UCLA In the News May 18, 2018

UCLA In the News lists selected mentions of UCLA in the world’s news media. See more UCLA In the News.

Can this AI-powered baby translator help diagnose autism? | Wired

Five years, thousands of howls, and more than 1,700 babies later, [UCLA’s Ariana] Anderson’s AI-powered translator is here. Called Chatterbaby, the free app analyzes changes in frequency and patterns in the sound to silence ratio to tell parents why their kiddo is crying. For now, the app’s got a pretty limited vocabulary—it can pick out hungry from fussy from pained. But the more people use it, the more it will be able to say about what’s going on in the infant brain.

Everything we thought we knew about memory is wrong | CBC News

David Glanzman, a professor of neurobiology at UCLA and the author of a new study, achieved this by extracting RNA from snails that were conditioned to expect shocks anytime their tails were touched and injected it into snails that had not experienced shocks. The memory of the trauma was transferred from one snail to another. RNA is an information carrying molecule like DNA, but more temporary. In this study, the scientists were looking at a particular subtype of RNA that doesn’t just carry messages for DNA, but also decides how to use the DNA. This subtype effectively changes the gene expression so that a memory is programmed right into how the DNA is used.

Swarovski’s ‘Waterschool’ makes Cannes debut | Hollywood Reporter

The documentary, which explores Swarovski’s water education programs around the world, was created in collaboration with graduate students from UCLA’s TFT, and mentored by two-time Oscar nominee Walker. “It was born out of our shared belief and our shared ideals around how to use the power of film to really drive change and to inspire audiences,” said [UCLA Dean Teri] Schwartz. “Our focus is on using the power of story for good and for change and for transformation, to not only entertain and delight but enlighten, engage and inspire change for a better world.”

Grass-roots drive to integrate N.Y. schools | New York Times

“There are opportunities that didn’t exist before to create more integrated schools,” said Pedro Noguera, an education professor at UCLA, where a 2014 report finding that New York State has the most segregated public schools in the nation helped galvanize the issue.

AI can’t reason why | Wall Street Journal

(Essay co-written by UCLA’s Judea Pearl) Computer programs have reached a bewildering point in their long and unsteady journey toward artificial intelligence. They outperform people at tasks we once felt to be uniquely human, such as playing poker or recognizing faces in a crowd. Meanwhile, self-driving cars using similar technology run into pedestrians and posts and we wonder whether they can ever be trustworthy. Amid these rapid developments and nagging setbacks, one essential building block of human intelligence has eluded machines for decades: Understanding cause and effect. Put simply, today’s machine-learning programs can’t tell whether a crowing rooster makes the sun rise, or the other way around. 

New Jersey law codifies school segregation | New York Times

Today, New Jersey is the sixth most segregated state in the nation for black students, and seventh for Latino students, according to a UCLA study. This is despite the fact that it is among the only states whose constitution explicitly prohibits segregation in public schools.

Controversial way some California schools handle student misbehavior | HuffPost

Daniel Losen, who is director of UCLA’s Center for Civil Rights Remedies, takes issue with Eden’s arguments on a couple of levels. First, Losen said Eden is cherry-picking indicators to make schools seem more unsafe than they actually are. Secondly, he sees in Eden a failure to acknowledge that there is strong evidence showing that suspensions and other isolating punishments are harmful to students, especially students of color. “No one wants the reform efforts to yield something worse than before,” Losen said. “But we have to reject the status quo. Schools are doing things that are harmful to kids right now, and we need to stop that — their civil rights are being violated.”

Overpasses may save dwindling mountain lion population | KPCC-FM’s “AirTalk”

“The best place, in some sense, it’s sort of fairly easy to tell because there’s so few places left along 101 where there’s even natural habitat up to the freeway on either side, let alone on both sides. So really the best general area is in the Agoura Hills area in the middle of the Santa Monica Mountains and then specifically, Liberty Canyon, just west of Liberty Canyon Road,” said UCLA’s Seth Riley.

Take a virtual trip to 1893’s White City | Curbed Chicago

This weekend, Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry invites guests to “revel in the White City” with a temporary exhibit showcasing a virtual re-creation of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. Digitally reconstructed by UCLA’s Dr. Lisa Snyder and narrated by local historian Tim Samuelson, the exhibit will let visitors experience the revolutionary architecture, inventions, and cultural attractions that elevated Chicago to center place on the world stage 125 years ago.

UCLA Army ROTC team recognized for rescue efforts | KNX-AM

It takes a team effort to rescue a motorist from a fiery crash on the 405 freeway. Here is the KNX Helpful Honda Hero of the Week. Leadership is what staff members of the UCLA Army ROTC Program teach their cadets: make a decision and go with it. The team made the point a few weeks ago when they witnessed a really bad freeway crash. (Audio may not work in some browsers)

Choosing between death and deportation | Kaiser Health News

“In some states, they say giving you dialysis is keeping you from dying. We are going to put you on emergency Medicaid,” said Steven Wallace, a health professor at UCLA, who has studied immigrant health care in the U.S. “In other states — Georgia comes to mind — they will not put you on emergency Medicaid until you are in diabetic shock.”

New algorithm predicts life expectancy after heart failure | Medical Xpress

“Following this method, we are able to identify a significant number of patients who are good transplant candidates but were not identified as such by traditional approaches,” said Dr. Martin Cadeiras, a cardiologist at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “This methodology better resembles the human thinking process by allowing multiple alternative solutions for the same problem but taking into consideration the variability of each individual.”

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