The 10 smartest people in the world alive today

Judging how smart a person is can be a very subjective matter. Does their IQ score make them the smartest? Or is it more about accomplishments? The debate over this likely will never cease, the Huffington Post reports. However, SuperScholar.org took a look at 10 people (in no particular order) nobody would deny are worthy of being called some of the smartest people alive today. Fifty percent of people have IQ scores between 90 and 110, 2.5 percent of people are mentally deficient/impaired (under 70 IQ), 0.5 percent of people are near genius or genius (over 140,) 2.5 percent of people are very superior in intelligence (over 130)…

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Apple calls for several Samsung devices to be banned following court victory

After last week’s court ruling against Samsung found that the tech giant had violated Apple’s patents and awarded the latter more than $1 billion in damages, the technology world awaited both companies’ next moves, Tecca reports. Now we know that Apple is seeking to prevent the sale of eight Samsung smartphones in the U.S., according to a document filed today. While it might seem to be another huge blow for Samsung, the devices Apple is seeking to ban — notably the Galaxy S2 — are actually pretty dated at this point. The full list includes the Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S2 AT&T, Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, Galaxy S2 T-Mobile, Galaxy S2 Epic 4G, Galaxy S Showcase, Droid Charge, and Galaxy Prevail. While some of the Galaxy S2 models are still offered by carriers, the selection is already limited, as these devices have already been replaced with newer models. In addition to these devices, Apple is seeking to extend an existing ban on the wifi-only Galaxy Tab 10.1 that went into effect in June to the 4G-enabled version of the tablet

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New graphing calculator lets students plot on top of real-world images

Plotting over actual images links math lessons with real-world relevance.

A new graphing calculator from Casio lets students plot mathematical equations on top of real-life images and user-uploaded photos—adding relevance to math concepts that many students find abstract and not applicable in the real world.

With conventional graphing calculators, students learn by inputting equations to create graphs. Casio’s PRIZM includes its proprietary Picture Plot technology, which lets users perform meaningful mathematical equations on top of real-life images such as Ferris wheels, jets from a water fountain, or building shapes. Students and teachers can upload images or photos to the calculator for further use, and photos are automatically formatted.

Colors can be added to a multitude of graphing objects, including dotted lines, circles, and bars, as well as grid lines on graphs, labels of coordinate axes, and coordinate values displayed during tracing. The Color Link function links the colors used in graphs to the designated values in the spreadsheet screen, to help students visually comprehend trends and changes in values. PRIZM also automatically color-codes brackets when entering equations with multiple brackets, as a visual aid to facilitate the entry of complex equations.

For more news about math and science instruction, see:

$3M gaming project could help spark STEM education

Inquiry-based approach to science a hit with students

How to fix the STEM education ‘crisis’

The PRIZM’s graphical natural display applies color to the screen and represents graphs, relations, and functions in true-to-life form. The full-color screen and operating system let students format data as they would in a computer-based spreadsheet application.

The PRIZM presents competition for Texas Instruments’ family of graphing calculators, including the TI-Nspire calculators, although the PRIZM does not have a computer algebra system (CAS), which is used to manipulate different variables in advanced mathematics functions such as those performed in calculus.

On Aug. 22, Casio announced a partnership with Steve Wolf—a stunt scientist, author, and producer—that aims to foster a student-centered learning environment for math and science instruction through the use of ed-tech tools.

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Opinion: Algebra isn’t necessary and STEM is overrated

Whenever I meet anyone who wants to talk about education, I immediately ask them to tell me the quadratic equation. Almost no one ever can. (Even the former chairman of the College Board doesn’t know it), says Roger C. Schank, a cognitive scientist, artificial intelligence theorist, and education reformer, for the Washington Post. Yet, we all seem to believe that everyone must learn algebra. Why this religious zeal over algebra? It helps students learn how to think, people claim. Really? Are mathematicians the best thinkers you know? I know plenty of them who can’t handle their own lives very well. Reasoning mathematically is a nice skill but one that is not relevant to most of life. We reason about many things: parenting, marriage, careers, finances, business, politics. Do we learn how to reason about these things by learning algebra? The idea is absurd. Yet, we hear argument after argument about the need for more STEM education (pretending we don’t have lots of unemployed science PhDs). Everyone must study chemistry, memorize plant phylla and do lots of trigonometry…

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How a techie teacher made $100K this year

How many teachers have the opportunity to make $100,000 a year? Meet Avi Flombaum, 28, a programmer and teacher who hasn’t taken the usual route, says the Huffington Post. Flombaum teaches for Skillshare, an organization that “began as a way for communities to share local knowledge by teaching and taking classes on everything from programming to entrepreneurship to cooking,” according to the company’s website. Soon after the startup launched in 2011, Flombaum began instructing classes focusing on web development. His lectures have explored the Ruby web language as well as the Ruby on Rails web framework. Ruby on Rails helps users build web apps in the same language as those used by apps for Twitter, Groupon and Basecamp. Flombaum was a successful instructor on Skillshare, so he quit his job as Chief Technology Officer of a startup he founded, Designer Pages, and focused on teaching. He began teaching through Skillshare more frequently, averaging 12 to 20 instructional hours a week…

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Teachers must make the grade under new guidelines

When Ohio’s new teacher evaluation system kicks in starting next year, teacher Tammy Schmidt may be joining her third-grade students in preparing scrapbooks of their classroom accomplishments, the Associated Press reports. Teacher portfolios, which could include lesson plans, student work, photographs — even videos— are among the tools that states are considering as a way to better rate educators and to meet the conditions for federal funding. Other approaches being developed and tested across the nation may include parent reviews, student surveys, classroom observations and student growth measures including standardized test scores. Teachers with consecutive poor ratings will first get help and then could lose their tenure. Teachers who consistently excel would be evaluated less frequently…

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High school students get dual-enrollment discount

Montana colleges say they are making it cheaper and easier for high school students to take some college classes, the Associated Press reports. The Montana University System says the dual-enrollment program allows qualified students to take college level classes for credits that can apply toward both their high school diploma and a college degree. Online courses are also available at the Montana Digital Academy. Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau says every high school student should consider the opportunity. She says it makes college more affordable, while also offering a new challenge…

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Apple to unveil mini iPad in October

Apple will unveil a new, smaller version of its wildly popular iPad in October after the release of the latest version of its iPhone next month, the All Things Digital website reported Sunday.

“First comes the latest iteration of the tech giant’s hugely popular smartphone, which will be unveiled at an as yet unannounced event on September 12,” the website said.

“Only after the next-generation iPhone is out the door and on sale will Apple announce the smaller iPad it’s been working on,” it said.

“That device, which is expected to have a display of less than eight inches (20 centimeters), will be uncrated at a second special event, which sources say is currently scheduled for October.”

The 10-inch iPad has long dominated the tablet market, but faces a growing challenge from smaller models like Amazon’s Kindle Fire, the Google Nexus 7 and the Samsung Galaxy…

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