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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

How do I keep my team’s skills current? | Careers & training - IT PRO

Employers have a responsibility to keep their staff’s skills up to date and as training becomes more engaging, it’s easier to do so than ever, says Nik Rawlinson, IT PRO.

Photo: Shutterstock

Why do staff resign? Some find more interesting propositions elsewhere. Others are tempted by better pay. Everyone retires, eventually. But Zoe Morris, president at Frank Recruitment Group, points out one more factor: “One of the most common reasons for professionals wanting to move on is that their current employer isn’t supporting their development.”

It shouldn’t be hard. Few people are better placed to decide where a team member’s skills are lacking than that member themselves. Listen to what they say and give them the time they need to pursue those areas; yet so many managers still get it wrong...

GCHQ requires Cyber Summer School attendees to be natural problem solvers with experience of coding in at least one language. Such requirements attract a particular type of applicant. A lot of attendees already had a lot of experience doing “cyber” in their own time – a very different environment to the lectures and notes-based approach of a traditional classroom-centric course. Yet, as Vetter pointed out, relying on bedroom tinkering alone isn’t appropriate when hiring staff to work on the systems of a multi-billion-pound conglomerate – or the security of a nation.
Read more... 

Source: IT PRO

Online CPD programme launched to support staff delivering new essential digital skills qualifications | FE News

A new programme of online training and community support has been launched today by @E_T_Foundation to support teachers and trainers who will be delivering courses related to the new legal digital entitlement by

Online CPD programme launched to support staff delivering new essential digital skills qualifications
Photo: FE News
This will fund all adults with no or low digital skills to study on specified qualifications free of charge – initially essential digital skills qualifications from 2020 and then new digital Functional Skills Qualifications from 2021. The programme to help prepare staff is being run by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) with funding from the Department for Education.

The core of the new programme consists of 20 short, online training modules covering the five skills areas of the new national standards introduced in April 2019, together with an online community of practice to enable peer-to-peer support. Practitioners will be invited to assess their readiness to teach courses for the new entitlement through an online self-assessment tool as a first step. The whole offer is hosted on the ETF’s Enhance Digital Teaching Platform, which has been designed to make training easy to access anytime, anywhere and on any device, especially mobiles.

The online programme is complemented by a series of face-to-face workshops and online webinars which are already underway...

Further information can be found on the Enhance Digital Teaching Platform.

Source: FE News

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

Zoë Kelse, Learning Supporter at Linked recommends, Cisco estimates online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2022. 

New Skills You Can Now Learn on LinkedIn Learning
Photo: The Learning Blog

Video production, a skillset that includes video creation and on-camera capabilities, is skillset companies need most in 2020, according to recent LinkedIn Learning data

Dive into one of the 10 courses on video production released this week or learn something new on leadership and management, career development, or any other of our newly released courses. 

The 41 new courses now available on LinkedIn Learning are:
Read more... 

Source: The Learning Blog

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Best Independent Bookstores in Paris | Critical Linking - Book Riot

Critical Linking, a daily roundup of the most interesting bookish links from around the web is sponsored by Get Booked: The Handsell.

 “If you’re a book lover, a trip to Paris might seem like the perfect opportunity to pick up a couple of good novels, collections of poetry, or even an antique volume or two for your treasured collection. But unless you speak and read fluently in French or are primarily looking for collectors’ items, it can be difficult to find independent sellers that specialize in English and languages outside of French. We’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation by putting together a list of the best independent bookstores in Paris—from shops specialized in fiction and non-fiction to ones proffering old and rare books. Before you head off to browse, here’s one potential point of confusion to be aware of: in French, librairie means bookstore, not library!”...

‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ in the UK, or ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,’ as it is known in the United States, was released in Yiddish by the Swedish publisher Olniansky Tekst Farlag. Yiddish is an official language in Sweden.
Read more... 

Source: Book Riot

Inside one of N.J.'s last Black-owned bookstores, where ‘your Black is beautiful’ | Entertainment -

This story is part of a new series: “Black in N.J.,” which celebrates Black culture in the Garden State and seeks to further discussion about issues facing New Jersey’s Black community.

When you walk into Source of Knowledge in Newark, you’re in a space that is unapologetically Black. 

Source of Knowledge bookstore in downtown Newark is one of few Black-owned independent bookstores in the state, and even in the country.
Photo: Tennyson Donnie Coleman | For NJ Advance Media
Incense burns. Soulful music plays in the background. Books by Black writers line the shelves and art pieces from Senegal adorn the walls.

Yet the small book shop, located downtown on the corner of Broad and Lafayette streets, is easy to miss. Other than a tiny beige banner displaying the store’s name, the building’s worn facade is nearly invisible, outshined by the gleaming buildings nearby: chic new apartments, a Courtyard Marriott hotel, the cavernous Prudential Center arena.

Moreover, its industry has all but disappeared; Source of Knowledge is one of only two Black-owned bookstores left in New Jersey...

This black-owned bookstore has served its N.J. community for almost 30 years

Source Of Knowledge sells all sorts of titles: novels and Black history texts, vegan cookbooks and essential oil explainers, you name it. Here customers find stories about hallowed Black figures like Jackie Robinson, Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King, or less-discussed heroes like writer Ida B. Wells and human rights activist Sojourner Truth.

Source: and Channel (YouTube)

Local Bookstores Have A New Weapon In The Fight With Amazon | Editors' Picks - Forbes

In the book industry, Amazon is Goliath, the giant who overshadows everyone else. But there’s a new David on the scene,

Andy Hunter founded, to give "socially conscious" online shoppers a way to support local bookstores, and to create an alternative to those Amazon "buy now" affiliate links.
Photo: Idris Solomon
It doesn’t expect to topple the giant, but it has launched a weapon that could make Amazon’s shadow a little smaller, and help local bookstores fight back., a website that went live at the end of January and is still in beta mode, is designed to be an alternative to Amazon, and to generate income for independent bookstores. And, perhaps more importantly, it seeks to give book reviewers, bloggers and publications who rely on affiliate income from “Buy now” links to Amazon a different option.

Profit from books sold through Bookshop will be split three ways, with 10% of the sale price going into a pool that will be divided among participating bookstores, 10% going to the publication that triggered the sale by linking to, and 10% going to to support its operations...

Consumers often don’t realize that Amazon’s affiliate program is a key factor driving sales to the e-commerce giant, Hunter said. Newspaper websites and online publications that write about books embed Amazon “buy now” links to the books mentioned in their stories and get money when the link leads to a sale.

The Amazon affiliate links have become an important revenue source for those publications, but “it has the effect of creating a giant funnel that’s shoving every book buyer into the Amazon channel,” Hunter said.

He believes publications and writers will welcome the opportunity to link to an online site that supports independent bookstores. “Even if they like Amazon, they don’t necessarily want Amazon to put all of the bookstores out of business,” he said.

Source: Forbes

Why aren’t people reading books anymore? | E-Book - Goodereader

Michael Kozlowski, Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader explains, There is a growing number of people who simply aren’t reading books anymore. There are no set reasons why this occurs, some are forced to read books in English class and simply don’t read anymore. Others don’t read books, but read news articles and blog posts online, but not books. Why is this the case?

Photo: Goodereader
TGI consumer research from Kantar Media released in 2019 suggests just 51% of adults in the UK read at least one book in the previous year. Not only is this a decrease from 56% in the prior year, it also means 49% – essentially half – of adults in the UK didn’t read a single book in a full 12 months.

Pew Research Centre suggests US citizens are reading substantially more books,  with just 27% of Americans saying they did not read a book in 2019, but the Pew research pool was small, only interviewing a few thousand people and does not represent what is truly happening in the US...

As David Denby pointed out in an essay in the New Yorker, “millions of (pre-teen) kids have read the Harry Potter books, The Lord of the Rings, and other fantasy novels. But when they become 12 or 13, they often stop reading seriously. The boys veer off into sports or computer games, the girls into friendship in all its wrenching mysteries and satisfactions of favour and exclusion. . . Teenage time on screens has increased to the point where it takes over many young lives altogether.”
Read more... 

Source: Goodereader

How Reading Books Helps Your Brain Recharge | Reading - Entrepreneur

It may seem counterintuitive, but absorbing information through old-fashioned books gives your brain a break by Aytekin Tank, founder and CEO of JotForm, the easiest online form builder.

Photo: Dougal Waters | Getty Images
Imagine being the founder of not one but two companies dedicated to books and not finding the time to read any. That’s the situation that Hugh McGuire, founder of LibriVox and Pressbooks, found himself in a few years ago. Like many of us, he was battling an onslaught of digital information, and his beloved paperbacks were collecting dust. After a while, though, he realized he sorely missed the quiet time he used to spend with a book in hand. He also realized that he was tired all the time, and struggling to focus in every area of life. 

Writing for Harvard Business Review, he explained:
“I was distracted when at work, distracted when with family and friends, constantly tired, irritable, and always swimming against a wash of ambient stress induced by my constant itch for digital information. My stress had an electronic feel to it, as if it was made up of the very bits and bytes on my screens.”
He found that a slower form of information, books, was the antidote to his information overload. So he made them part of his routine again. According to McGuire, “Reading books again has given me more time to reflect, to think, and has increased both my focus and the creative mental space to solve work problems.”...

Reading is the best, not to mention the easiest, way to shore up our creative thinking and give our brains a break from digital overload — which, according to a 2019 Workplace Productivity Report, more than half of the workforce experiences. With that in mind, here are some strategies for making quality reading time a part of your daily routine.
Read more... 

Source: Entrepreneur

Love lines: the Book Illustration Competition longlist | Books - The Guardian

This year’s prize from the Folio Society and House of Illustration called for images to accompany love poetry from , Emily Dickinson and John Donne. 

Photo: Mikki Lee
Here are the chosen entries, and the inspiring poems.
Photo: courtesy of the Folio Society and House of Illustration
Read more... 

Source: The Guardian

Tech Trends of The New Decade and Their Impact on Society | Community - TechDay News

Our human civilization has been built on the foundation of consistent scientific and technological progress, continues TechDay News.

Photo: TechDay News
Technology has influenced our course and revolutionized the way we work and live in a 
persistent manner.

In recent decades the pace of progress has accelerated leading to many important breakthroughs. At the same time, it becomes more and more obvious that technology can be a double-edged sword. As it evolves faster, it becomes more challenging for humanity to adapt to the changes. This can lead to unforeseen side effects and to outcomes that fall short of their initial lofty promise.

Every technology can come with its own set of boons and curses. There are some key technologies that are set to dominate the new decade and it will be interesting to see how their impact unfolds.

AI and Robotics
One of the most significant developments of our time is in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics. In the past years, they have both experienced accelerating growth and in the new decade, their impact in our life is going to be far-reaching.

AI gives computers the attribute of intelligence - it is the brains in the machine. AI systems can calculate driving directions, come up with new inventions, play video games like humans, manage entire cities, diagnose diseases, create new drugs, find hidden patterns in data, and much more. AI is powerful but confined within a computer.  

Drone Delivery
Drone technology has become the target of numerous heated discussions. In the coming years, it will continue moving from the current scattered and specialized applications into mainstream use in a wide variety of fields.

Source: TechDay News

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Forget Hygge: 2020 is all about Kaizen | Mind & Body - Body and Soul

Big success comes from small steps, as BODY+SOUL reports.

Hygge was nice while it lasted.
Photo: BodyAndSoul
Kaizen, the Japanese wellness philosophy is set to take over the Danish concept of Hygge in 2020.

International wellness words have undoubtedly been the ruling trend de jour for the past few years.

We’ve had the warm embrace of the Danish concept of hygge aka “coziness”, the Swedish lagom of "not too little, not too much", and even the Japanese joy of wabi-sabi which was all about finding beauty in the little things in life.

But what about a wellness philosophy that puts a little fire into our bellies?
Well, step forward Kaizen, the Japanese belief that great success is born from small subtle changes in our lives. The literal translation is “improvement”, with the theory being that all aspects of our life - working, social and home - deserve to be constantly improved...

The problem for us in the Western world, states Sarah Harvey in her newly-released book Kaizen, The Japanese Method for Transforming Habits, One Small Step at a Time, is that we generally love a quickie fix to reach our goals but almost always burn out before hitting them...

So there we have it, Kaizen, the latest trendy lifestyle concept that’s about to dominate 2020. It’s got a bit more meat to it than snuggling up with your favourite blanket in the name of hygge hasn’t it? (Even if that was kind of wonderful for a while).
Read more... 

Recommended Reading

The Japanese Method for Transforming Habits,
One Small Step at a Time

Source: Body and Soul  

Henry David Thoreau and the nature of civil disobedience – Philosopher of the Month | Arts & Humanities - OUPblog

Photo: Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau was an American philosopher, environmentalist, poet, and essayist by OUP Philosophy Team.
Photo: Noah Silliman via Unsplash

He is best known for Walden, an account of a simpler life lived in natural surroundings, first published in 1854, and his 1849 essay Civil Disobedience which presents a rebuttal of unjust government influence over the individual. An avid, and widely-read, student of philosophy from the classical to the contemporary, Thoreau pursued philosophy as a way of life and not solely a lens for thought and discourse.

Born in 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts, Thoreau was raised in a modest household by his parents John Thoreau, a pencil maker, and Cynthia Dunbar. He was to spend almost all of his life in Concord, save for his time at Harvard from 1833 to 1837 where he studied classics, philosophy, science, and maths. After graduating and returning to his hometown, Thoreau with his brother John opened the Concord Academy, which alongside a traditional program also promoted new concepts such as taking walks in nature and paying visits to local businesses.

An early friendship and influence came in the form of the essayist and Transcendentalism founder, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson a champion of Thoreau, encouraged him to keep a journal which became a life-long habit and from which his first written piece for journal The Dial was taken...

In Walden or Life in the Woods Thoreau records his spiritual and philosophical two year, two month, and two day sojourn ensconced in a “tightly shingled and plastered” cottage deep in the New England forests. It focuses on themes of simplicity, self-sufficiency, solitude, and spirituality, with the woodland dweller recording intricate details of his economies; the sounds, geography, environmental changes of his habitat; and his thoughts on everything from vegetarianism to teetotalism to chastity. Walden defies categorization and many have questioned whether the book is a true work of philosophy. It does not question so much as it describes, yet the very nature of the text encourages us to explore some fundamental philosophical concepts.
Read more... 

Source: OUPblog    

Race on to create online courses for virus-stranded students | Online education - Times Higher Education (THE)

John Ross, Asia-Pacific editor reports, Institutional, pedagogical and workload issues more problematic than technological impediments, experts say.

Photo: Getty
Universities face a daunting task ramping up their online capabilities to maintain course delivery to thousands of Chinese students exiled from campuses by Covid-19 coronavirus-related travel bans, but experts believe the biggest challenges will be pedagogical rather than technical.

The US, Australia and New Zealand are among the countries to have banned entry to foreigners travelling from China as the virus spreads. Australia has been hardest hit because of its heavy reliance on Chinese students and the fact that the crisis occurred shortly before the start of a new academic year Down Under, with nearly 100,000 learners stranded at home.

Online learning is seen as a way to limit disruption and maintain student engagement but, despite questions over Chinese students’ willingness to consume content remotely, researchers told Times Higher Education that the biggest barrier will be the capacity of academics and universities to deliver it...

Even courses using websites blocked by the Chinese authorities, such as Google and YouTube, can be accessed. Massive open online course platforms with YouTube as their default video vehicle, such as edX, could be viewed if course producers posted back-up copies on third-party hosting sites like Amazon S3 – as recommended by edX. Mr Maurer said many Chinese scholars accessed sites like Google by using virtual private networks, despite “periodic crackdowns” by the authorities...

Professor Kee said academics at Tsinghua and Peking universities were being encouraged to deliver their courses online until campuses reopened. While that was a challenge for many Chinese professors, others – particularly at Tsinghua – were well practised in distance education.
Read more..

Source: Times Higher Education (THE)

This Kingston School Introduces Kids to Tech Through Blended Learning | Education - Chronogram

In the US, women make up roughly 59 percent of the workforce, but account for barely 20 percent of jobs in the technology sector by

Two seventh-graders use VR googgles in class.
This gap often starts with societal cues that young girls pick up from the time they start school. “If we can get girls from preK through first grade to embrace technology in the classroom, we can start to move them forward and close that gap in a meaningful way,” says Jill Albert, principal of Kingston Catholic School.  

As a way to make technology a prominent part of the curriculum, Kingston Catholic School has implemented a blended learning model for grades K-8, which combines online and traditional classroom learning and can adapt to students’ individual needs and learning paces. At recommendation from the Archdiocese of New York's Department of Teaching and Learning, the school began a pilot of the program for its second- and sixth-grade math classes in 2016, with integration across all subjects and grades the following year.

With Kingston Catholic School’s model, the teacher typically begins class with a 10-minute lesson, then students break up into smaller activity-based rotation groups for the remainder of the time. The teacher will typically be based at one activity station, while two other stations offer students the opportunity to work independently or in small groups. Students might complete additional reading or coursework assigned in their Google Classroom portal or participate in hands-on activities like programing tiny Ozobots, hand-held robots that help teach young kids basic coding...

According to Albert, the school has seen the results of blended learning on its annual New York State English language arts (ELA) and math assessments. Since the program was introduced, the school’s students have consistently outperformed their peers at the city, county, and state levels, as well as within the Archdiocese of New York itself. 
Read more...   

Source: Chronogram

What Is Good Digital Citizenship? | Education - VOA Learning English

Some adults and teachers may think young people want to spend all of their time using social media by Dr. Jill Robbins, reported on this story for VOA Learning English and George Grow was the editor. 

Photo: VOA
But a recent survey shows that may not be true. It found that students sometimes want to turn off their electronic devices to get away from the pressure to take part in social media.
For the study, researchers led a series of discussions at classes in the United States. They asked young people what they thought about social media...

Find out what your students feel
Teachers can begin by talking with students about how they use social media. How does it make them feel? Do the young people want to change anything about the way they interact with others online?

Teachers should learn what computer application programs their students use most often. Teachers should then use this information to keep in contact with students and share homework assignments.
Read more... 

Source: VOA Learning English

Friday, February 14, 2020

The Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Strives For Openness | Cultural Architecture - Metropolis Magazine

Mikki Brammer, editor at large for Metropolis Magazine summarizes, Designed by John Wardle Architects, the new home of Australia's oldest music school breaks way from the monastic model of the conservatory.

A diversity of connections between indoors and outdoors is a defining feature of John Wardle Architects’ Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. A bulky cantilever creates an open-air performance space beneath.
 Photo: Courtesy © Trevor Mein
The study of music entails a dedication to practice that can be especially isolating. So when local firm John Wardle Architects envisaged a new design for the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Australia’s oldest music institution, the firm had a key underlying objective: The building, located within the University of Melbourne campus, shouldn’t feel like a monastery.

Instead, principal Stefan Mee says he and his team designed the 70,500-square foot structure to strike a balance between inward focus and the world outside. It needed to feel relaxed and intimate—more greenroom than concert hall, more backstage than main stage, as he puts it—and encourage students to feel part of a community...

That understanding of interactivity goes beyond fellow students. Bell-shaped portholes, hinged panels, disguised windows, and an oculus on the ground level allow passersby a glimpse inside the Conservatorium’s various learning and rehearsal rooms. Some observers may even detect a musicality in the shapes and patterns of the building’s concrete facade, on which 66,000 small ceramic tiles cluster like notes on a music staff. “We like that abstract clue to somebody on the street about what might be happening inside,” says Mee.
Read more... 

Source: Metropolis Magazine

You, an Adult, Should Take a Music Class. Here’s Why | Music - Philadelphia magazine

Samantha Spengler, Research Editor at Philadelphia magazine notes, Inside a small Italian Market storefront on a December Friday night, there is confusion. 

A group music class at Mister John’s in Bella Vista. 
Photo: courtesy of John Francisco
A world away from the neighboring produce stands that sit dark and empty, the space inside is warm and raucous. Apparently, there had been a set list and a particular order to the acts lined up for the evening’s open mic, but circumstances have changed, and no one quite knows who will be taking the stage first.

In yellow plastic chairs — an adult-sized version of those you’d find in kindergarten classrooms — the 20 or so people inside Mister John’s Music discuss each other’s evening plans. They are all busy: hosting parties at their homes and chauffeuring kids to friends’ houses, so the set list will have to adapt based on everyone’s changing schedule. Eventually, things are straightened out and the first duo steps up: Demi and Joel, on guitar and ukulele, respectively, launch into a stunning original song.

Joshua Lehrer arrives at the keyboard next. He’s accompanied by Mister John instructors Diego, on guitar, and Eric, on percussion. It’s clear Joshua is nervous. His wife is in the audience, Joshua says, and he’ll be playing her favorite song because today is her birthday. He begins the opening strains of “Transatlanticism” by Death Cab for Cutie, occasionally stuttering and missing keys...

A 2007 study published in Aging & Mental Health studied adults ages 60 to 85 who were new to music instruction. Six months after taking piano lessons, they showed gains in memory, speed of mental processing, planning ability and other cognitive functions. And researchers from the University of Liverpool found in 2014 that even a half hour of music instruction increases blood flow to the left hemisphere of the brain.
Read more... 

Source: Philadelphia magazine 

WVU announces music and health degree | Community - My Buckhannon

Students who have a passion for music but also want a career in healthcare can now study both disciplines with a new degree program at West Virginia University by My Buckhannon.

WVU will be one of the first universities in the nation with a music and health undergraduate program.
Photo: WVU
WVU will be one of the first universities in the nation with a music and health undergraduate program.

The Bachelor of Science in Music and Health is unique in that it provides students with an opportunity to be a music major while pursuing one of six tracks in the health sciences. Music and Health majors can select a medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, dentistry or physician assistant track within the program.

According to WVU’s School of Music Director Michael Ibrahim, the need for the program is significant, as many prospective students have a great interest in furthering their music skills, but also want a career in healthcare...

In addition to taking private lessons, performing in ensembles and taking core music courses, students will also take all of the science electives appropriate to the long-term goal of working in their selected health profession.

“We know that music is a powerful and moving tool that can help improve health and wellbeing, and studies have shown that the brain releases dopamine, a chemical that has a positive effect on mood, when people hear music they like,” Dr. Clay Marsh, WVU Health Sciences vice president and executive dean, said. “We are excited to be able to offer unique programs that allow our future healthcare providers to achieve their academic goals on a speedier path and to be able to offer personalized care to their patients.”
Read more... 

Source: My Buckhannon 

Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation Board Adds Kristine Pacheco-Bernt | Arts - Noozhawk

Kristine Pacheco-Bernt, noted violinist and music educator, has joined the Board of Directors of the Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation (PASF), inform Deborah Bertling for Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation.

Photo: Kristine Pacheco-Bernt
With experience as a performer in orchestras from San Francisco to Santa Ynez, she plays locally with the UCSB Symphony Orchestra, Santa Barbara Symphony, Santa Barbara Choral Society, and the Folk Orchestra of Santa Barbara.

Kristine Pacheco-Bernt has served as the MERIT Program assistant for the Music Academy of the West and is currently the education programs manager for the Santa Barbara Symphony, overseeing all music education center programs and marketing, designing and implementing the curricula and coordinating all activities, concerts and contracts...

Pacheco-Bernt joins current PASF Board members Bertling, Rosalind Amorteguy Fendon (treasurer), Peter Bertling, Barbara Burger, Christopher Davis, Ronald Fendon, Dr. Marjorie S. Gies (vice president), Noel Lucky, David McKee, Adrian Spence, Marylove Thralls (secretary), and Patricia Yzurdiaga.

Source: Noozhawk

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Of Course You Can Use Math to Perfectly Fold a Notebook Page Into a Bookmark | Science - Popular Mechanics

Caroline Delbert, writer, book editor, researcher, and avid reader summarizes, Hey, you never know when it'll come in handy.

Photo: Caroline Delbert
You find a lot of great stuff when browsing through arXiv, the repository of scientific research run by Cornell University, including very elaborate solutions to problems you didn't necessarily know existed. But now that we think about it, we would like to know the ideal way to fold a notebook page in order to "bookmark" it, actually.

Enter Chenguang Zhang, a postdoc in MIT’s math department and Earth Resources Laboratory, who crunched the numbers to find the perfect folding method. In a new paper posted to arXiv, Zhang says he was inspired by a square notebook with a top spiral that he’s been using.

Folding as a way to bookmark pages, Zhang says, conjures the idea of origami. In recent decades, as the study of how materials can fold and deform becomes more important in micromaterials, spaceflight, and everything in between, researchers are studying origami and kirigami principles under the scrutiny of science. As Zhang explains, “Since the last century, it has seen significant developments that, interestingly, were far beyond its originally recreational and artistic nature.”...

There you have it. There really is math for everything.

Students gear up for robotics challenge to find engineers of tomorrow | Robotics - FE News

As part of #NationalApprenticeshipWeek local students from 24 schools across Northern Ireland took part in a regional heat of the @Tomorrows_Eng ineers EEP #Robotics Challenge, as Michael Magill, FE News reports.  
Photo: FE News
Managed locally by leading Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics #STEM educational charity Sentinus, and hosted in partnership with The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB NI), regional heats have been taking place in early 2020 across the UK, ahead of the national finals at The Big Bang Fair in March.

By building, programming and controlling LEGO robots, the Challenge introduces student teams to real-world engineering, technology, robotics and computing tasks, and aims to help students put their school learning into context and at the same time discover exciting new careers. Students had to research, design and present their own solution to a contemporary engineering problem faced by STEM professionals in the aviation industry.

Source:  FE News

How To Teach Artificial Intelligence | Education - Forbes

Follow on Twitter as @tvanderark
Tom Vander Ark, education advocate, advisor, and author of Getting Smart: How Personal Digital Learning is Changing the World reports, Every high school graduate should have an appreciation of how AI is reshaping the economy and the career landscape—and the option of educational pathways that lead to college and meaningful high wage work. 

Photo: Forbes
Artificial intelligence—code that learns—is likely to be humankind’s most important invention. It’s a 60-year-old idea that took off five years ago when fast chips enabled massive computing and sensors, cameras, and robots fed data-hungry algorithms. 

We’re a couple of years into a new age where machine learning (a functional subset of AI), big data and enabling technologies are transforming every sector. In every sector, there is a big data set behind every question. Every field is computational: healthcare, manufacturing, law, finance and accounting, retail, and real estate. We all work with smart machines—and they are getting smart fast. 

A World Economic Forum report indicated that 89% of U.S.-based companies are planning to adopt user and entity big data analytics by 2022, while more than 70% want to integrate the Internet of Things, explore web and app-enabled markets, and take advantage of machine learning and cloud computing...

Microsoft offers many training classes resulting in certificates. They have bundled resources into Imagine Academy, a set of resources used by schools in 135 countries. It supports pathways in computer science, data science, infrastructure, and productivity. 

Work experiences and internships are a valuable complement to classroom learning. In Dallas over 75 business partners support the 18 P-TECH academies (which combine high school, community college and work experience). 
Read more...   

Source: Forbes 

Q&A on the Book Agile Machine Learning | Culture & Methods -

Key Takeaways
  • Invest in metrics - these are your customers
  • The unknowns in data projects are different to those in traditional software engineering projects and so customers and sponsors need to learn how to understand progress and expectations
  • Plan for mitigation - the only certain thing about data is that it will contain errors, so design for data mitigation from the start
  • A data engineer or scientist needs to be an expert in communicating with data - invest in this skill
  • Wallow in data - present results and discuss insights with your peers to make informed and balanced decisions for the team

The book Agile Machine Learning by Eric Carter and Matthew Hurst describes how the guiding principles of the Agile Manifesto have been used by machine learning teams in data projects. It explores how to apply agile practices for dealing with the unknowns of data and inferencing systems, using metrics as the customer.

Photo: JumpStory

InfoQ readers can download an extract of Agile Machine Learning - Chapter reprinted with permission from Apress (2020) an imprint of Springer Nature.

InfoQ interviewed Matthew Hurst about using agile for a data engineering team, rebuilding the data catalog every day, continuous integration and deployment of data changes, the benefits of rewriting software, doing sprint demo meetings, what can be done to break the pace for teams that are working at a sustainable pace, and technical excellence in data projects.
Read more... 

Recommended Reading

Agile Machine Learning:
Effective Machine Learning Inspired by the Agile Manifesto