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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Math — not computer science — was Grace Hopper’s first language | Science & Technology - Yale News

Kendall Teare, Assistant Communications Officer at Yale University summarizes, For her pioneering work in computer science, Grace Murray Hopper ’30 M.A., ’34 Ph.D. has been dubbed the “queen of code” by her biographers.  

Yet, beneath that crown was the brain of a mathematician, according to an article in Notices of the American Mathematical Society (PDF) by Gibbs Assistant Professor of Mathematics Asher Auel that makes the details of Hopper’s doctoral training in mathematics public for the first time.

Hopper standing behind a car parked near Cruft Lab, Harvard University, ca. 1945–1947, where she worked on the Mark I computer. 
Photo: courtesy of Grace Murray Hopper Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

In some sense, you could think of mathematics as the liberal arts of the sciences,” said Auel. “It is the language that you will be using in all scientific disciplines. It’s a way of knowing, a way of thinking, a way of understanding truth.” Studying math is studying problem solving — the necessary skill for anyone who wants to be able to approach a future problem that doesn’t exist now, he explained — for example, building the first computer...

Adams has invited Auel to discuss his paper on Hopper’s lesser-known “mathematical origins” at a college tea in the Hopper Head of College House (189 Elm St.) on Wed., April 3 at 4 p.m. This event is free and open to the Yale community...

Pioneering Women in Mathematics: 
The Pre-1940 Ph.D.’s.”, 
and supplementary material 
on the 228 mathematicians profiled.
Prior to Auel, the only scholars who’d examined the particulars of Hopper’s mathematical training were Judy Green ’66 M.A. and Jeanne LaDuke, two mathematicians who co-authored a comprehensive math history book, Pioneering Women in Mathematics: The Pre-1940 Ph.D.’s.”, and supplementary material on the 228 mathematicians profiled. According to Green and LaDuke’s count, Hopper was actually the twelfth woman to receive a math Ph.D. from Yale. The first was Charlotte Barnum in 1895 for a dissertation on “functions having lines or surfaces of discontinuity.”

In 2019-2020, Yale will celebrate the achievements of its trailblazing female scholars like Barnum and Hopper while marking the 150th anniversary of women in Yale’s graduate and professional programs and the 50th anniversary of women in Yale College. 
For more information about this upcoming dual anniversary, visit the Celebrating Women at Yale website

Source: Yale News

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Philosopher of the Month - March | Oxford University Press

Philippa Foot
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This March, in honour of Women's History Month, the OUP philosophy team honors Philippa Foot as our Philosopher of the Month. Foot was considered one of the most distinguished moral philosophers and the pioneer of virtue ethics.

To celebrate women's contributions to the field of philosophy, we have also created a reading list of books and online resources that explore significant philosophers and feminist philosophy in general.  

Source: Oxford University Press

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Women in mathematics aim for an equals sign | Around Campus - MIT News

Female graduate students in the Department of Mathematics unite to encourage community and to extend an invitation to prospective MIT students, inform Laura Carter, Communications and Project Administrator at  School of Science.

Students and faculty share a pizza dinner in the Department of Mathematics to kick-off the Spring 2019 semester.
Photo: Boya Song
Ten years had passed since 2008's Women in Mathematics: A Celebration when a few graduate students in the Department of Mathematics approached a female faculty mentor to revitalize a Women in Mathematics group.

The group designed and relaunched the MIT Women in Mathematics website last fall. It became both a resource and a starting point of their efforts to organize and build a supportive community in mathematics at MIT and beyond. Graduate student Juncal Arbelaiz Mugica, a third-year doctoral student in mathematics, said she realized more was needed to promote and enable peer support.

“A doctoral program is a long and convoluted journey,” Arbelaiz says. “Graduate students can be greatly impacted by a sense of a belonging to a community, which can be more difficult for minority students to find. As a result, I wanted to make the women in mathematics aware that a network of peers is available to them, which the department has been very supportive of.”

Her idea: Form an active, student-led group for students already present and provide resources for women in mathematics who are interested in applying to MIT...

Oscillating progress
Although their efforts are rapidly building a close-knit family of women in mathematics, there remains a lot of work ahead to establish equality for women in mathematics.

"Currently about 35 percent of our math majors at MIT are women, but unfortunately the percentage among our graduate students is only 18, comparable to the national average for similar universities," Goemans says. The most recent data released earlier this year from the National Science Foundation showed 28.5 percent of the doctoral recipients in mathematics and statistics were awarded to women.

Source: MIT News 

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Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Best Books to Read This Spring | Entertainment - Esquire

The weather is starting to turn for the better, so go ahead and take a book outside with you.

There’s no time like spring to read. After all, as the days grow longer and you itch to get outside, why not take a book (or two) along with you? From engrossing fiction to informative nonfiction, literary heavyweights to debut authors, here’s what we’re reading this spring. 

Source: Esquire

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9 Business Books That Will Make You a Better Entrepreneur in 2019 | Business Books - Inc.

Reading is the best way to get better in any field. Read these 9 business book suggestions to learn how to become a better entrepreneur this year.

Photo: Getty Images
Reading is the most cost-effective way to learn from the world's best thinkers and creators. If you want to become more knowledgeable in any field, you have to read.

As an entrepreneur and CEO myself, I spend a lot of time reading the thoughts, advice, and knowledge of the business leaders who came before me...

The following nine books are about things like good planning, team building, and the methods other entrepreneurs used to go from good to great. Therefore, I consider them timeless: They impart wisdom no matter how recent the publication date.

Source: Inc.

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10 Best History Books You Will Ever Read | Culture - The Manual

OK, you could argue that these are actually 12 of the best history books out there, since we’rem featuring a three-part history of WWII as one entry, notes Steven John, writer and journalist. 

Photo: Steven John/The Manual
But we’ll stick with 10 because an article about 10 books just sounds so much more neat and tidy, in contrast to the subject they cover; human history, which hasn’t been all that neat and tidy at all.

Looking back on the centuries of conflict, plague, famine, imperial collapse, and the rise and fall of civilizations, it’s a wonder we made it here at all. Even more of a wonder is that beyond surviving, we came up with democracy and literature, sailed across thousands of miles of open ocean and into the unknown, underwent a Renaissance and an Enlightenment and a Jazz Age, and got guys on the moon...

Here are 10 great history books that are a pleasure to read and drop brilliant knowledge bombs page after page.
Read more... 

Source: The Manual

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Old newspaper machines distributing free books in Covington County | Community - WDAM

Charles Sherrington, Video Journalist at WDAM reports, A group of Covington County volunteers is using some old newspaper vending machines to distribute books throughout the county.

Photo: WDAM
The Friends of the Covington County Library are turning them into little free libraries.

“We’re re-purposing them and decorating them and putting them out in the community to be used,” said Gwen Hitt, president of the Friends of the Covington County Library...

“The way it works, you put a book in, you get a book out, you take it, it’s free, you can share it with anybody you want to,” Hitt said.

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11 New Books We Recommend This Week | Book Review - New York Times

Follow on Twitter as @GregoryCowles
Suggested reading from critics and editors at The New York Times by Gregory Cowles, Senior Editor, Books. 

Murder! Espionage! Fashion! We’ve got a fun grab-bag of books this week, from true crime (“The Trial of Lizzie Borden”) to memoir (Isaac Mizrahi’s “I.M.,” Aatish Taseer’s “The Twice-Born”) to three different takes on groundbreaking women: an anthology of Andrea Dworkin’s feminist writings, a group study of five female novelists and a biography of the woman who organized a spy ring for the French Resistance. In fiction, Helen Oyeyemi has a new novel, and we recommend story collections from David Means and Christos Ikonomou alongside a debut novel from Novuyo Rosa Tshuma that explores Zimbabwe’s troubled history. Finally, something from one of our own: The Times’s top newsroom lawyer, David McCraw, has written a spirited examination of truth, journalism and the First Amendment as it plays out in his job and in the culture at large. That book, “Truth in Our Times,” is a good bet for Times readers as much as Times employees, and for anyone who cares about the future of a free press.
Read more... 

Source: New York Time   

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Expanded Music Education Project Offers Instrument Lessons for Youth | Music Education - Pacific University

Pacific students offer music lessons to area youth in renowned String Project, which has has expanded to include band instruments, according to Mike Francis, Assistant Director of Communications at Pacific University Marketing and Communication.

Photo: Pacific University Marketing and Communication.
It’s not just for strings anymore.

Like an orchestral piece building its momentum, the strings are being joined by woodwinds, brass and percussion instruments and, eventually, voices. It’s such an ambitious expansion of Pacific University’s String Project that now it’s being called the Pacific University Music Education Project.

The String Project is a successful music education course that draws young people from around the area to Pacific’s Forest Grove Campus for after-school practice and lessons, which are directed by Pacific University students. It started with 12 young students in 2012 and now hosts 140 young people ages 5 and up, said Dr. Dijana Ihas, associate professor of music. If you’ve been in the Taylor-Meade Performing Arts Center on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons, you’ve seen and heard them — young people learning to play violin, viola, cello, double bass and guitar.

Pacific’s String Project, the only one of its kind in Oregon, aims to provide affordable but high-quality music education to young people, including elementary, middle and high school students. The project was honored as the 2018 Outstanding String Project of the Year by the American String Teachers Association...

The university offers two pathways for students interested in music education. A bachelor of arts in music education has long offered a liberal arts approach to the subject, along with the opportunity to add on a one-year master of arts in teaching degree for teacher licensure. Due to changes in teacher licensing requirements, though, music teachers no longer require a master’s degree, so starting this fall, the university also will offer a bachelor of music education degree that includes licensure.

The Music Education Project isn’t just for music majors, though. Current sessions also are being taught by students majoring in optometry and anthropology, for example. They are students who passed a musical audition and are enthusiastic about teaching young people. Their teaching is supervised by Ihas and others on the faculty of the Music Department.

Source: Pacific University 

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Stimulate your brain with Tuesday hand-drumming sessions | Music - Pagosa Springs Sun

Join musician and music therapist Paul Roberts for a free hand-drumming class at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse on Tuesday, March 26, at noon.

“An active engagement with musical sounds not only enhances neuroplasticity, but also enables the nervous system to provide the stable scaffolding of meaningful patterns so important to learning,” stated Nina Kraus, author of a review compiling research linking musical training to learning.

Many aspects of our brain’s physical structure and functional organization can be altered. Scientists use the term neuroplasticity to describe the brain’s ability to adapt and change by forming new neural connections.

Music is a powerful stimulator of the brain. In recent years, there has been an explosion of research focusing on the effects of music training on the nervous system...

In the hand-drumming class, we’re having a lot of fun exploring a myriad of rhythmic realms. When we think of rhythmic pulse, generally we’re thinking of four intervals or three beats. When we play in odd time signatures, such as 5/4, 7/8, 9/8 and 10/8, we have to fundamentally alter the way our brains process music and how our bodies feel it.

Unless a person was raised in a culture where odd rhythms are common, such as the Balkans or India, it can be a challenge to catch on to the symmetries of these rhythms...

Creating music is not just for a gifted elite. Nearly everyone has musical ability. 

Source: Pagosa Springs Sun

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