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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Unique Bookstores Around The World | Culture - Unreserved Media

If you love books and reading, there’s a place in every corner of the world to satisfy your curiosity.

Photo: Bed and Book

We all enjoy unwinding with a good book. Did you know that each city in the world houses iconic bookstores? From its rich history, rare collections and ambience each bookstore has its own unique charm ready to be discovered. There’s a new trend of sleeping among books in Tokyo and Koh Samui, Thailand has a resort dedicated to book lovers.

Here Unreserved uncovers our favourite bookstores from around the world.

Read more... 

Source: Unreserved Media

Oxford bookshop to become centre for the homeless | Oxford Mail

A former Christian bookshop in east Oxford is to become a centre for the homeless. 

Photo: St Andrew’s Bookshop
For decades St Andrew’s Bookshop on the corner of St Clement’s and Boulter Street spread the gospel but it closed last year during the coronavirus pandemic. Now the ground-floor shop area is being converted into a day centre for rough sleepers and others experiencing problems with homelessness...

Rev Gurr said the new base would work closely with homelessness agencies in the city and would get referrals from them.

She added: “It’s not a drop-in centre but it will be somewhere people can go for a coffee and a shower and there will be computers people can use.

“Initially it will run three days a week including one day over the weekend and there will be a high ratio of volunteers to guests...

For more visit ownsoxford.org.uk

Read more...

Source: Oxford Mail

11 Brilliant Books That Explore Our Relationship With Nature | Books - BuzzFeed News

Perfect for celebrating Earth Day by Sarah Neilson, freelance writer.

Milkweed Editions, Two Lines Press, Counterpoint, FSG

As we move deeper into a climate change–affected world, our relationships with the earth are changing. These relationships are varied — micro and macro, obvious and subtle, painful and loving; this planet and our connection to it is nothing if not multifaceted. The following books, new and forthcoming, explore the natural world, reckon with humanity in an environmental context, and chronicle the many aspects of life on earth.

Read more... 

Source: BuzzFeed News

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Top 5 e-learning platforms: Udemy, MasterClass, Udacity, and more | Features - BGR India

Top 5 e-learning platforms: Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, Udacity, MasterClass, here are the best e-learning platforms for learning new skills, exploring new content, recommends Meghna Dutta, Author at BGR India.

Photo: BGR India
The novel coronavirus pandemic has changed our lifestyle both in personal and professional terms. In less than a year, the disruption everted day-to-day lives around the world. The pandemic has not just affected livelihoods but strained ‘societal bonds’ as well. Many were led to make an abrupt shift to work from home. But amidst the bleak outlook, people have begun/are trying to adapt to the new normal. E-learning platforms have played a vital role to help people adjust and normalize remote work over the past few months.  While some companies just briefly opened, the surge in COVID cases has forced many to extend work from home norms. In case your work life has turned dull as dishwater and you are finding it hard to re-adjust to being locked in four walls, you can check these e-learning platforms to learn some new skills and explore something fun. As a folk rightly says, ‘Learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change.

Read more... 

Source: BGR India

Advantages and Disadvantages of Distance Learning | Technology - About Manchester

Distance learning is not a novel phenomenon by About Manchester

Photo: About Manchester

It has assisted higher-education institutions for a long time. COVID-19 in 2020 has only accelerated its maturation.

What’s distance learning?

Distance education, as opposed to face-to-face conventional education, is a method that uses online platforms for discourse between students and educators. It allows students to study remotely, beyond the bounds of a classroom...

Through e-learning for special education, they can study from the comfort of their homes. E-learning special education is not only beneficial for disabled students, but also for quick and slow learners who would rather learn at their own pace, with minimum stress in the comfort of their homes...

Conclusion

Remote studies may be the future of education, but people have to adapt for this to work. Institutions should remodel all courses to conform well with this method of learning.

Although the world will fall back to semi-conventional education methods after the pandemic, remote schooling will continue to be prominent. The smart move is for people to acclimatize now and find ways around any obstacles of studying from home. It is the only sure way of staying ahead as further changes come.

Read more... 

Source: About Manchester

Schools in the pandemic: Seeking education equity for India’s marginalized kids | Feature Stories - Microsoft

Abhishek Mande Bhot, independent writer and editor covering news, lifestyle, and luxury for publications in India and the US explains, A nonprofit looks to technology so under-privileged students can learn in the classroom and remotely.

Jaira Amzad Ali, attends an online class from the confines of her home. Teachers like Aggarwal say Teams is a safe place for the students as only those invited can enter an online class.
Photo: Amit Verma for Microsoft

When the whole of India went into a sudden COVID-19 lockdown last year Uzma Bano’s first thought was: “I won’t be able to go to school.”

Learning was something the 7th grader always looked forward to. The classroom was a daily escape from the confines of her home in the capital Delhi–a single 150-square-feet room she shares with her parents and elder brother, Shahi.

Uzma’s father Shakeel Ahmed earns around USD 6 a day as a carpenter or laborer when he can find shift work. With so little, surviving is tough. But unlike other poor families who often rely on their children to skip classes to earn extra cash, the Ahmeds always made sure their kids attended lessons...

Nowadays, the organization is developing solutions that blend classroom learning with remote learning to help communities with limited financial resources. To do so it’s working with decision-makers in the tech sector, like Farhana Haque, group director for devices at Microsoft India.

“During the pandemic we realized how privileged we were. While our children were attending classes online, so many others could not,” she says. “Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more–so we asked ourselves what we could do as a company.”...

“The way of teaching has changed completely and forever for the schools that we support,” TFI’s Gulati says. “Blended learning is here to stay, and students need to be equipped to adjust in such an environment, which means they’d be learning (in-person) in classrooms but also with technology, outside of classrooms. That’s where our focus will have to be.”

Read more... 

Source: Microsoft 

PTBOCanada Featured Post: Summer Programs at Lakefield College School | Education - PTBOCanada

This year, Lakefield College School is offering a variety of in-person, remote and blended learning programs to students seeking challenging and fun academic and recreational opportunities, inform PTBOCanada.
 
Photo: PTBOCanada

They can select from a range of unique programs to learn in and through the outdoors while enjoying their beautiful campus facilities and waterfront...

When students arrive on the LCS campus, they will be immersed in English or French, applying their new vocabulary and skills in outdoor classrooms and activities. They can enjoy paddling, camping, building fires, identifying native plants and animals and much more.

Read more...

Source: PTBOCanada

After a year of digital learning and virtual teaching, let’s hear it for the joy of real books | Reading - The Conversation AU

Kathryn MacCallum, Associate Professor of Digital Education Futures within the School of Educational Studies and Leadership at the University of Canterbury, NZ observes, We know COVID-19 and its associated changes to our work and learning habits caused a marked increase in the use of technology. 

Photo: Shutterstock

More surprising, perhaps, is the impact these lockdowns have had on children’s and young people’s self-reported enjoyment of books and the overall positive impact this has made on reading rates.

A recent survey from the UK, for example, showed children were spending 34.5% more time reading than they were before lockdown. Their perceived enjoyment of reading had increased by 8%...

These findings suggest physical books continue to play a critical role in fostering young children’s love of reading and learning. At a time when technology is clearly influencing reading habits and teaching practices, can we really expect the love of reading to be fostered by sitting alone on a digital device?...

...pandemic that has accelerated digital progress, we can’t let these developments obscure the place of real books in real — as opposed to virtual — lives.

Read more... 

Source: The Conversation AU  

Digital learning to assume new importance, says OUP report | Teaching and learning - Education Technology

A global report by Oxford University Press found that 98% of education experts expect blended learning to become predominant, as Julian Owen, freelance journalist reports.

Photo: Education Technology

The vast majority of global education experts think that digital learning will be central to teaching in the coming years, according to a report published today (8 April).

Ninety-eight percent of those responding to a global poll by Oxford University Press (OUP) expected a hybrid model in education – combining digital and traditional methods of teaching and learning – to become predominant.

While the shift towards digital learning has been steadily progressing for some time, it has undoubtedly been accelerated by teaching experiences during the pandemic...

“We have a huge opportunity to learn from all our experience to develop education systems that will work for both local and global society.”

Read more... 

Source: Education Technology

Friday, April 09, 2021

How women have shaped philosophy: nine female philosophers our authors admire | Books - OUPblog

When asked to name a philosopher, it is more than likely that many of the major thinkers that spring to mind will be male by OUP Philosophy.

Photo: ‘Ma(r)y Sinclair entering Kensington Women’s Social & Political Union shop’ via LSE Library (Flickr).
Throughout history, men have dominated the philosophical canon, with women vastly underrepresented. However, we can in fact trace women engaging in philosophical discourse back to ancient times. There is a long and rich tradition of female thinkers who have made important contributions to philosophy, and whose works merit further recognition.

To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month this month, we asked some of our authors to tell us about a female philosopher they admire, and why. Read their responses below for an illuminating and varied look at female thinkers and the contributions they have made to the field.

Read more...  

Additional resources

Feminist Philosophy from Oxford

Source: OUPblog

The Mathematics of the Gods and the Algorithms of Men: A cultural history, by Paolo Zellini | Book reviews - Church Times

Andrew Davison, Starbridge Senior Lecturer in Theology and Natural Science at the University of Cambridge, and Fellow in Theology and Dean of Chapel at Corpus Christi College looks at mathematical history.

The Mathematics of the Gods and the Algorithms of Men:
A Cultural History

THE word “invention” has the unusual quality of meaning two opposing things. That puts it in the company of a fascinating set of words including “dust” (to sprinkle something, and to wipe it off) and “oversight” (to watch over something, and to fail to do so). Most often today, “invent” means “to make up”, but it also preserves the older sense of “to discover”. Readers of the Church Times might recall the name of the feast on 14 September, the Invention of the Holy Cross.

These yoked meanings of “invent” lie at the heart of Zellini’s book (a translation of La matematica degli dèi e gli algoritmi degli uomini). On the one hand, we have “the mathematics of the gods”: abstract and eternal realities that lie before, beneath, and behind mundane reality. They would be there to be discovered. On the other hand, we have “the algorithms of men”, which offers a very different vision of mathematics. On this view, it would be that which can be elaborated, potentially from some arbitrarily chosen starting point, in a finite number of moves designed by human minds...

Serious attention is also being given to the ethical implications of the enormous power now invested in computerised algorithms. Catherine Besteman and Hugh Gusterson gathered some mainly cautionary essays (Life by Algorithms: How roboprocesses are remaking our world, University of Chicago Press, 2019), while Michael Kearns and Aaron Roth were considerably more optimistic (The Ethical Algorithm: The science of socially aware algorithm design, OUP, 2019). All these books seem to me to succeed as books. Zellini’s, unfortunately, does not.

Read more...

Source: Church Times

Robotics Needs More Women Technicians | Robotics - Built In

Cassie Moreira, Senior robotics technician at Boston Dynamics suggest, Women still remain underrepresented in STEM fields, making it that much harder for others to envision themselves in those roles. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Photo: Built In
I had no idea that tinkering in hobby robotics would be my first step toward a career in the industry.

Robotics is by far one of the most exciting fields: one that demands hands-on technical skills. For those who might be concerned that they don’t have a formal higher education focused on robotics or engineering, your skills and determination are still relevant for the future of the industry.

Since 1990, the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce has grown 79 percent, with the field slated to increase another 13 percent by 2027. Despite such astronomical growth, women remain a minority in the field...

If I could impart some wisdom to my younger self — or young women like me — it would be to not undervalue the skills and the pure grit you have to offer. A long, impressive résumé is important in some cases, but often skills such as critical thinking, communication and delegation outweigh what’s on paper. 

Read more... 

Source: Built In

Fighting Conspiracy Theories in SMs using Artificial Intelligence | Artificial Intelligence - Analytics Insight

Tech companies are using artificial intelligence to block conspiracy theories Jitarth Jadeja is a man in his early 30s. A native of Australia, he has always been interested in US politics and the stories surrounding it. Ever since the first by Adilin Beatrice, Content Analyst at Analytics Insight.

Photo: Analytics Insight
Tech companies are using artificial intelligence to block conspiracy theories. 

Jitarth Jadeja is a man in his early 30s. A native of Australia, he has always been interested in US politics and the stories surrounding it. Ever since the first time he found QAnon in 2017, he spent hours reading through or watching random videos on social media platforms that support the conspiracy theory. At a certain stage, the obsession got so worse that all he talked about was QAnon. He is not alone. Many people fall victim to conspiracy theories that are loaded in social media. But today, the scenario has bettered. Tech companies are using artificial intelligence and its applications to block or silence conspiracy theories that could lead to wrong ideology.

Conspiracy theories are everywhere today. Starting from a small group of people gossiping about the earth being flat to social media theories that strongly support coronavirus came out from a lab, everything is useless information. What once were doubtful ideas with little evidence supporting them are now near facts, thanks to social media and people who wanted to balloon it. Besides, from staying on the internet, they are jumping into the real world and causing harm and danger to whoever or whatever is thought to be the cause of the theory. But social media platforms and the companies behind them can’t leave it as it is. Henceforth, they are seeking help from technology. Artificial intelligence and its sub-technologies are being used to identify dangerous conspiracy theories. Once they are found to be harmful, the platforms delete them right away to stop the spread of misinformation...

To help social media companies, a University of California data analytics group led by professors Timothy Tangherlini and Vwani Roychowdhury has developed an automated process for spotting social media activity showing the sign of misinformation through machine learning. The data analytics group has employed an artificial intelligence algorithm to facilitate better monitoring and the prevention of actual harm prompted by online conspiracy theories. The team identified certain patterns that reflected on disjointed rumors to clear conspiracy theories. 

Read more...

Source: Analytics Insight

What Does it Take to be a Machine Learning Engineer? A Willingness to Fail | News & Career Advice - ClearanceJobs

Jillian Hamilton,  has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors says, Does a career in Machine Learning seem appealing to you? 

Photo: ClearanceJobs

The machine learning engineer field entered the scene when software engineering got cozy with data science. While the role of the data scientist feels similar to machine learning engineer, the two are not the same. However, in order for an ML engineer to do their job, they need data and models from a data scientist. Then, the magic of scaling out the data begins...

...The ML engineer field is in growth mode, so it’s important to not be afraid of making mistakes. 

Read more...

Source: ClearanceJobs

Am I arguing with a machine? AI debaters highlight need for transparency | Computer science - Nature.com

With artificial intelligence starting to take part in debates with humans, more oversight is needed to avoid manipulation and harm

Noam Slonim of IBM Research next to the corporation’s AI debating system, Project Debater.
Photo: Eric Risberg/AP/Shutterstock

Can a machine powered by artificial intelligence (AI) successfully persuade an audience in debate with a human? Researchers at IBM Research in Haifa, Israel, think so.

They describe the results of an experiment in which a machine engaged in live debate with a person. Audiences rated the quality of the speeches they heard, and ranked the automated debater’s performance as being very close to that of humans. Such an achievement is a striking demonstration of how far AI has come in mimicking human-level language use (N. Slonim et al. Nature 591, 379–384; 2021). As this research develops, it’s also a reminder of the urgent need for guidelines, if not regulations, on transparency in AI — at the very least, so that people know whether they are interacting with a human or a machine. AI debaters might one day develop manipulative skills, further strengthening the need for oversight.

The IBM AI system is called Project Debater...

Nothing like that can simply be mined from training data. But researchers are starting to incorporate some elements of a theory of mind into their AI models (L. Cominelli et al. Front. Robot. AI https://doi.org/ghmq5q; 2018) — with the implication that the algorithms could become more explicitly manipulative (A. F. T. Winfield Front. Robot. AI https://doi.org/ggvhvt; 2018). Given such capabilities, it’s possible that a computer might one day create persuasive language with stronger oratorical ability and recourse to emotive appeals — both of which are known to be more effective than facts and logic in gaining attention and winning converts, especially for false claims (C. Martel et al. Cogn. Res. https://doi.org/ghhwn7 (2020); S. Vosoughi et al. Science 359, 1146–1151; 2018).

Read more... 

Additional resources

Nature 592, 166 (2021)

Source: Nature.com

Thursday, April 08, 2021

The Mysterious Legend of Bourbaki: Le Mathématicien Reclus | Mathematics - Medium

Deception in a field that is meant to unravel reality, writes Kiran Jain, published in History of Yesterday.

The cover of Bourbaki’s textbook.
Maitrier/Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 
  

Today, there is a book for almost anything and everything, and one can get access to any question at the turn of a page. However, whatever access we have to theory today has been made possible by the work of scientists over the last century, efforts which compounded over and yielded results.

If you were a high schooler in the earlier half of the 20th century, your access to even the most basic mathematical concepts was restricted due to the lack of authentic and quality knowledge.

A fleet of mathematicians was killed in the First World War, fragmenting the field, causing a lack of a shared mathematical language, and making it extremely difficult to share work.

Mathematics was going through its second puberty, and it looked ugly...

He lobbied his friends and formed a small group to compose a new book. Henri Cartan, Claude Chevalley, Jean Delsarte, Jean Dieudonné, René de Possel, and André Weil were the founding members of this secret group.

They quickly hired new members and decided to publish Éléments de mathématique, and all their subsequent work, under a collective pseudonym: Nicolas Bourbaki, a Russian Mathematician...

Nicolas Bourbaki may have been imaginary — but his legacy is real.

Read more... 

Source: Medium

Mathematicians Discovered a New Kind of Prime Number | Science - Popular Mechanics

  • Digitally delicate prime numbers become composite with this one weird trick.
  • Math researchers proved these primes exist using the bucket proof method.
  • There are no known examples so far, but mathematicians are hopeful.

____________________________________________________ 

In new research, mathematicians have revealed a new category of “digitally delicate” prime numbers. These infinitely long primes turn back to composites faster than Cinderella at midnight with a change of any individual digit, as Caroline Delbert, writer, book editor, researcher, and avid reader reports.

 Photo: amtitusGetty Images

Digitally delicate primes have infinite digits, and changing any digit to any other value bears a composite number outcome instead. To use a more bite-size example, consider 101, which is a prime. Change the digits to 201, 102, or 111, and you have values that are divisible by 3 and therefore compound numbers.

This idea is decades old, so what’s new?...

South Carolina math professor Michael Filaseta and former graduate student Jeremiah Southwick worked together on the widely digitally delicate number research, publishing their findings in Mathematics of Computation and arXiv. Even without specific examples, they proved the numbers exist in base 10 (meaning numbers that use our 0-9 counting system; compare with binary, base 2, with just 0 and 1) and that there are infinitely many.

Read more... 

Source: Popular Mechanics

5 ways parents can help children with the ‘new’ math | K-12 Schools - Study International News

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

In his March 2021 Netflix special, comedian Nate Bargatze complains about having to teach his kids a confusing “new math” based on standards known as the Common Core.

Many parents have had to play the role of a substitute math teacher during the pandemic. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America/Getty Images via AFP

“The goal of Common Core is to use one sheet of paper for every problem,” Bargatze jokes. He observes that this new math requires people to “keep breaking the problem down.”...

‘New math’ worries

Bargatze is by no means alone in his frustration. Since many schools went largely remote during the COVID-19 pandemic, countless parents, me included, are becoming burnt out as we find ourselves thrust into the role of substitute math teacher.

Why does this so-called new math – which has actually been around for over a decade – draw so much scorn from parents?

This new math is based on a list of standards that students should master within each grade. It’s different from “old math” in that the standards focus not only on the step-by-step procedures to solve math problems, but also on why those procedures work in the first place. The idea is to teach the procedures in such a way that children can apply this knowledge to future math problems that they encounter – both at school and in real-life contexts.

Read more... 

Source: Study International News 

Meet Sophie Germain, the amateur mathematician who worked on number theory’s toughest problem | Science Heroes - Massive Science

Born in Paris in 1776, Sophie Germain’s teenage years were spent witnessing the French revolution, according to Rebecca Lea Morris, Mathematics - Freelance. 

Photo: Brittney G. Borowiec
Her father, a silk-merchant, had a library and Germain tried to distract herself from the volatile political and social situation by reading some of his books. One of those books was the story of Archimedes, who was so captivated by the mathematics he was working on that he did not notice the invading Roman soldier who swiftly killed him. Looking for an intellectual escape, how could Germain not be curious about the subject that distracted a man to death?

Unfortunately for Germain, mathematics was not regarded as a suitable subject for women in her time so she studied in secret, at night. When her parents discovered her night time study habit, they took away her fire, light, and even her clothes in an attempt to get her to stop studying and stay in bed. When even this failed, they relented. That did not mean she could study mathematics freely, however. Classes at the École centrale des travaux publics, later known as the École Polytechnique, were only available to men, but 18 year old Germain was able to obtain lecture notes for some of the classes. She then assumed the name of a male student, Monsieur LeBlanc, and wrote to one of the professors, Joseph-Louis Lagrange. Lagrange was impressed with Monsieur LeBlanc’s abilities and remained supportive when he found out LeBlanc was actually a woman.

Later, in 1804, Germain used the pseudonym Monsieur LeBlanc to write to another top mathematician: Carl Friedrich Gauss...

Despite Germain’s brilliance, the continual obstacles she faced due to her gender made it impossible for her to become a professional mathematician. She thus remained an amateur throughout her life, never obtaining a position at a university. Her mathematical work, however, was sophisticated and exemplified her boldness and creativity, just like her earlier efforts to overcome barriers to gain a mathematical education. 

Musielak suggested in an email interview that the obstacles Germain faced may have even shaped her approach to Fermat’s Last Theorem: “Maybe because she was an amateur mathematician, determined to arrive at a proof, working alone with all odds against her, Germain had to think differently. In the end, Sophie Germain developed her own algorithms and a unique approach to prove Fermat’s theorem, distinctively different from Euler’s and Fermat’s.”

Read more... 

Source: Massive Science 

Mathematicians Settle Erdős Coloring Conjecture | Combinatorics - Quanta Magazine

Kelsey Houston-Edwards, Ph.D Student observes, Fifty years ago, Paul Erdős and two other mathematicians came up with a graph theory problem that they thought they might solve on the spot. A team of mathematicians has finally settled it.

The authors ​combined​ many techniques​ ​to create an algorithm that covers all types of linear hypergraphs. Above, notes they made during the process.

The authors ​combined​ many techniques​ ​to create an algorithm that covers all types of linear hypergraphs. Above, notes they made during the process.

In the fall of 1972, Vance Faber was a new professor at the University of Colorado. When two influential mathematicians, Paul Erdős and László Lovász, came for a visit, Faber decided to host a tea party. Erdős in particular had an international reputation as an eccentric and energetic researcher, and Faber’s colleagues were eager to meet him.

“While we were there, like at so many of these tea parties, Erdős would sit in a corner, surrounded by his fans,” said Faber. “He’d be carrying on simultaneous discussions, often in several languages about different things.”

Erdős, Faber and Lovász focused their conversation on hypergraphs, a promising new idea in graph theory at the time. After some debate they arrived at a single question, later known as the Erdős-Faber-Lovász conjecture. It concerns the minimum number of colors needed to color the edges of hypergraphs within certain constraints...

The extreme generality of the Erdős-Faber-Lovász conjecture makes it challenging to prove. As you move to hypergraphs with more and more vertices, the ways of arranging their looping edges multiply as well. With all these possibilities, it might seem likely that there is some configuration of edges that requires more colors than it has vertices.

“There are so many different types of hypergraphs that have completely different flavors,” said Abhishek Methuku, one of the authors of the new proof, along with Dong-yeap Kang, Tom Kelly, Daniela Kühn and Deryk Osthus, all of the University of Birmingham. “It is surprising that it is true.”

...Their strategy for coloring the large edges relied on a simplification. They reconfigured these edges as the vertices of an ordinary graph (where each edge only connects two vertices). They colored them using established results from standard graph theory and then transported that coloring back to the original hypergraph.

Read more... 

Source: Quanta Magazine

Klarman fellow bridges divide between math and philosophy | Arts & Humanities - Cornell Chronicle

James Walsh will spend three years tapping into Cornell’s robust resources in the field of logic, combining the precision and methods of math with the interests of philosophy by Kate Blackwood, writer for the College of Arts and Sciences.

In mathematics, axioms are statements that don’t need to be proved; they are truths one can assume, such as the axioms “for any number x, x + 0 = x” or “Between any two points is a line.”

Working in the field of logic, James Walsh, a Klarman Postdoctoral Fellow in philosophy, studies the axiomatic method, a central methodology in mathematics whereby claims are proven from axioms.

Based in the Sage School of Philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences, Walsh is tapping into Cornell’s robust logic resources in philosophy, mathematics and linguistics to accomplish three years of study under the Klarman Postdoctoral Fellowship, working closely with Alexander (Arc) Kocurek, assistant professor of philosophy.

Walsh is trying to get to the heart of a discrepancy between the natural theories, which arise in mathematical practice, and unnatural ones that do not...

Walsh stands out for his ability to bridge the divide between mathematics and philosophy, Kocurek said. “Often, researchers in logic are either really just mathematicians or really just philosophers. But James is really both: He publishes serious mathematical work while also being able to isolate the philosophically important aspects of that work.”...

Logic appeals to Walsh because the field combines the precision and methods of math with the interests of philosophy. “You prove things that say something important about the scope of what we can know and what we can prove,” he said. “But you do so with mathematical techniques and a lot of precision.”

Read more... 

Source: Cornell Chronicle

Monday, April 05, 2021

CodeSpark Academy is a fun app that will get kids coding | Parenting - Reviewed

Janelle Randazza, Staff Writer - Parenting recommends,  Coding never looked so cute. 

Photo: CodeSpark Academy

Want to get your kids coding? It can be harder than it looks. Our family has checked out countless video games and apps that profess to be fun while teaching kids the fundamentals of coding. In the end, most are either underwhelming in their concept and playability, or they feel a little too advanced for the 5- to 7-year-old age set.

When we signed up to test CodeSpark Academy through their seven-day free trial, I was happy to discover that there is a well-designed and well-thought-out early coding app out there. This app is made for kids ages 5 to 9; for the past three weeks our seven-year-old has been giving it rave reviews and asking to play with it constantly. To him, it it feels like an entertaining break, all the while it teaches advanced math concepts (like sequencing and order of operations) in such a way that even if coding is somehow replaced with some other arcade skill by the time he enters the workplace, he’ll still be building valuable math and logic skills to help him in myriad ways... 

Is CodeSpark worth it?

Yes. The most common complaint I read about CodeSpark is about the $7.99 monthly price tag. While that can add up, we think it’s worth it. There is no advertising to pause play and frustrate young users, and there are no micro-transactions that pop up unexpectedly to unlock additional areas. I find with so many “free” apps, my son stops using them the minute we hit a paywall. I don’t mind the $7.99 monthly fee because what you see is what you get. It’s also easy to cancel at any time.  

Read more...

Source: Reviewed

New statistical method eases data reproducibility crisis | Statistics - ScienceDaily and Pennsylvania State University

Summary:
A reproducibility crisis is ongoing in scientific research, where many studies may be difficult or impossible to replicate and thereby validate, especially when the study involves a very large sample size. Now researchers have developed a statistical tool that can accurately estimate the replicability of a study, thus eliminating the need to duplicate the work and effectively mitigating the reproducibility crisis. _____________________________________________________

The new tool enhances the replicability of large genomic datasets, as ScienceDaily and Pennsylvania State University reports.

Researchers have developed a new statistical tool that can accurately estimate the replicability of a study, thus eliminating the need to duplicate the work. The method will be particularly useful for large genome-wide association studies.
Photo: National Cancer Institute, Unsplash

A reproducibility crisis is ongoing in scientific research, where many studies may be difficult or impossible to replicate and thereby validate, especially when the study involves a very large sample size. For example, to evaluate the validity of a high-throughput genetic study's findings scientists must be able to replicate the study and achieve the same results. Now researchers at Penn State and the University of Minnesota have developed a statistical tool that can accurately estimate the replicability of a study, thus eliminating the need to duplicate the work and effectively mitigating the reproducibility crisis.

The team used its new method, which they describe in a paper publishing today (March 30) in Nature Communications, to confirm the findings of a 2019 study on the genetic factors that contribute to smoking and drinking addiction but noted that it also can be applied to other genome-wide association studies -- or studies that investigate the genetic underpinnings for diseases...

Liu noted that the method can be applied to genome-wide association studies focused on a wide variety of traits. "I think in the next decade or so, an essential focus of biology will be to interpret and make sense of those genome-wide association study discoveries and whether we can translate some of them into medications to facilitate personalized medicine," he said. "We are excited to be able to offer this statistical approach as a service to the research community."

Other authors on the paper include graduate students Daniel McGuire, Yu Jiang, J. Dylan Weissenkampen, Scott Eckert, and Lina Yang; Postdoctoral Scholar Fang Chen; and Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences and Statistics Arthur Berg, all at Penn State. Mengzhen Liu and Scott Vrieze at the University of Minnesota also are authors on the paper.

Read more... 

Journal Reference:

Daniel McGuire, Yu Jiang, Mengzhen Liu, J. Dylan Weissenkampen, Scott Eckert, Lina Yang, Fang Chen, Arthur Berg, Scott Vrieze, Bibo Jiang, Qunhua Li, Dajiang J. Liu. Model-based assessment of replicability for genome-wide association meta-analysis. Nature Communications, 2021; 12 (1) 

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-21226-z

Source: ScienceDaily and Pennsylvania State University

The Platonic Academy of Athens: The World’s First University | Platonic Academy - Greek Reporter

Τhe Platonic Academy, or simply, ”The Academy”, was a famous school in ancient Athens founded by Plato in 428/427 BC and located a couple of miles outside the ancient city named Akademeia, after the legendary hero, Akademos by Nick Kampouris - GreekReporter.com

“The School of Athens,” by Raphael. Vatican Museums.
Photo: Public domain

Plato is the one figure who must receive the credit for giving birth to this unique institution. He inherited the land on which the Academy was eventually built, and began holding informal gatherings there to discuss philosophical issues with some of his friends.

The gatherings included thinkers such as Theaetetus of Sunium, Archytas of Tarentum, Leodamas of Thasos, and Neoclides...

The Platonic Academy is considered the world’s first university

The Platonic Academy was not an educational institution as we know it in modern times, but because it had the characteristics of a school and covered a wide variety of topics such as philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, politics, physics and more, it is considered to be the first university in the entire world...

One of them, Aristotle, came to be one of the world’s most influential philosophers of all time.

The teaching methods used by Plato, including both lectures and seminars, focused on his instructions, in addition to dialogue between teachers and students.

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Source: Greek Reporter

What Are Prime Numbers, and Why Do They Matter? | Math Concepts - HowStuffWorks

Patrick J. Kiger, HowStuffWorks observes, You may remember from math class that a prime number is a number that can only be divided by 1 and itself. But why are they important anyway?

What do these numbers have in common? They're all prime!
Photo: geralt/Pixabay

If you only vaguely remember your elementary school mathematics class, you may not remember what a prime number is. That's a pity, because if you're trying to keep your emails safe from hackers or surf the web confidentially on a virtual private network (VPN), you're using prime numbers without even realizing it.

That's because prime numbers are a crucial part of RSA encryption, a common tool for protecting information, which uses prime numbers as keys to unlock the messages hidden inside gigantic amounts of what's disguised as digital gibberish. Additionally, prime numbers have other applications in the modern technological world, including an important role in defining the color intensity of the pixels on the computer screen that you're staring at now.

So, what are prime numbers, anyway? And how did they get to be so important in the modern world?...

Mark Zegarelli, author of numerous books on math in the popular "For Dummies" series who also teaches test prep courses, offers an illustration involving coins that he uses with some of his students to explain the difference between primes and composite numbers, which can be divided by other numbers besides one and themselves. (Composite numbers are the opposite of primes.)...

That's why mathematicians have continued to labor to come up with increasingly bigger primes, in an ongoing project called the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search. In 2018, that project led to the discovery of a prime number that consisted of 23,249,425 digits, enough to fill 9,000 book pages, as University of Portsmouth (England) mathematician Ittay Weiss described it in The Conversation. It took 14 years of computations to come up with the gigantic prime, which is more than 230,000 times bigger than the estimated number of atoms in the observable universe!

You can imagine how impressed Euclid might be by that.

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Source: HowStuffWorks

Sunday, April 04, 2021

The Beautiful Consistency of Mathematics — Alexander Yessenin-Volpin | Philosophy Of Mathematics - Medium

Mathematics is often believed to bring people to madness. We hear many stories like those about Gödel, Cantor, Nash, and Grothendieck, describing geniuses haunted by insanity that is developing along with their mathematics, explains Jan Gronwald, published in Cantor’s Paradise.

Photo: Medium

And there is something to it. A certain psychologist said that

A paranoid person is irrationally rational. . . . Paranoid thinking is characterized not by illogic, but by a misguided logic, by logic run wild

Mathematics is the paradigm of rationality and maybe if the rationality takes over all of the aspects of life, we can talk of a mental issue. But this time I want to bring to light an opposite example. This time I want to share a story about a mathematician who was the voice of reason and sanity in the world that has run wild. And one whose mathematics was the model of his approach in social life. 

Meet Alexander Yessenin-Volpin (1924–2016)...

His Mathematics

Yessenin-Volpin believed that the traditional style of making mathematics is similarly hypocritical to the style of handling legal issues in the Soviet Union. He claimed that the unreasonable and careless inclusion of the concept of infinity into mathematical discourse is the culprit of depriving it of exactness it was actually to grant.

Therefore he urged for a radical revision of foundations of mathematics, based on the claim that the concept of infinity, both potential and actual, is utterly nonsensical.

Read more... 

Source: Medium