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Saturday, October 13, 2018

People who grow up with books have better math and digital communication skills | Fast Company

Large in-home libraries have benefits beyond the obvious, explains Michael Grothaus, novelist, journalist, and former screenwriter represented worldwide by Marjacq Scripts Ltd

Photo: Christin Hume/Unsplash

That’s according to a new study by Australian National University, Pacific Standard reports. In the study, researchers looked at 31 countries and the average household’s book-buying habits and found that the more books a home contained the better math, literacy, and digital communication skills children had when they reached adulthood.

In the study, participants stated how many books were in their house when they were children, ranging from “less than 10” to “more than 500.” It turns out those who said they had 80 or more books had much higher literacy skills (as could be expected), but also higher numerical and IT skills. And having more than 80 books was even better, as people who reported that they had 150 or 300 books scored even higher on math, literacy, and IT skills than did people who reported having 80 books (however, these improvements plateaued after the 350-book-mark).

Source: Fast Company

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MSU Music celebrates the work of Richard Strauss | Campus - MSUToday

The Michigan State University College of Music is proud to present an evening of works by the last of the German romantics, Richard Strauss.

Photo: MSUToday
This first concert of the 2018-19 West Circle Series features Strauss — a daring composer and conductor — who was born into a musical household in 1864. Following in his father’s footsteps, young Strauss dedicated his life to music, and at the age of 18 had already composed over 140 works including various vocal, chamber and orchestral works. Two years later he made his conducting debut with the Meiningen Orchestra with his premiere piece “Suite for 13 Winds.”

The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Monday in Fairchild Theatre, MSU Auditorium, and will feature MSU faculty artists and students.

Source: MSUToday

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Musician wants to make sure Cape Breton traditional music continues |

“Remember now, we’re the Prime Brook Philharmonic.” according to Elizabeth Patterson, Reporter/Editor at Cape Breton Post.

Fiddler Dwayne Cote, left, gives Joan Roach of Glace Bay a few pointers on hand position during Cote’s “Fiddle From Scratch” sessions being held at the Brooks Haven Seniors Recreation Centre in Prime Brook this week, as part of Celtic Colours International Festival.
Photo: Elizabeth Patterson
Fiddler Dwayne Cote may be smiling as he speaks to eight people who have never picked up a violin before but he’s not joking. They’re students of his “Fiddle From Scratch” sessions being held at the Brooks Haven Seniors Recreation Centre in Prime Brook this week, part of the Celtic Colours International Festival.

Generally acknowledged as one of Cape Breton’s top players, Cote, 48, is on a mission. He wants to make sure Cape Bretoners keep loving, appreciating and playing Cape Breton fiddle music. He and his wife Lisa White Cote have developed the sessions to make learning how to play as easy as possible. The sessions began several years ago near St. Peters but have since moved to Prime Brook, since they live there now.

For a mere 35 bucks, anyone can take part. Cote even supplies the instruments so first-timers can get a feel for it before buying anything. According to first-time player Joan Roach from Glace Bay, it’s money well-spent.

“I’ve never played it before,” she said after completing the lesson. “I just thought it would be a neat thing to try. I love it.”

During the class, Cote patiently explains how to hold the instrument and bow. Within an hour, everyone in the class is playing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” in unison. Considering the violin is not the easiest instrument to learn, the accomplishment is startling but never tell Cote it can’t be done...

Cote has been performing professionally since he was 13 years old. While he’s best known as a Cape Breton traditional fiddler, he’s also a Celtic guitarist (in addition to the fiddle workshops, he also teaches guitar workshops during Celtic Colours), as well as a composer. 
Among his accolades, he won the 2011 East Coast Music Award for best jazz recording for his work done with Duane Andrews, an album that saw Cote compared to the legendary Stephane Grappelli. He occasionally plays classical violin as well.


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West Sussex Music offers a chance to learn an instrument in a safe and creative environment | Music - West Sussex County Times

West Sussex Music has announced a new initiative that will offer children the opportunity to learn an instrument alongside friends and peers in a fun, group environment. 

Photo: West Sussex Music

To be held on Saturday mornings, the Key2Music beginner classes will run at West Sussex Music’s five Music Centres in Chichester, Crawley, Haywards Heath, Horsham and Worthing. 

Kids can learn instruments such as the bassoon, brass, cello, clarinet, double bass, flute, oboe, saxophone, viola, and violin, for as little as £60 per term, which includes Music Centre membership. 

Low cost instrument hire can be added for £20 per term. 

“At West Sussex Music, we know that learning to play an instrument boosts attainment, promotes well-being and enhances self-esteem,” says Adam Barker, West Sussex Music’s assistant head. “And we know from our ensembles that children improve faster and achieve far more if they regularly practise as a group. 

 “These Key2Music beginner classes will provide a safe, social and creative outlet for musical self-expression, and all in a very affordable way.”...

Key to West Sussex Music’s unique offer, its ensembles not only bring children together through a shared love of music but also offer a clear progression route through the Music Centres, on to the West Sussex Youth Orchestras and Choirs and beyond that to Junior Conservatoires and national ensembles. 

Whatever the choice of instrument, level of competence or age, there is a suitable ensemble or band to be found, whether it’s a percussion ensemble, string orchestra, wind band, choir or guitar group. 

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Review: With ‘Tao,’ Philharmonic Dives Deeper Into Andriessen | Music - New York Times

Anthony Tommasini, chief classical music critic notes, In writing his 1996 work “Tao,” the Dutch composer Louis Andriessen says he made no attempt “to relate to what is known as ‘music from the Far East’ or, even worse, ‘world music.’”

David Robertson leads the New York Philharmonic on Wednesday at David Geffen Hall.
Photo: Caitlin Ochs for The New York Times.
I can understand his reluctance. There have probably been too many glib generalizations about what Asian music is, and too many attempts to appropriate it.

Still, listening to the New York Philharmonic’s performance of “Tao” on Wednesday at David Geffen Hall, with David Robertson conducting, it was hard not to hear the piercing, high-pitched chords and tart melodic fragments of this 18-minute work as evocative of Asian styles and sonorities. And the scoring for “Tao” does include two traditional Japanese instruments; in the second half, four female vocalists sing settings of Chinese and Japanese texts...

Clipped melodies, like bits of chant, keep breaking through. Eventually the lower strings provide depth and grounding, fortified by snarling brass. Whatever narratives or cultural traditions the music evokes in you, the pungent, precise harmonies are the result of the acute ear this composer brings to all his music, as we are learning from the Philharmonic’s two-week series “The Art of Andriessen.”

About halfway through “Tao,” the vocal quartet — here the excellent Synergy Vocals — enters, singing an excerpt from the sixth century B.C. “Tao Te Ching,” the message of which is stated in the first line: “When one is out of life, one is in death.” The second text, Kotaro Takamura’s 1930 poem “Knife-Whetter,” describes in poignant detail how a craftsman finds purpose by honing a skill.
Around this point a piano soloist (here Tomoko Mukaiyama) enters, playing fitful strands of steely high chords. Ms. Mukaiyama also performed in the premiere of the work, which was conceived for her multiple talents.

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Faculty Distinguished Lecture Explores the Use of Mathematical Modeling in the Dosing of Antibiotics | Meredith College News

Photo: Cammey Cole Manning
Professor of Mathematics Cammey Cole Manning presented her research titled “Mathematical Modeling of Antibiotics: Should the Dose be the Same for Everyone?” at Meredith College’s 2018 Faculty Distinguished Lecture, held on October 9 in Jones Auditorium.

Photo: Meredith College News

During the 57th installment of the lecture series, Manning explored how mathematical modeling could be used in determining the dosing of antibiotics. In particular, she looked at whether the same dose of the antibiotic ertapenem should be given to everyone.

She opened her talk with a visual of how things might appear the same, but in reality, they differ in many ways, showing the importance of truly defining a problem before developing the model. Manning had three students demonstrate filling jars of various sizes with the same number of M&M’s, showing that the same number and type of M&M’s will fill each jar differently.

“Defining the size of the jar is a really important part of the process. For problems such as this one, it is important to know the size of the jar we are talking about, what type of M&M’s we are using, and what is meant by filling the jar. This is all part of defining the problem and making assumptions.”

A type of mathematical model, known as a physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model, was used to answer the question of whether everyone should receive the same dose of antibiotics. 

Manning studied the distribution of the antibiotic, ertapenem, in men and women with varying body mass indexes (BMI), following a typical dose, which was based on a normal weight, normal height male...

About Cammey Cole Manning
Cammey Cole Manning is a professor of mathematics and head of Meredith’s Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. She has been actively involved with the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), and the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI), particularly in mentoring and planning professional development programs and workshops for undergraduates, graduate students, and early-career individuals. She continues to be active in research, most recently publishing in the Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering journal.

Manning earned her B.S. in mathematics and computer science at Duke University and completed her Ph.D. in applied mathematics with a concentration in computational mathematics at North Carolina State University.

Source: Meredith College News

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What Can I do with a Degree in Maths? | CareersPortal

Countless opportunities for maths graduates, summarizes CareersPortal.

What Can I do with a Degree in Maths?
Photo: CareersPortal
If you have an aptitude for numerical reasoning and enjoy working out complex equations you may find yourself considering a course heavily based in Maths. Engineering, computers, science, accounting, actuarial studies, statistics will all give you enough maths to satisfy your hunger for problem solving.

But what if you took the plunge and studied an exclusive maths degree; what then?

What could you possibly do with a degree in maths?

Just about anything!

Careers chosen by mathematicians fall loosely into three categories 
1. Careers directly related to maths. These include all forms of teaching and academic work. There are positions in industry or Civil Service which involve using mathematical, statistical, and computing knowledge which are acquired through studying maths. Positions in IT and in finance demand a strong mathematical knowledge.

2. Careers that involve thinking logically and quantitatively. Typical examples include actuarial, accounting, banking etc.

3. Wide career pool open to graduates of many disciplines – as previously stated, maths graduates develop a specialised skills set that often gives them an advantage over competition from other disciplines. Maths graduates have highly developed numerical and logical thinking skills, and the ability to analyse difficult problems. A degree in maths provides the analytical skills and methods of decision making that are necessary in just about any work place.

Source: CareersPortal

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4 Engineering Schools preparing students for the global market | University - Study International News

“There’s nothing I believe in more strongly than getting young people interested in science and engineering, for a better tomorrow, for all humankind.” – Bill Nye

It’s not always clear which degree will land you on the best path to your dream career, says

Photo: University of Melbourne

Talk of a complex and competitive graduate market can easily cast a shadow over student positivity, but rest assured that your degree still stands as the ultimate currency when it comes to finding a job.

You don’t have to look far to uncover the long-lasting demand for engineering expertise. As a concept conceived way back in ancient times and a profession expected to thrive long into the future, universities across the globe are refining qualified graduates to meet burgeoning demand in engineering.

With tuition fees placing incredible strain on weary student bank accounts, prospective learners want to be sure their investment will pay off. The College and Salary Report from PayScale highlights the future earning power for a range of higher degrees, based on approximately 2.3 million surveys from graduates across 2,700 colleges and universities...

But the scientific and techy minds among you will be pleased to know that engineering dominated PayScale’s high-earning Top 20, landing most of the top 35 positions along with other STEM degrees (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).
Read more... 

Source: Study International News

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Risk Management and Risk Analytics, Master of Science | St John's University News

The 30-credit Master of Science in Risk Management and Risk Analytics program prepares graduates to thrive in professional positions in the insurance industry, inform St John's University News.

Photo: The School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science (SRM)

The curriculum provides students with the tools to identify, analyze, and manage risks, with particular focus on commercial risks that are traditionally insured, including property, liability, and human resource exposures...

The M.S. in Risk Management and Risk Analytics will prepare graduates to:
  • Understand the process of how to identify, measure, and manage risk
  • Understand how to mitigate and finance loss exposures using alternative risk management techniques
  • Understand insurance products and corporate risk management strategies
  • Understand decision making for the operation of insurance and related financial service sector firms
  • Demonstrate skill producing quality independent research using advanced statistical and simulation tools
For additional information on the Master of Science in Risk Management and Risk Analytics, please contact the faculty program director:
Ping Wang, Associate Professor
School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science
101 Astor Place, 223

Please see a list of our School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science faculty.

Source: St John's University News

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Hendrix Professors Collaborate on Statistics Study Guide | Hendrix College Events and News

Three Hendrix College psychology professors have collaborated to write an online study guide as a companion to the new edition of a statistics textbook by a fourth colleague, Dr. Chris Spatz ’62, professor emeritus of psychology, as Hendrix College Events and News reports.

  Exploring Statistics: Tales of Distributions

The Study Guide for Exploring Statistics: Tales of Distributions (12th edition) is available for purchase in six-month access increments. 

Its authors — Dr. Lindsay Kennedy, Dr. Jennifer Peszka, and Dr. LeslieZorwick — have 38 combined years of experience teaching undergraduate statistics using Exploring Statistics, and have focused extra attention on the topics that tend to challenge students the most...

Spatz’s textbook has long been praised as intuitive and easy to navigate, and is used by numerous undergraduate psychology departments across the country. The 12th edition of Exploring Statistics acknowledges that the practice of statistics is in a state of transition, while remaining grounded in the well-tested foundation of the previous editions.  

“We wanted to build on the solid approach Chris has taken,” said Peszka, the Charles Prentiss Hough Odyssey Professor of Psychology. “By spending additional time on difficult topics in an online, mobile-friendly format, we hope this guide will help students learn the material more easily.” 

The study guide is available for purchase at
Read more... 

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. 
To learn more, visit

Source: Hendrix College Events and News

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