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Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence [2018 Video, presenter: Prof. Dr. Ajay Agrawal]

Prof. Ajay Agrawal, founder of the Creative Destruction Lab and co-founder of the AI/robotics company Kindred, explored the economics behind the creation of artificial intelligence. April 18th, 2018.

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Black Holes and the Fundamental Laws of Physics [by Jerome Gauntlett]

Black holes are amongst the most extraordinary objects that are known to exist in the universe. Jerome Gauntlett will discuss their fascinating properties and describe the dramatic recent observations of black holes using gravitational waves. He will also explain why it is believed that black holes hold the key to unlocking the next level of our understanding of the fundamental laws of physics. Jerome Gauntlett is a professor of theoretical physics at Imperial College. His principal research interests are focussed on string theory, quantum field theory and black holes.

 

Most recently he has been investigating whether string theory techniques can be used to study exotic states of matter that arise in condensed matter physics. He was Head of the Theoretical Physics Group at Imperial from 2011-2016. He was the theoretical physics consultant for the film The Theory of Everything and he has an Erdos-Bacon number of six (having written a paper with Shing-Tung Yau and appeared in the film Windrider with Nicole Kidman).

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The Accelerating Universe & the Hunt for Dark Energy [by Brian Schmidt]

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The Rare Coelacanth! A Fish That Time Forgot and Never Went Extinct

The coelacanths constitute a now rare order of fish that includes two extant species in the genus Latimeria: the West Indian Ocean coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) and the Indonesian coelacanth (Latimeria menadoensis). They follow the oldest known living lineage of Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish and tetrapods), which means they are more closely related to lungfish, reptiles and mammals than to the common ray-finned fishes. They are found along the coastlines of the Indian Ocean and Indonesia. Since there are only two species of coelacanth and both are threatened, it is the most endangered order of animals in the world. The West Indian Ocean coelacanth is a critically endangered species.

 

The coelacanth, which is related to lungfishes and tetrapods, was believed to have been extinct since the end of the Cretaceous period. More closely related to tetrapods than to the ray-finned fish, coelacanths were considered transitional species between fish and tetrapods. On 23 December 1938, the first Latimeriaspecimen was found off the east coast of South Africa, off the Chalumna River(now Tyolomnqa). Museum curator Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer discovered the fish among the catch of a local angler, Captain Hendrick Goosen. A Rhodes University ichthyologist, J. L. B. Smith, confirmed the fish's importance with a famous cable: "MOST IMPORTANT PRESERVE SKELETON AND GILLS = FISH DESCRIBED".[6][14]

 

Its discovery 66 million years after it was believed to have gone extinct makes the coelacanth the best-known example of a Lazarus taxon, an evolutionary line that seems to have disappeared from the fossil record only to reappear much later. Since 1938, Latimeria chalumnae have been found in the ComorosKenya,TanzaniaMozambiqueMadagascar, and in iSimangaliso Wetland ParkKwazulu-Natal in South Africa.[15]

 

The second extant species, L. menadoensis, was described from ManadoNorth SulawesiIndonesia in 1999 by Pouyaud et al.[16] based on a specimen discovered by Mark V. Erdmann in 1998[17] and deposited at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI). Only a photograph of the first specimen of this species was made at a local market by Erdmann and his wife Arnaz Mehta before it was bought by a shopper.[citation needed]

 

The coelacanth has no real commercial value apart from being coveted by museums and private collectors. As a food fish it is almost worthless, as its tissues exude oils that give the flesh a foul flavor.[18] The coelacanth's continued survival may be threatened by commercial deep-sea trawling,[19] in which coelacanths are caught as bycatch.

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Stevens Institute of Technology: Tim Urban - Mars, AI and Not Normal Things About the Future

https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-1.html

https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-2.html

 

Listen to Tim Urban giving a lecture at Stevens Institute of Technology as he explores the history of everything, the implications of radical technological advancement, and the opportunities and dangers of artificial intelligence.

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Meet the dazzling flying machines of the future [TED, Raffaello D'Andrea]

When you hear the word "drone," you probably think of something either very useful or very scary. But could they have aesthetic value? Autonomous systems expert Raffaello D'Andrea develops flying machines, and his latest projects are pushing the boundaries of autonomous flight — from a flying wing that can hover and recover from disturbance to an eight-propeller craft that's ambivalent to orientation ... to a swarm of tiny coordinated micro-quadcopters. Prepare to be dazzled by a dreamy, swirling array of flying machines as they dance like fireflies above the TED stage.

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Humans, Data and Machines [UA College of Science]

Humans, Data and Machines [UA College of Science] | Science-Videos | Scoop.it
Jan 22 2018
Problem Solving with Algorithms

Stephen Kobourov, Professor of Computer Science, University of Arizona
The idea of computation and algorithms is old, but modern day computers are a relatively new phenomenon. Even more recent are the notions of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and big data.  While it is difficult to clearly define AI and ML it is evident that progress in these fields, combined with access to large datasets, has a significant impact on all aspects of our lives. This raises new mathematical and engineering challenges (can we solve previously unsolvable problems?), but also philosophical questions (can machines think?), and considerations in ethics and law (can machines be more objective than humans?).

 

Jan 29 2018
The Minds of Machines

Mihai Surdeanu, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of Arizona
We are inundated daily with news about artificial intelligence (AI) achieving tremendous results, e.g., defeating human champions at Go, driving better than us, etc. But does this mean that we are approaching the technical singularity where artificial intelligence far surpasses the human one? Does this mean that machines truly think? In this talk we will analyze these questions and illustrate that AI does not think that way we think: machines do not have a good way to represent and reason with world knowledge, and, of course, they are not self aware. Instead, AI is designed to automate and scale up pattern recognition for specific tasks.  Because of this different goal, AI does perform better than humans at certain tasks. I will review a series of problems where AI outperforms humans, including specific applications of natural language understanding, precision medicine, identifying planetary objects, and other problems, many of which implemented here at University of Arizona.

 

Feb 5 2018
Working Alongside Thinking Machines

Nirav Merchant, Director Data Science Institute, Data7, University of Arizona
Machine learning (ML) based systems are rapidly becoming pervasive, powering many applications from recommending music, movies and merchandise to driving our cars to assisting in medical diagnoses.  Our daily interactions, behavior, and choices, whether we are aware of them or not, are the sources of data for training these systems.  But how are these ML based platforms built and utilized ?.  While ML based platforms create amazing opportunities, especially when coupled with advances in cloud computing, reliance on these platforms comes with ethical, security, and technical concerns.  How do we strike a balance for enabling pragmatic and productive use of these capabilities? ML powered platforms are gaining proficiency and becoming deeply integrated into existing and emerging automation across many domains of science and society, causing a shift in opportunities impacting many professions. What are the new learning and training opportunities that allow us to stay relevant and lead the way for future innovations

 

Feb 12 2018
What Humans do that Machines Cannot

Luis von Ahn, CEO and Co-Founder, Duolingo, Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
This talk is about harnessing human time and energy to address problems that computers cannot yet solve. Although computers have advanced dramatically in many respects over the last 50 years, they still do not possess the basic conceptual intelligence or perceptual capabilities   that most humans take for granted. By leveraging human skills and abilities in a novel way, I want to solve large-scale computational problems and collect training data to teach computers many of the basic human talents. To this end, I treat human brains as processors in a distributed system, each performing a small part of a massive computation
 

 

Feb 19 2018
Machine Influencers and Decision Makers

Jane Bambauer, Professor of Law, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
Machine learning is shaping human lives in both obvious and subtle ways. Important economic and legal decisions about credit, employment, and criminal justice are already made with the aid of complex algorithms, raising difficult questions about whether machines can make decisions that are accurate and fair. Machine learners can become biased when the programmed objectives or the training data used to teach the algorithm are flawed. On the other hand, machines have some advantages over humans since they do not apply pre-existing assumptions and can more quickly recognize unexpected patterns. Machine learning also affects the human experience by creating advertising, suggestions, chat-bots, and even auto-generated news articles tailored to the individual. The government has some power to constrain artificial intelligence, but there are practical and constitutional limits to legal interventions.

 

Feb 26 2018
There is No Such Thing as Big Data

Vincent J. Del Casino Jr., Vice President, Academic Initiatives and Student Success, Professor, School of Geography and Development, University of Arizona
This talk challenges the notion that “big data” are what people believe they are – large, singular inanimate manifestations of our proxy selves – and argues that there is no “big data” really, just millions of small bits and pieces brought together through a series of algorithmic possibilities. But, big data analytics and the robotic futures that they engender are clearly producing anxieties for everyday social life and institutions, such as the university, have to manage these anxieties as they rethink themselves in relation to big data analytics and their concomitant robotic futures. As a result, universities have to double-down on investments in a broad education by asking how big data are represented in society, how human life is being organized in relation to big data, and how an interdisciplinary future can help manage the rapid changes produced by advances in robots and robotic technologies.

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World War X - When Aliens Attack — Do We Stand a Chance?

Are there extraterrestrials and what will happen when aliens attack us? Though it may come as a surprise to many, debates surrounding extraterrestrial invasion are not restricted to the UFO community and Hollywood. In recent years, mainstream science and even the US defense establishment have openly discussed ‘falling skies’ scenarios and what humanity might do to repel potential alien aggressors.

 

The late, great Sir Stephen Hawking was perhaps the most high-profile individual to warn us of the potential dangers of extraterrestrial contact. In April 2010, Hawking made international news by stating his firm belief that humanity should seek to avoid any form of interaction with aliens. In an episode of the Discovery Channel’s Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking, the professor said: “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the American Indians.” Hawking suggested that aliens “might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet” and would perhaps be “looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach.”

 

Hawking’s anti-alien comments captured the attention of Hollywood and, later that same year, were incorporated into the marketing campaign for the alien invasion blockbuster, Skyline (2010). The trailer for the film begins with bold text against a cosmic backdrop, reading: “On 28 August 2009, NASA sent a message into space farther than we ever thought possible in an effort to reach extraterrestrial life.”

 

This is true. On the date specified, the Australian government, through its “Hello from Earth” science initiative, and with the help of NASA, sent some 26,000 carefully vetted messages from the public to the extra-solar Earth-like planet Gliese 581d in a single transmission. This proactive approach to alien contact, known as METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence), differs from the traditional passive approach favored by SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), which devotes its efforts simply to listening for any potential incoming alien signals. Stephen Hawking was not a fan of the METI approach as he considered it unwise to knowingly alert our presence in the galaxy to any technologically superior civilizations.

 

In a bid to blur fact and fantasy for viral marketing purposes, Skyline made use of Hawking’s comments in its trailer, which featured well known American newsreaders — including Dan Rather — citing the famed professor on the potential dangers of extraterrestrial contact. The trailer then cuts to panoramic views of an American city being obliterated by dozens of the “massive ships” to which Hawking had referred. Against a black screen, and again referring to the professor’s warning, bold text then reads: “Maybe we should have listened.”

 

Skyline wasn’t the only movie to draw inspiration from METI initiative, or from Hawking’s dire warnings against phoning E.T. The 2012 movie, Battleship, opens with a scene in which NASA prepares to transmit a signal to the Gliese system, exactly as the space agency had done in real life two-years prior. In the movie, a wise-cracking scientist paraphrases Stephen Hawking, quipping, “It’s going to be like Columbus and the Indians—only we’re the Indians.” But the signal is sent anyway, and NASA gives itself a hearty pat on the back. Needless to say, alien contact ensues, and it ain’t pretty.

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Pilot Waves and Oil Droplets: Watch a Simple Experiment Make Sense of Quantum Mechanics

Pilot Waves and Oil Droplets: Watch a Simple Experiment Make Sense of Quantum Mechanics | Science-Videos | Scoop.it

Quantum mechanics: a branch of physics that is, to many, confusing and misunderstood. It encompasses and deals with the actions and interactions between energy and both subatomic particles and atoms. In other words: how nature operates on an extremely small scale. Quantum mechanics helps us understand both how life works on Earth and beyond. How everything from light to the molecules that make up human beings function and interact.

 

So, can one simple experiment explain quantum mechanics? Perhaps. Veritasium, on YouTube, has created a video that they think can really show people what quantum mechanics is. The video description aptly quotes Richard Feynman, famed theoretical physicist, in saying, “I think I can safely say that no one understands quantum mechanics.” While understanding how it works is perhaps a little more than a single video can take on, the demonstration at least gives viewers a better idea of what quantum mechanics is.

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What they won't teach you in calculus

A visual for derivatives which generalizes more nicely to topics beyond calculus.
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The OEIS (The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences) Movie

To celebrate the launching of the OEIS (The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences) Foundation, Tony Noe has made a movie showing the first 1000 terms of 1000 sequences, with soundtrack from Recaman's sequence A005132. The best way to watch it is to first download the file from http://www.sspectra.com/math/OEISMovie.mov and then play it with QuickTime Player 7. The movie, which plays at 2 frames per second, takes about 8.5 minutes. Using the controls in QuickTime Player, the movie may also be viewed at a slower pace.

 

Another way to view the movie is frame-by-frame. The movie has been divided into ten parts of 100 frames each. The links shown below point to the ten parts, with each of the 100 frames displayed as a thumbnail. Moving the mouse pointer over a thumbnail displays the first 90 characters of the name of the sequence. Clicking on a thumbnail brings up a full-sized version of the plot. Clicking the full-sized plot links to the sequence in the OEIS.

 

The concept of displaying the OEIS Movie in this manner came from Simon Plouffe, who did this for an earlier version of the movie. Google's Picasa software was used to create the initial web pages. 

 

The video thumbnail that YouTube displays for this movie is sequence 159999, which is related to the Colatz problem. 

 

Frames: 1-100 | 101-200 | 201-300 | 301-400 | 401-500 | 501-600 | 601-700 | 701-800 | 801-900 | 901-1000 

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Fundamental Physics in 2018: F-Theory, Black Holes and Topological Strings

Lecture at Physics and Geometry of F-theory 2018 held at IFT-Madrid, Mar5-8, 2018. Event website: https://workshops.ift.uam-csic.es/pgf18

 

The workshop series Physics and Geometry of F-Theory brings together international experts in mathematics and physics, aiming to deepen our understanding of string and field theories through the framework of F-theory. F-theory is a non-perturbative realization of string theory that is written in the language of algebraic geometry.

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A New View on Gravity and the Cosmos (by Erik Verlinde)

“Where did it all come from?” This eternal question has served as the driving force for human innovation and evolution.

 

In this talk, Erik Verlinde will offer a philosophical, an observational, and a theoretical argument for his theory of gravity, known as entropic, or emergent, gravity. Firstly, the particle physics paradigm is encapsulated in the the reductionist idea that, by reducing all physical phenomena to the smallest building blocks, we can obtain greater understanding. However, meaning often comes from the bigger picture. Emergence, defined as the observation of phenomena at a macroscopic scale which are derived from a microscopic scale, where they have no a priori meaning, is the foundation of this new theory.

Secondly, the truth value of theories often depends on their scale. Newtonian gravity works well for planets, but not for black holes. Einsteinian gravity works well for black holes, but not for galaxies, where dark matter and energy must be postulated to account for the speeds of orbiting cosmic objects. Emergent gravity should be able to account for all three. The third, theoretical argument, guides us through what it would be like to fall into a black hole, and uses this example to explain how emergent gravity works.

Erik Verlinde is a theoretical physicist and string theorist at the Institute for Theoretical Physics of the University of Amsterdam. He held the position of Senior Staff Member at CERN, before becoming a physics professor at his Alma Mater in 1996. He has held two subsequent Professor of Physics: at Princeton and, currently, at the University of Amsterdam.

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Hidden Universe - Dark Matter [Video: NOVA]

In the 20th century, telescopes advanced greatly in size, with apertures of optical scopes expanding from just five feet to over 30, and radio dishes growing from 30 feet across to 1,000.

 

Discoveries kept pace: We have mapped the Milky Way with its 100 billion stars, for instance, and now accept that the universe has billions of galaxies, many anchored by a supermassive black hole at the center. But to address some of the most pressing cosmological questions today—what is dark matter? dark energy? is there life elsewhere?—space scientists agree that we need much bigger and much better eyes on the sky.

 

NOVA examines how a simple instrument, the telescope, has fundamentally changed our understanding of our place in the universe. What began as a curiosity—two spectacle lenses held a foot apart—ultimately revolutionized human thought across science, philosophy, and religion. "Hunting the Edge of Space" takes viewers on a global adventure of discovery, dramatizing the innovations in technology and the achievements in science that have marked the rich history of the telescope.Click here to edit the content

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Supercomputing and the Human Brain [Singularity University, by Larry Smarr]

Larry Smarr discusses the state of the art in supercomputing, with a focus on how current computation compares to the human brain and when supercomputers will surpass human processing power. Current supercomputers are estimated to match the human visual cortex and will reach human brain's computational ability within the next twenty years.

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The Mysterious Architecture of the Universe [by J Richard Gott]

J Richard Gott leads a journey through the history of our understanding of the Universe’s structure, and explains the ‘cosmic web’: the idea that our Universe is like a sponge made up of clusters of galaxies intricately connected by filaments of galaxies.
Watch the Q&A here: https://youtu.be/B4duk3RiQzA
Subscribe for regular science videos: http://bit.ly/RiSubscRibe

J Richard Gott was among the first cosmologists to propose that the structure of our Universe is like a sponge made up of clusters of galaxies intricately connected by filaments of galaxies – a magnificent structure now called the 'cosmic web'. In this talk he shows how ambitious telescope surveys such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey are transforming our understanding of the cosmos, and how the cosmic web holds vital clues to the origins of the universe and the next trillion years that lie ahead.

J Richard Gott is Emeritus Professor of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University and is noted for his contributions to cosmology and general relativity.
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Sean Carroll: The Paradoxes of Time Travel

Science fiction has introduced us all to the idea of traveling into the past – but is it really possible? Sean Carroll talks bout how time travel would possibly work in the context of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, including the hypothetical idea of wormholes connecting distant regions of space. Dr. Carroll also explores the logical structure of time travel, and what it implies about predestination and free will. In the end, time travel is probably not possible, but by taking the idea seriously we help understand how the universe works.

 

Dr. Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His most recent book is “From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time”, a popular book on cosmology and the arrow of time. He is a contributor to the blog Cosmic Variance.Click here to edit the content

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What are quaternions, and how do you visualize them? A story of four dimensions

Very nice explanation on how quaternions work and an introduction to 4 dimensional space.

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Plastic Ocean - The Terrible Effects of Human Pollution

United Nations: Plastic - both a wonderful invention and a scourge on our planet. Over 300 million tons will be produced this year. Most is never recycled and remains on our land and in our seas for ever. 

 

This story shows the damage to all creatures who depend on the ocean for their food – from birds… to us.

 

21st Century: Episode #126

 

This is an adaptation from the original documentary “A Plastic Ocean” by the Plastic Oceans Foundation

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The more general uncertainty principle, beyond quantum

The Heisenberg uncertainty principle is just one specific example of a much more general, relatable, non-quantum phenomenon. 

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The History of Earth

In the very beginning of Earth's history, this planet was a giant, red hot, roiling, boiling sea of molten rock - a magma ocean. The heat had been generated by the repeated high speed collisions of much smaller bodies of space rocks that continually clumped together as they collided to form this planet. As the collisions tapered off the Earth began to cool, forming a thin crust on its surface. As the cooling continued, water vapor began to escape and condense in the earth's early atmosphere. Clouds formed and storms raged, raining more and more water down on the primitive earth, cooling the surface further until it was flooded with water, forming the seas.

It is theorized that the true age of the Earth is about 4.6 billion years old, formed at about the same time as the rest of our solar system. The oldest rocks geologists have been able to find are 3.9 billion years old. Using radiometric dating methods to determine the age of rocks means scientists have to rely on when the rock was initially formed (as in - when its internal minerals first cooled). In the infancy of our home planet the entire earth was molten rock - a magma ocean.

Since we can only measure as far back in time as we had solid rock on this planet, we are limited in how we can measure the real age of the earth. Due to the forces of plate tectonics, our planet is also a very dynamic one; new mountains forming, old ones wearing down, volcanoes melting and reshaping new crust. The continual changing and reshaping of the Earth's surface that involves the melting down and reconstructing of old rock has pretty much eliminated most of the original rocks that came with earth when it was newly formed. So the age is a theoretical age.

When Did Life on Earth Begin? Scientists are still trying to unravel one of the greatest mysteries of earth: When did "life" first appear and how did it happen? It is estimated that the first life forms on earth were primitive, one-celled creatures that appeared about 3 billion years ago. That's pretty much all there was for about the next two billion years. Then suddenly those single celled organisms began to evolve into multicellular organisms. Then an unprecedented profusion of life in incredibly complex forms began to fill the oceans. Some crawled from the seas and took residence on land, perhaps to escape predators in the ocean. A cascading chain of new and increasingly differentiated forms of life appeared all over the planet, only to be virtually annihilated by an unexplained mass extinction. It would be the first of several mass extinctions in Earth's history.

Scientists have been looking increasingly to space to explain these mass extinctions that have been happening almost like clockwork since the beginning of "living" time. Perhaps we've been getting periodically belted by more space rocks (ie. asteroids), or the collision of neutron stars happening too close for comfort? Each time a mass extinction occurred, life found a way to come back from the brink. Life has tenaciously clung to this small blue planet for the last three billion years. Scientists are finding new cues as to how life first began on earth in some really interesting places - the deep ocean.

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Video: A Deep Dive Into the World's Oceans

Video: A Deep Dive Into the World's Oceans | Science-Videos | Scoop.it
From the epic race to reach the surface of the moon, to the well-documented trials and tribulations of SpaceX’s rocket launches, space is widely regarded as mankind’s natural next step.

For centuries, we’ve gazed at the night sky attempting to decode the messages of the cosmos, but we’ve treated the ocean as a dumping ground or as a nemesis. In the era of big data, it’s strange to note that an estimated 95% of the world’s oceans still remain unexplored.

 

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The Weirdest Stars in the Universe [2018]

In her March 7 2018 public lecture at Perimeter Institute, Emily Levesque discusses the history of stellar astronomy, present-day observing techniques and exciting new discoveries, and explores some of the most puzzling and bizarre objects being studied by astronomers today.

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From Moonshine to Black Holes: Number Theory Popping Up in Surprising Places Within Mathematics and Physics

From Moonshine to Black Holes: Number Theory Popping Up in Surprising Places Within Mathematics and Physics | Science-Videos | Scoop.it

Mathematicians have attached fanciful names to some of the objects they study. In group theory, the Monster is a special kind of symmetry group. Moonshine refers to the unexpected appearance of the Monster in certain functions appearing in number theory. Remarkably, string theory provides some of the tools needed to understand Moonshine. Recently new kinds of Moonshine have been discovered and are being connected to other aspects of string theory including the properties of black holes. In this lecture Jeff Harvey will discuss Moonshine, the Monster, and visions of a new synthesis of number theory, geometry and physics.

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Biology as Information Dynamics (by John Baez, mathematician)

If biology is the study of self-replicating entities, and we want to
understand the role of information, it makes sense to see how information theory is connected to the 'replicator equation' - a simple model of population dynamics for self-replicating entities. The relevant concept of information turns out to be the information of one probability distribution relative to another, also known as the Kullback-Liebler divergence. Using this we can get a new outlook on free energy, see evolution as a learning process, and give a clearer, more general formulation of Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection.

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