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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Dubai university to launch first artificial intelligence degree | Arabian Business

British University in Dubai announces plan to launch AI degree as part of UAE's 2031 AI strategy, as Arabian Business reports.
 


The British University in Dubai (BUiD) has launched the country's first bachelors degree in artificial intelligence to support the UAE's 2031 AI strategy.

BUiD, the research-based university, said the degree has been developed in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh and is open to both Emiratis and expatriates.

It told media at a press conference attended by Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, that the four-year degree course will start at the end of September, and tuition fees will total AED230,000. 
Read more...

Source: Arabian Business


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The best programming language for data science and machine learning | ZDNet

Hint: There is no easy answer, and no consensus either, as ZDNet reports.


Arguing about which programming language is the best one is a favorite pastime among software developers. The tricky part, of course, is defining a set of criteria for "best."

With software development being redefined to work in a data science and machine learning context, this timeless question is gaining new relevance. Let's look at some options and their pros and cons, with commentary from domain experts.

Even though, in the end, the choice is at least to some extent a subjective one, some criteria come to mind. Ease of use and syntax may be subjective, but things such as community support, available libraries, speed, and type safety are not. There are a few nuances here, though.

Execution speed and type safety 
In machine learning applications, the training and operational (or inference) phases for algorithms are distinct. So, one approach taken by some people is to use one language for the training phase and then another one for the operational phase.

The reasoning here is to work during development with the language that is more familiar or easy to use, or has the best environment and library support. Then the trained algorithm is ported to run on the environment preferred by the organization for its operations.

While this is an option, especially using standards such as PMML, it may increase operational complexity. In addition, in many cases things are not clear-cut, as programming done in one language may call libraries in another one, thus diluting the argument on execution speed.

Another thing to note is type safety. Type safety in programming languages is a little like schema in databases: While not having it increases flexibility, it also increases the chances of errors.

In this thread initiated by Andriy Burkov, machine learning team leader at Gartner, Burkov argues against using dynamically typed languages such as Python for machine learning.

"You can run an experiment for several hours, or even days, just to find out that the code crashed because of an incorrect type conversion or a wrong number of attributes in a method call," says Burkov.
Read more...

Source: ZDNet


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Using Deep Learning For Sound Classification: An In-Depth Analysis | Analytics India Magazine

Transmitting sound through a machine and expecting an answer is a human depiction is considered as an highly-accurate deep learning task, as Analytics India Magazine reports.


Every one of us has come across smartphones with mobile assistants such as Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant. These are dominating and in a way invading human interactions.

The neural networks built with memory capabilities have made speech recognition 99 percent accurate. Neural networks like LSTMs have taken over the field of Natural Language Processing. A person’s speech can also be understood and processed into text by storing the last word of the particular sentence which is fascinating. To understand how these state-of-the-art applications work, lets us break down the whole process of sound recognition to machine translation.

Wave Breakdown 
The audio signal is separated into different segments before being fed into the network. This can be performed with the help of various techniques such as Fourier analysis or Mel Frequency, among others. The graph below is a representation of a sound wave in a three-dimensional space. A Fourier transform can be performed on a sound wave to represent and visualise them in time or frequency domain...

What are LSTM Neural Networks? 
The LSTM is a network of cells where these cells take input from the previous state ht-1 and current input xt. The main function of the cells is to decide what to keep in mind and what to omit from the memory. The past state, the current memory and the present input work together to predict the next output. The LSTM networks are popular nowadays because of their accurate performance in language processing tasks...

Conclusion 
With the understanding of how to process sound on a machine, one can also work on building their own sound classification systems. But when it comes to deep learning, the data is the key. Larger the data, better the accuracy.
Read more... 

Source: Analytics India Magazine 


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Anderson 5 to launch virtual school day pilot program | WSPA.com

"This school year Anderson District Five students will be part of a brand new program that will keep them learning even when weather keeps them from the classroom" summarizes Nicole Ford, reporter and multimedia journalist.

Photo: WSPA.com

It's a pilot program for South Carolina that you will only see at Anderson Five.  Superintendent Tom Wilson tells 7News it's a program five years in the making and just recently were they picked by the Oversight Committee to be a participant.

The way it works is that instead of school being closed for snow or inclement weather, the students and staff will instead of an E-Learning day. Since all students have chromebooks supplied by the school, they will be able to take them home for Grades 3rd to 12th to complete assignments online with the ability to communicate with the teachers.
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Source: WSPA.com


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The not-school movement that's helping young people re-engage with learning | Science Daily

Alternative schooling programs could deliver greater learning outcomes for young people who are struggling at school, according to University of South Australia researcher, Dr Thomas Stehlik.

Photo: Nicolas Postiglioni from Pexels

In a paper presented at the Education and New Developments 2018 Conference in Budapest in June, Dr Stehlik says that the growing not-school movement is challenging the confines of traditional schooling because the one-size-fits-all solution for modern education is not working.

"Compulsory schooling is considered a basic responsibility of civil society, yet for many young people, school is a narrow experience that can restrict their potential," Dr Stehlik says.
 
"We need to start looking at education from the perspective of the student.

"The not-school movement is all about encouraging different educational initiatives and practices that 'think outside the box' to provide young people with positive education experiences that they enjoy."

Including all educational programs that occur outside of the school environment, the not-school movement covers activities from art-based initiatives to home schooling. Often unstructured and informal, not-school learning can be delivered by adult educators, youth workers, community developers and parents.

Echoing the findings of Australia's 2018 Gonski Report, Dr Stehlik says that today's mass approach to education is outdated and despite long-term calls for change, little change has occurred.
Read more...

Additional resources  
Materials provided by University of South Australia.  
Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Educational Philosophy for 21st Century Teachers

The paper is based on a chapter of Dr Stehlik’s new bookEducational Philosophy for 21st Century Teachers.

Source: Science Daily


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7 ways to foster a culture of learning in IT | The Enterprisers Project

"Constant learning is an must in IT. Leaders share how they make it a priority for everyone in their organization" reports Carla Rudder, writer and content manager on The Enterprisers Project.

Photo: The Enterprisers Project

A passion for learning and limitless curiosity have become sought-after skills in IT talent. That's because companies need people who believe in continuous learning amid increasing digital disruption pressure and ongoing technology change. 

A recent report from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services underscores the value of continuous learning – and what IT leaders can do to make it part of their organization’s culture. “CIOs who are serious about transformation are building a learning culture, and a lot of learning comes from trying things that don’t work out,” the report states.

In light of the report’s findings, we asked IT and business leaders to share the ways they are providing on-the-job learning opportunities and encouraging team members to take advantage of them. Read on for seven ideas to make learning interesting, fun, and a priority for everyone in the organization. 
Read more...

Additional resources
 
Download this report
Read our new report from HBR Analytic Services: Transformation Masters: The New Rules of CIO Leadership 
Look at the report to learn their secrets for breaking down walls, resetting expectations, and leading in a completely new model. 

Source: The Enterprisers Project


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A Professional Life Defined in EDUCAUSE Years | EDUCAUSE Review

The author describes the thirteen years of her IT professional life S.E. (Since EDUCAUSE).


Cindy Mitchell, Chief Information Officer at Colby College says, "Twenty years of EDUCAUSE—and I missed the first seven! My professional life divides into B.E. (Before EDUCAUSE) and S.E. (Since EDUCAUSE)." 


Despite an IT career of thirty-plus years, I was not privileged to have EDUCAUSE experiences for all of its twenty years. In my administrative systems IT department B.E., there were neither the resources nor the intention for professional development for early-to-mid-career staff—other than specific training to develop technical skills. Adding to the challenge was geographical isolation. B.E., the use of research at my institution occurred primarily among the academic technology staff and the growing and fast-moving network technology fields. Transitioning into managing a team was learned, at best, through modeling good managers (if we were lucky enough to have had them) and, at worst, through inflicting a big experiment on the team with a new leader. 

In 2004, a promotion took me from managing a small team of three to leading a team of forty. The next year, when EDUCAUSE was seven years old and a gem I did not yet know about, my world changed. IT at my institution was reorganized, a CIO position was established, and that position was filled by a great man, Ralph Caruso. Ralph taught me more about leadership and management in one year than I had learned in the prior seventeen, but more important, he gave me the gift of EDUCAUSE as he encouraged me to engage with and take advantage of all EDUCAUSE had to offer.

The CIO Minute: Advice to My Younger Self 


From my very first EDUCAUSE conference, Ralph inspired me to take pre-conference seminars focused on leadership, and in those seminars I began developing relationships that changed me, challenged me, enriched me, and expanded my world. I attended compelling sessions, and the connections I developed as a result of asking presenters numerous questions added to my growing network. I read articles, which took me down trails of further reading. I was mentored and coached. I learned that leading a team well isn't due to luck or personality. It's intentional and thoughtful, and EDUCAUSE has great research, materials, and training to guide our success and impact. Sometimes I wonder how I stumbled through my B.E. life and went from managing three people to leading forty without the network and tools I found and everything I learned S.E. I am sure those forty people wish I had connected with EDUCAUSE before I took over that team. I'm sorry, folks. If only I had known then what I know now!
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Source: EDUCAUSE Review and educause Channel (YouTube)


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Giving and Receiving Instructional Advice | Faculty Development - Faculty Focus

Reprinted from Is it good advice? The Teaching Professor, 27.4 (2013): 4. © Magna Publications.


"How much instructional advice have you heard over the years? How often when you talk about an instructional issue are you given advice, whether you ask for it or not?" explains
Maryellen Weimer, PhD, Author at Faculty Focus. 
 
Photo: Faculty Focus

Let’s say you’re a new teacher or you’re teaching a class you haven’t taught before or something unexpected happens in your class; if you’d like some advice, all you need to do is ask. Anybody who’s spent any time in the classroom seemingly has the right to offer advice. And if you’d rather read advice, there’s still plenty offered in the pedagogical literature, to say nothing of blogs and other social media sources.

Some of the advice offered by colleagues and in articles is excellent. Most of us can recite the good and wise things we’ve learned from fellow teachers. But not all instructional advice is equally good, and it’s not always easy to separate the good advice from advice that is decidedly ho-hum or just plain not very good. The problem is that really bad advice can be delivered articulately and with great conviction. So when a colleague offers advice or you read an article that tells you what you should do about some instructional issue, here are some criteria you can use to consider the merits of what’s being offered...

I think all of us ought to be a bit more careful about offering advice, particularly the definitive here’s-exactly-how-you-do-that kind of instructional advice. If something works well for us, that doesn’t guarantee it’s going to work equally well when another teacher who teaches a different subject and larger classes tries to use it. Making suggestions, proposing alternatives, exploring options, and asking questions is a better way of helping someone who looks like he or she might want or need advice.
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Source: Faculty Focus


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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Best online courses for machine learning | Technology - Techworld.com

Photo: Laurie Clarke
"Here are the best online courses to learn about the most exciting frontier of computer science" according to Laurie Clarke, staff writer for IDG titles including Techworld, Computerworld UK and CIO UK.


Photo: Techworld.com

Machine learning is undoubtedly one of the most important frontiers of computer science. With tech behemoths and an increasing number of startups looking to get into this subset of AI, it's a powerful skill for any developer to have.

As a highly technical area, this is most suited to established computer scientists or developers, however many of the courses we list here are also open to complete novices. 

Before attempting to tackle this area, perhaps pick up a copy of 'An Introduction to Statistical Learning' by Robert Tibshirani and Trevor Hastie or 'Machine Learning with R' by Brett Lantz to get a grounding in the subject matter.

For those serious about becoming machine learning experts, there are a variety of expensive, in-person courses to choose from. However, here we list some cheaper online courses appropriate for those who can work autonomously. 
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Source: Techworld.com


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E-learning: New Horizons’ biz skills certification to prep-up Caleb Varsity students | Technology - Vanguard

New Horizons Computer Learning Centres has charged students of Caleb University, Imota in Ikorodu, Lagos State to embrace Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and e-business skills for a secured future, as Vanguard reports.

Photo: Flickr - chemin_delites

General Manager, Education Business, New Horizons, Bolaji Olaoye, speaking at the New Horizons Infotainment Fiesta organized at Caleb University to introduce Huawei ICT Academy from Huawei Technologies Limited, which is reputed to be a leading OEM in telecoms networking globally, encouraged the students to acquire Huawei skills and certification so as to position themselves as tomorrow’s indispensable professionals in the ICT industry, both locally and internationally.

Olaoye said, “We are here to add highly-sought extra value to Caleb University students. Caleb University happens to be one of our partner universities and the whole idea is that we are enhancing the quality of our existing technology offers to them with more robust, hot and latest technologies.We decided to further sensitize the students on the necessity to always validate their skill set with External International certification (EIC). 

We place emphasis on skills so that when the students acquire the skills which we impart to them through our partners, they now validate it with External VUE/Prometric International Certification Examinations so that any one of them that travels abroad will not go and be doing menial jobs, but will be able to compete with their counterparts”.
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Source: Vanguard


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