Simón Bolívar University (USB) is a public higher education institution in Venezuela which often ranks well among similar institutions in Latin America. It has also consistently made appearances in the world rankings. Its specialisms include architecture, urban planning and engineering.
USB’s campuses lie in two of the country’s northernmost states, Miranda and Vargas. Its main campus is in Sartenejas, south of Caracas city centre. The nation’s political, industrial, cultural and educational capital, home to a mild climate and some of the best food and museums in the country, Caracas is separated from the sea by the Venezuelan Coastal Range of mountains, which reach 2,765 metres in altitude.
Initially known as the University of Caracas, USB opened its doors in 1970. In 1977, it added a second campus in Camuri Grande Valley, in the far northern state of Vargas, on the Caribbean Sea.
USB is named after independence hero Simón Bolívar, who, among other things, also gives his name to Venezuela’s currency and the Bolivian nation state. A general famous across the continent for fighting the Spanish empire, he is credited with liberating Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Panama from colonial rule. There is a statue of Simón Bolívar on campus, while other symbols include the Hydro-Kinetic Sculpture, an unusual water fountain designed by then architecture student Gabriel Martín Landrove in 1975 but not finished until 16 years later.
Like other Venezuelan universities, USB is predominantly publicly-funded, although alumni donations have increased as public investment has fallen.
Early Life and Background
The eldest of Frank and Isobel Hawking's four children, Stephen William Hawking was born on the 300th anniversary of the death of Galileo—long a source of pride for the noted physicist—on January 8, 1942. He was born in Oxford, England, into a family of thinkers. His Scottish mother had earned her way into Oxford University in the 1930s—a time when few women were able to go to college. His father, another Oxford graduate, was a respected medical researcher with a specialty in tropical diseases.
Stephen Hawking's birth came at an inopportune time for his parents, who didn't have much money. The political climate was also tense, as England was dealing with World War II and the onslaught of German bombs. In an effort to seek a safer place, Isobel returned to Oxford to have the couple's first child. The Hawkings would go on to have two other children, Mary (1943) and Philippa (1947). And their second son, Edward, was adopted in 1956.
The Hawkings, as one close family friend described them, were an "eccentric" bunch. Dinner was often eaten in silence, each of the Hawkings intently reading a book. The family car was an old London taxi, and their home in St. Albans was a three-story fixer-upper that never quite got fixed. The Hawkings also housed bees in the basement and produced fireworks in the greenhouse.
In 1950, Hawking's father took work to manage the Division of Parasitology at the National Institute of Medical Research, and spent the winter months in Africa doing research. He wanted his eldest child to go into medicine, but at an early age, Hawking showed a passion for science and the sky. That was evident to his mother, who, along with her children, often stretched out in the backyard on summer evenings to stare up at the stars. "Stephen always had a strong sense of wonder," she remembered. "And I could see that the stars would draw him."
Early in his academic life, Hawking, while recognized as bright, was not an exceptional student. During his first year at St. Albans School, he was third from the bottom of his class. But Hawking focused on pursuits outside of school; he loved board games, and he and a few close friends created new games of their own. During his teens, Hawking, along with several friends, constructed a computer out of recycled parts for solving rudimentary mathematical equations.
Hawking was also frequently on the go. With his sister Mary, Hawking, who loved to climb, devised different entry routes into the family home. He remained active even after he entered University College at Oxford University at the age of 17. He loved to dance and also took an interest in rowing, becoming a team coxswain.
Hawking expressed a desire to study mathematics, but since Oxford didn't offer a degree in that specialty, Hawking gravitated toward physics and, more specifically, cosmology.
By his own account, Hawking didn't put much time into his studies. He would later calculate that he averaged about an hour a day focusing on school. And yet he didn't really have to do much more than that. In 1962, he graduated with honors in natural science and went on to attend Trinity Hall at Cambridge University for a PhD in cosmology.
In the last few months, I have had several people contact me about their enthusiasm for venturing into the world of data science and using Machine Learning (ML) techniques to probe statistical regularities and build impeccable data-driven products. However, I’ve observed that some actually lack the necessary mathematical intuition and framework to get useful results. This is the main reason I decided to write this blog post. Recently, there has been an upsurge in the availability of many easy-to-use machine and deep learning packages such as scikit-learn, Weka, Tensorflow etc. Machine Learning theory is a field that intersects statistical, probabilistic, computer science and algorithmic aspects arising from learning iteratively from data and finding hidden insights which can be used to build intelligent applications. Despite the immense possibilities of Machine and Deep Learning, a thorough mathematical understanding of many of these techniques is necessary for a good grasp of the inner workings of the algorithms and getting good results.
Divvying up tasks between the left and right hemispheres of the brain is one of the hallmarks of typical brain development. The left hemisphere, for instance, is involved in analyzing specific details of a situation, while the right hemisphere is more important for integrating all the various streams of information coming into the brain.
A new study by neuropsychologists at San Diego State University suggests that in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the brains’ hemispheres are less likely to specialize one way or another. The finding gives further insight into how brain development in people with ASD contributes to the disorder’s cognitive characteristics.