Even Genius Kids Need Teachers

November 14, 2017

Geniuses are supposed to have the innate ability to quickly learn and apply information without being taught.  It is almost like magic what they can do, but even with their awe-inspiring intellects, geniuses need their own mentors.  The Independent wrote about a study that proved geniuses need guidance, “Psychologists Studies 5000 Genius Kids For 45 Years-Here Are Their 6 Takeaways.”

Started in 1971, the “Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth” (SMPY) followed 5000 American children with intelligence measured in the 0.01%, 0.1%, and 1% of all students.  The study’s facilitators learned that the children led extraordinary lives that ranged from them being patent holders, they earned doctorates or graduate degrees, and are in the top 5% of income earners.  One problem is that these children were often ignored by their teachers because they were already meeting their potential.  Teachers had to spend more time helping lower students achieve their academic requirements.

They also learned that skipping a grade can help and intelligence is varied.  The latter means that intelligence cannot be prepackaged, one size fits all, instead, it comes in different forms.  Also despite how much they are loathed, standardized tests do have some predictive ability to measure genius kids success in life.  Perhaps the most interesting factoid is something that is taught in business classes, mindfulness, and other life coaching strategies:

The psychologist Carol Dweck has found that successful people tend to keep what’s known as a “growth mindset” as opposed to a “fixed mindset.” They view themselves as fluid, changing beings that can adapt and grow — they are not static.


SMPY agrees with that assessment, but it also has found that the earliest signs of cognitive ability in kids can predict how well they’ll do later in life, ignoring all the practice that may or may not come in between.

Genius kids are valuable as individuals and their intellect can help the world, but the bigger problem is trying to find ways to help them achieve when the rest of the world is trying to catch up.

Whitney Grace, November 14, 2017

You Too, Can Learn Linear Algebra

January 24, 2017

Algebra was invented in Persia nearly one thousand years ago. It is one of the fundamental branches of mathematics and its theories are applied to many industries.  Algebra ranges from solving for x to complex formulas that leave one scratching their head.  If you are interested in learning linear algebra, then you should visit Sheldon Axler’s Web site.  Along with an apparent love for his pet cat, Axler is a professor of mathematics at San Francisco State University.

On his Web site, Axler lists the various mathematics books he has written and contributed too.  It is an impressive bibliography and his newest book is titled, Linear Algebra Abridged.  He describes the book as:

Linear Algebra Abridged is generated from Linear Algebra Done Right (third edition) by excluding all proofs, examples, and exercises, along with most comments. Learning linear algebra without proofs, examples, and exercises is probably impossible. Thus this abridged version should not substitute for the full book. However, this abridged version may be useful to students seeking to review the statements of the main results of linear algebra.

Algebra can be difficult, but as Axler wrote above learning linear algebra without proofs is near impossible.  However, if you have a grounded understanding of algebra and are simply looking to brush up or study linear principles without spending a sizable chunk on the textbook, then this is a great asset.  The book is free to download from Axler’s Web site, along with information on how to access the regular textbook.

Whitney Grace, January 24, 2017

IBM Watson in the Third Grade, Doing Math

October 5, 2016

The IBM Watson PR hyperbole machine seems to have been idling. Summer’s over. IBM Watson marketers are back at their work stations.

I read “Next Target for IBM’s Watson? Third-Grade Math.” Keep in mind that you may have to pay to read this bit of PR inspired content. That’s not my fault, gentle reader.

The write up reveals:

For the past two years, the IBM Foundation has worked with teachers and their union, the American Federation of Teachers, to build Teacher Advisor, a program that uses artificial-intelligence technology to answer questions from educators and help them build personalized lesson plans.

When I was a student, sleeping, talking, and day dreaming had a high priority. I didn’t have a mobile device to distract me.

The idea is that IBM Watson is going to make the students of the 21st century drop their mobile phones and learn mathematics.

How will IBM Watson pull off this trick? I learned:

For teachers, one thing Watson will do is help them digest the Common Core standards and incorporate them into daily lessons. The standards are learning goals, a map of what students should be able to do at a given level. Third graders should be able to measure area, for example, by counting out units, like square centimeters or square inches. But rather than just listing a group of skills, Watson serves up the prerequisites those skills are built upon and a set of exercises to break down the standard.

Sounds darned good. I am confident that IBM Watson will make learning today a really fun experience. Great assumption. However, I think schools may find that IBM Watson could end up with a dunce cap or texting with friends. IBM may be sitting next to the innovator who predicted that Apple iPads would energize Los Angeles’ classrooms. How did that work out? Oh, I remember. Not too well.

Stephen E Arnold, October 5, 2015

Viva The Academic Publisher Boycott!

July 30, 2015

Academic databases provide access to quality research material, which is key for any student, professor, or researcher to succeed in their work.  One major drawback to academic databases is the high cost associated with subscription fees.  Individual researchers cannot justify subscribing to an academic database and purchasing a single article runs high.  This is why they rely on academic libraries to cover the costs.  Due to changing publishing trends, academic publishers are raising subscription fees.

Elsevier is one of the largest and most well-known scientific journal database, but it is also the most notorious for its expensive subscription fee and universities are getting tired of it.  Univers reports that “Dutch Universities Start Their Elsevier Boycott.”  The Netherlands, led by state secretary Sander Dekker, want all scientific content to be free online.  In order to be published, the university or financier pays to be so.  All content by Dutch scientists will hopefully be open access by 2024.

In the meantime, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands has asked all Dutch scientists that work with Elsevier to resign from their positions.  As to be expected, some are willing and others are more reluctant.  The goal is to pressure Elsevier to change its practices.

“In Univers nr. 8, in January, professor Jan Blommaert called the current publishing system ‘completely absurd’. Not only because of the costs for subscription, but also because the journals have a lot of power over the content: ‘A young PhD student who has been able to get an article accepted by a journal may still have to wait 18 months for it to be published, because the editors prefer well-known names. It is not unthinkable that if I would submit a love letter, it would be published sooner than an intelligent scholarly article by a young researcher.’ ”

The Dutch universities are setting a standard that many libraries and universities will also follow, but the hardest part is encouraging more to participate.  Libraries and universities have an obligation to provide needed materials to researchers and a boycott will hinder the step.  Large boycotts, rather than individual, will be more effective and instrumental in changing Elsevier’s practices.

Whitney Grace, July 30, 2015
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Chris McNulty at SharePoint Fest Seattle

June 18, 2015

For SharePoint managers and users, continued education and training is essential. There are lots of opportunities for virtual and face-to-face instruction. Benzinga gives some attention to one training option, the upcoming SharePoint Fest Seattle, in their recent article, “Chris McNulty to Lead 2 Sessions and a Workshop at SharePoint Fest Seattle.”

The article begins:

“Chris McNulty will preside over a full day workshop at SharePoint Fest Seattle on August 18th, 2015, as well as conduct two technical training sessions on the 19th and 20th. Both the workshops and sessions are to be held at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle.”

In addition to all of the great training opportunities at conferences and other face-to-face sessions, staying on top of the latest SharePoint news and online training opportunities is also essential. For a one-stop-shop of all the latest SharePoint news, stay tuned to Stephen E. Arnold’s Web site, ArnoldIT.com, and his dedicated SharePoint feed. He has turned his longtime career in search into a helpful Web service for those that need to stay on top of the latest SharePoint happenings.

Emily Rae Aldridge, June 18, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


Silobreaker Forms Cyber Partnership with Norwich University

March 4, 2015

I learned that cyber OSINT capable Silobreaker has partnered with Silobreaker. Norwich, the oldest private military college in the US, has a sterling reputation for cyber security courses and degree programs. The Silobreaker online threat intelligence product will be used in the institution’s cyber forensics classes.

Silobreaker’s cyber security product automatically collects open source information from news, blogs, feeds and social media. The system provides easy to use tools and visualizations to make sense of the content.

Kristofer Månsson, CEO and Co-Founder of Silobreaker told Beyond Search:

By offering Silobreaker as part of their studies, Norwich University is addressing the need for a more holistic approach to threat intelligence in cyber security. This partnership showcases the power of Silobreaker to provide relevant context beyond the technical parameters of a threat, hack or a new malware. Understanding the threat landscape and anticipating potential risks will unquestionably also require the analysis of geopolitics, business and world events, which often influence and prompt attacks. We are excited to continue working with Norwich University and to open up the young minds of tomorrow to the ever-evolving cyber landscape.

Silobreaker is used by more than 80 Norwich students. The university offers the product across its cyber security classes including Cyber Criminalistics, Cyber Investigation and Network Forensics. Students learn how to apply Silobreaker’s next generation system to intelligence gathering in the context of their investigations. Students are required to use the technology throughout their independent research projects.

Aron Temkin, dean of the College of Professional Schools said:

In order to maintain our excellence in cyber security research and training, we need to stay on top of the latest emerging technologies. Silobreaker is a powerful tool that is both user-friendly and flexible enough to fit within our cyber education programs.

Dr. Peter Stephenson, director of the university’s Center for Advanced Computing and Digital forensic added:

Students can get useful output quickly, and we do not have to turn a semester forensics class into a ‘How To Use Silobreaker’ session. Cyber events do not occur in a vacuum. There is context around them that often is hard to see. Silobreaker solves that. It cuts through the mass of information available on the Internet and helps our students get to the meat of an issue quickly and with a variety of ways of accessing and displaying it. This is a new way to look at cyber forensics.


Silobreaker is a data analytics company specializing in cyber security and risk intelligence. The company’s products help intelligence professionals to make sense of the overwhelming amount of data available today on the web. Silobreaker collects large volumes of open source data from news, blogs, feeds and social media and provides the tools and visualizations for analyzing and contextualizing such data. Customers save time by working more efficiently through big data-sets and improve their expertise and knowledge from examining and interpreting the data more easily. For more information, navigate to www.silobreaker.com.

Interviews with Silobreaker’s Mat Bjore are available via the free Search Wizards Speak service.

Channel 19 Offers Office 365 Rest Point Training

November 20, 2014

With all the intricacies of SharePoint, continued training and education is important. Short training videos are getting easier to find, so that users don’t have to subscribe to large training programs, or hire someone to come in. It is worth giving these short tutorials a short. We found an interesting one on Channel 19 called, “Azure, Office 365, and SharePoint Online has REST endpoints with Mat Velloso.”

The summary says:

“Mat Velloso explains how to create applications and services in Azure that get permission to access OTHER applications like SharePoint! We’ll dig into the URL Structure of these services, see how to get events when things are updated, and figure out how ODATA and REST fit into these cloud building blocks.”

Stephen E. Arnold of ArnoldIT.com pays a good amount of attention to training and continuing education regarding SharePoint. His web service, ArnoldIT.com, is devoted to all things search, including a large SharePoint feed that helps users and managers stay on top of the latest tips, tricks, and news that may affect their implementation.  Keep an eye out for further learning opportunities.


Emily Rae Aldridge, November 20, 2014

SharePoint Training Now Focuses on 2013

January 22, 2014

Many companies make their success on the basis of SharePoint. Some may provide customization while others will offer training. Once such company is PremierPoint Solutions and they made the latest headlines on PRWeb in, “PremierPoint Solutions Reduces Training Prices, Unveils New ‘SharePoint 2013 Power User Fast Track’ Course.”

The article begins:

“PremierPoint Solutions has reduced the prices of its SharePoint training classes and unveiled a new three-day course called ‘SharePoint 2013 Power User Fast Track.’ ‘We are concentrating primarily on SharePoint 2013 training courses in the new year, as more and more organizations are deciding ‘out with the old; in with the new’ when it comes to SharePoint,’ said Randy Moody, sales and marketing representative for PremierPoint Solutions.”

The surge in SharePoint training and customization is proof that out-of-the-box, SharePoint alone is not enough. Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and follows this trend on his Web service, ArnoldIT.com. Much of his coverage focuses on what companies are doing to make the most of SharePoint through customization, add-ons, and increased training.

Emily Rae Aldridge, January 22, 2014

Ironic Programming How To Guide Teaches Programmers How Not To

October 29, 2013

An article from Typical Programmer titled How to Develop Unmaintainable Software is written by a programmer who spends most of his workdays debugging, maintaining and fixing systems. The almost entirely ironical article is a how-to (or how-not-to) code in a way that will make maintenance possible. Tips like “don’t use version control” and “write everything from scratch” are followed with explanations of how such techniques will make it almost impossible for another programmer to address issues in the coding. For example, “Use a bunch of different programming languages and stay cutting-edge” is followed up with,

“Every day HackerNews and Reddit buzz with cool new languages. Try them out on your client’s time… The boundaries between the languages, the incompatible APIs and data formats, the different server configuration requirements are all fun challenges to overcome and post about on StackOverflow…Half-baked caching, aborted Rails and Node.js projects, and especially NoSQL solutions (“It’s more scaleable!”) are my bread and butter.”

We have to wonder if the author had enterprise search systems in mind while writing this hilarious article. In the end, the author explains to his brother and sister programmers that the beauty and functionality of a code is secondary to it being easy to work with. Source control, fewer dependencies, and a testing/staging facility are vital to maintaining a system.

Chelsea Kerwin, October 29, 2013

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

SharePoint User Training Cannot be Overlooked

October 11, 2013

SharePoint is a huge deployment for any organization. Most will just focus on implementation and many make the mistake of overlooking user training. CMS Wire gives many reasons to invest in SharePoint user training in their article, “Don’t Overlook the Importance of Effective SharePoint User Training.”

The article begins:

“While most of the recent stories about SharePoint revolve around the latest buzzwords and hot topics — gamification, cloud, mobile, social, Yammer, etc. — one component of a successful SharePoint rollout that is often overlooked is an effective user training program. Although talking about training seems to be out of fashion at the moment, it’s still very important.”

User training is so important for SharePoint because it is a huge, complicated deployment. User satisfaction is pitifully low for the enterprise search solution, and training can only help improve those numbers. Stephen E. Arnold, a longtime expert in search and the brains behind ArnoldIT.com, is a critic of SharePoint. He recently covered a story that revealed that only 6% of enterprises found their SharePoint deployments to be successful. There is clearly room for improvement.

Emily Rae Aldridge, October 11, 2013

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