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Northampton, MA, United States

Smith College is a private, independent women's liberal arts college with coed graduate and certificate programs, located in Northampton, Massachusetts, United States. It is the largest member of the Seven Sisters. In 2013, U.S. News & World Report ranked it 18th among Best Liberal Arts Colleges.Smith is also a member of the Five Colleges consortium, which allows its students to attend classes at four other Pioneer Valley institutions: Mount Holyoke College, Amherst College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Wikipedia.

Howe N.R.,Smith College
Proceedings of the International Conference on Document Analysis and Recognition, ICDAR

This paper describes a new algorithm for document binarization, building upon recent work in energy-based segmentation methods. It uses the Laplacian operator to assess the local likelihood of foreground and background labels, Canny edge detection to identify likely discontinuities, and a graph cut implementation to efficiently find the minimum energy solution of an objective function combining these concepts. The results of this algorithm place it near the top on both the DIBCO-09 and H-DIBCO assessments. © 2011 IEEE. Source

Howe S.,Smith College
Advances in Engineering Education

Capstone design courses are an increasingly common component of engineering curricula nationwide, but how much do we really know about the current practices? How do capstone courses differ across departments and institutions? How have capstone courses changed in the past 10 years? This paper highlights data from a survey of engineering capstone design courses conducted in 2005, based on responses from 444 programs at 232 institutions. Particular focus areas include respondent profile, course/project logistics, faculty involvement, funding details, industry sponsorship, and success. The 2005 data are also compared with results from the comparable survey by Todd and Magleby et al. in 1994 (Journal of Engineering Education, April 1995), thus providing both a snapshot of recent practices plus an indication of trends over the past decade. Source

Norsen T.,Smith College
American Journal of Physics

John Stewart Bell's famous theorem is widely regarded as one of the most important developments in the foundations of physics. Yet even as we approach the 50th anniversary of Bell's discovery, its meaning and implications remain controversial. Many workers assert that Bell's theorem refutes the possibility suggested by Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen (EPR) of supplementing ordinary quantum theory with "hidden" variables that might restore determinism and/or some notion of an observer-independent reality. But Bell himself interpreted the theorem very differently-as establishing an "essential conflict" between the well-tested empirical predictions of quantum theory and relativistic local causality. Our goal is to make Bell's own views more widely known and to explain Bell's little-known formulation of the concept of relativistic local causality on which his theorem rests. We also show precisely how Bell's formulation of local causality can be used to derive an empirically testable Bell-type inequality and to recapitulate the EPR argument. © 2011 American Association of Physics Teachers. Source

Howe N.R.,Smith College
International Journal on Document Analysis and Recognition

Document analysis systems often begin with binarization as a first processing stage. Although numerous techniques for binarization have been proposed, the results produced can vary in quality and often prove sensitive to the settings of one or more control parameters. This paper examines a promising approach to binarization based upon simple principles, and shows that its success depends most significantly upon the values of two key parameters. It further describes an automatic technique for setting these parameters in a manner that tunes them to the individual image, yielding a final binarization algorithm that can cut total error by one-third with respect to the baseline version. The results of this method advance the state of the art on recent benchmarks. © 2012 Springer-Verlag. Source

Guswa A.J.,Smith College
Water Resources Research

The depth of plant roots depends on a variety of conditions, including soil properties, vegetation type, nutrient availability, and climate. A water-optimal root depth is determined by equating the marginal carbon cost of deeper roots with the benefit of those roots to continued transpiration. This work compares the effect of two bounding strategies of plant uptake, conservative and intensive, on the water-optimal root depth and the response of that depth to changes in precipitation. While there are some differences between the models, both indicate similar responses of root depth to climate. The deepest roots are found in climates for which precipitation and potential transpiration are approximately equal, and root depths are more sensitive to changes in precipitation depth than frequency under dry conditions and more sensitive to rainfall frequency when the climate is wet. For all climate conditions, the water-optimal root depth is deeper and mean transpiration is lower when plant uptake is represented by the conservative model. These results highlight the explanatory power of water with respect to root depth and identify potential effects of a changing climate. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union. Source

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