Vialogues' Interactive Feature Prototype

Submitted by Yang Yang on Thu, 07/17/2014 - 10:52pm.

This is a screenshot of the D3 interactive streamgraph of Vialogues 6973, a long (>20 min) video named “anthro of YouTube” with 116 total comments. Please feel free to play with the interactive version of prototype here.

It is a visual illustration of concept flows of a discussion for its corresponding video, as it shows the change and switch of discussion concepts along with the video time stream. Only because of Vialogues timestamp function, we are able to trace the discussion back to that particular portion of the video.

Each categorical color shows one keyword, so that the stream of this color is the stream of this concept. For instance, red represents YouTube in this example, we know that at the beginning and the 3/4s of the video, this concept appears more than the very end of the video.

The Importance of School in Places with Rampant Gun and Gang Violence

Submitted by Haymar Lim on Thu, 07/17/2014 - 9:09pm.

This week, I found myself listening to a set of episodes of "This American Life," a radio show and podcast telling stories about various aspects of American life, about a school in one of the more dangerous areas of Chicago. The show interviewed several people attending or working at the school and quickly painted a picture of the violence and gang culture pervasive throughout the area. The best way I can present the gravity of the situation is to say that the map can be used as an accurate tool to tell which gang a particular kid may belong to. If a kid lives on a certain block, almost without exception, that kid will belong to the gang whose "turf" that block belongs in. It isn't a matter of joining or not joining the gang. Once a kid is deemed tall or old enough, he/she must join, or risk getting shot at or jumped. The staff at Harper High, the school looked at in this report, openly acknowledge the fact that almost all of their students are gang members and try to accommodate them to face the troubles of this reality. To put some numbers behind this, the year before this report took place, 29 students of Harper High were shot at. 8 students were killed. These numbers are not an anomaly. Had they been, perhaps we'd have heard about it on national news. Perhaps if the weapons used were semi-automatic rifles and not hand-guns we'd have heard about it on national news. Regardless, the sad reality remains.

Python Application Deployment

Submitted by Pranav Garg on Thu, 07/17/2014 - 3:36pm.

This is a pretty interesting article on deploying of python applications on a PAAS platform.

The Evolving Landscape of Software Development

Submitted by Pranav Garg on Thu, 07/17/2014 - 3:34pm.

What's a Flag For?

Submitted by Sharon Hsiao on Thu, 07/17/2014 - 2:17pm.

What is a flag for? Social media reporting tools and the vocabulary of complaint (2014) Kate Crawford & Tarleton Gillespie, New Media & Society, pp, 1-19, doi: 10.1177/1461444814543163

This paper is just published, and on my birthday, so I figure i read it.

Flagging is a common mechanism for reporting offensive content in social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Flickr, YouTube, Instagram, and Foursquare, as well as in the comments sections on most blogs and news sites. It's used to filter, report abuse, individual expressions of concerns, etc. it may seem like a ubiquitous mechanism of governance, but there are no direct or uncomplicated representation of community sentiment on it yet. The paper discusses issues on content regulation, user awareness on social platform, controversial examples can become opportunities for substantive public debates, etc. The paper aims to bring more clarity to the range of functions of flags play in social media. It's pretty interesting for researchers to know & to think, especially those who plan on using "engineered features" to quantify community values with practical and rhetorical values.

Modern Day Employment

Submitted by Jeffrey Hado on Thu, 07/17/2014 - 12:24am.

After receiving a warm welcome and a great introduction to colleagues at a new job, depending on what the employee is there for, the manager often hopes that the employee will work together with his or her team for years and contribute to the success of the company.

However, there is often a disconnect between companies or managers and their employees; this as a result of loyalty. Managers always expect loyalty from employees who will claim to be loyal but leave once a better opportunity is at hand. As of result of this, some companies do not assure employees of how secure their job, which normally leads to a high turnover of employees because they are constantly searching the marketplace for a better opportunity.

This has indeed ruined the manager employee relationship since no one is willing to invest in a long-term relationship. As a result, there is reduced trust in the business world and it is at an all-time low.

MIT Develops New Data Sharing System

Submitted by Khalil Abubakar on Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:39pm.

Privacy has and continues to be one of the primary concerns of individuals who use the Internet. There is widespread concern about how personal information gathered by the likes of Amazon and Netflix are handled. To ease some of these concerns, researchers at MIT have come up with OpenPDS, a system that allows individuals to decide which data they want to share.

OpenPDS stores data from users’ devices in a single location, either on a personal computer or encrypted server. If a company wants to access the users’ data, they have to search that users’ database, which provides little useful data. OpenPDS could be the beginning of data sharing systems that will make it difficult for companies to access personal data.

EDM'14 - The Problem Solving Genome

Submitted by Sharon Hsiao on Wed, 07/16/2014 - 2:02pm.

One of the best papers from EDM14.

Full paper can be retrieve here

Parameterized exercises have recently emerged as an important tool for online assessment and learning. The ability to generate multiple versions of the same exercise with different parameters helps to support learning-by-doing and decreases cheating during assessment. At the same time, our experience with using parameterized exercises for Java programming reveals suboptimal use of this technology as demonstrated by repeated successful and failed attempts to solve the same problem. In this paper we present the results of our work on modeling and examining patterns of student behavior with parameterized exercises using Problem Solving Genome, a compact encapsulation of individual behavior patterns. We started with micro-patterns (genes) that describe small chunks of repetitive behavior and constructed individual genomes as frequency pro les that shows the dominance of each gene in individual behavior. The exploration of student genomes revealed that individual genome is very stable, distinguishing students from their peers and changing very little with the growth of knowledge over the course. Using the genome, we were able to analyze student behavior on the group level and identify genes associated with good and bad learning performance.

Working with Robotics

Submitted by Kafoumba Doumbia on Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:26am.

Our nation is facing a challenge encouraging more students to engage in STEM.
However, some schools, such as Cloonan Middle School in Stamford, Connecticut, are doing their best change this situation. Cloonan Middle School has partnered with West Point to help provide them with tools for a robotic workshop. The workshop was held to engage students in the learning of STEM and teach them how to program a robot.

I personally think that this is a great program for middle schoolers and we should think about spreading such ideas nationwide. This program will not only help those students pass their classes, and prepare them for future educational challenges, it will help them become problem solvers of the next generation.

Financial Literacy Blog Follow Up

Submitted by Oumar Soumahoro on Wed, 07/16/2014 - 1:26am.

As a follow up to my previous blog about financial literacy, I came across the video below in which college students from various campuses are asked about basic financial terms.
It is however surprising that those students are more aware of the things going on around them (e.g. pop culture) than they are about things that could affect them for the rest of their lives.
Please watch this video and share your opinion on efficient ways students can be better knowledgeable of the decision they make and will make in the future.

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