Daily Archives: December 9, 2014

Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa in Tirumala to Offer Prayers


TIRUPATI: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived here today to offer prayers at the famous Tirumala temple.

He arrived at Ranigunta airport, 20 km from here, by a special flight and proceeded by a helicopter to University Stadium and then onward to the hill shrine of Tirumala by road.

“A full-fledged security arrangement has been made.

Rajapaksa is scheduled to fly back to Sri Lanka tomorrow after offering prayers to Lord Balaji,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Ravishankar Reddy told PTI.

He is slated to perform ‘Suprabhatam, the first temple service of the day, early tomorrow morning.

The visit comes a day after Rajapaksa submitted his nomination papers for the next month’s presidential election in the island coutry.


Nobel awards for Satyarthi, Malala tomorrow


Child rights activists India’s Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai, along with 11 others will receive this year’s Nobel Prizes tomorrow.

The Nobel Laureates take centrestage in Sweden’s capital Stockholm and Norwegian Oslo, where they will receive the Nobel medals, Nobel diplomas and documents confirming the Nobel Prize amount.

Satyarthi, 60, and Yousafzai, 17, will share USD 1.1 million Peace Prize at Oslo while all the other awards wil be presented here.

“I want to dedicate this award to the children of India. This award is for them. It is also for the people of India,” an elated Satyarthi told PTI.

He hailed the judiciary for talking up the child rights issue on fast track basis. The Supreme Court of India recently set up a special ‘Social Justice Bench’ to exclusively hear cases concerning social issues particularly those related to women, children and underprivileged.

Satyarthi was also optimistic that the government would do more to protect the rights of children.

“We need more and more MPs to raise this issue in Parliament and laws to abolish child labour in India. I hope the government will do something pro-active in this regard. Also the society should work towards creating a culture of child rights,” he said.

Satyarthi, along with his wife Sumedha, son, daughter- in-law and daughter reached Oslo yesterday.

Frenchman Patrick Modiano will be presented the Literature Nobel, US-British scientist John O’Keefe and Norwegian husband-and-wife duo Edvard and May-Britt Moser Nobel in medicine and Japanese scientists Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano and Japanese-born American Shuji Nakamura the Nobel in Physics.

Americans Eric Betzig and William Moerner and German scientist Stefan Hell will share the Nobel in Chemistry while Frenchman Jean Tirole will be presented Nobel for Economics. Since 1901, the Nobel Prizes have been presented to the Laureates at ceremonies on December 10, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death.

As stipulated in the will of the Swedish-born inventor and international industrialist, the Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine and Literature are awarded in Stockholm while the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo.

Since 1969 an additional prize has been awarded at the ceremony in Stockholm, The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, which was established in 1968 on the occasion of the Riksbank’s 300th anniversary.

The Prize Award Ceremony in Stockholm has taken place at the Stockholm Concert Hall since 1926. In Oslo, the ceremony was for many years held at the Nobel Institute. From 1947 till 1990, the setting was the auditorium of the University of Oslo. In 1990 the event moved to the Oslo City Hall.

At the ceremony here, presentation speeches will extoll the Laureates and their discovery or work, after which King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf will hand each Laureate the diploma and the medal. The ceremony will be followed by a banquet at the Stockholm City Hall for about 1,300 people, including 250 students.

The Nobel Festivities here are arranged by the Nobel Foundation and are primarily an academic celebration focusing on science and literature. In addition to the Nobel Laureates and their families, other members of the Royal Family of Sweden including Queen Silvia will be guests of honour at both the Prize Award Ceremony and the Banquet. Representatives of the Swedish government and Parliament will also participate.

In Oslo, the Nobel Peace Prize will be presented by the Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee in the presence of King Harald V and Queen Sonja, the government, representatives of Storting — the supreme legislature of Norway — and an invited audience.


MIT Develops System That Helps Computers Teach By Example

WASHINGTON: MIT researchers have developed a new system that bridges the ways that computers and humans process information to enable better decision-making.

Computers are good at identifying patterns in huge data sets while humans are good at inferring patterns from just a few examples.

The new system bridges these two ways of processing information, so that humans and computers can collaborate to make better decisions. The system learns to make judgments by crunching data but distills what it learns into simple examples.

In experiments, human subjects using the system were more than 20% better at classification tasks than those using a similar system based on existing algorithms.

“In this work, we were looking at whether we could augment a machine-learning technique so that it supported people in performing recognition-primed decision-making,” said Julie Shah, an assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a co-author on the new paper.

“That’s the type of decision-making people do when they make tactical decisions – like in fire crews or field operations.

“When they’re presented with a new scenario, they don’t do search the way machines do. They try to match their current scenario with examples from their previous experience, and then they think, ‘OK, that worked in a previous scenario,’ and they adapt it to the new scenario,” Shah said.

Shah and her colleagues were trying to augment a type of machine learning known as “unsupervised”.

In supervised machine learning, a computer is fed a slew of training data that’s been labelled by humans and tries to find correlations – say, those visual features that occur most frequently in images labelled ‘car’.

In unsupervised machine learning, on the other hand, the computer simply looks for commonalities in unstructured data. The result is a set of data clusters whose members are in some way related, but it may not be obvious how.

The MIT researchers made two major modifications to the type of algorithm commonly used in unsupervised learning.

The first is that the clustering was based not only on data items’ shared features, but also on their similarity to some representative example, which the researchers dubbed a ‘prototype’.

The other is that rather than simply ranking shared features according to importance, the way a topic-modelling algorithm might, the new algorithm tries to winnow the list of features down to a representative set, which the researchers dubbed a ‘subspace’.


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