Tag: US

Lost Alan Turing Letters Found In Cupboard Reveal His True Opinions Of The USA

A remarkable archive of letters from the late and brilliant Alan Turing in the mid-20th century has been found hiding in a storeroom at the University of Manchester in the UK.

The find of 148 documents was made by Professor Jim Miles of the School of Computer Science, who had been reorganizing the storeroom when he came across them. The letters date from early 1949 until Turing’s tragic suicide in June 1954.

“When I first found it I initially thought, ‘that can’t be what I think it is’, but a quick inspection showed it was, a file of old letters and correspondence, by Alan Turing,” said Professor Miles in a statement. “I was astonished such a thing had remained hidden out of sight for so long. No one who now works in the School or at the University knew they even existed. It really was an exciting find and it is [a] mystery as to why they had been filed away.”

Although the letters reveal little about Turing’s personal life, they do show how highly regarded he was at the time. This is despite his work at Bletchley Park, when he helped crack the German Enigma machine in World War Two, still being under wraps.

University of Manchester

He had numerous offers to lecture at universities or attend events in the US, based on his previous work on artificial intelligence, computing, and mathematics. One of these was from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

However, it seems Turing himself wasn’t that keen on going to the US. In response to one invitation in April 1953, he said: “I would not like the journey, and I detest America.”

Another batch of letters found in 2015 shed more light on Turing’s tortured personal life, which saw him prosecuted for homosexual acts in 1952. He was later pardoned posthumously in 2013, having committed suicide via cyanide poisoning in 1954.

While these latest letters do not reveal any more about his personal life, they do give us more of an insight into his professional life. You can view all of the letters online here.

“The letters mostly confirm what is already known about Turing’s work at Manchester, but they do add an extra dimension to our understanding of the man himself and his research,” said Archivist James Peters in the statement. “As there is so little actual archive on this period of his life, this is a very important find in that context. There really is nothing else like it.”

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/technology/lost-alan-turing-letters-found-in-cupboard-reveal-he-detested-america/

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Maryam Mirzakhani, only woman to take math’s highest award, dies at 40

(CNN)Maryam Mirzakhani, a Stanford University professor who became the only woman to receive the highest honor in mathematics, died Saturday after a long battle with cancer, the school said.

She was 40.
The Iran native thrived in study of curved surfaces such as doughnut shapes and amoebas — to a degree that other bright minds in the field dared not explore, her colleagues have said.
In 2014, she became the first woman to receive the Fields Medal, the highest honor in mathematics and equivalent in reputation to a Nobel Prize.
The International Mathematical Union established the award in 1936 and has presented it to at least two people every four years since 1950. All 52 recipients before Mirazkhani were men.
“Maryam is gone far too soon, but her impact will live on for the thousands of women she inspired to pursue math and science,” Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said.

Like finding a way out of a jungle

When she won in 2014, the IMU called Mirzakhani’s accomplishments in complex geometric forms such as Riemann surfaces and moduli spaces “stunning.”
“Because of its complexities and inhomogeneity, moduli space has often seemed impossible to work on directly,” the IMU said. “But not to Mirzakhani.”
She was happy to take it on.
“It is like being lost in a jungle and trying to use all the knowledge that you can gather to come up with some new tricks, and with some luck you might find a way out,” she said once.
Her work could help advance understanding in physics, quantum mechanics and areas outside math, Stanford said in an online news article about her death.
She said the 2014 award was a great honor.
“I will be happy if it encourages young female scientists and mathematicians,” Mirzakhani said at the time.

From Iran to California

Mirzakhani was drawn to mathematics while in high school in Iran’s capital, Tehran, where she grew up.
As a teenager, she gained international attention when she won gold medals in two International Mathematical Olympiads, achieving a perfect score in one.
Mirzakhani got her undergraduate degree at Sharif University of Technology, then moved to the United States, where she went to work on her doctorate at Harvard University.
She was an assistant professor at Princeton University before moving to Stanford.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani saluted Mirzakhani in a message in Farsi, posted to Twitter.
“Maryam Mirzakhani was a creative scientist and a gracious human being who lifted Iran’s name in the global scientific community,” Rouhani’s account reads. “May she Rest In Peace.”

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/15/us/mirzakhani-obituary-first-woman-win-math-prize/index.html

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

Steve Ballmer Fast Facts

(CNN)Here is a look at the life of Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft.

Birth place: Detroit, Michigan
Birth name: Steven Anthony Ballmer
    Father: Fred Ballmer, manager for Ford Motor Co.
    Mother: Bea (Dworkin) Ballmer
    Marriage: Connie Snyder (1990-present)
    Children: three sons
    Education: Harvard University, B.A., 1977, double major in Mathematics and Economics; Attended Stanford University Graduate School of Business, 1979-1980
    Other Facts:
    Became friends with Bill Gates while at Harvard University.
    Worked for Procter & Gamble as assistant product manager before Microsoft.
    Met his wife, Connie Snyder, while both were working at Microsoft.


      Sterling, Ballmer reach $2B Clippers deal


    1980 –
    Begins his Microsoft career as a business manager and is the company’s 24th employee.
    July 1998-February 2001 – President of Microsoft.
    January 13, 2000 – Is named chief executive officer when Bill Gates steps down to concentrate on philanthropy.
    February 4, 2014 – Steps down as Microsoft CEO.
    May 29, 2014 – Ballmer signs a binding agreement to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion from the Sterling family trust.
    August 12, 2014 – Steve Ballmer becomes the official owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, according to Ballmer’s attorney, Adam Streisand. The negotiated $2 billion sale price is a record for an NBA team.
    August 19, 2014 – Steps down from the Microsoft board of directors in order to concentrate on the Clippers.
    October 16, 2015 – Announces he has bought a 4% stake in Twitter during the past few months, becoming one of its largest shareholders.
    March 2016 – Forbes names Ballmer, with a net worth of $23.5 billion, number 26 on its annual World’s Billionaires list.
    June 4, 2016 – Along with Brandt Vaughan, founds USAFacts Institute. Ballmer later describes the work of the institute as creating a “10-K for the government,” according to a Bloomberg interview.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/08/us/steve-ballmer-fast-facts/index.html

    Technorati Tags: ,

    LEGO To Launch Women In NASA Collection

    These days, youve only really made it if youve been immortalized in LEGO. Just ask Batman. So riding high on the renewed interest in the hidden figures of space science, LEGO has announced it will be releasing a new Women of NASA collection, set to be available either late this year or early 2018.

    The Women of NASA collection was proposed by US science writer Maia Weinstock as part of the LEGO Ideas project that takes place twice a year, allowing fans to pitch ideas to the company. Weinstocks collection of five notable women in science was picked up by the company after it received more than 10,000 public votes.

    LEGO Ideas spokeswoman Lise Dydensborg announced the company was excited to go ahead with Weinstock’s idea, following on from its first-ever set of female-only scientists, also a LEGO Ideas proposal, back in 2014.

    “As a science editor and writer, with a strong personal interest in space exploration as well as the history of women in science and engineering, Maia Weinstock’s Women of NASA project was a way for her to celebrate accomplished women in the STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics] professions,” Dydensborg said in a statement.

    “This proposed set celebrates five notable NASA pioneers and provides an educational building experience to help young ones and adults alike learn about the history of women in STEM, said Weinstock in her proposal.

    So who are these awesome women?

    Katherine Johnson

    Youve probably heard of Johnson recently due to the popularity of the book and subsequent Oscar-nominated film, Hidden Figures. Johnson was one of the many human computers, women of color employed by NASA in the early days of the space program. A mathematician and physicist, she calculated the trajectory of the rocket that sent Alan Shepherd, the first Amercian, into space.


    Margaret Hamilton

    Margaret Hamiton worked for MIT under contract with NASA in the 1960s. A computer scientist and systems engineer, she designed and developed the onboard flight software used for the Apollo missions to the Moon, whichwas later adapted and used by the Space Shuttle. Last year, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama, the highest civilian award in the US.


    Sally Ride

    Sally Ride is well known for being the first American woman in space. A physicist by training and astronaut by ambition, Ride first went into space aboard the Challenger space shuttle in 1983, returning again in 1984. After retiring as an astronaut, Ride taught as a professor of physics, became a childrens science book writer, and set up a science outreach company to encourage children, especially young girls, to pursue science. Ride died in 2012.

    Mae Jemison

    Mae Jemison was the first African-Amercan woman to go into space. A trained medical doctor and Peace Corps medical official, Jemison was inspired by Sally Ride and applied to the NASA astronaut program, entering into space aboard the space shuttle Endeavour in 1992. Retiring from NASA, Jemison founded acompany that researches the application of science and technology to daily life.

    content-1488455083-27769399024-5cf823ab3Ride and Jemison with the Space Shuttle

    Nancy Grace Roman

    Astronomer, educator, and advocate for women in science, Nancy Grace Roman is known to many as the Mother of Hubble due to her contribution to the Hubble Space Telescope. She was the first Chief of Astronomy in NASA’s Office of Space Science, and NASAs first female executive. She has published many astronomy papers over the years and acted as a consultant to NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center.


    As well as the desktop frame that includes all five figurines, the set includes various vignettes, including a recreation of the famous photo of Margaret Hamilton standing next to piles of code shed written, the Hubble telescope for Roman, the Space Shuttle for Jemison and Ride, and instruments used to calculate and verify shuttle trajectories for Johnson.

    Not everybody will know who these amazing women are, but half the fun will be exploring them, their histories, and contributions to science, whether youre five or 95.

    content-1488455270-27770116643-a14cf5b84All images: (c) Maia Weinstock

    Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/lego-to-launch-women-in-nasa-collection/

    Technorati Tags: , , ,

    Women In STEM Around The World: Where We’ve Improved, And Where We Can Do Better

    On March 8, every year, its International Womens Day a celebration of the economic, political, and social achievements of women all over the world. As we often like to point out at IFLScience, particularly around this time of year, we should absolutely be applauding the mind-blowing work of women working in science, too.

    Without these people from the great pioneers and pathfinders, to the masters and doctoral students toiling through their tough degrees the world would be a far worse place than it is today. Todays a good chance to acknowledge this, but its also a good opportunity to review the progress society has made in getting more women into science.

    Although there are more women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) than ever before, problems still pervade. From the recruiting bias against women to the fact that many with STEM degrees never end up in a STEM occupation, theres a great deal more we can all do to help climb this unfortunate mountain.


    Lets just have a quick look at the statistics for the US, the most powerful nation on Earth and certainly the richest. Although there are plenty of congressional representatives there keen on getting more women into STEM, the Land of the Free currently has a massive problem in this regard.

    According to US government data from 2012, there were 41,640,670 adults aged between 25 and 64 with at least one bachelors degree, and 14,807,725 of them (about 36 percent) had STEM degrees. Thats not a bad proportion overall for those wanting to study or get into science.


    The state of women with STEM degrees in the US, as of 2012. US Census

    However, just 1 in 4 men with STEM degrees go into STEM careers today. This is unfortunate enough, but 1 in 7 women fall for the same fate another clear example of there not being enough paths to a career in science for both men and women, and a striking showcase of how underrepresented women are in science.

    The UK fares just as badly. As of 2015, women make up no more than 18 percent of the STEM workforce, up by just 0.2 points since 2012. Just 9 percent of the British workforce are female engineering workers, and only 6 percent of qualified engineers are women.

    Diversity of women in STEM is also a massive problem. In the US, back in 2013, 70 percent of STEM job holders were white. Minority women held fewer than 1 in 10 jobs as employed scientists or engineers.

    Yes, there arent many jobs in academia going at the moment. Funding in academia is a notoriously troublesome issue, and its set to fall quite dramatically in the US under the new Trump administration.

    But this problem of underrepresentation has existed long before this was a factor. If you have so many women graduating with STEM degrees, you should have far more women in STEM jobs. So where are they all?

    Climbing Mountains

    Women face an uphill struggle in many respects compared to men. Just as an example, the gender pay gap wont close completely until the year 2186at the current rate, and there are plenty of men (and women) in power trying very hard to convince the world that women arent strong or smart enough to deserve equal pay.

    Women face plenty of prejudices when it comes to science too. The seemingly endemic problem of harassment and sexism of women in the workplace also includes STEM jobs. There is a well-documented bias against hiring women over men across a wide range of careers, and STEM is no exception.

    One study revealed that both male and female employers were twice as likely to hire men over women regardless of background. Another computer science-related study found that, when coding anonymously for review, women were often seen as better than their male counterparts. However, when the sex of the coders weremade public, men were suddenly seen as being more competent.

    Even in STEM careers, men cite themselves and their own work way more than women do, and analyses suggest that this is because its socially acceptable for men to be ambitious, but women seen doing the same are considered to be threatening in some way. Go figure.

    Women being recruited into STEM degrees is on the up, but there’s a long, long way to go yet. Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

    Consequently, female first or co-authorship of academic papers has gone down. It increased from 27 to 37 percent from 1994 to 2014, but ever since, it has plateaued, and even begun to decline in many journals. The largest step-change occurs at the post-doc level, where plenty of men persevere but a huge number of women drop out.

    We need to think about ways to dismantle the structural practices that prevent women from staying in science, Aimee Eckert, a doctoral student in cell biology at the University of Sussex, told IFLScience.

    A friend of mine is a PhD student and a single mother. She’s brilliant and would make a great lab leader one day, Eckert said. But she will be penalized in academia for staying in one city or even in the UK because of the pressure to work in different environments to climb the career ladder.

    Noting that there are too many qualified women getting neglected for talks, public seminars, and panel discussions, Eckert said that shed like to see more practices that don’t label women as the other in science, as opposed to men being the norm.

    Even from a young age, girls are taught in many parts of the world that STEM jobs are boys jobs, not anyones. This is despite the fact that boys and girls perform equally well in STEM subjects in terms of standardized testing results, all other things considered equal.

    This may be part of the reason why many of them decide not to study in a STEM field at all.

    UK government data shows that back in 2013-2014, 52 percent of male undergraduates were on a STEM course at university, compared to just 40 percent of women. Just 20 percent of A-level (optional, advanced high school final exams) physics students are female, and this statistic has remained steady for the last quarter-century.

    Computer science degrees, which are becoming increasingly important to the well-being of nations these days, are dominated by men. Just 18 percent of US computer science graduates are women.

    In the US, a 2015 report shows that both men and women were slightly more likely to be taking STEM degrees than they were a decade ago. This sounds good, but theres a caveat: The share of STEM degrees has gone down for women over the last 10years as men are taking a bigger slice of the pie here. So as men rocket forwards in STEM, women are falling behind.

    Remember that this is just a handful of wealthy nations were talking about here. In much of the developing world, women dont even have access to higher education. For the first time in history, just this year, there are as many girls as boys in primary education a great achievement, but one that highlights how far we have yet to come.

    Lets All Look On The Bright Side

    There are some positive signs of change afoot, however. It is true that there are more women in STEM than ever before, and they are dominating the fields of anthropology, archaeology, forensics, pharmacology, zoology, and psychology, to name but a few. In important, public ways, women in STEM occupations are being promoted a lot more than they used to.

    One study revealed that the gender bias may be switching sides in some senses, with one study concluding that male and female employers are more likely to hire women for professorial roles in psychology, engineering, and biology than equally qualified male counterparts.

    Obviously, people should be hired based on their expertise alone, but its demonstrably clear that theres an enormous problem here with women in STEM. Its a complicated issue, but one that has a rather straightforward solution: Treat men and women the same when it comes to science and everything else, come to think of it.

    Lest we forget young girls love science just as much as young boys. Despite everything going against them, some of them manage to get into a STEM field. Its hardly the end of the fight at this point, though.

    Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to become a paleontologist, Franzi Sattler, a palaeontologist specializing in evolutionary biology and biodiversity from the Free University of Berlin, told IFLScience. I didn’t even know the word for it (dinosaur woman never failed to confuse my parents), but I was sure that this is what I was born to do.

    Sattler has worked with Tristan, one of the worlds best-preserved T. rex specimens. Although she says that there are a lot of amazing women of all ages that are proud to support each other in the paleontological community, she still feels the pressure of being a woman in a still male-dominated field a lot sometimes.

    I constantly have the feeling that people expect me to get married, start a family and drop everything that I have worked for, Sattler adds. Stable positions and guaranteed funding would be one way to make academia more desirable for young female researchers.

    Be Bold For Change

    The theme of 2017s International Womens Day is Be Bold For Change. Its ridiculous that asking for a level playing field for both men and women is considered bold, but here we are, in 2017, still wondering when thisll be achieved.

    If youd like to see more done to help boost the support and recruitment of women in STEM, then there are several things you can do.

    Sign up here to campaign for womens education as part of International Womens Day. Become a STEM Ambassador in the UK or the US, or donate to one of these absolutely amazing charities that help get girls and women into science. March alongside them, and stand up for science.

    And, if you know a woman in STEM, take some time to let them know how awesome they are. By merely studying a STEM subject, they are going against societys tide.

    In this sense, any women involved in STEM whether they are an elderly researcher or a little girl standing up for science are pioneers, and they deserve not just our applause, but action, to change things for the better.

    Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/women-in-stem-around-the-world-where-weve-improved-and-where-we-can-do-better/

    Technorati Tags: , , ,

    Using Math During The Holidays

    With the holidays coming upon us, and knowing that many people eat out during the holidays, I thought it would be nice to make a post which discusses how to use math and make the appropriate tip after eating or drinking. I found a nice article on this topic at articledashboard.com. Check it out!

    How To Tip At US Restaurants And Bars

    Tipping culture is rife in US restaurants, and it is an important custom for those working in the service industry. It’s become so ingrained that there are well-known consequences for skimping on gratuity. Failing to tip a bartender after each round of drinks, for example, well, it wouldn’t happen. After not tipping the first time, you’re not going to get another round. Here is a guide to tipping in restaurants and bars during your US travels.

    If you get up and order your drinks at the bar the standard tip is one dollar per drink. For cocktails or specialty requests, such as a Boston sour with egg white, an extra buck is preferred for the time it takes to make these drinks. Custom dictates that after purchasing the drinks, you leave the tip on the bar. Don’t hand it directly to the bartender, especially if it is busy. They will see it and pick it up. If you see a few dollars on the bar, leave them. Those are tips from other customers. If you don’t have a lot of change on you, you can tip the bartender a larger sum after the first round which will cover the next few, just remember to return to the same one when ordering.

    When settling a bar tab, you can calculate 20% of the total to determine the appropriate tip. Most won’t show the amount of drinks you’ve ordered, but the amount should come to about the same. If you want better service, tip more (a few dollars extra is all it takes). If you’ve bought drinks at restaurants with your meal that the waitperson has brought to you, the bartender will receive a percentage of the total tip that you leave with your bill. If there is a bouncer on the door of a club you regularly frequent, tip them a few bucks for future perks. They do remember.

    At restaurants, 15 to 20% is the standard, left after the bill has been paid on the table. If paying by card, a tip can be added on the receipt. If you’re terrible at math, doubling the tax and rounding up is roughly correct. Tipping more is always encouraged, but tipping less is an insult. If you receive bad service, ask to speak with a manager rather than throwing a few coins down. In fact, no tip sends a stronger message than a measly dollar or two. For large parties, gratuity is usually included in the total. It will say so at the bottom of your bill.

    Many tourists are against the tipping culture, but it’s important to follow customs in a host country. People in the service industry receive low wages, sometimes below minimum, so tips make up a large portion of their take home earnings. Minimum wage is also not a livable income in most areas, and workers in the industry are largely considered casual, meaning they are not provided with any benefits such as health insurance, sick pay, or even holiday leave. A few good tips can mean a doctor’s visit or a paid utility bill.

    By: Anna Woodward

    Fresno restaurants can satisfy the whole family. To help you choose the right one for a night out, visit: www.myyp.com

     Personally, I usually leave a 20% tip. And remember that the tip is calcualted before the tax is added in. To do that, just take the total and multuply it by 2 and drop the last digit! So a $25 meal would render a (25 x 2 = 50)  $5 tip.

    Hope that helps!

    Have yourself great holiday season!


    Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,