Computer science

Successful People Make Self-Learning Their Daily Habit By Using These 20 Apps

When’s the last time you learned something new?

Do you motivate yourself to learn new skills, tips, and hacks, or do you prefer to let learning happen naturally or only when the need arises?

Mobile technology has created new pathways for all types of learning styles to help people discover new information however they learn best. Whether it’s performing a quick Google search on the go or getting a daily dose of brain buster exercises, there exist a multitude of free apps that can help you learn valuable new things every day.

Knowledge Is Power – Get Both With These 20 Best Apps

If you want to take initiative to teach yourself new things, these 20 apps for motivated learning styles will put you in information paradise.

Motivated learning styles aren’t just about active learning. If you’d rather sit back and listen to new ideas, the TED app gives you instant access to thousands of “TED Talks” that showcase what’s happening in various industries. These short lectures can deliver insight into new technology, discoveries, art, science, design, and a range of other topics.

Perhaps one of the biggest advancements in the history of e-learning, Coursera has teamed up with top schools like Duke, Stanford, and John Hopkins to bring you direct access to real college courses in psychology, computer science, business, and technology. Each course features pre-recorded videos, projects, and quizzes, just like you would receive inside the classroom.

Similar to Coursera, users can access higher education courses without the higher education expenses. You can enroll in courses and participate in quizzes, lectures, and assignments at your own pace.

While Khan Academy doesn’t offer authentic university courses like edX and Coursera, they do feature well-crafted educational lessons that can fuel your passion for learning. With more than 4,000 videos ready to watch in a tap’s notice, you can brush up on a variety of topics ranging from grade school math and science to art, economics, and computers.

Sometimes, you just don’t know what you don’t know. And the Fact App can show you some truly helpful information your brain has been missing. The app delivers daily fun, useful facts and questions on a variety of topics, including American economics, politics, and social circumstances that are geared towards helping you make informed decisions about the world around you.

One of the most popular brain training apps available, Lumosity features three-game sessions that target many different area of brain activity: memory, speed, problem solving, and thinking flexibility. Each day you can engage in a timed session to sharpen mental prowess and track your progress over time.

Users can access over 360 unique puzzles and games geared toward improving mental skills. The games start out easy, then become increasingly complex…

How these 4 women are disrupting the tech scene

Image: FotoshopTofs / pixabay

Despite receiving the same education as their male counterparts, women with STEM degrees (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are actually less likely to work in a STEM occupation.

One important step to closing the gender gap in STEM fields is sharing the stories of women thriving in these careers — and not just the role models of STEM women in history, but the stories of those in the field today. University of Phoenix believes that shining a spotlight on women who are making waves will help inspire future generations of female tech geniuses.

Following are stories about four intrepid women who are making a name for themselves in tech and who are helping to shape the future of the industry.

Image: University of Phoenix

Meilani Conley

Meilani Conley knew early on that she was destined to pursue a career in science and mathematics. Though the adults in her life tried to dissuade her — telling her that women have fewer opportunities in STEM fields than men — Conley persevered and currently holds a Bachelor of Computer Science and Mathematics from Southwest Baptist University and a Master of Information Systems from University of Phoenix.

Conley’s passion for computers began when she was nine years old. She was constantly fascinated by the inner workings of electronics. While the kids in her class daydreamed about summer vacation, Conley’s mind was filled with metal, wires and electricity. She’s proved that you can beat the status quo by pushing yourself and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Clarkson University.

Image: UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX

Kirsten Hoyt

Kristen Hoyt, Academic Dean for the College of Information Systems and Technology at University of Phoenix, has a lot to say about women pursuing careers in tech.

“In 1996, women made up about 37 percent of the IT workforce, but in 2010 that number dropped to 25 percent,” said Hoyt in one radio interview. In fact, as of 2014, the most common occupations for women were secretaries, administrative assistants, and teachers.

Hoyt’s program at University of Phoenix is directly fighting back to…

Pew study experts: Artificial intelligence threatens the future of capitalism

A Pew Research Foundation study examining the future of work and job training found a belief among some experts that artificial intelligence and automation threaten not just millions of jobs, but also the future of capitalism.

Released Wednesday, the non-scientific study titled “The Future of Jobs and Jobs Training” is the seventh in an eight-part “Future of the Internet” study being conducted by the Pew Research Center and Elon University. More than 1,400 AI researchers, tech experts, professors, startup CEOs, and members of the general public responded to the survey.

Respondents include leaders from companies like Google and Microsoft and educators from MIT, Harvard, and other universities, as well as a mix of other people interested in AI and the future of work. Tech experts include computer scientists and AI researchers but also people from internet governance groups, futurists, and startup founders.

“People will create the jobs of the future, not simply train for them, and technology is already central,” said a Microsoft principal researcher. “It will undoubtedly play a greater role in the years ahead.”

Not everyone was so optimistic. Several respondents questioned the point of training for a job that won’t exist at all in the future.

“While the first three themes found among the responses to this canvassing were mostly hopeful about advances in education and training for 21st-century jobs, a large share of responses from top experts reflect a significant degree of pessimism for various reasons. Some even say the future of jobs for humans is so baleful that capitalism may fail as an economic system,” the Pew report reads.

The report states that most of the people who commented on capitalism in the survey chose to remain anonymous, but a few put their names to their thoughts.

For example, Mike Warot, a machinist at Allied Gear, said, “We’re going to have to end up with a Basic Income, or revolution.”

Miles Fidelman is a systems architect and policy analyst at the Protocol Technologies Group.

“The trend is pretty clear. We will need less ‘workers’ in the future,” he said. “For a long time, science fiction presented us with visions of a world where machines did all the work and people enjoyed leisure, artistic pursuits, etc. These days, a more dystopian reality is emerging — where a few party, a few more do a lot of work, and growing numbers search for work. We’re going to need a fundamental reshaping of our economy, not training people for jobs that are simply not going to be there.”

Training for jobs of the future

A primary question in the survey was “In the next 10 years, do you think we will see the emergence of new educational and training programs that can successfully train large numbers of workers in the skills they will need to perform the jobs of the future?”

About 70 percent of survey participants said they believe education and training programs will successfully prepare people for jobs of the future, but many respondents also believe education will not be sufficient to meet people’s needs within the next decade, as automation and AI are expected to claim more human jobs.

Respondents were also asked things like “What skills will future workers need?” and “Which skills can and cannot be taught online?”

A mid-2015 Pew Research survey found that about two-thirds of U.S. citizens believe that within 50 years robots and automation will do the majority of the work done by humans today, though 80 percent of respondents said they expected their job to exist in the same period of time.

In written responses, survey respondents collectively articulated five major themes and predictions:

  • The training ecosystem will evolve, with a mix of innovation in all education formats
  • Learners must cultivate 21st century skills, capabilities, and attributes
  • New credentialing systems will arise as self-directed learning expands
  • Training and learning systems will not meet 21st century needs by 2026
  • Jobs? What jobs? Technological forces…

The scales of the ocellated lizard are surprisingly coordinated

ocellated lizard
SPECKLED SKIN The green and black spots on the back of an ocellated lizard are arranged according to the rules of a cellular automaton, a concept from computer science. Scales flip colors depending on the colors of their neighbors.

A lizard’s intricately patterned skin follows rules like those used by a simple type of computer program.

As the ocellated lizard (Timon lepidus) grows, it transforms from a drab, polka-dotted youngster to an emerald-flecked adult. Its scales first morph from white and brown to green and black. Then, as the animal ages, individual scales flip from black to green, or vice versa.

Biophysicist Michel Milinkovitch of the University of Geneva realized that the scales weren’t changing their colors by chance. “You have chains of green and chains of black, and they form this labyrinthine pattern that very clearly is not random,” he says. That intricate ornamentation, he and colleagues report April 13 in Nature, can be explained by a cellular automaton, a concept developed by mathematicians in the 1940s and ’50s to simulate diverse complex systems.

A cellular automaton is composed of a grid of colored pixels. Using a set of rules, each pixel has a chance of switching…