A few years ago, I started looking online to fill in chapters of my family history that no one had ever spoken of.
Maryn McKenna has been writing a number of articulate well informed and frankly terrifying articles in Wired on the rise of drug resistant antibiotics and their societal implications. This 4000 word essay on medium is certainly worth reading and explains her personal interest in the subject.
Social systems are among the most complex known. This poses particular problems for those who wish to understand them. The complexity often makes analytic approaches infeasible and natural language approaches inadequate for relating intricate cause and effect. However, individual- and agent-based computational approaches hold out the possibility of new and deeper understanding of such systems.
Simulating Social Complexity examines all aspects of using agent- or individual-based simulation. This approach represents systems as individual elements having each their own set of differing states and internal processes. The interactions between elements in the simulation represent interactions in the target systems. What makes these elements "social" is that they are usefully interpretable as interacting elements of an observed society. In this, the focus is on human society, but can be extended to include social animals or artificial agents where such work enhances our understanding of human society.
This handbook is intended to help in the process of maturation of this new field. It brings together, through the collaborative effort of many leading researchers, summaries of the best thinking and practice in this area and constitutes a reference point for standards against which future methodological advances are judged.
Just a month ago, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced that this year's Nobel Prize for Physics would go to two of the original six researchers who proposed the existence of the so-called "Higgs particle" in 1964.
Of al the articles on the Higgs Boson - this is a really good one that is clear and concise. Enjoyable reading.
Scientists say there was a widespread extinction of bees 66 million years ago, at the same time as the event that killed off the dinosaurs.
The demise of the dinosaurs was almost certainly the result of an asteroid or comet hitting Earth. But the extinction event was selective, affecting some groups more than others. Writing in Plos One journal, the team used fossils and DNA analysis to show that one bee group suffered a serious decline at the time of this collision.
Any study explaining why a species went extinct 65 million years ago will at first glance seem disconnected from current events. However bees are critical to agriculture and ensuring biodiversity. Understanding extinction events that impacted different species of Bees in the past help us better understand what could happen in the future as Bee's are currently being severely impacted by diesel pollution, modern farming practises (especially insecticides), changing ecosystems and new pests.
IBM and Libelium Launch Internet of Things Starter Kit Wall Street Journal IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Libelium, a wireless sensor network hardware provider, today released an Internet of Things Starter Kit to enable dozens of sensor applications ranging...
As a big fan of Libelium's wireless sensor network hardware - its good to see them gain a big industry partner in IBM and launch their starter kits to a bigger audience.
A proof-of-principle prototype for CancerLinQ™ was demonstrated at the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting. This “learning health system” prototype was first unveiled on March 27 at an ASCO-hosted panel discussion on big data in cancer care at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. At the ASCO Annual Meeting, attendees were able to view a demonstration of the CancerLinQ prototype in the exhibit hall as well as attend an educational session on the product, which ASCO calls the first demonstration of the feasibility of a health information technology-based learning health system. - See more at: http://www.onclive.com/publications/oncology-business-news/2013/September-2013/CancerLinQ-Proof-of-Principle-Prototype#sthash.AoXUoYrD.dpuf
Effective data analysis is going to be key in improving cancer treatment and the outcomes of the CancerLinQ project is a key first step in demonstrating potential solutions in this area.
Biotech, farmer associations key for climate adaptation - panel Reuters AlertNet (blog) LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - An increasingly extreme climate is presenting new challenges to farmers across the world, and biotechnology and greater...
The potential for genetically modified crops and relation to climate change - which recently helped drive Monsanto to acquire The Climate Corporation is once again in the headlines. At the recent Iowa discussion, five farmers from Malawi, India, Portugal, Argentina and Kenya said they were strong believers in using biotech crops to survive and thrive in the face of a changing climate, and said that farmers needed to share ideas and help each other improve farming techniques. Trust.org does a great job in summarizing the ideas discussed at the event. Worth reading.
The Guardian How to turn open data into better government The Guardian The UK open data initiative – through which departments open up data by default for public use - is universally acknowledged as a force for democratic good.
The first year anniversary of the Open Data Institute founded by the Guardian - is generating a lot of good stories on Open Data success stories. We use open data sources in a number of current research projects and hopefully we can add to some of thos success stories over the next year. In this article the Gaurdian is highlighting open day as a force for democratic good - as the old saying goes sunlight is the best medicine.
The number of observed exoplanets - worlds circling distant stars - has passed 1,000. Of these, 12 could be potentially habitable - orbiting at a distance where it is neither "too hot" nor "too cold" for water to be liquid on the surface. The planets are given away by tiny dips in light as they pass in front of their stars or through gravitational "tugs" on the star from an orbiting world.These new worlds are listed in the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia The tally now stands at 1,010 new exoplanets, bolstered by 11 new finds from the UK's Wide Angle Search for Planets (Wasp). Abel Mendez of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico, said that although the number has rapidly increased in recent years, due to a lack of funding this figure is much lower than it could be. In January 2013, astronomers used Kepler's data to estimate that there could be at least 17 billion Earth-sized exoplanets in the Milky Way galaxy. They said that one in six stars could host an Earth-sized planet in close orbit.
GDELT: Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone
The Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT) is an initiative to construct a catalog of human societal-scale behavior and beliefs across all countries of the world over the last two centuries down to the city level globally, to make all of this data freely available for open research, and to provide daily updates to create the first "realtime social sciences earth observatory." Nearly a quarter-billion georeferenced events capture global behavior in more than 300 categories covering 1979 to present with daily updates. Data is available for data scientists to mine and analyze - See more at: http://gdelt.utdallas.edu/#sthash.04oK6DrA.dpuf
I remember reading this when first published and its a great paper. Any computational model of human cognition needs to integrate both chemical and eletrical mechanisms into a integrated whole. Great scoop and awesome paper.
This year's event is likely to be a tipping point for UK environmental monitoring and will undoubtedly help inform future UK govt and industry policies. The results of the research and different network configurations showcase will be of interest to anyone using environment sensing data be it in simulations (like us) or for direct data analysis.
Fast Company Big Data: Sweat the Little Stuff Automation World Although Big Data continues to be a hot topic, with lots of manufacturers excited about the opportunities all that data presents for even just predictive maintenance alone…we continue...
In 2004/2005 our old Creator product was used to build a concept 3D fault guided maintenance application for jet engines. The concept was sensors in the jet engine would detect state and inform the ground grew over a wireless connection maintenance need - and a 3d guided mainteance app would use the sensor data to drive the interactive electronic manual. As sensor costs plummet, big data becomes established and mobile and wifi has driven advanced networked computing platforms into everyone's pocket - that concept now becomes very prescient. For manufacturers (and interface developers) sensor driven maintenance and performance measurement platforms are going to be a key new business growth area in the coming years. Sensors and networks connect data. Software augments hardware. Insight drives opportunity. Interesting times.
My preferred job title is 'theorist', but that is often too ambiguous in casual and non-academic conversation, so I often settle for 'computer scientist'. Unfortunately, it seems that the overwhelming majority of people equate ...
Artem Kaznatcheev, a researcher in theoretical computer science - i.e. the ideas that underpin computing - has a wonderful write up of Stephanie Forrest's Stannislaw Ulam lecture at the SFI on using inspiration from Biology to address challenges in Software industry. The Ulam lecture is available in video - but its a few hours long - through seriously worth watching and covers modern developments in genetic programming and other approaches. If you need an abbrieviated write up of the key ideas underpinning the Professor Forrest's lecture - then Artem's write up is an awesomely succinct. Worth reading (and the lectures linked in his article - are worth watching!)
OptionsCity Launches Freeway Analytics Trading-Simulation Platform www.waterstechnology.com Electronic options trading technology vendor OptionsCity Software has launched Freeway Analytics, a visualization engine and an exchange simulator based on...
As more financial simulation trading platforms ermerge it will be interesting to see how economics researchers incorporate, contrast, benchmark them to validate trading platforms and validate economic modeling of trading versus other modeling approaches.
Nation puts geospatial data system on the map Space Daily China has established a national emergency geospatial data system to provide first-responders with detailed maps within two hours after a disaster, a senior official said.
Accurate maps and geospatial data is critical to success of first responders in disaster zones. Good to see China establishing a national system to support first responders.
Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group (blog) New Louisville Open Data Policy Insists Open By Default is the Future Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group (blog) On Tuesday, October 15, 2013, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced the signing of an open...
Interesting to see cities beginning to adopt open data policies as default. Recent open data competitions in places like New York are helping create awareness of the possibilities of using openly available data, mobile etc for innovative apps and improved city planning and governance. Looking forward to see what Louisville's decision generates.
Some 3.5 billion people — half of humanity — now live in cities. Cities magnify human endeavours: they account for much more than half of humanity's pollution, energy consumption, crime and disease spread, while also incubating the lion's share of innovations, technology, art and entertainment. A sustainable, equitable future on our crowded planet will require fundamental changes in how cities operate. In Smart Cities, Anthony Townsend examines how information technology is shaping the development of 'smart' cities.
The severity of climate-related disasters is often measured by the number of lives lost, the financial losses for the economy or the costs of recovery. But how do disasters affect the poor? A new report from the Overseas Development Institute explores the relationship between disasters and poverty. The report highlights the potential for natural hazards to spiral into human catastrophes if they entrench poverty that already exists, by pulling vulnerable people down into the poverty trap as their assets and livelihoods vanish.