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Deciphering correlation and causation in risk factors for heart disease with Mendelian randomization

Singh et al. | Feb 08, 2023

Deciphering correlation and causation in risk factors for heart disease with Mendelian randomization
Image credit: Robina Weermeijer

Here, seeking to identify the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), a major cause of cardiovascular disease, the authors used Mendelian randomization. With this method they identified several traits such as blood pressure readings, LDL cholesterol and BMI as significant risk factors. While other traits were not found to be significant risk factors.

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A comparative analysis of machine learning approaches for prediction of breast cancer

Nag et al. | May 11, 2021

A comparative analysis of machine learning approaches for prediction of breast cancer

Machine learning and deep learning techniques can be used to predict the early onset of breast cancer. The main objective of this analysis was to determine whether machine learning algorithms can be used to predict the onset of breast cancer with more than 90% accuracy. Based on research with supervised machine learning algorithms, Gaussian Naïve Bayes, K Nearest Algorithm, Random Forest, and Logistic Regression were considered because they offer a wide variety of classification methods and also provide high accuracy and performance. We hypothesized that all these algorithms would provide accurate results, and Random Forest and Logistic Regression would provide better accuracy and performance than Naïve Bayes and K Nearest Neighbor.

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Using machine learning to develop a global coral bleaching predictor

Madireddy et al. | Feb 21, 2023

Using machine learning to develop a global coral bleaching predictor
Image credit: Madireddy, Bosch, and McCalla

Coral bleaching is a fatal process that reduces coral diversity, leads to habitat loss for marine organisms, and is a symptom of climate change. This process occurs when corals expel their symbiotic dinoflagellates, algae that photosynthesize within coral tissue providing corals with glucose. Restoration efforts have attempted to repair damaged reefs; however, there are over 360,000 square miles of coral reefs worldwide, making it challenging to target conservation efforts. Thus, predicting the likelihood of bleaching in a certain region would make it easier to allocate resources for conservation efforts. We developed a machine learning model to predict global locations at risk for coral bleaching. Data obtained from the Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office consisted of various coral bleaching events and the parameters under which the bleaching occurred. Sea surface temperature, sea surface temperature anomalies, longitude, latitude, and coral depth below the surface were the features found to be most correlated to coral bleaching. Thirty-nine machine learning models were tested to determine which one most accurately used the parameters of interest to predict the percentage of corals that would be bleached. A random forest regressor model with an R-squared value of 0.25 and a root mean squared error value of 7.91 was determined to be the best model for predicting coral bleaching. In the end, the random model had a 96% accuracy in predicting the percentage of corals that would be bleached. This prediction system can make it easier for researchers and conservationists to identify coral bleaching hotspots and properly allocate resources to prevent or mitigate bleaching events.

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Evaluating machine learning algorithms to classify forest tree species through satellite imagery

Gupta et al. | Mar 18, 2023

Evaluating machine learning algorithms to classify forest tree species through satellite imagery
Image credit: Sergei A

Here, seeking to identify an optimal method to classify tree species through remote sensing, the authors used a few machine learning algorithms to classify forest tree species through multispectral satellite imagery. They found the Random Forest algorithm to most accurately classify tree species, with the potential to improve model training and inference based on the inclusion of other tree properties.

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The Impact of Effective Density and Compressive Strength on the Structure of Crumpled Paper Balls

Chu et al. | Nov 19, 2020

The Impact of Effective Density and Compressive Strength on the Structure of Crumpled Paper Balls

Crumpling is the process whereby a sheet of paper undergoes deformation to yield a three-dimensional structure comprising a random network of ridges and facets with variable density. The authors hypothesized that the more times a paper sheet is crumpled, the greater its compressive strength. Their results show a relatively strong linear relationship between the number of times a paper sheet is crumpled and its compressive strength.

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A Crossover Study Comparing the Effect of a Processed vs. Unprocessed Diet on the Spatial Learning Ability of Zebrafish

Banga et al. | Sep 18, 2022

A Crossover Study Comparing the Effect of a Processed vs. Unprocessed Diet on the Spatial Learning Ability of Zebrafish

The authors compared the short-term effects of processed versus unprocessed food on spatial learning and survival in zebrafish, given the large public concern regarding processed foods. By randomly assigning zebrafish to a diet of brine shrimp flakes (processed) or live brine shrimp (unprocessed), the authors show while there is no immediate effect on a fish's decision process between the two diets, there are significant correlations between improved learning and stress response with the unprocessed diet.

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Impact of study partner status and group membership on commitment device effectiveness among college students

Gupta et al. | Jun 03, 2022

Impact of study partner status and group membership on commitment device effectiveness among college students

Here seeking to identify a possible solution to procrastination among college students, the authors used an online experiment that involved the random assignment of study partners that they shared their study time goal with. These partners were classified by status and group membership. The authors found that status and group membership did not significantly affect the likelihood of college students achieving their committed goals, and also suggest the potential of soft commitment devices that take advantage of social relationships to reduce procrastination.

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Predicting college retention rates from Google Street View images of campuses

Dileep et al. | Jan 02, 2024

Predicting college retention rates from Google Street View images of campuses
Image credit: Dileep et al. 2024

Every year, around 40% of undergraduate students in the United States discontinue their studies, resulting in a loss of valuable education for students and a loss of money for colleges. Even so, colleges across the nation struggle to discover the underlying causes of these high dropout rates. In this paper, the authors discuss the use of machine learning to find correlations between the built environment factors and the retention rates of colleges. They hypothesized that one way for colleges to improve their retention rates could be to improve the physical characteristics of their campus to be more pleasing. The authors used image classification techniques to look at images of colleges and correlate certain features like colors, cars, and people to higher or lower retention rates. With three possible options of high, medium, and low retention rates, the probability that their models reached the right conclusion if they simply chose randomly was 33%. After finding that this 33%, or 0.33 mark, always fell outside of the 99% confidence intervals built around their models’ accuracies, the authors concluded that their machine learning techniques can be used to find correlations between certain environmental factors and retention rates.

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