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Saturday, July 21, 2018

How 'big-picture thinking' and IB study go hand in glove | Education - The Sydney Morning Herald

"The International Baccalaureate alternative in high school is growing" summarizes Fran Molloy, Journalist.
 

IB students, from left, Alexandra Doubleday, Kate Addison and Sophia Kennaugh with Tara's head of Senior School Scott Baker.
Photo: Supplied

Students at Tara Anglican School for Girls will now learn their years 7 to 10 coursework via the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Program, a framework for teaching that the school introduced more than two years ago when students now in year 9 began their secondary schooling.

Head of Senior School Scott Baker says the content follows the Australian curriculum, but is taught differently. 

"The framework through which the material is taught is best practice," he says.

The IB middle years program (MYP) gives broad coverage in creative arts and design, language acquisition, literature, maths, physical education, societies and science...

A key part of IB study is learning how to take notes, how to reference and research. That's music to the ears of universities, some of whom have begun making unconditional early entry offers to IB students based on their predicted results.
Read more...

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald 


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Op-Ed: How Africa can embrace an artificial intelligence enabled future | CNBCAfrica.com

"Currently, no African country is among the top 10 countries expected to benefit most from AI and automation. But, the continent has the potential to catch up with the rest of world if we act fast" says Zoaib Hoosen, Microsoft Managing Director.


t’s no longer news that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be a driving force behind the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with the global economic returns of this revolution expected to be in the region of about $16 trillion.

Along with these returns, AI is also expected to create 2.3 million new jobs by 2020, according to Gartner.

However, if we look at previous revolutions, history shows us that these revolutions have always been accompanied by a brief transition of temporary job loss followed by a period of recovery where job creation moves into more positive territory.

This means that we all need to take steps now to prepare AI in the future...

Combining STEM with the arts
Young people have a leg up on those already in the working world because they can easily develop the necessary skills for these new roles. It’s therefore essential that our education system constantly evolves to equip youth with the right skills and way of thinking to be successful in jobs that may not even exist yet.

As the division of tasks between man and machine changes, we must re-evaluate the type of knowledge and skills imparted to future generations.

For example, technical skills will be required to design and implement AI systems, but interpersonal skills, creativity and emotional intelligence will also become crucial in giving humans an advantage over machines.

“At one level, AI will require that even more people specialise in digital skills and data science. But skilling-up for an AI-powered world involves more than science, technology, engineering and math. As computers behave more like humans, the social sciences and humanities will become even more important. Languages, art, history, economics, ethics, philosophy, psychology and human development courses can teach critical, philosophical and ethics-based skills that will be instrumental in the development and management of AI solutions.” This is according to Microsoft president, Brad Smith, and EVP of AI and research, Harry Shum, who recently authored the book “The Future Computed”, which primarily deals with AI and its role in society.

Interestingly, institutions like Stanford University are already implementing this forward-thinking approach. The university offers a programme called CS+X, which integrates its computer science degree with humanities degrees, resulting in a Bachelor of Arts and Science qualification.
Read more... 

Recommended Reading

The Future Computed is available here 
The Future Computed: Artificial Intelligence and its role in society by Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer and Harry Shum, Executive Vice President of Microsoft AI and Research Group. 

Source: CNBCAfrica.com


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Want to change the world? Pursue research in the humanities… | University - Study International News

“The calling of the humanities is to make us truly human in the best sense of the word.” J. Irwin Miller


"From age-old sketches across cave walls to time-worn folklore tales, the humanities have long been mankind’s means of decoding a complex world" argues Study International News.
 
Photo: School of Humanities, Nanyang Technological University Singapore

 
Our ancient ancestors recorded thoughts and feelings, created magnificent art, told fantastical stories and developed philosophical theories. Detailed research and analysis of these achievements reveal the intricate twists and turns of our past, offering a foundation that helps us understand and predict current and future trends.

When the relevance and credibility of this discipline comes under fire, it serves us well to take stock of its powerful legacy. Advancements in the humanities through the ages have come to define the very fabric of our existence. And since they have shaped the world today, they will greatly factor into our tomorrow.

But the world in which they were first conceived is fundamentally different to the one they’re used in now.

The current digital age is one centred on disruptive technologies, thriving on change and rapid-pace development. In this world, failure to adapt breeds the very real danger of becoming obsolete.

As the basis of all common knowledge we’ve come to discover, research in the humanities must continue to evolve to meet the challenges of life in the twenty-first century.

“Tackling today’s biggest social and technological challenges requires the ability to think critically about their human context, which is something that humanities graduates happen to be best trained to do,” explains Vivek Wadhwa of The Washington Post.

Research in the humanities has driven advances in diverse fields, from healthcare to robotics. Humanities graduates influence every major sector and tackle the greatest issues in our world, while leaders increasingly look for support from those who understand every layer of the human condition.

The masterminds who forge our path through the intricate turns of these disciplines are empowered by higher education. Statistics have revealed the humanities to hold the most popular subjects studied among global leaders.

Known for research excellence and technological innovation, Nanyang Technological University‘s (NTU) standing at number 12 in the QS World Ranking positions it among the global academic elite. Topping the QS Top 50 Under 50 chart for the fifth year in a row, NTU’s research is known and respected across all corners of the globe.
Read more...

Source: Study International News


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Select group studying with Manchester Music Festival | The Manchester Journal

Hundreds of applicants. Four continents and at least 14 countries' worth of performances. Thousands and thousands of hours of practice, continues The Manchester Journal.

Music Festival artistic director Adam Neiman works with cellist Michael Newman, a student in MMF's Young Artists Program. 
Photo: Provided by MMFManchester

All for 17 slots.

Each year, seventeen young musicians, aged 18 to 26, are offered a spot at the Manchester Music Festival's Young Artists Program, where they receive daily instruction from world-famous musical masters for five weeks. Many had begun their musical careers by the age of 5 or 6; some have since been honing their craft for close to two decades. They have played all over the country and around the world, but all are excited at the prospect of learning from one another and from some of the best musicians in the world here in Manchester.

"I think that most musicians would agree that you can't ever reach a point where you feel you've stopped learning," said cellist Rajan Kapoor. "You learn all the time and in different ways, which is something I love about being a musician."

Read more... 

Source: The Manchester Journal


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Belize Music Agency offering free music classes | LoveFM

Johnelle McKenzie, Author at LoveFM notes, The participants in the next story won’t be carrying 2 knapsacks but they will have instruments. 

James Sanker, Belize Music Agency

Learning to play music can be a very costly venture.  However, James Sanker of Belize Music Agency is holding a free six-month musical training for children. Love News spoke with Sanker about the initiative

James Sanker, Belize Music Agency: “It’s call the Southside music program. The aim of it is to engage youths from the Southside in learning music. I taught summer would have been too short to get the results I would have liked and so it’s a six month program, it’s free and I have four music classes each week, guitar on Monday on Tuesday we have keyboard, on Wednesday we have vocals and drumming on Friday, we will be teaching Kriol drums and acoustic drum sets. Right now we have enrolled in the class we were aiming at having ten students per class we have a little bit more than that but with some other assistance I think I might be able to take on more people in the course so if you would still like to bring your kid starting from 12-18 to come there is still room that we will be able to accept people.”

Interested persons can call 632-3224 or 205-6294 for more information. Sanker said that the children will participate in a musical performance at the end of the training.

Source: LoveFM


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Friday, July 20, 2018

Children Learn About Multicultural Music With Brad Peterson At The C.H. Booth Library | Features - The Newtown Bee

"As children ages 6 to 9 gathered in the C.H. Booth Library’s Meeting Room on July 9, music teacher Brad Peterson set up more than a dozen instruments for the first Multicultural Music class" inform  Alissa Silber, Reporter.

Photo:C. H. Booth Library

Throughout the lesson, he taught the children what the various instruments were, like the conga and djembe drums, and had them practice the proper ways of playing them.

Children also participated in singing traditional songs from around the world while learning rhythm through hand clapping exercises.

Those interested in attending the next Multicultural Music classes can register online and visit the C.H. Booth Library, 25 Main Street, on Monday, July 23.

For more information about the C.H. Booth Library, visit chboothlibrary.org.

Source: The Newtown Bee


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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Dubai university to launch first artificial intelligence degree | Arabian Business

British University in Dubai announces plan to launch AI degree as part of UAE's 2031 AI strategy, as Arabian Business reports.
 


The British University in Dubai (BUiD) has launched the country's first bachelors degree in artificial intelligence to support the UAE's 2031 AI strategy.

BUiD, the research-based university, said the degree has been developed in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh and is open to both Emiratis and expatriates.

It told media at a press conference attended by Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, that the four-year degree course will start at the end of September, and tuition fees will total AED230,000. 
Read more...

Source: Arabian Business


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The best programming language for data science and machine learning | ZDNet

Hint: There is no easy answer, and no consensus either, as ZDNet reports.


Arguing about which programming language is the best one is a favorite pastime among software developers. The tricky part, of course, is defining a set of criteria for "best."

With software development being redefined to work in a data science and machine learning context, this timeless question is gaining new relevance. Let's look at some options and their pros and cons, with commentary from domain experts.

Even though, in the end, the choice is at least to some extent a subjective one, some criteria come to mind. Ease of use and syntax may be subjective, but things such as community support, available libraries, speed, and type safety are not. There are a few nuances here, though.

Execution speed and type safety 
In machine learning applications, the training and operational (or inference) phases for algorithms are distinct. So, one approach taken by some people is to use one language for the training phase and then another one for the operational phase.

The reasoning here is to work during development with the language that is more familiar or easy to use, or has the best environment and library support. Then the trained algorithm is ported to run on the environment preferred by the organization for its operations.

While this is an option, especially using standards such as PMML, it may increase operational complexity. In addition, in many cases things are not clear-cut, as programming done in one language may call libraries in another one, thus diluting the argument on execution speed.

Another thing to note is type safety. Type safety in programming languages is a little like schema in databases: While not having it increases flexibility, it also increases the chances of errors.

In this thread initiated by Andriy Burkov, machine learning team leader at Gartner, Burkov argues against using dynamically typed languages such as Python for machine learning.

"You can run an experiment for several hours, or even days, just to find out that the code crashed because of an incorrect type conversion or a wrong number of attributes in a method call," says Burkov.
Read more...

Source: ZDNet


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Using Deep Learning For Sound Classification: An In-Depth Analysis | Analytics India Magazine

Transmitting sound through a machine and expecting an answer is a human depiction is considered as an highly-accurate deep learning task, as Analytics India Magazine reports.


Every one of us has come across smartphones with mobile assistants such as Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant. These are dominating and in a way invading human interactions.

The neural networks built with memory capabilities have made speech recognition 99 percent accurate. Neural networks like LSTMs have taken over the field of Natural Language Processing. A person’s speech can also be understood and processed into text by storing the last word of the particular sentence which is fascinating. To understand how these state-of-the-art applications work, lets us break down the whole process of sound recognition to machine translation.

Wave Breakdown 
The audio signal is separated into different segments before being fed into the network. This can be performed with the help of various techniques such as Fourier analysis or Mel Frequency, among others. The graph below is a representation of a sound wave in a three-dimensional space. A Fourier transform can be performed on a sound wave to represent and visualise them in time or frequency domain...

What are LSTM Neural Networks? 
The LSTM is a network of cells where these cells take input from the previous state ht-1 and current input xt. The main function of the cells is to decide what to keep in mind and what to omit from the memory. The past state, the current memory and the present input work together to predict the next output. The LSTM networks are popular nowadays because of their accurate performance in language processing tasks...

Conclusion 
With the understanding of how to process sound on a machine, one can also work on building their own sound classification systems. But when it comes to deep learning, the data is the key. Larger the data, better the accuracy.
Read more... 

Source: Analytics India Magazine 


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Anderson 5 to launch virtual school day pilot program | WSPA.com

"This school year Anderson District Five students will be part of a brand new program that will keep them learning even when weather keeps them from the classroom" summarizes Nicole Ford, reporter and multimedia journalist.

Photo: WSPA.com

It's a pilot program for South Carolina that you will only see at Anderson Five.  Superintendent Tom Wilson tells 7News it's a program five years in the making and just recently were they picked by the Oversight Committee to be a participant.

The way it works is that instead of school being closed for snow or inclement weather, the students and staff will instead of an E-Learning day. Since all students have chromebooks supplied by the school, they will be able to take them home for Grades 3rd to 12th to complete assignments online with the ability to communicate with the teachers.
Read more... 

Source: WSPA.com


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