Picture this, and you will begin to understand

first_imgIt has been almost 20 years since photographer Felice Frankel started working with scientists by helping them illustrate the intricate geometries of physical worlds too tiny to see.From the beginning, she was struck by one thing: To explain their ideas, scientists always start by drawing them.That gave Frankel an idea — “Picturing to Learn,” a project that requires students to draw basic concepts so that a senior in high school might understand them. Why is the sky blue? What do ions do?“The process itself is a learning experience,” said Frankel. “There is something about getting what your mind is imagining on paper.”Explanations often involve what she called a “metaphor of activity” — hugging ions, for instance, or molecules excited by rising heat.“Picturing to Learn,” now in its second phase of funding from the National Science Foundation, has been used in 11 undergraduate courses so far.Frankel, a one-time landscape photographer and biology researcher, hopes it will become a permanent feature across campus. (She’s a senior research fellow at Harvard’s Initiative in Innovative Computing, where she directs the Envisioning Science program.)Pen in hand, undergraduates learn more about concepts like ionization or energy transfer by having to explain them to nonexperts, she said. And their teachers can look at the drawings and get a sense of how well students understand what they’re trying to explain.There’s a database of more than 3,000 images so far, said “Picturing to Learn” project manager Rebecca Rosenberg — most of them from 17 individual homework assignments at five universities.“You don’t have to be talented,” said Frankel, who admits she can’t draw “for beans.” “We have some wonderful drawings with stick figures that are brilliantly explanatory.”Some of the explanatory images came from three workshops — at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, and (most recently) at Harvard. (Project partners also include Duke University and Roxbury Community College.)The idea: Give scientists and designers the same concept to illustrate. Mix them in groups, document the process, and discuss the results.“We see the value of various disciplines coming together,” said Frankel, whose Harvard workshop was on March 14.The event, at the Monroe C. Gutman Library, brought together six undergraduate science concentrators and six students from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD).Three groups of four — half designers, half budding scientists — retired to classrooms to grapple with the day’s challenge: A mixture of hydrogen gas and oxygen gas will stay stable indefinitely. But introduce a spark, and the same mixture will explode. Draw an explanation.Both metaphor and scientific language are allowed, explained psychologist Helen Haste, a visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and part of Frankel’s “Picturing to Learn” team.Think of the Hindenburg disaster, said Vinothan N. Manoharan, an assistant professor of chemical engineering and physics at Harvard. In the 1937 accident, a catastrophic fire consumed a hydrogen-filled rigid airship in just seconds.Or the idea of hydrogen-fueled cars, said Logan S. McCarty ’96, Ph.D. ’07, assistant dean of Harvard College and a lecturer on chemistry and chemical biology. The problem, he said, has real-world value.Both Manoharan and McCarty, on hand for the chemistry workshop, use “Picturing to Learn” assignments in the classroom.As the three groups (A, B, and C) scattered for the assignment, Rosenberg offered a final reminder: Collaborate as a group of four, she said, “not as parallel pairs.”In the future, Haste reflected, creative work in the sciences and other disciplines will break academic boundaries — and will break boundaries of expression too. Visual elements, for one, will increasingly support the traditional paradigm of text.Group C headed for a sunny corner room on the fourth floor, where a long table, pens, and a stack of numbered paper awaited. A videographer stood to one side, her camera aimed.Undergraduate chemistry concentrators Filip Zembowicz ’11 and Miguel Jimenez ’11 teamed up with designers Julia Grinkrug GSD ’10 and Matt Storus GSD ’11.By noon, the group had run through a novel’s worth of metaphors. To explain the calm, violence, and calm of hydrogen-oxygen pairing they considered riot, revolution, wind gusts, megaphones, and a raft blowing between two islands dubbed “Milk” and “Cookies.”“You can very easily make this too childish,” said Jimenez, sparking a brief debate about emoticons and facial expressions. Maybe something with “a goatee or piercing,” offered Storus. That got nowhere.Then another group sketch: wide boxes, faces, hands, dialogue balloons. How to express time? What will represent the spark? Ideas converge. Storus asked, “Do we want to prototype this?”After a quick lunch, the group settled on an image of population dynamics: a crowd of faces expressing happiness, surprise, confusion, and fear. A brief chaos is animated by a “spark” (a shout over a megaphone). But in their postexplosion world, hydrogen and oxygen bonds combine into stable atomic pairs. They gaze at one another contentedly.“We’re so responsive to faces,” McCarty observed later, when Group C — presenting last — displayed a final drawing on screen. Chaos segues into peaceful bonding, he said, and in the end “everyone is water. It’s a very effective idea.”Group A settled on dominoes as an explanatory metaphor. But these are gases, not solids, observed Manoharan. True, said McCarty, but dominoes are “cool” for representing mechanical states.Group B tried out crashing airplanes and sinking ships as metaphors, and even considered dominoes. But it was hard to figure out “how dominoes with hands can run up a hill, then recombine with each other,” said GSD student Dk Osseo-Asare. (The group settled on a crowd-and-hill image.)In the end, Grinkrug liked the pairing of science and design students in pursuit of a suitable image. “It was refreshing,” she said. “It breaks boundaries.”last_img read more

Infant weight gain linked to childhood obesity

first_imgAs childhood obesity continues its 30-year advance from occasional curiosity to cultural epidemic, health care providers are struggling to find out why — and the reasons are many. Increasingly sedentary environments for both adults and children, as well as cheap and ubiquitous processed foods no doubt play a role, but researchers are finding more evidence that the first clues for childhood obesity may begin as far back as early infancy. A new study led by researchers in the Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, as well as Children’s Hospital Boston, has found that rapid weight gain during the first six months of life may place a child at risk for obesity by age 3. “There is increasing evidence that rapid changes in weight during infancy increase children’s risk of later obesity,” says lead author Elsie Taveras, assistant professor in the HMS Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention and co-director of the One Step Ahead clinic, a pediatric overweight prevention program at Children’s Hospital Boston. “The mounting evidence suggests that infancy may be a critical period during which to prevent childhood obesity and its related consequences.”These findings appear in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics.Most prior studies examining the relationship between infant weight gain and later childhood obesity focus primarily on body weight. However, measures of length, in addition to weight, together reflect body fatness better than weight alone. In this study, Taveras and colleagues in the HMS Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention examined how weight and body length, or weight-for-length, in infancy can influence later obesity. The team mined self-reported data from Project Viva, an ongoing study led by Matthew Gillman, senior author on the paper, of more than 2,000 pregnant women and their children. They isolated a subgroup of 559 mother/child pairs and studied patterns of weight gain in infancy and their subsequent three-year effect. In addition to looking at static weight and length measures, the team also looked at weight gain as a dynamic process, measuring not only how much but how quickly an infant gained weight. The connection between rapid infant weight gain and later obesity was striking, even after adjusting for factors such as premature babies or those underweight at birth. Take for example two infants with the same birth weight who, after six months, weigh 16.9 pounds and 18.4 pounds, 1.5 pounds difference. According to study estimates, the heavier of these two infants would have a 40 percent higher risk of obesity at age 3 (after adjusting for potential confounders).While this study confirms earlier ones examining the relation between infancy and childhood weight, there were certain limitations. For example, the researchers weren’t able to examine social and behavioral interactions around feeding between parents and infants. And while families in the study represented various ethnic backgrounds, they were fairly homogeneous socioeconomically, so there may be some question regarding how widely the results can be generalized. Still, when seen in the context of other research, the relationship between infant and childhood weight is compelling. “There is still a lot more we need to understand about the mechanisms of how this all fits together,” says Taveras. “But this data clearly shows how the earliest interventions might actually have very long-term benefits.” Taveras also points out that these findings provide initial evidence that our cultural affirmation of infants who top the growth charts, and even our notions of appropriate weight gain during pregnancy, may prove to be excessive.“At first it may seem implausible that weight gain over just a few months early in infancy could have long-term health consequences, but it makes sense because so much of human development takes place during that period – and even before birth,” says Gillman, director of the department’s Obesity Prevention Program. “Now we need to find out how to modify weight gain in infancy in ways that balance the needs of the brain and the body.”This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.last_img read more

Transfer Nation: Sixteen students embark on first semester at Notre Dame in the spring

first_imgLast week, as most students were returning for their second semester of the 2019-2020 academic year, 16 new undergraduates were beginning their very first semester at Notre Dame, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions reported.“In the fall, the entire University is welcoming new students — new first-year students, new transfer students — we’re all thinking there are new people here,” said Erin Camilleri, the director of transfer enrollment. “In the spring, people are kind of in their zone and doing their thing. So I always think that it’s a little bit harder to transfer in the spring. It takes a student who has a really strong desire to be here.”A wide variety of students choose to matriculate spring semester. Some of these students, Camilleri said, are student-athletes who are starting their athletic training early, the semester before their freshman season begins. Others are students who were admitted for enrollment in the fall but, due to personal circumstances, chose to defer their enrollment until spring semester.A third category of spring enrollees, however, are selected from a separate pool of applicants. These students have attended a different college or university for at least three semesters, Camilleri said, and they have chosen to enroll at Notre Dame halfway through the academic year. Camilleri estimated that about 100 students apply from this third category each year. This year, only four students enrolled from that pool of applicants. The selection process, she said, is highly competitive.When looking at the applications of spring-semester transfers, the University considers how these students will handle the unique transition. First, the University must ensure that these students’ previous coursework will transfer smoothly, keeping the students on track to graduate with their credits, Camilleri said.“The further you get on [in school], the more difficult it is to align a different institution’s curriculum with our curriculum,” Camilleri said. “So we’re really looking to see [the] students get slotted in nicely.”Additionally, Camilleri said the admissions committee considers whether the students will be able to quickly immerse themselves in the Notre Dame community, making connections and friendships even though they are arriving on campus later than most students.“They need to bring a sense of adventure and excitement with them,” she said. “And it takes a student who’s willing to be flexible — [a] student who really want[s] to be here.”New students arriving in the fall begin the semester with four days of programming that’s designed to build community and adjust students to campus life. But for new students arriving in the spring, that Welcome Weekend programming is distilled into only a day and a half, Camilleri said. The spring Welcome Weekend is coordinated and overseen by other transfer students who have already been through the transition.“‘Transfer Nation,’ so to speak — the people who call themselves ‘Transfer Nation’ — they really do look out for one another,” Camilleri said.Junior Nyakeh Tuchscherer transferred after three semesters at St. John’s University, which he attended until the fall of his sophomore year before opting to transfer to Notre Dame. His decision to transfer was largely fueled by his academic interests — Notre Dame offered more resources for research and international opportunities, Tuchscherer said. But the transition — environmentally and socially — was somewhat challenging. Moving from New York City to South Bend, he was not initially prepared for the Notre Dame culture, which is more insular and homogenous than St. John’s, Tuchscherer said. Nevertheless, he’s glad he made the decision to transfer.“I have no regrets [about] transferring, even though it’s totally different and it’s not what I expected,” Tuchscherer said. “I wouldn’t have the opportunities that I’ve been getting today if it weren’t for Notre Dame, so I’m very thankful and glad to be here. That’s a privilege.”Camilleri said students who transfer tend to be highly involved, picking up extracurriculars that help them meet other students and connect with the campus community. Bringing fresh perspectives and strong school spirit, she said they add unique value to the school.“It takes a special person to be a transfer student,” Camilleri said. “I think one of the best things about them is that they have a wonderful sense of excitement for the University. I think that transfer students, as a whole, enrich the student body tremendously.”Tags: Transfer Nation, transfer students, Welcome Weekendlast_img read more

Judith Ivey to Headline Samuel D. Hunter’s World Premiere Greater Clements at Lincoln Center Theater

first_img Greater Clements Judith Ivey(Photo provided by Rinaldi PR) View Comments Related Shows Star Filescenter_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 19, 2020 Lincoln Center Theater has announced the world premiere staging of Greater Clements, a new work by Lortel winner Samuel D. Hunter (The Whale), slated to play the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater this fall. Two-time Tony winner Judith Ivey (The Heiress) will star in the production, directed by Davis McCallum, scheduled to begin previews on November 14 and open on December 9.The play follows the once-proud mining town of Clements, Idaho, which is rapidly disintegrating. As Maggie (Ivey) prepares to close one of the town’s last remaining businesses, a visitor (played by James Saito) arrives on her doorstep, resurrecting long-buried hope and shame rooted in her family’s past and the town’s history. Now, for the first time in nearly 50 years, Maggie is forced to consider if the life she envisioned for herself at 17 might still be possible today.Joining Ivey and Saito in the cast will be Edmund Donovan, Andrew Garman, Nina Hellman, Kate MacCluggage and Haley Sakamoto.Greater Clements will feature scenic design by Dane Laffrey, costume design by Kaye Voyce, lighting design by Yi Zhao and original music/sound design by Fitz Patton.The production is scheduled to play a limited engagement through January 19, 2020. Judith Iveylast_img read more

Legrand | AV Offering New Family of LundHalsey 24/7 Control Room Consoles

first_imgMiddle Atlantic Products (a brand of Legrand | AV) announced Tuesday the release of the new LundHalsey Visionline 24/7 control room consoles. Visionline is the latest console family directly available from Legrand | AV and manufactured by solutions partner U.K.-based LundHalsey — a company that designs, manufactures and installs control room furniture solutions. Visionline features the same design and durability introduced in LundHalsey’s Kontrol family, but in a smaller footprint and in straight, concave and convex options to fit a control room of any size.“No two control rooms are exactly alike in size, function, or setup,” said Paul Dolynchuk, director, product management at Legrand | AV. “The new compact, modular Visionline console provides greater design flexibility for organizations who need customized multi-console configuration options in width, stand-alone, back-to-back, concave or convex arrangements. We’re excited to offer this new console directly from Legrand | AV.”The Visionline family includes two models: Visionline Air sit/stand console and Visionline fixed height 24/7 control room console. Visionline Air is a console designed to provide a sit/stand environment that includes an adjustable height between 26-47 inches. The work surface can be moved at the touch of a button or remotely via the mobile app. The Visionline fixed-height console is designed for use in any modern 24/7 control room. Designed to ISO 11064, the international ergonomic standard for control room design, the fixed-height model is supported by a frame that provides cable management and active equipment integration.Both models feature a modular steel bay system architecture and a .5-inch-thick compact laminate work surface. Every console can be configured with single or side-by-side articulating monitor arm options that fully adjust to any user height and reach as well as with a range of accessories, including operated status control LEDs, corner LEDs, universal PDU, wireless charger, touch-sensitive desktop PDU and a dimmable LED task light.Customers will also receive complimentary custom design services. A dedicated project manager at Middle Atlantic will work with customers throughout the project — services will include concept drawings and 3D renderings.last_img read more

4 ways to personalize online videos for credit unions

first_img continue reading » by: James Robert LayA key to telling digital stories that sell is to make the story as personal as possible.The personalization of stories is what taps into the right side of a consumer’s brain.Neuroscience has confirmed that consumers “buy with their hearts” using the emotionally driven right side of the brain and then justify that purchase with the logical, analytical left side of the brain.Credit unions who promote “great rates and service” along with a list of undifferentiated product lines compete against each other within the crowded regions of the left side of a consumer’s brain.We believe the right side of the brain is an blue ocean for credit unions in a humanized digital economy.And personalized video can be a key channel to capitalize on this opportunity. 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Study: Saliva spread of Zika possible but unlikely

first_imgA study today in monkeys showed that, under extreme and precise circumstances, Zika virus can be transmitted via saliva.Researchers reported new findings on the transmission routes of Zika, which is normally transmitted through the bites of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, in Nature Communications.In the study, scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison used rhesus macaques with extremely high virus loads, and another set with more typical viral counts to demonstrate how and if mucosal transmission of the virus occurred in healthy monkeys.Risk of kissing, sharing cutlery, food”We had noticed in the literature about a year ago, there were case reports of transmission that seemed to be occurring through an oral route,” said Thomas Friedrich, PhD, assistant professor of pathobiological sciences, in an interview. Friedrich said a case from France in which a man infected a woman, likely through oral sex or kissing, and another in Utah where a caregiver was probably infected by an elderly family member with extremely high viral counts, confounded researchers.”We wanted to assess the risk, and our main concern was kissing and sharing cutlery and food,” said Friedrich. “So we conducted a two-prong study to answer the following questions: Was oral transmission theoretically possible? And did it occur under normal conditions?”Friedrich’s group found that mucosal transmission of Zika is theoretically possible, but extremely unlikely under normal circumstances. All three monkeys who were exposed to high doses of Zika virus (20-fold higher than that typically found in saliva) applied directly on their tonsils developed the disease.Another group of 7 monkeys were exposed to the virus via the saliva of monkeys who had received subcutaneous infections, representing a typical virus count. None of the monkeys exposed to doses typically found in saliva contracted the disease when their tonsils (5 animals), conjunctivae (1), or nasal passages (1) were exposed.”We tried to simulate sneezing, sharing utensils, and other mucosal exposures,” said Friedrich. “But the amount of virus typically founding saliva was not enough to infect a monkey or suggest any seroconversion [development of detectable antibodies].”Friedrich said that semen and breast milk, two bodily fluids that contain higher amounts of virus particles than saliva, are still much more likely routes for Zika transmission.”But it’s very rare to have a virus like Zika that can be transmitted in so many ways,” said Friedrich. “There may be an edge [outlying cases] of unusual transmission routes, but getting the virus through saliva doesn’t seem very likely.”Virus has short infective lifeIn another study today that tested Zika virus infection in rhesus macaques, a separate group of researchers found that the time between cell infection and viral production is most likely short, under 4 hours, and the lifetime of an infected cell while producing virus is less than 5 hours.Understanding the rapid infection patterns in Zika can help with the timing of antiviral medicines, said the researchers, who presented the results of their mathematical modeling analysis in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).See also:Aug 1 Nat Commun studyAug 1 PNAS studylast_img read more

Gov. Lujan Grisham Names Elizabeth Groginsky First Early Childhood Secretary In New Mexico

first_img“As we interviewed terrific candidates, Elizabeth clearly stood out as an innovator with experience leading a large organization with goals similar to ours,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “She was unequaled in both experience and passion and has a demonstrated record of getting results. I am confident she will deliver on putting our youngest on the path to success.” Creating the Early Childhood Education and Care Department was one of the highest-profile outcomes of the 2019 legislative session. The new Cabinet-level department will bring programs for children from prenatal to age 5 all under one roof to maximize resources and develop a comprehensive plan for early childhood education. SANTA FE ― Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Wednesday that Elizabeth Groginsky will be the first secretary of the new Early Childhood Education and Care Department. STATE News: The District of Columbia was first in the nation in 2009 to pursue universal pre-K and today has the highest U.S. participation rate, with 85 percent of all 4-year-olds and 75 percent of 3-year-olds. Among other things, she directed early childhood education for United Way Worldwide, where she helped expand the number of communities collecting and using population-based early childhood data; and she was the first executive director of the Early Childhood Data Collaborative, a national coalition to improve state policies and practices in the development and use of early childhood data systems. Groginsky earned a master’s degree in social sciences from the University of Colorado at Denver and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland.  Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky  Groginsky has more than two decades of executive leadership experience administering public and private human service organizations at the national, state and local levels. Her experience with Head Start programs is extensive: She began as a family services coordinator, later administered a county program and then directed the Head Start Collaboration Office for Colorado. She is currently overseeing one of only eight state Early Head Start Child Care Partnership grants. Groginsky comes to New Mexico from Washington, D.C., where she has been assistant superintendent of early learning for the District of Columbia since 2014. In that role, she administered a $160 million annual budget that funded programs to ensure equal access to quality services for the District’s most vulnerable children and their families. “I am honored to serve Gov. Lujan Grisham, a visionary leader who is committed to collaboration and coordination, equity and quality for all New Mexican families and young children,” Groginsky said. “I am passionate about building comprehensive early childhood systems that improve outcomes for young children and engage families as key decision-makers. I have always loved New Mexico, and I am thrilled to serve as its first-ever secretary of the Early Childhood Education and Care Department.”  “Elizabeth’s track record in raising quality speaks to her longtime commitment to children and her experience working in partnership with diverse communities,” said Carla D. Thompson Payton, vice president for program strategy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.last_img read more

Semicon West product display for Edwards

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

AXYS to Supply U.S. DoE with Two LiDAR Systems

first_imgAXYS Technologies Inc has announced that after a formal RFP process attracting responses from industry leaders, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DoE’s) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has awarded AXYS the contract to supply two WindSentinel floating LiDAR systems.The systems will be managed by PNNL to support research and development to help advance the U.S. offshore wind industry.“This award reflects the DoE’s commitment to the use of new technology to assist in reducing the cost of offshore wind energy in the United States,” says Graham Howe, Director of Sales at AXYS. “We are pleased to be able to assist the DoE in their work.”The WindSentinel™ is a wind resource assessment buoy that uses LiDAR to accurately measure wind speed, wind direction, and turbulence offshore up to blade-tip heights of 200m. The WindSentinel has recorded a number of world firsts, including the first commercial deployment and the most remote LiDAR offshore wind resource assessment ever conducted, 36 miles offshore.Press Release, June 11, 2014last_img read more