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Harvard and MIT researchers reflect on open data in MOOCs

first_img Read Full Story A follow-up study led by a joint team of Harvard and MIT researchers explores the promise and perils of de-identifying learner data from MOOCs (massive open online courses) and offers recommendations of how to balance privacy with open data.The dataset (made available in May) contains the original learning data from the 16 HarvardX and MITx courses offered in 2012-13 that formed the basis of the first HarvardX and MITx working papers (released in January) and underpin a suite of powerful open-source interactive visualization tools (released in February).Led by John P. Daries, Senior Research Analyst at MIT (Institutional Research/Office of the Provost), the new report takes a deep dive into the team’s motivations behind efforts to release learner data, the contemporary regulatory framework of student privacy, and their efforts to comply with those regulations in creating an open data set from MOOCs, and some analytical consequences of de-identification.Published in the online computer magazine ACM Queue, “Quality social science research and the privacy of human subjects requires trust,” is available online.Beyond just MOOCs and online learning, the team expects their work to help inform broader conversations about the use of open data in the social sciences, motivating either technological solutions or new policies that may allow open access to possibly re-identifiable data while policing the uses of the data.Daries co-authors are Justin Reich (Harvard), Jim Waldo (Harvard), Elise M. Young (Harvard), Jonathan Whittinghill (Harvard), Daniel Thomas Seaton (MIT), Andrew Dean Ho (Harvard), Isaac Chuang (MIT).last_img read more

Domhnall Gleeson and More Stage Vets to Appear in Star Wars

first_img The cast of the much anticpated film also includes Andy Serkis, Max von Sydow and…drumroll… the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker. Fisher and Hamill, of course, are no strangers to the Great White Way either. Fisher’s Broadway credits include Wishful Drinking and Agnes of God, and Hamill’s Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, Amadeus and The Elephant Man. Star Wars: Episode VII will be directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams. John Williams returns as the composer. The movie will open worldwide on December 18, 2015. Tony nominee and Harry Potter star Domhnall Gleeson (Lieutenant of Inishmore), will appear in the recently announced cast of Star Wars Episode VII. He joins off-Broadway alums Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac, along with London stage vets John Boyega and Daisy Ridley. View Commentslast_img read more

Solskjaer ready for showdown

first_img Press Association Solskjaer’s team will head to the Stadium of Light with renewed hope of avoiding the drop after beating Southampton and drawing with Stoke. Sunderland, though, can reflect on a draw at Manchester City and a stunning 2-1 win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in their last two games, which underlines the size of Cardiff’s task. Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has billed next Sunday’s showdown against fellow Barclays Premier League relegation candidates Sunderland as “a proper cup final.” If Cardiff manage to retain top-flight status, they will owe goalkeeper David Marshall a huge debt. Scotland international Marshall, who has made more saves than any other Premier League keeper this season, was at his best again in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Stoke, highlighted by a late point-blank stop from Potters substitute Oussama Assaidi. “We do keep him busy,” Solskjaer added. “(Stoke) was one of the less busy games he has had, and he showed the concentration levels by producing two fantastic saves.” Asked if he would be in Solskjaer’s team of the season, the manager added: “Yes. “I would pick Marshy if I could, every day of the week. In the league in his current form, yes (over any other goalkeeper in the league).” Stoke midfielder and former Cardiff player Peter Odemwingie had one chance spectacularly saved by Marshall, and he hopes the Bluebirds can pass their survival test during the next few weeks. “Their manager has said they need a miracle to stay up, and I really hope they get it,” Odemwingie said. “They have quality, they need a bit of luck like everyone does, and then maybe that miracle can happen and Cardiff can get the results they need. “I watched a couple of their games over the last few months and I just thought they were a bit unlucky, especially away at Spurs and Everton. “If they can play like that again, they can probably get the points needed.” And Stoke boss Mark Hughes said of his fellow former Manchester United star Solskjaer: “The Premier League is not easy, it’s unrelenting, you have to stick to your principles and what you believe in. “I am sure that’s what Ole is doing, and credit to him. He has been exposed to the Premier League as a manager. He understands it completely as a player, given the strength of his career, but management is a little different, as I am sure he will say. “The first season in the Premier League is difficult for anyone, irrespective of your playing background. If you haven’t experienced it before it’s tough going. “But that is the job we’ve got, and you make sure if you have an opportunity then you do your best, as Ole is doing.” Cardiff finish the season at home to Chelsea on May 11, but their Premier League fate is likely to be decided by successive games in the north-east – Sunderland in seven days’ time, then Newcastle a week later. “It is three weeks until Chelsea, and a lot can happen by then,” Solskjaer said. “They could win the league, they could be in the Champions League final or they could be in Brazil in some of their heads at the World Cup. You never know. “For us, we need these points more than some of these teams. Next weekend it is a proper cup final. “If you talk about league games that mean the same for both teams, then that is us and Sunderland. Next weekend will be the same mental test for both. “It is a massive game for us, and we will prepare as if it is the last game we will ever play. “I think we will probably have to have five more (points) to give us a chance. I don’t think 34 points will be enough. 35 might be enough, and 36 I think will be enough. “The players have come through some adversity. As a group, they are all fighting for their lives as Premier League players. They all want it, and every one of them is chipping in.” last_img read more

Milner offered improved City deal

first_img Milner is out of contract in the summer and, throughout the season, has held off signing a new deal that was offered last summer. That has alerted other clubs – and Arsenal and Liverpool have been heavily linked – but Press Association Sport understands City have now raised the stakes by tabling an enhanced deal. Reports have suggested this could be worth as much as £165,000 per week over four years, making him one of the club’s top earners. Yet it still remains to be seen whether Milner, 29, will commit as he ponders what could be the last big move or contract of his career. Manager Manuel Pellegrini has said that money and terms have not been an issue for Milner, but that the matter comes down to playing time. Milner is thought to want to be sure that he is likely to play a prominent role at the Etihad Stadium having been frustrated by a lack of starts in last season’s title-winning campaign. This season he has been more active, making 27 starts in all competitions, including some of the biggest games of the campaign, despite needing to manage a knee condition. Pellegrini has repeatedly said Milner is a valued member of his squad, and his versatility has been an asset, playing in central and wide midfield roles, as well as up front. Asked about Milner at the weekend, Pellegrini said: “It’s a decision James must take at the end of season, what is better for his future. “I always talk that he is an important player for our team, he can play in different positions because he is an intelligent player. Press Association Manchester City have made an improved contract offer to James Milner as speculation persists over the England midfielder’s future. “He always gives 100 per cent but it will be sorted at the end of the season.” Milner joined City for £26million from Aston Villa in 2010 and has previously played for Leeds and Newcastle. Keeping Milner would also help City with regards to their homegrown quota for next season. One English player poised to leave is winger Scott Sinclair, whose loan to Villa is set to become a £2.5million permanent deal this summer. It is understood this was agreed when Sinclair moved to Villa Park in January and would only not occur if the midlands club were relegated. This will now not happen with Villa’s top-flight status having been secured at the weekend. Doubt was raised because Villa manager Tim Sherwood said recently he had not seen confirmation Sinclair would be signed permanently, but the deal was in place before he took charge. Sinclair has scored three goals for Villa but not started since March as the FA Cup finalists have switched from playing wide men to a different system. Despite that, Sherwood did say the 26-year-old could have a role to play. He said: “I think if we go back to wide players then Scott will be an automatic choice to play there. “It’s horses for courses at the moment. That’s the way we’re choosing to play. “He hasn’t become a bad player or anything like that.” last_img read more

Trojans take to the road

first_imgAfter sweeping its three-game homestand, the USC men’s basketball team (15-9, 7-5) will take to the road to compete in conditions significantly less welcoming than the friendly confines of the Galen Center.Scoreboard filler · Sophomore forward Nikola Vucevic averaged a double-double of 11.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per game over the Trojans’ current three-game winning streak. Vucevic also leads the Pac-10 in rebounds per game, averaging 9.8 rebounds per contest. – Brandon Hui | Daily Trojan In the first stop of their doubleheader tonight, the Trojans will face Washington (17-8, 7-6), who is currently in a two-way tie for fourth in the conference. The Huskies post a Pac-10-best 16-1 record at home but have struggled to pull away in the standings after going 1-6 on the road this season.“[Washington’s] energy at home in that building is unbelievable,” USC coach Kevin O’Neill said. “The way they play at home is different. The second time around you play teams you change some things, and we’ll definitely make some adjustments. We’re going to have to make sure we control the tempo because if we play at their tempo we’ll lose.”So far this season, the two teams have demonstrated polar opposites strengths. The Huskies, who average 81.1 points per game, enter tonight’s matchup ranked first in the conference and 19th in the nation in scoring but second to last in points scored against per game. The Trojans, on the other hand, are second to last in the Pac-10 in scoring but continue to be ranked among the top-five teams nationally in defense, averaging only 56.4 points allowed per game.The last meeting between the teams ended in a lopsided 87-61 victory for the Trojans, who turned the tables on the Huskies and dominated offensively. Senior forward Marcus Johnson led the Trojans with 22 points as he shot 82 percent from the field, and all five USC starters recorded double-digit point totals. Washington was unable to find its rhythm offensively, as senior Quincy Pondexter was held to two points on 1-for-10 shooting.“I know [Pondexter] didn’t have a great game last game, and I know at home he’ll be looking to score,” said Johnson. “He’s athletic, he’s strong and he’s real versatile. It’ll be a good matchup.”The road trip is the second to last of the season for the Trojans, who only have six games left because of self-imposed sanctions prohibiting the team from participating in the postseason play. The Trojans have only won one game on the road this season, but they didn’t have to leave Los Angeles to do so — the win came against UCLA.Nevertheless, O’Neill said he feels confident in the Trojans’ ability to travel, despite their road losses this season.“We’ve had our chances. We’ve been very competitive in every game we’ve played in the conference,” O’Neill said. “I expect that we’ll give ourselves a chance to win going down the stretch.”last_img read more

Barca favourites for La Liga success but European failure drives desire for change

first_imgMessi backed Valverde publicly, insisting he was “practically blameless”, but disappointment still left a desire for change.The Griezmann deal was completed, vice-president Jordi Mestre resigned and Patrick Kluivert replaced Pep Segura, the club’s sporting manager seen by many as responsible for a drift away in recent years from an emphasis on the club’s academy.Anfield perhaps lingers too over the move for Neymar, the blockbuster Brazilian that Barcelona no longer need but might accept if it gives them a greater chance of finally winning in Europe.Eight league titles in 11 years and four Copa del Reys in five has done little to eradicate the pain of repeated failures in the Champions League.When Messi pledged to the fans this time last year to bring “that beautiful cup” back to Camp Nou, it hung over the club all season, as a statement of intent but also an indicator of priorities.“The truth is it’s very difficult to say something today after last season no? But I don’t regret anything,” Messi said in a speech to the supporters last week.“Eight titles in 11 years, for any club would be an amazing thing and for this one as well, it’s very important what we did.“Perhaps it doesn’t get the credit it deserves and in a few years we will realise how difficult it was to do it.“But everyone knows this club always fights for everything. This year won’t be any different.”Success will again hinge on the Champions League. Again, it is a high bar to set.Share on: WhatsApp World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann has been added to Barcelona’s attack this summerMadrid, Spain | AFP | Barcelona may want to make up for the biggest collapse in Europe by signing the most expensive player in the world but a team that was by far the best in Spain is already significantly better.After finishing 11 points clear of Atletico Madrid last season, Barca signed Atleti’s most dangerous player in Antoine Griezmann while Frenkie de Jong helped Ajax destroy Real Madrid in the Champions League and now he is in Catalunya too.The question of whether Neymar follows will consume the rest of the transfer window but an attacking roster of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho hardly points to a need for a 222 million-euro ($248 million) striker.“I’m happy with the players I have,” said coach Ernesto Valverde on Friday. “Last year we almost had a perfect season.”Even Griezmann, at 120 million euros, almost felt like an extravagance, an opportunity too good to turn down rather than a need to improve on 90 goals in 38 league games last term.But the downward trajectory of Brazil’s Coutinho, whose status has shrivelled further following the club’s attempts to sell him this summer, means Griezmann already fits better now than perhaps he did in July.So does an injury to Messi, who is likely to miss Friday’s curtain-raiser away to Athletic Bilbao with a minor tear in his calf, giving Griezmann the chance to bed in with Suarez and Dembele, and without the pressure of performing with his captain.Griezmann will add depth but also goals and assists, presumably more at Barcelona than Atletico, where defensive demands were greater and chances to score less frequent.De Jong may need more time to adjust, even if many view the 22-year-old as a ready-made alternative to Sergio Busquets at the base of the Barca midfield.Too often Busquets was exposed last season, his lack of both speed and protection allowing opponents freedom on the break. De Jong, with Ivan Rakitic, Arthur Melo or the emerging Carles Alena, should bring more control, as well as creativity.Meanwhile, Junior Firpo, bought from Real Betis, will jostle with Jordi Alba at left-back while Neto coming in from Valencia relieves Jasper Cillessen from the role of the frustrated back-up goalkeeper, after he went the other way.– Anfield memory lingers –Otherwise the key figures remain, not least Valverde, whose position as coach looked under threat when the collapse to Liverpool in the Champions League was followed by a shock defeat to Valencia in the final of the Copa del Rey.last_img read more

Another rumor about Kevin Durant’s future (hint: It was the only one left)

first_imgFr … CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceYou knew it had to happen at some point.The Athletic is reporting that there is a sense within “Warriors circles” that Kevin Durant will re-sign with the team this summer.Hey, it was the only rumor left. Shabbily sourced reports have had him going to the Knicks, Nets, Lakers, Clippers, Cirque du Soleil, the Audubon Society, the Fraternal Order of Masons and the cast of NPR’s “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!”last_img read more

South African film shines at Zanzibar festival

first_imgSmall boys with big dreams – often it isfrom these humble beginnings that futurestars emerge. Singer Simphiwe Dana makes a strongacting debut as Themba’s mother Mandisa.(Images: Themba) Young Themba and his best friend Sipho.(Image: alpha medienkontor GmbH)MEDIA CONTACTS • Joy SapiekaPublicist+27 73 212 5492• Helene TurveyPublicist+27 76 024 2993RELATED ARTICLES• South African film a hit at Cannes• New film tackles race with hunour• 2010 opportunities for SA film• New Afrikaans film a hit• Global acclaim for SA filmJanine ErasmusSouth African film Themba: A Boy Called Hope, directed by Pretoria-born Stefanie Sycholt, has scooped the Unicef Child Rights Award at the 2010 Zanzibar International Film Festival (Ziff).Sycholt received the prize from Unicef Germany board member Anne Luetkes at the film’s Cologne premiere on 1 August 2010.Every year since 2004 international child rights organisation Unicef has presented the award to a film that it feels best represents the struggle to uphold children’s basic rights in the Eastern and Southern African region.The film also took the Golden Dhow award for the festival’s best feature film.Last year’s Unicef winner was Mother Unknown, a film by Sudanese director Taghreed Alsanhouri about infants born out of wedlock in Khartoum, who become innocent victims of the stigma surrounding such situations. Alsanhouri received her award from US film star and Unicef Goodwill Ambassador Danny Glover.Directors interested in competing for the Unicef Child Rights Award at next year’s festival can email [email protected] best of African cinemaThe Zanzibar International Film Festival took place between 10 and 18 July 2010, mainly in Stone Town, the old part of Zanzibar City, located on Unguja Island. This is East Africa’s only functional historical town and is a Unesco World Heritage site.Some events took place on Pemba Island, the other main island in the Zanzibar archipelago, and mainland Tanzania.Ziff is said to be East Africa’s largest festival for film, music and the arts. Attendance at the 2009 event was around 45 000 in Stone Town alone, with over 200 000 attending screenings elsewhere in Zanzibar and on the mainland. Of these, 12 000 came from abroad. The films on show represented 43 countries.This year’s event coincided with the 2010 Fifa World Cup, which took place in South Africa. Themba’s award is therefore especially fitting as football is one of the film’s central themes, and the film’s South African premiere took place during the tournament.The film is garnering rave reviews from all over the world. On the Internet Movie Database it has a score of 7.6 out of 10. It is currently showing at the Labia on Orange in Cape Town.Breaking down barriers through footballThe story is based on Crossing the Line by German-Dutch author Lutz van Dijk, now resident in Cape Town. Van Dijk is a founding member of the NGO Homes for Kids on South Africa, which cares for HIV-positive children and those affected by HIV/Aids, when their families or neighbours are unable to.He based the story on his own experience running a children’s home in the turbulent township of Masiphumelele, on the west side of the Cape Peninsula.Sycholt, who took part of her degree studies under Nobel literature laureate John Maxwell Coetzee, said she was inspired to bring the book to the big screen as soon as she read it, as it was an inspirational coming-of-age story rather than one of despair and hopelessness. She later wrote the screen adaptation.“Themba’s story is universal,” she said. “It’s not a football movie that builds up to one match at the end. Football is an important element though; it’s an element of hope in the boy’s life.”The film focuses on young Themba (an Nguni word meaning “hope”), played by 21-year-old Nat Singo, who admitted that he was attracted by the “amazing script”. The sporty nature of the film, however, was something of a challenge for him.Themba is a talented footballer and has great ambitions of one day becoming a star, but first must overcome a number of challenges; HIV, violence, poverty, and more.Themba’s father, a miner in the northern parts of South Africa, no longer sends money for the family. His best friend Sipho recently lost his mother to Aids, becoming yet another statistic in the growing number of child-headed households. However, because of the shame associated with the condition, the family has secretly buried her in the backyard and pretends to the community that all is well.While still young, the two boys develop an interest in the Beautiful Game and later Themba joins the Lion Strikers football team. However, on the eve of the regional championship finals he is raped by his mother’s lover, and escapes to Cape Town to seek her, taking his sister with him, but abandoning the match.They find their mother but realise from her frail condition that she is seriously ill – later she reveals that she has Aids, and even with treatment, it would be a long time before she would be well enough to work again.Themba is forced to look for odd jobs around the city, and finally plucks up the courage to phone Big John Jacobs, who had made contact with the boy during the regional tournament, to ask him for work.Jacobs, the Ajax Cape Town football coach and talent scout, is played by Former German goalkeeper and World Cup player Jens Lehmann, who makes his on-screen debut as in the film.But Jacobs has other plans for the boy, and he is invited to practise with the team. One of the players is injured before a big match, and Themba finally gets his chance to hit the pitch.Multi-talented castLehmann is joined by South African football veteran Doctor Khumalo, of Kaiser Chiefs and Bafana Bafana fame, as well as popular local screen star Rapulana Seiphemo as Themba’s father.Other performers include Kagiso Mtetwa as Sipho, local songbird Simphiwe Dana as Themba’s loving mother Mandisa, and Patrick Mofokeng as her jobless lover.Filming wrapped just as the 2009 Confederations Cup came to a close, and took place largely in Cape Town and the rural areas around Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape province. This part of the country has been hard hit by HIV/Aids, and is also one of the poorest provinces. The visuals of this stark and impoverished region are superb.Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, a keen supporter of the film, said it reminded him of his own childhood in a small village in the former Transvaal, now Gauteng.The young Tutu, like Themba, had hopes of rising above poverty and making something of himself in the world. “In football, Themba seems to be a lot better than I was,” Tutu said, adding that he wished the film “all possible success”./index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=555:global-acclaim-for-sa-film&catid=42:land_news&Itemid=110last_img read more

2 die, 8 injured as boat capsizes in Pahalgam river

first_imgTwo persons were killed and eight wounded when a boat capsized in Lidder river at Pahalgam in Anantnag district on Tuesday, just 18 days after a similar incident cost the life of a local tourist guide Rouf Ahmad Dar. An inquiry has been ordered into the incident.The incident took place at around 4.10 p.m. as the three-day Rouf Memorial State Rafting Championship, named after the deceased tourist guide, was coming to an end. An employee of the Tourism Department, Rinku Raja from Udhampur, and a participant, Sanjna hailing from Reasi, died in the incident, said an official. Around 12 teams from Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh were participating in the adventure sport. “Eight people, including participants, were injured,” said the official.The State Disaster Relief Force, the police and volunteers managed to rescue other rafters within 15 minutes of the incident.The Tourism department announced an inquiry to look into the circumstances leading to the “tragic raft capsize”.Governor Satya Pal Malik expressed grief over the loss of lives and announced an ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased. Expressing concern over accidents occurring during the adventure sport, the Governor has issued directions to abide by strict safety measures.last_img read more

1st Test: Pujara, spinners give India firm control

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