Tag Archives: Bell Labs

Lunch & Learn: Millions, billions, zillions: (In)numeracy still matters with Brian Kernighan

EarthWeight.jpgSays Princeton Computer Science professor Brian Kernighan: “As calculators and computers have become steadily more powerful, they have buried us in an avalanche of numbers and graphs and charts, many of which claim to present the truth about important issues. But at the same time, our personal facility with numbers has diminished, often leaving us at the mercy of quantitative reasoning and presentation that is sometimes wrong and often not disinterested.”
For the past ten years, Dr. Kernighan has been teaching a course that satisfies “QR”, Princeton’s dreaded Quantitative Reasoning requirement. Increasingly, he has come to view a significant part of the QR component as basic numeric self-defense: assessing the numbers presented by other people, and producing sensible numbers of one’s own.

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Lunch & Learn: Infrared Optical Sensing for Health and the Environment with Claire Gmachl and Jim Smith

MIRTHE.jpgThe National Science Foundation has funded a multimillion-dollar Engineering Research Center based at Princeton University that is expected to revolutionize sensor technology, yielding devices that have a unique ability to detect minute amounts of chemicals found in the atmosphere, emitted from factories or exhaled in human breath.
The center, dubbed MIRTHE, for Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment, combines the work of approximately 40 faculty members and researchers, 8 post-docs, 77 graduate students, and 30 undergraduates from the six universities (Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Rice, Texas A & M, City College of New York, and the University of Maryland Baltimore County) that are located in areas that are struggling to meet air quality standards.

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