Tag Archives: information

students and schools • Re: Students Hard at Work

Ryan_T_Genena wrote:
designbreathing wrote:
Can you share any final presentation evaluation criteria for student universal design projects?

Cheers from Seoul

I am one of the students in the class, however, I think this information from the syllabus will answer your question to my best ability.

“Designed solutions provide some kind of interface between the user, the object, and the environment. Examine the relationships between our bodies and the built environment. We will utilize both anthropometrics and field testing to design objects with which we physically engage our bodies.”

Research (20%), Visual Presentation (20%), Craftsmanship (20%), Process (20%), and Human Factors (20%).

You can also refer to the competition criteria at http://gero.usc.edu/udcompetition/.

edit: my peers also had significantly varying degrees of sensitivity. One of the criteria our professor tried to push us towards was to design with empathy. Here’s some more information on the assignment criteria from the project brief:

Option 1 - “Develop a product/prototype that embraces and utilizes the ideas and principles of Universal Design for use at home” as an entry into the USC School of Gerontology Universal Design Competition.
Option 2 - Choose your own adventure. Identify a product category with opportunities for ergonomic improvement and design a new product that overcomes the problems that you uncover during the research phase of the project.

What is that competition, could you tell me more about that competition, please?


How Do You Quality-Test A “Smart Pill”?

You can’t exactly tell a research subject, “swallow this technology and see what happens.”

Earlier this week, the FDA granted its first-ever approval for a “smart pill”–a psychiatric medication that comes with a tiny sensor in every dose. The system is called Abilify MyCite. The idea is that when you take the pill, the sensor sends a signal to a patch you wear on your arm indicating that you’ve correctly dosed. The patch then transmits the information to a smartphone app that logs and tracks your medication schedule, as well as other relevant metrics like mood changes.

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Scientists To Trump: Stop Trying To Use Racist AI

ICE wants a machine learning system to automate its decision-making. Scientists, engineers, and technologists say it’s a bad idea.

Machine learning algorithms are good at a lot of things, but they’re not so good at producing unbiased results–especially when they’re working with data that’s already biased. Yet the Trump administration is looking for a way to automate immigration decisions using AI based on biased and irrelevant information. And now, scientists are refusing.

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FDA approves first smart pill that tracks drug regimen compliance from the inside

The smart pill contains a drug and a sensor that notifies an app recording when the ...

The FDA has approved the first smart pill for use in the United States. Called Abilify MyCite, the pill contains a drug and an ingestible sensor that is activated when it comes into contact with stomach fluid to detect when the pill has been taken. The pill then transmits this data to a wearable patch that subsequently transfers the information to an app on a paired smartphone. From that point, with a patient’s consent, the data can be accessed by the patient’s doctors or caregivers via a web portal.

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general design discussion • Re: Branding Help

Hi,

I really appreciate your thoughts! Yes, ‘Founding’ is a good name to me. If you are still in need of selecting a brand and domain name, then here are few things that you should check when considering a domain name:

1. User Perspective: Your brand/domain name needs to be easy to read, easy to remember, and easy to say.

2. Brand Perspective: It is better to have the brand name as domain name. The domain needs the right extension and uniqueness.

3. SEO Perspective:

If you are selecting a brand name that doesn’t describe your products at all, then go with it as long as it is unique.
If you selecting or seeking a name that will focus on products too with the intent of unique branding then you should care about relevance and search terms (only seed keywords like Brandname+shoes).
It is not good to use EMD. also, you can consult an SEO company (like https://qodemedia.com or any other qualified SEO companies) if you need to know more SEO for selecting an SEO friendly domains. My recommendation is to go with just a unique brand name.

4. Legal Perspective- It is a wise step if you think about the copyright & trademark at the beginning. It will secure your future steps in branding and networking. Just go to the sites that provide data on exists trademarks and copyright information like copyright[.]gov and others and confirm you are using a unique brand name.

Source: https://problogger.com/4-things-to-cons … main-name/

Thanks


students and schools • Re: Students Hard at Work

designbreathing wrote:
Can you share any final presentation evaluation criteria for student universal design projects?

Cheers from Seoul

I am one of the students in the class, however, I think this information from the syllabus will answer your question to my best ability.

“Designed solutions provide some kind of interface between the user, the object, and the environment. Examine the relationships between our bodies and the built environment. We will utilize both anthropometrics and field testing to design objects with which we physically engage our bodies.”

Research (20%), Visual Presentation (20%), Craftsmanship (20%), Process (20%), and Human Factors (20%).

You can also refer to the competition criteria at http://gero.usc.edu/udcompetition/.

edit: my peers also had significantly varying degrees of sensitivity. One of the criteria our professor tried to push us towards was to design with empathy. Here’s some more information on the assignment criteria from the project brief:

Option 1 - “Develop a product/prototype that embraces and utilizes the ideas and principles of Universal Design for use at home” as an entry into the USC School of Gerontology Universal Design Competition.
Option 2 - Choose your own adventure. Identify a product category with opportunities for ergonomic improvement and design a new product that overcomes the problems that you uncover during the research phase of the project.


Afghan politics sway how textbooks portray women

The way Afghan schoolbooks portray women and girls fluctuates sharply—from egalitarian to nearly nonexistent to largely traditional—depending on the regime in power.

“In almost all other nations, if you look at gender representation in textbooks, the trend is progressive,” says coauthor Somaye Sarvarzade, who earned a master’s degree in international educational administration and policy analysis from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education in 2015.

“In Muslim countries, in post-conflict countries, in Europe, in the United States—everywhere, it’s progressing. But in Afghanistan, it’s different.”

“In Muslim countries, in post-conflict countries, in Europe, in the United States—everywhere, it’s progressing. But in Afghanistan, it’s different.”

The findings are noteworthy, says coauthor Christine Min Wotipka, associate professor of teaching, in that they demonstrate how primary school textbooks are being used by a nation to sway its youngest students toward a particular view of women’s place in society.

“These were language arts textbooks for pretty young kids. It really shows the value of textbooks to influence the minds and hearts of children—not just about what it means to be an Afghan citizen, but about what they think is proper behavior for girls and women.”

For the study, that appears in Comparative Education, the researchers looked at textbooks used from 1980 to 2010 in first and second grade to teach Dari, one of two national languages in Afghanistan. The books’ aim was to teach basic literacy, not history—so they could feature stories and examples with characters of any gender, in any scenario.

Both girls and boys used the textbooks, though historically girls’ access to education has been heavily restricted. While girls were almost completely banned from attending school during the Taliban regime, in recent years they have come to comprise nearly 40 percent of Afghan schoolchildren, according to the nation’s Ministry of Education.

To uncover the messages primary school textbooks were sending about female roles in social and working life, researchers analyzed the nature and frequency of girls’ and women’s presence in the books. Were they depicted as often as boys and men? Did they play central, non-stereotypical roles that extended beyond supporting male characters? Did they participate in activities like those of their male counterparts, especially in the workforce?

The first textbooks studied were published in 1980, when Afghanistan was under communist rule. Here, female characters reflected progressive ideals: Women were portrayed as professionals and skilled laborers; girls demonstrated ambitions to advance their education and enter the workforce.

“Women could be doctors; they could be engineers.”

Male and female characters appeared in equal measure, both inside and outside the home. Notably, younger women were pictured in nontraditional dress and mostly without hijab (head scarves).

“For good or bad, women were more equal in that system,” Wotipka says. “Women could be doctors; they could be engineers. The way they were presented in the textbooks was a way to show support for women in these roles.”

In the early 1990s, anti-communist Muslim guerrillas pushed out the country’s Soviet leadership and, in 1996, the Taliban rose to power. The textbooks used under these two regimes—in stark contrast to those of the Soviet era—eliminated nearly all depiction of women and girls—and when included, a militant ideology devalued them.

In the very rare instances where female characters appeared, they were relegated to domestic settings—doing chores and staying home—while male characters went to school or to war.

After the Taliban regime collapsed in 2001, women and girls reappeared in new textbooks issued under a democratically elected administration. But with the continued threat of Taliban forces looming over the nation, female characters are far more passive and less ubiquitous than they were in the Soviet-era textbooks. While men are seen in a variety of professions, female workers are shown only as teachers. Conforming to the practice of conventional Islam, most girls are depicted in hijab.

“There’s a more modern perspective now among people who live in the cities, but they know the Taliban are still in the country and don’t want to upset these conservative forces,” says Wotipka. “At this stage, the textbooks represent an effort to balance out the different values in the country.”

How ‘hearts and minds’ strategy endangers Afghan civilians

The study reflects Sarvarzade’s own experience as a woman born in Afghanistan. Sarvarzade was 10 years old in 1996 when the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, though she and her family were living in Iran as refugees at the time.

Growing up with five brothers, she pushed against cultural expectations for girls at home and at school. Many of her female cousins and classmates left school and married young, but Sarvarzade went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering.

She received a Fulbright scholarship that brought her to Stanford. “I felt empowered because of my education,” she says. “I saw that education was something that could empower a whole community, a whole country.”

Many of China’s ‘missing girls’ are likely hiding

Intrigued by Wotipka’s past research on textbook narratives, Sarvarzade leveraged her connections in Afghanistan to secure schoolbooks from different regimes over the decades.

Two years ago, after earning her master’s degree, Sarvarzade returned to her hometown in Afghanistan, where she works as an education officer for UNICEF. In that role, she helps establish classrooms, train teachers, and ensure basic supplies for children in Afghan communities without government-funded schools.

In regions like these, Wotipka says, textbooks can be one of the only means for sharing information and values. “These places are not going to have access to resources like computers and videos. But every classroom in the world is going to have at least one set of textbooks. They still play a very important role in how most kids are getting educated around the world, especially at younger ages.”

Source: Carrie Spector for Stanford University

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Microbiome database spans 7 continents, 27,000 samples

Researchers have created the first database of the bacteria colonizing the planet. Called the Earth Microbiome Project, the work involves over 27,000 samples from environments around the world.

“There are large swathes of microbial diversity left to catalogue…”

Researchers analyzed the collections of microbes, or microbiomes, in each sample to generate the database. The project, founded in 2010, will continue to grow and improve as new data are added.

“The potential applications for this database and the types of research questions we can now ask are almost limitless,” says Rob Knight, project cofounder and professor and director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation at University of California, San Diego.

“Here’s just one example—we can now identify what kind of environment a sample came from in more than 90 percent of cases, just by knowing its microbiome, or the types and relative quantities of microbes living in it. That could be useful forensic information at a crime scene,” he says.

Goals and methods

The goal of the Earth Microbiome Project is to sample as many of the Earth’s microbial communities as possible in order to advance scientific understanding of microbes and their relationships with their environments, including plants, animals, and humans.

So far the project has spanned seven continents and 43 countries, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and more than 500 researchers have contributed to the sample and data collection. Project members are using this information as part of approximately 100 studies, half of which have appeared in peer-reviewed journals.

Project members analyze bacterial diversity among various environments, geographies, and chemistries by sequencing the 16S rRNA gene, a genetic marker specific for bacteria and their relatives, archaea. The 16S rRNA sequences serve as “barcodes” to identify different types of bacteria, allowing researchers to track them across samples from around the world.

Earth Microbiome Project researchers also use a new method to remove sequencing errors in the data, allowing them to get a more accurate picture of the number of unique sequences in the microbiomes.

Within this first release of data, the Earth Microbiome Project team identified around 300,000 unique microbial 16S rRNA sequences, almost 90 percent of which don’t have exact matches in pre-existing databases.

Pre-existing 16S rRNA sequences are limited because they were not designed to allow researchers to add data in a way that’s useful for the future.

“Before, you had to write in to get your sequence listed,” says project coauthor Jon Sanders, “and the listing would contain very little information about where the sequence came from or what other sequences it was found with. Now, we have a framework that supports all that additional context, and which can grow organically to support new kinds of questions and insights.”

Could tree microbiomes cut fertilizer on crops?

“There are large swathes of microbial diversity left to catalogue,” says Gilbert. “And yet we’ve ‘recaptured’ about half of all known bacterial sequences. With this information, patterns in the distribution of the Earth’s microbes are already emerging.”

Surprising findings

According to Gilbert, one of the most surprising observations is that unique 16S sequences are far more specific to individual environments than are the typical units of species used by scientists. The diversity of environments sampled by the Earth Microbiome Project helps demonstrate just how much local environment shapes the microbiome.

For example, the skin microbiomes of cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and fish are more similar to each other than they are to the water they swim in; conversely, the salt in saltwater microbiomes makes them distinct from freshwater, but they are still more similar to each other than to aquatic animal skin. Overall, the microbiomes of a host, such as a human or animal, were quite distinct from free-living microbiomes, such as those found in water and soil.

“These global ecological patterns offer just a glimpse of what is possible with coordinated and cumulative sampling,” Jansson says. “More sampling is needed to account for factors such as latitude and elevation, and to track environmental changes over time. The Earth Microbiome Project provides both a resource for the exploration of myriad questions and a starting point for the guided acquisition of new data to answer them.”

Wasps don’t live as long with ‘borrowed’ microbiomes

More than 300 researchers at more than 160 intuitions around the world, including researchers at the University of Chicago; Argonne National Laboratory; University of California, San Diego; and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory worked on the paper describing this effort, which appears in Nature.

Source: University of Chicago

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