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Spartan Ideas is a collection of thoughts, ideas, and opinions independently written by members of the MSU community and curated by MSU Libraries

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How NSA Tracks You (Bill Binney)

Anyone who is paying attention knows that the Obama FBI/DOJ used massive government surveillance powers against the Trump team during and after the election. A FISA warrant on Carter Page (and Manafort and others?) was likely used to mine stored communications of other Trump team members. Hundreds of “mysterious” unmasking requests by Susan Rice, Samantha …

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National Indian Law Library Bulletin (2/22/2018)

Here: The National Indian Law Library added new content to the Indian Law Bulletins on 2/22/18. U.S. Supreme Court Bulletin http://www.narf.org/nill/bulletins/sct/2017-2018update.html Petition for certiorari was denied in Renteria, et al. v. Superior Court of California, Tulare County, et al. (Indian Child Welfare Act) and in Norton, et al. v. Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, et …

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Food Fraud Tabletop Exercise: “Something’s Fishy” – Grant Deliverable for FDA’s Innovative Food Defense Program (IFDP)

Attached you will find our “Something’s Fishy” free and public Food Fraud Tabletop Exercise (FFTTX) that was the final deliverable for our 2013 FDA’s Innovative Food Defense Program(IFDP) grant. Feel free to use the content as you see fit. The grant deliverables included submitting materials ready to be posted online in the FDA FREE-B program Food Related Emergency Exercise …

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Documentary Films as Soccer Storytelling

I recently went on a cinematic journey that took me from women’s soccer in Zanzibar to a failed stadium-and-entertainment complex in Buenos Aires. My travel agency, so to speak, was the Football Scholars Forum. On February 23 it held an online discussion of two low-budget, high-return documentary films. (A recording of the event can be found here. …

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New Publication: Hacking Structures: Educational Technology Programs, Evaluation, and Transformation

I was elated to see the tweet from Michelle this morning that our chapter “Hacking Structures: Educational Technology Programs, Evaluation, and Transformation” in Hacking Education in a Digital Age Teacher Education, Curriculum, and Literacies has been published! I’m so proud of this chapter (and what led us to write the chapter.) Can’t wait to get a copy to see the words …

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Who Me Worry? I Believe We All Should.

“It is not light that we need but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder.” Frederick Douglass      ***** I signed into a webinar this week hosted by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The webinar was presented by Jessica Gehl   on “Sustainable Development Goals(SDG’s) – How Will They Impact Your Business?” The bulk of …

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Childhood Lead Exposure in Michigan: It’s Not Just Flint

The risks of childhood lead exposure and poisoning were inadvertently brought into the spotlight through the Flint water crisis. But the issue in Michigan extends far beyond that city’s limits. Last November, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released provisional 2016 data on childhood lead testing(link is external) showing that the rate of elevated lead …

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In Other Words (Week of February 19)

On the Left Schuette Silent On Environmental Issues(link is external) From Progress Michigan, Bill Schuette’s silence in responding to environmental issues. The NRA Is Killing Us And Their Weapon Is The Second Amendment(link is external) From Ramona’s Voices, gun violence in schools and the role of the NRA. Enough With The Bonuses, Mr. President*!(link is external) From Eclectablog, …

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Report – A Review of ISO Standards Terminology Regarding Product Integrity and Authenticity

This review of ISO standards is in support of several project definitions of Food Fraud and related terms. The ISO definitions are important to consider since they are already published, internationally recognized, led by government appointed representatives, and have already been through a rigorous, consensus-based development process. The US government is represented and led by …

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Steve Pinker and Joe Rogan

I’ve just started watching this so I can’t give you an evaluation of the whole conversation. Looks promising — they jump right in on topics like sex differences, political correctness, internet flame wars, the Trump candidacy, social media, … (I’m skipping the Super Bowl, by the way. I stopped watching the NFL and NBA years …

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A Compass for the Future

Michigan State University (MSU) is making national and international news. And it’s not for its prowess on athletic fields or courts. In fact, as I’m sure everyone reading this is aware, it is for the tragedy of sexual abuse that went on for years without being stopped. The president is gone, the gymnastics coach is …

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A Transformative Moment

While I have been retired from Michigan State University for three years, I spent 30 years of my life walking the campus, teaching classes, helping students and faculty uncover information they sought, active in faculty governance and founding and directing sustainability operations. It is no small part of my life. So it is not without …

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Michalyn Steele on Congressional Powers and Sovereignty in Indian Affairs

Michalyn Steele has posted “Congressional Power and Sovereignty in Indian Affairs” on SSRN. The paper is forthcoming in the Utah Law Review. Here is the abstract: The doctrine of inherent tribal sovereignty — that tribes retain aboriginal sovereign governing power over people and territory — is under perpetual assault. Despite two centuries of precedential foundation, the …

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New publication: Strategies, Use, and Impact of Social Media for Supporting Teacher Community within Professional Development: The Case of One Urban STEM Program

Just over a month ago, an article by Josh Rosenberg, me, Leigh Graves Wolf, and Matt Koehler appeared in the Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching. This is—perhaps obviously—a continuation of some of our previous work on Twitter hashtags in graduate education, but this piece took a particular look at social media use, …

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In Other Words (Week of January 22)

On the Left Our Bleeding Hearts Might Have Saved Us(link is external) From Ramona’s Voices, how the left should move forward after President Trump’s first year in office. Nassar Goes To Prison For Life But MSU Still To Be Held Accountable For Their Role In The Rape Of Over 150 Girls(link is external) From Eclectablog, the university’s …

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The Content of their Character: Ed Blum and Jian Li

See 20 years @15 percent: does Harvard discriminate against Asian-Americans? The excerpt below is from the Harvard lawsuit brief, recalling the parallel between what had been done to limit Jewish enrollment in the early 20th century, and the current situation with Asian-Americans. … Harvard is engaging in racial balancing. Over an extended period, Harvard’s admission and enrollment …

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Independent Streams (Week of January 15)

Problems How Many Grace Hoppers Have Been Lost From The Innovation Pipeline?(link is external) IPPSR affiliate Lisa Cook noted for research on innovation among women and African Americans. Jobs Are Plentiful In Some Rural Areas. Housing, Not So Much(link is external) IPPSR affiliate Mark Skidmore discusses housing shortages in rural America. Old Specimen Provides New Insight Into …

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A Shiny interactive web application to quantify how robust inferences are to potential sources of bias (sensitivity analysis)

We are happy to announce the release of an interactive web application, Konfound-It, to make it easy to quantify the conditions necessary to change an inference. For example, Konfound-It generates statements such as “XX% of the estimate would have to be due to bias to invalidate the inference” or “an omitted variable would have to …

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More on “Core Points”

A few additions to yesterday’s post occurred to me belatedly. First, it may be a good idea to check whether your alleged core point \(y^0\) is actually in the relative interior of the integer hull \(\mathrm{conv}(Y)\). A sufficient condition is that, when you substitute \(y^0\) into the constraints, all inequality constraints including variable bounds have …

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Finding a “Core Point”

In a famous (or at least relatively famous) paper [1], Magnanti and Wong suggest a method to accelerate the progress of Benders decomposition for certain mixed-integer programs by sharpening “optimality” cuts. Their approach requires the determination of what they call a core point. I’ll try to follow their notation as much as possible. Let \(Y\) …

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Report – A Review of ISO Standards Terminology Regarding Product Integrity and Authenticity

This review of ISO standards is in support of several project definitions of Food Fraud and related terms. The ISO definitions are important to consider since they are already published, internationally recognized, led by government appointed representatives, and have already been through a rigorous, consensus-based development process. The US government is represented and led by …

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Institute for Advanced Study: Genomic Prediction of Complex Traits (seminar)

Genomic Prediction of Complex Traits After a brief review (suitable for physicists) of computational genomics and complex traits, I describe recent progress in this area. Using methods from Compressed Sensing (L1-penalized regression; Donoho-Tanner phase transition with noise) and the UK BioBank dataset of 500k SNP genotypes, we construct genomic predictors for several complex traits. Our …

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Independent Streams (Week of January 1)

Problems Op-Ed: Special Education Funding Is Unequal(link is external) IPPSR affiliate Sarah Reckhow co-authors article on the inequities of special education funding in schools. Baton Rouge Police Detectives ‘Woefully Short’ Working The City’s Historic Number Of Killings(link is external) IPPSR affiliate David Carter discusses the influence of detective caseloads in solving homicides. Other Views: Black Infant Mortality …

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Gork revisited, 2018

It’s been almost 10 years since I made the post Are you Gork? Over the last decade, both scientists and non-scientists have become more confident that we will someday create: A. AGI (= sentient AI, named “Gork” :-)  See Rise of the Machines: Survey of AI Researchers. B. Quantum Computers. See Quantum Computing at a Tipping …

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Outcomes from a self-generated utility value intervention in science (in IJER)

The Scientific Practices project, was focused on engaging middle school students in scientific and engineering practices (such as developing and using models, constructing explanations of phenomena, and analyzing and interpreting data). As part of this longitudinal project, we carried out field experiments to understand the impact of specific features of the curriculum. In this paper published …

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New Student Scholarship on Indian Country Cross Deps

Here is “Bridging the Jurisdictional Void: Cross-Deputization Agreements in Indian Country,” forthcoming in the Arizona State Law Journal. The abstract: Comment examines cross-deputization agreements in Indian Country, focusing on the relationship between tribes and state and local governments and the impact cross-deputization agreements have on enforcing criminal law in Indian Country. Section I examines the …

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Low SES does not decrease heritability of cognitive ability (N=300k)

These researchers, from Stanford, Northwestern, and the University of Florida, analyze a large population of twins and siblings (~24k twins and ~300k children in total, born 1994-2002 in Florida). They find no evidence of SES (Socio-Economic Status) moderation of genetic influence on test scores (i.e., cognitive ability). The figure above shows the usual pattern of lower pairwise …

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