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Propagation of representation bias in machine learning

Dass-Vattam et al. | Jun 10, 2021

Propagation of representation bias in machine learning

Using facial recognition as a use-case scenario, we attempt to identify sources of bias in a model developed using transfer learning. To achieve this task, we developed a model based on a pre-trained facial recognition model, and scrutinized the accuracy of the model’s image classification against factors such as age, gender, and race to observe whether or not the model performed better on some demographic groups than others. By identifying the bias and finding potential sources of bias, his work contributes a unique technical perspective from the view of a small scale developer to emerging discussions of accountability and transparency in AI.

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Pollination Patterns by Green-Backed Firecrown Hummingbirds

Freeland et al. | May 28, 2020

Pollination Patterns by Green-Backed Firecrown Hummingbirds

The Green-backed Firecrown hummingbird is an essential pollinator in the temperate rainforests of southern South America. However, little is known about the ecology of these birds. Authors examined the foraging patterns of these birds identifying interesting differences in foraging patterns among season, age and sex.

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Redesigning an Experiment to Determine the Coefficient of Friction

Hu et al. | Jun 27, 2016

Redesigning an Experiment to Determine the Coefficient of Friction

In a common high school experiment to measure friction coefficients, a weighted mass attached to a spring scale is dragged across a surface at a constant velocity. While the constant velocity is necessary for an accurate measurement, it can be difficult to maintain and this can lead to large errors. Here, the authors designed a new experiment to measure friction coefficients in the classroom using only static force and show that their method has a lower standard deviation than the traditional experiment.

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A new therapy against MDR bacteria by in silico virtual screening of Pseudomonas aeruginosa LpxC inhibitors

Liu et al. | Apr 27, 2022

A new therapy against MDR bacteria by <em>in silico</em> virtual screening of <em>Pseudomonas aeruginosa</em> LpxC inhibitors

Here, seeking to address the growing threat of multidrug-resistant bacteria (MDR). the authors used in silico virtual screening to target MDR Pseudomonas aeruginosa. They considered a key protein in its biosynthesis and virtually screened 20,000 candidates and 30 derivatives of brequinar. In the end, they identified a possible candidate with the highest degree of potential to inhibit the pathogen's lipid A synthesis.

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Idotea balthica comparison: Anatomy, locomotion, and seaweed preference of Massachusetts isopods

Yee et al. | Feb 17, 2022

<em>Idotea balthica</em> comparison: Anatomy, locomotion, and seaweed preference of Massachusetts isopods

Here the authors examined a population of Massachusetts marine isopods, seeking to classify them based on comparison of their morphology, movement, and seaweed preference compared to those of known species. In this process they found that they were most similar to Idotea balthica. The authors suggest that this knowledge combined with monitoring populations of marine biology such as these isopods in different physical and ecological areas can provide useful insight into the effects of climate change.

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Spider Density Shows Weak Relationship with Vegetation Density

Ryon et al. | Jul 03, 2020

Spider Density Shows Weak Relationship with Vegetation Density

Evidence supports that spiders have many ecological benefits including insect control and predation in the food chain. In this study the authors investigate that whether the percent of vegetation coverage and spider density are correlated. They determine that despite the trend there is no statistically significant correlation.

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Dune flora can emerge from seed islands (Concon, Chile)

Farías Giusti-Bilz et al. | Dec 07, 2020

Dune flora can emerge from seed islands (Concon, Chile)

In the field of ecology, little is known about how plant communities originate. Through the process of characterizing dunes, mounds of sand formed by the wind, and their plant communities we can get to know the physiognomy and floristic composition of the territory. Based on the hypothesis that dune flora can emerge from seed islands: holes in the sand 6 cm deep containing a mixture of seeds, broken branches of shrubbery, and rabbit feces, during spring, the authors determined the composition of 20 seed islands in the sand dunes of Concon, Chile and measured how many seeds germinated in each one.

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Friend or foe: Using DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found at home

Wang et al. | Mar 14, 2022

Friend or foe: Using DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found at home

Here the authors used morphological characters and DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found within a residential house. With this method they identified their species and compared them against pests lists provided by the US government. They found that none of their identified species were considered to be pests providing evidence against the misconception that arthropods found at home are harmful to humans. They suggest that these methods could be used at larger scales to better understand and aid in mapping ecosystems.

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Creating a Phenology Trail Around Central Park Pond

Flynn et al. | Jul 16, 2020

Creating a Phenology Trail Around Central Park Pond

This study aimed to determine whether the life cycle stages, or phenophases, of some plants in the urban environment of Central Park, New York, differ from the typical phenophases of the same plant species. The authors hypothesized that the phenophases of the thirteen plants we studied would differ from their typical phenophases due to the urban heat island effect. Although the phenophases of five plants matched up with typical trends, there were distinct changes in the phenophases of the other eight, possibly resulting from the urban heat island effect.

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Evaluation of Microplastics in Japanese Fish Using Visual and Chemical Dissections

Srebnik et al. | Jan 20, 2021

Evaluation of Microplastics in Japanese Fish Using Visual and Chemical Dissections

Does the overuse of plastic in Japan poses an ecological risk to marine species and their consumers? Using visual and chemical dissection, all fish in this study were found to have microplastics present in their gastrointestinal tract, including two species that are typically eaten whole in Japan. Overall, these results are concerning as previous studies have found that microplastics can carry persistent organic pollutants. It is presumed that the increasing consumption of microplastics will have negative implications on organ systems such as the liver, gut, and hormones.

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