From DSC:
On one hand:

Next-gen supercomputers are fast-tracking treatments for the coronavirus in a race against time  — from cnbc.com by Charlie Wood

Key points:

  • Scientists are using IBM’s Summit, the world’s fastest supercomputer, to help find promising candidate drugs to fight the coronavirus epidemic.
  • Using the computer’s muscle, researchers digitally simulated how 8,000 different molecules would interact with the virus.
  • The project was able to identify 77 candidate molecules that other researchers can now test in trials.
  • Supercomputing is also being used to tackle other major global issues, such as climate change.

On the other hand:

AI could help with the next pandemic—but not with this one — from technologyreview.comby Will Douglas Heaven
Some things need to change if we want AI to be useful next time, and you might not like them.

“The hype outstrips the reality. In fact, the narrative that has appeared in many news reports & breathless press releases—that AI is a powerful new weapon against diseases—is only partly true & risks becoming counterproductive.”

 

 

Six quick— but very important— points about Coronavirus and poverty in the US –– from commondreams.org by Bill Quigley; with thanks to a colleague at WMU-Cooley Law School for her message on this.
The most vulnerable among us simply do not have the same options as the most privileged.

Excerpts:

In the United States, tens of millions of people are at a much greater risk of getting sick from the coronavirus than others.  The most vulnerable among us do not have the option to comply with suggestions to stay home from work or work remotely. Most low wage workers do not have any paid sick days and cannot do their work from home.  The over two million people in jails and prisons each night do not have these options nor do the half a million homeless people.

One.  Thirty-four million workers do not have a single day of paid sick leave. Even though most of the developed world gives its workers paid sick leave there is no federal law requiring it for workers.

Two.  Low wage workers and people without a paid sick day have to continue to work to survive.

Three.  About 30 million people in the US do not have health insurance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Four.  Staying home is not an option for the homeless.

Five.  Nearly 2.2 million people are in jails and prisons every day, the highest rate in the world.

Six.  Solutions?  [The article lists several.]

 

Johns Hopkins dashboard maps global coronavirus cases — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly

Excerpt:

The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University has developed an interactive, web-based dashboard that tracks the status of COVID-19 around the world. The resource provides a visualization of the “location and number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries for all affected countries,” according to a university blog post.

 

CDC issues COVID-19 guidance to higher ed — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued interim guidance for higher education administrators on how to respond to coronavirus (COVID-19). It’s intended to prevent “community spread” of the virus in two ways: by telling colleges and universities how to keep students, staff and faculty safe and by providing information to academic experts who may be called upon by local health departments for help. The guidance is also intended to assist administrators in planning “for the continuity of teaching, learning and research” if COVID-19 shows up locally and to reduce the stigma attached to the illness for those who have been affected.

 

COVID-19 resources as listed out on Educause

Excerpt:

COVID-19, or Coronavirus 19, is a respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. This virus has been detected in the United States (CDC, COVID19 Summary). For further information concerning the source and spread of the disease, please see the WHO and CDC sites listed below.

 

How higher education can adapt to the future of work — from weforum.org by Farnam Jahanian, President, Carnegie Mellon University; with thanks to Evan Kirstel for sharing this here

Excerpts:

Embrace the T-shaped approach to knowledge
The broad set of skills needed by tomorrow’s workforce also affects our approach to educational structure. At Carnegie Mellon University—like many other institutions—we have been making disciplinary boundaries much more porous and have launched programmes at the edges and intersections of traditional fields, such as behavioral economics, computational biology, and the nexus of design, arts, and technology. We believe this approach prepares our students for a future where thinking and working across boundaries will be vital. The value of combining both breadth and depth in higher education has also led to many universities embracing “T-shaped” teaching and learning philosophies, in which vertical (deep disciplinary) expertise is combined with horizontal (cross-cutting) knowledge.

Invest in personalised, technology-enhanced learning
The demand for more highly skilled workers continues to grow. Recent analysis of U.S. data by The Wall Street Journal found that more than 40% of manufacturing workers now have a college degree. By 2022, manufacturers are projected to employ more college graduates than workers with a high-school education or less. Technology-enhanced learning can help us keep up with demand and offer pathways for the existing workforce to gain new skills. AI-based learning tools developed in the past decade have incredible potential to personalise education, enhance college readiness and access, and improve educational outcomes. And perhaps most importantly, technology-enhanced learning has the compelling potential to narrow socioeconomic and racial achievement gaps among students.

The rapid pace of today’s advances requires a more comprehensive workforce and education strategy across a spectrum of measures, including policy, access, programmes and outreach. The private sector, government, educators and policy-makers must work together to deliver multiple pathways to opportunity for young people looking for their first foothold in the job market, as well as to re-skill and up-skill workers striving to maintain their place in the workforce. 

 

Healthy looks different on every body...and learning looks different with every mind.

From DSC:
What I mean by this is this:

While I certainly agree that research has produced excellent, proven, effective pedagogies that work with many students (the majority even), the fact is, learning is messy. When a child walks into a classroom, there isn’t even one other child with the exact same neural situation.

Nor is there even one other student with the exact same experiences, background, passions, motivations, interests, etc. I’ve experienced this with our daughter who isn’t a part of the 80% that the typical education train addresses. Look out if you are part of the 10% of either side of the bell curve! As your learning experiences are too costly to address and likely won’t be addressed in many cases.

All that said, I still agree that the teaching and learning strategies are still highly relevant across the masses. My point is that there is still a lot of diversity out there. They say that learning is messy for a reason. If you doubt that, go sit in on an IEP sometime.

 

An Existential Crisis in Neuroscience — from by Grigori Guitchounts
We’re mapping the brain in amazing detail—but our brain can’t understand the picture.

Excerpt:

Neuroscientists have made considerable progress toward understanding brain architecture and aspects of brain function. We can identify brain regions that respond to the environment, activate our senses, generate movements and emotions. But we don’t know how different parts of the brain interact with and depend on each other. We don’t understand how their interactions contribute to behavior, perception, or memory. Technology has made it easy for us to gather behemoth datasets, but I’m not sure understanding the brain has kept pace with the size of the datasets.

From DSC:
The word “mystery” comes to my mind when I read parts of this thought-provoking article — as does the phrase “Glory to God!. 

As I’ve watched my mom slowly leave us due to Alzheimer’s (as did my grandma on her side) and as I’ve watched my good friend prepare to leave us due to cancer, I’m also reminded to be grateful for the people in my life when they’re still there. Plus, I’m reminded to be thankful for good health when I have it. It may be cliche, but it’s true. And I’ll end this posting with another one:

“One doesn’t know the worth of water until the well’s run dry.”

 
 

Research Posters Are a Staple of Academic Conferences. Could a New Design Speed Discovery? — from edsurge.com by Jeff Young

Excerpts:

Scholars around the world share their latest research findings with a decidedly low-tech ritual: printing a 48-inch by 36-inch poster densely packed with charts, graphs and blocks of text describing their research hypothesis, methods and findings. Then they stand with the poster in an exhibit hall for an hour, surrounded by rows of other researchers presenting similar posters, while hundreds of colleagues from around the world walk by trying to skim the displays.

Not only does the exercise deflate the morale of the scholars sharing posters, the ritual is incredibly inefficient at communicating science, Morrison argues.

Morrison says he has a solution: A better design for those posters, plus a dash of tech.

 

 

To make up for all the nuance and detail lost in this approach, the template includes a QR code that viewers can scan to get to the full research paper.

 

From DSC:
Wouldn’t this be great if more journal articles would do the same thing?  That is, give us the key findings, conclusions (with some backbone to them), and recommendations right away! Abstracts don’t go far enough, and often scholars/specialists are talking amongst themselves…not to the world. They could have a far greater reach/impact with this kind of approach.

(The QR code doesn’t make as much sense if one is already reading the full journal article…but the other items make a great deal of sense!)

 

 

Survey: Students Choosing Online Programs Closer to Home — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser

 

Mentioned in that article:

 

Also see:

“It’s encouraging to see that a majority of students who are studying fully online are reporting great value and satisfaction with their online programs which are largely tied to ambitious career goals,” said Todd Zipper, president and CEO of Learning House, in a prepared statement. “With an increasing population of savvier consumers with high expectations, institutions need to do better at offering more quality, diverse programs that are sensitive to cost in order to keep up with the growing demands of online college students.”

 

From DSC:
If, in the year 2019, most students say online learning is as good or better than face-to-face, what will they say come 2025?  2035? 

Many people will still prefer to have F2F-based learning experiences no matter what year it is. That said, as the innovation continues to occur mainly in the digital/online/virtual realms, F2F will likely find it harder and harder to compete. My advice to current faculty members? Get experience teaching online — and do so as soon as you possibly can.

 

 
 

The Future Today Institute’s 12th Annual Emerging Tech Trends Report — from futuretodayinstitute.com

Excerpts:

At the Future Today Institute, we identify emerging tech trends and map the future for our clients. This is FTI’s 12th annual Tech Trends Report, and in it we identify 315 tantalizing advancements in emerging technologies — artificial intelligence, biotech, autonomous robots, green energy and space travel — that will begin to enter the mainstream and fundamentally disrupt business, geopolitics and everyday life around the world. As of the publication date, the annual FTI Tech Trend Report report has garnered more than 7.5 cumulative views.

Key findings for 2019 (emphasis DSC)

  • Privacy is dead. (DC: NOT GOOD!!! If this is true, can the situation be reversed?)
  • Voice Search Optimization (VSO) is the new SEO.
  • The Big Nine.
  • Personal data records are coming. (DC: Including cloud-based learner profiles I hope.)
  • China continues to ascend, and not just in artificial intelligence.
  • Lawmakers around the world are not prepared to deal with new challenges that arise from emerging science and technology.
  • Consolidation continues as a key theme for 2019.

 

 

Philips, Microsoft Unveils Augmented Reality Concept for Operating Room of the Future — from hitconsultant.net by Fred Pennic

Excerpt:

Health technology company Philips unveiled a unique mixed reality concept developed together with Microsoft Corp. for the operating room of the future. Based on the state-of-the-art technologies of Philips’Azurion image-guided therapy platform and Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 holographic computing platform, the companies will showcase novel augmented reality applications for image-guided minimally invasive therapies.

 

 

 

Tiny microbots fold like origami to travel through the human body — from digitaltrends.com by Georgina Torbet

Excerpt:

Tiny robots modeled after bacteria could be used to deliver drugs to hard to reach areas of the human body. Scientists at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) have developed what they call elastic microbots that can change shape depending on their environment.

 

 

100 voices of AR/VR in education — from virtualiteach.com

 

 

Ambitious VR experience restores 7,000 Roman buildings, monuments to their former glory  — from smithsonianmag.com by Meilan Solly
You can take an aerial tour of the city circa 320 A.D. or stop by specific sites for in-depth exploration

Excerpt:

Ever wish you could step into a hot air balloon, travel back in time to 320 A.D., and soar over the streets of Ancient Rome? Well, that oddly specific fantasy is achievable in a new virtual reality experience called “Rome Reborn.”

The ambitious undertaking, painstakingly built by a team of 50 academics and computer experts over a 22-year period, recreates 7,000 buildings and monuments scattered across a 5.5 square mile stretch of the famed Italian city. The project, according to Tom Kington of the Times, is being marketed as the largest digital reconstruction of Rome to date.


A snapshot from Rome Reborn

 

VR Isn’t a Novelty: Here’s How to Integrate it Into the Curriculum — from edsurge.com by Jan Sikorsky

Excerpt:

While the application of VR to core academics remains nascent, early returns are promising: research now suggests students retain more information and can better synthesize and apply what they have learned after participating in virtual reality exercises.

And the technology is moving within the reach of classroom teachers. While once considered high-end and cost-prohibitive, virtual reality is becoming more affordable. Discovery VR and Google Expeditions offer several virtual reality experiences for free. Simple VR viewers now come in relatively low-cost DIY cardboard view boxes, like Google Cardboard, that fit a range of VR-capable smartphones.

Still, teachers may remain unsure of how they might implement such cutting-edge technology in their classrooms. Their concerns are well founded. Virtual reality takes careful planning and implementation for success. It’s not simply plug-and-play technology. It also takes a lot of work to develop.


From DSC:

Reduced costs & greater development efficiencies needed here:

“In our case, to create just 10 minutes of simulation, a team of six developers logged almost 1,000 hours of development time.”

 

 

Unveiling RLab: the First-City Funded VR/AR Center in the Country Opens Doors at Brooklyn Navy Yard — from prnewswire.com
New York City’s Virtual and Augmented Reality Center Will Fuel Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Education, While Creating Hundreds of Well-Paying Jobs

Excerpt:

BROOKLYN, N.Y.Oct. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and the Brooklyn Navy Yard today announced the launch of RLab – the first City-funded virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) lab in the country. Administered by NYU Tandon with a participating consortium of New York City universities, including Columbia UniversityCUNY and The New School, RLab will operate out of Building 22 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and will cement New York City’s status as a global leader in VR/AR, creating over 750 jobs in the industry.

 

 

New virtual reality lab at UNMC — from wowt.com

 

 

 

 

This VR-live actor mashup is like your best absinthe-fueled nightmare — from cnet.com by Joan Solsman
Chained, an immersive reimagining of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, weds virtual reality with a motion-capture live actor. Could it be the gateway that makes VR a hit?

 

 

Also see:

 

…and this as well:

 

See the results of a months-long effort to create a HoloLens experience that pays homage to Mont-Saint-Michel, in Normandy, France, in all its forms – as a physical relief map and work of art; as a real place visited by millions of people over the centuries; and as a remarkable digital story of resilience. In this three-part Today in Technology series, they examine how AI and mixed reality can open a new window into French culture by using technology like HoloLens.

 

 

 

EXCLUSIVE: Chinese scientists are creating CRISPR babies — from technologyreview.com by Antonio Regalado
A daring effort is under way to create the first children whose DNA has been tailored using gene editing.

Excerpt:

When Chinese researchers first edited the genes of a human embryo in a lab dish in 2015, it sparked global outcry and pleas from scientists not to make a baby using the technology, at least for the present.

It was the invention of a powerful gene-editing tool, CRISPR, which is cheap and easy to deploy, that made the birth of humans genetically modified in an in vitro fertilization (IVF) center a theoretical possibility.

Now, it appears it may already be happening.

 

Where some see a new form of medicine that eliminates genetic disease, others see a slippery slope to enhancements, designer babies, and a new form of eugenics. 

 

 

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