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Computer Science / Engineering posts

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  • September 19, 2013
  • 10:31 AM
  • 220 views

Mammals, Machines and Mind Games. Who’s the Smartest?

by David Dowe in United Academics

We’re all familiar with the idea of an IQ test, and we might know where we stand on the IQ scale – but what about the rest of the animal world? And how smart are machines becoming? At present, it’s hard to tell.... Read more »

David L. Dowe. (2005) A computer program capable of passing I.Q. tests. School of Computer Science and Software Engineering. info:/

  • September 18, 2013
  • 11:15 PM
  • 215 views

Minimizing finite state automata

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Computer science is a strange mix of engineering, science, and math. This is captured well by the historic roots of deterministic finite state automata (DFAs). The first ideas that can be recognized as a precursor to DFAs can be found with Gilberth & Gilberth (1921) introducing flow process charts into mechanical and industrial engineering. Independently, […]... Read more »

McCulloch, Warren S., & Pitts, Walter. (1943) A logical calculus of the ideas immanent in nervous activity. Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics, 115-133. DOI: 10.1007/BF02478259  

  • September 18, 2013
  • 06:39 PM
  • 288 views

‘Wired Microbes’ Act as Power Plants, Converting Sewage to Energy

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Engineers at Stanford have devised a new way to convert sewage to energy, using naturally occurring “wired microbes” as mini power plants, producing electricity as they digest plant and animal waste.... Read more »

Xing Xie, Meng Ye, Po-Chun Hsu, Nian Liu, Craig S. Criddle, Yi Cui. (2013) Microbial battery for efficient energy recovery. PNAS. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1307327110  

  • September 17, 2013
  • 12:51 PM
  • 279 views

Computer Model to Help Manage Hydropower in Kenya

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

The largest share of Kenya’s electricity supply comes from hydroelectric stations at the dams along the upper Tana River, as well as the Turkwel Gorge Dam in the west. And to keep the lights on, Kenyan authorities want to know how much water they can expect in upcoming rainy seasons. A multi-university research team have developed a computer model to help manage the hydropower in Kenya.... Read more »

  • September 12, 2013
  • 03:15 PM
  • 287 views

Semi-smooth fitness landscapes and the simplex algorithm

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

As you might have guessed from my strange and complicated name, I’m Russian. One of the weird features of this is that even though I have never had to experience war, I still feel a strong cultural war-weariness. This stems from an ancestoral memory of the Second World War, a conflict that had an extremely […]... Read more »

  • September 10, 2013
  • 01:12 AM
  • 274 views

Connection Between Solar Cells That Handles Energy of 70,000 Suns Developed

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

North Carolina State University researchers have come up with a new method for improving the connections between stacked solar cells, which should improve the efficiency of solar energy devices and reduce the cost of solar energy.... Read more »

Joshua P. Samberg, C. Zachary Carlin, Geoff K. Bradshaw, Peter C. Colter, Jeff Harmon, J.B. Allen, John R. Hauser, S.M. Bedair. (2013) Effect of GaAs interfacial layer on the performance of high bandgap tunnel junctions for multijunction solar cells. Applied Physics Letters, 103(10). DOI: 10.1063/1.4819917  

  • September 9, 2013
  • 03:15 AM
  • 283 views

What can theoretical computer science offer biology?

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

If there is anything definitive that can be said about biology then it is that biology is messy and complicated. The stereotypical image of a biology major is in the library memorizing volumes of loosely (at best) related facts only to have them overturned in the next semester. Concepts are related only vaguely, to the […]... Read more »

  • September 7, 2013
  • 07:57 AM
  • 284 views

The biggest microscope

by Perikis Livas in Tracing Knowledge

Fermions and bosons. Mesons and baryons. Electrons and protons. Researchers of the subatomic world must know the identity and understand the behavior of dozens of different kinds of particles. However, not all particles are equal. While all are interesting in their own ways, certain ones have a more widespread utility. One such particle is the muon.... Read more »

Don Lincoln. (2013) The biggest microscope. Fermilab Today. DOI: arXiv:1306.6905v1  

  • September 6, 2013
  • 02:44 PM
  • 335 views

Can DNA Template Lead to Future Technologies?

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

DNA is the blueprint for life. Could it also become the template for making a new generation of computer chips based not on silicon, but on an experimental material known as graphene? That’s the theory behind a process that Stanford chemical engineering professor Zhenan Bao reveals in Nature Communications (citation below). Bao and her co-authors, former post-doctoral fellows Anatoliy Sokolov … Read More →... Read more »

A.N. Sokolov, F. L. Yap, N. Liu, K. Kim, L. Ci, O. B. Johnson, H. Wang, M. Vosgueritchian, A. L. Koh, J Chen, J. Park.... (2013) Direct growth of aligned graphitic nanoribbons from a DNA template by chemical vapour deposition. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3402  

  • September 5, 2013
  • 02:35 PM
  • 266 views

Where is the model?

by Ragothamanyennamalli in Getting to know Structural Bioinformatics

Wouldn’t it be a great idea to put all these homology modeled structures that were published (of course, in a peer-reviewed journal) in one place? For some researchers, homology models are usually considered with a pinch (sorry a bucket!) of salt. Still, why should I spend time on modeling the protein, if a model exists already?... Read more »

  • September 4, 2013
  • 12:54 PM
  • 321 views

Layered Semiconductors May Greatly Improve Photoelectrochemical Cells

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Theoretical simulations reveal that layered semiconductors with magnetic interfaces can be used to increase the efficiency of photoelectrochemical cells. According to a new study by researchers at the A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing, model interfaces made from gallium nitride (GaN) and zinc oxide (ZnO) semiconductors have tunable magnetic and light-harvesting capabilities—factors that can greatly improve the photocatalytic transformation of water into hydrogen fuel.... Read more »

  • August 31, 2013
  • 03:30 AM
  • 298 views

Computational complexity of evolutionary equilibria

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

The first half of the 20th century is famous for revolutionary changes — paradigm shifts as Kuhn would say — across the sciences and other systems of thought. Disheartened by the scars of the First World War, European thinkers sought refuge by shifting their worldviews away from those of their fathers. In fields like biology, […]... Read more »

  • August 29, 2013
  • 11:14 AM
  • 211 views

Understanding the Basis of Human Intelligence

by Sedeer El-Showk in United Academics

From Siri answering our questions and Watson advising nurses to smart apps that aggregate information to help us out (or spy on us), artificial intelligence is transforming our world. Despite incredible advances, somehow these amazingly “intelligent” systems sometimes seem profoundly stupid. Hector Levesque, a professor of computer science at the University of Toronto, likens them to savants. He was recently awarded the Research Excellence Award at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Beijing; he used his acceptance speech to highlight important questions about our approach to artificial intelligence and what it can tell us about ourselves.... Read more »

Rahman, Altaf and Ng, Vincent. (2013) Resolving Complex Cases of Definite Pronouns: The Winograd Schema Challenge. Proceedings of the 2012 Joint Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and Computational Natural Language Learning. info:/

  • August 29, 2013
  • 10:06 AM
  • 366 views

Open-Source Energy Model for Policy Makers Will Increase Transparency

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Computer models are used to inform policy decisions about energy, but existing models are generally “black boxes” that don’t show how they work, making it impossible for anyone to replicate their findings. Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new open-source model and are sharing the data they put into it, to allow anyone to check their work—an important advance given the environmental and economic impact of energy policy decisions.... Read more »

  • August 26, 2013
  • 08:52 AM
  • 304 views

Chemists Combine Natural Materials With Synthetic Ones to ‘Upgrade’ Photosynthesis

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

A ring of protein and pigments, half synthetic and half natural, can be used to quickly prototype light-harvesting antennas that absorb more sunlight than fully natural ones.... Read more »

Kunche Aravindu, Olga Mass, Pothiappan Vairaprakash, Joseph W. Springer, Eunkyung Yang, Dariusz M. Niedzwiedzki, Christine Kirmaier,b David F. Bocian, Dewey Holten, Jonathan S. Lindsey. (2013) Amphiphilic chlorins and bacteriochlorins in micellar environments. Molecular design, de novo synthesis, and photophysical properties. Chemical Science, 4(9), 3459-3477. DOI: 10.1039/c3sc51335a  

  • August 25, 2013
  • 11:30 PM
  • 269 views

NK and block models of fitness landscapes

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

On February 12, 2001, the human genome project released its first formal report. It was a great day for biology, and a wonderful birthday present for Darwin. However, it was also a humbling confrontation with complexity and prompted Steven Jay Gould to write in the New York Times: [The Human Genome project revealed that] Home […]... Read more »

Kauffman S, & Levin S. (1987) Towards a general theory of adaptive walks on rugged landscapes. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 128(1), 11-45. PMID: 3431131  

  • August 22, 2013
  • 12:47 PM
  • 348 views

All digital images are just large arrays of numbers

by Olga Vovk in Milchstraße

If we look at image processing from the mathematical perspective, all digital images are just arrays of numbers. Across different fields of study, image processing applications (although initially developed for very specific needs) often use similar image processing routines based on common algorithms. Why I am writing all this?... Read more »

Jennifer L. West, & Ian D. Cameron. (2006) Using the medical image processing package, ImageJ, for astronomy. J.Roy.Astron.Soc.Canada100:242-248,2006. arXiv: astro-ph/0611686v1

Michelle Borkin (Initiative in Innovative Computing, Harvard University), Alyssa Goodman (Initiative in Innovative Computing/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), Michael Halle (Initiative in Innovative Computing/Harvard Medical School), Douglas A. (2006) Application of Medical Imaging Software to 3D Visualization of Astronomical Data. arXiv.org. info:/

Covington K, McCreedy ES, Chen M, Carass A, Aucoin N, & Landman BA. (2010) Interfaces and Integration of Medical Image Analysis Frameworks: Challenges and Opportunities. Annual ORNL Biomedical Science and Engineering Center Conference ORNL Biomedical Science and Engineering Center Conference, 1-4. PMID: 21151892  

  • August 21, 2013
  • 05:47 PM
  • 374 views

Fungus and Bacteria Create Isobutanol from Waste Plant Material

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

A fungus and E. coli bacteria have joined forces to turn tough, waste plant material into isobutanol, a biofuel that matches gasoline’s properties better than ethanol. University of Michigan research team members said the principle also could be used to produce other valuable chemicals such as plastics.... Read more »

Jeremy J. Mintya, Marc E. Singera, Scott A. Scholzb, Chang-Hoon Baea, Jung-Ho Ahna, Clifton E. Fosterc, James C. Liaod, Xiaoxia Nina Lin. (2013) Design and characterization of synthetic fungal-bacterial consortia for direct production of isobutanol from cellulosic biomass. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/08/13/1218447110. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1218447110  

  • August 17, 2013
  • 09:37 AM
  • 319 views

Smart Window Coating Can Regulate Heat and Light Coming Through

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Large glass windows provide better natural lighting conditions, but also let in more heat, therefore bringing higher air-conditioning bills. The Harvard researchers recently proposed to solve the problem by fitting the windows with a bioinspired microfluidic circulatory system. Now, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have designed a new material—a thin coating of nanocrystals embedded in glass—that can dynamically modify sunlight as it passes through a window.... Read more »

  • August 16, 2013
  • 11:00 PM
  • 257 views

Fitness landscapes as mental and mathematical models of evolution

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

As Jacob Scott pointed out, everybody — theorist or experimentalist — “has a logical construct (a model) in his or her head” when studying anything. This model might be mathematically explicit or implicit in the mind, but it is there and if the world is mechanistic (or if we only want to consider mechanistic theories […]... Read more »

Wright, S. (1932) The roles of mutation, inbreeding, crossbreeding, and selection in evolution. Proceedings of the Sixth International Congress of Genetics, 356-366. info:/

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