Microsoft Study Tries to Understand Why Girls Lose Interest in STEM Courses

Microsoft has released a survey that portrays the scenario of women in a universe considered to be masculine at times: that of the exact sciences. The study, conducted by Microsoft in partnership with KRC Research, reveals that despite the high priority these disciplines are placed in schools, efforts to expand women’s interest in these areas and in computer science are not working, especially in technology and engineering.

The survey heard more than 6,000 American girls and women ages 10 to 30 about science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, or STEM. One of the data, for example, shows that in elementary school 31 percent of girls believe that jobs that require coding and programming are not for them, rising to 40 percent in high school and 58 percent in college.

According to the results of the study, the main reasons that would justify this scenario wo

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Microsoft has released a survey that portrays the scenario of women in a universe considered to be masculine at times: that of the exact sciences. The study, conducted by Microsoft in partnership with KRC Research, reveals that despite the high priority these disciplines are placed in schools, efforts to expand women’s interest in these areas and in computer science are not working, especially in technology and engineering.

The survey heard more than 6,000 American girls and women ages 10 to 30 about science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, or STEM. One of the data, for example, shows that in elementary school 31 percent of girls believe that jobs that require coding and programming are not for them, rising to 40 percent in high school and 58 percent in college.

According to the results of the study, the main reasons that would justify this scenario would be from social pressure in the school environment to the lack of models to be followed, as well as the support of parents and teachers for a general perception of how exact careers are in the real world.

The document also proposes to modify this scenario. The first of these would be to provide teachers with tools that make the curriculum of exams more engaging, such as 3D designs – types of activity that have proven to help maintain long-term interest. In addition, the study shows that girls encouraged by parents are twice as likely to be interested in the world of the exact. That is: it is important to create tools between school and parents for this to happen.

Finally, the research highlights the importance of creating classrooms and workplaces that value women’s opinions. “It would be really cool to see women in the exact careers on posters in the hallway, in our history and science texts, and to visit our classes,” says one of the girls interviewed by the survey.

Agile Method: Always Convince

Toyota’s total quality approach is based on continuous feedback, primarily industrial. This approach is also at the heart of so-called “agile” methods of computer development or organization, and it brings, again, real benefits according to a study by Freeform Dynamics on the order of CA Technologies.

The agile companies thus have a higher growth of turnover (57% above average) and profit (+ 43%). This study also shows that the agile spirit begins to be generalized in the company, at least according to the statements of the officials questioned.

Thus, 84% of respondents state that their company fully adopts agile methods, 79% continuous delivery and 71% the principles of DevOps. 91% implement these methods within their development teams (and the remaining 9% adopt the methods without applying them). Agility has the first effect of impr

Toyota’s total quality approach is based on continuous feedback, primarily industrial. This approach is also at the heart of so-called “agile” methods of computer development or organization, and it brings, again, real benefits according to a study by Freeform Dynamics on the order of CA Technologies.

The agile companies thus have a higher growth of turnover (57% above average) and profit (+ 43%). This study also shows that the agile spirit begins to be generalized in the company, at least according to the statements of the officials questioned.

Thus, 84% of respondents state that their company fully adopts agile methods, 79% continuous delivery and 71% the principles of DevOps. 91% implement these methods within their development teams (and the remaining 9% adopt the methods without applying them). Agility has the first effect of improving the customer experience (71% of respondents), secondly the acceleration of innovation (70%) and then reducing IT costs (69%).

Agility goes beyond the IT framework

Agility goes beyond computing. It is adopted in many other areas: 84% for product research and development, 81% for sales forces and 74% for customer support. But it supposes important modifications in the state of mind.

It is, therefore, better to encourage and reward improvement (84% of respondents) and increase support by managers (83%). For IT teams, this means more resources adapted to agile practices (79%), through training for a daily integration of the agile approach (77%) and reducing time constraints to facilitate the deployment of processes. Agile and DevOps (67%). But finding the skills remains a challenge.

The study “Prepare for Digital Transformation through Agile and DevOps Practices” was conducted by the Freeform Dynamics analyst firm on the order of CA Technologies. It is based on a survey of 1279 IT and business managers from companies in the following sectors: Energy, Financial Services, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Public Sector, Retail, Telecoms, Transport & Logistics. The study covered 15 countries: United States, Brazil, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Australia, Japan, China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea.

What Are Bitcoins And How Do They Guard Against Hackers?

In January 2009, a man under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto launched Bitcoin, an innovative digital currency that entered the world of the internet as digital money, creating a chain of blocks, similar to an accounting book public, where all the transactions are recorded and verified by a massive and decentralized computer network.

In other words, it is a crypto-discourse, a digital medium of exchange that is characterized by being decentralized, which means that it is not backed by any government or dependent on trust in a central issuer.

During the last few years, the value of this crypto-currency has grown exponentially. In 2011, a Bitcoin was bought at 12 dollars, while, at present, the same unit can be found at around thousand dollars.

Historical behavior of Bitcoin

The appreciation has managed to captu

In January 2009, a man under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto launched Bitcoin, an innovative digital currency that entered the world of the internet as digital money, creating a chain of blocks, similar to an accounting book public, where all the transactions are recorded and verified by a massive and decentralized computer network.

In other words, it is a crypto-discourse, a digital medium of exchange that is characterized by being decentralized, which means that it is not backed by any government or dependent on trust in a central issuer.

During the last few years, the value of this crypto-currency has grown exponentially. In 2011, a Bitcoin was bought at 12 dollars, while, at present, the same unit can be found at around thousand dollars.

Historical behavior of Bitcoin

The appreciation has managed to capture the interest of many people, among them the hackers. If you are one of the millions of people who are using this cryptocurrency or you, have thought to start using them, use some tips to protect your digital money in a way intelligent and uncomplicated.

Cold storage

This practice is an excellent way to keep thieves out of your digital assets. It’s about keeping your bitcoins out of line and therefore out of danger. A feature of the digital currency is that you can store it offline using hardware wallets and other protected media. If you do not use your “coins” consistently, save them in this way, hackers will not be able to rob them because they are not on the open web.

Backups

The service guarantees privacy and part of your security consist of robust password phrases and PIN numbers to access the accounts. It sounds obvious, but you need always to make copies of these details. It is extremely important that you write them down in a medium that is not exposed to the Internet and therefore vulnerable to theft or known to others.

Learn about security and privacy of the web

There are several methods of protection that you can use in the line of crypto-currencies. For example, a practical exercise is to look for yourself on the Internet. The more you appear, the more your fingerprint or digital profile is likely to be tracked, copied and used. There are many companies, entities, and online experiences that offer services to safeguard your valuable information and reduce risks in the face of a possible computer divide.

10 Courses And Certifications to Become Data Scientist

The data scientist is one of the emerging jobs in the IT landscape. According to Glassdoor, it is the best work that can be done, while the Harvard Business Review has defined it as the sexiest work of the 21st century. If you are looking to enter this field, or if you want to stand out from the competition, it is essential to invest in training.

Data science is important in different sectors, but the skills required by breeders vary from company to company. Certifications are a great way to update your skills and develop new ones, especially those that are hard to find in the industry you want. Being able to demonstrate your skills through certification ensures that recruiters and hiring managers know what you can offer the company.

Below we offer a selection of courses and certifications to become data scientists. Difficulty levels vary: some courses are aimed at recent graduates with less work exp

The data scientist is one of the emerging jobs in the IT landscape. According to Glassdoor, it is the best work that can be done, while the Harvard Business Review has defined it as the sexiest work of the 21st century. If you are looking to enter this field, or if you want to stand out from the competition, it is essential to invest in training.

Data science is important in different sectors, but the skills required by breeders vary from company to company. Certifications are a great way to update your skills and develop new ones, especially those that are hard to find in the industry you want. Being able to demonstrate your skills through certification ensures that recruiters and hiring managers know what you can offer the company.

Below we offer a selection of courses and certifications to become data scientists. Difficulty levels vary: some courses are aimed at recent graduates with less work experience, others are suitable for IT professionals who already have significant professional experience. They are all online, so they can be followed by anyone interested, compatibly their time availability and their goals.

1. Cloudera Certified Associate (CCA) – Data Analyst

The CCA exam certifies the fundamental knowledge required of developers, data analysts, database administrators, and business intelligence experts. Passing a CCA exam and obtaining certification allows you to demonstrate to the current or potential employer that you possess the basic skills required to become a data scientist. It is also an excellent starting point for those who are at the beginning of their career and cannot yet boast important work experience.

Cost: $ 295 per exam
Validity: registration is valid for two years

2. Cloudera Certified Professional: CCP Data Engineer

Once the CCA certification is achieved, it is possible to continue with the CCP tests, which Cloudera describes as one of the most rigorous and demanding “performance-based” certifications. Those wishing to obtain a CCP must demonstrate that they have “extensive experience in the development of data engineering solutions,” as well as a “high level of mastery” of basic data science skills.

Cost: 600 per attempt – each attempt includes three exams

Validity: registration is valid for three years

3. DataCamp

DataCamp courses are aimed at IT professionals working in the technology, finance and healthcare sectors. However, the DataCamp program is useful for anyone interested in data science. In addition to acquiring skills, through the courses students can practice and apply the knowledge learned to real-world problems through practical projects.

Cost: free with limited access, $29 per month with a monthly subscription, $25 per month with an annual subscription
Validity: monthly or yearly, depending on the plan subscribed.

4. Dataquest

Dataquest is based on teaching through “interactive challenges” among students rather than traditional lessons. This method allows you to program and work with data, receiving feedback as you progress. It is possible to choose between the preparation paths for Data Scientist, Data Engineer or Data Analyst, each of which promises to students who will get the skills necessary to start a career in data.

Cost: free with limited access, $ 29 per month for a basic account, $ 49 per month for a premium account
Validity: monthly or yearly, depending on the plan subscribed

5. Dell EMC Proven Professional

Dell EMC offers a broad portfolio of certifications that is described as “the best certification and training program in the information management and information storage industry”. Once the exam is passed, the proven certification is obtained. The certification path in data science offers both a basic level and a more advanced specialist level.

Cost: $ 200 per exam
Validity: registration is valid for two years

6. IBM Applied AI with DeepLearning

The course is part of the IBM Advanced Data Science Certificate and is offered via Coursera. It is aimed at those who already have programming skills, preferably in Python, but other programming languages are also accepted for access. Recommended requirements include mathematical skills, especially in linear algebra, but the course promises to address these topics within the first week.

Cost: $ 79
Scheduled Duration: 4 weeks, 4-6 hours of study per week
Validity: the course has no expiration date

7. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert

MCSE certifications cover a wide range of IT specializations and skills, including data science. For data science certifications Microsoft offers two courses, one focused on business applications and one focused on data management and analysis. Each course requires certification as part of the MCSE program as a prerequisite, so you must verify that you have the necessary qualifications before registering.

Cost: € 165 per exam per trial
Validity: registration is valid for three years

8. Microsoft Professional Program in Data Science

The Professional Program in Data Science focuses on eight specific skills: T-SQL, Microsoft Excel, PowerBI, Python, R, Azure Machine Learning, HDInsight, and Spark. Microsoft says there are over 1.5 million open positions for candidates with these skills. Preparation classes are available on demand and can be followed in the preferred order.

Cost: it is necessary to purchase credit through EdX; some materials are free
Duration: 6 weeks, with a suggested commitment of 2/4 hours per week
Validity: no expiration

9. SAS Academy for Data Science

SAS Academy for Data Science includes two programs: one focused on big data and one on data analysis. A unified path is also available, which provides for both big data and data analysis. All three routes are a great way to gain visibility and experience using data science tools through hands-on learning, training, case studies and access to the SAS community.

Cost: the individual courses cost € 2,750 per annual license, the unified path costs € 5,400 per annual license
Validity: the credentials do not expire, but the examinations foreseen by the path could be modified according to the variation of the software.

10. Springboard Introduction to Data Science

The Springboard data science introduction course covers all the basic topics for starting a career as a data scientist. It focuses on R programming, statistics, the organization of data sets, decisions based on data, communication of results with stakeholders and also professional orientation. The completion of the course and the consequent certification offers a portfolio that helps to find work in companies or as a freelancer.

Cost: $ 499 per month
Expected duration: 2 to 4 months
Validity: has no expiry date

What Skills Do You Need For a Future-Proof IT Career?

According to a new Hays report, professionals looking to develop future-proof digital skills need to consider areas such as computer security, business intelligence, data science/big data, DevOps, and the development of JavaScript and UX/UI. The challenges of digital transformation and data are overheating the so-called talent war, and Hays emphasizes that software development skills are now vital to most of the areas that offer the most significant opportunities for professional growth.

It’s not digital native organizations that embrace the latest transformation technologies, but even the most traditional organizations are making strategic investments to ensure they remain relevant in the digital world. If job-seekers h

According to a new Hays report, professionals looking to develop future-proof digital skills need to consider areas such as computer security, business intelligence, data science/big data, DevOps, and the development of JavaScript and UX/UI. The challenges of digital transformation and data are overheating the so-called talent war, and Hays emphasizes that software development skills are now vital to most of the areas that offer the most significant opportunities for professional growth.

It’s not digital native organizations that embrace the latest transformation technologies, but even the most traditional organizations are making strategic investments to ensure they remain relevant in the digital world. If job-seekers have what it takes to help them, they will likely face a breakthrough in their careers.

The report shows that large organizations are eager to hire information security specialists, particularly in finance, utilities and the retail industry, and how they are fighting to attract the best talent. In the area of business intelligence, Hays specified that when companies increase their investments in the protection, management, and use of their data, candidates with BI skills are highly sought after to help guide operational decision-making.

Besides, with the ever-expanding data size coupled with machine learning and predictive analytics, Hays said that a range of skills and roles would be created. Engineers with in-depth scripting skills will also be in high demand (especially JavaScript). Both large and small companies will then strive to improve their customer experience, paving the way for the development and design of UX/UI.

JavaScript is perhaps the most important skill that developers will need to investigate in the near future. Developers should try to gain experience in creating applications with these technologies in a commercial environment, especially with Node.JS, Angular.JS, and React.JS.

Hays published its Specialist Recruitment report, which showed that the developers of PHP and Drupal were two of the most sought-after figures and, especially in the case of large companies, develop with Drupal will be seen as a skill of enormous importance.

Memory Can Be Improved With Deep Brain Stimulation

Have you ever thought about how many moments you have lived in your life and have you forgotten? How many things do you overlook every day? Have you ever wondered why? The truth is that our memory is very fragile and needs to be “recharged”.

One study published in Nature Communications showed a new scientific approach that can help our memory (and hence brain activity) with deep brain stimulation.

The impression of easy measurability of memory is not so well founded. Understanding how information can be processed by the nervous system and can be stored in the memory is a very complex process. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have decided to apply targeted stimulation to the lateral temporal cortex by enhancing memory through a neural device.

Brain stimulation: new discoveries

US researchers have found that information is remembered or forgotten based on the neural events that occur during

Have you ever thought about how many moments you have lived in your life and have you forgotten? How many things do you overlook every day? Have you ever wondered why? The truth is that our memory is very fragile and needs to be “recharged”.

One study published in Nature Communications showed a new scientific approach that can help our memory (and hence brain activity) with deep brain stimulation.

The impression of easy measurability of memory is not so well founded. Understanding how information can be processed by the nervous system and can be stored in the memory is a very complex process. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have decided to apply targeted stimulation to the lateral temporal cortex by enhancing memory through a neural device.

Brain stimulation: new discoveries

US researchers have found that information is remembered or forgotten based on the neural events that occur during the coding phase, which is the first stage that characterizes memory functioning and allows an event to be recorded as a pattern, image or concept.

A very promising tool for the modulation of neural activity seems to be precisely the direct stimulation of the lateral temporal cortex, thanks to the use of the electric current that is applied through electrodes implanted directly in the brain parenchyma.

The analysis of memory in real time

From Ebbinghaus to today, there have been countless studies on memory. Suffice it to mention Craik and Lockhart, according to whom it was necessary to analyze the mechanisms that allow us to remember information. In fact, they distinguished between a superficial encoding of information (based on the physical characteristics of the stimulus) and a deep codification (based on meaning).

The University of Pennsylvania study, on the other hand, carefully assessed the use of the lateral temporal cortex and stimulated it during the mnemonic activity. Specifically, the researchers used multivariate classifiers, distinct for each subject to decode neural activity during the coding phase and to understand the patterns of brain activity associated with the next phase of forgetfulness.

In short, the researchers analyzed brain activity in real time during the delivery of electrical impulses and produced customized models for each of the 25 patients undergoing the study. In this way, they could observe when the memory would fail and intervene with stimulation.

The study found that the stimulation of the left lateral temporal cortex increases the probability of recall of 15%. The subjects stimulated in the lateral temporal cortex were also more inclined to remember elements on which no stimulation had been performed.

Reliable results at the service of medicine

The results demonstrate that stimulating neural populations outside the MTL (short-term memory) reliably improves memory results.

Using a new method to apply stimulation, specific models have been developed for the neural activity of each patient, used to classify brain states related to memory. Stimulation was activated to intervene directly at times when memory was thought to be more scarce.

By demonstrating that the lateral temporal cortex is the primary objective for modulating the encoding phase of memory, we have gone beyond the previous work that attempted to influence episodic memory by stimulating the hippocampus and MTL. Therefore, the study could have significant consequences on the development of new therapies for the treatment of memory dysfunctions.

The criticisms

Direct brain stimulation is already regularly active in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and the onset of epileptic seizures and has recently been explored as therapy in psychiatry.

The substantial difference compared to the past lies in the “closed circuit” system patented by US researchers, able to indicate when the brain is in a state of poor learning and to send electrical impulses to stimulate the brain area.

However, there have already been criticisms of this study which, although considered valid for the innovative methodological approach, is considered by some to be too invasive.

The hypothesis of such a traumatic approach, even in an experimental key, in the treatment of dementia is to be considered absolutely out of the question, at least until the results will be of these content.

A small reflection

Let us dwell on one thing: how much today we train our memory or do it in a different way than our parents. Reminding us is another US study published in the Memory journal, which underlines the emergence of the phenomenon of “cognitive offloading”, that is the tendency to use the Internet as a support for memory.

It has become so simple to type the keys of a smartphone to get information about anything that maybe we are no longer interested in remembering on their own. The other side of the coin is that we can be able to expand our capabilities with new technologies. Just like with the University of Pennsylvania study: a new frontier of science for the development of medicine on memory disorders.

Should Robots Be Given a Legal Status?

Should robots be given legal status? This is the question that currently occupies the AI experts, and for a good reason, a paragraph well buried in a report of the European Parliament published in January 2017, suggests that it is necessary to assign “electronic personalities” to certain robots.

“The creation, over time, of a legal personality specific to robots, so that at least the most sophisticated autonomous robots can be considered as electronic persons responsible for repairing any damage caused to a third party; it would be conceivable to consider as an electronic person any robot that makes autonomous decisions or that interacts independently with third parties.”

Translation, this recommendation suggests that autonomous robots should be held accountable, especially in the event that these machines damage the safety of people or dam

Should robots be given legal status? This is the question that currently occupies the AI experts, and for a good reason, a paragraph well buried in a report of the European Parliament published in January 2017, suggests that it is necessary to assign “electronic personalities” to certain robots.

“The creation, over time, of a legal personality specific to robots, so that at least the most sophisticated autonomous robots can be considered as electronic persons responsible for repairing any damage caused to a third party; it would be conceivable to consider as an electronic person any robot that makes autonomous decisions or that interacts independently with third parties.”

Translation, this recommendation suggests that autonomous robots should be held accountable, especially in the event that these machines damage the safety of people or damage property.

The parties to this proposal, including builders, claim that this change is common sense. Legal status will not give robots the right to marry or to enjoy the same rights as humans. Far from it, it will equalize the AI with companies, which they already enjoy the status of “legal person,” and are treated as such in courts around the world.

But these arguments do not convince the opponents of this proposal. In a letter to the European Commission, 156 experts in artificial intelligence from 14 European countries, computer scientists, law professors and CEOs warned Brussels of the danger of implementing this proposal. According to them, assigning a legal status to robots would be “inappropriate” and pose “legal and ethical” problems.

On the side of the legislative authorities, Mady Delvaux, Vice-President of the Judicial Committee of the European Parliament and Luxembourg Socialist MEP, said that although she is not sure whether granting a legal personality is a good idea, it is increasingly convinced that the current legislation is limited and is unable to deal with the complex problems that concern the responsibility of autonomous machines. For this reason, she thinks that all options need to be explored.

A position categorically rejected by AI experts in their petition and for whom this proposal is almost heresy.

Noel Sharkey, Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at the University of Sheffield, also agrees that for builders, this proposal is a way to get rid of responsibility for the actions of their machines and the damage they do could cause.

Robots with intelligence similar to humans and capable of making decisions are still far from existing. Today, robots do better than humans in certain specific tasks, even limited applications, such as image recognition, or play the game of Go.

But these applications, although advanced, remain limited to a single domain. Playing Go, or categorizing images, is all that these machines can do, unlike humans who can both understand the language, learn to perform a variety of games, and recognize images.

Despite this reality, exaggerated media reports of advances in robotics have infiltrated public debate. As a result, lawmakers could be pushed to adopt premature regulations, alert the signatories of the letter.

Roughly, the experts accuse proponents of this proposal intentionally overestimating artificial intelligence capabilities to fool an easily impressionable audience: “From a technical point of view, this project has many biases based on an overstatement of the actual capabilities of the most advanced robots, a superficial understanding of their unpredictability and their self-learning abilities and a distorted perception of the robot by science fiction as well as recent announcements of a sensationalist press,” they say.

According to some researchers, no robot has been able to convey such incorrect notions about robotics as the robot Sophia: a humanoid robot that made its first appearance in March 2016, then was granted Saudi citizenship, a title of the United Nations and inaugurated the Security Conference in Munich this year.

“I’m not against the idea of a robot for the show,” said Sharkey, who co-wrote the letter and also co-founded the Foundation of Responsible Robotics. “But when they start training at the UN and giving the nations a misconception about what robotics can do and the state of the AI right now, it’s very, very dangerous.”

He added, “This is very dangerous for lawmakers as well. They see it and believe it because they are not engineers and there is no reason for them not to believe it. ”

Granting legal personality to robots other problems of an ethical and legal point of view: for example, the robot could then claim to human rights such as the right to dignity, the freedom to integrity, the right to remuneration or the right to citizenship.

Experts also insist that this legal status of robots cannot be compared to the model of the legal person because unlike a society, a robot has no physical person behind him to represent and direct it.

In their letter, the 156 AI experts argue that current EU civil laws are sufficient to address liability issues.

Delvaux for his part said that the idea of an electronic personality is not to give robots human rights, but to ensure that a robot is and will remain a machine with a human being in control. The project is still under discussion in Brussels:” Maybe, in the end, we will conclude that this is not such a good idea,” said Delvaux.