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Working memory can help tailor educational development

Psychology researchers at the University of Missouri suggest a first step toward creating educational and work materials to fit a

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Psychology researchers at the University of Missouri suggest a first step toward creating educational and work materials to fit a person’s appropriate developmental level

Imagine a 7-year-old and a college student both take a break from their virtual classes to get a drink of water. When they return, the 7-year-old has difficulty restarting the assignment, while the college student resumes working as if the break never occurred. Nelson Cowan, an expert in working memory at the University of Missouri, believes understanding this developmental age difference can help younger children and their parents to better adjust to a virtual learning environment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“By understanding this developmental difference, then we can work to provide a little more structure for younger children in online settings, such as helping them organize their homework,” said Cowan, a Curators Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences. “At school, teachers can provide more of that structure, but in a virtual environment, parents may also have to take on more of that responsibility. For parents who have younger children that are somewhat resistant to their actions, this might be difficult to do, however it needs to be made clear to children that their parents are assisting their teacher, rather than being the primary educational figure.”

Kendall Holzum can relate. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the 7-year-old girl has been going to school online instead of in person.

“Sometimes it’s hard to remember to go back and do your homework after you get off your Zoom call,” Holzum said. “My parents have to help me a lot to remember to do my assignments. Homework is the hardest to follow directions on because your teacher isn’t there to always help you.”

Cowan, who has been interested in how the human brain works since he was a young child, suggests this insight can be a first step toward helping educators determine how to tailor a child’s individual learning experience to their appropriate developmental level.

“Now, the challenge will be to understand how to adapt educational materials and work materials to be appropriate for each individual’s developmental level in an online setting and perhaps try to teach children to be more proactive in their thinking,” Cowan said. “I’m hoping this is a first step toward that notion and encourages people who do research in the classroom, or now in the virtual classroom, to consider the role of proactive behavior as an overall life skill and how to accommodate various levels of learning to meet that life goal.”

A total of 180 people participated in the study by Cowan and his colleagues. Participants were split among three different age groups — children ages 6-8, ages 10-14 and college students. Each age group was asked to remember a display of colored spots. Then, they were interrupted by a second, unexpected and more urgent task — quickly pressing a button when a signal is heard or seen. Upon completion of the second task, they were asked to return to the first task and decide if a color came from the display. Cowan said more often, the younger children simply forgot to remember the colors they were supposed to recall after working on the second task. He said this study provides a clear example of the limits of working memory in younger children.

“In general, working memory is limited,” Cowan said. “As the amount of things a person is trying to remember at one time increases, less memory is available to help remember a task, or what a person is supposed to be doing. An example of the difference between an adult and a child is when both try to catch a ball while carrying dishes. The child would be more likely to drop the dishes, while the adult remembers to also hold onto the dishes at the same time. Virtual school has created a whole new environment, and this study provides us with a first step in how we must help children adjust as some parts of virtual schooling are very likely to be here for a long time.”

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“Developmental change in the nature of attention allocation in a dual task,” was published in Developmental Psychology. The study was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01 HD-021338).

Working memory can help tailor educational development

Source: https://bioengineer.org/working-memory-can-help-tailor-educational-development/

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Dean Sam H. Noh named 2020 ACM fellow

Credit: UNIST Sam H. Noh, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Dean of the Graduate School of Artificial Intelligence

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Sam H. Noh, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Dean of the Graduate School of Artificial Intelligence at UNIST, has been elected as a 2020 fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world’s largest scientific and educational society for computing professionals.

The ACM Fellows program recognizes the top 1% of ACM members for their outstanding accomplishments in computing and information technology and/or outstanding service to ACM and the larger computing community. Fellows are nominated by their peers, with nominations reviewed by a distinguished selection committee.

Among the 95 professionals named to the 2020 cohort, Professor Noh was the only scientist, affiliated with a Korean university. To date, only four scientists that are affiliated with Korean universities, including Professor Noh, have been elected as ACM fellows.

The 95 ACM Fellows selected this year from the world’s leading universities, corporations, and research labs have achieved advances in areas including artificial intelligence, cloud computing, computer graphics, computational biology, data science, human-computer interaction, software engineering, theoretical computer science, and virtual reality, the ACM said.

As noted by ACM President Gabriele Kotsis, “The 2020 ACM Fellows have demonstrated excellence across many disciplines of computing. These men and women have made pivotal contributions to technologies that are transforming whole industries, as well as our personal lives.” She added, “We fully expect that these new ACM Fellows will continue in the vanguard in their respective fields.”

Professor Sam H. Noh is a prominent scientist in system software and data storage technology. Besides being appointed as Editor-in-Chief of the ACM Transaction of Storage (ToS) in 2016, he has been contributing greatly to the academic vitality of the computing field. In 2017, he was honored as a Distinguished Member of the ACM in recognition of his contributions to advancing the field of computing. Professor Noh has also gained international attention in February 2020 when he served as one of two co-chairs for the USENIX ’18th USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies’ (FAST ’20).

Professor Noh received the B.S. degree in computer engineering from Seoul National University and the Ph.D. degree in computer science from University of Maryland. He joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UNIST in 2015. Prior to joining UNIST, Professor Noh worked at George Washington University and Hongik University for the last 22 years. He currently serves as the Dean of Graduate School of Artificial Intelligence at UNIST. His research interests include operating system issues pertaining to embedded/computer systems with a focus on the use of new memory technologies, such as flash memory and persistent memory.

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Source: https://bioengineer.org/dean-sam-h-noh-named-2020-acm-fellow/

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Horticulture Research welcomes Dr. Steven van Nocker as the Executive Editor

Credit: Michigan State University Horticulture Research is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Steven van Nocker as the journal’s

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Horticulture Research is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Steven van Nocker as the journal’s Executive Editor from 2021.

Dr. Steven van Nocker, a Professor in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University, USA, received a B.S. in Biology and Genetics from Cornell University, USA and a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin, USA. His research focuses on the developmental genetics of traits important for horticultural crop production including flowering, as well as the regulation of gene expression during development. This academic background and research experience in the field of horticulture and molecular biology is well suited for the current and future editorial needs of Horticulture Research. Dr. van Nocker was one of the inaugural Associate Editors and has played a significant role in building Horticulture Research as a leading international journal in horticulture, plant science, and genetics. To date, he has handled over 60 manuscripts as Associate Editor, and has participated in the review of many additional manuscripts.

“Steve has graciously accepted my invitation and I greatly appreciate his willingness to step into this new role and take the challenge.” said Prof. Max Cheng, Editor-in-Chief of Horticulture Research. “Research focusing on plants of horticultural importance offers almost limitless opportunities to tackle longstanding, interesting and fundamental questions in plant biology” commented Dr. van Nocker. “New practical knowledge and discoveries will find immediate application to problems related to food, environment, and human health and nutrition. Horticulture Research has a critical role to highlight the most important of these, and I’m very excited for this opportunity to be involved.”

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Source: https://bioengineer.org/horticulture-research-welcomes-dr-steven-van-nocker-as-the-executive-editor/

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Two UNIST professors elected as member of National Academy of Engineering of Korea

Credit: UNIST Yoon-Kyoung Cho (Department of Biomedical Engineering, UNIST) and Young Rok Choi (Graduate School of Technology and Innovation Management,

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Yoon-Kyoung Cho (Department of Biomedical Engineering, UNIST) and Young Rok Choi (Graduate School of Technology and Innovation Management, UNIST) have been elected as members of the National Academy of Engineering of Korea (NAEK).

On January 5, the National Academy of Engineering of Korea has announced that it has elected 50 new members and 89 associates in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in their original research. It has been said that the election to NAEK membership is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer.

The National Academy of Engineering of Korea is a special corporate body that has been established in 1996 for the purpose of promoting a more efficient development of engineering and technology, in addition to discovering and recruiting talented engineers. It aims to discover and acknowledge engineers who have made remarkable contributions to the technological development in universities, companies, and research institutes, and to contribute to Korea’s creative engineering technology development through academic research and supporting projects. New members are elected from experienced associate members, and also are subject to the approval of the general meeting.

Young Rok Choi, Professor in the Graduate School of Technology and Innovation Management at UNIST, has been elected as an associate member in the technology management and policy division of the NAEK for his leadership in technology management education.

Yoon-Kyoung Cho, Group Leader of the IBS Center for Soft and Living Matter and Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UNIST, has been elected as an associate member in the chemical and biomolecular engineering division of the NAEK for her leadership in microfluidic lab-on-a-chip technologies. She had also attained national and international attention for proposing a fidget spinner-inspired microfluidic chip that can diagnose infectious diseases at the time and place of patient care in May of last year. In 2016, Professor Cho was also elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society, the UK’s most prestigious scientific organization.

In addition to Professor Young Rok Choi and Professor Yoon-Kyoung Cho, a total of 89 associate members have been newly elected to the NAEK, this year. This includes Professor Seungyong Hahn from Seoul National University, Professor Kyeong Cheol Yang, and CEO Hyeon-Mo Ku of KT. This brings the total new membership to 289 and the number of associate members to 347.

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Yoon-Kyoung Cho, Group Leader of the IBS Center for Soft and Living Matter and Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UNIST, has been elected as an associate member in the chemical and biomolecular engineering division of the NAEK for her leadership in microfluidic lab-on-a-chip technologies. She had also attained national and international attention for proposing a fidget spinner-inspired microfluidic chip that can diagnose infectious diseases at the time and place of patient care in May of last year. In 2016, Professor Cho was also elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society, the UK’s most prestigious scientific organization.

Source: https://bioengineer.org/two-unist-professors-elected-as-member-of-national-academy-of-engineering-of-korea/

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