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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Should universities amplify their student recognition tactics? | University - Study International News

Positive encouragement and student recognition are just as important as the quality of academic courses at university by

Student recognition comes in many forms, from positive feedback to annual awards.
Photo: Shutterstock
Without supportive lecturers and faculty members spurring students on, there would be a significant drop in motivation to get the modules completed.

Fundamental to academic institutions and organisations, constructive feedback keeps the work flowing and improvements increasing.

But are universities doing enough to raise the levels of student recognition, or are they struggling to keep track with student welfare and progression?...

Staff appreciation event 
Recognition works both ways.

If students positively recognise the time and effort that goes into their professor’s lectures or the career centre’s CV workshops, university staff will also feel motivated to carry on driving learners towards a successful graduation.

By hosting staff appreciation events, universities give students a chance to demonstrate their respect and appreciation for the faculty’s hard work.
Read more..

Source: Study International News

John Jay’s Gateway Math Courses See a Boost in Success | John Jay News

Dante Tawfeeq, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, and Director of the Math Foundations and Quantitative Reasoning (MFQR) Program, has witnessed firsthand the challenges students face when math skills haven’t been acquired or developed, and mathematical anxiety sets in. 

While working at a number of universities where students had trouble acclimating to college-level work, he played an integral role in reimagining a curriculum that would facilitate learning. At the public high school level, where students shied away from advanced math courses, he increased the number of students taking courses like Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus. And at John Jay College, where a large percentage of first-time freshmen were failing gateway math courses, he helped establish the MFQR Program and successfully led a group of lecturers and faculty, in making math digestible, enjoyable, and one of the College’s most successful gateway curriculums.

“I remember reading a story about the large percentage of students failing remedial math courses across the City University of New York [CUNY] system,” Tawfeeq says, explaining what drew him to John Jay. “One of my areas of research is on black and Latinx students’ transition from secondary, or high school learning of mathematics, to post-secondary, or college-level learning of mathematics. When I saw the article on CUNY’s Math problem, I knew I could fix it.” Looking at the data from 2009, only 59 percent of first-time freshmen at John Jay were passing gateway math courses. With the MFQR program and under Tawfeeq’s leadership, this number is currently up to 87.9 percent, making John Jay the number one CUNY senior college for first-time freshmen passing gateway math courses...

Making a Difference
Implementing strategies is important, but “good Mathematicians know, it’s what we do in between the lessons to help support our students that have the greatest impact,” says Tawfeeq, noting he still receives emails from former students who credit him for changing their outlook on Math and education as a whole. “I can only hope that every student that I have the privilege to teach, academically support, or provide a word of encouragement to, not only learns how to efficiently maneuver through some mathematical tasks, but also how to practice self-resiliency and self-assurance when they engage life’s problems,” says Tawfeeq. “Because those problems can be more complex to resolve than any problem I assign in a College Algebra course.”


Source: John Jay News 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Yoshua Bengio on Human vs Machine Intelligence | Conference - Synced

“We’ve made huge progress, much more than even my friends and I expected a few years ago. But (the progress) is mostly about perception, things like computer vision and speech recognition and synthesis of some things in natural processing. We’re still far from human capabilities.” by Synced.

Photo: Dr. Yoshua Bengio
Montreal has become something of a magnet for AI. Ian Goodfellow, the research scientist who pioneered generative adversarial networks (GANs) got his PhD in machine learning at the Université de Montréal, rising AI star Hugo Larochelle now leads Google Brain in Montreal, and last year the city hosted NeurIPS.

At the center of the Montreal AI scene is Dr. Yoshua Bengio, a Université de Montréal Professor and Head of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA). Bengio was honored as a 2018 ACM Turing Award Laureate, sharing the “Nobel Prize of Computing” with two other essential AI figures — Dr. Geoffrey Hinton from Google and Dr. Yann LeCun from Facebook.

Last week hundreds of academics and industry professionals filled a downtown Montreal hotel for the RE·WORK Deep Learning Summit, where Bengio gave a talk on Deep Learning and Cognition...

Finding the missing pieces of the puzzle 
So what is required for deep learning to reach human-level intelligence? Bengio suggests the missing pieces of the puzzle include:
  • Generalize faster from fewer examples
  • Generalize out-of-distribution, better transfer learning, domain adaptation, reduce catastrophic forgetting in continual learning
  • Additional compositionality from reasoning and consciousness
  • Discover casual structures and exploit them
  • Better models of the world, including common sense
  • Exploit the agent perspective from RL, unsupervised exploration
Bengio cited the “System 1 and System 2” dichotomy introduced by Daniel Kahneman in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow. System 1 refers to what current deep learning is very good at — intuitive, fast, automatic, anchored in sensory perception. System 2 meanwhile represents rational, sequential, slow, logical, conscious, and expressible with language. Bengio suggested System 2 is where future deep learning needs to do better.
Read more... 

Recommended Reading

Thinking, Fast and Slow
Source: Synced

What's Still Lacking in Artificial Intelligence | Opinion - Scientific American

AIs can learn, and they can beat humans at sophisticated games—but they don’t have the faculty of judgment, argues Brian Cantwell Smith, Reid Hoffman Professor of Artificial Intelligence and the Human at the Univer-sity of Toronto, where he is also Professor of Information, Philosophy, Cognitive Science, and the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. 

Photo: Getty Images

Before we can design ethical artificial intelligence, regulate AI appropriately or allocate tasks to the right systems, we need to know what AI is. How do machines think now and what can we expect in the future? Which tasks are suited for AI, which ones are not, and why? To answer such questions, we need a nuanced understanding of different kinds of intelligence.

AI’s original take on intelligence can be traced back to Thomas Hobbes’s maxim “Reason ... is nothing but reckoning.” Interpreted as the manipulation of symbolic representations, this idea gave rise to the first generation of AI­—dubbed Good Old-Fashioned AI, or GOFAI, by the late philosopher John Haugeland. A different approach to intelligence underlies contemporary deep-learning systems and other forms of second-wave AI—the systems achieving such stunning results in game-playing, facial recognition, medical diagnosis and the like...

What, then, of the human case? Will second-wave AI, amplified by faster processors, more data and better algorithms, reach AI’s holy grail of artificial general intelligence, resulting in systems equal to or surpassing humans?
No, it will not. 

Recommended Reading

The Promise of Artificial Intelligence:
Reckoning and Judgment

Gartner: The Present and Future of Artificial Intelligence | Features -

AI promises the intimacy of a small town at a big-city level, but challenges in deploying it at scale have limited its adoption, as PCMag reports. 

Artificial intelligence uses vast amounts of data and sophisticated probabilistic algorithms to offer "the intimacy of a small town in a big city scale," Gartner VP Svetlana Sicular said at the company's annual IT Symposium last week.

But she said, the growth of AI applications in deployment was actually less this year than last year, with the total percentage of CIOs saying their company has deployed AI now at 19 percent, up from 14 percent last year. That's a nice increase, but it's far lower than the 23 percent of companies that thought they would newly roll out AI in 2019. She said, "something is stalling AI adoption." (In another conversation with her, she said the biggest issue in AI is the lack of ideas.)...

For skills, she suggested that companies upskill their existing developers and analysts rather than look for experts, saying that an understanding of your business is often critical. The data you have is often enough, but it needs to be structured in such a way that machine learning can take advantage of it...

For the future, she said there is a trend toward model explainability to facilitate AI adoption, fairness, reliability and trustworthiness, noting that in some cases, AI use is stalling because customers or employees don't trust the AI. Some models are getting better at such explainability, but what machine learning (ML) and AI accountability entails will vary by specific use case. She noted that technical explainability is different from human explainability, meaning explain it in normal language and add common sense.
Read more... 


EDITORIAL: Wallingford explores a new way of learning | Opinion - Meriden Record-Journal

There’s a new world of learning out there, and the Wallingford school system is exploring it by

This image made available by NASA shows the planet Mars. This composite photo was created from over 100 images of Mars taken by Viking Orbiters in the 1970s. In our solar system family, Mars is Earth’s next-of-kin, the next-door relative that has captivated humans for millennia. The attraction is sure to grow on Monday, Nov. 26 with the arrival of a NASA lander named InSight.
Photo: NASA via AP, File
Mary G. Fritz School has launched itself into the future with a new science center that will include a simulated Mars mission. Through the new center, which is scheduled to be completed in January 2021, the school system will partner with the Victorian Space Science Education Centre in Strathmore, Australia, to provide a place where young students can build skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics...

Vaster still are the distances involved in the virtual exploration of Mars that the center will enable. But other, more down-to-earth subjects such as hands-on projects in chemistry, bioscience, astronomy, coding, robotics, computational and algorithmic thinking will also be involved. There will also be a space for the robotics team, Menzo said.
Read more... 

Source: Meriden Record-Journal

Generation Alpha: Learning STEM Skills by Coding Robots | Education - Interesting Engineering

Susan Fourtané, versatile science and technology journalist explains, Generation Alpha, the most technological infused generation to date, learn STEM skills by coding cute robots such as the ones we curated for you. 
Photo: Mochi by CreativeBox for IE, UnicornBot by UBTECH for IE
Generation Alpha, children born between 2010 and 2025, is the first generation entirely born in the 21st century. These are the children who can be part of Elon Musk's Ad Astra School, the ones who grow up with an iPhone in their hands for which they are also known as the iGeneration. These are the children who are going to populate Mars and explore distant galaxies in the future. 

The oldest Alphas are now nine years old. They are infused in technology and see robots as simply natural friendly companions. Gen Alphas are not afraid of Artificial Intelligence. According to Robert Hannah, Chief Operating Officer at Grant Thornton U.K., "by 2025, Generation Alpha will number 2 billion globally. It will be the wealthiest, most educated, and technologically literate in history.".

Indeed, to get them there, educating the Alphas has to be both exciting and challenging. No traditional way of teaching Generation Alpha children will work for their future needs. They have smart voice assistants such as Google, Siri, and Alexa to answer all of their questions. Educators and parents need to step up their game when it comes to entertaining the Alphas or educating them, especially in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)...  

Below, there is a curated selection of great codable robots for the young Alphas. These kits are also great for schools that want their students to excel in STEM skills. 
Read more...  

Source: Interesting Engineering

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

23 New Skills You Can Now Learn on LinkedIn Learning | New Courses - The Learning Blog

Zoë Kelsey, Learning Supporter at Linked summarizes, 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
At LinkedIn Learning, we want to do everything we can to help make that happen. Each week, we add to our 15,000+ course library. This past week we added 23 courses. What can you expect from the new additions?

The top five skills professionals want most from a manager are problem solving, time management, decisiveness, empathy and compassion. Whether you’re a manager or individual contributor, honing in on these skills can help you understand how your work style meshes with your colleagues. From leadership foundations, to building skills to problem solve, and improving the value of your time, we’ve got you covered. 

Looking to improve your problem solving skills through broadening your skill set? Whether you’re looking to stay up to date on prospecting, Azure, or Python, check out one of the 23 new courses this week.

The new courses now available on LinkedIn Learning are:

Source: LinkedIn Learning

Monday, October 28, 2019

Here’s what Accenture looks for in a data scientist | Strategy & Management -

Chief Analytics Officer and Global Lead for Applied Intelligence at Accenture, Athina Kanioura, talks about the evolving role of data science and the key skills required to be a leading data scientist. 

Head of Accenture's global applied intelligence team that comprises around 20,000 people including 3000 data scientist, Athina Kanioura prefers recruiting economists with strong technology background for the data scientist profile.

"We have a lot of economists with a very strong technical background. And for me, that's a perfect combination. So, if you were to identify from the specific school, this combination between business and technology is a perfect fit to become a leading data scientist," says Athina Kanioura, Chief Analytics Officer and Global Lead for Applied Intelligence, Accenture.

She further informs, "If you have people with economics or social science background, and you pair them with the data scientists, it is an extremely powerful profile. In India, we were very lucky when we started the capabilities long back."

The global technology and consulting major hires a lot of students from the Delhi School of Economics -- a centre of postgraduate learning of the University of Delhi as they have strong mathematics and statistics foundation along with the acumen to solving the global business problem...

"We call this a hybrid between data science and Machine Learning (ML) engineering. Within our data science capability, we have people that we call purists. The data scientists that formulate the problem and ML engineers that industrialize the models, both have a similar background. It is just that one is slightly stronger in engineering and computer science and the other one is stronger in maths and statistics," she opines.  


Why every student should study computer science | Views - Inside Higher Ed

Photo: Robert Sedgewick
At far too many institutions today, students who are not computer science majors encounter severe enrollment caps and watered-down or limited courses, writes Robert Sedgewick, William O. Baker ’39 Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University.

Photo: Suslov
Every college student needs a computer science course, and most need two or more. More and more educators are beginning to recognize this truth, but we are a long way from meeting the need.

Should we require all college students to take a computer science course? That is perhaps debatable. But, without question, we need to make such courses available to all students.

Colleges and universities offer the opportunity for any student to take as many courses as they desire in math, history, English, psychology and almost any other discipline, taught by faculty members in that discipline. Students should have the same opportunity with computer science. But at far too many institutions today -- including many of the most prestigious in the country -- students who are not computer science majors encounter severe enrollment caps, watered-down computer science for nonmajors courses or courses that just teach programming skills. They deserve better...

Does this put computer science majors at a disadvantage? No. They can learn their major in depth later, as do the doctors, chemical engineers, writers, historians and everyone else. Meanwhile, they can benefit from learning something about the big picture, along with everyone else.

By putting everyone in the same course, focusing on what is important, teaching programming in the context of interesting and diverse applications across many disciplines, avoiding esoteric language details that can easily be saved for later, and mixing in historical context, theory, simple abstract machines and other material that is new to everyone, we can get all students on more or less the same playing field in one or two courses -- pretty much in the same way as we do in other disciplines.

Source: Inside Higher Ed 

For Rachel Carson, wonder was a radical state of mind | Thinkers and theories - Aeon

Photo: Jennifer Stitt
Jennifer Stitt, PhD candidate in US intellectual history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison argues, In 1957, the world watched in wonder as the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, into outer space. 

Artist Bob Hines and Rachel Carson pictured conducting marine biology research along the Atlantic coast ca.1952.
Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia
Despite Cold War anxieties, The New York Times admitted that space exploration ‘represented a step toward escape from man’s imprisonment to Earth and its thin envelope of atmosphere’. Technology, it seemed, possessed the astonishing potential to liberate humanity from terrestrial life.

But not all assessments of Sputnik were so celebratory. In The Human Condition (1958), the political theorist Hannah Arendt reflected on the Times’s strange statement, writing that ‘nobody in the history of mankind has ever conceived of the Earth as a prison for men’s bodies’. Such rhetoric betrayed an acute sense of alienation. Misplaced wonder at our own scientific and technological prowess, she worried, would isolate humanity from the realities of the world we share, not just with one another, but with all living creatures.

Arendt’s disquiet stemmed from the postwar context in which she lived: the United States economy was booming, and, for many Americans, the much-celebrated cycle of expansion and construction, of extraction and consumption, appeared infinite. Millions of Americans had bought into the glittering promise of limitless prosperity. While technologies such as plastic wrap and Velcro, microwave ovens and nonstick cookware might seem mundane today, they were unimaginably novel at the time, and pushed people further into a manmade world. While Arendt was concerned that humans would become self-absorbed and isolated, stupefied by the synthetic, and prone to totalitarian tricksters, others fretted that nature (for a large portion of the population, at least) was no longer a place to discover transcendence but had instead become merely a resource to be exploited. At mid-century, we were in the process of trading Walden Pond for Walmart.

If enchantment with ourselves and our artificial creations can alienate us, there is another conception of wonder that can help us transcend our self-centred, even solipsistic impulses. In the 1940s, Rachel Carson began developing an ethic of wonder that stood at the centre of her ecological philosophy...

When we read Carson as a philosopher, and not simply as an environmentalist, we might realise that we could use a little more wonder in our own lives. We remain captivated with ourselves, with our own individuality: from self-cultivation to self-care, from self-presentation to self-promotion, we too often emphasise the personal at the expense of the wider world. These days, we rarely stand in awe of the virescent landscape, too busy marvelling at the miraculous devices that allow us to trade our physical realities for virtual ones – devices that, as much as they have empowered us, keep us indoors and tethered to technology, gazing with reverence at our own greatest inventions.
Read more... 

Additional resources 

Photo: Matteo Farinella
There was so much more to Rachel Carson beyond ‘Silent Spring’ by Jenny Howard, PhD candidate in ecology, evolution, and animal behavior at Wake Forest.

Source: Aeon 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

6 paperbacks, including a memoir by actor Michael Caine, to escape from the rain with | Books - Seattle Times

It’s raining! Let’s get some reading done! suggest Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times arts critic.

“Blowing the Bloody Doors Off” by Michael Caine
Photo: Hachette Books
Here are six potentially armchair-worthy new paperback releases.

Source: Seattle Times

Decades of detailed weather reports pulled from old sailor's logs | Science - National Geographic

A database created in part from 19th-century maritime records sharpens our view of climate change over the past 150 years by Madeleine Stone, National Geographic.

Photo: courtesy of Stuart Miles at
In September of 1879, the Arctic-exploring USS Jeanette was sailing north of the Bering Strait when it was surrounded by ice floes and frozen in place. Imprisoned at sea, the 33-person crew struggled to survive for nearly two years before their ship sank, forcing them to embark on a perilous journey back to civilization. While they were stranded, the crew took down regular observations of the weather—winds, clouds, air pressure, temperature—creating a detailed meteorological record where no others existed.

One hundred and forty years later, that record is now helping scientists reconstruct Earth’s weather and climate history in unprecedented detail.
The USS Jeanette’s logs, which eventually made their way back to the United States along with 13 haggard crewmen led by chief engineer George Melville, were among the very first to be rescued as part of the Old Weather: Arctic project, a citizen science-fueled effort to digitize and transcribe the weather observations made by U.S. military vessels that sailed the Arctic in the 19th and 20th centuries... 

The ‘fog of ignorance’
Today, scientists have myriad satellites and weather stations at their disposal to study the weather. But satellite record keeping only began about 40 years ago, and prior to the mid-20th century there were far fewer weather stations. Scientists can use models to “hindcast” the weather further back in time, but without data to feed into those models, their reconstructions are murky.

“We call it the fog of ignorance,” says Gilbert Compo, a senior research scientist at NOAA’s CIRES.

The beauty of a good bookshop – bookworms have their say | Book features - The Irish Times

Rick O’Shea, Emer McLysaght and others on their favourite bookshops as children and adults. 

A favourite book store: Bob Johnston at his Gutter Bookshop.
Photo: Aidan Crawley
Irish Book Week starts on Saturday, October 26th, and runs until Saturday, November 2nd. Events across the country will celebrate Irish books and the central role bookshops play in Irish life. The week’s 2019 ambassadors are Rick O’Shea, Niall Breslin, Sarah Breen and Emer McLysaght. 
Read more... 

Source: The Irish Times

7 Places to Have a Drink and Read in Paris | Books - Frenchly

Cafés first appeared in Paris in 1672 with well-known French writers, such as Voltaire and Rousseau, frequently spotted honing their craft on terrasses around the city by The FBC.

 Photo: La Belle Hortense
Over the past 15 years, cafés have undergone a noticeable transformation as Paris started showing a preference for more dependable, casual places over the old haunts with mediocre service and quality. Cafés are where Parisians (both native and adopted) meet for drinks and dinner, have a work meeting or enjoy their morning coffee. They’re also a great spot to enjoy your latest read with a boozy drink. Here’s some tried and tested modern spots to savor a good book before enjoying some company.  
Read more...  

Source: Frenchly

30 Best Books to Give as Gifts This Season, Including Memoirs and Mysteries | Gift Ideas 2019 -

These are the picks our bookworm staff writer is loving right now by Lizz Schumer, staff writer for Good Housekeeping.

Thanks to these books for gifts, your friend's bedside bookstack will be standing tall.

When you have a bookworm on your holiday shopping list, you can't go wrong with picking up the next great read. From gorgeous coffee table books that do double duty as decor, to kids' books that will have the little ones begging for "just one more story," and of course some of the best books of 2019 for the reader who's always up on the latest thing, these books for gifts will help you make like Saint Nick without worrying about whether the present will fit down the chimney.

Some of these books will work wonderfully for those who aren't big readers, but have a particular interest you'd like to tap into (think travelers who may need ideas for their next destination, kitchen wizards always on the lookout for the next recipe, or that friend who always seems to know the latest celebrity gossip). Books for gifts are also perfect for people who have everything. 


The Best Books to Help Entrepreneurs Grow a Business | Small Business - Forbes

Rhett Power, Contributor - Entrepreneurs summarizes, Whatever your business needs to grow—a strategic acquisition, better messaging—these books have you covered.

What will it take to get your business to the next level?
Photo: Getty
Since the inaugural season of Shark Tank, every entrepreneur (or entrepreneur-to-be) has been talking about the idea of business scalability. Even middle schoolers bandy the term about with startling ease. Yet despite the lexical ubiquity of “scaling,” company growth remains a conundrum, even to serial entrepreneurs and talented first-time founders. 

If you’ve looked high and low for recommendations on boosting your incoming lead sources, creating and leveraging brand traction and slaughtering your quarterly revenue projections, you need to read these seven books. They’ll not only improve you as a corporate leader, but they’ll help you refine and define your professional style as you expand your dream.

Source: Forbes

Books way to shut out leaf chores | Columnists - Arkansas Online

Here we are at the peak of autumn, and we can't think of a better way to put off raking leaves than kicking back with a good book or three.

Photo: Sean Clancy, Paper Trails columnist
Lucky for us, there is no shortage of recently released Arkansas-related books.

Source: Arkansas Online

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Creativity is the key to the arts and the sciences | Education - The Guardian

Creativity must be part of all aspects of learning in schools, argues Trevor Jones, Architect.

 A pupil uses a microscope during a science lesson at Pates grammar school in Cheltenham.
Photo: Adrian Sherratt/Alamy
With reference to your editorial (Creativity must make a comeback in schools – and not just in arts lessons, 19 October), as someone who was discouraged at school from studying art with mathematics and sciences, I agree that,“creativity is not something that should inhabit the school curriculum only as it relates to drama, music, art and other obviously creative subjects.”

The philosopher Henri Bergson and psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist recognised two profoundly different ways of knowing, the method of analysis and intuition.

Source: The Guardian

The Fight to Get Leonardo da Vinci to the Louvre | The Arts - Frenchly

This article was originally published on Le Point.

On February 9, 1498, at a fancy dinner in Milan at the Sforzas’ house, Leonardo da Vinci impressed the crowd with a speech that presented painting as the most complete expression of liberal arts, transcending poetry, music and sculpture. Why? by Frenchly.

Leonardo da Vinci. "The Virgin and Child with St. Anne" 
Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Public domain
Because it combines precise observation and imagination, reality and fantasy, which cannot be conceived without the study of optics, mathematics and natural sciences.

It is this definition of painting that da Vinci tries to apply, from his very first steps as an apprentice in the studio of the great Florentine artist Andrea Verrochio. He will not only draw a flower or a beautiful body, but he will always look further to understand the organization of muscles, the secrets of the balance of forces, the movements of water or air. It is this quest that the Louvre wants to highlight during the retrospective organized for the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death in Amboise, on May 2, 1519. The exhibit, open October 24, 2019 to February 24, 2020 (get tickets here), aims to show how in all of his work, da Vinci attempted to produce the most beautiful, the most perfect painting.

A challenge. 
 For Vincent Delieuvin and Louis Frank, the two curators of the exhibition “Leonardo da Vinci,” the task might seem simple. Consider the aspect of getting the loans of works not belonging to the Louvre, which already owns many of them, including “The Mona Lisa,” the most famous painting in the world. How can you refuse to participate in such an event, and with such a museum? Owners, private or institutional, could consider this loan an honor.

But it wasn’t that simple. Firstly, the quality of the works proved problematic. A researcher at heart, the artist left behind paintings that are often sublime, but which have not stood the test of time, hence the reluctance of museum managers to make them travel. The Louvre is the first to be affected by this problem: of the five paintings signed by da Vinci in its possession, only “La belle ferronnière” and “Saint Jean-Baptiste” can still leave the walls, the others are under house arrest, starting with “The Mona Lisa,” whose wood is cracked. It’s for these reasons that the Florence offices have kept “The Annunciation” from the exhibition...

As private insurers asked lenders to estimate the value of the works themselves, some institutions didn’t hesitate to value a drawing by da Vinci at 450 million euros. A theoretical, mathematical exercise, certainly, but one that is very expensive in the event of an accident. So, even if the French government is its own insurer, the risk is enormous. Above all, there is a growing tendency for countrys to stick the label “national treasure” on the master’s works. Such is the case with the “Dame à l’hermine,” which was owned by the Czartoryski family and kept by the post-World War II communist regime in a small museum in Krakow, until its status was changed in 2016 when it was acquired by the Polish state. When asked if he was ready to send this painting to the Louvre, the Polish Minister of Culture replied: “I will lend it if the Louvre will lend us ‘The Mona Lisa’” … Deadlock. 


Recommended Reading

Master Fibonacci:
The Man Who Changed Math
Shelley (Hennessee) Allen, Author: "Master Fibonacci”, "I wrote a book on Fibonacci, whose real name was Leonardo de Pisa" (or Pisano)...  

Source: Frenchly

Mathematicians Begin to Tame Wild ‘Sunflower’ Problem | Mathematics - Quanta Magazine

A major advance toward solving the 60-year-old sunflower conjecture is shedding light on how order begins to appear as random systems grow in size by Kevin Hartnett, senior writer at Quanta Magazine covering mathematics and computer science.

How do mathematical sunflowers emerge from random data?
Photo: HelloRF Zcool
A team of mathematicians and computer scientists has finally made progress on a seemingly simple problem that has bedeviled researchers for nearly six decades.

Posed by the mathematicians Paul Erdős and Richard Rado in 1960, the problem concerns how often you would expect to find patterns resembling sunflowers in large collections of objects, such as a large scattering of points in the plane. While the new result doesn’t fully solve Erdős and Rado’s sunflower conjecture, it advances the mathematical understanding of how surprisingly intricate structures emerge out of randomness. To do so, it reimagined the problem in terms of a computer function — taking advantage of the increasingly rich interplay between theoretical computer science and pure mathematics.

“The paper is a new manifestation of a mathematical idea that’s going to be a central idea of our time. The result itself is spectacular,” said Gil Kalai of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem...

Erdős and Rado conjectured that as you draw more loops, a sunflower inevitably emerges, either as disjoint sets or as sets that overlap in just the right way. Their sunflower conjecture is part of a broader area of mathematics called Ramsey theory, which studies how order begins to appear as random systems grow larger.

“If you have a large enough mathematical object of some nature, there has to be some hidden structure inside it,” said Shachar Lovett of the University of California, San Diego, a co-author of the new work along with Ryan Alweiss of Princeton University, Kewen Wu of Peking University, and Jiapeng Zhang of Harvard University.

Source: Quanta Magazine

Lecturers’ pay to be based on courses | Education - Daily Nation

In Summary
  • Lecturers in medicine, engineering, architecture, computer science and law will be paid more than those teaching humanities and social sciences.
  • There are plans to strengthen TVET institutions to coordinate the management and development of trainers, while the TSC manages teachers.

University lecturers will now be paid based on the courses they teach after the National Assembly approved a sessional paper on education reforms, says Ouma Wanzala, reporter with the Nation.
Universities Academic Staff Union officials and members go to meet the Education Cabinet secretary concerning their pay demands, in Nairobi on April 18, 2018. They will now be paid based on the courses they teach.
Under the new formula known as differentiated unit cost, universities will be allocated funds depending on their programmes instead of student enrolment, as has been the case.

Consequently, lecturers in medicine, engineering, architecture, computer science and law will be paid more than those teaching humanities and social sciences...

There are also plans to establish a trainer education and development standard, based on principles that will ensure optimal delivery of competence-based education and training for the trainees.

Source: Daily Nation

Harvard EdCast: Prioritizing Mental Health in College | Impact and Innovation - Harvard Graduate School of Education

Colleges have seen an increase in demand for mental health services on campus and many schools are struggling to keep up. How can schools prepare to better serve their students, and how can parents and communities help? writes Jill Anderson, Senior Digital Content Creator.

Photo: Harvard Graduate School of Education
Students are struggling with mental health issues on college campuses. Dr. Stephanie Pinder-Amaker has over 25 years of experience in college mental health treatment, administration, and policy. As founding director of McLean Hospital's College Mental Health Program in Massachusetts, she conducts workshops for higher education institutions, as well as to parents and students, to help strengthen communication and increase  supports. In this episode of the Harvard EdCast, Pinder-Amaker discusses the factors leading to mental distress on campus, how colleges can create better responses, and how awareness of and supports for mental health issues should begin long before students get to college.
Read more... 

Source: Harvard Graduate School of Education

Word of the Day - Data scientists | Definitions -

A data scientist is a professional responsible for collecting, analyzing and interpreting extremely large amounts of data by Margaret Rouse, - TechTarget.

Photo: Trending Topics 2019 via Flickr.
The data scientist role is an offshoot of several traditional technical roles, including mathematician, scientist, statistician and computer professional. This job requires the use of advanced analytics technologies, including machine learning and predictive modeling.

A data scientist requires large amounts of data to develop hypotheses, make inferences, and analyze customer and market trends. Basic responsibilities include gathering and analyzing data, using various types of analytics and reporting tools to detect patterns, trends and relationships in data sets.

In business, data scientists typically work in teams to mine big data for information that can be used to predict customer behavior and identify new revenue opportunities. In many organizations, data scientists are also responsible for setting best practices for collecting data, using analysis tools and interpreting data.

The demand for data science skills has grown significantly over the years, as companies look to glean useful information from big data, the voluminous amounts of structured, unstructured and semi-structured data that a large enterprise or internet of things produces and collects...

Education, training and certifications 
The education requirements for data scientists typically include an advanced degree in statistics, data science, computer science or mathematics. There are a number of certification opportunities for this role, including Dell EMC DECA-DS, MCSA: Various SQL/Data Engineering Options, Microsoft MCSE Data Management and Analytics, and Certified Analytics Professional...

Data scientists usually have at least a bachelor's degree in mathematics, data analytics, computer science or statistics. On the other hand, citizen data scientists might have a wide variety of educational backgrounds, but have experience with analytical tools and software that makes them better able to create models and perform complex analyses without a formal education in the aforementioned fields.  

History of data science

Concise survey of computer methods

Naur in 2008
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Data science is largely a branch of computer science. The term was first used in 1960 by Peter Naur, who was a pioneer in computer science. He described the foundational aspects of the techniques and approaches used in data science in his 1974 book, Concise Survey of Computer Methods.