news 2018



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Life Sciences - Mathematics - 12.12.2018
Deep-learning technique reveals
Deep-learning technique reveals "invisible" objects in the dark
Method could illuminate features of biological tissues in low-exposure images. Small imperfections in a wine glass or tiny creases in a contact lens can be tricky to make out, even in good light. In almost total darkness, images of such transparent features or objects are nearly impossible to decipher.

Sport - Mathematics - 07.11.2018
There's real skill in fantasy sports
There’s real skill in fantasy sports
Researchers find most fantasy sports are based on skill, not luck. If you've ever taken part in the armchair sport of fantasy football and found yourself at the top of your league's standings at the end of the season, a new MIT study suggests your performance - however far removed from any actual playing field - was likely based on skill rather than luck.

Health - Mathematics - 02.11.2018
For new HPV DNA test, study finds there may be little benefit in screening women aged 55 with a negative test
Regular cytology screening (pap or smear test) is still the most commonly used HPV screening method, and can prevent cancers up to age 75 years, although benefits decline with age For the newly introduced HPV DNA test, which offers a higher degree of accuracy, women aged 55 who have a negative test were predicted to be at low risk of cervical cancer  A single negative human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA test - a newly introduced test which can detect

Computer Science - Mathematics - 30.10.2018
Model paves way for faster, more efficient translations of more languages
Model paves way for faster, more efficient translations of more languages
New system may open up the world's roughly 7,000 spoken languages to computer-based translation. MIT researchers have developed a novel "unsupervised" language translation model - meaning it runs without the need for human annotations and guidance - that could lead to faster, more efficient computer-based translations of far more languages.

Health - Mathematics - 18.10.2018
Cryptographic protocol enables greater collaboration in drug discovery
Cryptographic protocol enables greater collaboration in drug discovery
Neural network that securely finds potential drugs could encourage large-scale pooling of sensitive data. MIT researchers have developed a cryptographic system that could help neural networks identify promising drug candidates in massive pharmacological datasets, while keeping the data private. Secure computation done at such a massive scale could enable broad pooling of sensitive pharmacological data for predictive drug discovery.

Mathematics - Computer Science - 15.10.2018
Technique quickly identifies extreme event statistics
Technique quickly identifies extreme event statistics
Machine-learning model provides risk assessment for complex nonlinear systems, including boats and offshore platforms. Seafaring vessels and offshore platforms endure a constant battery of waves and currents. Over decades of operation, these structures can, without warning, meet head-on with a rogue wave, freak storm, or some other extreme event, with potentially damaging consequences.

Computer Science - Mathematics - 15.10.2018
Researcher Thinks Outside the Box for Big Science
Researcher Thinks Outside the Box for Big Science
"What would happen if..'" To answer that question, scientists - whether they're studying climate science or cosmology - rely on computer simulations to bring their abstract data to life in 3D. The process is painstakingly slow, however: One simulation can take up to a million CPU (central processing unit) hours on a supercomputer.

Computer Science - Mathematics - 11.09.2018
Smoothing out sketches' rough edges
Smoothing out sketches’ rough edges
MIT-developed tool improves automated image vectorization, saving digital artists time and effort. Artists may soon have at their disposal a new MIT-developed tool that could help them create digital characters, logos, and other graphics more quickly and easily. Many digital artists rely on image vectorization, a technique that converts a pixel-based image into an image comprising groupings of clearly defined shapes.

Computer Science - Mathematics - 10.09.2018
String Art - from the Hand of a Robot
String Art - from the Hand of a Robot
String art is a technique for the creation of visual artwork where images emerge from a set of strings that are spanned between pins. Now, at TU Wien (Vienna) this work can be delegated to a robot - an example of a complex task that digital fabrication can solve. The basic idea of string art is simple: hooks distributed on a frame are connected by strings back and forth until they fuse to a perceptible image.

Mathematics - 07.09.2018
BBC’s book of brainteasers includes puzzles from Sussex mathematician
A senior lecturer from the University of Sussex has contributed to a book of brainteasers from BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, which published yesterday. The Today Programme Puzzle Book contains over 280 cryptic, linguistic and numerical brainteasers created by top mathematicians and logicians from around the country, including Dr Nicos Georgiou, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at Sussex.

Physics - Mathematics - 23.08.2018
Solved! Caltech Researcher Helps Crack Decades-Old Math Problem
Solved! Caltech Researcher Helps Crack Decades-Old Math Problem
), and Matthew Hastings, a researcher at Microsoft, have solved one of the world's most challenging open problems in the field of mathematical physics. The problem, related to the "quantum Hall effect," was first proposed in 1999 as one of 13 significant unsolved problems to be included on a list maintained by Michael Aizenman, a professor of physics and mathematics at Princeton University and the former president of the   was to record some of the most perplexing unsolved puzzles in mathematical physics-a field that uses rigorous mathematical reasoning to address physics questions.

Mathematics - Career - 15.08.2018
Universities "must look deeper" into the drivers of inequality within research
Universities must seek a deeper understanding of the drivers of inequality in job roles and academic ranks if they are to achieve change. Professor Axel Gandy (Chair in Statistics, Imperial College London), Dr Georg Hahn (Senior Research Associate in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Lancaster University) and Professor Nick Jennings (Vice Provost for Research at Imperial College London) have looked at possible inequalities relating to grant application success rates within Imperial over a five-year period.

Mathematics - Physics - 13.08.2018
MIT mathematicians solve age-old spaghetti mystery
MIT mathematicians solve age-old spaghetti mystery
It's nearly impossible to break a dry spaghetti noodle into only two pieces. A new MIT study shows how and why it can be done. If you happen to have a box of spaghetti in your pantry, try this experiment: Pull out a single spaghetti stick and hold it at both ends. Now bend it until it breaks. How many fragments did you make? If the answer is three or more, pull out another stick and try again.

Mathematics - Environment - 09.08.2018
Half of London car crashes take place in 5% of the city's junctions
Half of London car crashes take place in 5% of the city’s junctions
The location of road accidents is not random and they tend to be highly concentrated in urban areas, according to a new UCL study. The study, published in the open-access journal Plos One , found that nearly 50% of the serious and fatal accidents in London take place in 5% of road junctions. PhD candidate Rafael Prieto Curiel, lead researcher (UCL Mathematics), said: "Despite being a rare event, road accidents are among the top ten causes of death worldwide.

Life Sciences - Mathematics - 06.08.2018
Better sleep linked with family tree strength
Better sleep linked with family tree strength
The question of why we sleep has been a longstanding subject of debate, with some theories suggesting that slumber provides respite for the brain, which allows it to filter out insignificant neural connections, build new ones, strengthen memories and even repair itself. However, new Oxford University research has used mathematical approaches to tackle the adaptive significance of sleep, and suggests that it has another equally significant purpose - boosting our 'fitness' and future family line reproductive success.

Linguistics / Literature - Mathematics - 03.08.2018
Is storytelling an enemy of science?
Have you heard the one about the linguist, astrophysicist, playwright, cancer researcher and screenwriter getting together to vigorously debate the validity of storytelling in science? This is not fiction, but a true story. Hear compelling arguments from both sides, as our expert panel discusses whether storytelling is a friend or foe for researchers.

Computer Science - Mathematics - 12.07.2018
Yihong Wu creates new tools for digging into data
Somewhere, buried deep inside mountains of information, awaits the human dimension of data. It's the small subset of material that, when properly selected, sheds light on something important, such as public policy or DNA sequencing. This is the scientific territory where Yihong Wu, a Yale assistant professor of statistics and data science, has set up shop.

Mathematics - Environment - 01.07.2018
Efficient Dimension Reduction using Dynamic Functional Principal Components
Efficient Dimension Reduction using Dynamic Functional Principal Components
By Siegfried Hörmann With increasing complexity and the rapidly growing amount of data collected in almost all areas of our life, it becomes more difficult to draw meaningful conclusions and to filter relevant information. The field of statistics has seen a big upsurge due to such new challenges. My research is devoted to some of these challenges.

Health - Mathematics - 28.06.2018
The value of late-in-life health care spending
The value of late-in-life health care spending
Around 25 percent of Medicare spending in the U.S. occurs in the last year of people's lives. This is sometimes discussed as a questionable use of resources: Is society throwing large amounts of medical treatment at some patients in a futile, if noble, effort to extend lives that are bound to end soon? A new study co-authored by an MIT health care economist offers a resounding answer: No.

Mathematics - 20.06.2018
Stubborn sparrows may have sung the same songs for hundreds of years
By preserving songs for centuries, American swamp sparrows show a cultural stability previously only seen in humans. Local populations of birds may have sung the same songs for hundreds of years and passed them on through the generations, according to researchers at Imperial College London, Queen Mary University of London and Duke University.
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