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mike iavelli
Attended Université de Montréal
Lives in Montreal
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A new computer algorithm reconstructs 3D images using only 1/100 of the number of photons usually required.

"Low-intensity pulses of visible laser light scan an object of interest. The laser fires a pulse at a given location until a single reflected photon is recorded by a detector; each illuminated location corresponds to a pixel in the final image. Variations in the time it takes for photons from the laser pulses to be reflected back from the object provides depth information about the body — a standard way of revealing three-dimensional structure. However, the algorithm developed by Kirmani and his colleagues provides that information using one-hundredth the number of photons required by existing light detection and ranging techniques."

From the abstract:

"Imagers that use their own illumination can capture three-dimensional (3D) structure and reflectivity information. With photon-counting detectors, images can be acquired at extremely low photon fluxes. To suppress the Poisson noise inherent in low-flux operation, such imagers typically require hundreds of detected photons per pixel for accurate range and reflectivity determination. We introduce a low-flux imaging technique, called first-photon imaging, which is a computational imager that exploits spatial correlations found in real-world scenes and the physics of low-flux measurements. Our technique recovers 3D structure and reflectivity from the first detected photon at each pixel. We demonstrate simultaneous acquisition of sub-pulse duration range and 4-bit reflectivity information in the presence of high background noise. First-photon imaging may be of considerable value to both microscopy and remote sensing."

#photonics   #physics  
Abstract Imagers that use their own illumination can capture three-dimensional (3D) structure and reflectivity information. With photon-counting detectors, images can be acquired at extremely low photon fluxes. To suppress the Poisson noise inherent in low-flux operation, such imagers typically require hundreds of detected photons per pixel for accurate range and reflectivity determination. We introduce a low-flux imaging technique, called first-...
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Human Brain Cells Make Mice Smart

Study shows that intelligence might depend on brain cells other than neurons!
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Je commence à douter que le famous maitre spliner dans la série Tortues ninja ne soi pas une pure fiction ...
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Representing words as high dimensional vectors

Making computers understand human language is an active area of research, called Natural Language Processing (NLP). A widely used method of NLP research involves the statistical modeling of N-grams (, which are collected from freely available text corpora, and treated as single “atomic” units. While this has the benefit of being able to create simple models that can be trained on large amounts of data, it suffers when a large dataset isn’t available, such as high quality transcribed speech data for automatic speech recognition, or when one wants to have a notion of similarities between words. 

In the paper Efficient Estimation of Word Representations in Vector Space (, Googlers Tomas Mikolov, +Kai Chen+Greg Corrado, and +Jeff Dean describe recent progress being made on the application of neural networks to understanding the human language. By representing words as high dimensional vectors, they design and train models for learning the meaning of words in an unsupervised manner from large textual corpora. In doing so, they find that similar words arrange themselves near each other in this high-dimensional vector space, allowing for interesting results to arise from mathematical operations on the word representations. For example, this method allows one to solve simple analogies by performing arithmetic on the word vectors and examining the nearest words in the vector space.

To get more information, and to get the open source toolkit for computing continuous distributed representations of words, aimed to promote research on how machine learning can apply to natural language problems, head over to the Google Open Source Blog, linked below. 
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this sounds very interesting. But  I'm still wondering what kind of applications could such results be applied to  ?
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Honored to be included in that circle again.
Thank you +Science on Google+: A Public Database !
#mathematics   #physics   #computerscience   #engineering  
Applied and Mathematical Sciences
This circle will give you exposure to Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, and Physics. 

Science on Google+ Database:
Science on Google+ Community:

If you have a science related degree, you are a science journalist, you are a K-12 science teacher, or you curate a science page, then add your profile/page to the database by filling out this form ( Active profiles and pages will be included in the next shared circle.
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Readers' Identities Can Reveal Much About Content of Articles
 - Carnegie Mellon News

Analysis of news articles and of the public profiles of the people who shared those articles on Twitter enabled a few thousand "badges" to be generated that could:

a) characterize the content of the shared news articles
b) be used to analyze any subsequent article, including those that had never been shared or even read.
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mike iavelli

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Trust Me, I’m a Scientist

When I was in graduate school, a friend of mine asked about my research.  I was studying aspects of black holes in the early universe, so I explained a bit about black holes, the big bang and such in broad terms.  Afterwards she shook her head and responded: “Bull poopy.”  Our conversation went for a bit longer, with her arguing that I couldn’t possibly know what I was claiming to be true, and me trying to explain how I knew these things, but it was clear that opinions wouldn’t change.  The simple fact was that she didn’t trust me.  I was either confused or lying, so nothing I said could possibly change her mind.

As a scientist striving to convey an understanding of science, trust is essential.  I can try to write about astrophysics in a way that is clear and honest, but if you don’t trust me it’s all rather moot.  So in all of my writings, while I try to be clear and sometimes entertaining, I also to build a level of trust with my readers.  Hopefully over time you’ll come to trust that I’m being honest and earnest about our understanding of the universe.

If you’ve been following my posts for a while, you’ve probably noticed an overall pattern.  I don’t sensationalize topics.  When I talk about current research I link the original source, not just a press release.  When there are legitimate opposing views I explain the evidence behind why one view is accepted over another.  When there is unfounded opposition to a concept I explain why it is unfounded.  When there are misconceptions I work to dismantle them.  I say “we don’t know” when we really don’t know.  There’s a reason why I follow this method.  I’m a scientist.

This doesn’t mean that scientists are more honest than others.  What it means is that the way I present ideas in my posts parallels the modern scientific method.  Document sources of data, be open to criticism, be prepared to defend your ideas, be willing to admit when you’re wrong or don’t know.  If you don’t follow this approach, the peer review process will eat you alive.  Peer review is not about taking things on trust, it’s about requiring you to prove what you claim.  Being open and honest about your work lets the peer review process go a bit more smoothly.

Keeping posts honest and informative isn’t easy.  It would be easier to simply post jokes, or gorgeous photographs with emotional phrases on them.  But while that can make us feel good about the science we love, it doesn’t raise our understanding of science and scientific thinking.  It doesn’t raise the level of scientific understanding.

Science matters.  It’s worth doing, and it’s worth sharing.  That’s why I write about astrophysics.  It’s why I’m willing to dress in a science costume to teach science to kids (as you can see below).  It’s why I try to engage with readers about science every day.   

I trust I’m doing okay so far.
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Arguing with others who do not appreciate the scientific method is a waste of time.  If you present scientific evidence in favor of a claim, and someone denies the claim without presenting sufficient counter-reasoning, counter-evidence, or a combination of the two, then you should just ignore the denial as unscientific and therefore unworthy of your time.

Your time would probably be better spent on additional research than on efforts to convince those who do not subscribe to the scientific method.
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Bitstarter: CytoComp`s CAD would allow you to custom design your own  biological microprocessor

"We are developing a general purpose biological microprocessor. This microprocessor takes both a biological and electrical signal as input and output. Thus users can track input and output in the microprocessor via a smartphone interface.


CytoComp`s computer assisted software (CAD) will enable you to custom design a biological microprocessor for your very specific purpose. We at CytoComp will build your microprocessor due to the specification made in the CAD. This microprocessor is able to take biological signals as an input and will have a biological regulator as an output. As the biological microprocessor can communicate with your smartphone, many potential applications can be developed."

Further reading:  
Moe-Behrens GHG (2013) The biological microprocessor, or how to build a computer with biological parts. Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal.

#biocomp   #computerscience   #cybernetics   #biologicalcomputing  
Rewards: For 0.01 Bitcoin or more a thank you email. For 0.25 Bitcoin or more as above and a CytoComp info letter and mentioning on our web page. For 1 Bitcoin or more all above and exclusive early developer access to CytoComp`s CAD (computer assisted design platform, which allows you to custom ...
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" ‘Oh, Johnny will be a natural for A-Level Computing. He’s always on his computer at home.’   The parents seem to have some vague concept that spending hours each evening on Facebook and YouTube will impart, by some sort of cybernetic osmosis, a knowledge of PHP, HTML, JavaScript and Haskell."  - Ha!
A great article by Marc Scott on computer illiteracy and why it matters:
TL;DR? Why not just go watch another five second video of a kitten with its head in a toilet roll, or a 140 character description of a meal your …
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> The county proxy is there to ensure that the staff and students can’t
> access porn on the school network. It also filters for violence,
> extremism, swearing, social networks, alcohol, smoking, hacking,
> gaming and streaming video. Ironically, if you were to perform a Google
> search for “proxy settings OS X”, the top results would all be blocked
> because you used the word ‘proxy’ and that is a filtered word.

If the "county proxy" filters out this much, it might as well filter out the entire Internet.

If I encountered this kind of filtering, the first thing I would do would be to set up a remote connection that bypassed the county proxy, and ensure that as many students knew about it as possible. Students are mature enough to decide for themselves what is safe and what is unsafe. They don't need a Big Sister in addition to the Big Brother that is the NSA looking over everyone's shoulder all the time.

P.S. If the system administrator who set up the county proxy tried this kind of tactic on me, it would not work. I would be intelligent enough to deduce that a filter was in place that treated "proxy" as a filtered word, and I would just go across the street to another network and do all my interesting business over there. I would also tell all my friends that there was a filter in place, and show them all how to get around it.
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mike iavelli

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It looks like Asteroid Apophis could be a serious danger for earth, depending on its exact orbit. If it hits an orbital area called keyhole, we could be dealing with an actual collision. 

Here is the press release right from NASA
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Guess so. 6489 Golevka drifted 15 km in 12 years according to this author
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This Is How Your Brain Becomes Addicted to Caffeine

I really liked this one - A detailed but clear explanation of how caffeine acts on our brain.
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Now I know at least how to get off caffeine once I retire and start my research (into designing a virtual reality generator--a private topic); I just hope that I will not then need to resume taking caffeine to do my research.

The trick is to find a non-addictive substance with precisely the same effect as caffeine.
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A Physicists Circle !!

Thank you, +Science on Google+: A Public Database 

#physics   #science  
Physics Circle
View profiles in circle: 
Science on Google+ Community:

If you have a science related degree, you are a science journalist, you are a K-12 science teacher, or you curate a science page, then add your profile/page to the database ( Active profiles and pages will be included in the next shared circle.

#scienceeveryday #science #publiccircles #sharedcircles 
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A kid’s homework from 800 years ago

Documents from Novgorod contain a kid’s homework from 800 years ago, mixed in with a bunch of doodles he did when he was bored.

"I wonder whether kids at school would be more interested in history if they could connect with pictures like these. History seems incomprehensible as a kid because you can’t follow the decision-making processes of adults. Who cares why x invaded y? Maybe if they could place themselves within history by relating to a young child from long ago, they would be more into it."

#education   #history
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Physicist, Mathematician, Coder, Tutor, Blogger
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Physicist & mathematician.
Physicist & mathematician
Interested by functional programming and computer science in general.

Blogger, fashion victim, coffee aficionado. 

VPython enthusiast. Obsessive-compulsive LaTeX  typesetter. Sage and Maxima user. GeoGebra-curious.

Interested by the application of Physics Education Research (PER) to online learning.

Spends his spare time thinking hard about the interrelations between models in physicscategory theory, the relational modelfunctional relational programming, the use of DSLs in physics, and how physics could be studied from different point-of-views: historical, "axiomatic" (from a minimal set of principles), mathematical (pick a math topic, and apply it to a wide range of physical systems), geometric (one can argue that everything in physics has a geometric nature). 

Rediscovered the joy of programming through Lispy languages such as Scheme and Qi/Shen, and is fond of Logo-like languages such as Elica and Rebol. Now enjoys pure functional programming. Making his first baby steps in Haskell.

Fascinated by the vast amount of data disseminated across the web. 

La moitié du temps, je parle et pense en français


I want to thank you for adding me to your circles. 

In an attempt to post only relevant things that matter to you, I would really like it if you could leave a comment to this post with a list of circles you want to be added to. That would really help me!

Note that I use my circles more as "broadcast channels" than "privacy circles". Please feel free to share any of my posts, even if they are not labeled as public.
Bragging rights
1) Built my first blog from scratch using PHP + MySQL. > - - - - - - - - -> 2) Learned why I'll never again use PHP.
  • Université de Montréal
    Physics & Mathematics
Basic Information
mike iavelli's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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