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Brainstorming - what are you missing?

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Jared Bass
Jared Bass

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(Abstract only) Now in its sixth year of operation, the SPIRIT initiative remains unique in Australia, as a robust web-enabled robotic telescope initiative funded for education and outreach. With multiple modes of operation catering for a variety of usage scenarios and a fully supported education program, SPIRIT provides free access to contemporary astronomical tools for students and educators in Western Australia and beyond. The technical solution itself provides an excellent model for low cost robotic telescope installations, and the education program has evolved over time to include a broad range of student experiences - from engagement activities to authentic science. This paper details the robotic telescope solution, student interface, and educational philosophy, summarizes achievements and lessons learned, and examines the possibilities for future enhancement including spectroscopy.




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The purpose of this study was to investigate differences between abstracts of posters presented at the 79(th) (2002) and 80(th) (2003) Annual Session & Exhibition of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) and the published full-length articles resulting from the same studies. The abstracts for poster presentation sessions were downloaded, and basic characteristics of the abstracts and their authors were determined. A PubMed search was then performed to identify the publication of full-length articles based on those abstracts in a peer-reviewed journal. The differences between the abstract and the article were examined and categorized as major and minor differences. Differences identified included authorship, title, materials and methods, results, conclusions, and funding. Data were analyzed with both descriptive and analytic statistics. Overall, 89 percent of the abstracts had at least one variation from its corresponding article, and 65 percent and 76 percent of the abstracts had at least one major and minor variation, respectively, from its corresponding article. The most prevalent major variation was in study results, and the most prevalent minor variation was change in the number of authors. The discussion speculates on some possible reasons for these differences.


The aims of the present study were to determine the publication rate of abstracts presented by Australasian emergency physicians at major emergency medicine meetings and to identify the site of publication of papers. All free paper abstracts presented (oral and poster) by Australasian emergency physicians and trainees at five Australasian College for Emergency Medicine/Australasian Society for Emergency Medicine and International Conference on Emergency Medicine meetings between 1995 and 1998 were identified retrospectively from conference programmes. In order to determine whether or not the abstract had been published, the PubMed database ( ) was searched using the presenter's name and key words from the abstract. In addition, a hand search of the non-abstracted journal Emergency Medicine was conducted. Of the 207 free paper abstracts identified, 73 (35%) had been published as full articles. Papers were published in a variety of journals; however, Emergency Medicine accounted for almost half the published papers. The mean time between presentation and publication was 12.6 months (median 11 months). The abstract to publication rate for papers presented by Australasian emergency physicians and trainees at Australasian College for Emergency Medicine/Australasian Society for Emergency Medicine and International Conference on Emergency Medicine meetings is 35%, which is lower than that reported by some other established specialities, but comparable to rates reported for US-based national and international emergency medicine meetings. Future research should look at barriers to the publication of findings and ways to assist the publication process.


The function of a non-protein-coding RNA is often determined by its structure. Since experimental determination of RNA structure is time-consuming and expensive, its computational prediction is of great interest, and efficient solutions based on thermodynamic parameters are known. Frequently, however, the predicted minimum free energy structures are not the native ones, leading to the necessity of generating suboptimal solutions. While this can be accomplished by a number of programs, the user is often confronted with large outputs of similar structures, although he or she is interested in structures with more fundamental differences, or, in other words, with different abstract shapes. Here, we formalize the concept of abstract shapes and introduce their efficient computation. Each shape of an RNA molecule comprises a class of similar structures and has a representative structure of minimal free energy within the class. Shape analysis is implemented in the program RNAshapes. We applied RNAshapes to the prediction of optimal and suboptimal abstract shapes of several RNAs. For a given energy range, the number of shapes is considerably smaller than the number of structures, and in all cases, the native structures were among the top shape representatives. This demonstrates that the researcher can quickly focus on the structures of interest, without processing up to thousands of near-optimal solutions. We complement this study with a large-scale analysis of the growth behaviour of structure and shape spaces. RNAshapes is available for download and as an online version on the Bielefeld Bioinformatics Server.


Recent psycholinguistic and neuroscientific research has emphasized the crucial role of emotions for abstract words, which would be grounded by affective experience, instead of a sensorimotor one. The hypothesis of affective embodiment has been proposed as an alternative to the idea that abstract words are linguistically coded and that linguistic processing plays a key role in their acquisition and processing. In this paper, we use distributional semantic models to explore the complex interplay between linguistic and affective information in the representation of abstract words. Distributional analyses on Italian norming data show that abstract words have more affective content and tend to co-occur with contexts with higher emotive values, according to affective statistical indices estimated in terms of distributional similarity with a restricted number of seed words strongly associated with a set of basic emotions. Therefore, the strong affective content of abstract words might just be an indirect byproduct of co-occurrence statistics. This is consistent with a version of representational pluralism in which concepts that are fully embodied either at the sensorimotor or at the affective level live side-by-side with concepts only indirectly embodied via their linguistic associations with other embodied words. Copyright 2018 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.


It is desirable that a truthful aesthetic experience should be the consequence of a complete observation detached from all sorts of commercial, social, political or cultural ties. If during this period of admiration of a work of art a personal concentration is reached, the admirer perceives a liberation from all sorts of limiting ties and a rewarding artistic feeling. A similar type of mental freedom must be reached by the artist and prevail during the process of creation which must reach its greatest dimension in abstract paintings because not being illustrations they demand from the spectator a well developed habit to detect its esthetic values, difficult to perceive because they are in the abstract order. The dimensions such as perspective, symmetry, lights and shadows, usually integrated in figurative paintings to create well defined tridimensional spaces are not included in abstractions because this type of geometrical composition is not needed. In contemporary abstraction the design itself has lost its formal meaning and its protagonist role. It is frequently replaced by abrupt gestures as it is the case in the styles named "action painting" (Jackson Pollack) or "abstract expressionism" (Antonio Saura). Other abstract painters close to "minimalism" simply drop the colors on the canvas without any attempt to design but full of aesthetic energy and even single colors uniformly bathe the surface of the linen (Rothko). Other american artists of the sixties (Monis Louis) are also to be admired. They allow that the deposited and sliding colors themselves initiate and finish interesting artistic compositions. They become esential creative agents in the painting without being forced to be figurative nor to follow the creative will of the artist who, is simply acting as the first observer and only intervenes "a posteriori" accepting or rejecting the results. Only the colors and under the single influence of their sliding density create the shapes and artistic


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