How to Get Comets, Animals, Math Problems, and More Named After you

What is in a name? Often a fair bit in fact! We use names as useful shortcuts to better explain things in the natural world, from new species to comets and new inventions. But what does it take to get one of those new things named after you? There are a few approaches you can take to get something named after you and put down in the history books alongside historically important figures. I am going to suggest a few routes you could take.

Find Something New

If you love math, comets, and you really want something named after you, you are in the right field. Put in a lot of work to find a previously undiscovered comet, or create a new mathematical proof, and you will soon have something named after you! You can choose to that whatever you discover named after yourself.

But unfortunately, this does not translate to every scientific field. When it comes to things like asteroids or new species, even if you were the first to discover it, you cannot name it after yourself. In those situations, you can still name it – you just have to name it after someone else! Your mum, your pet, or even your favourite musician. Which brings us to the next way to get something named after you became famous.

Become Famous

Fame has its advantages. One of which is that scientists love naming things after their favourite, (or sometimes least favourite, believe it or not) celebrities. That can be other scientists, but also popular figures like politicians such as Barack Obama, TV presenters like David Attenborough and a range of musicians.

Do not forget! If you are naming something that is alive, it is tradition to change the name into a two-part name that vaguely sounds Latin. This goes back to a Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus who invented this naming system.

Create Something

There is a lot of stuff already out there in the world that already has been named. If you cannot find something new to slap your name onto, why not push the boundaries and make something totally unique yourself. Great inventions like the petri dish or the diesel engine were actually named after their inventors. Making something new is a fantastic way to have your name in the history books.

This does not always work though. Sometimes you might discover to create something, and someone else’s name gets stuck to it, either because they perfected it and it became popular as a result. Unfortunately, this happens more often than you would expect.

Pay for It

You could always just pay for it with cold hard cash. If you do not want to rely on luck or chip away at something for years in pursuit of your name being attached to something, there are a few ways you can name a species or even a robot-discovered math theorem after yourself. You just have to empty your wallet for it.

This approach might not inspire the curious and adventurous among us, but it is a method. If you can afford it, your financial contributions could accelerate development in the field you are donating too. So in a way, you are actually helping a lot. It is expensive to conduct world-changing science experiments!

Overall, there are plenty of ways to get your name in the history books. Regardless of which path you choose, you will end up having to put a lot of time and effort into it. Even if you go down the money route. Money does not just fall out of the sky for most people so you will have to work hard and do your best to immortalise your name.


How To Trick Deep Learning Algorithms Into Doing New Things

With the increasingly impressive developments in deep learning algorithms, we are seeing amazing new kinds of data modeling that is producing better-tailored results for a wider range of specific data processing requirements. But the technology has also been branching out to produce new solutions from these data models. Therefore, I am going to show you how some intelligent people are tricking deep learning algorithms into doing new things.

Pretrained and Finetuned Deep Learning Models

When you want to create an application that requires deep learning technologies, one option is to make your own neural network from the ground up and train it on available or curated examples. For example, you can use sites like ImageNet, a public dataset that contains more than 14 million labeled images.

There is a problem, however. First, you have to find the right architecture for the task, the number of and sequence of convolution, pooling, and dense layers should be taken into account. You have to also decide the number of filters and parameters for each layer, the learning rate, optimizer, loss function, and other hyperparameters.

Many of these choices require tons of trial-and-error training, which is time and money-consuming unless you have access to some powerful graphics processors or specialized hardware built for these workloads such as Google’s TPU.

To avoid reinventing the wheel, you can download a tried-and-tested model like AlexNet, ResNet, or Inception, and train it to cater to your specific problem. But that does not mean you will not need a cluster of GPUs or TPUs to complete the training in a reasonable time frame. To avoid unnecessary costs during the training process, you can download the pre-trained version of these models to integrate them into your application instead.

Adversarial Attacks and Reprogramming

Adversarial reprogramming is an alternative approach for repurposing machine learning models. It takes advantage of adversarial machine learning, an area of research that explores how perturbations to input data can change the behavior of your neural networks. For example, you could add a layer of noise to a photo of a panda and it will probably cause the award-winning GoogleNet deep learning model to mistake it for a gibbon. The manipulations are referred to as “adversarial perturbations.”

Adversarial machine learning is usually used to display vulnerabilities in deep neural networks. Researchers in the field, often use the phrase “adversarial attacks” when talking about adversarial machine learning. One of the main aspects of adversarial attacks is that the perturbations must go undetected to the human eye.

Black-box Adversarial Learning

Adversarial reprogramming does not modify the original deep learning model, you still need access to the neural network’s parameters and layers in order to train and tune the adversarial program (with focus on access to the gradient information). This suggests that you cannot apply it to black-box models.

This is where black-box adversarial reprogramming (BAR) enters the picture. The adversarial reprogramming method developed by top researchers from establishments like IBM and Tsing Hua University does not need access to the details of deep learning models to alter their behavior.

To achieve this, the researchers used Zeroth Order Optimization (ZOO), a method formally developed by AI researchers at IBM and the University of California Davis. The ZOO paper proved the feasibility of black-box adversarial attacks, where an attacker could manipulate the behavior of a machine learning model by deciding to watch inputs and outputs and without having access to the gradient information.

BAR uses the same methods to train the adversarial program. To test black-box adversarial reprogramming, the researchers used it to repurpose several popular deep learning models for three medical imaging tasks (diabetic retinopathy detection, autism spectrum disorder classification, and melanoma detection). Medical imaging is an incredibly attractive use for approaches such as BAR because it is a domain where data is scarce, expensive to come by, and subject to privacy regulations.

To conclude, deep learning models still have a long way to go but the current results are promising. Future AI researchers will further explore how BAR can be applied to a wider range of data modalities beyond image-based applications. Perhaps one day, these methods can be applied to almost every R&D issue that any company could face to better improve solutions through this kind of idea “creation”.


6 Giant Leaps Forward in Space Exploration

This space will be reserved for a few of the technological advancements that have been made in the field of space exploration. From Neil Armstrong’s giant leap for mankind to man being able to explore Mars using Space Rovers.

Pioneers

Two brave pioneers spring to mind when you think of spaceflight.

Russian Cosmonaut Uri Gagarin became the first man in space on 12 April 1961, orbiting it for 108 minutes in his Vostok 1 spacecraft. Previously only un-manned missions had been carried out.

The first man-made object to land on the moon had been the Soviet Union’s Luna 2 on 13 September 1959. It was not, however, until 20 July 1969 that man arrived there in person and was able to walk its surface for the first time in history. A crew from the United States achieved it with Neil Armstrong, who uttered the famous words, “One Giant Leap for Mankind,” after bravely exiting his Apollo 11 spacecraft. Armstrong had previously been a naval aviator and test pilot. He had only spent 8 days, 14 hours 12 minutes and 30 seconds in space. He was accompanied by fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and together, they spent approximately 2¼ hours on the moon’s surface collecting 21. 5kg of material to take back to Earth.

Spacesuits

A spacesuit protects an astronaut or cosmonaut against space’s harsh environment, in relation to vacuum and temperature extremes. Three types of spacesuits were created. The intravehicular activity (IVA), the extravehicular activity (EVA), and the IEVA (Intra/extravehicular activity), allowing for space travellers to protect themselves inside and outside pressurized spacecraft. The inside suits are lighter and therefore more comfortable. Outdoor suits provide protection from extreme temperature changes and micrometeorites. For spacewalks and planet explorations, EVAs are worn.

As an advancement in spacesuit technology, the SpaceX spacesuit allows for power, water, and air connections, to pass through one panel that is situated in the middle of the right thigh section of the suit.

Space Shuttle

The space shuttle was able to take satellites and large parts into space. It helped to build the International Space Station. The first flight in NASA’s Space Shuttle Program took place on 12 April 1981 and would return on 14 April. Space Transportation System-1 (STS-1) orbited the Earth 36 times during its short mission.

Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope had not been the first space telescope but is the largest and most versatile of its kind. It has been, and still is, invaluable as a tool for astronomers to better understand the universe that is out there. To give you an idea of its power, it can spot the light from a firefly 7,000 miles away. There is no doubt that it has been responsible for revealing many previously unknown facts in relation to the cosmos.

Hubble has discovered that most of the major galaxies known to man are anchored by a black hole at their center. The famous telescope has also identified Nix and Hydra, the two moons of Pluto, and assisted in working out the rate that the universe is expanding. In addition, it has created a three-dimensional map of dark matter for scientists.

Another telescope that has been used, but since retired, is the Kepler Space Telescope, named after astronomer Johannes Kepler. It was launched by NASA on 7 March 2009 to discover the Earth-size planets that are orbiting the other stars.

International Space Station (ISS)

As a home for crews of astronauts and cosmonauts, the International Space Station was built in low Earth orbit. It is a modular space station and contains a bespoke science laboratory. It is the collaborative project of five space agencies: NASA, CSA, ESA, JAXA, and Roscosmos. The space station flies at 18,000 mph and can sometimes be observed as a bright light moving quickly across the sky. NASA officials say that it is most visible at either dawn or dusk.

Mars Exploration Rover

Space Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, were launched in 2003. In January 2004, they explored the surface and geology of Mars from separate locations on the planet’s surface. Mars is one of the rocky planets and famous for the red glow it provides astronomers. Its red colour is due to the planet’s high iron content, which has oxidized in the outdoors. Just as the l will if outside and left untreated.

In summary, there have been major developments in space exploration because of brave astronauts and cosmonauts, and the technology that has assisted them in their missions. One day, Man may even explore Mars first-hand, as Neil Armstrong did the craters of the moon.


How the Technology We See With has Changed

We perhaps take it for granted that despite having been born with less than perfect vision, we can continue to have it corrected by lenses, or more permanently elect to have it corrected by laser eye surgery. This was not always the case. This article will explore how technology has changed in optometry.

Early Lenses

13th century examples exist from Europe of handheld convex lenses that were used in the treatment of presbyopia, or vision loss that was age-related. Today, these are referred to as reading glasses. In Italy, lenses were glass-blown and set in in leather, wood, or animal horn. The glass would be held against the face or perched upon the nose.

It is thought that Salvino D’Armate is likely to have invented eyeglasses in about 1285, although there are sources suggesting it was earlier. Salvino was to share his invention with Italian Monk, Allesandro dell Spina. He was the one who made it public, and due to this, has often been crediting with having invented them himself.

Lorgnettes, that is spectacles on a handle, were thought to have been invented by George Adams around 1770.

In 1784, Benjamin Franklin, an American statesman, inventor, and author, was credited with the invention of the bifocal eye lens, which has become invaluable for those having trouble with both long and short distance vision. In 1827, John Isaac Hawkins was to develop trifocals, recognising those people struggling with all distances. A later development would take away the lines which made it obvious that they were bifocal or trifocal lenses.

Pince-nez, a style of glasses not supported by the ears, became popular in the late to early 20th centuries. It is thought that no spectacles had sides until the second quarter of the 18th century when it became the norm.

In the 1980s, safety was introduced for spectacle wearers when plastic lenses were produced. These would be lighter and harder to break, and as technology progressed, ever thinner and more cosmetically pleasing. This material allowed then for protective coatings to be created for lenses which helped reduce the glare from lights and computer screens.

When too much blue light is being emitted from such devices and screens, it can irritate our eyes, as well as having the potential to disrupt our sleeping patterns too. Hence why so many people are now making the decision to wear blue light glasses, or computer glasses, from somewhere like Felix Gray to act as a filter against this type of light, protecting our eye health in the long run. This wouldn’t have been possible without the creation of plastic lenses and protective coatings.

Representing sunglasses for the spectacle wearer, transitions, or photochromic lenses, were first manufactured in 1990 by Transitions Optical, a company in the US. These allowed for a regular pair of glasses to change from clear to dark when outdoors in the sun, and then back to clear once indoors again. As technology developed, this transition period became quicker and different shades could be chosen between.

Contact Lenses

It was possibly German glassblower Muller, using Herschel’s ideas, who came up with contact lenses. Other reports say it was Adolf E. Fick and Paris Optician Edouard Kalt, who first created and fitted contact lenses in 1888 to correct vision problems.

Contact lenses were first developed for more widespread use in the 1970s. They were made from oxygen-permeable materials and known as rigid glass permeable lenses (RGPs). Rigid lenses would be shaped to naturally cover the cornea with a refracting surface created.

A further technological development has been to create softer and disposable lenses. Soflens were the first of the soft contact lenses to be FDA approved in the US in 1971, to then be supplied from 1972. It was not until 1995 that disposable contact lenses were available. The first of these was the Premier Award lens created in Scotland by Roy Hamilton.

Contact lenses are particularly useful in occupations and hobbies where the wearer’s glasses or spectacles might be damaged. For instance, when playing sport. Then, a cosmetic use for them was thought of – they could be used to change the colour of a person’s eyes. This development came about in 1981 with the invention of coloured contact lenses, which were created by the Ciba Vision Company. This had become possible to produce different colours following the development of the soft lenses during the period 1975 to 1980.

Laser Eye Surgery

Since 1988, when the first vision correction/photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) procedure happened, to correct Marguerite McDonald’s damaged eye, laser correction surgery has become widespread for those seeing the wearing of spectacles as less than flattering, and finding it more comfortable, easier, and safer in their job, to not have to wear something on their face.

Going to a centre like Clarity SMILE for surgery is recommended for hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), or astigmatism, but less so for presbyopia (age-related farsightedness).

LASIK has been FDA-approved in the US since 1999. In most cases, patients electing to have the surgery will end up with 20/20 vision.

So, we can now, if we choose to, see without feeling self-conscious or having the bother of fitting contact lenses in a morning.


Ancient Star Explosions Revealed in Deep-Sea Sediments

A mystery surrounding the space around our cosmic region is unfolding thanks to evidence of supernovae found in deep-sea sediments. According to a scientific study which shows the Earth has been travelling for the 33,000 years through a cloud of faintly radioactive dust. The study suggests that these clouds could be remnants of previous supernova explosions, a powerful and super bright explosion of a start.

Researchers searched through several deep-sea sediments from two different locations that date back to 33,000 years using an extremely sensitive instrument called a spectrometer. They found clear traces of the isotope iron-60, which is formed when starts die in supernova explosions.

Iron-60 is radioactive and completely decays away within 15 million years, which means any iron-60 found on Earth must have been formed much later than the rest of the 4.6 billion year old earth and appeared here from nearby supernovae before settling on the bottom of the sea.

Scientists have discovered traces of iron-60 at about 2.6 million years ago, and maybe another at approximately 6 million years ago, suggesting earth had traversed fallout clouds from nearby supernovae. For the last few thousand years the solar system has been moving through a heavy cloud of gas and dust, known as the local interstellar cloud (LIC), whose origins are unclear.

If this cloud had originated during the previous few million years from a supernova, it probably would consist of iron-60, and so the team of researchers decided to search more recent sediments to find out. Turns out, there was iron-60 in the sediment at remarkably low levels – equating to radioactive levels in space far below Earth’s natural background levels – and the distribution of the iron-60 matched earth’s recent travel through the local interstellar cloud. But the iron-60 reached further back and was spread throughout all the 33,000-year measurement period.

The lack of correlation with the solar system’s time in the current local interstellar cloud seems to bring more questions than answers. Firstly, if the cloud was not formed by a supernova where did it come from? Some have theorised that it came from aggressive chemical reactions from distant galaxies that ended up travelling at the speed of light in all directions during the big bang. But there is no definitive evidence to support this kind of claim currently.

But secondly, why is there iron-60 so evenly spread out throughout space? A few scientists have suggested that iron-60 is a key element in the forming of a wide range of planets throughout the universe and it go there through a massive chain of gravitational pulls from different entities with high levels of mass throughout space to explain its even distribution. This is currently speculation at best, but it could provide inspiration for future research methodologies.

Other scientists say there are recent papers that suggest iron-60 trapped in dust particles might bounce around in the interstellar medium, so the iron-60 could originate from even older supernovae explosions, and what we measure is some kind of echo. One thing is for certain though, more data is required to resolve some of mysteries.

There could be potentially so many more secrets about our universe hidden in the depths of our deepest oceans. That might become more of a research focal point for astrophysicists as they attempt to uncover the origins of our universe. Even though it can sometimes feel like we are close to a unifying answer, when more research is done, more questions arise. This is only natural when attempting to quantify the extremely large and extremely small solar system mysteries.