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

Ellee Jensen’s all-around ability sparks Gophers

first_imgEllee Jensen’s all-around ability sparks GophersJensen, batting at the top of the lineup, has a career batting average of .393.Courtesy of Brad Rempel, Gopher SportsFreshman outfielder Ellee Jensen runs to first base in a game at Siebert Field. Erik NelsonFebruary 28, 2019Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintAs a batter, “attacking the pitch” has a very literal meaning to one Gopher sophomore.Center fielder Ellee Jensen relies on her all-around ability on offense and defense, in addition to her distinctive batting style.Right fielder MaKenna Partain said Jensen’s best attribute is her vision.“She’s so talented with her hands,” Partain said. “She has some of the best hand-eye coordination I’ve ever seen in my life. You know she’s going to get on [base.]”Jensen is a slap hitter, or a slapper. Slap hitting involves walking toward a pitch while staying in the batter’s box. If a batter makes contact with the ball outside of the batter’s box, the batter is called out.Jensen said slap hitting makes it challenging to hit for power.“It’s difficult because you’re continuing to move through the box,” Jensen said. “It’s hard. You have to have good timing to power through, but some people are good at it. I haven’t been.” Since joining the Gophers last season, Jensen’s career batting average is .393. In 2018, she started and played in all 58 games and hit .401, the highest of the group of starters by more than .025. She has seven RBIs and four career doubles. This season, Jensen’s batting average is .346. She has nine hits and two RBIs. Head coach Jamie Trachsel said Jensen sets the tone for Minnesota when she gets on base.“With her speed and our lefties following her, it opens up different options to advance runners,” Trachsel said. “You’re not subject to bunting. You can put balls in play. She can steal a base. [Jensen] gives us options in terms of manufacturing and producing runs.”While Jensen sets the tone offensively, she can also contribute when she’s not at bat. She was third on the Gophers in stolen bases last season, swiping 11 bags on 13 attempts. Defensively, Jensen hasn’t committed an error in her collegiate career and had 45 putouts a year ago. Last season, she was the lone starter to not commit a fielding error.“She’s a natural outfielder,” Trachsel said. “She reads the ball well. She has natural angles to the ball. She’s fearless. She has good body control, which allows her to field a lot balls on extension or lay out and steal some hits diving for the ball. When there’s a ball that’s in play that she can get to, she’s going to make the play.”Jensen said she utilizes her speed in all aspects of the game and not solely on base running.“It gives me an advantage because I can get there a little quicker,” she said. “When I’m on the bases, I can look one extra base and be able to get there.”last_img read more

Language Lessons From Babies

first_imgThe New York Times:In today’s 18 and Under column, Dr. Perri Klass writes about new science of bilingualism and how scientists are teasing out the earliest differences between brains exposed to one language and brains exposed to two.The learning of language — and the effects on the brain of the language we hear — may begin even earlier than 6 months of age.Janet Werker, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, studies how babies perceive language and how that shapes their learning. Even in the womb, she said, babies are exposed to the rhythms and sounds of language, and newborns have been shown to prefer languages rhythmically similar to the one they’ve heard during fetal development.In one recent study, Dr. Werker and her collaborators showed that babies born to bilingual mothers not only prefer both of those languages over others — but are also able to register that the two languages are different.Read the whole story: The New York Times More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

New tourist guide of the city of Požega presented

first_imgAfter the new Tourist Guide of the City of Požega was presented to the public in March 2015, then the first after 20 years, its second edition was presented today. On about a hundred pages, with numerous photos and tourist contents, this tourist guide will certainly contribute to the promotion of Požega in Croatia and beyond.”This edition of the Tourist Guide, to which new locations have been added, is a kind of platform for our entrepreneurs, all those who work on tourist offers, new tourist potentials and products to make it easier to promote and sell them. It is a good story for both travel agencies and restaurants, hoteliers and anyone involved in tourism. The guide contains various cultural sights of the city, the potential of the city and its surroundings and a list of all events in this area with important information for visitors. pointed out the director of the Tourist Board of the City of Požega Silvija Podoljak.The guide was printed in 1.200 copies by Zoa doo Požega, and was presented by the author and editor-in-chief Dalibor Nedela. ” After two years, we issued a reprint of the Tourist Guide. Only those who worked on the project witnessed major changes compared to the previous situation, and how many new things there are in the city can be noticed by people who work in photography. In the new guide, the photos were taken from almost the same positions as in the previous editions, but now the views of the city are completely different. What we should really be proud of is the fact that very few cities the size of Požega within the continental part of Croatia have such an edition ” said Sunday.last_img read more

Key Automotive Group Names President for Key Safety Systems, Promotes Tim Nelson to President of Key Plastics

first_imgFARMINGTON HILLS, MI — Key Automotive Group (KAG) has named Daniel Ajamian president and COO of its affiliate, Key Safety Systems, Inc. KAG also announced that Tim Nelson has been promoted to president and COO for the North American operations of the company’s other principal subsidiary — Key Plastics L.L.C. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement Ajamian most recently served as president and COO of Key Plastics North America. Previously, he was group president for the company’s trim products group. He joined the company in 2001, from Carlyle Management Group, where he was CFO of the Aerostructures and U.S. Marine Repair units. Since 2001, Nelson was Key Plastics’ group president for its exterior and underhood products division. Having joined the company in 1985, he was promoted to vice president of operations for Key Plastics’ trim products group in 1999, following a series of operations and engineering assignments in the company’s Pennsylvania operations and corporate offices. Key Safety Systems (KSS), a KAG affiliated company since April 2003, is a designer and manufacturer of safety-critical components and systems including airbags, seat belts and steering wheels. Also KAG affiliate, Key Plastics engineers and produces value-added components and sub-assemblies for exterior applications, interior trim and functional underhood products. _______________________________________ Click here to view the rest of today’s headlines.last_img read more

Guidance first on theft offences

first_imgCourts have today received comprehensive sentencing guidance for all theft offences for the first time.The Sentencing Council said it did not set out to change overall sentencing levels with its new definitive guidelines, ‘but rather to provide comprehensive guidance and introduce a standard approach to sentencing, ensuring that certain factors are always taken into account’.The guidelines, it added, will ‘bring a clear focus on the impact of thefts on victims beyond financial loss’.Last year more than 91,000 offenders were sentenced for theft offences. But until now, the council said, some common types of theft such as theft of a motor vehicle or bicycle, had to be sentenced using guidelines for similar offences.The guidelines were introduced following a public consultation. The council said respondents strongly supported its decision to consider the wider impact of thefts on victims, but suggested that the process for conducting the assessment of harm could be clearer. The guidelines also set out for the first time that if a theft causes damage to ‘our heritage’ this can make an offence more serious. This could include damage to war memorials when thieves steal metal plaques, as well as the theft of historic artefacts, it said.Richard Monkhouse (pictured), national chair of the Magistrates’ Association, said: ‘On behalf of magistrates, we welcome this comprehensive and detailed guidance that will help our members sentence each offender as effectively as possible in our attempts to reduce reoffending and taking into account all relevant factors.’last_img read more

Tokyo, IOC still at loggerheads over marathon move

first_imgTOKYO,  (Reuters) – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said yesterday it wants Tokyo to understand the reasons why it is switching the 2020 Games marathon to the northern city of Sapporo, a decision that has infuriated the capital’s governor Yuriko Koike. The IOC announced a plan earlier this month to move the marathon and race walking events to the northern island of Hokkaido due to concerns about heat in Tokyo next summer.John Coates, the IOC’s Coordination Commission chief for the Tokyo Games, said at the start of a regular Coordination Commission meeting that he did not want to leave at the end of the week without gaining the people of Tokyo’s understanding about the move.“We owe it to the people of Tokyo to make sure they are fully briefed,” Coates said. Coates cited the example of the athletics world championships in Doha where the heat and humidity forced many athletes to drop out of the race despite the marathon being held at midnight.He said he had explained these reasons to Koike.Tokyo temperatures in July and August, when the city will host the Games, regularly exceed 30 degrees Celsius with high humidity adding to the discomfort. Coates added that he wanted to form a four-party group comprised of the IOC, the Tokyo government, national government and the 2020 Organizing Committee to work out the details of the change.Koike, speaking at the same coordination committee meeting, repeated her stance that the races should remain in Tokyo.“We consider it an unprecedented turn of events to make such an abrupt proposal with no consultation or discussion whatsoever with the host city Tokyo,” Koike said. Tokyo had invested a lot of time and money into preparing anti-heat measures and had even earned praise from IOC head Thomas Bach, she said.While the safety of the athletes was important, organisers could not ignore that many of them had been training and preparing for the Tokyo climate.“The Games will not succeed without our trust in each other,” she said. Koike has said the capital was ready to make further adjustments, including changing the route and start time with some media reports saying to as early as 3:00 a.m.The IOC has said temperatures in Sapporo, which will also host soccer games, are as much as five to six degrees cooler during the day.Organisers earlier this year had already moved up the starting times to 6 a.m. for the marathon and 5:30 a.m. for the race walk to avoid the blistering midday sun.When Tokyo hosted the Summer Olympics in 1964, they were held in October — an option no longer possible due to international sports schedules. Next year’s Games are set to run from July 24 to Aug. 9, with the marathon to be held on the final day.last_img read more