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Reading: Books with busy pictures 'make it harder for kids to focus and understand the story'

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Illustrating children's books with too many detailed, non-essential pictures makes it'harder for kids to focus and absorb knowledge', a study has demonstrated. Colourful pictures intended to motivate young readers may achieve the exact opposite by drawing attention away from the story text, US researchers warned. Although reading is considered a'gateway for learning', around 20 per cent of children in the UK do not meet the minimum level of literacy proficiency. Children's books typically include eye-catching illustrations to help readers visualise the characters and setting of the story. However, eye-tracking studies found that too many pictures can prove distracting.

What I learned as a college student running a large open-source project


My name is Palash Shah, and I'm the author of Libra: a machine learning library that lets you build and train models in one line of code. My journey in the open source community started as a normal college student -- I worked on my library after classes in my dorm room. Quite quickly though, it began to grow into something much bigger than that, going from 0 to close to 2,000 stars in under a month. All of a sudden it was being used at universities like Carnegie Mellon and MIT in several of their machine learning classes. As someone who previously had no professional presence and/or connections in the technical industry, my experience starting this project was unique compared to the rest of the players in this space.

NASSCOM FutureSkills and Microsoft launch AI Classroom Series


New Delhi, September 10, 2020: As part of its ongoing efforts to promote skilling as a national priority, NASSCOM FutureSkills and Microsoft have joined hands to launch a nation-wide AI skilling initiative. The initiative aims to skill 1 million students in AI by 2021. The collaboration will provide Microsoft's AI, machine learning and data science expertise to students through easy to consume modules including live demos, hands on workshops and assignments. These introductory sessions on AI will be available for undergraduate students at no cost and will cover the basics of data science, machine learning models on Azure, and understanding of cognitive services to build intelligent solutions. The partnership with NASSCOM FutureSkills is an extension of Microsoft's global skilling initiative to help 25 million people worldwide acquire new digital skills, needed to thrive in a digital economy.

Duke U. lands $3M training grant for artificial intelligence research


DURHAM – The National Science Foundation has awarded Duke University a $3 million, five-year Research Traineeship grant to develop a program for graduate students to develop expertise in using artificial intelligence (AI) for materials science research. The aiM (AI for Understanding and Designing Materials), program will fill a vital workforce gap by training the next generation in the new convergent field of materials and computer science research. "To achieve the promise of the U.S. Materials Genome Initiative of accelerated discovery, design and application of new materials, we must integrate the traditional tools of experimentation, theory and computation with the emerging tools of data science to transform the way we approach materials understanding and discovery," said Cate Brinson, chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science and director of aiM. The Materials Genome Initiative (MGI), launched in 2011, is a multi-agency federal government effort to accelerate the development and deployment of new, advanced materials to address a host of challenges in clean energy, national security, health and welfare. "The MGI promoted a paradigm shift from slow individual experiments and computation to the beginnings of data-driven AI approaches in materials science research," added Brinson.

Integrating AI Ethics into Higher Education Curricula in Africa – RAIN-Africa


How is AI Ethics and Responsible AI currently being taught in Computer Science and Engineering Curriculums across Africa? What issues related to this topic are relevant to students and faculty? And what roadblocks or challenges are instructors facing to bring more discussion of AI ethics to classrooms? The goal of this workshop is to foster a discussion on how to effectively integrate AI Ethics into Computer Science/Engineering programs at African Universities. This is an initial step to gather perspectives on the current situation at representative universities in different countries in Africa, and to initiate a discussion on how we can better support each other with lessons learned and share materials/curriculums to further develop AI ethics programs in higher education. After identifying the current state, the interests of students and faculty and the needs of departments in this workshop session, the goal is to continue the series with more in-depth workshops on specific topics.

Math You Don't Need to Know for Machine Learning


Grab a copy of The Elements of Statistical Learning ("the machine learning bible") and you might be a little overwhelmed by the mathematics. For example, this equation (p.34), for a cubic smoothing spline, might send shivers down your spine if math isn't your forte: In order to grasp that equation, nested firmly in the "Introductory" section of the book, you need to know function notation, sigma (summation) notation, derivatives, and Greek letters. Basically, if you haven't taken a calculus class, you're not going to be able to follow along. But, do you really need to know all of that math to grasp the fundamentals of ML? An Introduction to Statistical Learning covers much of the same material, but in a less mathematical way.

One farmer finds answer to ESL students' virtual learning struggles

FOX News

For non-native speaking English students, trying to get good grades while learning a new language can be challenging at the best of times, but as classes turn virtual some students are being left behind. BUCKEYE, Az. -- Virtual classrooms are the new normal for many students, but for non-native speaking English students, trying to get good grades can be challenging in the best of times. As classes turn virtual due to COVID-19, some students are being left behind. Valeria Gonzalez, 11, told Fox News that her school in Buckeye, Az., doesn't offer a virtual English as a second language (ESL) program. All of her classes are taught by an English speaking teacher with no Spanish translation.

Drones – the New Critical Infrastructure


Be prepared in the near future when you gaze into the blue skies to perceive a whole series of strange-looking things – no, they will not be birds, nor planes, or even superman. They may be temporarily, and in some cases startlingly mistaken as UFOs, given their bizarre and ominous appearance. But, in due course, they will become recognized as valuable objects of a new era of human-made flying machines, intended to serve a broad range of missions and objectives. Many such applications are already incorporated and well entrenched in serving essential functions for extending capabilities in our vital infrastructures such as transportation, utilities, the electric grid, agriculture, emergency services, and many others. Rapidly advancing technologies have made possible the dramatic capabilities of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV/drones) to uniquely perform various functions that were inconceivable a mere few years ago.

Master's degree in artificial intelligence now within reach of low-income students


Researchers from Florida Atlantic University's College of Engineering and Computer Science have received a four-year, $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation for a project to make the master's degree in artificial intelligence (AI) accessible to high-achieving, low-income students. The accelerated five-year bachelor's degree in science and master's degree in AI program is designed to adapt curricular and co-curricular support to enable students to complete their degrees in AI, autonomous systems or machine learning, which are critically important areas needed to advance America's global competitiveness and national security. "Artificial intelligence is transforming every walk of life from business to healthcare and enabling us to rethink how we analyze data, integrate massive amounts of information and make informed decisions that impact society, the economy and governance," said Stella Batalama, Ph.D., dean of FAU's College of Engineering and Computer Science and a co-principal investigator of the grant. "This important grant from the National Science Foundation will allow us to recruit and train talented and diverse students who are economically disadvantaged and provide them with a unique opportunity to pursue graduate education in an exciting and burgeoning field." By preparing increased numbers of high-achieving, low-income students to become engineers in these fields, this project addresses the need for growing a more diverse STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) research population.