What if the synapse isn’t really doing what we think?
It’s hard to find a more profound challenge to a central tenet of neuroscience: in our so far unrewarded struggle to locate our elusive memories within the junctions between brain cells, shouldn’t we also be looking inside the neuron itself?
The wild frontier of innovation intelligibility: an edgy video
I’ve been having a serious struggle deciding whether or not to share this important video because I’m just not sure how much of a struggle with intelligibility you’ll be able to tolerate
Lean Startup Methodology, Critical Design Theory: Separated at birth?
Lean startups use wild speculations about imaginary products to start conversations with customers aimed at eliciting real requirements. Critical Design aims to make things which provoke enlightening responses. Snap?
MOOCs, cheap smartphones and dire poverty: about to flip the planet?
Moore’s Law is rapidly putting the entire third world online. This fact, combined with MOOCs, may just turn the rest of the world upside down
The MOOCs are coming! The MOOCs are coming!
The educational world, terrified by Massive Open Online Courses, is putting on a brave, smiling face and joining in, because it sees them as unstoppable and hopes it can somehow survive and even benefit from them
Post-Genomics: Wikipedia says no
There is no Wikipedia article on this subject at the time of writing, but it is now a well established field which cries out for a much wider public understanding
Coming soon to a learning experience near you: metacognitive strategies
Counter-intuitive way of reducing unnecessary pressure on students? Stop telling them how easy it’s going to be.
Fixing the ‘unsolved problem shortage’ that holds back potential startup founders
Shortages of easily-tackled unsolved problems are a first world problem: elsewhere, countless established ‘solutions’ are just unaffordable, each one a gift to any problem-seeking would-be entrepreneur
1.8 million regular listeners to a US science and philosophy radio show?
Is the BBC’s long-established domination of ‘serious’ talk radio finally seeing a serious challenge?
For women computer scientists, Mudd sticks
Paltry numbers of computer scientists are women. Christine Alvarado helped QUADRUPLE those numbers at Harvey Mudd College, whose reputation for excellence rivals MIT: this video offers insight into how she did it
Scientists, so impractical? The results are in: Commercial Targets: 0, Freedom: 1
Scientific creativity. An engine of growth and innovation, held back by a lack of market focus and managerial discipline? So a stricter commercial regime should turn science into a lean, mean, innovation machine, right? Well…
Educational reform as we know it will die
Renowned educational critic Steve Peha is unconvinced that any of the current or proposed major educational reform initiatives will change anything. Ever.
Where is the computational juggernaut driving open science?
Science is ‘going virtual’ in a big way: rapidly escalating computing horsepower is turning lots of real-world research into simulation-based experimentation. Is this helping or hindering the latest open science initiatives?
iij top 20 upcoming innovation books for 2012
There’s a growing interest in introducing an entrepreneurial approach to innovation, whether its happening inside or outside the established organisation
Toys as inspiration: Shrinky-Dink startup epiphanies
At 12 am one night in 2007, a revolutionary engineering idea popped into Michelle Khine’s head. The rest is history (and chemistry, physics, biotech, nanotech, solar: she seems unstoppable)
Khan Academy 2.0?
After my initial TED-talk-inspired enthusiasm, I became seriously disheartened by the seemingly unanswerable criticisms of Khan Academy’s fairly unadventurous ‘talk and chalk’ style tutorial videos as not really representing a genuine step forward in education. But…
Computation: digital today, analog tomorrow?
Nature chuckles at our feeble, stumbling efforts at computation. Its analog computing resources effortlessly deliver dazzling practical intelligence at microscopic scale with zero tolerance for wasted power
What can you see at a trillion frames per second?
At that speed, you can see things that you shouldn’t be able to see at all, things that the camera isn’t actually pointing at. Wherever light has been, as it bounces around our world, it can tell us a story about its journey, letting us ‘see around corners’
Has the last fence fallen? Outperforming human emotional sensitivity
Computers understand us if we talk to them as if they were stupid. But when humans talk to each other, we talk in complex social riddles that have always left computers utterly confused about our intentions. Until now.
Is the written word holding back mathematics teaching?
Are astonishing recent successes with word-free math teaching making a mockery of the traditional textbook approach?
Tearing sharing to pieces: why openness is about more than sharing
Sharing is useful, right? Motherhood and apple pie, surely? The stampede of sacred cows being ruthlessly sacrificed in this extraordinary video bonfire of academic vanities lends it an intoxicating but perhaps far too beefy aroma for some
Was there ever anyone who naturally spoke like Spock?
A non-fictional man who would only speak using formal logic, a founding genius of computer science. Like Spock, he was much stranger than any ordinary alien. A student of his tells a disturbing story about a different but highly relevant kind of alienation.
Agile methodology applied to non-technology: success shock!
Arts authorities caught publicly admitting to experimenting with ditching the ‘waterfall ‘ approach (where committees endlessly prepare vast unread(able) reports before anyone even considers trying anything new) only to discover that they can get strategic projects done quickly and well after all. Gasp!
How do great design thinkers define innovation?
‘Nobody should claim to be doing innovation’ already sounds like a pretty shocking proposition, but it soon becomes clear that conventional ideas are the last thing to expect from the conversation captured in this extraordinary video
Dyslexia and a PhD
Die-hard sceptics still regarding it as little more than a convenient excuse for a lack of interest in or dedication to study may be surprised by this video, which reflects impressive academic achievement in a discipline which simultaneously challenges, derives value from and provides support for the cognitive distinctiveness that dyslexia represents
The iij Upcoming Top Ten Organisational Innovation Books
One theme that appears often in many of these volumes? Discovery processes. If the word ‘innovation’ appears anywhere in your job description, you already know that discovering new discovery processes is a double-edged sword
Is everything we know about offshoring innovation wrong?
The offshoring phenomenon has provided strong support for the claim that simply increasing the number of suitable graduates will produce enough ‘potential for innovation’ to restore growth and jobs. Until now.
Father and daughter professors and the psychology of time
If you loved that awesome video of advertising icon Alex Bogusky and his dad, reserve yourself some time to watch two generations of Stanford stars tell how their vocations unexpectedly converged
Sustainable, reversible science: beyond green, maybe even beyond renewable
This astonishing video takes environmental innovation to its outer limits: you’ll need to be pretty imaginative to find a way to invest in the ideas it explores
Sneak preview of MIT research into robot humanisation
Can we build robots that can be taught in the same way that humans teach each other? That’s not how we teach robots now. Is this the way to make robots more useful in natural disasters?
Must-see video of banker doing something wonderful
‘My twelve year old son has autism, and has a terrible time with math. We have tried everything, viewed everything, bought everything. We stumbled upon your video on decimals, and it got through! Then we went on to the dreaded fractions. Again, he got it! We could not believe it! He is so excited.’
No potential startup founder left behind
It looks like the enviable track record of startup accelerators like TechStars and Y Combinator derives from identifying something you might call ‘Foundational Capability’ as the basis for startup success, but there is a dark side
Photosynth as a metaphor for an even bigger challenge
Remember the software that could use lots of casually taken photos of a scene and somehow combine them into a 3D model that you could then navigate in a breathtakingly intuitive way? Well, what if you could do the same with independently created scientific research databases?
Heading for collision: scholarship traditions and Anything 2.0
Innovation and academia might seem inseparable, but ‘novelties’ such as collaborative research and digital deliverables are often still seen by academic authorities as being an unacceptable encroachment upon the sovereignty of the paper-bound work of the solitary scholar
Which UK universities offer innovation management degrees?
Management may be a ‘Cinderella issue’ in the innovation news space, eclipsed by social media, entrepreneurship and mobile technology. Nonetheless, academia is responding to growing industry demands for accredited innovation management capability
The most inspiring introduction to Open Science. Ever.
The video never went viral, probably because it has an unexplained ‘interlude’ after 42 minutes 57 seconds which makes it seem to end at a random point. This bizarre showstopping moment didn’t deter your intrepid iij innovation hunters (it actually resumes after about a minute of onscreen weirdness) from recognizing a gem and it certainly shouldn’t stop you watching it
Choosing Tech Careers: Biotech vs. Consumer Tech
Most of the consumer technologies of 20 years ago seem ludicrously primitive today, whereas, for many diseases, current biotech leaves us almost as powerless to prevent the suffering and death of millions today as we were generations ago. However, it still offers the tantalising prospect of unlocking nature’s technology, and potentially rendering all our diseases and current consumer tech obsolete
Humble colossus of computer science: Don Knuth’s saga
Quiet and unassuming, but with a wickedly dry sense of humour: the iconic ambassador of the algorithm has a life story which deserves a wider audience than just computer scientists, who are as likely to have read his Art of Computer Programming as to have listened to Dark Side of the Moon
A disturbing but important lecture about reinventing the lecture
As a keen watcher of lectures online, my initial reaction to this fierce assault on their value was hostile. But after watching this video again, I’ll admit that some valid points are being made
Required reading for the intrepid innovation reporter
Those of us afflicted by the innovation reporting bug, confronted daily by a seemingly limitless diversity of complex issues, need all the help we can get
Turning university science breakthroughs into businesses
A superb panel video from Princeton covers just about everything: Angels, Venture Capital, Intellectual Property as well as the academic, engineering and technology licensing perspectives
What on earth is an Anthropreneur?
Need to attack poverty, environmental and language issues simultaneously? Then maybe you need one of these: as far as inspiring videos go, I haven’t seen anything much better than this