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Posts Tagged "modeling"

Guest Blog

Ecologists: Wading from nature to networks

“I’ve always thought of myself as a wader due to my size,” said 6’5” Bob Paine, professor emeritus in the University of Washington’s Department of Biology.  Paine is considered by many to be the founder of experimental ecology. He has produced some of the nation’s top marine biologists. He has also spent 45 years knee-deep [...]

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Observations

The Mathematician’s Obesity Fallacy

obesity man park bench

As I write, this interview with mathematician Carson C. Chow is the number-one most-emailed story on the New York Times Web site. Chow, a researcher at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, had no experience in the health sciences before he came to study the problem of why so many Americans [...]

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Observations

Predicting small-scale turbulent flows could lead to more efficient airliners and ships

Airliner in flight

It is a phenomenon that has eluded description for centuries. Today’s supercomputers are not up to the task of simulating it in detail. And the great physicist Richard Feynman reportedly called it "the most important unsolved problem of classical physics." What grand conundrum could possibly cause such trouble? The answer is surprisingly mundane: turbulent fluid [...]

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Symbiartic

Tools Change But Creative People Are a Constant

14-003FEATURE

Once upon a time, I wrote about five reasons your camera won’t steal my job. In short, the reasons were: 1. Photography can’t capture small things 2. Photography can’t capture distant things 3. Photography can’t capture extinct things 4. Photography can emphasize the wrong things 5. Photography is just one tool of many to master [...]

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The Curious Wavefunction

Are climate change models becoming more accurate and less reliable?

One of the perpetual challenges in my career as a modeler of biochemical systems has been the need to balance accuracy with reliability. This paradox is not as strange as it seems. Typically when you build a model you include a lot of approximations supposed to make the modeling process easier; ideally you want a [...]

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The Curious Wavefunction

Does smoking pot lower your IQ?

As marijuana is being legalized in Washington and Colorado states, its proliferation and use raise legitimate issues regarding its dose-dependent and long-term effects. One key question is whether pot leads to cognitive decline and a lowering of IQ, especially if its consumption is started at an early age. Answering this question is important for users, [...]

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