By detecting trends that humans are unable to spot, researchers hope to treat the disorder more effectively.
Recently, many artificial intelligence researchers have begun to develop ways to apply machine learning to medical situations. Such approaches are able to spot trends and details across huge data sets that humans would never be able to, teasing out results that can be used to diagnose other patients. The New Yorker recently ran a particularly interesting essay about using the technique to make diagnoses from medical scans.
Board games are an unexpected way to unlock computational thinking.
While computational thinking has been recognized as a valuable educational practice, there has been little research examining this skill in everyday practices. Computational thinking is not necessarily tied to a computer environment and instead can be applied to many planning tasks such as packing for a trip or playing a board game. This study examined computational thinking embedded in the collaborative play of a cooperative board game.
Social justice movements have increasingly turned to social media to organize. Hashtags such as #icantbreathe, #nodapl, and #bringbackourgirls have created increased awareness around issues affecting communities across the U.S. and internationally. Two researcher-educators explored digital literacy as a site for activist work with tween-aged students in New York. The two-year collaboration between these teachers aimed to promote inquiry, enhance student learning, and generate action toward social justice.
The Associate Director of metaLAB digs deep for his upcoming book, TREE.
Matthew Battles is a maker and thinker whose work merges literary, scholarly, and artistic forms of inquiry. His writing on the cultural dimensions of science and technology appears in The American Scholar, The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, and The New York Times. At metaLAB, Matthew advances an agenda of creative research exploring the dark abundance of collections in libraries and museums; technology’s impact on our experience of art, culture, and the natural world; and the conditions of culture and experience in the context of deep time.
Philosophical frameworks give technological advancement a moral compass.
As human augmentation becomes more common for everything from improving memory to vision, public discourse on the ethics surrounding the practice have grown. Deus Ex is leading this conversation with their newly released ethical design framework for human augmentation.
How much can humans be altered before they are no longer considered human? Can robots who feel pain, learn, and respond emotionally be considered human? What if everyone around you adopts a special augmentation, but you don’t want it, do you have the right to say no? Deus Ex is working with academics, entrepreneurs, and developers to answer these questions.
Technology can be amazingly empowering. But only when it is implemented in a responsible manner. Code doesn’t create magic. Without the right checks and balances, it can easily be misused. In the world of civic tech, we need to conscientiously think about the social and environmental costs, just as urban planners do.
We’ve all been witness to some trying times over the past 12 months, both in the United States and across the world. In sharing some of the highlights of the past year, we are fully cognizant of the challenges ahead, of the importance of academic freedom, and of ways we can best address some of the most critical global needs.
Toward this end, I was one of more than 626 MIT faculty members who recently signed a statement upholding our values of science and diversity. In adding my name to the distinguished list of signers, I emphasized that today’s academic institutions must remain havens to protect diversity of opinions and the freedom to express those opinions when the political climate threatens to impinge upon those freedoms.
A new graphic novel that uses computational thinking to teach students to code might be the next big thing in STEM education.
Curly Bracket, from Ashoka fellow and Swedish social entrepreneur Johan Wendt, is a combination textbook and graphic novel that builds students’ computational thinking skills.
It takes advantage of the graphic novel format to engage students with visual representations and active movement, and it shows with clarity each problem students must solve and why those problems are important.
The CEO of LiquidText on changing the way we interact with digital text.
Craig Tashman is founder and CEO of LiquidText, a NYC based startup that develop products to help professionals and students find, understand, and share unstructured textual information. Tashman earned his Ph.D. in 2012 from Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing where he explored better ways to support deep, critical reading through flexible document representations. His previous research included interactive visualizations for desktop window management, visualizations for usable security, three-dimensional image creation, and data compression.
Educators want to teach programming to make a generation of coders, but even non-coders can benefit from learning computational thought.
Computational thinkers aren’t just programmers. They’re the people who can create lovely intricate patterns in Illustrator, or make a really cool gizmo in Minecraft, or make a MIDI synthesizer play crazy microtonal jazz solos. They understand not only how to make a computer speak, but they also have an imagination for what it could possibly say.
Google research with Gallup shows unequal access to K-12 computer science classes.
New research from Google shows that black students are less likely to have computer science classes in school and are less likely to use computers at home even though they are 1.5 times more interested in studying computer science than their white peers.
The findings are part a report released Tuesday by Google in partnership with Gallup that puts the spotlight on the racial and gender gap in K-12 computer science education. Google says its aim with the research, which surveyed thousands of students, parents, teachers, principals and superintendents, is to increase the numbers of women, blacks and Latinos in computer science.
How a little girl with dreams of flying changed the world in footnotes.
One of the most interesting and timeless aspects of Lovelace’s story is that her foray into programming bore the mark of what Albert Einstein called “combinatory play,” which he considered the key characteristic of how his mind worked and which bespeaks the combinatorial nature of all creativity — the ability to connect the seemingly unconnected by cross-pollinating questions and insights across disparate domains to create something entirely novel.
Create-your-own computer kit opens new tech opportunities for kids.
Kano opens up the world of physical computing to kids. As computers have become more affordable and reliable, fewer people are learning what is going on inside them. Kano aims to change the way kids see computers through creating kits with all the pieces necessary to build a fully-functional computer. The Kano approach to learning follows three guiding principles: (1) simple steps, (2) storytelling, and (3) physical computing. After tying all these principles together, the overarching goal is to create a sense of play.
When groups collaborate at the MIT Media Lab, the creativity soars.
When designers team up with engineers and computer scientists, the results can be greater than what any group produces on their own. Take, for instance, the augmented reality Lego set created in order to visualize urban design.
This construction used augmented reality to display data visualization as a moving process, keeping track of statistics like population density and transportation patterns. The team’s goal is to use the augmented reality Lego cityscape to analyze the impact of design on wellness.
The booming growth of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), like most transformational technologies, is both exciting and scary. It’s exciting to consider all the ways our lives may improve, from managing our calendars to making medical diagnoses, but it’s scary to consider the social and personal implications — and particularly the implications for our careers. As machine learning continues to grow, we all need to develop new skills in order to differentiate ourselves. But which ones?
The typical coding apps don’t get at the heart of computer science. Instead they stay at the surface, teaching what is comfortable and catchy. In that sense, they are equivalent to the songs on today’s “Top 40”—fun to listen to but offering no real insight or understanding into music literacy, meaning, or theory. Computing and computer science is the equivalent of immersing in a thicker study of music—its origins, influences, aesthetics, applications, theories, composition, techniques, variations and meanings. In other words, the actual foundations and experiences that change an individual’s mindset.
Boost is an impressive kit. The five on-board building experiences cover a lot of ground, from a robot to a guitar, to quasi Lego “3D printer” that’s more like an assembly line Rube Goldberg-style device that pieces together its own Lego creations..
The fizzled fever dream of the ‘90s is finally real thanks to hardware scraps from the smartphone revolution, but where is VR taking us? And are we sure we really want to go there?
What is it like to walk in someone else’s shoes? Books allow us to imagine it, and movies allow us to see it, but VR is the first medium that actually allows us to experience it. As VR developers catch on, generating empathy may turn out to be one of the medium’s most unique and powerful abilities.
Jeremy Bailenson, the founder of Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, has spent years researching how VR may help us understand one another better, and the results are encouraging.
Old-school games like those of Nintendo's original console are being used to teach young programmers across the US.
One study led by Northwestern University learning technologist Uri Wilensky found that when high school students were tasked with recreating an existing video game, they were four times more likely "to draw inspiration from a game that could be played on an Atari or in an ‘80s arcade than on an Xbox or Play Station. Younger students are also cutting their teeth on programming with vintage games.
Research confirms your sci-fi fears are becoming reality.
New research shows that robots have the ability to demonstrate cognitive evolution. Using theories on child development, researchers have run tests with robots to grasp a full understanding of their programmable learning abilities. The positive results show that robots have the ability to recognize both humans and avatars from their behavioral imitations. Simply put, this means they now have the ability to demonstrate the learning process that takes place in the minds of most infants.
A group of nonprofits and educators wants all students, even kindergartners, to know the fundamentals.
More and more jobs are requiring some knowledge about how computers work. Not just how to start one up and surf the web, but how they actually run, how—at the simplest level—a series of inputs leads to a series of particular outputs.
Yet, across the United States, few children are being taught even the basics of computer science. It’s a discipline left largely to the self-motivated YouTube watchers and the kids lucky enough to be born into tech-minded families with resources.
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