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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

How a Memory Quirk of the Human Brain Can Galvanize | Artificial Intelligence - Singularity Hub

Shelly Xuelai Fan, neuroscientist-turned-science writer emphasiz, Even as toddlers we’re good at inferences. 

Memory AI
Photo: Singularity Hub

Take a two-year-old that first learns to recognize a dog and a cat at home, then a horse and a sheep in a petting zoo. The kid will then also be able to tell apart a dog and a sheep, even if he can’t yet articulate their differences.

This ability comes so naturally to us it belies the complexity of the brain’s data-crunching processes under the hood. To make the logical leap, the child first needs to remember distinctions between his family pets. When confronted with new categories—farm animals—his neural circuits call upon those past remembrances, and seamlessly incorporate those memories with new learnings to update his mental model of the world.

Not so simple, eh?...

Meeting of Minds
These results are hardly the first to tap into the brain’s memory prowess.

Previously, AI researchers have also tuned into a separate memory process called metaplasticity, which alters how likely a neural network is to be vulnerable to change. Because memories are stored in a neural network, the more flexible it is, the more likely the memory can be altered or forgotten. Google DeepMind, for example, has used an artificial version of this brain quirk to help “protect” artificial synapses that are key to preserving a previous memory while encoding the next. 


Source: Singularity Hub

Music Marketing with Human Algorithm vs Computer Algorithm | Music Business -

Christopher Prouty from NineTwice returns to The Music Biz Weekly Podcast to discuss The Human Algorithm vs The Computer Algorithm with Michael Brandvold, Founder and CEO and Jay Gilbert.

Ep. 439 The Human Algorithm Vs The Computer Algorithm

You’ll learn why you need to optimize your content for humans AND computers. 

Read more... 


Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The 20 Most Popular LinkedIn Learning Courses of the Year (Bonus: They’re Free) | Top skills and courses - Learning Blog

Methodology: Based on global data from the LinkedIn Learning platform from July 1, 2019 through June 30 2020. Top courses are based on the number of unique learners.

The third annual Most Popular Courses is your ultimate guide for the most relevant courses to watch for work right now by Dan Brodnitz, Head of Global Content Strategy - LinkedIn Learning.  

Photo: Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels
Over 3 million professionals across the globe watched these 20 courses to help them thrive in today's changing economy. Whether you are looking to grow your skills while spending extra time at home, getting ready for a job interview, or reinventing yourself—start with the most-watched courses of the year. 

If you're spending more time learning for work, you're in good company. Time spent learning on LinkedIn has tripled over the past year, and the skills learned relate directly to the world we live in today. 

The pandemic has changed how we work, live, socialize—everything—and these top courses show that people have spent time learning how to be more productive remotely, create work/life balance, and communicate with virtual teams...

Consider our Most Popular Courses list a “top hits” playlist and your guide to courses professionals are seeking the most right now. Watch them for free until September 30. 

Read more... 

Source: Learning Blog

Monday, September 28, 2020

Is it time to kill calculus? | Math - Salon

Dan Rockmore, William H. Neukom 1964 Distinguished Professor of Computational Science, Associate Dean for the Sciences  at Dartmouth College, and an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute insist, Math curricula are designed to shepherd students toward calculus. Some mathematicians think this path is outdated. 

Person Writing On White Board
Photo: Jeswin Thomas from Pexels

Many parents relish reliving moments from our childhoods through our children, and doing homework with them is its own kind of madeleine. For Steve Levitt of "Freakonomics" fame — who is, in his own words, "someone who uses a lot of math in my everyday life" — a trip down memory lane vis-a-vis math homework became a moment of frustrated incredulity rather than gauzy reverie. "Perhaps the single most important development over the last 50 years has been the rise of data and computers, and yet the curriculum my children were learning seemed to have been air-dropped directly from my own childhood," he told me. "I couldn't see anything different about what they were learning than what I learned, even though the world had transformed completely. And that didn't make sense."

Levitt has made a career of questioning the received dogma. In this case, what he saw was that "A mathematical way of thinking, numeracy, data literacy, is far more important today than it has been; the ability to visualize data, the ability to make sense out of a pile of numbers, has never been more important, but you wouldn't know that from looking at the math curriculum." Data combined with the use of mathematical ideas had transformed the way he and others look at the world. Should data also change the way we teach mathematics?

In most schools, children are grounded in basic arithmetic in elementary school, and then, somewhere between middle school and high school, force-fed the "algebra-geometry-algebra sandwich". The first year of algebra ("Algebra I") continues to reinforce basic arithmetic, and then brings in fractions. The familiar starts to give way to the unfamiliar when variables and functions are introduced...

Another piece is a new initiative of Coleman's that the College Board is calling its "pre-AP curriculum". This fall "Pre-AP Geometry with Statistics" is being piloted around the country. It is a quarter the basics of data science with the rest basic geometry. The bridging conceit that both are contexts for deductive reasoning and the course joins the certainties of deduction with the probabilities of data science. A new Pre-AP Algebra II course will also have data analysis connections inserted through the appearance of functions with more than one variable.

Read more... 

Source: Salon

The Beauty of Mathematical Simplicity | Art/Geometry - Medium

 One of the universal laws of nature is the law of the least rate of energy expenditure, argues Waldo Otis, Medium. 

Photo: Steve Johnson from Pexels

For example, the light emitted from point A chooses the path that requires the least amount of energy among the infinite number of routes to go to point B, which is often also the fastest.

If points A and B are in the air, the light follows the AB line, because the AB line is the way light will reach point B as quickly as possible, with the least amount of energy expended. If point A is in the air and point B is in the water, the light refracts at some point to go from A to B. It is because the light goes faster in the air and slows down in the water. That’s why the light wants to stay in the air as much as possible...

In literature, painting, architecture, mathematics, wherever it is, unnecessary chaos is not pleasant; it only wears us out. Simplicity spells “pleasant” for our senses, and it is more effective. In the literature, for example, if a sentence is sufficient to explain a thought, a feeling, an event, a situation, the second sentence should not exist if it’s not needed. We should avoid unnecessary long sentences. If a single word is used in that perfect place and is well selected, it can function as a whole page...

It is not easy to achieve simplicity and beauty. If it was, everyone could be an artist. Picasso has a series of lithographs; The Bull. Successively, all was done within a few days. In the first lithography, we see a realistic bull with all the details. The second lithography has less detail, and there are four-five lines left on the last lithography. This last lithography is so simple that it makes you say, “I could do it too,” like most people do when they see one of Picasso’s “simple” paintings. I understand those people very well, and I even think that they are right, and in these words, they say with childish naivety.

Read more... 

Source: Medium

What Skills Does a Data Scientist Need? | Business - Global Banking And Finance Review

In this modern and complicated time of economy, Big data is nothing without the professionals who turn cutting-edge technology into actionable insights by Global Banking And Finance Review.

What Skills Does a Data Scientist Need?
Photo: Global Banking And Finance Review

These professionals are called Data Scientists. Modern businesses are awash with data and many organizations are opening up their doors to big data and unlocking its power that increases the value of data scientists. Data is one of the most important features of any organization which helps to make decisions based on facts, stats, and trends.   

As the scope of data is growing, data science came up as a multidisciplinary field. Data science is an integral part of understanding the working of many industries, complex or intricate. It helps organizations and brands to understand their customers in a much better, enhanced, and empowered way. Data science can be helpful in finding insights for sectors like travel, healthcare, and education among others. Its importance is increased as it solves complex problems through Big Data. With data science, companies are using data in a comprehensive manner to target an audience by creating better brand connections. Nowadays data science is taking an important and big prime role in the growth process of brands, as it is opening new fields in terms of research and experiments... 

Who is a Data Scientist?
Data Scientists are the individuals who gather and analyze large sets of structured and unstructured data. It combines the roles of computer science, mathematics, and statistics to create actionable plans for companies and other organizations. They gather, analyze, and process the data and then find the filtered results. Their work is to make sense of large, messy, and unstructured data using sources such as social media, smart devices, digital channels, emails, etc...

Ready to Learn Data Science?
Data Science is nowadays a buzzing word in the IT sector. It has become an evolutionary technology that everyone is talking about. Several people want to become data scientists. It is a versatile career that is used in many sectors such as health-care, banking, e-commerce industries, consultancy services, etc.

Read more... 

Source: Global Banking And Finance Review

Hardware security: Emerging attacks and protection mechanisms | Features - Help Net Security

Mirko Zorz, Editor in Chief, Help Net Security says, Maggie Jauregui’s introduction to hardware security is a fun story: she figured out how to spark, smoke, and permanently disable GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter – the two button protections on plugs/sockets that prevent you from electrocuting yourself by accident with your hair dryer) wirelessly with a walkie talkie.

Photo: Maggie Jauregui
 “I could also do this across walls with a directional antenna, and this also worked on AFCI’s (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupts – part of the circuit breaker box in your garage), which meant you could drive by someone’s home and potentially turn off their lights,” she told Help Net Security.

This first foray into hardware security resulted in her first technical presentation ever at DEF CON and a follow up presentation at CanSecWest about the effects of radio waves on modern platforms.

Jauregui says she’s always been interested in hardware. She started out as an electrical engineering major but switched to computer science halfway through university, and ultimately applied to be an Intel intern in Mexico.

“I highly recommend readers to check out the book Demystifying Internet of Things Security written by Intel scientists and Principal Engineers. It’s an in depth look at the threat model, secure boot, chain of trust, and the SW stack leading up to defense-in-depth for embedded systems. It also examines the different security building blocks available in Intel Architecture (IA) based IoT platforms and breaks down some the misconceptions of the Internet of Things,” she added.

“This book explores the challenges to secure these devices and provides suggestions to make them more immune to different threats originating from within and outside the network.”

Read more... 

Source: Help Net Security

This extraordinary AI has stunned computer scientists with its writing ability | Tech - Fast Company

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Prasenjit Mitra, associate dean for research and professor of information sciences and technology at Pennsylvania State University observes, The GPT-3 program can write articles, produce code, and compose poetry. 

Photo:  antoniokhr/iStock]

Seven years ago, my student and I at Penn State built a bot to write a Wikipedia article on Bengali Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s play “Chitra.” First it culled information about “Chitra” from the internet. Then it looked at existing Wikipedia entries to learn the structure for a standard Wikipedia article. Finally, it summarized the information it had retrieved from the internet to write and publish the first version of the entry.

However, our bot didn’t “know” anything about “Chitra” or Tagore. It didn’t generate fundamentally new ideas or sentences. It simply cobbled together parts of existing sentences from existing articles to make new ones.

Fast forward to 2020. OpenAI, a for-profit company under a nonprofit parent company, has built a language generation program dubbed GPT-3, an acronym for “Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3.” Its ability to learn, summarize, and compose text has stunned computer scientists like me...

Learning on its own
The knowledge displayed by GPT-3’s language model is remarkable, especially since it hasn’t been “taught” by a human.

Machine learning has traditionally relied upon supervised learning, where people provide the computer with annotated examples of objects and concepts in images, audio and text–say, “cats,” “happiness” or “democracy.” It eventually learns the characteristics of the objects from the given examples and is able to recognize those particular concepts.

Read more... 

Source: Fast Company

Sunday, September 27, 2020

China's first book series on traditional folk art to be published in English | Nation - SHINE

"Chinese Folk Art Museum," the first book series on traditional Chinese folk art, will be published in English by SHINE.

China's first book series on traditional folk art to be published in English
 The series, based on the traditional Chinese art of creation, tells about Chinese folk lifestyle, culture and aesthetics, such as traditional Chinese clothing and shoes...

"Chinese Folk Art Museum" is planned to be published in three series, with the first series of 10 volumes published. The full set is scheduled to meet audiences in 2022.  


Source: SHINE

The adorable secret bookshop hidden along Guildford's River Wey Navigation | Guildford - Surrey Live

Nestled along the banks of the River Wey Navigation is the Book Shed by Laura Nightingale, Senior What's On and features writer.

The Book Shed is located along the tranquil River Wey Navigation
Photo: Laura Nightingale
We love discovering a hidden gem and this one is perfect for all the family.

Located on the banks of the River Wey Navigation in Guildford, only a short walk from the town centre, not many people know The Book Shed exists.

With its neighbours being a family of swans, kingfishers and ducks bobbing along the water, it's a relaxing spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life...

Looked after by the National Trust, the reading retreat is situated within the grounds of Dapdune Wharf where you can hire a boat to go along the river.

Read more... 

Source: Surrey Live

The pandemic has brought people out on their bicycles. Are there books waiting to be written? | Publishing And The Pandemic -

This series of articles on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on publishing is curated by Kanishka Gupta.

Dominic Franks, observes, The author of a cycling memoir sees a hundred stories blooming from the increased use of bicycles during the pandemic.

A page from 'Shikari’s Cycling Adventure'

In the month of May this year, Jyoti Kumari, a 15 year old girl from Bihar, cycled 1,200 km from Gurugram to Darbhanga in seven days with her injured father riding pillion because of their inability to pay the rent that their landlord was demanding. First reported by the BBC, and later retweeted by Ivanka Trump, her heroic feat turned her into an overnight sensation and the epitome of grit and girl power.

A fair number of friends WhatsApped me the story. Throughout the pandemic, no other story was repeatedly brought to my attention. Why? Because I happened to cycle from Bangalore to Delhi in 2010 in 23 days and wrote a book about it. This is the tenuous thread that binds us together.

I was embarrassed that Jyoti’s odyssey rekindled memories of my adventure among my friends. There is no comparison between our journeys. One was a necessity born of harsh circumstance, the other the gentle niggle of a childhood dream...

This reminded me of the most compelling, captivating person I met on my trip, whose childhood had been corrupted by the iron hand of poverty. A boy named Naren, who, like Jyoti, was 15 years old when I met him at a dhaba a few kilometres from Agra. He kept plugging me with questions: Where was I from? How far had I cycled? How much longer would I go? What had I seen? How many states had I travelled? What was our country like? Who were the people I had met?

He, too, just like Jyoti, had been forced out of an education to help his family financially. His dream was to be a doctor. When I asked him why he spoke of his dream in the past tense, he replied matter-of-factly that circumstances were such. From dreaming of being a doctor, he had sublimated his dream to becoming a truck-driver. 

Read more... 


Top 10 books about social media | Books - The Guardian

In fiction and in fact, these books trace how in less than 15 years, billions of people have given up a good deal of their waking life to Web 2.0 by Matthew Sperling, Lecturer in Literature in English.

Photo: Tracy Le Blanc from Pexels

Has anything ever caused a faster transformation in our practices of living than social media? Fifteen years ago, it barely existed; today, it occupies a large portion of the waking consciousness of a few billion people. It has touched all aspects of life: for many people, their most intimate conceptions of themselves, their relations to other people, their political commitments, and their sexuality – as well as their basic livelihoods – are now tangled up in the loose cluster of phenomena known as Web 2.0.

The 10 books I’ve chosen here trace the development of social media across the last decade, explore its effects in everyday life, and place it in its wider context. They share a sense of its enormous dynamism and power, as well as its vertiginous capacity for harm.

Read more... 

Source: The Guardian

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Understanding the Mathematics behind Gradient Descent | Machine Learning - Medium

Parul Pandey, Data Science + Community + Evangelism Also curating stuff at explains, A simple mathematical intuition behind one of the commonly used optimisation algorithms in Machine Learning. 

is a pretty well-known term in the software development process. The basic idea behind it is simple: build something quickly ➡️ get it out there ➡️ get some feedback ➡️ make changes depending upon the feedback ➡️ repeat the process. The goal is to get the product near the user and let the user guide you with the feedback to obtain the best possible product with the least error. Also, the steps taken for improvement need to be small and should constantly involve the user. In a way, an Agile software development process involves rapid iterations. The idea of — start with a solution as soon as possible, measure and iterate as frequently as possible, is basically t under the hood.

Gradient descent algorithm is an iterative process that takes us to the minimum of a function(barring some caveats). The formula below sums up the entire Gradient Descent algorithm in a single line.

But how do we arrive at this formula? Well, It is actually very simple and just includes some high school maths. Through this article, we shall try to understand as well as recreate this formula in the context of a Linear Regression model. This article is an adaption of the video titled . If you do not like reading, you can watch the video too...

The point of this article was to demonstrate the concept of gradient descent. We used gradient descent as our optimization strategy for linear regression. by drawing the line of best fit to measure the relationship between student heights and weights. However, it is important to note here that the linear regression example has been chosen for simplicity but can be used with other Machine Learning techniques too. 


Source: Medium

Teacher Travels Through YouTube on His Distance Learning Bus | YouTube - NBC San Diego

Brent Ford and Emilio Martinez's creation has become a staple at ECVHS, as Joe Little, television news reporter and the Director of Storytelling at NBC7 in San Diego reports.

 Photo: Screenshot from NBC7's Video.
He sits behind the wheel and looks ahead as he starts to bounce in his seat.

“Get on the Distance Learning Bus. Get on the Distance Learning Bus,” he sings as he drives down the road

Some would think Brent Ford may have been socially distancing for too long...

While the videos are goofy, they are also informative. They touch on different subjects for students stuck at home during the pandemic.

Ford and Martinez have produced more than a dozen videos and they say they’ll continue to make more. However, Ford said he’d park his Distance Learning Bus for good to have his students back.

Read more... 

Source: NBC San Diego

Online teaching doesn’t have to suck for students or educators | Commentary - CNA

This wholesale leap into digital education has also reaped surprising benefits for learning, says NUS’ Chris McMorran, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Japanese Studies.

File photo of NUS students attending a lecture in 2018.
Every week I read about another university in the United States forced to abandon in-person instruction due to a sudden rise in coronavirus cases: UNC-Chapel Hill, Notre Dame, James Madison.

This sudden change of direction has taken a toll on students, who are now restricted to remote instruction and self-isolation after moving to campus only weeks before...

Hybrid teaching would mean meeting some students in person and others online. I choose to remain online. I spent months carefully planning for online learning. Changing course midstream threatens to undo all that work and to disrupt my students’ new learning habits.

Just as one cannot smoothly go online overnight, one cannot go hybrid without careful thought and planning. Plus, colleagues who have asked students about the possibility of going hybrid found that a large majority prefer to continue with online learning only.

Read more... 

Source: CNA

Syncing with Students: Valuable Qualities of Synchronous Online Teaching | Online Education - Faculty Focus

Margot Craven, college composition professor writes, Despite alterations to our teaching during spring of 2020, the one aspect that remained intact was the ability to speak with my students. 

Syncing with Students: Valuable Qualities of Synchronous Online Teaching
Photo: Faculty Focus

It was important both my students and I maintained a sense of personable engagement and connection through the deliberate action of live dialogue.

By now, the terms “synchronous” and “asynchronous” are everyday words in the world of teaching. Synchronous class sessions are when participants gather on a virtual learning management system in real-time, and complete lessons and activities in sync with one another. Synchronous classes can meet with the use of video, audio, and chat features. Asynchronous means that participants do not come together at a unified time, but instead, they complete tasks in a self-paced manner within a given timeframe. Both online learning structures have advantages and disadvantages. Each educational provider has had to determine what works best for their population of students and instructors. While remote education and learning management systems alter what this learning environment looks like, it should not change the value of establishing a rapport with students through direct interaction.  

Many people believe that asynchronous classrooms give students more freedom and flexibility. Asynchronous is incredibly helpful for individuals who cannot commit to a class hour due to other demands on their time. Asynchronous class settings are valuable because it encourages discipline, autonomy, and strong time-management. This structure does have tremendous benefits; however, as someone who teaches first-year students, I have some concerns. Regardless of my students’ age or lifestyle, I worry that fully asynchronous classes make students feel disconnected, isolated, confused, and unmotivated...

The online course is not the same as the in-person setting, nor is the COVID-19 online course the same as traditional distant learning. We are all in an unnatural situation. As newly crowned online instructors, it is important to contemplate what type of synchronous structure would benefit your style, curriculum, and students. 

Ideas for adding live components:

  • Hold half of the course hours live and the other half self-paced.
  • Schedule synchronous office hours, or what I like to call live “Pop-In sessions.” 
  • Respect students’ privacy (and potential anxieties) by not mandating webcams. You can accommodate the webcam issue by having students upload a profile photo and require the microphone for conversation.
  • Record all live sessions for anyone who misses class. Even if they are not an active member in the conversation, listening to the dialogue will be valuable and may encourage them to attend future, live sessions.
  • Most importantly, be personable and even a bit informal. Welcome them by name as you see them enter the virtual room. Ask how their other classes are going. Prompt casual but helpful chit-chat. Be friendly and laugh.

There are many ways to incorporate synchronous qualities and strike a balance with valuable asynchronous qualities. 


Source: Faculty Focus

Reimagining Online Education: How Perceived Constraints Became Affordances in an Undergraduate Online STEM Course | Online Learning - EDUCAUSE Review

Using integrated technologies in online courses to provide effective and meaningful feedback to students can leverage the unique affordances of online courses to support student success.

A high-quality online course that mitigates the inherent constraints and leverages the affordances of the online environment cannot be built overnight, emphasiz Alex Rockey,  Instructional Technology Instructor at Bakersfield College. 

However, in times of crisis—whether it be snow in the northeast or fires in the west—educators and students alike are frequently asked to just continue learning online. With remote teaching being used in emergency situations, proactively knowing how to teach and learn online is more important than ever. Educators at all levels need to have a sense of empirically based pedagogy to guide them when they are called to teach online.

Whereas college and university educators are sometimes asked to continue teaching remotely due to regional campus closures caused by blizzards, hurricanes, or fires, educators across the world were tasked with quickly switching to online teaching due to the global pandemic in the spring of 2020. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization designated the novel Coronavirus-2019 as a pandemic. In the days following this announcement, private corporations and institutions worked to mitigate the spread of this disease through the implementation of remote work and remote learning. Within a week, higher education and K–12 schools across the country announced the cancellation of in-person classes. By March 19, forty-one states decided to close schools, and 43.9 million students across the United States were no longer attending school in-person.1 In-person classes were to be replaced with online learning. For colleges, universities, and K–12 schools alike, instructors had a week at best to begin moving student learning online.

Feedback in Online Courses: Leveraging Affordances

In my role as an instructional designer at a four-year university and a community college, I found myself and my team faced with helping instructors rapidly move both their final exams and their spring courses online. Across these two dimensions, we faced myriad obstacles for both instructors and students as they moved to teaching and learning remotely. For instructors, these obstacles included moving a course to a learning management system (LMS) for the first time, using unfamiliar technology to deliver synchronous remote lectures, or redesigning in-person labs for online contexts. The obstacles that students faced were heartbreaking and raised serious questions about digital inequities. How were students supposed to finish their courses without a computer that had a camera and audio through which they could participate in newly remote class sessions? If students only had a mobile device, how could they complete assignments that required a computer?...

Implications for the Field of Online Education

Even before recent global moves to remote teaching due to the pandemic, online education was a continually growing sector of higher education at a time when enrollments in traditional higher education institutions are declining. A majority of academic leaders in higher education institutions see online education as crucial for an institution's long-term success.7 At this moment, public institutions are integrating online education to provide students opportunities to enroll in online courses (e.g., Brewing Science), online programs (e.g., Oregon State University Ecampus), and online colleges (e.g., Calbright College, an online California community college)...


In an online course, the impact of feedback can be heightened in that it is often the only interaction between instructors and students. In Brewing Science, student perceptions of feedback were relatively consistent, both before and at the end of the quarter, but student perceptions of interaction varied. Some research has shown that instructor-student interactions can encourage satisfaction and success of the overall course; however, other research shows that more interaction in online courses actually decreased course completion rates.12 Instructor-student interactions that mirror the synchronous nature of interactions in face-to-face courses do not leverage the integrated technologies in online courses that could incorporate meaningful asynchronous instructor-student interactions. These asynchronous interactions could support students who are poised to gain the most from high-quality online courses due to family, work, personal, and professional obligations that make success in a typical face-to-face course particularly challenging. 

Read more... 

Source: EDUCAUSE Review

Friday, September 25, 2020

Slice into this 'Pi Planet' that swiftly orbits its star every 3.14 days | Science - SYFY WIRE

Jeff Spry, screenwriter and freelance journalist inform, Like Obi-Wan's famous characterization of The Force as an elemental entity that surrounds us and penetrates us, the mysterious number of pi is a permanence whose presence is everywhere — even apparently in heavenly bodies orbiting ultracool stars.

Photo: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle, Christine Daniloff, MIT
Pi is represented by π, the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a universal mathematical constant as regular as the rising sun, calculated out as the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. Equal to its approximation of 3.14159, it exists in all arenas of mathematics, physics, and nature.

No matter how big or how small a circle is, pi will always figure out to be the exact same number. Pi is also an irrational number which cannot be expressed by just a simple fraction because it's what mathematicians define as an "infinite decimal," meaning that after the decimal point, the digits go on forever. Pi was first discovered by ancient Babylonians nearly 4,000 years ago and acquired its first calculation by the mathematician Archimedes of Syracuse (287-212 B.C.)... 

Kepler faded out of operation two years ago, but not until it left behind data on 530,506 observed stars and 4,284 exoplanet discoveries outside our solar system, some of which could be potential destinations for future human colonization. 

Read more... 


The Universe is in Pi | Numbers - Medium

Bob Bodily, Senior Data Scientist at Lumen Learning notes, The fascinating truth about irrational numbers.

Photo: Shihao Mei on Unsplash
Pi is an irrational number, meaning its decimal digits continue on forever and do not systematically repeat. Let me give you a few examples to give you a better sense for what an irrational number is...

Pi is technically defined as the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. This means that if we measure the circumference and diameter of a circle, and then we take the circumference length and divide it by the diameter, we will get the number pi...

The Universe is in Pi
Following the same logic used above, we can encode any physical thing into base 10 form by reducing it to its atomic structure and position in space. We can also encode any informational or technological thing by converting letters and symbols to base 10 form. This means that the universe is in fact found in base 10 encoded form in the digits of pi.

The universe is indeed found within the digits of pi. 


Source: Medium

Explore the Future of EDU at NVIDIA GTC – Students and Educators Attend Free! | Students/Teachers - The Tech Edvocate

Inspire the next generation of AI innovators at NVIDIA’s GTC, emphasiz Matthew Lynch, Author at The Tech Edvocate. 

Photo: Pexels
NVIDIA’s GTC is happening on October 5-9, featuring a huge catalog of 500+ on-demand sessions. And now, it’s free to support educators, students, and EDU administrators with an email that ends in .edu or .org. GTC will feature the latest innovations in AI, data science, graphics, high-performance and edge computing, networking, autonomous machines and VR for a broad range of industries and government services. Seven separate programming streams will run across North America, Europe, Israel, India, Taiwan, Japan and Korea — each with access to live demos, specialized content, local startups and sponsors.

GTC will also include a series of panels bringing together experts and policymakers to discuss topics ranging from national strategies to equitable AI. Additionally, while WFH may hinder our ability to meet in person, there are some exciting new ways for attendees to connect with fellow GTC attendees virtually using Braindate, a platform that allows people to meet 1:1 or in small groups based on topic description, and by attending NVIDIA’s AI Art Socials. 

The event will feature a full startup track, hosted by NVIDIA Inception, which will include presentations from the world’s leading AI startup CEOs, technical sessions with NVIDIA engineers, and panels with NVIDIA’s top executives on where AI is headed next...

To register visit

Read more... 

Source: The Tech Edvocate

10 Exciting Webinars & Workshops In Machine Learning To Look Forward To | Opinions - Analytics India Magazine

Sejuti Das, Senior Technology Journalist at Analytics India Magazine (AIM) recommends, 2020 has been an eventful year so far, with many professionals getting unemployed due to the massive pandemic outbreak. 

Photo:  Analytics India Magazine
However, one of the ways professionals are keeping up their relevance in their organisations as well as in the industry is by upskilling and learning the latest tools and technologies of this evolving field. Webinars and workshops have always been an excellent way for professionals and enthusiasts to keep themselves updated with the latest trends and technologies.

For attendees, these webinars and workshops are not only an easy way to know and train themselves on the latest tools and technologies but also allows them to hear from the best minds of the industry on relevant topics. In fact, for a few years now, large tech companies have been conducting free webinars and workshops, which will not only boosts the community and users at large but also acts as a great marketing tool for advertising their solutions and services.

With machine learning being explored in various industries, including healthcare, eCommerce, finance and retail, the possibilities are endless. In this article, we are going to list down ten online webinars and workshops in machine learning that one shouldn’t miss.

Read more... 

Source: Analytics India Magazine

Talking Alone: Researchers Use Artificial Intelligence Tools to Predict Loneliness | Press Releases - UC San Diego Health

Scott LaFee - University of California San Diego summarizes, For the past couple of decades, there has been a loneliness pandemic, marked by rising rates of suicides and opioid use, lost productivity, increased health care costs and rising mortality. 

Photo: Ellen Lee, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

The COVID-19 pandemic, with its associated social distancing and lockdowns, have only made things worse, say experts.

Accurately assessing the breadth and depth of societal loneliness is daunting, limited by available tools, such as self-reports. In a new proof-of-concept paper, published online September 24, 2020 in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry , a team led by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine used artificial intelligence technologies to analyze natural language patterns (NLP) to discern degrees of loneliness in older adults.

“Most studies use either a direct question of ‘ how often do you feel lonely,’ which can lead to biased responses due to stigma associated with loneliness or the UCLA Loneliness Scale which does not explicitly use the word ‘lonely,’” said senior author Ellen Lee, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego School of Medicine...

“NLP and machine learning allow us to systematically examine long interviews from many individuals and explore how subtle speech features like emotions may indicate loneliness. Similar emotion analyses by humans would be open to bias, lack consistency, and require extensive training to standardize,” said first author Varsha Badal, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow.

Among the findings:

  • Lonely individuals had longer responses in qualitative interview, and more greatly expressed sadness to direct questions about loneliness.
  • Women were more likely than men to acknowledge feeling lonely during interviews.
  • Men used more fearful and joyful words in their responses compared to women.


Source: UC San Diego Health

Can artificial intelligence encourage good behaviour among Internet users? | Technology - The Star Online

Hostile and hateful remarks are thick on the ground on social networks in spite of persistent efforts by Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and YouTube to tone them down. Now researchers at the OpenWeb platform have turned to artificial intelligence to moderate Internet users' comments before they are even posted by The Star Online.

According to a recent study, nearly 30% of Internet users modified potentially offensive comments after having received a nudge from a moderating algorithm.
Photo: Khosro/Shutterstock/AFP Relaxnews

The method appears to be effective because one third of users modified the text of their comments when they received a nudge from the new system, which warned that what they had written might be perceived as offensive.

The study conducted by OpenWeb and Perspective API analysed 400,000 comments that some 50,000 users were preparing to post on sites like AOL, Salon, Newsweek, RT and Sky Sports.

Some of these users received a feedback message or nudge from a machine learning algorithm to the effect that the text they were preparing to post might be insulting, or against the rules for the forum they were using. Instead of rejecting comments it found to be suspect, the moderation algorithm then invited their authors to reformulate what they had written...

Using tricks to get around the algorithm
While close to 30% of users opted to accept the feedback message and delete potentially offensive text from their comments, more than a quarter (25.8%) attempted to dupe the moderating algorithm.

Read more... 

Source: The Star Online

What’s the best way to prepare for machine learning math? | Tips & Tricks - TechTalks

This article is part of “AI education”, a series of posts that review and explore educational content on data science and machine learning. (In partnership with Paperspace)

In this post, I will introduce some of my favorite machine learning math resources, suggest Ben Dickson, software engineer and the founder of TechTalks

Mathematics of machine learning
The mathematics of machine learning is complicated. But it can become pleasant if you know where to start your learning journey.
And while I don’t expect you to have fun with machine learning math, I will also try my best to give you some guidelines on how to make the journey a bit more pleasant.

How much math knowledge do you need for machine learning and deep learning? Some people say not much. Others say a lot. Both are correct, depending on what you want to achieve.

There are plenty of programming libraries, code snippets, and pretrained models that can get help you integrate machine learning into your applications without having a deep knowledge of the underlying math functions...

When should you learn machine learning mathematics?
Agreeably, mathematics is not the most fun way to start machine learning education, especially if you’re self-learning. Fortunately, as I said at the beginning of this article, you don’t need to begin your machine learning education by poring over double integrals, partial derivatives, and mathematical equations that span a page’s width.

You can start with some of the more practical resources on data science and machine learning.

Read more... 

Source: TechTalks

Perspecta Labs to conduct critical research for machine learning and artificial intelligence security | Releases - PRNewswire

Perspecta Inc. (NYSE: PRSP), announced today that its innovative applied research arm, Perspecta Labs, received an award from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to provide research on the Trojans in Artificial Intelligence (TrojAI) program.

Photo: Perspecta Inc.

Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have added complexity to the threat landscape. By hacking the training phase of ML, adversaries can disrupt AI systems during development, causing them to make incorrect classifications and take dangerous actions. The goal of the TrojAI program is to detect adversarial Trojans placed into AI systems to prevent such attacks. Perspecta Labs will lead a team of researchers to study Trojan contamination and develop and provide a multi-faceted detection mechanism to significantly reduce Trojan security risks...

Read more... 

About Perspecta Inc.

At Perspecta (NYSE: PRSP), we question, we seek and we solve. Perspecta brings a diverse set of capabilities to our U.S. government customers in defense, intelligence, civilian, health care and state and local markets. Our 280+ issued, licensed and pending patents are more than just pieces of paper, they tell the story of our innovation. With offerings in mission services, digital transformation and enterprise operations, our team of nearly 14,000 engineers, analysts, investigators and architects work tirelessly to not only execute the mission, but build and support the backbone that enables it. Perspecta was formed to take on big challenges. We are an engine for growth and success and we enable our customers to build a better nation.  

For more information about Perspecta, visit 

Source: PRNewswire

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Doctor of Philosophy in Education (Ph.D.) Program Policies | Student Handbook - Harvard Graduate School of Education

Requirements for the Ph.D. in Education involve coursework, comprehensive examinations (written and oral), research and scholarly training (research apprenticeship and Teaching Fellowships), and the dissertation (proposal and defense).
The manner in which an individual candidate fulfills these requirements must be approved by the student’s adviser, the Degree Programs Office and the Ph.D. Steering Committee. Ph.D. candidates should read this section carefully and consult with their advisor(s) and the program staff concerning any questions that may arise. They should also read the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) Student Handbook and the Ph.D. Student Guide, available on the program website, for further help in planning and carrying out their graduate study.

Coursework and Residence
All students are required to complete at least 16 courses (minimum 64 credits) for the Ph.D. degree, with at least half of their total coursework at HGSE. Students who have graduated with an Ed.M. or C.A.S. within three years of enrolling as Ph.D. students may receive doctoral credit for up to four courses (16 credits) completed during their Ed.M. or C.A.S. course of study. Transfer credit from other institutions is not accepted...

Research and Scholarly Training
In addition to coursework and comprehensive examinations, all Ph.D. in Education students have opportunities to engage in research and scholarly training during their time at Harvard. Along with conducting independent research that results in a dissertation, the program requires students to attend colloquia, engage in research apprenticeships and serve as Teaching Fellows (minimum of four "slots" at HGSE). For more information about specific research and Teaching Fellow requirements, please review the Ph.D. Student Guide, available on the program website. 

Read more...  

Source: Harvard Graduate School of Education