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Sunday, December 16, 2018

9 New Books We Recommend This Week | Book Review - New York Times

Follow on Twitter as @GregoryCowles
Suggested reading from critics and editors at The New York Times by Gregory Cowles, Senior Editor, Books.

Biographies take center stage in this week’s recommended titles — whether the traditional, magisterial kind that walks readers through the life of a celebrated figure (John Marshall, Saul Bellow) or the more intimate kind that shines attention on a person who might otherwise be overlooked (Scholastique Mukasonga’s mother, Stefania, in “The Barefoot Woman,” or Stephen L. Carter’s grandmother Eunice Carter, in “Invisible”). There’s also a group biography of the fathers of Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats and James Joyce, and autobiography in the form of memoir (by Elaine Pagels) and personal essays (by Meghan O’Gieblyn).

We round things out with a novel about politics and sexual violence, Idra Novey’s “Those Who Knew,” and a narrative history, Patricia Miller’s “Bringing Down the Colonel,” touching on some of those same themes in its account of a 19th-century lawsuit that challenged the era’s prevailing notions of gender and sexual mores.
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Source: New York Time  

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Prospect’s books of the year 2018: ideas | Arts & Books - Prospect

Books to help us understand our world, says Prospect Team.

Photo: Portrait of Nietzsche
Are things getting better or worse? Contrary to what the news tells us, actually we’ve never had it so good. That’s the argument of cognitive scientist Steven Pinker in Enlightenment Now (Allen Lane), which offers a profusion of graphs that show positive trends in life expectancy, crime, poverty and the spread of democracy. 

Pinker’s manifesto for optimism is exactly what we need right now, reminding us of how far we have come and how far we can still go. His book rails against the gloomy anti-Enlightenment arguments that were inaugurated by Friedrich Nietzsche. Sue Prideaux’s sympathetic biography I am Dynamite! (Faber) shows how the German philosopher denounced reason and urged us to embrace Dionysian desires. In person, though, he was soft-spoken and impeccably groomed—more like the Victorian gent he strove not to be.
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Source: Prospect 

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Books engage young girls in science and math | Agri News

Author says STEM makes agriculture thrive, inform Martha Blum, AgriNews Field Editor.

Cara Bartek holds the first two books in her Serafina Loves Science! series. Her goal is to publish a new book every six months. Bartek includes the directions for an actual experiment at the end of each book

The goal for Cara Bartek is to plant the seed of positivity in little girls.

“My books are like a long-form love letter to my daughters to tell them you can do it and don’t give up,” said Cara Bartek, the author of the series of Serafina Loves Science! books.

Bartek has written two books that revolve around a particular scientific concept and a life issue.

“My plan is to release a new book every six months,” she said. “These books are middle-grade fiction, and research shows that’s where girls start to lose out from peer pressure.”

In the first book written by Bartek, “Cosmic Conundrum,” Serafina goes to space camp...

The second book, “Quantum Quagmire,” was triggered by Bartek’s oldest daughter who was concerned about her friend whose parents were going through divorce...

Future books by Bartek will focus on marine biology and genetics...

For more information about Cara Bartek and Serafina Loves Science! go to

Books can be ordered from, as well as from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  
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Source: Agri News

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Physics books of 2018 | Symmetry magazine

Symmetry writer Mike Perricone presents his annual compilation of new popular science books related to particle physics and astrophysics.

Photo: Artwork by Sandbox Studio, Chicago

The array of particle physics and astrophysics books Symmetry readers might have encountered in 2018 ranges from the philosophical to the whimsical.
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Source: Symmetry magazine

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Saturday, December 15, 2018

The math way of life | Education - The Hindu

National Mathematics Day is observed on December 22.

When taught effectively, students come to love the subject and subsequently benefit from its long-term positive consequences, as The Hindu reports. 

Photo: The Hindu

Being a mathematics and physics teacher, I have had the privilege of interacting with thousands of parents and students from diverse backgrounds. Also, being a part of one of the world’s largest education companies, I have also had the opportunity of interacting with some of the finest educators from around the world.

In all of these conversations, a question I am asked often is why, despite a rich ancient mathematics culture, India does not produce great mathematicians. Is it a reflection of the quality of math education in the country? Does it demonstrate a common aptitude amongst Indians? Is there a ‘gene’ that determines whether you excel in this subject or not? Well, I have a slightly different way of looking at it and I believe there is no better time to share this than with the National Mathematics Day around the corner on December 22.

Being good at math versus being a good mathematician are two very different things. A mathematician is someone who is a specialist or an expert and is most likely pursuing research in this field. Being ‘good at math’, however, can be evaluated in various ways...

Tackling the fear
While the importance of math is uncontested, I see a common aversion to this subject across students of all age groups, especially young adults. Traditionally, maths has been taught in an abstract manner which makes it one of the ‘most feared’ subjects. Understanding and exploring math concepts is still driven by the fear of exams instead of the love for the subject. In fact, the fear of maths continues to live through most of our adult lives too.
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Source: The Hindu

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8 Scholarships From Top Ranking Universities For Data Science That Students Can Apply In 2019 | Education - Analytics India Magazine

Note: To get admission in foreign universities/Institutes mentioned above fulfilling English language eligibility through (TOEFL or IELTS) is must.

Studying data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning and related technologies in a foreign university might be an expensive affair, notes Martin F.R., aspiring journalist.

Photo: Analytics India Magazine

While there are a lot of sources available on the courses one can opt for in Data Science, it is hard to find detailed information about the scholarship for specialised courses. In this article, we list down top 8 scholarships that aspiring data science candidates can apply for in 2019. 

The article aims to list down scholarships available in top-ranking universities and should not be deemed as a comprehensive list. 

Source: Analytics India Magazine

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Can't find data scientists? Don't worry about it | Artificial Intelligence - ZDNet

Bob Violino, freelance writer reports, New study says five factors are democratizing data science, potentially easing the talent shortage.

Photo: ZDNet

It's no secret that data scientists continue to be among the most sought-after professionals in all of IT. As organizations continue to look for ways to gain value and insights from their data, these are the people they frequently turn to in order to make sense of all the information pouring into their systems from a growing number of sources.

The good news for companies desperate to find these needed skill sets is that data science is becoming "democratized," which will help bridge the talent gap.

Five factors are democratizing data science and putting this critical capability into the hands of more professionals, potentially alleviating the crippling talent shortage, according to a report released today from consulting firm Deloitte.
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Source: ZDNet

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Understanding the Future of Humans, AI and Quantum Computers | Artificial Intelligence - Next Big Future

I believe it is likely that we will have 10,000 qubit quantum computers within 5 to 10 years, observes Brian Wang, business-oriented futurist, speaker and author of emerging and disruptive technologies.

Photo: Next Big Future
There is rapidly advancing work by IonQ with trapped ion quantum computers and a range of superconducting quantum computer systems by Google, IBM, Intel, Rigetti and 2000-5000 qubit quantum annealing computers by D-Wave Systems.

10,000 qubit quantum computers should have computing capabilities far beyond any conventional computer for certain classes of problems. They will be beyond not just any regular computer today but any non-quantum computer ever for those kinds of problems.

Those quantum computers will help improve artificial intelligence systems. How certain is this development? What will it mean for humans and our world?

A Lot of Money, 
Many Approaches, Many Companies The other Google, IBM, Intel and Rigetti systems should be at 100-300 qubits in 2019. There will billions of dollar funding existing and new quantum computing efforts in the USA and China.

There will be a range of technologies beyond trapped ion and multiple categories of superconducting quantum computer technologies...

Will Powerful Quantum Computer Be in Everything? 
The power of quantum computers is such that most people do not have a use for quantum computers. 
We cannot properly form or understand advanced mathematics, physics or science to take advantage of quantum computing power.

Is computing power limiting what questions people can get answered? 
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Source: Next Big Future

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Mathematics books you can count on for Christmas | Reviews - E&T Magazine

Dominic Lenton, Managing Editor says, More gift ideas from E&T, this time looking at recent titles that take a less than serious approach to the world of numbers. 

Photo: Dreamstime
There’s a point somewhere between GCSEs and being baffled by how much school maths has changed when you’re trying to help your own children with homework, when a book about the history and theory of numbers becomes a welcome gift and not a big disappointment. It’s become a popular enough genre that there’s a steady stream of books aimed at readers who might regret not paying more attention in class and we’ve rounded up a few recent ones.
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Source: E&T Magazine

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Katen taking college class via robot | Syracuse Journal-Democrat

Through learning centers and distance learning programs, Southeast Community College puts a lot of effort into reaching out to students, some of whom can’t make it to the campus at Lincoln, Beatrice or Milford, according to Kirt Manion, Senior Writer at GateHouse Media.

SCC Class by Robot

The latest effort—taking class via robot.

Cassie Katen, a senior home-schooled high school student from Nebraska City, is already getting some college experience thanks to a robotic presence on the Beatrice campus.

Katen, a future business administration student in the collegiate world, is taking a college level English class through a program at the Nebraska City Distance Learning Center at SCC at 819 Central Ave.

Tammy Atha, Katen’s instructor, said she remembers getting the notification that she would have a robot student in class.

At first, Atha admits the idea of teaching to a robot presence was intimidating...

SCC Robots
The robot program is funded through a Rural Development Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture. SCC was awarded $120,582. So far, six learning center students have taken advantage of the program at the Lincoln and Beatrice campuses.

Christopher Cummins, director of Instructional Technology and Virtual Learning at SCC, tested the robots prior to the start of classes. He says overall it’s been a success with some minor issues.

“The robot is designed to take some punishment, so it’s pretty sturdy,” Cummins said. “We had a (robot) student fall over in class. The camera fell off and the student’s view was in portrait mode until they put the camera back on. One of the students just picked her back up. Students in the classrooms and in the halls are constantly snapping selfies or wishing the student ‘good luck’ on their way to class. It’s been very positive.“ 

Source: Syracuse Journal-Democrat and Nebraska City News Press Channel (YouTube)

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