CNGB: China National Gene Bank

Unbeknownst to me I’ve been skyping with a collaborator who has been working from this location. SCMP: China opens first national gene bank, aiming to house hundreds of millions of samples China’s first national gene bank, claimed to be the largest of its kind in the world, officially opened on Thursday to store and carry …

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Review – GFSI Guidance Document Version 7.1

Yesterday the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements (Guidance Document) Version 7.1 was published soon after Version 7 was published February 27, 2017. Regarding Food Fraud, there were NO modifications or clarifications. Link: http://www.mygfsi.com/news-resources/news/press-releases/670-version-7-1-of-gfsi-s-benchmarking-requirements-furthering-harmonisation.html The GFSI press release mentioned that the changes that were made are important due to discussions with FDA regarding the Food Safety Modernization Act. …

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Welcome Back Student Loan Servicers!

Over forty million Americans owe over $1.3 trillion in federal student loans. According to one study, student loan defaults average about 3,000 per day. And each year the federal government spends about $800 million to collect on that debt, principally by contracting with a “patchwork” of private student loan servicers. This is big business for …

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If

Every day, we propagate the E. coli populations in the long-term evolution experiment (LTEE) by transferring 0.1 ml of the previous day’s culture into 9.9 ml of fresh medium. This 100-fold dilution and regrowth back to stationary phase—when the bacteria have exhausted the resources—allow log2 100 = 6.64 generations (doublings) per day. We round that …

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Independent Streams (week of April 24)

Our weekly roundup of policy-relevant reads and IPPSR-connected research. Problems In Richmond, High Number Of Homicides Go Unsolved (link is external) IPPSR Affiliate David Carter talks homicide investigation practices in Richmond, Virginia. Few Democratic Voters Back Syria Bombings. So Why Do So Many Democrats In Congress? (link is external) IPPSR Director Matt Grossmann discusses foreign …

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When Research Gets Misused

There’s a comic that illustrates a phenomenon known all too well by researchers – the tendency for the complex findings of rigorous studies to be boiled down to facile comments about what is or is not true. Press releases and the media seek to pull complex findings together into sound bites that can impact a …

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Von Neumann and Realpolitik

“Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.” — Thucydides, Melian Dialogue. Von Neumann, Feynman, and Ulam. Adventures of a Mathematician (Ulam): … Once at Christmas time in 1937, we drove from Princeton to Duke University …

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Michael Anton: Inside the Trump White House

Michael Anton is head of strategic communications for the National Security Council. See related Politico article. The Atlantic: Michael Anton warned last year that 2016 was the Flight 93 election: “Charge the cockpit or you die.” Americans charged. Donald Trump became president of the United States. And Anton, the author of that now-notorious essay, is …

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New publication: Using TPACK to Analyze Technological Understanding in Teachers’ Digital Teaching Portfolios

Over the past four years, I’ve participated in research projects on a few different topics, but most of them can be grouped into the broad category of “digital educational research.” As I like to put it, this involves exploring how digital technologies afford not only new spaces for teaching and learning but also new ways …

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Michigan Schools Face Uncertain Futures

January 20th, 2017 marked a pivotal day for the future of thirty-eight schools across the state of Michigan. Parents received letters from the Michigan State School Reform/Redesign Office (SRO) that spelled out dire consequences for their children’s schools.  The SRO announced publicly that these thirty-eight schools had been identified as chronically low achieving and had …

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Independent Streams (Week of April 17)

Our weekly roundup of policy-relevant reads and IPPSR-connected research. Problems In Richmond, High Number Of Homicides Go Unsolved (link is external) IPPSR Affiliate David Carter talks homicide investigation practices in Richmond, Virginia. Few Democratic Voters Back Syria Bombings. So Why Do So Many Democrats In Congress? (link is external) IPPSR Director Matt Grossmann discusses foreign …

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Yann LeCun on Unsupervised Learning

This is a recent Yann LeCun talk at CMU. Toward the end he discusses recent breakthroughs using GANs (Generative Adversarial Networks, see also Ian Goodfellow here and here). LeCun tells an anecdote about the discovery of backpropagation. The first implementation of the algorithm didn’t work, probably because of a bug in the program. But they convinced …

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History of Bayesian Neural Networks

This talk gives the history of neural networks in the framework of Bayesian inference. Deep learning is (so far) quite empirical in nature: things work, but we lack a good theoretical framework for understanding why or even how. The Bayesian approach offers some progress in these directions, and also toward quantifying prediction uncertainty. I was …

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To Teach and Delight

The last two weeks of March this year brought sadness twice over to the College of Arts & Letters. On March 18, 2017, we lost Anna Norris, a beloved professor of French Literature who taught at Michigan State University for 18 years. On March 30, 2017, we lost Jim Seaton, an eloquent advocate for the …

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Ratings Revelations from the First Batch of State ESSA Plans

     Although the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) rolls back federal education mandates to allow states more authority over their accountability systems, it nonetheless requires that the Secretary of Education approve each state’s accountability plan to be implemented in the 2017-18 school year. Under an Obama Administration policy, states (and Washington, DC) could submit their …

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New York Takes the Lead

  At the end of last week the New York state legislature passed a state budget, which will include tuition-free college at the state’s public colleges and universities. The plan is to phase in the program by first waiving tuition for students from families with incomes up to $100,000 during the initial year, up to …

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Elie Mystal on the Chief Justice

Here is “John Roberts, Silent During The Garland Process, Suddenly Worries About Partisanship.” An excerpt: When Mitch McConnell decided that black presidents only get to be president for seven years and refused to hold a hearing on Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, there was only one man in the country who could have …

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Implications of the Next Generation Science Standards for Students, Teachers, and Teacher Education

The recent rollout of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) has paved the way for revised K-12 curricula, the redesign of course sequences, and the piloting of assessments tied to more challenging academic goals. While the notion of using standards to cohere elements of the science-learning infrastructure together seems promising, the document cannot fix the …

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Michigan’s Future is Tied to the Great Lakes Region: Findings from the Urban Institute

The Urban Institute, a non-partisan research institute and think-tank out of Washington D.C. recently released a report titled “The Future of the Great Lakes Region”. The report is timely, with intense interest in the postindustrial Midwest from both an electoral and policy perspective, and it contains findings that should be of great interest to policy …

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Independent Streams (Week of April 10)

Our weekly roundup of policy-relevant reads and IPPSR-connected research. Problems Border Tax Could Add $2,500 To Price Of Car Or Truck (link is external) IPPSR Affiliate Charles Ballard comments on potential consequences of a border tax. Political Corruption Knows No Party, History Shows (link is external) IPPSR Affiliate Eric Freedman discusses historical political corruption. Michigan …

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There is Something Fishy about this Privy

It’s official… the fish skeletal material recovered from the Saint’s Rest privy, the toilet associated with the first dormitory on campus contained walleye! Walleye. Image source. Walleye are the largest member of the perch family and can be caught in shallow bays and inland lakes. As there are plenty of inland lakes surrounding East Lansing, …

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Saying ‘YES’ to Teaching

Relative to other college graduates, teachers prefer to work close to their hometowns. One study found that teachers typically work about 13 miles away from where they attended high school as opposed to college graduates in other fields, who move about 54 miles away from where they grew up. These geographical preferences can create problems …

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