[Summer] Is Coming

I get nostalgic as summer arrives each year; I remember neglecting my homework to go play outside, so excited for the lawn sprinkler. And when school was finally over, well, life just couldn’t get better. In my rose-colored memory, my summers looked a lot like The Sandlot and Troop Beverly Hills (I neither played baseball …

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Future Innovations in Food Fraud Prevention? – Review of the McKinsey Disruptive Technologies Report for 2013 to 2025

The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) published “Disruptive technologies : Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy” (http://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/McKinsey/dotcom/Insights%20and%20pubs/MGI/Research/Technology%20and%20Innovation/Disruptive%20technologies/MGI_Disruptive_technologies_Full_report_May2013.ashx).  The innovations discussed have the opportunity to transform the food industry and contribute to Food Fraud prevention.  Disruptive innovation can spark or extinguish a company – let alone entire industries – in a flash.  While we …

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Speed limits and theoretical frameworks

Two of my colleagues, Josh Rosenberg and Punya Mishra, have recently blogged about the value of theories and frameworks, both using the technology integration framework TPACK as an example. I highly recommend both of their posts, and I’d like to spend a little time building on the conversation that they’ve started. In the 2006 Mishra & Koehler article that I (and 2000+ …

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Celebrating 2 years of research blogging by analyzing my blog

In May 2012, I started this blog to rave about the IPython Notebook, a new scientific computing tool that’s still an integral part of my research workflow today. Two years have passed, and I’ve written about a breadth of topics ranging from statistics tutorials to science outreach to my PhD research to evolution to chess… and even the world’s deadliest actors. This blog has proven to …

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Ancient Lives, New Discoveries: Fascinating Look into the Life and Death of Eight Ancient Egyptians

Book cover for Ancient Lives, New Discoeries; photo by British Museum Shop Review: Ancient Lives, New Discoveries: Eight Mummies, Eight Stories. By John H. Taylor and Daniel Antoine. Published by the British Museum as part of their currently ongoing museum exhibit with the same title. Ancient Egypt has continued to be an era that fascinates and …

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Student loan hysteria hits Yahoo

I’ve written in the past about the hysteria surrounding student loans, and the focus in the media about how student loans are the next “bubble.”  I recently published an op-ed in the Answer Sheet blog on education of The Washington Post in which I attempted to counter some of the rhetoric with facts about student loans.  The piece received a number …

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The Mystery of Go

Nice article on the progress of computer Go. See also The Laskers and the Go master: “While the baroque rules of Chess could only have been created by humans, the rules of Go are so elegant, organic, and rigorously logical that if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe, they almost certainly play Go.” …

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Robert’s Stories

A bunch of us were sitting around in a circle this week talking about food sovereignty. A lot of the talk was about legal rights and obligations, but one person had something different to say. He was a big man, at least fifty and maybe older. It’s often hard to tell with someone whose daily …

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How Africa Developed Europe

African national teams in the 2014 World Cup will rely overwhelmingly on Europe-based players. Here are the exact numbers according to the preliminary lists recently released by FIFA: Cameroon: 26 out of 28 Ivory Coast: 26 out of 28 Nigeria: 25 out of 30 Ghana: 25 out of 26 Algeria: 25 out of 30 The …

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A Java Slider/Text Combo

A few years back I was coding (in Java, of course) the <shudder>GUI</shudder> for a research program. I needed to provide controls that would let a user specify priorities (0-100) scale for various things. Two possibilities occurred to me, with pretty much diametrically opposed strengths and weaknesses. Sliders have a few virtues. Grabbing and yanking …

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Politics and Climate Change

Scientific evidence that climate change is real and raising havoc with our collective lives has been steadily mounting. This is all the more clear given recent reports emanating from many quarters, including the International Panel on Climate Change,   the National Climate Assessment, and   the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, on the impending …

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Eat and Get Out

CHOW is one of many food themed websites, and if you follow this link you will find a 2006 entry on environmental psychology discussing a perennial problem for restaraunteurs: Clearing the tables so that new paying customers can get in. A joint in Chicago named Ed Debevic’s has incorporated the idea into the cultivated surliness …

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Intervention and Replication

This article describes surprisingly effective interventions that improve college success rates for low SES/SAT students. Let’s hope they can be broadly replicated. NYTimes: … Laude was hopeful that the small classes would make a difference, but he recognized that small classes alone wouldn’t overcome that 200-point SAT gap. “We weren’t naïve enough to think they …

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Review of QUB Food Integrity ASSET 2014 Conference

Food Integrity and Food Fraud were key focus areas at the recent ‘Food Integrity and Traceability Conference’  (http://www.qub.ac.uk/asset2014/ ) hosted by Queen’s University Belfast. I was invited as a Keynote Speaker to cover Food Fraud Prevention.  Four 5-minute videos were created to cover the key concepts, including the Food Fraud prevention focus in China. There …

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Parenting in Grad School

Parenting in grad school can be crazy hard. There is really so much to say about parenting in grad school. I asked the question on Twitter and on Facebook and was just overwhelmed with the responses. I have blogged on Gradhacker before about being a mother in academia. As I enter what is hopefully the …

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The Left and the Donald Sterling Affair

In the first post on this subject we examined the right side of this diagram, the Right wing coverage that focused on the issues surrounding Sterling’s racist remarks, deemphasizing the remarks themselves.  Now we look at Left, which focuses squarely on those remarks. Two dimensions on which the Right and the Left differ in the US these days are …

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