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Schenectady, NY, United States

Union College is a private, non-denominational liberal arts college located in Schenectady, New York, United States. Founded in 1795, it was the first institution of higher learning chartered by the New York State Board of Regents. In the 19th century, it became the "Mother of Fraternities", as three of the earliest such organizations were established there. After 175 years as a traditional all-male institution, Union College began enrolling women in 1970.The college offers a liberal arts curriculum across some 21 academic departments, as well as opportunities for interdepartmental majors and self-designed organizing theme majors. In common with most liberal arts colleges, Union offers a wide array of courses in arts, science, literature, and foreign languages, but, in common with only a few other liberal arts colleges, Union also offers ABET-accredited undergraduate degrees in computer engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering. Approximately 25% of students major in the social science; 9% in history; 10% in psychology; 11% in engineering; 10% in biology; 10% in the liberal arts; while some 5% design their own majors. By the time they graduate, about 60% of Union students will have engaged in some form of international study or study abroad. Wikipedia.

Simons D.J.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Chabris C.F.,Union College at Schenectady
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Incorrect beliefs about memory have wide-ranging implications. We recently reported the results of a survey showing that a substantial proportion of the United States public held beliefs about memory that conflicted with those of memory experts. For that survey, respondents answered recorded questions using their telephone keypad. Although such robotic polling produces reliable results that accurately predicts the results of elections, it suffers from four major drawbacks: (1) telephone polling is costly, (2) typically, less than 10 percent of calls result in a completed survey, (3) calls do not reach households without a landline, and (4) calls oversample the elderly and undersample the young. Here we replicated our telephone survey using Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) to explore the similarities and differences in the sampled demographics as well as the pattern of results. Overall, neither survey closely approximated the demographics of the United States population, but they differed in how they deviated from the 2010 census figures. After weighting the results of each survey to conform to census demographics, though, the two approaches produced remarkably similar results: In both surveys, people averaged over 50% agreement with statements that scientific consensus shows to be false. The results of this study replicate our finding of substantial discrepancies between popular beliefs and those of experts and shows that surveys conducted on MTurk can produce a representative sample of the United States population that generates results in line with more expensive survey techniques. © 2012 Simons, Chabris. Source

Mischiati M.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Lin H.-T.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Herold P.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Imler E.,University of Arizona | And 2 more authors.
Nature | Year: 2015

Sensorimotor control in vertebrates relies on internal models. When extending an arm to reach for an object, the brain uses predictive models of both limb dynamics and target properties. Whether invertebrates use such models remains unclear. Here we examine to what extent prey interception by dragonflies (Plathemis lydia), a behaviour analogous to targeted reaching, requires internal models. By simultaneously tracking the position and orientation of a dragonfly's head and body during flight, we provide evidence that interception steering is driven by forward and inverse models of dragonfly body dynamics and by models of prey motion. Predictive rotations of the dragonfly's head continuously track the prey's angular position. The head-body angles established by prey tracking appear to guide systematic rotations of the dragonfly's body to align it with the prey's flight path. Model-driven control thus underlies the bulk of interception steering manoeuvres, while vision is used for reactions to unexpected prey movements. These findings illuminate the computational sophistication with which insects construct behaviour. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Source

Frey H.M.,Union College at Schenectady | Lange R.A.,University of Michigan
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology | Year: 2011

The petrology of five phenocryst-poor (2-5%) andesites and dacites, all of which were erupted from different short-lived, monogenetic vents, is compared to that of phenocryst-rich (10-25%) andesites erupted from the adjacent stratovolcano, Volcán Tequila, in the Mexican arc. Despite differences in phenocryst abundances, these magmas have comparable phase assemblages (plagioclase+orthopyroxene+titanomagnetite+ilmenite+apatite±augite±hornblende), and similarly wide variations in phenocryst compositions, coupled to complex zoning patterns. For the phenocryst-poor lavas, equilibrium pairs of two Fe-Ti oxides lead to a narrow range of calculated temperatures for each sample that range from 934 (±24) to 1,073 (±6)°C and oxygen fugacities that range from +0.1 to +0.7 log units relative to the Ni-NiO buffer. Application of the plagioclase-liquid hygrometer to each sample at these calculated temperatures leads to maximum melt water concentrations of 4.6-3.1wt% during plagioclase crystallization, indicating that the magmas were fluid saturated at depths ≥6.4-4.5km. There is a wide, continuous range in the composition of plagioclase (≤44mol% An) and orthopyroxene (≤16% Mg#) phenocrysts in each sample, which is consistent with a loss of dissolved water (≤2.8wt%) from the melt phase during degassing as the magmas ascended rapidly to the surface. Evidence is presented that shows the effect of dissolved water is to reduce the activity of MgO relative to FeO in the melt phase, which indicates that degassing will also affect the Mg# of pyroxene phenocrysts, with higher melt water concentrations favoring Fe-rich pyroxene. Both plagioclase and orthopyroxene commonly display diffusion-limited growth textures (e. g., skeletal and hopper crystals, large interior melt hollows, and swallow tails), which are consistent with large undercoolings produced by degassing-induced crystallization. Therefore, degassing is proposed as a possible cause for the phenocryst compositional diversity documented in the phenocryst-poor andesite and dacite lavas erupted from peripheral vents, including the coexistence of normally zoned plagioclase and reversely zoned orthopyroxene. Degassing-induced crystallization may also explain some of the phenocryst complexity in crystal-rich andesites erupted from large stratovolcanoes, including Volcán Tequila. © 2010 Springer-Verlag. Source

Corbin J.D.,Union College at Schenectady | Holl K.D.,University of California at Santa Cruz
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2012

The pace of deforestation worldwide has necessitated the development of strategies that restore forest cover quickly and efficiently. We review one potential strategy, applied nucleation, which involves planting small patches of trees as focal areas for recovery. Once planted, these patches, or nuclei, attract dispersers and facilitate establishment of new woody recruits, expanding the forested area over time. Applied nucleation is an attractive option in that it mimics natural successional processes to aid woody plant recolonization. To date, results of experimental tests of applied nucleation are consistent with theoretical predictions and indicate that the density and diversity of colonists is higher in planted nuclei than in areas where no planting takes place (e.g. passive restoration). These studies suggest that the applied nucleation strategy has the potential to restore deforested habitats into heterogeneous canopies with a diverse community composition, while being cheaper than projects that rely on plantation designs. We recommend several areas where research would aid in refining the methodology. We also call for further comparisons as nuclei age beyond the 2-13. years that have been studied, thus far, in order to confirm that practical applications continue to match theoretical predictions. Finally, we suggest that applied nucleation could be effective in the restoration of a variety of habitat types or species guilds beyond the ones to which it has been applied thus far. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

Cotter S.F.,Union College at Schenectady
ICASSP, IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing - Proceedings | Year: 2010

Facial expression recognition remains a challenging problem especially when the face is partially corrupted or occluded. We propose using a new classification method, termed Sparse Representation based Classification (SRC), to accurately recognize expressions under these conditions. A test vector is representable as a linear combination of vectors from its own class and so its representation as a linear combination of all available training vectors is sparse. Efficient methods have been developed in the area of compressed sensing to recover this sparse representation. SRC gives state of the art performance on clean and noise corrupted images matching the recognition rate obtained using Gabor based features. When test images are occluded by square black blocks, SRC improves significantly on the performance obtained using Gabor features; SRC increases the recognition rate by 6.6% when the block occlusion length is 30 and by 11.2% when the block length is 40. ©2010 IEEE. Source

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