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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Book review: 'Cloud' reveals what shapes three women | Books -

Do you ever feel like you're floating along in life? And reflecting on those life events that could have changed your trajectory?

"A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl" by Jean Thompson (Simon & Schuster, 336 pages, in stores Tuesday)
Maybe somewhat wondering what if you had chosen differently, but knowing that the past doesn't change, and decisions are already made. This book is about those feelings, making the best of some unhappiness — and the end-of-life reflections for three generations of women in a family.

The book begins as the first woman, Evelyn, is under hospice care, and the book takes us through memories that define her adult life. During the war (World War II), she was able to work as a college history instructor, though after the troops returned, her teaching load was reduced as “full-time” professors returned. We see her memories of meeting her husband, their awkward courtship and why she decides to accept his proposal.

Her daughter, Laura, tends her childhood home and her mother's bedside during this time, while managing her own tough household and stern husband. While wondering why things are "just so" at her mother's house, and reflecting on her childhood, Laura's thoughts also wander to the harder parts of parenting her own children. In the year that follows Evelyn's death, Laura's life also takes a turn down a difficult road. She comes to terms with this change much quicker than her husband and children. And we see how her decisions as a young adult affected her later in life, as well.

Laura's daughter Grace, a vegan, part-time yoga instructor, thinks her mom does too much for her brother and father. Grace keeps telling her to take a vacation, to leave the boys to fend for themselves.


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23 Inspiring Books Everyone Who Wants to Succeed Should Read | Grow - Inc.

Photo: Christina DesMarais
Christina DesMarais, contributor says, Reading is a powerful daily habit which can mean the difference between success and mediocrity.

Photo: Getty Images
Reading is a powerful daily habit which can mean the difference between success and mediocrity. It's a discipline which helps winning individuals push harder, farther and faster than the people around them. Not only does reading bring enlightenment through exposure to the opinions, learnings and stories of others, it's also exercise for the mind. If you read daily--or want to--here are two dozen ideas on which titles to get your hands on next.
Read more... 

Recommended Reading

Photo: Getty Images
This Is What a Great Book Does to Your Brain by Jessica Stillman, freelance writer based in Cyprus. 
"The neuroscience of deep reading will make you want to curl up with a great book."

Source: Inc.

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Growing up in a house full of books is major boost to literacy and numeracy, study finds | PacificStandard and School of Sociology

A new study by the ANU School of Sociology has found that people who grew up in book-filled homes have higher reading, math, and technological skills.

The paper was co-authored by Joanna Sikora, along with colleagues from the University of Nevada.

The researchers analysed data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Competencies. Its surveys, taken between 2011 and 2015, featured adults (ages 25 to 65) in 31 nations, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Singapore, and Turkey.

All participants were asked how many books there were in their home when they were 16 years old. (One meter of shelving, they were told, holds about 40 books.) They chose from a series of options ranging from "10 or less" to "more than 500."...

Numeracy tests measured the "ability to use mathematical concepts in everyday life," while IT-related tests "assessed the ability to use digital technology to communicate with others, as well as to gather, analyze, and synthesize information."...

The original paper was published as 'Scholarly culture: How books in adolescence enhance adult literacy, numeracy and technology skills in 31 societies', Social Science Research, 2018.
Read more... 

Source: PacificStandard and School of Sociology

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8 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.

Character matters, in literature as much as life. This week’s recommended titles delve deep into the stories of complicated individuals, whether through biography (Gandhi, Lorraine Hansberry) or memoir (Sally Field, Marwan Hisham) or fiction (the heroine of John Wray’s novel, derived from a real-life figure, is an American fighting for the Taliban). 

For readers who prefer a wide-angle lens, we offer a manifesto about female rage, a simmering thriller from Tana French about the ways that privilege protects and blinds its recipients, and a celebration of libraries that opens with the harrowing tale of a fire tearing through the stacks. It will make you feel even more protective of your books than you do already. 

Source: New York Time 

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Liz Phair’s 10 Favorite Books | Books - Vulture

J.D. Salinger, Toni Morrison, and more.
Photo: Getty Images

Bookseller One Grand Books has asked celebrities to name the ten titles they’d take to a desert island, and they’ve shared the results with Vulture. 

Anointed as “Rock’s voice of third-wave feminism,” by The Guardian, American singer and songwriter Liz Phair was adopted and raised outside of Chicago. Her 1993 debut, Exile in Guyville, an 18-song double album of jangling indie-rock, is widely considered a seminal record of the era,...

Below is musician Liz Phair’s list.

Source: Vulture

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Smartphones are endangering Iceland’s love of books | Quartz

Photo: Alison Griswold
Every holiday season, publishers in Iceland prepare for jólabókaflóðið, the traditional Christmas book flood, inform Alison Griswold, reporter at Quartz.
A book shop window in Reykjavik.

The jólabókaflóðið, in which Icelandic publishers release most of their new books in the months before Christmas, traces back to 1944, when Iceland gained independence from Denmark. Paper was one of the few goods not rationed on the island, making books a popular gift.

But that tradition is struggling to hang on in the increasingly digitized world. Icelanders aren’t buying nearly as many books as they used to.

From 2010 to 2017, book sales in Iceland dropped 43%. In August, Iceland Monitor reported that book sales had fallen another 5% from the same period in 2017.

“The alarming profile we published a year ago has gotten quite a bit worse,” Egill Örn Jóhannsson, CEO of publishing company Forlagið, told a local news outlet, according to Iceland Monitor...

Last year, Iceland’s minister of education, science, and culture appointed a committee to study the state of book publishing in the country.

Source: Quartz

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University researchers push for better research methods | Editor's Picks - Minnesota Daily

New workshops this semester are an effort to make social science studies more replicable, inform Theresa Mueller - Minnesota Daily.

Faculty members and graduate students at the University of Minnesota have formed a workshop to hold discussions about reproducibility in research studies

The discussions come during a national movement to replicate research in social science fields, such as psychology. The movement has shown that many previous studies are not reliable.  After discussions last spring regarding ways the University can address these research practices, the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science designed workshops for faculty and students to discuss ways to develop replicable research methods. 

“Any scientific discipline will depend upon reproducible findings, that’s how you build a science,” said Matt McGue, a professor in the Department of Psychology.

The Reproducibility Working Group meets biweekly this semester to discuss the issue of reproducibility in psychological research and focus on topics such as measurement. 

Alan Love, director of the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science, said the purpose of holding these conversations across campus is for researchers across all disciplines to be actively thinking about the sort of complex issues within their own methods...

Faculty members and graduate students from the philosophy, psychology and statistics departments have been attending the workshops. McGue said all members offer a unique perspective to the discussion of reproducibility as there are intersections across all three areas. 
Read more... 

Source: Minnesota Daily

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Best of for AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning – September 2018 | insideBIGDATA

In this recurring monthly feature, we filter recent research papers appearing on the preprint server for compelling subjects relating to AI, machine learning and deep learning – from disciplines including statistics, mathematics and computer science – and provide you with a useful “best of” list for the past month, as insideBIGDATA reports.

Researchers from all over the world contribute to this repository as a prelude to the peer review process for publication in traditional journals. arXiv contains a veritable treasure trove of learning methods you may use one day in the solution of data science problems. 
We hope to save you some time by picking out articles that represent the most promise for the typical data scientist. The articles listed below represent a fraction of all articles appearing on the preprint server. They are listed in no particular order with a link to each paper along with a brief overview. Especially relevant articles are marked with a “thumbs up” icon. Consider that these are academic research papers, typically geared toward graduate students, post docs, and seasoned professionals. They generally contain a high degree of mathematics so be prepared. 

Source: insideBIGDATA  

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Saturday, October 20, 2018

How to use Machine Learning for IoT analysis | JAXenter

Daniel Bishop, started off as a content consultant for small SEO and web design companies notes, Many of the most exciting high-tech projects nowadays include bringing together knowledge from two or more well-established and fast-growing fields. 

Photo: Shutterstock / Venomous Vector
One of the prominent examples is applying machine learning in order to filter and analyze the huge amount of data we obtain from the Internet of Things (IoT). But first, let’s see why IoT needs help from artificial intelligence in order to reach its full potential.

In essence, the IoT universe includes all sorts of sensors and smart devices that are plugged into the internet and capable of exchanging data with each other. This industry is growing at an enormous rate. It is expected that until 2022 we’ll have around 50 billion devices connected to the network, which is a 140 percent increase compared to 2018. And in 2035, this number could reach 1 trillion devices.

This massive upsurge also means a rise in the amount of exchanged data that will make this data impossible to analyze by using traditional methods. With 90 percent of online data being generated only in the last two years, this problem has already emerged, especially having in mind the reported shortage of data analysts worldwide. So how can machine learning help with sorting and analyzing this data?

Source: JAXenter

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Machine learning now the top skill sought by developers | Developer - ZDNet

SlashData's latest survey of 20,000 developers identifies machine learning and data science are the skills to know for 2019, according to Joe McKendrick, author and independent analyst. 

Photo: Joe McKendrick
Developers want to learn the data sciences. They see machine learning and data science as the most important skill they need to learn in the year ahead. Accordingly, Python is becoming the language of choice for developers getting into the data science space.

Those are some of the takeaways from a recent survey of more than 20,500 developers conducted by SlashData. The survey shows data science and machine learning to be the top skill to learn in 2019. These will be the most highly sought after skills in the next year, with 45% of developers seeking to gain expertise in these fields...

Data science and related machine learning activities require a wide range of skills, the report's authors, led by Stijn Schuermans, state. "Data scientists live in the intersection of coding, mathematics and business and, therefore, they need to possess a mixture of technical and soft skills as well as have domain-specific knowledge," they relate. "Analyzing large volumes of data with advanced statistical and visualization techniques often requires good mathematical background, especially in probability and statistics. It also requires ability to write code in at least one programming language like Python, which is currently by far the most popular language among data scientists."
Read more...  

Source: ZDNet 

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