuar, 20, prefers sitting exams similar to those in secondary school and the Cambridge A Level (CAL) programme fits her requirements.

CAL is a 15- to 24-month programme and it is 100 per cent exam-based, so it is similar to SPM.

However, unlike SPM where students usually sign up for nine subjects, CAL allows a choice of a minimum of three subjects such as mathematics, further mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, economics, English literature, law and accounting.

Nurhanani, a second-year student at Taylor’s College, said it has been a relatively easy transition from secondary school and she has also enhanced her soft skills and embraced the chance of being the secretary of the CAL Student Council.

“Being involved in the council allows me to improve my skills in communicating, critical thinking, problem-solving and collaborating,” said Nurhanani, a Bank Negara scholar.

She plans to pursue a degree in accounting and finance at a university in the United Kingdom.

Another CAL student Low See Nee, 20, said he was initially keen on the Foundation of Science course at the International Medical University but finally decided on the CAL programme at INTI.

“A relative, who is an emergency department doctor, advised me to pursue the A levels programme as it is internationally recognised and therefore allows me to keep my options open.

“Besides, my focus is not only on academic performance but also gaining a wider social network among students,” said Low, who plans to pursue the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) programme at Monash University.

Antoine Xaverian Bonaventure, 20, has had his eye on a career in the field of science since secondary school, which influenced his decision to choose the Foundation in Science programme at Taylor’s University.

“It provides the most straightforward route to achieving my ambition to become a doctor. The curriculum integrates e-learning tools and interesting science projects so that students get exposure to basic human anatomy and physiology.

“The foundation programme helps me to become a well-rounded student who does not only excel academically but also in other areas.

“Since I plan to pursue the MBBS programme at Taylor’s University School of Medicine, the foundation course is the first step to reading medicine,” said Antoine.

A foundation in science programme focuses on science-related topics, concentrating on subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and information technology.

The course not only prepares one to pursue medicine but also pharmacy and dental studies.

Foundation programmes at a university provide an advantage in terms of placement of students in degree courses at the institution.

Source: New Straits Times Online

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Monday, January 22, 2018

From undisciplined to interdisciplinary | MIT News

"Math professor Philippe Rigollet, once a “not very disciplined” student, moves between computer science and statistics" notes Larry Hardesty, computer science and technology writer at the MIT News Office.

Originally from the small town of Cluny, in the Burgundy region of France, Philippe Rigollet made the move to MIT in 2014.
Photo: Bryce Vickmark

In 1996, when he was a high school senior in the small town of Cluny, in the Burgundy region of France, Philippe Rigollet applied to several of the two-year preparatory schools that most French students attend before moving on to university. His transcript reported a stellar math grade of 19.5 out of 20, but in the small space allotted for comments, his math teacher had written “fainéant.”

Rigollet translates that word as “slacker.”

“They were really looking for slackers in those preparatory schools,” Rigollet says. “They didn’t want people who were burned out at the end of high school and couldn’t push it, because it was much harder.”

“Slacker” is not an epithet that people tend to associate with MIT professors, and Rigollet was tenured in the Department of Mathematics last year. He is also part of MIT’s Institute for Data, Systems, and Society. But in high school, Rigollet says, “I was not very disciplined about learning stuff I didn’t want to learn.” 

Fortunately, there’s a lot that he has wanted to learn. His work is notable for its interdisciplinarity, moving back and forth between the fields of statistics and computer science and bringing insights from each to the other.

Rigollet was born in a rural French town with a population of only 365. His mother was a speech therapist, and his father taught grades two through five at the local elementary school. The 30-odd students in those four grades shared a single classroom, and during math class, Rigollet’s father would pose questions to each group in turn.

“That’s where I got used to being good at math,” Rigollet says. “I would try to listen to the harder questions from the upper class.”

The community was predominantly agrarian — “Raising chickens was a big thing,” Rigollet says — but his parents had a side line in door-to-door sales of health, beauty, and home-care products for Amway. Starting when Rigollet was 4, the family would attend Amway workshops in the U.S. for a week or two almost every year.

“That balanced out somehow the fact that I had a pretty limited perspective from where I grew up — the fact that I got to visit the United States,” Rigollet says.

“Going to the mall, having Taco Bell, it was just a dream for me.”

It also explains why, despite being educated entirely in France, Rigollet speaks such fluid, idiomatic English. “My first full sentence was ‘Can I have change for the game room?’” he says.

Mathematical freedom
On the strength of his placement exams, Rigollet earned a spot at a prestigious preparatory school in Lyon, which specialized in math and physics. He still had difficulty making himself learn stuff he didn’t want to learn, however: He excelled in math, but in physics, “I was just getting by,” he says.

“In physics, the rules were set a little too strongly for me,” he says. “Math allowed you more to have your own proof or your own way of thinking. It’s funny, because some people look for structure in math, and I’m looking for freedom. In what I’m doing now, I choose the model I want, and I do the math I want, and I do the description I want of these things.”...

For a statistician with an interest in computer science, however, a department of operations research and financial engineering was never a perfect fit. So in 2015, Rigollet moved to MIT. There he has continued to pursue parallel research tracks in pure statistics and machine learning. Some of his earliest work at MIT concerned statistical methods that could be used to optimize both the design of clinical trials and the targeting of ads to web users. More recently, he’s been investigating statistical techniques for interpreting data produced by the imaging technique known as cryoelectron microscopy, whose inventors were awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Source: MIT News

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