Time filter

Source Type

Oxford, United Kingdom

Patsakis C.,Trinity College | Solanas A.,Rovira i Virgili University
IEEE Communications Magazine | Year: 2013

Vehicles are equipped with more technology with each passing day. Acronyms such as ABS (anti-lock braking system), EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution) or EPS (electric power steering) have become commonplace, and are used as synonyms for safety and comfort. On the contrary, others like EDR (event data recorder) are not as popular. EDR, commonly known as automotive black boxes, are devices used to collect data about a vehicle and its occupants, which can be accessed after an accident to clarify its cause. With the upcoming regulation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requiring manufacturers to include EDR in all new vehicles, privacy advocates have raised some alarms related to the storage of and access to these data. In this article, we propose a novel privacy-aware solution for the EDR of modern vehicles. Our solution is based on modern cryptographic primitives like timed release encryption (TRE), and it guarantees the privacy of the vehicle¿s occupants while allowing the full functionality of EDR in case of emergency. © 1979-2012 IEEE.

Wenham D.,Trinity College
Expository Times | Year: 2010

The Lord's Prayer, in the form we find it in Matthew's gospel, consists of seven petitions, carefully and chiastically arranged: the first three clauses go together and ask for God's glory, the last three ask for help in our struggle with evil; the fourth is different, linking the two groups and asking the Father in heaven to supply our down-to-earth needs. This rarely noted structure reflects Matthew's artistry, his belief in Jesus as the teacher and embodiment of God's perfection and the Sermon on the Mount's concern for God's kingdom and the Father's provision for his children. © The Author(s) 2010.

Abstract Despite the general consensus that individualistic utility-optimising behaviour reduces popular support for the welfare state, we still know little about how and to what extent such negative effects of self-interested calculus are mediated by other attitudinal factors, particularly solidaristic values and principles. Using individual-level data from the Japanese General Social Survey, this study seeks not only to qualify existing findings on welfare preference formation but also to explore the hypothesis that the negative impact of economic self-interest is offset or moderated by solidarity-oriented values and beliefs. The author finds that the oft-made claim that material interest and individualistic ideologies undermine welfare support can be replicated in the context of Japan. The results also provide evidence in support of the liberal nationalist contention that popular discourse on welfare is significantly directed by a sense of national unity. Data from Japan also elucidate the fact that a strong sense of social trust significantly weakens the salience of self-oriented cost-benefit calculations. These findings suggest that solidarity-related variables such as national identity and interpersonal trustworthiness should receive more attention in future research on welfare attitudes. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013.

News Article
Site: news.mit.edu

Several winters back, while shoveling out his driveway after a particularly heavy snowstorm, Paul O’Gorman couldn’t help but wonder: How is climate change affecting the Boston region’s biggest snow events? The question wasn’t an idle one for O’Gorman: For the past decade, he’s been investigating how a warming climate may change the intensity and frequency of the world’s most extreme storms and precipitation events. In 2014, O’Gorman decided to look into how increased warming may affect daily snowfall around the world. In a Nature study that has since been widely quoted, he reported that while most of the Northern Hemisphere will see less total snowfall in a warmer climate, regions where the average winter temperature is near a “sweet spot” will still experience severe blizzards that dump over a foot of snow in a single day. As it happened, the following winter in Boston produced consecutive blizzards that covered the city in a record-breaking 110 inches of snow, with much of it falling in a single month. O’Gorman was on sabbatical in Australia at the time, and missed the towering snowbanks, damaging ice dams, and citywide gridlock. But Boston’s extreme winter has spurred a follow-on project for O’Gorman, who recently was awarded tenure as associate professor in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS). “While I have previously studied daily snowfall, it would definitely be interesting to study these extreme monthly snowfalls,” O’Gorman says. “They obviously can have a big impact in an urban environment, as we saw in Boston.” O’Gorman grew up in Tullamore, a small town in the midlands of Ireland that, like the rest of the country, receives frequent rainfall throughout the year, but seldom experiences very heavy rainfall or snowfall. Extreme precipitation was far from O’Gorman’s focus when he enrolled at Trinity College in Dublin. There, he chose to study theoretical physics, and later fluid dynamics, which gave him the opportunity to work with supercomputers to simulate fluid flow — work that earned him a master’s degree in high-performance computing. At the time, O’Gorman was interested in applying his work in fluid dynamics to problems related to turbulence generated by aircraft. In 1999, he headed to the United States, where he pursued a PhD in aeronautics at Caltech. “That was a bit of a jump culturally, for sure,” O’Gorman recalls. “One of the nice things is, Caltech is kind of a small place where, like MIT, there’s a lot of cross-fertilization of ideas.” In fact, O’Gorman’s interest in atmospheric science grew out of just such an opportunity. As part of his studies in aeronautical engineering, he took an elective on turbulence in the atmosphere and ocean, taught by climate scientist Tapio Schneider. “[The class] totally changed the course of my career and interests,” O’Gorman says. “I had been studying turbulence on small scales, and now I was learning about turbulence at the planetary scale. What struck me about the fluid flow of the atmosphere was that there are different layers, as well as the rotation of the planet, clouds, precipitation, and radiation all interacting at the same time, and there were a lot of unanswered questions that, to me, were all pretty fascinating.” After earning a PhD in aeronautics, O’Gorman switched career paths, and worked with Schneider as a postdoc, investigating turbulence in the atmosphere — and in particular, the atmosphere’s response to global warming. When Schneider was invited to a scientific meeting on extreme events, O’Gorman began a research project that ultimately set his course on the study of extreme precipitation. In 2008, O’Gorman joined the EAPS faculty as an assistant professor, and has since been exploring the relationship between atmospheric warming and the atmospheric circulation and extreme events. Part of his research continues the work he did as a postdoc with Schneider, in which the two studied climate change’s effect on water vapor: As the climate warms, there is more water vapor in the atmosphere, which in turn acts to further heat the atmosphere. The effect of water vapor and latent heat release has not yet been fully incorporated in existing theories of the atmosphere. O’Gorman says understanding water vapor’s role could help explain how climate change affects rapidly deepening storms at mid-latitude locations, such as the United States and Europe. While much of his work is based on theoretical modeling, O’Gorman occasionally works with actual weather observations. In 2013, he looked to data collected by weather balloons around the world to see how the atmosphere’s temperature varies with altitude in recent decades. There exists a temperature gradient in the lowest layer of the atmosphere, in which temperatures get colder with altitude. O’Gorman and his student Martin Singh had predicted that as the climate warms, this gradient will essentially shift upward. However, the theory hadn’t been tested with observations. O’Gorman and Singh analyzed data from weather balloons around the world, each of which took temperature measurements as it rose up through the atmosphere. They found that, based on the measurements, the atmosphere’s temperature profile did indeed seem to be shifting upward over time, consistent with the theory. “We found if you look at the temperature profile in the current climate, you can predict what it will do in a warmer climate,” O’Gorman says. “This is one of the factors that affects how much radiation is emitted to space, which affects how much the planet warms.” In the next few years, he hopes to take advantage of the increasing computing power of climate models to track the intensity of rain and snowstorms in response to influences such as greenhouse gases. “Computers have gotten powerful enough now that we can do simulations of the whole globe, while resolving clouds to some extent,” O’Gorman says. “We can study how convection organizes itself on all sorts of different scales, all the way up to planetary scales. So I think this is a very exciting moment.”

News Article
Site: www.nature.com

The story of the Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887–1920) is improbable. Self-taught, he made many seminal discoveries in number theory and power series — most famously concerning the partition of numbers into a sum of smaller integers — that continue to fascinate mathematicians and intrigue physicists studying black holes and quantum gravity. In The Man Who Knew Infinity, director Matthew Brown dramatizes the purest of mathematics for a general audience, and explores the strange personal life of Ramanujan, who died at 32, at the height of his powers, probably from tuberculosis. Based on the compelling biography of the same name by Robert Kanigel (Scribner, 1991), the film took more than ten years to create. It is worth the wait. Ramanujan's career was 'made' by British mathematician G. H. Hardy, a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1913, while working as an accounts clerk in what is now Chennai, Ramanujan sent Hardy startling, entirely unproven, theorems out of the blue. “They must be true,” wrote Hardy, “because, if they were not true, no one would have the imagination to invent them.” Hardy lured Ramanujan to Cambridge, even though foreign travel was considered an offence against Hindu caste purity. They collaborated intensively throughout the First World War. Ramanujan had no university degree, but in 1918, Hardy ensured that he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society — the first Indian to receive the honour after it was restricted to scientists — and of Trinity College. They encountered considerable opposition, some of it racially motivated. Hardy's relationship with Ramanujan holds the film together. Convincing performances by Jeremy Irons as Hardy and Dev Patel as Ramanujan were carefully refined by the film's Japanese–American mathematics adviser, Ken Ono, whose academic career has been dedicated to exploring Ramanujan's theorems. Irons and Patel animate both the consuming passion for mathematics shared by the two, and their astonishing lack of personal intimacy; Hardy, for instance, had only a faint idea of Ramanujan's growing depression, which led to a suicide attempt on the London Underground. Irons, however brilliant, is a generation older than Hardy was in 1914, and Patel is taller and nattier than the more corpulent Ramanujan, who was ill at ease in Western dress. Much of the action — and mathematics — takes place in the handsome precincts of Trinity College, which opened its doors to a feature film for the first time. In Hardy's room and the quadrangles, Ramanujan persistently resists Hardy's demands for proofs of his tantalizing theorems. An excited Ramanujan infuriates a lecturer by failing to take notes and then quickly chalking a correct formula: a very special integral due to Carl Friedrich Gauss, which Ramanujan knew through a method of his own devising. And in an evocative scene in Trinity's Wren Library, the famously atheistic Hardy tells his Indian protégé that the greatest honour “is to have a legacy at Wren once we are gone. In this very library are the Epistles of St Paul, the poems of Milton, Morgan's Bible and, in my estimation as a man of numbers, the pièce de résistance, Newton's Principia Mathematica.” Ramanujan's 'lost notebook' — which contains important mathematical discoveries made in India in 1919–20 and was neglected until 1976 — is, fittingly, in the Wren Library. Scenes in India are no less ravishing. We see Ramanujan in flowing Indian clothes with Brahminical caste marks, chalking endless equations on the floors of a highly decorated Hindu temple. His dominating mother Komalatammal and wife Janaki provide a glimpse of domestic life. Indian and British colonial figures come and go (with a cameo by Ramanujan admirer Stephen Fry). But the film struggles to shed light on the origins of Ramanujan's prodigious gift. Biographers have had the same problem with Gauss and many other mathematicians. As India's great film director Satyajit Ray put it: “This whole business of creation, of the ideas that come in a flash, cannot be explained by science.” Hardy, too, was dazzled and puzzled. On a 0–100 scale of natural mathematical ability, he gave himself a score of 25 and Trinity colleague John Littlewood (a fellow supporter of Ramanujan) 30, compared with 80 for influential mathematician David Hilbert and 100 for Ramanujan. “The limitations of his knowledge were as startling as its profundity,” Hardy wrote after Ramanujan's death. “All his results, new or old, right or wrong, had been arrived at by a process of mingled argument, intuition and induction, of which he was entirely unable to give any coherent account.” Ramanujan has inspired many. Christopher Sykes's pioneering UK television documentary, Letters from an Indian Clerk, was screened in 1987. The play A Disappearing Number, devised by Théâtre de Complicité, was produced in Britain in 2007 (see Nature 449, 25–26; 2007). A biographical novel by David Leavitt, The Indian Clerk (Bloomsbury), was published in 2007. Now, the film has spawned an intriguing, moving autobiography by Ono, My Search for Ramanujan (Springer, 2016), written with science writer Amir Aczel, who died before publication. Ono interweaves Ramanujan's life and work with his own fight to become a mathematician — including a suicide attempt — in the shadow of his distinguished mathematician father, Takashi Ono. After years of estrangement, the Onos realized that they were united by admiration and affection for the university drop-out Ramanujan. Here is yet another example of how this enigmatic Indian's unique achievements continue to reverberate nearly a century after his death.

Discover hidden collaborations