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How Music Saved My Son’s Life | Guest Blogs - ADDitude

My son’s young life was a matrix of appointments — ADHD specialist, child psychologist, occupational therapist, audiologist, speech therapist. He struggled in school and was in trouble more often than not. Then one day he discovered a beat-up, old piano and his entire life followed a new and wonderful trajectory by Katharine Lee, Author, Radio Presenter, Inspirational Speaker, Intuitive Counsellor and Ethno Medicine Practitioner.

Photo: ADDitudeCan attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD) respond positively to the healing power of music? My youngest son, Michael, is living proof that music can change lives — and brains.
Michael was 10 days old before I saw him for the first time — his tiny, blue body lying limply in the incubator as he struggled to breathe. He was diagnosed with Hyaline Membrane Disease, a respiratory disease that makes gas exchange difficult or impossible. He was so ill that every time the neonatal staff touched him, his heart stopped beating. He had three cardiac arrests during the first ten days of his life. Doctors warned me that he might be brain damaged as a result...

At the age of 9, Michael discovered a toy piano that a friend of mine had left lying around. He found that he was able to listen to tunes on the radio and work out to play them on this piano. Though his father and I were divorced by then, we immediately recognized his talent, clubbed together, bought him an ancient piano, and organized for him to have music lessons.

He excelled in piano lessons, which in turn had a positive impact on his schoolwork. He found that he was able to concentrate better in class and the work at school started to make more sense. What was most important, though, was that he started to believe in himself. Until he started playing the piano, he was convinced that he was stupid and not capable of doing the things that other children could. Playing the piano was something he was good at, and not many other people were able to do. When he started to get 100% on his music theory exams year after a year, he began to believe that perhaps he was not as stupid as everyone made him out to be.  

Source: ADDitude 

The Community Music Center of Houston Celebrates 40 Years with Lessons Learned (and Still Learning) | Music - Houston Press

Bob Ruggiero, writing about music, books, and entertainment for the Houston Press summarizes, It’s 9:45 on a Saturday morning at St. Mary’s United Methodist Church on Scott Street in the Third Ward, and music is coming from inside. 

 A group of pre-teen violin students work their way through a classical piece.
Photo: Bob RuggieroBut instead of a hymn or gospel tune that you might expect on the next day, it’s the sound of several violins cautiously playing Bach’s “Minuet and G Major,” that little ditty known to classical music lovers and brides around the world.

Tucked in a small room, Dr. Anne Lundy is instructing several pre-teen violinists as they tackle the tune with intense concentration while she guides them from behind a Casio keyboard. The children’s brows are all knitted as they hoist their instruments with one hand and glide their bows across the strings with the other.

“That’s good, that’s good. But you need to pick up the pace a little!” she says. “It’s getting better! We have to keep working on it!”...

In another room, piano teacher Quinton Arwind is helping a young player with some tricky keyboard work, which he encourages her to keep repeating and working at.

“Music is one of the few things in life that uses more of the brain than reading or math. You have to focus on doing more than one thing. And it makes them more open minded,” he says. 
Read more... 

Source: Houston Press

UGC recognizes 14 new higher education institutes for open and distance learning | India - Firstpost

University Grants Commission has recognised 14 new higher education institutes for providing courses through open and distance learning mode by FP Staff.

Photo: Representative imageUniversity Grants Commission has recognised 14 new Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) for providing courses through distance education. This list is in addition to 82 such institutes that were recognised by the UGC in May this year.

In December 2012, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Higher Education, dissolved the Distance Education Council which was the erstwhile regulator of Distance Education programmes and transferred regulatory functions to the University Grants Commission...

A state-wise list of these new higher education institutes and the courses that have received recognition from the UGC can be accessed below:
Read more... 

Source: Firstpost

The future of digital transformation: Addressing the new-age digital skills gaps | IT People - Express Computer

The future of our everyday personal and professional lives is changing. At a fast pace, continues Express Computer.

Photo: Express ComputerThis reminds me of William Gibson, the American speculative fiction author who some sixteen years ago famously quoted “The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed”. The things which we predicted to be part of our future lives already exist for many people today. Moore’s law, states that technological capacity doubles every two years, but in some cases, it has tripled and even quadrupled to some extent. Digitalisation is shrinking the world by eliminating the time and space barriers in communication. This is giving rise to the possibility of higher productivity and innovation. The world is closer and much more integrated than ever before.
This digitalisation has brought about a sea change in our perspectives towards work and how organisations function to keep themselves sustainable. Enterprises have learnt the hard truth that it is only by adopting digital transformation that they can stay relevant in their markets. Large-scale digital transformation, therefore, is inevitable. A Microsoft study even states that by 2021, 60 per cent of Asia Pacific’s GDP will derive from digital products or services.

To thrive in the present business ecosystem, organisations are integrating digital technologies into their business and organisational activities, competencies and models. They are leveraging technological advancements such as data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), etc., to streamline their operations and offerings. Through such advancement, organisations are boosting their value proposition and relationship with consumers. However, in order to cope effectively with digitalisation across industries, organisations need to focus on upgrading what holds the highest potential to improve – its human resources...

Addressing the gap with tech-backed Learning Management Systems
There are many ways in which companies are using learning management systems to address the challenges that come with digital transformation. Companies can leverage LMS platforms to create their own unique learning. Before starting, they have to rethink the role of L&D, strategy, content, tools, and technologies to engage learners and drive better performance. Here’s looking at some advantages of LMS platforms for organisations devising upskilling strategies.

Source: Express Computer

Southeast Senior Puts Actuarial Science Skills to Work with Delta Dental of Missouri | Campus - Southeast Missouri State University News

Southeast Missouri State University senior Anika Hasija is applying her mathematics skills this summer as an actuarial intern with Delta Dental of Missouri, according to Southeast Missouri State University News

Photo: Southeast Missouri State University News Delta Dental of Missouri is a non-profit organization based in St. Louis, Missouri, concentrated on providing dental and vision insurance.  Their work in the healthcare field has provided an interesting and unique opportunity for an internship, Hasija said.
A native of New Delhi, India, Hasija is putting her mathematics major and actuarial science option to work, creating and developing a network guarantee model for the company.
It’s an amazing opportunity because Delta Dental will continue to use her model long after her internship is complete, she said...

Her typical day consists of meetings, presentations, and working with professional actuaries and data analysts while improving the network guarantee model. Additionally, she runs monthly queries for account managers in the Delta Dental network...

She also has learned a new programming language and enhanced her professional communication, networking and time management skills.

Source: Southeast Missouri State University News 

US News & World Report ranks America's 'best' colleges. But, is there really a way to know? | USA TODAY

Chris Quintana, USA TODAY notes, College rankings purport to tell the public which schools are worthwhile, even though many academics view the rankings as worthless.

Photo: courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.netThe latest salvo in the battle between the ranked and the rankers comes out of Reed College in Portland, Oregon. A statistics professor and a group of students say, based on an statistical analysis, Reed College appears to be under-ranked compared to other schools on the U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of "best colleges." The publication denies that claim and questions the accuracy of the group's work.

Though the two parties may not come to an agreement, the debate speaks to a broader conversation about the value of quantifying the college experience. Mainly, is there any?...

Reed College rankings: 38th or 90th?
As a statistician, professor Kelly McConville is well aware of the value of numbers, but she too had questions about U.S. News’ ranking system.


Why Mathematicians Hate That Viral Equation | Science - The New York Times

Kenneth Chang, science reporter at The New York Times reports, It’s formatted to confuse people, and there are no interesting underlying concepts.

Photo: Carl Court/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesMath can be useful. It can also be elegant, even beautiful — a word you’ll often hear mathematicians say when they describe the discovery of a nugget of surprising insight.
That seemingly simple equation that ricocheted across the internet recently was neither useful nor elegant. By now, you’ve likely seen it:8 ÷ 2(2+2) = ?
“I HATE this,” Amie Wilkinson, a mathematician at the University of Chicago, commented on a Facebook post by a colleague about the equation, echoing the disdain felt by many mathematicians for the trending question.
Kenneth Ribet of the University of California, Berkeley described it as “irksome.” “I didn’t care. I wasn’t interested,” said Greg Kuperberg of the University of California, Davis. “I stared at it a little bit and moved on.”...
For mathematicians, equations like this one — something that looks like what you learned in school, but which has been twisted with intentionally ambiguous notation — reinforce the trope that the core of math consists of memorized recipes of calculation.
“It implies that the point of mathematics to trip up other people with stupid rules,” Dr. Wilkinson said.Read more...
Additional resources Viral math problem baffles mathematicians, physicists | Mathematics - New York Post
 Source: The New York Times

The Radical Transformation of the Textbook | Gear - WIRED

For several decades, textbook publishers followed the same basic model: Pitch a hefty tome of knowledge to faculty for inclusion in lesson plans; charge students an equally hefty sum; revise and update its content as needed every few years by Brian Barrett, news editor at WIRED. 

Photo: Getty ImagesRepeat. But the last several years have seen a shift at colleges and universities—one that has more recently turned tectonic.

In a way, the evolution of the textbook has mirrored that in every other industry. Ownership has given way to rentals, and analog to digital. Within the broad strokes of that transition, though, lie divergent ideas about not just what learning should look like in the 21st century but how affordable to make it.

Let’s Get Digital
Pearson is one of the biggest publishers of educational books in the world, with a roster of 1,500 textbooks in the US market. Last month, it announced that going forward it would adopt a “digital first” strategy. It’ll still produce physical textbooks, but students will rent by default with the option to buy after the rental period ends...

“Digital text, digital work, is often engaged with at a lower level of attention. By moving everything online, it’s going to become even more decontextualized. Overall, I think there’s going to be less deeper learning going on,” Trakhman says. “I believe there’s a time and a place for digital, but educators need to be mindful of the time and place for using these resources. Rolling out these digital suites is not really the best for student learning.”

Source: WIRED

Grad Students Should Consider Administrative Work | Careers - Inside Higher Ed

A wide range of positions at colleges and universities are open to those with a Ph.D., writes Chris M. Golde, assistant director of Career Communities for Ph.D.s and Postdocs at BEAM, Stanford Career Education, at Stanford University.

Photo: Istockphoto.com/gremlinColleges and universities are great places to work. Many Ph.D. students who are no longer are attracted to faculty careers are still interested in working in higher education. They are drawn to the teaching and learning mission of the institution, its organizational values, and the opportunity to collaborate with smart people.

The good news is that a wide range of positions at colleges and universities are open to those with a Ph.D. The two most obvious, building on the skills that students are learning during their degree programs, are teaching positions and research positions. A previous “Carpe Careers” column did an excellent job outlining the variety of teaching roles in the higher education landscape beyond tenure-line faculty positions. Colleges and universities also hire for research scientist roles, which are full-time staff positions.

I want to talk about a third path: the wide range of interesting jobs that have a largely administrative element. Although some faculty members speak disparagingly about administrators, staff members are responsible for much of the work done in higher education institutions.

The word “administration” encompasses a wide variety of kinds of work and content areas. Scanning a university organizational chart reveals a number of areas that have hired Ph.D. holders.

Source: Inside Higher Ed

Power of A: Actuarial Foundation’s Multiplier Effect | Money & Business - Associations Now

The Actuarial Foundation’s math tutoring program keeps adding impact by Mark Athitakis, contributing editor for Associations Now.

Photo: choking/Getty ImagesA board member of the Actuarial Foundation had an idea in 2016. He knew that there were public-school students in Hartford, Connecticut, who were struggling with math. Actuaries and actuarial students were using math every day. Would it be possible to connect the two groups?

In response, the Foundation organized a call to actuarial students at the University of Connecticut, and about 50 immediately volunteered. From that initial outreach, the program, now called Math Motivators, has expanded fast: The Foundation links 600 volunteers to students at 20 middle schools and high schools in Hartford and operates programs in Chicago; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Seattle; Lincoln, Nebraska; Springfield, Massachusetts; and Portland, Maine. A Boston program launches this year.

The Foundation now has one of the good problems that come with success—a waiting list of schools hoping to participate in the program...

“We’ve seen a lot of questions and answers with the students and mentors and tutors,” he says. “‘How did you become an actuary? Why did you become an actuary? What college did you go to? What’s your job like?’ It’s really been a thoughtful conversation. They’re learning from each other.”

Source: Associations Now

How Japan's modern literature came under Nietzsche's spell | Books - The Japan Times

Damian Flanagan, writer and literary critic says, To truly understand some of 20th-century Japan's most iconic literary works, you have to go back to ancient Greek tragedy and the "Dionysian" philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche.

The influencer: Friedrich Nietzsche inspired many, including Japanese author Yukio Mishima, who was said to have had an intense bond with the German philosopher. 
Photo: PUBLIC DOMAINWine, dance, frenzied rapture and theatrical performance. These are just some of the characteristics of the god Dionysus, who, in Euripides’ masterpiece play of ancient Greece, “The Bacchae,” arrives in the city of Thebes, determined to exact a terrible vengeance on Pentheus — the ruler of the city and representative of stern rationality and order — for having refused to recognize his ancient divinity.

Partly inspired by the play, the great German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche crafted his first major work, “The Birth of Tragedy From the Spirit of Music,” arguing that the beauty of art rises not out of mere rationality, but out of the balance between Appoline and Dionysian elements.

After a working life spent producing works that overturned traditional Christian morality and challenging the haughty sense of imperial order of the 19th century, Nietzsche succumbed to mental illness in 1889 after producing his supreme masterpiece, “Thus Spoke Zarathustra.” In his subsequent letters, he frequently signed himself simply as “Dionysus.”...

The first ripples of dissent came with the “On An Aesthetic Lifestyle” debate, triggered by literary provocateur Takayama Chogyu, which raged among literary circles in Japan for two years from 1901.

Soon, the entire Japanese literary world began engaging with Nietzsche’s ideas, attracted to his powerful critique of Western culture, his aestheticism and his call to break into the irrational side of the human mind. “This is Oriental,” the greatest literary figure of the day, Natsume Soseki, wrote in English in the margin of his heavily-thumbed copy of “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” at the time he penned “I Am a Cat” in 1905-06.
Read more... 

Source: The Japan Times

Waterstones to open two new bookshops in London and Glasgow | The Bookseller

Waterstones will open two new branches at London's Brent Cross and Glasgow's Silverburn shopping centres later this year, inform Katie Mansfield, News Editor at The Bookseller.

The new 3,000 sq ft bookshop at Brent Cross shopping centre in North West London will launch on the 15th August with a day of celebrations. 

Waterstones Silverburn will follow in September, bringing a dedicated bookshop to the shopping centre in Pollok, Glasgow, for the first time. 

The launches come as the bookseller also confirms plans to open a new Hatchards at St Pancras Station in London on 8th August following the shop’s relocation to larger premises in the station, adjacent to John Lewis. 

Source: The Bookseller

The Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2019 | PW Tip Sheet - Publishers Weekly

The big books of the season. 
Drawn from the 14,000+ titles in PW's Fall Announcements issue, we asked our reviews editors to pick the most notable books publishing in Fall 2019. Links to reviews are included when available. For our list of anticipated fall children's and YA books, click here.Check out our picks for this season’s most anticipated adult books 
Source: Publishers Weekly 

11 New Books We Recommend This Week | Book Review - New York Times

Follow on Twitter as @GregoryCowlesSuggested reading from critics and editors at The New York Times by Gregory Cowles, Senior Editor, Books. 

Lovers of suspense fiction, take heart: The thrill is not gone. Nine of this week’s 11 recommended titles come from the Book Review’s recent issue devoted to the thriller genre, from bankers lured into a deadly elevator (“The Escape Room”) to Chinese crime bosses (“Beijing Payback”) to a young mother worried about a possible intruder (“The Need”).
If you’re more accustomed to finding your thrills in language and those who immerse themselves in it, then you might want to pick up Gretchen McCulloch’s “Because Internet” or the love letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, which prove Scott wasn’t the only writer in that marriage, and maybe not even the best.Read more...
Source: New York Times  

A rediscovered John Steinbeck short story is a comical tale of a chef and his cat | Arts - PBS NewsHour

Steinbeck's strongest writing talent is in his use of characterization.

A little-known short story by John Steinbeck has been published for the first time in English today, 65 years after it first emerged in a French daily in Paris.

“The Amiable Fleas” was published in July 1954 in “Le Figaro” and is one of 17 articles and short stories Steinbeck wrote as part of his “An American in Paris” series. At the time, the American novelist was staying in Paris with his family near the Champs-Elysèes, the city’s iconic boulevard.

While Steinbeck’s estate was aware of the short story’s existence, it is being made available to read in English for the first time by literary quarterly The Strand Magazine, today.

“I found this and it struck me,” said Andrew Gulli, managing editor of The Strand, who came across the short story in the Ransom District Library’s online archive... 

Steinbeck, writing to his friend and agent Elizabeth Otis in May 1954, wondered whether he ought to write for a French paper — something like observations and essays, something that was “unmistakably American.” And he did, culminating in the “An American in Paris” series that included “The Amiable Fleas.”

In that story Steinbeck tells the story of a French chef, Monsieur Amitè, and his feline confidant, Apollo the cat, as they prepare for the impending visit of a Michelin star judge to Amitè’s restaurant, The Amiable Flea. The stress of gaining another Michelin star gets to M. Amitè and he kicks Apollo in frustration, resulting in the cat’s abandonment of the restaurant and his owner. M. Amitè then tries to get Apollo back.
Read more... 

Additional resources

Photo: Nobel Foundation archive.John Steinbeck - The Nobel Prize in Literature 1962 by The Nobel Prize   

Source: PBS NewsHour

10 Illuminating Online Courses You Can Take in August | Fun - Mental Floss

Back-to-school season isn't just for full-time students by Ellen Gutoskey, Author at Mental Floss.

Photo: fizkes/iStock via Getty ImagesAugust can be a great time to return to class for anyone with internet access and a hankering to learn something new. And in the age of online courses, your choices are no longer limited by classroom capacity, scheduling conflicts, or even tuition restrictions. 

Take a look below at the top 10 coolest course offerings for this month, from classes on mastering mindfulness to making macarons.
Read more... 

Source: Mental Floss

Lynette Fay: Having a love of country music is a constant learning curve | Life - The Irish News

Some might say that Dolly Parton can't possibly be a feminist given her love of cosmetic enhancement over the years. I disagree with that entirely. As a woman, there is nothing wrong with investing in the way you look, says Lynette Fay, The Irish Times.

Dolly Parton – she's a songwriting genius, businesswoman, singer and performerI HAVE long been a fan of country music. I am no expert, but I love it. My visits to Nashville earlier this year have significantly reignited my relationship with the music – old and new.

One of the most endearing qualities of American country music for me has always been the frank, candid and upfront stories in the songs. I relate more and more to the stories of some of these songs as I get older.

I am particularly drawn to the female songwriters – from pioneers Bobbie Gentry, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton to the contemporary champions – Brandy Clark, the Dixie Chicks and my favourite, Brandi Carlisle...

Having a love of country music is a constant learning curve. I discovered Brandi Carlile and her music about 18 months ago. Earlier this year her album By The Way, I Forgive You won best Americana album at the Grammys. Her star has been in the ascendant for a while, and this year she has broken through on a big scale.

Source: The Irish News

Classical music needs more supporters. Tanglewood’s new buildings are there to create them | Music - The Washington Post

Anne Midgette, Classical music critic summarizes, With its new learning institute, a venerable organization seeks to broaden its reach.

The interior of the Linde Center borrows from Scandinavian design principles.
Photo: Robert BensonWalking through the main entrance of Tanglewood, the legendary summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in western Massachusetts, you pass a bust of the conductor Serge Koussevitzky, a founder of this festival and training ground for generations of musical talent. The sculpture, an homage to tradition, is new this year.

Diagonally across the 524-acre campus from that bust is another recent Tanglewood addition. A brand new entrance to the grounds leads up to the Linde Center, a quartet of buildings made of strawberry-blond wood, glass and metal, which are the first new constructions at Tanglewood since Ozawa Hall, built for chamber music, opened 25 years ago.

Built at a cost of $32 million, the Linde Center is home to the new Tanglewood Learning Institute, created to bring in new audiences through programs of lectures and panels, master classes and films, art classes, even informal meals with artists. TLI aims to give Tanglewood a year-round presence in the Berkshires, providing an additional revenue stream that helps expand its reach.
How do you address and appeal to new generations?...
At TLI, Elliott has developed programs that collaborate with other local institutions, including weekend art classes with IS183 Art School of the Berkshires and films in conjunction with the Berkshire International Film Festival, as well as activities based on Tanglewood’s existing programming. Rather than high-tech bells and whistles (she has gently dissuaded her bosses from focusing on online learning, which, she says, is very expensive to do properly), she is creating activities that emphasize the music, and the personal.Read more...
Source: The Washington Post

Viral math problem baffles mathematicians, physicists | Mathematics - New York Post

Can you solve this math problem? - “8÷2(2+2).” by Frank Miles, reporter and editor at New York Post.
Photo: New York Post The equation went viral this week on Twitter, causing major confusion over the right answer.
Mathematicians and physicists went nuts about it.
Mike Breen, the public awareness officer for the American Mathematical Society, told Popular Mechanics: “The way it’s written, it’s ambiguous. In math, a lot of times there are ambiguities. Mathematicians try to make rules as precise as possible.”
Read more... 

Source: New York Post

13 popular online courses that people enroll in and actually finish, according to Coursera | Insider Picks - Business Insider

  • With the rising cost of formal education, online classes are becoming increasingly popular.
  • Coursera is one of the most comprehensive e-learning platforms, offering a wide range of courses and the ability to audit classes for free.
  • We reached out to Coursera to find out which courses have the highest completion rates — a metric that signals how much value the course provides to its students.
  • Coursera wasn't able to share exact completion rates with us, but they did share a hand-picked list of courses that they say have both high enrollment numbers and corresponding high completion rates.
These days, you don't need a classroom or a backpack full of textbooks to pick up a new skill or dive into a new subject by the Insider Picks team. 

Photo: Coursera/ FacebookOnline classes are breaking down the barriers to education as we know it, making learning more flexible, convenient, and affordable than ever before.
Coursera is a popular e-learning platform, offering thousands of courses administered by some of the top universities and higher-learning institutions in the world. While all courses are different, in general, they all include video lectures, some assignments, and discussion forums where you can communicate with classmates in your course.
Individual courses start at $29 and go up to $99, though you can also purchase specializations — a series of courses and hands-on projects to help you master a skill — for a monthly rate. On Coursera, you can learn everything from Java programming and international tax law to principles of chicken behavior and how to influence others...Whether you're looking to sharpen up some business skills or pick up a new hobby, Coursera probably has something for you.

Find 13 of the most popular courses, based on high enrollment numbers and completion rates, below: 
Read more... 

Source: Business Insider


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