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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Yaaaay, school!



The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) is a pan-African network of centres of excellence that enables Africa’s brightest students to become innovators that propel scientific, educational and economic self-sufficiency.

Message from the founder.


Applications are open  

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Yaaaaay, girls!





Three women were awarded Nobel Prizes in 2018:

Prof. Strickland of U. of Waterloo, Canada won for the work in her first paper. 
Frances Arnold of Caltech is the first Nobel prize winner that I can claim to know personally ;)
More: 
The Physics Prize  

A third woman won a Nobel Prize this year, human rights activist Nadia Murad, for  efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.  

The Literature prize for 2018 has been postponed.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Yaaaay, TV!



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Full event here
More programmes about the Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics, and Mathematics; the Breakthrough Junior Challenge; and Breakthrough Initiatives. @brkthroughprize

The 2019 winners.  Click for photo source, winner names, and details.
Also:
Subscribe to see more 23andMe programs from the dedicated channel ( it's actually getting cool to do DNA, but when is the service coming to Nigeria??? )

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Thoughts?



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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

a medicine story

In 1969, she was tasked with finding an alternative antimalarial drug to chloroquine.  With inspiration from folk recipes and ancient records, she found artemisinin. 
HERE is the inspiring story.  
A handful of qinghao immersed in two liters of water, wring out the juice and drink it all (青蒿一握, 以水二升渍, 绞取汁, 尽服之)
Tu Youyou was awarded a Nobel Prize in 2015. 

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Fields Medals 2018

 "The Fields medal is perhaps the most famous mathematical award. It was first awarded in 1936 and since 1950 has been presented every four years to up to four mathematicians who are under 40. "  
Caucher Birkar, Alessio Figalli, Akshay Venkatesh, Peter Scholze 
(click for news article) 
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For more about the 2018 winners and their work,  Quanta magazine has delicious detail that I highly recommend 

Akshay Venkatesh, a former prodigy who struggled with the genius stereotype, has won a Fields Medal for his “profound contributions to an exceptionally broad range of subjects in mathematics.” 

The theoretical computer scientist Constantinos Daskalakis has won the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize for explicating core questions in game theory and machine learning. 

The 30-year-old math sensation Peter Scholze is now one of the youngest Fields medalists for “the revolution that he launched in arithmetic geometry.” 

The mathematician Caucher Birkar was born on a subsistence farm and raised in the middle of the brutal war between Iran and Iraq. After fleeing to England, he has gone on to impose order on a wild landscape of mathematical equations.

The mathematician Alessio Figalli is rarely in one place for very long. But his work has established the stability of everything from crystals to weather fronts by using concepts derived from Napoleonic fortifications. 

Enjoy!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Prizes

Top of the top:

10 Nobel Laureates Who Changed The World 

See all the Nobel Prizes.

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  • Nobel Prizes in Physics, 1903, and Chemistry, 1911

One of the most famous female scientists of the 20th century, Marie Curie made many major discoveries in two different fields, which is why she is one of the few people to win two Nobel Prizes.

The first was for her work on radiation, which she shared with her husband Pierre Curie and Antoine Henri Becquerel. She was awarded the Chemistry prize for discovering the radioactive elements polonium and radium.

Fun fact: Her daughter, Irene Joliot-Curie, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935.

    1. Marie Curie

    Nobel Prizes in Physics, 1903, and Chemistry, 1911
    One of the most famous female scientists of the 20th century, Marie Curie made many major discoveries in two different fields, which is why she is one of the few people to win two Nobel Prizes.
    The first was for her work on radiation, which she shared with her husband Pierre Curie and Antoine Henri Becquerel. She was awarded the Chemistry prize for discovering the radioactive elements polonium and radium.
    Fun fact: Her daughter, Irene Joliot-Curie, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935.
  • Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1905

Often referred to as the father of bacteriology, Robert Koch identified the causative agents of three of the 20th century’s most fatal diseases: tuberculosis, anthrax and cholera. 

His postulates about understanding whether a specific bacteria causes disease are still used today, and his practices greatly improved the lab techniques and technologies used to identify the deadly microbes.

    2. Robert Koch

    Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1905
    Often referred to as the father of bacteriology, Robert Koch identified the causative agents of three of the 20th century’s most fatal diseases: tuberculosis, anthrax and cholera.
    His postulates about understanding whether a specific bacteria causes disease are still used today, and his practices greatly improved the lab techniques and technologies used to identify the deadly microbes.
  • Nobel Prize in Physics, 1918

Max Planck revolutionized the world by creating quantum theory, changing how scientists viewed subatomic processes and the universe.

He also worked on black-body radiation, and discovered the proportional constant between the energy of a photon and the frequency of its electromagnetic wave, which is now known as Plank's Constant.

    3. Max Planck

    Nobel Prize in Physics, 1918
    Max Planck revolutionized the world by creating quantum theory, changing how scientists viewed subatomic processes and the universe.
    He also worked on black-body radiation, and discovered the proportional constant between the energy of a photon and the frequency of its electromagnetic wave, which is now known as Plank's Constant.
  • Nobel Prize in Physics, 1921

No list of world-changing Nobel laureates is complete without physicist Albert Einstein. Like Planck, Einstein's primary work dealt with quantum theory, through which he became one of the first researchers of quantum physics. 

While he is best known for his theory of relativity, he won the prize in physics for the photo-electric effect, which describes how substances emit electrons when they absorb light.

    4. Albert Einstein

    Nobel Prize in Physics, 1921
    No list of world-changing Nobel laureates is complete without physicist Albert Einstein. Like Planck, Einstein's primary work dealt with quantum theory, through which he became one of the first researchers of quantum physics.
    While he is best known for his theory of relativity, he won the prize in physics for the photo-electric effect, which describes how substances emit electrons when they absorb light.
  • Nobel Prize in Physics, 1938

Enrico Fermi's contributions to the scientific community are numerous, but one of his most important was the creation of the first superficial self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, making him the father of nuclear power.

Like Nobel himself, Fermi's legacy is marked by violence. Fermi worked on the Manhattan Project with Robert Oppenheimer and helped to create the atomic bomb.

    5. Enrico Fermi

    Nobel Prize in Physics, 1938
    Enrico Fermi's contributions to the scientific community are numerous, but one of his most important was the creation of the first superficial self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, making him the father of nuclear power.
    Like Nobel himself, Fermi's legacy is marked by violence. Fermi worked on the Manhattan Project with Robert Oppenheimer and helped to create the atomic bomb.
  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1944 

Otto Hahn's claim to fame is relatively simple -- he discovered nuclear fission. This nuclear process helps create electricity which makes its a potent way to produce power.

Hahn work with Fermi, Oppenheimer and Lise Meitner. While Meitner was on the team that helped Hahn discover nuclear fission, she did not receive a Nobel Prize for her contributions to the research.

    6. Otto Hahn

    Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1944
    Otto Hahn's claim to fame is relatively simple -- he discovered nuclear fission. This nuclear process helps create electricity which makes it a potent way to produce power.
    Hahn work with Fermi, Oppenheimer and Lise Meitner. While Meitner was on the team that helped Hahn discover nuclear fission, she did not receive a Nobel Prize for her contributions to the research.
  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1954, and Nobel Peace Prize, 1962

One of the few people to receive two Nobel Prizes, Linus Pauling's first prize was for his research on chemical bonds and their role in complex substances, as well as the nature of ionic and covalent bonds.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his activism against weapons of mass destruction and the nuclear arms race. He was also known as a proponent of megavitiamin therapy and using Vitamin C to help cure cancer.

    7. Linus Pauling

    Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1954, and Nobel Peace Prize, 1962
    One of the few people to receive two Nobel Prizes, Linus Pauling's first prize was for his research on chemical bonds and their role in complex substances, as well as the nature of ionic and covalent bonds.
    He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his activism against weapons of mass destruction and the nuclear arms race. He was also known as a proponent of megavitiamin therapy and using Vitamin C to help cure cancer.
  • Nobel Prize in Literature, 1954

It’s difficult to see the lasting effects of literature on the public consciousness. Those who have won the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature have all made an impact on the literary world. Still, none have left such a mark as Ernest Hemingway.

Praised by the Nobel Committee for his "mastery of the art of narrative," Hemingway wrote classics such as The Old Man and the Sea, A Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls. His works are still read the world over by both children and adults.

    8. Ernest Hemingway

    Nobel Prize in Literature, 1954
    It’s difficult to see the lasting effects of literature on the public consciousness. Those who have won the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature have all made an impact on the literary world. Still, none have left such a mark as Ernest Hemingway.
    Praised by the Nobel Committee for his "mastery of the art of narrative," Hemingway wrote classics such as The Old Man and the SeaA Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls. His works are still read the world over by both children and adults.
  • Nobel Peace Prize, 1970

Known as father of the "green revolution," Norman Borlaug won the Nobel Peace Price due to his work developing high-yielding, disease-resistant wheat. 

He took this crop to India, Pakistan and Mexico, which helped save many people from starvation. In essence, his life was dedicated to trying to solve world hunger by creating stronger, better crops.

    9. Norman Borlaug

    Nobel Peace Prize, 1970
    Known as father of the "green revolution," Norman Borlaug won the Nobel Peace Price due to his work developing high-yielding, disease-resistant wheat.
    He took this crop to India, Pakistan and Mexico, which helped save many people from starvation. In essence, his life was dedicated to trying to solve world hunger by creating stronger, better crops.
  • Nobel Prize in Economics, 1991

Ronald Coase described himself as an accidental economist, as he spent the majority of his career at the University of Chicago as a law professor. His article "The Nature of the Firm" changed the way economists understood why people create their own companies.

Another of his papers, "The Problem of Social Cost," examined the lack of effectiveness of the use of government intervention to restrain people and companies from using harmful practices. It also altered the way economists viewed property rights and licenses.

    10. Ronald Coase

    Nobel Prize in Economics, 1991
    Ronald Coase described himself as an accidental economist, as he spent the majority of his career at the University of Chicago as a law professor. His article "The Nature of the Firm" changed the way economists understood why people create their own companies.
    Another of his papers, "The Problem of Social Cost," examined the lack of effectiveness of the use of government intervention to restrain people and companies from using harmful practices. It also altered the way economists viewed property rights and licenses.
    VIDEO: YOUTUBE, UCHICAGO

SOURCE: 10 Nobel Laureates Who Changed The World (Mashable)

Friday, June 15, 2018

Patents


"IBM inventors received a record 9,043 patents in 2017, marking the company’s 25th consecutive year of U.S. patent leadership and crossing the 100,000-patent milestone. 
Nearly half of the patents granted to IBM in 2017 are pioneering advancements in AI, cloud computing, cybersecurity, blockchain and quantum computing."

- IBM Research 

MORE -

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Papers

The top 10 most popular scientific research papers of 2017
  1. Associations of fats and carbohydrate intake with cardiovascular disease and mortality in 18 countries from five continents (PURE): a prospective cohort study 
  2. Work organization and mental health problems in PhD students 
  3. Comparison of Hospital Mortality and Readmission Rates for Medicare Patients Treated by Male vs Female Physicians  
  4. Correction of a pathogenic gene mutation in human embryos  
  5. Gender stereotypes about intellectual ability emerge early and influence children’s interests  
  6. More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas  
  7. Worldwide trends in body-mass index, underweight, overweight, and obesity from 1975 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 2416 population-based measurement studies in 128·9 million children, adolescents, and adults  
  8. A Feathered Dinosaur Tail with Primitive Plumage Trapped in Mid-Cretaceous Amber  
  9. Efficacy and effectiveness of an rVSV-vectored vaccine in preventing Ebola virus disease: final results from the Guinea ring vaccination, open-label, cluster-randomised trial (Ebola Ça Suffit!)  
  10. An extra-uterine system to physiologically support the extreme premature lamb  

"To compile the list, Altmetric looked at a range of measures including mainstream news media references, Wikipedia citations, social media mentions and performance in scholarly spaces such as post-publication peer-review forums and patient advocacy groups. This image shows how the top-rating article performed on this range of alternative measures."
Access the full top 100 HERE:  altmetric.com/top100

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

People

10^9  2^32  <  Number of human people in the world  <  10^10 

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Monday, April 30, 2018

The kids have changed

The 90s babies I used to teach had this astrological signature that made them "easy" - with Uranus-Neptune in Capricorn, they respect tradition and order and are likely to love teachers and tradition as a result.  This group was born in the late eighties to mid-nineties and I stopped working at the university in 2016.

Those two planets - Uranus and Neptune - shifted from Capricorn into Aquarius around 1997, signifying that those born in this new influence will collectively or on average be a source of bafflement to me: you can expect them to not want to be painted into straight lines and to not care for any kind of regime at all, to not want to be understood, controlled, refined or contained.

So I won't be teaching for a while.  Really.  There seems to be no point.

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

All of engineering and mathematics in two #MindMaps

Map of Engineering, found on mindmapart.com
I like the perspective that engineering is not all "software" and "IT" "tech" but instead encompasses a broad range of old and new staples of human heritage. 

Also that it is not all theory, nor does it fit neatly into the popular academic departments like mechanical and electrical and so on. 
In practice, engineering is interdisciplinary, mingling with perhaps every discipline we have. 

ASEE/Wikipedia - Most 2006-2015 USA bachelor's degrees in engineering are in Mechanical-Industrial and Electrical-Computer


Map of mathematics, found on sciencealert.com
This map of mathematics is not only available as a chart, but also a brisk+dense  youtube video (channel name: Domain Of Science) that I've watched a few times and still don't grasp, but ok, I bet there'll soon be a smoother version.

My other main response was to the final moments of the video - the segment on the "foundations of mathematics" seen here in the top left.  I recall feeling a slight alarm maybe mixed with enjoyment too, at the reminder that all of this is invented, made up, an edifice, merely an image of God, but certainly not all of it. 

Mathematics may not be all there is, but it is a beautiful representation; allows for beautiful representations.  And it is artistic.  And sexy. 

Also, without math, there might be no engineering.  

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Gates into engineering :: on how best to train engineers

Essay 1: Kindly provided by Zeno Gaburro
Essay 2: Kindly provided by t - that's me 

Both are from early 2016 and address questions posed as part of the hiring process at a cool new university in Africa.  Enjoy and critique.

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