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Learn by Doing

Sasaki argued that Japanese are trained to be cooperative rather than autonomous and independent since childhood and that acting different from family members or neighbors may require a significant amount of energy and result in psychological distress, such as uneasiness and guilt. The mentality of "Follow your child when you grow old" in Japanese society has been suggested, and the elderly sometimes entrust decisions about their healthcare to family members. Families of elderly patients together with healthcare professionals might naturally take the initiative regarding healthcare decisions for the patient without their explicit consent. Thus, a family-centered or group-centered approach has been predominant in Japanese clinical settings[ 16 ]. Patience and modesty are considered virtues, and disobedience to group decisions is considered unacceptable.

Tamura also discussed dominant problematic mentalities. In Japanese society, one often feels the need to consider family members’ thoughts and feelings when making a decision. There is often internal or external pressure to prioritize family members’ opinions over those of the individual. Even when the family says that it is the person’s decision, he or she may still feel that the feelings of other family members should be prioritized[ 17 ]. Ignoring one’s true desire is sometimes considered a virtue in Japan. From childhood, people are taught to respect others, especially parents, teachers, authorities, and older people[ 17 ]. A follow-the-crowd mentality and unassertiveness are often observed among Japanese people, as well as a tendency to eschew free thinking and discussion regarding individuals, hierarchy, and conventionalism at the workplace[ 13 ].

The literature view suggests the presence of traditional norms, such as interdependence, entrusting others, and filial duties[ 18 , 19 ]. The well-known Japanese psychiatrist Doi argued that Japanese tend to expect others to consider what they need and unconsciously require others to act in their best interest[ 20 ]. A commentator claimed that the predominantly Japanese idea to entrust important decisions to others could have its ideological origin in Buddhism[ 21 ]. Therefore, the Japanese mental tendency pointed out by Doi could result in patients depending on their physicians and other healthcare professionals when decisions must be made regarding medical care. However, when things go wrong, patients and their families may criticize healthcare professionals and accuse them of being solely responsible for the poor outcome.

Despite the strong influence of Western cultures, imported rules and concepts from the West may change in their implications, functions, and even goals without changing their appearances and thus become Japanesque in Japanese society[ Nike Mens Air Force 1 MIDNIGHT NAVY/WHITEMID NAVY 7 M US hQvZ9
, 12 ]. Even though the names of concepts and principles may remain the same, they are likely to be similar yet different, and this likely reflects the strong, mixed influence of Shintoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.

Our generative prediction model will follow the same framework outlined in Graves’ paper where he demonstrated both generative text, and generative handwriting. Karpathy’s and char-rnn implementation has some fantastic examples on how this framework is used to generate data that is represented as text.

Generative Sequence Model Framework

In the text-generation example, assuming we have a model that has been pre-trained already, we feed in an initial random character into the model that with an initially empty state. The model will use the state’s information along with the current input, to generate a probability distribution for the next character. That distribution will be sampled randomly (possibly we distort the sampling process by applying Nike Womens DownShifter 6 Cool Grey/WhiteVolt US 12 wB8F4MgG
), to obtain a prediction for the next character. The sampled character will be placed back as the next input, as well as the current internal state of the model.

A simple model that fits this framework is the basic N-GRAM character modelling method. In N-GRAM, all we do is keep a record of frequencies of the previous N characters and use the historical table of frequencies as the probability distribution we can draw to generate the next character.

This framework can also be represented by a recurrent neural network, where the states are the hidden states of recurrent LSTM nodes, and the output values of the network can be converted into a discrete probability distribution via applying softmax layer to the outputs. To train the weights of the neural network, we need a way to compare the predicted distribution, to the actual distribution of the training data. What is usually done is that cross-entropy loss function is usually applied, to compare the model’s predicted probabilities after the softmax layer, with the actual data of the entire sequence generated.

This has been done in Graves’ sequence generation paper and implemented as char-rnn by Karpathy. char-rnn has been used successfully to generate not only Shakespeare’s text, but also bizarre examples such as Linux source code, LaTeX documents, wikipedia formatted xml articles, and music scores.

I wanted to create a char-rnn like tool, but for learning to draw sketches, rather than learning to generate character sequences. SVG data is readily available on the web, although obviously not as easy to obtain as text data. In the end, I created a tool called sketch-rnn that would attempt to learn some structure from a large collection of related .svg files, and be able to generate and dream up new vectorised drawings that is similar to the training set. Just as how char-rnn can take Donald Trump quotes to generate hypothetical Carrano Lisa Chained Leather Flat Black aEbpg
, I wanted to be able to feed in a large collection of .svg pictures of cats and have an algorithm come up with new vectorised pictures of cats. It was difficult to obtain .svg pictures of cats in sufficient quantities, while it was quite easy to obtain .svg files for Chinese characters, so in the end this turned into an experiment to generate fake Kanji.

While learning statistics represents a less challenging experience, it should never replace mathematics, which is a valid discipline by itself. Intermediate algebra provides a set of skills that every college students should be able to cope with. The argument that such knowledge students “will never use, either in college or in life” is invalid. Numerous other components of education do not call for an immediate application but they are still inevitable components of a rounded educational curriculum. Learning mathematics constitutes a unique challenge, supports the growth of mind, and aids the development of logical and thinking skills. Factoring polynomials is not all that algebra is about and there are infinitely many applications that tie algebra to the real world. Statistics cannot replace algebra. Presenting more interesting and more application-oriented algebra courses is a better pathway, instead of trying to cancel algebra out of the curriculum.

There is a growing number of college professors teaching statistics pathways who have just started realizing how much damage is done by omitting the mathematical part, for thousands of students are now graduating from colleges without knowing how to carry out simplest mathematical operations. For instance, a group of students in statistics pathways were asked to find a number which, when multiplied by itself, results in 16. Very few students could produce a correct answer. This incapability to solve a simple numerical problem indicates the extent of damage produced by this new fashion where little is required from students and even the most basic requirements are bypassed. Students who aim to earn a college degree ought to understand the basic principles of mathematics. Somehow I doubt that it is in the interest of the nation to bring forward generations that are unable to carry out simplest mathematical operations.

Watering down college courses is not a solution. The less is requested, the lesser will be the quality of the overall educational outcome.

There are some really valuable and thoughtful ideas in this essay, but it would have been far stronger and more powerful without the focus on math-phobic tropes. "The culprit is Intermediate Algebra, a high-school level course of technical procedures that most college students will never use, either in college or in life." I could say the same about Shakespeare, foreign language, frankly nearly every general ed course. Why should STEM majors have to analyze literature, after all? … Read More

There are some really valuable and thoughtful ideas in this essay, but it would have been far stronger and more powerful without the focus on math-phobic tropes.

“The culprit is Intermediate Algebra, a high-school level course of technical procedures that most college students will never use, either in college or in life.”

I could say the same about Shakespeare, foreign language, frankly nearly every general ed course. Why should STEM majors have to analyze literature, after all? In my opinion, Algebra is as key to understanding life and culture as literature.

(By the way, the math problem cited is ugly as pictured but the skills should be straightforward for anyone who has completed Algebra 1, which should be any current HS graduate. If you made it y^2 = (2x+3)(x+4) it would be much less intimidating than it is with all those decorative subscripts.)

What I found persuasive wasn’t the bluster that math isn’t important, nor the legal threats, but the arguments that the students had already taken the material, and that they deserved credit if it needed to be retaken. I also was persuaded that their time is better spent, if they’ve completed Algebra 2, taking a statistics class, an area that is very valuable and important in nearly every field, and is undertaught. Statistics, IME, is taught after Algebra 2 mostly because it is more difficult rather than because one is required for the other.

Reexamining our requirements based on how the world changes and how students are successful or not is important. Examining the predictive value of the standardized placement tests versus other measure is also worth doing. Making the case that this other path will work better is more powerful than “math is too hard.”

CSU requirements should be the same for transfers as for students who begin at CSUs. That would be more fair for all students. This sentence jumped out at me as crucial, yet nothing in this article explains why it is true: "About 80 percent of African Americans required to take more than one remedial class in math do not complete their math requirements within six years, compared to 67 percent of Hispanics and 61 percent of … Read More

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Sep 04 2014


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Once upon a time, a little girl with a big heart dreamed of being a princess and meeting her Prince Charming. In her dream she was surrounded by her very own little princesses and princes in a beautiful four-bedroom castle she shared with her handsome Prince Charming.

But as she grew, that spirited girl’s dream changed. Instead of being just a princess, she wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer or the CEO of a business kingdom. So she went to college and focused on her career—all the while still dreaming of the little princesses and princes she would cradle in her arms… someday.

Sounds like a fairytale, huh? Well, today many women are indeed choosing to have it all—a satisfying career and a family. But delaying marriage and then motherhood does present some obstacles to having a baby. But fear not! A relatively new process for egg freezing called “vitrification” is offering women the ability to essentially “stop the clock” until they are ready to realize their dream of growing a family.

Sounds like a fairytale, huh?


Unlike the 1950s when many young women said “I do” just a year or two after graduating from high school, more and more women (and men) are choosing to walk down the aisle for the first time while pushing 30. According to U.S. census data, women are getting married at 27 and men at 29, on average.

Although this trend is great news for women as it relates to education and earning power, it’s not so good news for their proverbial biological clock.

According to Lindsay Wells, M.D., a board-certified and fellowship-trained reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist at AudubonFertility, a woman’s eggs begin to diminish in quantity and quality as she ages. “A recent study found that women lost 90 percent of their eggs by the time they are 30 years old, and 97 percent are gone by the age of 40,” she says. “This means that as a woman ages, her odds of getting pregnant drop significantly.”

Dr. Wellsis among the growing number of infertility specialists offering the option of egg freezing, or cryopreservation, to women who are choosing to delay motherhood. It is also an option for adolescents who have been diagnosed with cancer or other serious diseases and must undergo fertility-threatening treatments.

“Today, many women are choosing to focus on their careers before settling down and starting a family,” Dr. Wellssays. “I have seen patients who are in medical school or those who haven’t met their spouse yet. They know in their hearts they want to have baby in a few years—but not yet.

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