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Messages - Abdus Sattar

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কথাটির সাথে সহমত পোষন করছি।

17
Faculty Sections / In China, a link between happiness and air quality
« on: January 24, 2019, 11:25:01 AM »
In China, a link between happiness and air quality
Moods expressed on social media tend to decline when air pollution gets worse, study finds.

Helen Knight | MIT News correspondent
January 21, 2019

For many years, China has been struggling to tackle high pollution levels that are crippling its major cities. Indeed, a recent study by researchers at Chinese Hong Kong University has found that air pollution in the country causes an average of 1.1 million premature deaths each year and costs its economy $38 billion.

Now researchers at MIT have discovered that air pollution in China’s cities may be contributing to low levels of happiness amongst the country’s urban population.

In a paper published today in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, a research team led by Siqi Zheng, the Samuel Tak Lee Associate Professor in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning and Center for Real Estate, and the Faculty Director of MIT China Future City Lab, reveals that higher levels of pollution are associated with a decrease in people’s happiness levels.

The paper also includes co-first author Jianghao Wang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Matthew Kahn of the University of Southern California, Cong Sun of the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, and Xiaonan Zhang of Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Despite an annual economic growth rate of 8 percent, satisfaction levels amongst China’s urban population have not risen as much as would be expected.

Alongside inadequate public services, soaring house prices, and concerns over food safety, air pollution — caused by the country’s industrialization, coal burning, and increasing use of cars — has had a significant impact on quality of life in urban areas.

Research has previously shown that air pollution is damaging to health, cognitive performance, labor productivity, and educational outcomes. But air pollution also has a broader impact on people’s social lives and behavior, according to Zheng.

To avoid high levels of air pollution, for example, people may move to cleaner cities or green buildings, buy protective equipment such as face masks and air purifiers, and spend less time outdoors.

“Pollution also has an emotional cost,” Zheng says. “People are unhappy, and that means they may make irrational decisions.”

On polluted days, people have been shown to be more likely to engage in impulsive and risky behavior that they may later regret, possibly as a result of short-term depression and anxiety, according to Zheng.

“So we wanted to explore a broader range of effects of air pollution on people’s daily lives in highly polluted Chinese cities,” she says.

To this end, the researchers used real-time data from social media to track how changing daily pollution levels impact people’s happiness in 144 Chinese cities.

In the past, happiness levels have typically been measured using questionnaires. However, such surveys provide only a single snapshot; people’s responses tend to reflect their overall feeling of well-being, rather than their happiness on particular days.

“Social media gives a real-time measure of people’s happiness levels and also provides a huge amount of data, across a lot of different cities,” Zheng says.

The researchers used information on urban levels of ultrafine particulate matter — PM 2.5 concentration — from the daily air quality readings released by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection. Airborne particulate matter has become the primary air pollutant in Chinese cities in recent years, and PM 2.5 particles, which measure less than 2.5 microns in diameter, are particularly dangerous to people’s lungs.

To measure daily happiness levels for each city, the team applied a machine-learning algorithm to analyze the 210 million geotagged tweets from China’s largest microblogging platform, Sina Weibo.

The tweets cover a period from March to November 2014. For each tweet, the researchers applied the machine-trained sentiment analysis algorithm to measure the sentiment of the post. They then calculated the median value for that city and day, the so-called expressed happiness index, ranging from 0 to 100, with 0 indicating a very negative mood, and 100 a very positive one.

Finally, the researchers merged this index with the daily PM2.5 concentration and weather data.

They found a significantly negative correlation between pollution and happiness levels. What’s more, women were more sensitive to higher pollution levels than men, as were those on higher incomes.

When the researchers looked at the type of cities that the tweets originated from, they found that people from the very cleanest and very dirtiest cities were the most severely affected by pollution levels.

This may be because those people who are particularly concerned about their health and air quality tend to move to clean cities, while those in very dirty cities are more aware of the damage to their health from long-term exposure to pollutants, Zheng says.

Through a creative use of social media data, the authors convincingly demonstrate a strong relationship between air quality and expressed happiness, a subjective measure of well-being, says Shanjun Li, a professor of environmental economics at Cornell University, who was not involved in the research.

“The study adds to the growing scientific knowledge on the social cost of air pollution by focusing on the cost borne by the ‘silent majority’ who do not typically show up in the studies based on morbidity and mortality outcomes,” Li says.

Zheng now hopes to continue her research into the impact of pollution on people’s behavior, and to investigate how China’s politicians will respond to the increasing public demand for cleaner air.

Source:http://news.mit.edu/2019/china-link-happiness-air-quality-0121

18
Faculty Sections / Merging engineering and education
« on: January 24, 2019, 11:23:48 AM »
Merging engineering and education
Senior and first-generation student Nikayah Etienne aims to incorporate hands-on science in under-resourced classrooms.

Gina Vitale | MIT News correspondent
January 23, 2019

Nikayah Etienne’s mother, an immigrant from the Caribbean island of Dominica, was passionate about her daughter’s education. At her mother’s insistence, Etienne spent her Saturday mornings in the classroom for additional schooling throughout middle school. She wasn’t a fan of the extra education at the time — but looking back, she thinks it paved the way for her to become the first person in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Etienne grew up in a largely Caribbean neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, and attended one of the city’s magnet high schools, where she excelled in the STEM fields. At first, it seemed everyone was telling her to become a doctor — but her calculus teacher recognized her talent for math and science, and encouraged her to consider engineering. That’s when Etienne started looking into MIT.

After her junior year of high school, she participated in the intensive Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES) program at MIT, where she stayed in Simmons Hall and attended six weeks of classes. It was there that she took her first real engineering class — underwater robotics.

“MITES definitely solidified the fact that I should pursue engineering, especially since I’m the kind of person that likes hands-on learning instead of lecture-style learning,” she says.

Now a senior, Etienne is majoring in mechanical engineering with a concentration in education. Her aim is to identify ways to merge the two.

“Right now, I’m trying to focus on learning about different equitable teaching practices and  different education technology platforms, in an effort to see the overlap between engineering and education and how it can be improved in underresourced communities,” she says.

Researching teaching

During Etienne’s first research project at MIT, she was on a team of four in the Teaching Systems Lab analyzing online learning platforms. Basically, a group of students would join an online forum and participate in discussions. Each of these students had identified their political affinity — say, Democrat or Republican — to the researchers, but not to each other. Etienne and her team then analyzed how those students interacted.

This past January, Etienne shifted her research to be more hands-on. Through a grant from the Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center, she travelled to Dominica, her mother’s original home, to see how Hurricane Maria had impacted education there.

She spent six weeks in a school helping with a class of third graders, while observing the teaching style of the instructors, the learning style of the students, and other dynamics of the classroom. The second and third grade classes shared a UNICEF tent and were separated with a divider. Books had been lost in the hurricane, and donations had not fully restored the inventory. The instructor taught on a very small whiteboard, and there was no digital technology to speak of. Etienne noticed there weren’t a lot of hands-on learning opportunities for the students.

“That experience made me realize that I do want to introduce engineering or STEM in general to underrepresented communities, because I really saw the challenges that occurred from not having resources in schools,” she says.

Currently, Etienne has returned to the Teaching Systems Lab to work on its equity team. On one project, she assists in developing educational interfaces that train community members, law enforcement and criminal justice officials, and educators to recognize their biases and to better contextualize social media posts by young people of color experiencing violence. In her second project, she focuses on designing multimedia “practice spaces,” or immersive simulations, for teachers in training to develop equitable teaching approaches and mindsets.

Service in the school and the city

Community service plays a large role in Etienne’s life outside of her studies. In the fall of her first year, she became a counselor for Camp Kesem, a summer camp for kids whose parents are affected by cancer. In her sophomore year, she served as the treasurer for the Black Women’s Alliance, helping to plan their 50-year reunion.

Starting in the spring of her second year, she also worked for three semesters as a lab assistant for 2.678 (Electronics for Mechanical Systems), helping teach students how to build electronic systems. Additionally, Etienne served as a STEM mentor for the Office of Engineering Outreach Programs, working with a middle schooler every other Saturday on little engineering projects.

In the fall of her junior year, Etienne became an admissions ambassador, helping to identify minority students that would be great fits for the MIT community. In the spring, she was elected to be the social chair of MIT Class Awareness Support and Equality (CASE), and she currently serves as vice president of the student group.

“Now, students have a say in what initiatives get implemented for low income students. MIT’s efforts in trying to better the college experience of low income students at MIT is very transformative,” she says. “[It’s] something that’s really never been done before, or hasn’t been done to the extent that CASE has been doing, so I’m glad I’m helping with those efforts.”

This fall, Etienne joined the citywide chapter of public service sorority Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, which spans five local colleges and universities. The organization’s focus is to provide service to the black community around Cambridge, both on college campuses and to the general public. It has held food and clothing drives, educated students about AIDS on World Aids Day, and is working on holding a black-owned business pop-up shop in the future. She currently serves as the second vice president of her chapter. Etienne’s favorite part of being in this sorority is the strong sisterhood that she knows will continue to support her throughout her lifetime.

“Now I’m serving an area that is way bigger than just the realm of MIT,” she says. “So I’m really glad that I’m able to provide programming to our service schools and serve underrepresented communities around Cambridge.”

Fun and future

For fun, Etienne loves spending time in the city. Her preferred activities downtown include escape rooms, paint bars, and sports tournaments. An enthusiast of music and dancing, she also frequents concerts, performances, and workshops led by professional dancers. And she enjoys checking out new restaurants — her current favourite is La Fabrica in Central Square.

Whether or not she remains in the city she’s had these adventures in, Etienne aims to get some experience in the engineering industry before continuing her education.

“For right now I want the engineering experience to develop my engineering skills and mindset,” she says.

After that, she wants to go to graduate school, although she hasn’t decided exactly what type of program to apply for.

Source:
http://news.mit.edu/2019/student-nikayah-etienne-0123

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Excellent thoughts.

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Use of Forum / Re: Research portal.
« on: January 22, 2019, 07:05:18 PM »
Excellent

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Software Engineering / Re: System Analysis and Design Tutorial
« on: January 16, 2019, 03:13:59 PM »
Thanks for sharing

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Thanks for sharing.

23
জীবনে সফল হতে হলে কঠোর পরিশ্রমের কোনো বিকল্প নেই। সেই সঙ্গে সততা এবং অদম্য স্বপ্ন থাকতে হবে। এই শিক্ষাটাই দরকার আমাদের সকলের।

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Heritage/Culture / Re: Ancient Janapads of Bengal
« on: January 12, 2019, 01:23:50 PM »
Thanks for sharing.

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Thanks for sharing

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ভালো লাগলো। ধন্যবাদ।

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Teaching & Research Forum / Re: Reasons why Education is Important
« on: November 23, 2018, 11:00:17 AM »
Thanks.

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