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Improving Data Mobility and Management for International Cosmology

Improving Data Mobility and Management for International Cosmology Workshop

January 28, 2015 3:06 pm | by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Events

Registration is now open for a workshop on “Improving Data Mobility and Management for International Cosmology” to be held February 10-11, 2015, at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. The workshop, one in a series of Cross-Connects workshops, is sponsored the by the Deptartment of Energy’s ESnet and Internet2. Early registration is encouraged, as attendance is limited.

British Code Breaker Alan Turing's Notebook Goes to Auction

January 26, 2015 1:33 pm | by AP | News | Comments

A handwritten notebook by Alan Turing, the World War II code-breaking genius depicted by...

Predicting Concrete Flow Properties from Simple Measurements

January 23, 2015 2:44 pm | by NIST | News | Comments

Just because concrete is the most widely used building material in human history doesn’t mean it...

Optimizing Optimization Algorithms: How to Get the Best Results

January 23, 2015 2:36 pm | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments

Optimization algorithms, which try to find the minimum values of mathematical functions, are...

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This puzzle of a material which seems solid to any observer while appearing fluid under the microscope is an old one. And, even with the help of today's supercomputers, it seems impossible to verify in simulations whether a glass ever stops flowing. Court

Puzzle: Does Glass Ever Stop Flowing?

January 22, 2015 2:15 pm | by University of Bristol | News | Comments

Is glass a true solid? Researchers have combined computer simulation and information theory, originally invented for telephone communication and cryptography, to answer this puzzling question. This puzzle of a material which seems solid to any observer while appearing fluid under the microscope is an old one. And, even with the help of today's supercomputers, it seems impossible to verify in simulations whether a glass ever stops flowing.

One aspect of the user-assistance software that distinguishes it from previous planning systems is that it assesses risk. Courtesy of Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT

Software that Knows the Risks: Planning Algorithms Evaluate Probability of Success, Suggest Low-risk Alternatives

January 16, 2015 1:57 pm | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments

Imagine that you could tell your phone that you want to drive from your house in Boston to a hotel in upstate New York, that you want to stop for lunch at an Applebee’s around 12:30, and that you don’t want the trip to take more than four hours. Then imagine that your phone tells you that you have only a 66 percent chance of meeting those criteria — but that if you can wait until 1:00 for lunch, or if you’re willing to eat at TGI Friday...

Developing a more efficient vision system for household robots. Courtesy of Christine Daniloff and Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT

MIT Algorithm Helps Household Robots Identify Items Concealed in Clutter

January 15, 2015 9:49 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments

For household robots to be practical, they need to be able to recognize the objects they’re supposed to manipulate. While object recognition is one of the most widely studied topics in AI, even the best detectors still fail much of the time. Researchers believe the robots should take advantage of their mobility, imaging objects from multiple perspectives. Matching up objects in the different images, however, poses computational challenges.

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Terence Tao, a professor of mathematics at UCLA, is very interested in solving the Navier-Stokes equations, which are among the most difficult tackled by mathematicians. Understanding them could help with modeling weather, ocean currents, the flow of wate

Can Wave Equations Explode? Computer Algorithms may Provide the Answer

January 13, 2015 1:43 pm | by Marlene Cimons, National Science Foundation | News | Comments

Wave equations help describe waves of light, sound and water as they occur in physics. Also known as partial differential equations, they have valuable potential for predicting weather or earthquakes, or certain types of natural disasters. Tao is interested in the theoretical side of these equations, seeking to discover with computer algorithms whether they can behave in a way that typically is the opposite of what occurs in the real world.

The Chern-number measurement using an external force

Magic Numbers of Quantum Matter Revealed by Cold Atoms

January 13, 2015 11:19 am | by Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics | News | Comments

Topology, a branch of mathematics classifying geometric objects, has been exploited by physicists to predict and describe unusual quantum phases: the topological states of matter. These intriguing phases, generally accessible at very low temperature, exhibit unique conductivity properties, which are particularly robust against external perturbations, suggesting promising technological applications.

The results show that, by mining Facebook Likes, the computer model was able to predict a person's personality more accurately than most of their friends and family.

AI: Computers Know the Real You Better than Friends, Family

January 13, 2015 10:01 am | by University of Cambridge | News | Comments

Researchers have found that, based on enough Facebook Likes, computers can judge your personality traits better than your friends, family and even your partner. Using a new algorithm, researchers have calculated the average number of Likes artificial intelligence (AI) needs to draw personality inferences about you as accurately as your partner or parents.

John Wass is a statistician based in Chicago, IL.

Book Review: Applied Bayesian Modelling, 2nd Edition

January 13, 2015 8:59 am | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

This is not a text for the novice. However, for those math/statistics aficionados, there is much to be had. The book’s great strength lies in two areas: the first is Peter Congdon’s generation of an excellent bibliography of the most modern techniques available, and the other is his (slightly) more straightforward explanations of the strengths and weaknesses of these techniques and suggestions for optimizing the results.

William Weaver is an associate professor in the Department of Integrated Science, Business, and Technology at La Salle University.

By Any Other Name: The Central Role of Informatics in STEM Education

January 9, 2015 3:05 pm | by William Weaver, Ph.D. | Blogs | Comments

The human lament that things in the past were much simpler is an accurate observation made from the perspective of riding along an exponentially increasing complexity curve. Examining the present or looking into the future can be a confusing torrent of concepts, vocabulary and technologies that appear to be spiraling out-of-control. At the First IEEE Integrated STEM Education Conference, Professor Steve Zilora reflected on this increase...

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Hole cards in a game of Texas Hold 'em. A computer program that taught itself to play poker has created nearly the best possible strategy for one version of the game, showing the value of techniques that may prove useful for real-world challenges Courtesy

Game Theory: Self-taught Program Finds Ideal Poker Strategy

January 9, 2015 10:14 am | by Malcolm Ritter, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

A computer program that taught itself to play poker has created nearly the best possible strategy for one version of the game, showing the value of techniques that may prove useful to help decision-making in medicine and other areas. The program considered 24 trillion simulated poker hands per second for two months, probably playing more poker than all humanity has ever experienced.

 Using a new algorithm ECG map can help diagnose the location of cardiac disorder in a way which is better for the patients and more cost effective for health services. Courtesy of Meul

Electrocardiogram Algorithm Pinpoints exact Location of Heart Defects

January 8, 2015 3:15 pm | by Manchester University | News | Comments

A new technique to help surgeons find the exact location of heart defects could save lives, help them to treat patients more effectively and save health service cash. The development will allow non-invasive detection of the origin of heart problems and allow more effective treatment.

Geoff Pryde from Griffith's Centre for Quantum Dynamics led a team that showed the quantum-refereed steering protocol can match tests for strong entanglement in not requiring trust in the measuring devices, and has the further advantage of being robust to

Quantum Steering Enhances Internet Data Security

January 8, 2015 12:26 pm | by Griffith University | News | Comments

Research conducted at Griffith University may lead to greatly improved security of information transfer over the Internet. Physicists from the Centre for Quantum Dynamics demonstrate the potential for "quantum steering" to be used to enhance data security over long distances, discourage hackers and eavesdroppers and resolve issues of trust with communication devices.

Approximately 3,000 FRC teams are projected to compete for the chance to gain top honors at the FIRST Championship, which will take place April 22 to 25 in St. Louis, MO.

2015 FIRST Robotics Competition Kicks Off

January 7, 2015 2:45 pm | by Automation Federation | News | Comments

Nearly 75,000 high-school students on approximately 3,000 teams at 107 venues around the globe joined the kickoff event on January 3, 2015, of the 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) via live Comcast NBCUniversal broadcast. FIRST is a not-for-profit organization devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for science, engineering, technology and math.

The top figure shows the progression of deflagration through the explosive cylinders (light blue) transitioning to detonation (0.710 msec). The dark blue region shows the position of the 2D pressure slice illustrated in the bottom figure. Courtesy of Jacq

Large-scale 3-D Simulations Aim at Safer Transport of Explosives

January 7, 2015 2:20 pm | by Jim Collins, Argonne Leadership Computing Facility | News | Comments

In 2005, a semi-truck hauling 35,000 pounds of explosives through the Spanish Fork Canyon in Utah crashed and caught fire, causing a dramatic explosion that left a 30-by-70-foot crater in the highway. Fortunately, there were no fatalities. Such accidents are extremely rare but can, obviously, have devastating results. So, understanding better exactly how such explosions occur can be an important step to learning how better to prevent them.

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A heat map of a home captured by one of Essess' thermal-imaging cars. Courtesy of Essess

Drive-by Heat Mapping: Thermal Imaging Tracks Energy Leaks in Thousands of Homes

January 6, 2015 12:04 pm | by Rob Matheson, MIT | News | Comments

In 2007, Google unleashed a fleet of cars with roof-mounted cameras to provide street-level images of roads around the world. Now, an MIT spinout is bringing similar drive-by innovations to energy efficiency by deploying cars with thermal-imaging rooftop rigs that create heat maps of thousands of homes and buildings per hour, detecting fixable leaks in building envelopes — windows, doors, walls and foundations — to help curb energy loss.

A leading cause of skin and wound infections once confined largely to hospitals and nursing homes, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is now cropping up in schools, farms and locker rooms, infecting otherwise healthy people. Researchers

Algorithm Predicts Superbugs' Countermoves

January 2, 2015 4:24 pm | by Duke University | News | Comments

With drug-resistant bacteria on the rise, even common infections that were easily controlled for decades — such as pneumonia — are proving trickier to treat with standard antibiotics. New drugs are desperately needed, but so are ways to maximize the effective lifespan of these drugs. Researchers used software they developed to predict a constantly-evolving infectious bacterium's countermoves to one of these new drugs ahead of time...

Trophic Coherence allows food webs to become larger while maintaining stability, a bit like flying buttresses were the element needed for cathedrals to do likewise. Courtesy of Additya

Universal Mathematical Property Identified in Every Ecosystem in Nature

December 24, 2014 9:58 am | by University of Warwick | News | Comments

A previously unknown mathematical property has been found to be behind one of nature’s greatest mysteries — how ecosystems survive. Found in nature and common to all ecosystems, Trophic Coherence is a measure of how plant and animal life interact within the food web of each ecosystem — providing scientists with the first-ever mathematical understanding of their architecture and how food webs are able to grow larger and more stable

City lights shine brighter during the holidays in the U.S. when compared with the rest of the year, as shown using a new analysis of daily data from the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite. Dark green pixels are areas where lights are 50 percent brighter, or mo

It’s Official: Our Holiday Lights are So Bright, We can see them from Space

December 22, 2014 2:51 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

With a new look at daily data from the NOAA/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite, a NASA scientist and colleagues have identified how patterns in nighttime light intensity change during major holiday seasons — Christmas and New Year's in the United States and the holy month of Ramadan in the Middle East.

This simulation illustrates the total mass density (left) and temperature (right) of a dimethyl ether jet fuel simulation. It is a snapshot of the solution that corresponds to a physical time of 0.00006 seconds. Courtesy of Matthew Emmett, Weiqun Zhang

Optimized Algorithms Give Combustion Simulations a Boost

December 18, 2014 4:32 pm | by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

Turbulent combustion simulations, which provide input to the design of more fuel-efficient combustion systems, have gotten their own efficiency boost. Researchers developed new algorithmic features that streamline turbulent flame simulations, which play an important role in designing more efficient combustion systems. They tested the enhanced code on the Hopper supercomputer and achieved a dramatic decrease in simulation times.

In theoretical math, the term "moonshine" refers to an idea so seemingly impossible that it seems like lunacy.

Mathematicians prove Umbral Moonshine Conjecture

December 17, 2014 3:08 pm | by Carol Clark, Emory University | News | Comments

Monstrous moonshine, a quirky pattern of the monster group in theoretical math, has a shadow — umbral moonshine. Mathematicians have proved this insight, known as the Umbral Moonshine Conjecture, offering a formula with potential applications for everything from number theory to geometry to quantum physics.

SFU computer scientist Richard Zhang holds a Christmas tree, left, that was 3D-printed in the traditional manner, and the same tree, right, printed with assistance from a new algorithm he developed with Ph.D. student Ruizhen Hu. The Christmas tree on the

New Algorithm Prints with Zero Material Waste

December 16, 2014 11:09 am | by Diane Luckow, Simon Fraser University | News | Comments

Just in time for Christmas, Richard Zhang reveals how to print a 3-D Christmas tree efficiently and with zero material waste, using the world’s first algorithm for automatically decomposing a 3-D object into what are called pyramidal parts. The algorithm promises to become a big deal in the world of 3-D printing, and also has applications for designing molds and for casting.

Big Data and genetic complexity: HotNet2 helps define the terrain for complex genetic associations involved in cancer. “The next step,” says researcher Ben Raphael, “is translating all of this information from cancer sequencing into clinically actionable

Big Data v. Cancer: Algorithm Identifies Genetic Changes across Cancers

December 15, 2014 4:00 pm | by Brown University | News | Comments

Using a computer algorithm that can sift through mounds of genetic data, researchers from Brown University have identified several networks of genes that, when hit by a mutation, could play a role in the development of multiple types of cancer. The algorithm, called Hotnet2, was used to analyze genetic data from 12 different types of cancer assembled as part of the pan-cancer project of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA).

For the family of bee-eaters (on the photo Merops bullocki), the study revealed a close relationship to oscine birds, parrots, and birds of prey. Courtesy of Peter Houde

Bird Tree of Life Reproduced using Gene Analysis, Supercomputing

December 15, 2014 1:57 pm | by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | News | Comments

About 95 percent of the more than 10,000 bird species known only evolved upon the extinction of dinosaurs about 66 million years ago. According to computer analyses of the genetic data, today's diversity developed from a few species at a virtually explosive rate after 15 million years. Scientists designed the algorithms for the comprehensive analysis of the evolution of birds; a computing capacity of 300 processor-years was required.

Michael Boruta is Optical Spectroscopy Product Manager at ACD/Labs

Accessibility of Data and Application of Algorithms to Provide Insights in Predictive Analytics

December 15, 2014 11:56 am | by Michael Boruta, ACD/Labs | Blogs | Comments

Although there are a diverse range of applications for predictive analytics in R&D, two common basic requirements are data and insight. Data may be generated by running experiments/analyses, or re-applied from previous work when available. Insights come from application of knowledge — both explicitand tacit. There are a variety of roles for informatics in predictive analytics...

Madhu Sudan and his colleagues have begun to describe theoretical limits on the degree of imprecision that communicating computers can tolerate, with very real implications for the design of communication protocols. Courtesy of Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT

New Theory could Yield More Reliable Communication Protocols

December 12, 2014 5:23 pm | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments

Communication protocols for digital devices are very efficient but also very brittle: They require information to be specified in a precise order with a precise number of bits. If sender and receiver — say, a computer and a printer — are off by even a single bit relative to each other, communication between them breaks down entirely.

The ancient Antikythera relic was rescued from a shipwreck. Courtesy of Giovanni Dall Orto

World's Oldest Computer, Ancient Greek Antikythera Mechanism, 100 Years Older than Previously Believed

December 9, 2014 2:10 pm | by University of Puget Sound | News | Comments

An ancient Greek astronomical puzzle has one more piece in place. The new evidence results from research by James Evans, professor of physics at University of Puget Sound, and Christián Carman, history of science professor at University of Quilmes, Argentina. The two researchers published a paper advancing our understanding of the Antikythera Mechanism, an ancient Greek mechanism that modeled the known universe of 2,000 years ago. 

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