UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.-- Enrique Del Castillo, distinguished professor of industrial engineering and professor of statistics at Penn State, has returned from his Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, where he conducted research at the University of Coimbra in Coimbra, Portugal. Awarded by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, Del Castillo was one of approximately 800 U.S. citizens selected to take their expertise abroad for the 2019-20 academic year through the program. Recipients of Fulbright Awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields. The research project for which he was granted the Fulbright Fellowship, titled "Optimization and control of industrial production processes by active learning methods based on'big' and complex data," sought collaborative research between Penn State's Engineering Statistics and Machine Learning Laboratory and the University of Coimbra's chemometrics group in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Del Castillo worked on the optimization of production processes via machine learning for various industries with the chemometrics group; in particular, they focused on wine, paper and pharmaceuticals.
Machine Learning, a recurrent and obvious topic in Science and Technology, will also radically change the way research is carried out in the Social Sciences and the Humanities in a near future. A close cooperation between SSH scholars and computer scientists could have a huge impact on both SSH and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related research topics. On the one hand, social scientists and humanities scholars may not be able to design and implement themselves the machine learning algorithms they need for their research. The role of a linguist, a historian or a social scientist should be thus to help computer scientists outperform current machine learning models by offering them theoretical approaches both could adapt together to improve their accuracy. This conference, organised by the Social Sciences and Humanities Working Group of the Coimbra Group, will explore the practical possibilities Machine Learning offers to selected research fields within SSH, particularly linguistics, literature, musicology, and sociology.
Do you find yourself making multiple trips to Starbucks daily? Well, those caffeine headaches and jitters may be worth it in the long run. New research from the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee found that people who drink between three and five cups of coffee daily may lower their risk of Alzheimer's, dementia, and Parkinson's disease by up to 27 percent. "Moderate coffee consumption could play a significant role in reducing cognitive decline which would impact health outcomes and healthcare spending," said professor Rodrigo A. Cunha of University of Coimbra in Portugal. The combination of caffeine, antioxidants, and polyphenol naturally found in coffee are the likely contributing factors to this scientific discovery.