CBL courses encourage community service

first_imgEach semester, Notre Dame’s Spanish department, in conjunction with the Center for Social Concerns (CSC), offers community-based learning (CBL) courses that allow students to integrate their Spanish language learning with community service at various partner organizations in South Bend. “Any community-based learning program is going to be coming from a perspective of mutuality,” said Rachel Parroquin, director of Spanish service learning. “We’re looking for ways that are going to be helpful for the community partners but also meet the learning goals of our students.” Parroquin said student involvement in CBL programs allows for interaction with native speakers, language skill improvement and intercultural competence. “It’s almost like a mini-immersion,” she said. “Getting off campus, getting to the community, having to negotiate meaning, having to figure out ways to say things, it definitely helps them to work on strategies.” Parroquin said students in CBL programs have the opportunity to participate in activities including mentoring middle school students, reading aloud with preschoolers in Spanish and participating in a Latino outreach program through Memorial Hospital. “We try to have a variety of programs in terms of student interests,” she said. The CBL program works consistently with more than a dozen community partners, including La Casa de Amistad, El Campito, South Bend Community Schools and the Sister Maura Brannick Health Center. The impact of the CBL program on its partners has been enormous, totaling over 3,400 hours of community time in the 2011-12 academic year, Parroquin said. Parroquin said programs have experienced growth and expansion, especially youth-centered programs, such as La Casa de Amistad’s ¡Adelante! Youth Development Program. “Last spring [La Casa de Amistad] had their first group of the ¡Adelante! students that Professor [Marisel] Moreno’s classes had worked with all graduate from high school and all go on to some kind of either university, culinary school, or some kind of program with scholarships,” Parroquin said. Spanish CBL currently comprises three components, Parroquin said. At the intermediate level, about 10 to 15 percent of students choose to participate in a CBL program to satisfy the experiential learning component of their Spanish requirements. This semester, Parroquin teaches a new class titled “Language, Culture and Community” that requires students to commit to a minimum of 10 hours of service. “The focus of this class has to do with immigration issues, looking closely at the South Bend community and how it’s impacted by immigration,” she said. “What are the issues that the Latino community, recent immigrants especially, have to face?” At the senior level, Moreno teaches “Migrant Voices: Latino Literature through Service-Learning” and “Race and Ethnicity in U.S. Latino Literature,” both of which require two hours of community service per week. Parroquin said the Spanish department’s Community-Based Learning program continues to grow with the help of the CSC and will be adding new courses in the future.last_img read more

Professor discusses sources, responses of algorithmic bias in lecture

first_imgCathy O’Neil, a mathematician, data scientist and New York Times bestselling author, gave a keynote presentation on algorithmic bias Friday afternoon.O’Neil received her PhD in math from Harvard, and she has held academic positions at MIT and Barnard College where she did research on arithmetic algebraic geometry. She also founded the O’Neil Risk Consulting and Algebraic Auditing.Her address was part of an event hosted by the Technology Ethics Center at Notre Dame. Following O’Neil’s presentation there were a a few panels featuring Notre Dame faculty members. They analyzed the source of algorithmic bias as well as the ethical obligations that institutions have to account for bias in algorithmic decision-making. Elizabeth Prater | The Observer Keynote speaker Cathy O’Neil presenting on algorithmic bias.She began her talk by discussing her argument against the authoritativeness of big data, which is a term that refers to data that is difficult to analyze using traditional methods because it is so complex and fast.“[Big data] is presented to us as factual, scientific and authoritative. I’m going to argue that it is the opposite of that,” O’Neil said. “We’re told not to look behind the math, and we’re told to trust it blindly… that is a problem of power.”In order to analyze big data, predictive algorithms are used to sort and compile the data. O’Neil said we use predictive algorithms on a daily basis. She broke down the two different elements of predictive algorithms using the example of choosing what to cook for dinner.“When I cook dinner for my kids, the data I have on hand is what are the ingredients in my kitchen. The history of data, and historical data is all the memories of what my kids eat and don’t eat,” O’Neil said. “I need a definition of success. What does it mean for me, for my kids, that the dinner was success?”She said that the definition of success could contribute to bias.“I am inserting my agenda into my meal preparation,” she said, continuing with the dinner analogy.This same specific bias can be seen in the technological realm.“[Facebook] deliver news items to you that will keep you on Facebook for as long as possible. That is an agenda,” she said. “That’s the sort of proxy for money because the longer you spend on Facebook, the more you click on ads, which is where they get money from.”Although this may benefit Facebook, this often does not benefit the individual scrolling through their feed.“Facebook is to decide what is their definition of success and how to optimize it to their benefit,” she said. “And I would argue that [clickbait] is not to our benefit, as a nation, as a world, because we’ve seen that their definition of success is actually promoting misinformation and disputes and arguments.”O’Neil said people commonly defend algorithms by pointing to the complex mathematics and writing off individuals who challenge the math without proper background training.“But ultimately, what is going on behind [the algorithms], is deciding what we deserve,” O’Neil said. “That is essentially what big data does. Pretty big algorithms have been replacing your bureaucracy at every turn. So anytime you’re interacting with a bureaucracy, like applying for a job, applying for college, an algorithm is probably deciding whether you deserve or don’t deserve something.”Additionally, algorithmic bias has larger implications within society. The likelihood of incarceration can be algorithmically predicted by one’s ethnicity, prior incarceration, family history and socioeconomic status.“The context matters. An algorithm needs to be understood within its context. The ethical dilemmas represented by an algorithm in the context, will very much depend on the details.” O’Neil said. “And that’s one of the reasons as an algorithmic auditor myself that I do not believe whatsoever in automated AI ethics tools. There is no such thing as automated ethics.”In reference to the data science community, O’Neil says that data scientists as a whole are overloaded.“We are expected to not only build algorithms, but to solve ethical dilemmas. And it’s way too much,” she said. “Our job is to translate those decisions about values to code, rather than to make those decisions.”Tags: algorithmic bias, Artifical Intelligence, big datalast_img read more

Spain boosts LNG imports in June

first_imgHuelva regasification plant (Image courtesy of Enagás)Spain’s imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) rose 14.2 percent in June on a yearly basis, according to the data provided by the LNG terminal operator, Enagás.LNG imports reached 15.05 terawatt hours (TWh) in June, as compared to 13.16 TWh in the same month the year before.The majority of imports came from Nigeria and Peru, followed by volumes from Algeria, Angola and Qatar.Enagás’ Barcelona regasification plant received five out of the total 16 LNG cargoes imported into Spain during the month under review.The report shows that the Huelva LNG import terminal received four cargoes while two landed each in Bilbao, Sagunto and Mugardos. The Cartagena LNG terminal received one cargo.One of the reasons for the rise in Spanish LNG imports was hot weather in June which led to increased demand for air conditioning.Gas-to-power electricity generation in Spain rose 57 percent on year in June. To remind, Enagás recently said that daily natural gas demand for power generation reached a record high on June 21 hitting 465 GWh, the highest summer value since 2011.According to Spain’s meteorological agency Aemet, the average temperature recorded during June in the country had been 2.48ºC above that recorded during the same month last year.The country’s total natural gas imports dropped 3.9 percent reaching 29.4 TWh in June due to lower pipeline imports from Algeria, the Enagás data showed. LNG World News Stafflast_img read more

Offshore Energy platform: connecting the gears

first_imgChange is the only constant. Thiswas as true for the ancient Greek who coined the phrase, as it is for us today.Our industry is changing. The need to innovate and transform are key in remaining relevant andfuture-proof. This is why we present the Offshore Energy platform. It combinesall the elements Navingo excels in, making the platform a connector ofcommunities. Expect daily news from markets of interest, in-depth articles andvideos, insights from industry leaders, an overview of the important players inthe business landscape and job boards.   Maritimeingenuity is needed to construct wind farms. Electric power is transmitted by subseacabling. Oil and gas is the fuel that makes the energy transition happen. Otherforms of renewable energy, like marine energy, are needed to meet energy demands.Without dredging, ports cannot function. Everything is connected. Because the editors of Navingo are on top of theirsubjects and can also take a step back and discuss the various businessactivities that are going on, they can connect the dots. What trends areintertwined? What developments are overlapping each other and what kind ofcross-market collaborations are taking place? The Offshore Energy platformprovides this information on the new fast and responsive website, refreshed withUX design. Why this new Offshore Energy platform? Think about it What does Offshore Energy offer? This is whythe energy transition and sustainable solutions are the main topics the newplatform focuses on. Our communities – the offshore, maritime and energyindustries – are front-runners in this change. A large part of the energytransition will take place at sea and sustainable innovations will reshape themaritime sector. By combining markets, we connect the gears that set the energytransition in motion. We give youvaluable insights and foresights. This provides an overview about what is goingon in our industries. The platform informs about projects, new products,companies, market opportunities and trends. We do this by providing day-to-daynews, combined with in-deptharticles and videos.   As an overview, we have combined the editorial power of Offshorewind.biz, OffshoreEnergyToday.com, LNGWorldNews.com, SubseaWorldNews.com, WorldMaritimeNews.com and MarineEnergy.biz. But we understand if you want to narrow it down. That is why we have created different landing pages for specific sectors. To meet your demands there is a clear navigation between markets, regions and topics. This makes it easy to look at your point of interest from every angle. In the end all developments and activities we cover, are fuelled by one crucial element; human capital. We understand that and use the reach of Offshore Energy platform to connect employees with companies. On our job board we gather job openings from different sectors. The job section offer a broad range of functions from technical positions to marketing jobs.     We see an interaction between sectors we cannot ignore. The driving force behind this is the state of the Earth. CO2 emissions are warming up the planet and pollution is damaging ecosystems. To ensure a sustainable future the energy transition is set in motion. Being future-proof within the oil, gas, maritime, offshore wind and marine energy industries means being part of the energy transition and investing in sustainable solutions. This is the way forward, for our business and planet. For us. Navingo is also the organiser of Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference. Next to providing relevant content, we connect people and companies. New insights and collaboration spur innovation. In the premium section of the website, conference sessions are available for the first time. Learn from industry leaders as they share their visions. Navingo believesin working together. We connect the maritime and offshore world for sustainablesolutions.last_img read more

Iowa officials report 1st confirmed measles case since 2011

first_imgDES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Health officials have reported the first confirmed Iowa case of measles since 2011.The Iowa Department of Public Health said Monday the person from northeastern Iowa wasn’t vaccinated and contracted measles while on a trip to Israel, where outbreaks have been reported.Iowa officials are working with the infected person as well as with people he or she potentially exposed. The department says there’s no indication of any threat to the general public.U.S. officials say 90 measles cases were reported across the United States last week, and 555 cases have been reported in 20 states this year.Measles symptoms include fever, runny nose, cough and a rash. It’s highly contagious to the unvaccinated and can be fatal.last_img