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Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions
Explores writing, applications of thought and theory, solutions, engineering, design, DIY, Interesting approaches to problems, examples of interdisciplinary explorations and solutions.
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Geodesy – The Math of Planet Earth - Royal Institution of Australia

Geodesy – The Math of Planet Earth - Royal Institution of Australia | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
We all agree that we aren’t at risk of sailing off the edge of the earth because it’s not flat. But if it’s not flat, what is it – Round? Elliptical? Spherical? And how do we measure it?
Sharrock's insight:

excerpt: "Geodetics, or Geodesy is a branch of applied mathematics that deals with modelling and representing the area and shape of the earth. Don’t let the thought of applied mathematics put you off though because geodesy is the foundation for many things that we use in our everyday life, most importantly GPS which provides us with almost all location data that we access today. If we didn’t understand the size and shape of the earth, there would be no location services on mobile phones, no sat nav in cars and no Google Maps."

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Who Says Top Students Make The Best Employees? - All News Is Global

Who Says Top Students Make The Best Employees? - All News Is Global | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it

Many people realize well after their school days are behind them that learning can actually be fun. Doing practical math or remembering French words, for example, may suddenly seem easy. Perhaps these folks had bad teachers in those subjects, but it's more likely that newfound learning appreciation has more to do with the fact that there's no longer any pressure.

Read the full article: Who Says Top Students Make The Best Employees? - All News Is Global 
Worldcrunch - top stories from the world's best news sources 
Follow us: @worldcrunch on Twitter | Worldcrunch on Facebook

Sharrock's insight:

The article seems to be exposing a new, more rigorous hiring assessment. "To ensure a qualified workforce, the company has developed various strategies, among them the new application procedure for the 4,000 young people that it trains every year. The goal is not to find  “the best and the brightest” but rather those whose talents are a good match for their particular job, Weber says. “A sense of responsibility or talent for understanding technical issues can be more important than good or bad grades in math.”

 



Read the full article: Who Says Top Students Make The Best Employees? - All News Is Global 
Worldcrunch - top stories from the world's best news sources 
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X Prize's Peter Diamandis: The Techno-Optimist

X Prize's Peter Diamandis: The Techno-Optimist | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
Peter Diamandis founded the X Prize Foundation in 1995 to use competitions and cash prizes to jump-start innovation.
Sharrock's insight:

from the interview: "If you can't measure something, you can't improve it. And I believe that this next decade will have fundamental breakthroughs in the ubiquity and capability of sensors. In the future everybody will be wired and we'll be dribbling bits—bits about blood chemistry, cardiovascular status, neural status—and those bits will be analyzed by AI and you'll be told if anything is in deviation. Your physician might be monitoring you. And the health world will become proactive versus reactive, which it is right now. And in the same way that we're creating sensors to measure the human body's status, we want to create sensors to understand the ocean's status—changes in acidity and how the ocean is being transformed. Having knowledge of what actually is going on allows you to make smart decisions. We have changed the atmospheric quality of the United States by having regulations that require catalytic converters, that require smokestack scrubbers. But regulatory change doesn't come until you have irrefutable data to prove there's a problem. And maybe the next X Prize will be where scientists figure out a mechanism for reversing acidification or regrowing reefs."


Read more: X Prize's Peter Diamandis: The Techno-Optimist - Popular Mechanics 
Follow us: @PopMech on Twitter | popularmechanics on Facebook 
Visit us at PopularMechanics.com

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What Is It Like to Be a Mathematician?

What Is It Like to Be a Mathematician? | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
Mathematician Edward Frenkel of the University of California–Berkeley wants to expose the beauty of mathematics, inspire awe at its power, and challenge his colleagues to wield it for good. His new book is Love and Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality.
Sharrock's insight:

"I believe that physical reality as we know it and the world of mathematical ideas are two separate worlds, and neither can subjugate the other. For example, we talk about the standard model of physics, which has been very successful in predicting a whole range of phenomena. Of course, the discovery of the Higgs boson last summer was abig trial for the standard model. But from a mathematical perspective, it is just one of a tremendous class of models. We don't observe the others in our reality, but do they exist? Well, one can argue that they do in the ideal world of mathematics." --Edward Frenkel

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Turning biologists into programmers | Penn State University

Turning biologists into programmers | Penn State University | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
For more than half a century scientists have looked on the DNA molecule as life's blueprint, but biological engineers are beginning to see the molecule not as a static plan, but more like a snippet of life's computer code that they can program.

Via Xaos
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Anna Leahy: 5 Women Who Should Have Won the Nobel Prize

Anna Leahy: 5 Women Who Should Have Won the Nobel Prize | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
It's Nobel Prize season! The three big science categories -- physiology or medicine, physics, and chemistry--were just announced on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Of the eight science winners, how many are women?
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How to Understand the Deep Structures of Language: Scientific American

How to Understand the Deep Structures of Language: Scientific American | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
In an alternative to Chomsky’s "Universal Grammar," scientists explore language’s fundamental design constraints

 

and...

 

Starting with pioneering work by Joseph Greenberg, scholars have cataloged over two thousand linguistic universals (facts true of all languages) and biases (facts true of most languages). For instance, in languages with fixed word order, the subject almost always comes before the object. If the verb describes a caused event, the entity that caused the event is the subject ("John broke the vase") not the object (for example, "The vase shbroke John" meaning "John broke the vase"). In languages like English where the verb agrees with one of its subjects or objects, it typically agrees with the subject (compare "the child eats the carrots" with "the children eat the carrots") and not with its object (this would look like "the child eats the carrot" vs. "the child eat the carrots"), though in some languages, like Hungarian, the ending of the verb changes to match both the subject and object. 

 

When I point this out to my students, I usually get blank stares. How else could language work? The answer is: very differently. Scientists and engineers have created hundreds of artificial languages to do the work of mathematics (often called "the universal language"), logic, and computer programming. These languages show none of the features mentioned above for the simplest of reasons: the researchers who invented these languages never bothered to include verb agreement or even the subject/object distinction itself. 

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MIT Unleashes New Online Game for Math and Science

MIT Unleashes New Online Game for Math and Science | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
A group of researchers in MIT’s Education Arcade are trying to harness the power of MMO games to teach high school students to think like scientists and mathematicians.

Via John Shank
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Our unrealistic views of death, through a doctor’s eyes

Our unrealistic views of death, through a doctor’s eyes | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
Sometimes medical care can amount to torture.
Sharrock's insight:

excerpt: "These unrealistic expectations often begin with an overestimation of modern medicine’s power to prolong life, a misconception fueled by the dramatic increase in the American life span over the past century. To hear that the average U.S. life expectancy was 47 years in 1900 and 78 years as of 2007, you might conclude that there weren’t a lot of old people in the old days — and that modern medicine invented old age. But average life expectancy is heavily skewed by childhood deaths, and infant mortality rates were high back then. In 1900, the U.S. infant mortality rate was approximately 100 infant deaths per 1,000 live births."

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Metadata - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Metadata - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The term metadata refers to " data about data". The term is ambiguous, as it is used for two fundamentally different concepts ( types). Structural metadata is about the design and specification of data structures and is more properly called "data about the containers of data"; descriptive metadata, on the other hand, is about individual instances of application data, the data content.

Sharrock's insight:

Looking at data requires critical thinking skills just as reading fiction and nonfiction does. And it's not even restricted to statistics and statistical knowledge. "Data about data" is similar to the hunt for rigor and relevance of different kinds of research. However, it also includes how this data is stored, how it can be found, how it can be retrieved, in what format is the data stored/viewed, and what equipment/tools are needed to access and review the data. Metadata refers to other concerns as well. "Data about data" is a huge topic. It reminds me of what should be considered when evaluating research. It's not just about what is reported, but may also include the way something is reported, research tool decisions (choosing, appropriateness, measurement, etc). Granularity is another interesting element to data creation and capture.

 

from the article:

 

"Granularity[edit]

The degree to which the data or metadata are structured is referred to as their granularity. Metadata with a high granularity allow for deeper structured information and enable greater levels of technical manipulation however, a lower level of granularity means that metadata can be created for considerably lower costs but will not provide as detailed information. The major impact of granularity is not only on creation and capture, but moreover on maintenance. As soon as the metadata structures get outdated, the access to the referred data will get outdated. Hence granularity shall take into account the effort to create as well as the effort to maintain.

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Everyone Should Have the Right To Bear Mathematical Arms

Everyone Should Have the Right To Bear Mathematical Arms | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
Imagine a world in which it is possible for an elite group of hackers to install a “backdoor” not on a personal computer but on the entire U.S. economy. Imagine that they can use it to cryptically raise taxes and slash social benefits at will.
Sharrock's insight:

"So much damage has been done in terms of the way mathematics is misunderstood by our society. It has essentially become impossible to talk to most people directly about it. With the film Rites of Love and Math, which I made four years ago with the French director Reine Graves, the idea was to penetrate some of those defenses—to talk about math indirectly by appealing to the emotional rather than to the cerebral." Edward Frankel



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“Statisticians are the modern explorers.” An interview with Professor David J. Hand - Statistics Views

“Statisticians are the modern explorers.” An interview with Professor David J. Hand - Statistics Views | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it

In the New Year’s Honours List for 2013, Professor David J. Hand was awarded an OBE for services to research and innovation. Earlier this year he was also appointed as a non-executive director of the UK Statistics Authority for a period of three years.

 

Professor Hand is currently Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Imperial College, London. He was previously Professor of Statistics at Imperial College (1999-2011) during which time he was also Head of the Mathematics in Banking and Finance Programme (2005-09); before that he was Professor of Statistics at the Open University (1988-99). Since 2010, he has served as Chief Scientific Adviser to Winton Capital Management.

 

Sharrock's insight:

from the interview: "Both physicists and psychologists use the word ‘measurement’ but measuring IQ and measuring weight are very different notions; measuring pain and measuring height are also different. But in all these cases the same word is used."

 

It led to his writing a book "Measurement Theory and Practice: The World Through Quantification. ‘Pragmatic measurement’ is where you define what you are measuring and describe how to measure it simultaneously."

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Smartphone apps to make you (Americans) smarter

Smartphone apps to make you (Americans) smarter | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
In light of a recent study that shows Americans are below average for math and literacy of all the developed nations, I have rounded up some apps to...well...help my countrymen exercise our collective noggins.
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The academic jungle: ecosystem modelling reveals why women are driven out of research - O’Brien - 2012 - Oikos - Wiley Online Library

The academic jungle: ecosystem modelling reveals why women are driven out of research - O’Brien - 2012 - Oikos - Wiley Online Library | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it

Via Andres Zurita
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Andres Zurita's curator insight, October 7, 2013 1:44 PM

The number of women studying science and engineering at undergraduate and postgraduate levels has increased markedly in recent decades. However females have lower retention rates than males in these fields, and perform worse on average than men in terms of promotion and common research metrics. Two key differences between men and women are the larger role that women play in childcare and house work in most families, and the narrower window for female fertility. Here we explore how these two factors affect research output by applying a common ecological model to research performance, incorporating part-time work and the duration of career prior to the onset of part-time work. The model parameterizes the positive feedback between historical research output (i.e. track record) and current output, and the minimum threshold below which research output declines. We use the model to provide insight into how women (and men) can pursue a career in academia while working part-time and devoting substantial time to their family. The model suggests that researchers entering a tenure track (teaching and research) role part-time without an established track record in research will spend longer in the early career phase compared to full-time academics, researchers without teaching commitments, and those who were beyond the early career phase prior to working part-time. The results explain some of the mechanisms behind the observed difference between male and female performance in common metrics and the higher participation of women in teaching-focussed roles. Based on this analysis, we provide strategies for researchers (particularly women) who want to devote substantial time to raising their families while still remaining engaged with their profession. We also identify how university leaders can enable part-time academics to flourish rather than flounder. In particular, we demonstrate that careless application of metrics is likely to further reduce female participation in research, and so reduce the pool of talent available.

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Physical constant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A physical constant is a physical quantity that is generally believed to be both universal in nature and constant in time. It can be contrasted with a mathematical constant, which is a fixed numerical value, but does not directly involve any physical measurement.

There are many physical constants in science, some of the most widely recognized being the speed of light in vacuum c, the gravitational constant G, Planck's constant h, the electric constant ε0, and the elementary charge e. Physical constants can take many dimensional forms: the speed of light signifies a maximum speed limit of the Universe and is expressed dimensionally as length divided by time; while the fine-structure constant α, which characterizes the strength of the electromagnetic interaction, is dimensionless.

Whereas the physical quantity indicated by any physical constant does not depend on the unit system used to express the quantity, the numerical values of dimensional physical constants do depend on the unit used. Therefore, these numerical values (such as 299,792,458 for the constant speed of light c expressed in units of meters per second) are not values that a theory of physics can be expected to predict.

Sharrock's insight:

In science, it is important to explore the dependence on measurements and constants. 

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Running the Business of Science

Running the Business of Science | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
Just like any other business, the way science gets done has undergone a rapid transformation in the past 30 years, especially in the context of the Internet revolution.
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