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Multi-task Regression using Minimal Penalties
Matthieu Solnon,Sylvain Arlot,Francis Bach
Statistics , 2011,
Abstract: In this paper we study the kernel multiple ridge regression framework, which we refer to as multi-task regression, using penalization techniques. The theoretical analysis of this problem shows that the key element appearing for an optimal calibration is the covariance matrix of the noise between the different tasks. We present a new algorithm to estimate this covariance matrix, based on the concept of minimal penalty, which was previously used in the single-task regression framework to estimate the variance of the noise. We show, in a non-asymptotic setting and under mild assumptions on the target function, that this estimator converges towards the covariance matrix. Then plugging this estimator into the corresponding ideal penalty leads to an oracle inequality. We illustrate the behavior of our algorithm on synthetic examples.
WikiGIS Basic Concepts: Web 2.0 for Geospatial Collaboration
Stéphane Roche,Boris Mericskay,Wided Batita,Matthieu Bach,Mathieu Rondeau
Future Internet , 2012, DOI: 10.3390/fi4010265
Abstract: With the emergence of Web 2.0, new applications arise and evolve into more interactive forms of collective intelligence. These applications offer to both professionals and citizens an open and expanded access to geographic information. In this paper, we develop the conceptual foundations of a new technology solution called WikiGIS. WikiGIS’s strength lies in its ability to ensure the traceability of changes in spatial-temporal geographic components (geometric location and shape, graphics: iconography and descriptive) generated by users. The final use case highlights to what extent WikiGIS could be a relevant and useful technological innovation in Geocollaboration.
Higher Education—Educating for Higher Order Skills  [PDF]
Rachel Or-Bach
Creative Education (CE) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/ce.2013.47A2004

Preparing college students for a knowledge-based economy is a challenge that requires curriculum design that puts more emphasis on learning skills than on content to be taught. Cognitive skills should be practiced in a context of some content, but the choice of content, the choice of the learning environment, and the choice of the assessment procedures can enhance the development of such skills. In this paper we present these choices for a course that was specially designed to provide a motivating and engaging context that requires the use of higher order cognitive skills. The title of the course is “Design of computer-based games and interactive stories” and it is provided to students with no prior exposure to computer programming. At the end of the course students are required to submit an interactive artifact (a game or a story) implemented in Scratch, which is a visual programming environment. In this qualitative study we present the results from a thematic analysis of students’ post-course reflection reports.

Morphological Conservation in Human-Animal Hybrids in Science Fiction and Fantasy Settings: Is Our Imagination as Free as We Think It Is?  [PDF]
Matthieu J. Guitton
Advances in Anthropology (AA) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/aa.2013.33021

The question of whether human imagination knows no boundaries or is, alternatively, constrained by conscious or unconscious cognitive templates is a key issue in defining human mind. We try here to address this extremely large question by focusing on one particular element of imaginary creations, the specific case of human-animal hybrids. Human-animal hybrids are common inhabitants of human imaginary spaces, being regularly encountered across numerous mythologies, as well as in modern popular culture. If human imagination was unconstrained, it would be expected that such hybrid creatures would display roughly half human and half animalistic features. Using several different popular science fiction and fantasy settings, we conducted an analysis of the morphological traits of human-animal hybrids, both anatomical and phenotypic. Surprisingly, we observed extremely high conservation of human morphological traits in human-animal hybrids, with a contrasting high use of phenotypic (“cosmetic”) alterations, and with highly stereotyped patterns of morphological alterations. While these alterations were independent of the setting considered, shape alterations were setting-dependent and used as a way to increase internal coherence. Finally, important gender differences were observed, as female human-animal hybrids retained significantly more human traits than males did, suggesting that conservation of female appearance may bear essential evolutionary importance. Taken together, these results demonstrate the existence of strong cognitive templates which frame and limit the expression of the capacity of human imagination, and unveil some of the psychological mechanisms which constrain the emergence of imaginary spaces.

The State of Sex Education in North Carolina: Is Abstinence-Only Education Working?
Rebecca Bach
Sociation Today , 2006,
Abstract: Teenage pregnancy rates are falling in North Carolina. They are falling faster in counties where comprehensive sex education is allowed by law compared to those counties and cities where abstinence-only education is permitted.
Defining Scandinavia - Copenhagen August 8th - 11th 2013 Defining Scandinavia - K benhavn 8.-11. august 2013
Stina Bach
FORMakademisk , 2013,
Assessing transgender asylum claims
Jhana Bach
Forced Migration Review , 2013,
Abstract: It can be challenging for all asylum seekers to demonstrate thatthey are at risk of persecution but perhaps even more so fortransgender applicants.
Carisma e Racionalismo na Sociologia de Max Weber
Maurizio Bach
Sociologia & Antropologia , 2011,
Abstract: O artigo aborda o conceito de carisma de Max Weber, tomando como hipótese a rela o entre a categoria do carisma e um problema de explica o, que pode ser sintetizado na pergunta: como surge o novo na história e como o mundo se transforma e toma uma nova dire o? O carisma n o é apenas um tipo (de domina o) irracional e revolucionário; porém, principalmente, um modelo sociológico explicativo para a compreens o da mudan a social. Neste sentido, Weber elabora o conceito do carisma como uma categoria complementar ao conceito de racionalismo. A história da sociedade se movimenta no campo das tens es entre o irracionalismo e o irracionalismo. O carisma pode ser vis to como uma chave sociológica para o entendimento dos processos sociais nos quais as aparentes tendências evolucionistas e unidimensionais do racionalismo se rompem de modo explosivo, suspendendo as institui es para ganhar o domínio e controle através de formas pessoalizadas em contextos coletivos. O processo de cotidianiza o do carisma, entretanto, acaba sempre em nova racionaliza o das esferas da vida.
The frontiers of evaluation: some considerations on the European case As fronteiras da avalia o: algumas considera es sobre o caso europeu
Laurent Bach
Revista Brasileira de Inova??o , 2012,
Abstract: This paper aims at presenting the “frontiers” of policy evaluation and the related challenges faced by evaluation in the European context, more precisely as regards the evaluation of the impact of European Commission’s Science, Technology and Innovation policies. The analysis stems from recent reports and conferences organised in the field in the last three years, the bulk of the work on evaluation performed in the last 20 years in Europe, and the author’s 20 years of personal experience in the field. Different notions of frontiers are introduced to highlight the relations among the “evaluation world” and policy makers and policy making processes, STI actors and STI processes, and other social science disciplines connected to evaluation. It appears that exploitation of the diversity of approaches, stakeholders, fields of research and empirical studies represents outstanding potential for dealing with the diversity of frontiers. Resumo Este trabalho discute as “fronteiras” da avalia o de políticas públicas e os desafios que a avalia o enfrenta no contexto europeu, mais precisamente na avalia o do impacto das políticas da Comiss o Europeia em Ciência, Tecnologia e Inova o (CTI). A análise baseia-se em relatórios e congressos recentes nesse campo nos últimos três anos, em grande parte das pesquisas sobre avalia o efetuadas nos últimos 20 anos na Europa e nos 20 anos de experiência do autor nessa área. S o apresentadas no es diferentes de fronteira para real ar as rela es entre o “mundo da avalia o”, os formuladores de políticas públicas, os processos de constru o dessas políticas, os atores e processos de CTI e as demais disciplinas de ciências sociais ligadas à avalia o. O trabalho conclui que a explora o da diversidade de abordagens, das partes interessadas, dos campos de pesquisa e de estudos empíricos oferece grande potencial para se lidar com a diversidade de fronteiras.
Tempus og aspekt med s rligt henblik p italiensk
Svend Bach
Tidsskrift for Sprogforskning , 2003,
Abstract: This paper intends to discuss some fundamental issues regarding tense and aspect in connection with a presentation of the Italian system of morphologically marked distinctions within the categories of tense and aspect; but it is also intended as a basis for studies in the function of tense and aspect in literary narrative (a matter to which I have dedicated the studies mentioned in the list of references). However, my main view is that inscribing presumed textual functions into the general definitions of morphemes (along the lines originally indicated by Benveniste and Weinrich), does not contribute to our understanding of texts, but will rather create obstacles for it. In fact I can see no valid alternative to describing tense in terms of 'time'. As others before me, I divide tenses in two groups on the basis of the distinctive semantic feature [+/-past]; Italian has two simple tenses in each group, and – corresponding to each of the four simple tenses – compound tenses formed with an auxiliary + the perfect participle, and semantically characterized by the fact that they signify a state as a consequence of an anterior state, process or event signified as espectually perfective. Compound tenses are thus morphologically as well as semantically complex: they differ with regard only to the tense and aspect of the 'consequence level' as expressed by the form of the auxiliary. This means that each tense, even the compound ones, are defined without taking into account a 'point of reference' or similar concepts: compound tenses express in themselves temporal location thanks to their auxiliary verb. Such semantic complexity is of particular importance in the case of the present perfect and the past perfect, both of which have two typical uses according to the predominance of the consequence level signified by their auxiliary or to the state/process/event signified by their lexeme (i.e. the past participle). This view entails an almost complete symmetry between these two tenses, and seems apt to solve a series of problems, especially concerning the use of the past perfect, some of which posed by other scholars. It is also confronted with the problems of consecutio temporum. I stress the fact that the basic distinctive features belong to the semantic level, and do not necessarily correspond to extralinguistical evidence in any instance of the use of a certain form. Thus the presumed "imperfective use" of the perfects is seen as an instance of confusion between semantics and extralinguistic reality. In the final part I mention 'figurative use' as the most importa
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