AlphaGo Strikes Again!  How AI are Beating Us at our Own Game!

AlphaGo Strikes Again! How AI are Beating Us at our Own Game!

The Google company has made many advances in technology over the years in how we look at the world around us. Who would have thought that eventually they would come up with artificial intelligence, surprise! A couple of years ago, Google acquired an AI company called DeepMind and last year unveiled its new program: Alpha Go AI, an artificial intelligence program designed to play the ubiquitous Go game popular in many Asian cultures. Alphao Go made International news last year in a landmark competition in March 2016 when DeepMind had its AI play against world time Go champion Lee Sedol from South Korea and beat him 4-1 in a five match game, the first time a person was outwitted in Go by a machine!

The online science magazine New Scientist mentioned this accomplishment in an article last year. Now the magazine, among many news channels today, have announced some more exciting news…AlphaGo has actually been winning more Games…incognito.

Timothy Revell, writing in the New Scientist today, just announced that Demis Hassabis, the founder of DeepMind, tweeted that the company has been using AlphaGo to play against other masters of Go on an online Go website called Tygem under the pseudonym “Master”. The company plans to actual go through with more “official testing” to put their AI to work.

So its another big step for artificial intelligence. Better hone in on our Go skills as AlphaGo is stepping up its game!

(The picture featured at the top is of instructor Dr. Zhiping You leading a lesson on strategies in playing Go at last year’s 2016 Georgetown Summer Camp with Areteem Institute. He also discussed artificial intelligence and the famous match between Lee Sedol and the AlphaGo AI).

Read the full article and more about AlphoGo on the New Scientist website

NASA Hosts Essay Contest on Scientific Research for Grades 5th to 12th!

NASA Hosts Essay Contest on Scientific Research for Grades 5th to 12th!

Are you interested in becoming a “scientist for a day”? Have you ever dreamed of working at NASA or its Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL)? Well, now here is your chance to do just that!

For this school year, from now in 2016 until early Spring 2017, students in grades 5th to 12th can participate in a Science Essay Contest for NASA’s “Cassini Scientist for a Day” project. Students will be able to use their critical thinking skills and conduct research taking on role of a scientist, using real data from the Cassini science team in order to come up with their own theories of what NASA’s next project should be.

For the Essay Contest, students will need to first do some scientific research on Saturn and its moons. Students can work individually or in class groups assigned by their school teachers. On the NASA website, they are to pick one of the three images, choosing from “Enceladus’ Plumes”, “Titan’s Lakes” and “Saturn’s Hexagon” that they find the most interesting and write their essay of up to 500 words based on one of the target topics. They are to explain why the image they have chosen is fascinating to them and how this particular feature of Saturn could bring more fruitful scientific results for Cassini scientists at NASA.

The essay adheres to National English and Science Education standards and is open to all US and International students. The deadline to submit essays in the United States is on February 24, 2017 while dates for International submissions are also included on the website. An FAQ can be found on the NASA website with details about the Essay Contest.

Teachers can use the essay as a teaching tool for their students in either their English or Science classes in elementary, middle and high school.

To read more, go to the “Cassini Scientist For A Day” section of the NASA website. All contact information is included of who to email student essays to for review.

Student and Class Winners will have their essays published on the Cassini website and will take part in a Q&A teleconference with actual NASA scientists!

High School Teacher Training Workshop Held at Local High School!

High School Teacher Training Workshop Held at Local High School!

Yesterday, on Dec. 5, 2016, Areteem Institute held a math teacher training workshop, which is one of a series of professional development sessions we are conducting at the Southlands Christian School in southern California. Five high school math teachers participated in the two hour workshop covering the topic of “How to Effectively Teach Algebra Problem Solving”. We presented hands-on activities to demonstrate interesting ways to visualize abstract algebra concepts. We talked about engaging students with various problem solving techniques to stimulate critical thinking and how by using a variety of approaches requiring certain knowledge points, students can be engaged even though they may be at different academic levels. We are delighted to report that the teachers enjoyed the training very much. They are happy that the professional development is relevant to them, and they can use the techniques in their classes. We look forward to hosting more workshops with them throughout the year.

Are you interested in teacher training in mathematics? Then Areteem Institute can come to your school too!  For more information, please contact us in our main office located in Irvine, CA to speak with our staff on how we can bring our innovative workshops to you. With our years of training and academic expertise, our curriculum specialists and instructors will equip your teachers with the skills that will help propel their students to succeed in their math classes. We can tailor the workshops to suit all levels for elementary school, middle school and high school math teachers!

Here are some pictures taken during the workshop on Dec 5th with the Southlands math teachers engaged in hands-on activities and lessons led by John Lensmire, Areteem Institute’s Curriculum and Instructions Director. 

 

Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s 80th Anniversary and the Women of STEM- NASA’s first Computer Programmers!

Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s 80th Anniversary and the Women of STEM- NASA’s first Computer Programmers!

Last week was the anniversary of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA and they released an interesting set of articles including one by Ota Lutz, an educational specialist at JPL, on their unique origins and the vital role that women played in JPL from the beginning. As the name of the organization suggests, JPL first started out conducting a series of rocket experiments which eventually led to ventures in space exploration. This was in due part to the so-called “Space Race” in the 1950s, naming the Soviet Union’s launching of the world’s first satellite “Sputnik” as a turning point.

After “Sputnik”, JPL then collaborated with NASA to create the first US satellite called “Explorer 1”. This established JPL’s role in space exploration as they endeavored to help NASA through many moon landing missions through their spacecraft Rangers 1 through 7. Ranger 7 proved the most successful in capturing literally thousands of pictures of the moon’s surface. This propelled them to conduct more missions to other planets in our solar system.

All of JPL’s efforts could not have been possible if it were not for the brilliant women who worked as “human computers”, actually computing numbers into data to be used by the scientists and space engineers, at JPL. These women graduated with degrees in mathematics and other STEM related fields and NASA includes them among some of their first computer programmers. Lutz explains that “One of the human computers’ main tasks was computing the planned trajectories, or paths, for a spacecraft based on the vehicle weight, lift capacity of the rocket, and the orbital dynamics of the planets.”

These specialists played an important role in space missions in order to ensure the success of spacecraft landings and knew how to work with numbers. They could handle complex calculations more than the bulky and large “machine computers” used in their time from the late 1930s to 1960s and helped to set a precedent in the important role women played in STEM careers up to the present day. Although modern computers are now used to plan the trajectory of spacecraft, humans are still necessary to manage them and the women at JPL contribute to the growing success of space exploration today!

 

Read the full article by JPL education specialist Ota Lutz on the JPL website!

New Math Resources!

New Math Resources!

Beyond all of the great programs that are offered at Areteem Institute, we also strive to help new and prospective students’ families to locate different options in terms of stimulating and improving their children’s education in mathematics.

As such, STEM Village has provided this year’s listing of their “Top Ten Math Learning Resources” specifically for digital learning. Areteem already includes among its programs online interactive and self-paced courses, competitions and math problem solving but these can also add to a student’s experience as well.

STEM Village is a virtual career guidance center that helps provide the knowledge and resources to families of students interested in STEM subjects in school and helping them to realize the kinds of STEM careers these students may wish to pursue after attending college.

You can take a look at all of the 10 learning websites that STEM Village has provided at the following link for more information:

STEM Village’s “Top Ten Best Math Learning Resources” by Erin Carmody