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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Science never quite clicked for me. Then I discovered YouTube | Op-Eds -

Tom Hawking, freelance writer based in Melbourne recommends, Fascinating mathematical concepts explained in a way that’s entertaining.

Photo: Ramachandra Babu/©Gulf News
YouTube has long had a reputation as a hive of conspiracy theories, misinformation, and pseudoscience. All these accusations are, more or less, true — if you’re vulnerable to the wooing of Flat Earthers, anti-vaxxers, 9/11 truthers, the alt-right, and every other sort of lunatic fringe flourishing in 2018, they’re all there, waiting for you on YouTube.

But as with all the other “platforms” that dominate the internet — Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc — YouTube is more than a morass of anti-scientific nutters. The site is also home to much of the web’s best and most compelling popular science content.  

Like pretty much everyone, I studied science and maths for the first few years of high school and eventually pursued chemistry and maths right through year 12. I found the concepts involved fascinating, but I was never much good at the actual work. I was less interested in learning how to solve quadratic equations than I was in why quadratic equations could be solved. What I wanted, I guess, was popular science. And one day a couple of years ago, tooling around on the internet while I should have been working, I found it on YouTube.

My YouTube rabbit hole started with Numberphile, the maths-based channel that forms part of Australian videographer Brady Haran’s YouTube empire...

It’s not just mathematics that benefits from the possibilities for visual illustration that YouTube allows. If you search, you’ll find people who take similar approaches to physics, chemistry, biology, electronics, along with a heap of generalists who address all these topics and more.
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How can institutions enable experiential learning? | Education - Hindustan Times

With the days of rote learning behind us, and demand for experiential learning taking precedence, academic institutions will have to majorly transform their teaching methods, continues Hindustan Times.

Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto
A solid infrastructure is needed to overhaul the learning processes and create spaces that are conducive to experiential learning

The learning and development process of the Gen Z is undergoing massive changes with the advent of technology. The education system, by fueling the evolution of teaching methods and tools used in the classroom has been driven by the demands of the digital natives, whose lives revolve around digital screens and connected devices. Devices like PCs, laptops and printers have become the functional extension of this generation, at school as well as home.

With the days of rote learning behind us, and demand for experiential learning taking precedence, academic institutions will have to majorly transform their teaching methods. A solid infrastructure is needed to overhaul the learning processes and create spaces that are conducive to experiential learning. Around 51% of students surveyed in a Barnes and Noble College study, show that they learn best by doing, while only 12% said they learn through listening.1 So how can institutions enable this “learning by doing” experiential methodology in the classroom?

With technology improving the overall attitude toward learning, now more than ever, schools and colleges will have to put in concerted efforts to create a learning environment that focuses on problem-solving. After all, the real world is full of challenges that needs quick thinking for solutions. To make Gen Z students understand the real-life application of what they learn in the classroom we need to blend online and print mediums in equal proportion...

Digital learning goes beyond the four walls of educational institutes, reaching far and wide to those who want to learn on-demand, on their own time and even at their own suitable pace. Experiential learning complements this by giving an opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge in practical domains. With the lives of Gen Z revolving around technology, the expectation of having digital learning tools deeply integrated into the education system and at the workplace is obvious.

Source: Hindustan Times

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Five ways colleges are remaking higher education from within | Opinion - Inside Higher Ed

As learners and employers seek education and training that is cheaper, faster and better, forward-looking colleges and universities are embracing new roles as curators, certifiers and integrators, writes Kathleen deLaski, founder and president of the Education Design Lab and Rufus Glasper, president and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College.

Photo: Pexels
Higher education is being remade from within.

Federal policy is getting all the attention of late, with the U.S. Department of Education considering significant changes to the rules that shape higher education across the country and Congress simultaneously working to update the Higher Education Act for the first time in more than a decade. And both certainly stand to have a far-reaching impact on the landscape of colleges and universities.

But the real revolution in higher education isn’t being led by policy makers. It’s being driven by individual learners and employers who are demanding that learning become cheaper, better and faster. This is the learner revolution.
And we’ve learned some critical lessons about how to harness its potential over the past five years through the Education Design Lab’s work with over 100 forward-thinking colleges and universities...

We see five promising models for institutions looking to harness the learner revolution. These models -- highlighted in our new report, "The Learner Revolution: How Colleges Can Thrive in a New Skills and Competencies Marketplace" -- are informed by more than five years of experience using human-centered design to help institutions transform the learner experience.

Source: Inside Higher Ed

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Online learning platform Udemy to set up shop in India | Education -

Udemy, the online learning platform, is to get a local presence in India with an employee hub in Gurugram, according to a report in the Economic Times

According to chief executive Gregg Coccari, Udemy’s rapid growth in India is a testimony to the level of demand from students, instructors, and companies for affordable skills training...

Unlike Coursera, Udemy is less formal and more self-paced. It is designed for specific learning requirements while Coursera is more like a virtual university that teaches traditional subjects. Built on the premise that not all teachers are found in traditional classrooms. Udemy allows experts everywhere to develop courses.

Udemy has a global network of 30 million students and 42,000 teachers. For companies, it offers a subscription to its business courses and a platform to create proprietary courses.
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The 30 New Skills You Can Now Learn on LinkedIn Learning | New Courses - LinkedIn Learning

Paul Petrone, Editor - LinkedIn Learning reports, Each week presents a new opportunity for you and your team to learn the skills necessary to take on the next big challenge.

Photo:  Learning Blog - LinkedIn Learning

And, at LinkedIn Learning, we want to do everything we can to help make that happen.

So, each week, we add to our 13,000+ course library. And this past week was no different, as we added 35 new courses covering everything data science to IT networking to strategic focus for managers.

The new courses now available on LinkedIn Learning are:

Source: LinkedIn Learning (Blog)

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Einstein's Wife Could Have Changed Physics If She Had The Chance: Book | Science -NDTV News

Erin Blakemore, The Washington Post explains, Was Albert Einstein's first wife more than his equal? Did she actually write his most famous theory? That rumor is laid to rest in "Einstein's Wife: The Real Story of Mileva Einstein-Maric," which separates truth from fiction. 

Claims surfaced in 1990 that Mileva Einstein-Maric had co-written her husband's theory of relativity

In October 1900, an enamored Albert Einstein wrote a note to his bride-to-be, Mileva Maric. "I'm so lucky to have found you, a creature who is my equal," he gushed.

But was Einstein's first wife more than his equal? Did she actually write his most famous theory? That rumor is laid to rest in "Einstein's Wife: The Real Story of Mileva Einstein-Maric," which separates truth from fiction. It tells the story of a brilliant but frustrated scientist who may well have changed physics - if she had ever gotten the chance.

David C. Cassidy, professor emeritus at Hoftstra University, sketches Maric's life. Science historian Ruth Lewin Sime places her in context alongside other women who struggled to make their mark on 20th-century science. And British mathematics and physics lecturer Allen Esterson unravels what the authors call the "Mileva Story."

That story gained steam during the 1990s, when claims surfaced that Mileva Einstein-Maric had co-written her husband's theory of relativity. The explosive contentions came at a time when the stories of female scientists were being rediscovered and the public was increasingly skeptical of science, writes Esterson - perfect conditions for the claim that Einstein-Maric had been overlooked...

In an era that was unapologetically hostile to women with scientific ambitions, she fought to study physics and mathematics. She excelled in those studies. But she was derailed by motherhood and marriage, which frustrated her ambitions.
Read more... 

Recommended Reading

Einstein's Wife: The Real Story of Mileva Einstein-Maric by Allen Esterson (Author), David C. Cassidy (Author), Ruth Lewin Sime (Contributor)
Source: NDTV News

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A Holiday For Celebrating Women In Mathematics | Science - Forbes

New for 2019 is a mathematical holiday to celebrate women mathematicians. It will be held on Maryam Mirzakhani's birthday (May 12), according to Rachel Crowell, writes about mathematics.

Maryam Mirzakhani
Photo: Courtesy of Stanford News Service

While Thirdsday and Pi Day have passed for 2019, don't fret: there are still mathematical holidays to celebrate this year! Between Pi Day (March 14) and Tau Day (June 28) -- a celebration of the mathematical constant tau, which is equal to 2π -- there is a new mathematical holiday dedicated to celebrating women mathematicians! 

At the 2018 World Meeting for Women in Mathematics, (WM)^2 held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Women’s Committee of the Iranian Mathematical Society proposed designating Maryam Mirzakhani’s birthday (May 12) as a day for celebrating women in mathematics. The proposal was approved. Globally, several organizations for women in mathematics support the initiative, including European Women in Mathematics, the Association for Women in Mathematics, the African Women in Mathematics Association, the Colectivo de Mujeres Matemáticas de Chile (Collective of Women Mathematicians in Chile) and Indian Women and Mathematics.

Mirzakhani was the first woman and first Iranian to win the prestigious Fields Medal. "Mirzakhani specialized in theoretical mathematics that read like a foreign language by those outside of mathematics: moduli spaces, Teichmüller theory, hyperbolic geometry, Ergodic theory and symplectic geometry," according to a news release from Stanford University, where Mirzakhani was a mathematics professor until her death...

"May 12th is a joyful opportunity for the mathematical community to celebrate women in mathematics. The celebration takes place every year, all around the world...
Read more...   

Source: Forbes

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10 programming languages that are in demand among top hiring companies | Programming Languages - Express Computer

Coding continues to be one of the most in-demand skills in the job market. Many professionals are considering getting into the field, observes Express Computer.

Photo: Express Computer
Possessing the required skills in coding can open doors to some of the highest-paying jobs. One of the main questions that professionals have before getting started is about finding out which programming language to choose and what steps to take to get into coding. The best way to get started is by first understanding which languages are presently in demand, to make this easy online learning platform Simplilearn says that it has come up with a list of ten programming languages that developers and coding enthusiasts should look out for in 2019 to upskill themselves for a bigger paycheck and to excel at their job roles.

Based on the present market demands, the top 10 programming languages that top hiring companies are looking out for are :

Source: Express Computer

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Monday, March 18, 2019

We talk of artistic inspiration all the time – what about scientific inspiration? | Science - Firstpost

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Photo: Tom McLeish
Tom McLeish, Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Department of Physics at the University of York argues, I don’t know why it took so long to dawn on me – after 20 years of a scientific career – that what we call the "scientific method" really only refers the second half of any scientific story.

Where's the poetry and music of science.
Photo: courtesy Catholic University of Brazil
It describes how we test and refine the ideas and hypotheses we have about nature through the engagement of experiment or observation and theoretical ideas and models.

But something must happen before this. All of this process rests upon the vital, essential, precious ability to conceive of those ideas in the first place. And, sadly, we talk very little about this creative core of science: the imagining of what the unseen structures in the world might be like.

We need to be more open about it. I have been repeatedly saddened by hearing from school students that they were put off science "because there seemed no room there for my own creativity".

What on earth have we done to leave this formulaic impression of how science works?...

Science and poetry The 20th century biologist Peter Medawar was one of the few recent writers to discuss the role of creativity in science at all. He claimed that we are quietly embarrassed about it, because the imaginative phase of science possesses no "method" at all.

In his 1982 book Pluto’s Republic he points out:
The weakness of the hypothetico-deductive system, in so far as it might profess to cover a complete account of the scientific process, lies in its disclaiming any power to explain how hypotheses come into being.
Medawar is equally critical of glib comparisons of scientific creativity to the sources of artistic inspiration...

I read past accounts of creation in mathematics (Poincaré is very good), novel-writing (Henry James wrote a book about it), art (from Picasso to my Yorkshire friend, the artist late Graeme Willson), and participated in a two-day workshop in Cambridge on creativity with physicists and cosmologists. Philosophy, from medieval to 20th-century phenomenology, has quite a lot to add...

In my resulting book – The Poetry and Music of Science – I try to make sense of why science’s imaginative and creative core is so hidden, and how to bring it into the light. It’s not the book I first imagined – it just wouldn’t permit a structure of separate accounts of scientific and artistic creativity. Their entanglements run too deep for that.
Read more... 

Recommended Reading

The Poetry and Music of Science: Comparing Creativity in Science and Art by
Tom McLeish, Professor of Natural Philosophy.
Source: Firstpost

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7 tips for navigating the shift to open educational resources | K-12 - EdScoop News

Moving from traditional textbooks to open educational resources can improve accessibility to information and save students millions, reports Stacey Pusey, EdScoop. 

Photo: Getty Images
But a speaker in a recent webinar hosted by say there are a few considerations administrators should keep in mind as they take on the shift to OER.

Michael Nelson, director of curriculum and assessments for Coeur d’Alene Public Schools in Idaho, says his schools are shifting to an OER environment as part of their overall plans to improve individual student achievement. He noted a few key lessons he’s learned so far:

Source: EdScoop News

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