hankrules2011

A polymath rambling about virtually anything

Posts Tagged ‘research’

PNAS: Neuroscience

Posted by Scott Holstad on December 17, 2021

I realize that I’m likely the only person looking at this page who will find this topic interesting because it seems to matter what the platform, as soon as I dive into either 1) neuroscience or 2) quantum gravity, etc., any conversation dies and people try to creep away unnoticed. And I get it, truly I do. It’s just not for everyone. It’s dry or hard or boring or Why?, etc. Well, yeah, for many people. But it’s also the stuff of life, so to say. Some things are dry and hard but I rarely let that stop me because the knowledge gained will be worth it. There! My tiny pep talk for the day!

So the National Academy of Sciences puts out generally high quality research on a regular basis. I got this last night, and on into the morning with tons of other email messages and some were really interesting looking, including this one from PNAS (Proceedings of the NAS). I couldn’t paste the email here so I took a screenshot and if anyone is interested, you can either look up the research yourself or ask me and I’ll locate it for you. The first one looks especially intriguing to me: “Cell-type–specific neuromodulation guides synaptic credit assignment in a spiking neural network” (Liu, et al…). In fact, for any interested parties (besides me), here’s the link to the original research.

I actually have a ton of other topics I’d like to post or write about, but my time is precious and limited, so I don’t know if or when I will get to any. Remember, it’s okay to Geek Out!

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Folding@Home – Joint The Fight Against COVID-19

Posted by Scott Holstad on May 8, 2020

Want to join the fight against COVID-19 & don’t know how cause you’re not a doctor, scientist, etc.? There’s a great way anyone can help. You can donate unused computing power from your computer to Folding@Home, a distributed computing project for simulating protein dynamics, focusing on disease research including COVID-19. “The problems we’re solving require so many computer calculations & the FAH software allows you to share your unused computer power, so we can research more possible cures.” (Distributed computing is defined on their FAQ.) Anyone with a computer can join at no cost except pennies on utility bills. F@H is also interested in multicore, multi-GPU rigs, though any computer is fine. I have a custom designed & custom built PC with an 18-core/36-thread i9-9980XE & multiple NVIDIA GPUs. I started folding Tuesday AM & my first Work Unit was done in 4 minutes. Since then, I’ve added two more rigs to form “TeamScott” (Join Me!) & I plan to add more. In 2+ days, I’ve done 61 Work Units for 72,806 points, putting us at 44,675 out 252,943 teams! It feels great to contribute & it will for you too. Anyone can participate along with organisations like Cisco, AMD, CERN, Intel, NVIDIA, Microsoft, etc. Go here: https://foldingathome.org/. Their FAQ, which is pretty helpful, can be found here: https://bit.ly/3dqxemk. Hope to see you there!

 

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Cal State Long Beach: 13th Best School In America!!!

Posted by Scott Holstad on September 7, 2019

I have been meaning to brag on an alma mater of mine for a week. Now I’m finally doing so. Money Magazine just published “The 25 Best Colleges in America” (via 19,000 Data Points). (https://bit.ly/2Zi6mlP) Some schools are definitely surprises and the schools you would expect to find in the Top 10, let alone Top 25, really aren’t there, or not as high as many would think, including their administrations and alumni! Out of 750 schools, the top school was UC Irvine! That is very surprising, because it’s not a bad school, but as part of the UC (University of California) system, it’s one of … 10? … great universities making the very best public academic system in the world. And as most people know, UC Berkeley is typically the top ranked one, followed immediately by UCLA. I’d say the next two most “elite” would be UC San Diego and UC San Francisco. At that point, there’s sort of a mishmash of the rest, including UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis and UC Riverside. There may be another now, but that’s basically the system. So Irvine is a great school, hard to get into, excellent programs, but they don’t nearly have the reputation as the usual top two. So to find it ranked Number One in America INCLUDING both public AND private is frankly quite stunning. Kudos to them though. That’s awesome.

 

The 25 Best Colleges in America

 

However, the one I’m most excited about and most proud of is that my second alma mater, where I got my first graduate degree — California State University Long Beach (CSULB)is actually ranked #13 in the damn country — over Harvard, Cal Tech, Yale, Duke and other “elite” schools! You have no idea how big this is, because while CSULB has been ranked very high for years by Princeton Review, US News, etc., CSU schools have often been snubbed by “elite” UC schools. So it’s great to see TWO CSU schools make the list! With #13 Long Beach, CSU Fullerton is #22! Congrats! I loved my time at Long Beach State! It was great. I experienced many opportunities, worked and played hard, taught, researched, published and finished as top graduate at California’s largest university. I have always thought the education I received there was far superior to where I received my undergrad degree, the University of Tennessee. But try telling a UT admin, faculty member, student or alumnus that, and be prepared for a beat down. That’s the point — they don’t know any better.

 

#13 California State University Long Beach, my alma mater, is mentioned by name with #14 Harvard. Exclusive club… LOL!

 

Besides California, only one state had multiple schools: Massachusetts with three. All of the other states had one or none at all. Meanwhile, six of the top 12 schools are UC schools, dashing notions that some “elite” private schools are better. (Not naming schools, but you all know which ones…) So California (where my heart remains), has 10 (TEN!) universities in the top 25! (The six UC schools, two CSU schools, Stanford and Cal Tech.) Wonder where the best schools are now? I guess you don’t have to anymore. They’re sure not on the East Coast!!!

And if I can stretch some things here while still being honest, I actually did pretty good. While my second degree is from #13 CSULB, I also spent four years at #4 UCLA pursuing a different degree I wasn’t able to complete as I had to relocate for work. I also did post-grad work at #8 Michigan and briefly studied at #6  Stanford. FOUR Top 13 schools! AND, to stretch things even further, I presented and published several academic papers at conferences at #22 Cal State Fullerton, and I went to #1 UC Irvine to do extensive graduate level research at their research library. That’s six Top 25 schools I was/am affiliated with. Awesome.

And interestingly, the vaunted Ivy League is poorly represented, with only one school in the Top 10 (#3 Princeton) and only two more schools on the list, both behind Cal State Long Beach (#14 Harvard and #17 Yale)!!! Most others on the list would include schools you’d expect, but I was very surprised by #2 and #25, and slightly less by #24. In any event, I’m proud as hell of my graduate alma mater, Long Beach State University (California State University Long Beach). Number 13 in America, over Harvard, Yale, Vandy, Duke, etc. Way to go Beach!!!

(Incidentally, among the other schools I studied at or attended, none of them were mentioned including two schools I received degrees from: the University of Tennessee and Queens University of Charlotte…)

 

America’s Top 25 Colleges & Universities

 

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Serious Quantum Excitement With Entanglement Transfer!

Posted by Scott Holstad on September 3, 2019

Okay, my quantum (and other physicist/scientist/researcher/etc.) friends and colleagues. I’m sure some of you know this and may already have read the paper, but if not, get ready! We all know that while people are working hard in/on quantum computers, there’s still a world of difference between that and a quantum Internet. Entanglement. Quantum information can’t be copied and transmitted over a traditional network. Quantum particles require a different interface, allegedly. However, Austrian researchers led by Ben Lanyon have successfully completed a documented unreal experiment: They were essentially able to transmit quantum entanglement 50 km over basic fiber!

The paper discussing this experiment was published August 27, 2019 and you can find it at “Light-matter entanglement over 50 km of optical fibre.”

 

Caveat: For those less familiar with quantum research, the paper might appear to be fairly technical, but not overly so for many, I believe. Graduate level and above quantum physics. Don’t get mad at me if I turn out to be wrong. Quantum’s not for everyone…

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Read My New Article on LinkedIn’s New Breed of Spammers

Posted by Scott Holstad on July 2, 2019

Hi! I hope you have all been doing well. I’ve been both ill and insanely busy, which is a rough combination.

I don’t know how many of you are on LinkedIn, but I have been for 14 years, building a 20,000 person network over that time. Today I published an article there titled “Several Words on LinkedIn Spammers (with a Modifiable Pitch Response Template).” The preview description I used for it on LI was generally “My feelings (shared by many) on LinkedIn’s new breed who send unwelcome pitches or outright spam. Contains a modifiable pitch response template…. There once was something called “LinkedIn etiquette.” It seems to have disappeared ….”

If you ARE on LI and this interests you at all, you can read it at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/several-words-linkedin-spammers-modifiable-pitch-response-holstad or https://bit.ly/2FMbO4w. Naturally, I appreciate both Likes and comments, so one or both are welcome, though no one is obligated.

Meanwhile, LI was once partially to largely open to anyone to view profiles. Apparently that is a thing of the past, which doesn’t make me or many others very happy. Meanwhile I recently opened on account with Medium, an interesting, intriguing online publication that focuses on high quality writing in many different categories while still presenting a publishing platform for anyone who is willing to pay the small fee to become a member. And while many of the pieces on the front “Wall” originally appeared in places like The New Yorker, Washington Post, NY Times, etc., technically anyone who writes something deemed good enough is eligible to have their work featured on the main Wall, which is then marketed and distributed to a wide array of sources. The site is growing and while similar to a blog in a few ways, it’s really probably the best “independent” quality writing I’ve ever seen online.

So, there are several cool features I particularly appreciate about it in addition to others. One is, you can obviously import articles that have previously appeared elsewhere, provided you have reprint permission, and can “count” as an original publication as long as you were indeed the author. This means, I can import blog posts, stories and articles I have published in various areas, and best of all, select LinkedIn articles no one who’s not a member would not be able to access. Well, now they can!!! Wait, you say! You said Medium was a paid service, so is their content free to all? Unfortunately, the answer is No. You have to be a member in order to get behind THEIR wall and read the content inside. Which I find rather bothersome and seems to defeat the purpose. Except for one thing… They provide, upon request, not only the URL for the article so you can let any friends who are on Medium know about it and read it, but they also provide a “Friend Link” for you to provide anyone at all so anyone, regardless of membership status, can access and read that piece! Which I’ve never done, but I’m about to try. And BTW, for those of you who ARE on Medium — the site pays for “member engagement” with each visit to your article by members, so if you ARE a member and you read this, I’d be very grateful if you gave me a Clap or even a comment, no matter how brief! Thanks. So I’m going to provide both the Medium link for those already members AND the Friend Link so the rest of you can go read it, should you want to. And I’d be very grateful if anyone did, but by no means feel obligated. While this topic may deeply interest some, I can see why certain people out there wouldn’t care at all about the topic of this piece. No problem, I understand. In any event,

 

Medium LinkedIn article URL:  https://medium.com/@qbitsof/several-words-on-linkedin-spammers-with-a-modifiable-pitch-response-template-61909f1b8038

 

Medium LinkedIn article’s “Friend Link”:  https://medium.com/@qbitsof/several-words-on-linkedin-spammers-with-a-modifiable-pitch-response-template-61909f1b8038?source=friends_link&sk=b0119c36f81089d4c8ef4d507e587f14

 

Incidentally, you can find my Medium profile at: https://medium.com/@qbitsof and my LinkedIn profile at https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottholstad/.

 

Cheers! — Scott

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Important! Quantum Computing

Posted by Scott Holstad on December 9, 2018

This is a brief post about a very important subject. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t really know just how important it is, let alone know anything about it at all.

Listen please! This is a very important & urgent topic. I strongly support US government-funded research in quantum science & quantum computing. And perhaps most importantly, encryption capable of reliably standing up to the power of those using such computers against others, etc. Quantum computing is technically here. And it’s unreal! Current encryption standards are about to become obsolete & useless to those who possess this technology. As this article states, “Quantum computers pose a significant risk to encrypted devices & communications. Due to many current encryption methods being based on a complex series of math equations, encryption becomes more vulnerable to quantum computers which can process up to 100 million times faster than a traditional computer. As such, even quantum computer prototypes have the ability to invalidate many forms of cybersecurity.” And while the technology is already here, & as it’s likely to be broadly available in the next 5-10 years, the truly worrisome thing is that most experts feel that sufficient security technology to protect against such systems is 20 years away. By then, it won’t even matter anymore. Please educate yourselves on this crucial topic & support serious research. It’s truly critical.

A brief, reader friendly article that addresses this can be found here:  https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/419810-the-united-states-needs-better-quantum-science-as-a-national-policy.

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