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Books of the Week: Head Hand Heart, Inside Story: A Novel, V2 | Culture - The Week (UK)

New book releases by David Goodhart, Martin Amis and Robert Harris by

Photo: courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.netThis week’s must-reads include David Goodhart’s “utterly compelling” book on the over-dominance of our society by the highly educated. 

Martin Amis creates an odd “mash-up” of a novel for what he says will be his last “significant” book and Robert Harris revisits the “secretive world of Second World War mathematicians”.

Read more... 

Source: The Week (UK)

Building the Mathematical Library of the Future | Mathematics - Quanta Magazine

A small community of mathematicians is using a software program called Lean to build a new digital repository. They hope it represents the future of their field, explains Kevin Hartnett, senior writer at Quanta Magazine.

Photo: Samuel Velasco/Quanta MagazineEvery day, dozens of like-minded mathematicians gather on an online forum called Zulip to build what they believe is the future of their field.

They’re all devotees of a software program called Lean. It’s a “proof assistant” that, in principle, can help mathematicians write proofs. But before Lean can do that, mathematicians themselves have to manually input mathematics into the program, translating thousands of years of accumulated knowledge into a form Lean can understand.

To many of the people involved, the virtues of the effort are nearly self-evident...

Buzzard, Massot and Commelin hoped to demonstrate that, at least in principle, Lean can handle the kind of mathematics that mathematicians really care about. “They’re taking something very sophisticated and recent, and showing it’s possible to work on these objects with a proof assistant,” Mahboubi said.

To define a perfectoid space, the three mathematicians had to combine more than 3,000 definitions of other mathematical objects and 30,000 connections between them. The definitions sprawled across many areas of math, from algebra to topology to geometry. The way they came together in the definition of a single object is a vivid illustration of the way math grows more complex over time — and of why it’s so important to lay the foundations of mathlib correctly.


Source: Quanta Magazine

Scripps College unveils new data science minor | Scripps College - The Student Life

Declan Coleman, Author at The Student Life inform, Scripps College students now have the option of completing a data science minor after the new track was approved for the fall 2020 semester.

Scripps College will now offer a data science minor to meet the increasing demand for computer science education.
Photo:Nanako Noda • The Student Life
The Aug. 25 announcement of the new minor follows the addition of Scripps’ first computer science faculty member and the creation of a data science sequence at Claremont McKenna College, TSL reported last fall.

The program, led by mathematics professor Winston Ou and psychology, neuroscience and data science professor Michael Spezio, will provide students in a wide range of fields with supplementary education in computer science and data analytics. 

The minor requires seven courses: Computer Programming, Foundations of Data Science, Probability and Statistics, Linear Algebra, Data Science Ethics & Justice and two upper-division courses selected in consultation with a data science minor adviser, according to the course catalog

In addition to courses in coding and statistical models, the minor requires a course in ethics and reasoning...

In total, the new department will offer two data-science specific courses: Introduction to Python and Data Analysis and Introduction to Data Science. The program aims to prepare students with marketable skills and new opportunities as they pursue careers and postgraduate studies, the announcement said.

Read more... 

Source: The Student Life

The 6 most popular online courses on edX, from computer science to analyzing data with Excel | Education - Business Insider

  • edX is an educational non-profit founded by Harvard and MIT that offers 3,000+ Massive Open Online Courses, many of which come from leading universities
  • The site enrolls over 25 million people from countries around the world — below find the most popular courses by enrollment.

edX, an educational non-profit founded by Harvard and MIT, has reportedly enrolled over 25 million learners in every country in the world, according to the company, summarizes Mara Leighton, senior reporter for Business Insider's Reviews vertical.

Photo: EDX; Alyssa Powell/Business Insider

The non-profit partners with more than 90 of the world's top universities, non-profits, NGOs, and corporations to remove barriers to education and make skill-building more accessible. 

Below, find the six courses that the company says are the most popular on the site as of September 2020 — though, edX founder and CEO Anant Agarwal told Business Insider they're pretty much always in the top 10...

These are the six courses with the highest enrollment numbers on edX.


Source: Business Insider

How to teach yourself computer science: A developer’s 100-hour journey | Computer science - The Next Web

This article was written by Matthieu Cneude and was originally published on The Valuable Dev, a blog focusing on the important and timeless concepts in software development. You can read the piece here.

Matthieu Cneude, The Valuable Dev notes,  I wondered for quite a long time: does only knowing the basics of computer science help to become a better developer? And could it bring value to a developer?

Photo: Pew Nguyen from Pexels

If you ask yourself these questions as well, and you don’t want to invest time (yet) into learning computer science, here’s the story of my experience. In this article, I’ll answer the following questions:

  • Why learn computer science?
  • What was my study plan?
  • What resources did I use?
  • Did I learn something useful that can be transferred to my day to day job as a developer?

I began with this fantastic list of resources: teach yourself computer science. It’s basically a guideline on how to study computer science as a software engineer, without spending a lot of money trying to enter MIT...

What I’ve done so far
Here what I’ve precisely done during these (almost) 100 hours of computer science study, in chronological order. 


Source: The Next Web

Simulation theory: Scientist claims 1 in 3 chance our Universe and us are in a simulation | Science - Daily Express

THERE is a one in three chance our Universe is a simulation created by a more advanced species than humans, a scientist has astonishingly said by Sean Martin, Science reporter at Express.co.uk. 

Simulation theory: 1 in 3 chance our Universe and us are in a simulation
Photo: GETTY
As such, there is a chance an advanced species came before us somewhere in the Universe and created us - simulated, conscious beings.

Mr Bostrom wrote in 2003: “Because their computers would be so powerful, they could run a great many such simulations. Suppose that these simulated people are conscious (as they would be if the simulations were sufficiently fine-grained and if a certain quite widely accepted position in the philosophy of mind is correct).

“Then it could be the case that the vast majority of minds like ours do not belong to the original race but rather to people simulated by the advanced descendants of an original race."...

He wrote in The Conversation: "We don’t have enough information to help us select between the three options.

"What we do know is if option one is true, then we’re very likely to be in a simulation. In options two and three, we’re not.

"Thus, Bostrom’s argument seems to imply our credence of being simulated is roughly one in three.

Read more... 

Source: Daily Express

New Book from U of A Professor Offers Nature of Science Knowledge from 65 Authors | Science - University of Arkansas Newswire

A new book by University of Arkansas distinguished professor William McComas offers educators various ways to share knowledge development in science with multiple audiences.

Bill McComas
Photo: Submitted
The book, Nature of Science in Science Instruction, (Springer Publishers) features 39 chapters written by a total of 65 authors from more than a dozen countries.

"This will be a helpful resource to anyone with an interest in learning more about or improving instruction in 'how science works' — the domain called nature of science," said McComas, who holds the Parks Family Endowed Professorship in Science Education in the College of Education and Health Professions. "It is designed for those involved directly in science instruction and individuals working in teacher preparation and enhancement."...

The first section is designed for those new to the topic and examines the why and what of nature of science. The second section focuses on extending that knowledge to include questions of scientific method, theory-laden observation, the role of experiments and observations and distinctions between science, engineering and technology. The remainder of the book focuses on teaching aspects of NOS in a wide variety of instructional environments.

Read more... 

Recommended Reading 

Nature of Science in Science Instruction:
Rationales and Strategies (Science: Philosophy, History and Education)

Source: University of Arkansas Newswire

Avicenna: the Persian polymath who shaped modern science, medicine and philosophy | Philosophy - The Conversation AU

An 11th-century Persian philosopher, physician, pharmacologist, scientist and poet had a profound influence on both European thought and the Islamic world, writes Darius Sepehri, writer and researcher at the University of Sydney.

A Latin commentary on Avicenna’s Canon of Medicine by Italian physician Gentilis de Fulgineo, 1477.
Photo: Welcome LIbrary.
Over a thousand years ago, Nuh ibn Mansur, the reigning prince of the medieval city of Bukhara, fell badly ill, writes Darius Sepehri, writer and researcher at the University of Sydney.

The doctors, unable to do anything for him, were forced to send for a young man named Ibn Sina, who was already renowned, despite his very young age, for his vast knowledge. The ruler was healed.

Ibn Sina was an 11th century Persian philosopher, physician, pharmacologist, scientist and poet, who exerted a profound impact on philosophy and medicine in Europe and the Islamic world. He was known to the Latin West as Avicenna...

Book of Healing  

Avicenna’s Kitāb al-shifā , The Book of Healing, was as influential in Latin as his medical Canon.

Divided into sections covering logic, science, mathematics and metaphysics, it produced highly influential theses on the distinction between essence and existence and the famous Flying Man thought experiment, which aims to establish how the soul is innately aware of itself.

Read more... 

Source: The Conversation AU

DPS to offer students option for a hybrid learning model | Hybrid model - Dayton 24/7 Now

Molly Reed, Reporter Dayton 24/7 Now inform, The Dayton Public School District has announced a transition from virtual learning to a hybrid model of in-person classes and virtual learning starting Monday, November 9, 2020.

Dayton Public Schools Logo

This transition is optional as parents must choose to either stay in a purely virtual learning environment or move to a mix of in-person learning along side virtual learning.

The hybrid model consists of students attending in-person classes on in either one of two schedules:

  • Mondays and Tuesdays are in-person learning and while Wednesdays through Fridays are for virtual learning.
  • Thursday and Fridays are in-person while Monday through Wednesdays are for virtual learning.

Parents must make a decision by October 23, 2020. 

Read more... 

Source: Dayton 24/7 Now

A hybrid education format is sticking around. Here’s how we can improve the model | Hybrid education - Fast Company

The most successful versions of combined online and in-person instruction will prioritize connectivity and foster community, emphasiz Anant Agarwal, founder and CEO of edX, an online learning platform founded by Harvard and MIT, and current professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. 

Photo: oatintro/iStock; Changbok Ko/Unsplash In recent weeks, colleges and universities have had to radically adapt traditional learning to keep students safe as COVID-19 shows little sign of abating. Now, students and teachers are grappling with how to avoid learning disruptions and maximize engagement in a remote world.

The good news is, the online learning space is more sophisticated now. EdTech (or educational technology)platforms have not seen this much demand, pressure, and energy around online learning since the MOOC movement (massively online open courses) first exploded onto the scene in 2012. The difference is that now we have experience and data about what resonates in the online learning experience to create the most seamless and engaging education journey for students.

In fact, given the advancements and benefits of MOOCs, online learning will be here to stay long-term. Students and teachers will see a shift to blended learning (aka hybrid learning), which is a combination of online and in-person instruction, and formats that foster community and connectivity will be essential to online learning success. As both lecturers and learners look toward the rest of their fall and spring semesters, modern blended learning methods will lead to success with the transition to online classes. But universities are facing three major challenges as they strive to make this transition: course catalog, student engagement, and credit integrity...

Blended learning has even better engagement and learning outcomes than solely in-person or online learning, and can add in-person mentorship, peer learning, group work and social interaction. A few years ago, MIT piloted a full-credit online course, leveraging an existing MOOC and added a private online discussion forum for MIT on-campus students. The students reported more flexibility with scheduling learning, and less overall stress relative to their traditional classes.

Read more... 

Source: Fast Company

Grading Exams: How Gradescope Revealed Deeper Insights into Our Teaching | Educational Assessment - Faculty Focus

Having clear insight into students’ thinking and where there might be gaps in their understanding of a topic is incredibly valuable, summarizes Katy (Williams) Dumelle, Instructor Growth Specialist, Gradescope at Turnitin.

Grading Exams: How Gradescope Revealed Deeper Insights into Our Teaching
Photo: Faculty Focus
It allows a skilled instructor to adjust their teaching to help all students learn more effectively. But with large lecture classes, it can be hard for instructors to glean this kind of detailed insight. The mathematics department at Oregon State University has found a solution to this challenge.

OSU is a sizable institution with more than 30,000 students. At any one time, we have 600 to 800 students taking College Algebra. Our goal in teaching this many students effectively is to provide each student with as similar an experience as possible. In my role as a course coordinator, I lead a team of 11+ instructors and graduate teaching assistants who teach College Algebra each term.

In an effort to keep the many sections of College Algebra consistent, we, like many universities, give common exams. Where things get really difficult is in the grading of these common exams. In the past, each instructor would grade their students’ exams based on a rubric developed by the team, and we would cross our fingers that everyone interpreted and applied the rubric in the same way...

Suppose students are asked to sketch a graph of  y = x2 + 3. Gradescope allows the grader to see individual thumbnails of all 800 students’ graphs and sort them based on the different ways each student answered, for the purpose of grading. This grouping mechanism provides the grader powerful data about the number of students that 1) drew the correct graph, or 2) shifted the parabola down instead of up, or 3) drew the wrong function.

For instance, if 70 percent of all students in the course drew the correct function with the correct translation; 20 percent knew it was a parabola, but got the translation incorrect; and 10 percent of responses were wrong for other reasons, instructors would know exactly what concepts students knew and which concepts to review again in class.


Source: Faculty Focus

The New Normal: Fall Planning and Moving Higher Ed Online | Data Bytes - EDUCAUSE Review

An EDUCAUSE/Cisco study sheds light on the general trends that have taken shape as institutions planned and prepared for fall education.

Sean Burns, Corporate Researcher at EDUCAUSE writes, Fall Planning for the New Normal: Moving Higher Ed Online provides higher education leaders with insights and recommendations for addressing the recent dramatic shift to remote and hybrid learning, with the goals of enhancing the teaching and learning experience and maintaining the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff.1

Photo: Unitone Vector / Shutterstock.com © 2020

Key Findings

EDUCAUSE and Cisco collaborated on this study, drawing on the results from two EDUCAUSE QuickPoll surveys conducted in June and August, as well as interviews with stakeholders at three higher education institutions. The report highlights important findings related to institutions' plans for remote learning and services during the coronavirus pandemic. Key areas of focus in the report include shifting course delivery methods, creating new student support models, and moving more institutional services online...

How Can My Institution Use This Information?
If higher education institutions understand which services need more resources and effort, as well as the factors driving those needs, institutions can better develop strategic plans for the rest of the academic year. Since needs and services are still in a state of flux across higher education, campus leaders can use this data to kick start additional internal research and conversations to continue identifying where resources are needed. 


Source: EDUCAUSE Review

Mandelbulb: Three Dimensional Fractals | Mathematics - Medium

Searching For The Mandelbrot In Higher Dimensions by Jesus Najera in Cantor’s Paradise.

Mandelbulb: Three Dimensional Fractals

Previously, we covered the history & the basics of iterating complex numbers in hopes of generating fractals. Starting from scratch with Julia Sets, we worked our way through defining & plotting the eminent Mandelbrot Set — arriving at the ground-breaking heart of fractal geometry:

The Mandelbrot Set Is A Dictionary Of All Julia Sets

The Mandelbrot Set visually communicates how varying starting constants, iterated ad nauseam in the function Z² + C, converge to Julia Sets (beautiful, connected patterns) or “blow up” into Fatou Sets (dis-connected clusters). As seen below with the red arrows, selecting starting complex numbers inside the Mandelbrot Set, in the filled area, generates continuous Julia Sets; starting with complex numbers outside the set, in the rest of the white space, converges to disconnected Fatou Sets.

Our initial curiosity indeed satisfied, like many discoveries in math, the uncovered Mandelbrot Set only lead us to a new realm of questions; most importantly, perhaps, is that of the equivalent in different dimensions — do fractals exist in different number systems? And more specifically, what’s the 3D equivalent of the Mandelbrot Set?

It appears that one Rudy Rucker beat me to the punch by roughly ~33 years. A brilliant mathematician, computer scientist & science fiction author, as well as one of the founders of the cyberpunk cultural movement, Rudy stayed on the cutting-edge of the STEM world. As a result, he was keenly aware of the Mandelbrot Set almost immediately after Benoit’s original publication. A creative, Rucker appreciated the Mandelbrot Set but his fiction imagination propelled him to the next step in the journey: the existence of a mathematically-equivalent 3D structure to the Mandelbrot Set.

Unfortunately, Rucker understood the computing limits of hardware (in the 80s) & knew that the billions of calculations required were likely painstakingly impossible. Limited by the technology of his time, Rucker did what he did best: he wrote about it. Rightfully, the very first authored evidence of the search for the Holy Grail in 3D came from Rucker, in 1987, in the form of a short story titled “As Above, So Below;” in it, he imagines the discovery of the Mandelbrot Set in 3D, giving it the name: Mandebulb.

In Closing
We finally arrived at arguably the greatest break-through in fractal geometry since Benoit Mandelbrot first published his set in 1980: The Mandelbulb. Generated in the 3rd-dimension with the updated formula (z⁸ + c), it indeed does hold many of the properties exhibited in the Mandelbrot Set & expected in its 3D equivalent. It’s incontrovertibly visually captivating & extremely detailed; as many videos show, it also contains infinite complexity as one zooms in, much like the Mandelbrot Set. 

Read more... 

Source: Medium

14 open source tools to make the most of machine learning | Machine Learning - CTOvision

Read Serdar Yegulalp, senior writer at InfoWorld list open-source tools to take advantage of machine learning and predictive analysis on Info World:

14 open source tools to make the most of machine learning
Photo: Thinkstock
Spam filtering, face recognition, recommendation engines — when you have a large data set on which you’d like to perform predictive analysis or pattern recognition, machine learning is the way to go. The proliferation of free open source software has made machine learning easier to implement both on single machines and at scale, and in most popular programming languages. These open source tools include libraries for the likes of Python, R, C++, Java, Scala, Clojure, JavaScript, and Go.


Source: CTOvision

Machine learning with less than one example | AI research papers - TechTalks

This article is part of our reviews of AI research papers, a series of posts that explore the latest findings in artificial intelligence.

Ben Dickson, software engineer and the founder of TechTalks says, A new AI research paper shows machine learning algorithms can use "less-than-one-shot" learning to classify data with fewer training examples than labels.  

Machine learning with less than one exampleIf I told you to imagine something between a horse and a bird—say, a flying horse—would you need to see a concrete example?  

Such a creature does not exist, but nothing prevents us from using our imagination to create one: the Pegasus.

The human mind has all kinds of mechanisms to create new concepts by combining abstract and concrete knowledge it has of the real world. We can imagine existing things that we might have never seen (a horse with a long neck—a giraffe), as well as things that do not exist in real life (a winged serpent that breathes fire—a dragon). This cognitive flexibility allows us to learn new things with few and sometimes no new examples.

In contrast, machine learning and deep learning, the current leading fields of artificial intelligence, are known to require many examples to learn new tasks, even when they are related to things they already know.

Overcoming this challenge has led to a host of research work and innovation in machine learning...

New venues for machine learning research
“For instance-based algorithms like k-NN, the efficiency improvement of LO-shot learning is quite large, especially for datasets with a large number of classes,” Susholutsky said. “More broadly, LO-shot learning is useful in any kind of setting where a classification algorithm is applied to a dataset with a large number of classes, especially if there are few, or no, examples available for some classes. Basically, most settings where zero-shot learning or few-shot learning are useful, LO-shot learning can also be useful.”

For instance, a computer vision system that must identify thousands of objects from images and video frames can benefit from this machine learning technique, especially if there are no examples available for some of the objects. Another application would be to tasks that naturally have soft-label information, like natural language processing systems that perform sentiment analysis (e.g., a sentence can be both sad and angry simultaneously). 

Read more... 

Source: TechTalks

What is the Effect of Artificial Intelligence on VPN Technology? | Computing - Robotics & Automation

Anyone who has reservations about their privacy online due to various issues has likely already used VPN services in one way or another, as Robotics & Automation reports.

Photo: Stefan Coders from Pixabay

The use of a virtual private network ensures that your connection to the Internet is secure no matter where you are.

While the use of a VPN might feel like people are going overboard with their privacy issues, there are legitimate reasons to worry.

For example, the use of popular VPN services such as those found in the top10.com/vpn/reviews/zenmate ensures that you do not have to worry about shady individuals taking advantage of your connection...

How artificial intelligence protects your privacy online
Just as large companies make use of AI to delve into the online preferences of the masses, artificial intelligence is also used to protect said groups from data mining. According to www.builtin.com VPN companies make advancements to AI so that it can better protect you online.

For example, online censorship being reinforced by AI can make it extremely challenging to maintain privacy and do what you like online.  


Source: Robotics & Automation

ShakespeAIre: Artificial Intelligence absorbs Bard’s sonnets to create original poetry | Science - Daily Express

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) experts have marked National Poetry Day by training a machine with Shakespeare's sonnets to craft a poem of its own worthy of the Bard himself, observes Tom Fish, Science Reporter at Daily Express.

AI news: A machine trained with Shakespeare’s sonnets has crafted a poem of its own
Photo: Getty
Shakespeare’s sonnets are considered some of the literary genius' most popular works, with some - such as Sonnet 18’s “Shall I compare thee to a summer's day” - becoming the best-known works in English literature. And with such a wealth of source material at their disposal, scientists at Zyro set themselves a pioneering challenge to mark National Poetry Day - to teach the art form using Shakespeare’s sonnets.

Armed with the AI behind Zyro’s copywriting tool, the team fed their machine more than 150 Shakespearean sonnets to test whether artificial intelligence is smart enough to craft a poem worthy of the Bard himself.

Following weeks of practice, the AI began to develop an understanding of sonnet structures...

 Express.co.uk can now exclusively reveal the finished result for the first time.


Source: Daily Express  


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