Tag Archives: University of Pennsylvania

today’s image: The first large-scale electronic digital computer



The first large-scale electronic digital computer

A press conference for what is considered the first computer, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (ENIAC), was held at the University of Pennsylvania on February 1, 1946. The machine (shown here with a technician) took up an entire room, weighed 30 tons and used more than 18,000 vacuum tubes to perform functions such as counting to 5,000 in one second. ENIAC, costing $450,000, was designed by the U.S. Army during World War II to make artillery calculations. The development of ENIAC paved the way for modern computer technology–but even today’s average calculator possesses more computing power than ENIAC did.

Image: U.S. Army

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.nEYt4xhf.dpuf

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Politically Correct: Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky

 
Chomsky” redirects here. For other uses, see Chomsky (disambiguation).
Noam Chomsky
Chomsky.jpg

On a visit to Vancouver, British Columbia in 2004
Born December 7, 1928 (age 85)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Other names Avram Noam Chomsky
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania (B.A.) 1949, (M.A.) 1951, (Ph.D.) 1955
 
Era 20th / 21st-century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Generative linguistics, Analytic philosophy
Institutions MIT (1955–present)
Main interests Linguistics ·
Metalinguistics
Psychology
Philosophy of language
Philosophy of mind
Politics · Ethics
Notable ideas
Influences
Influenced

Avram Noam Chomsky (/ˈnm ˈɒmski/; born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher,[20][21] cognitive scientist, logician,[22][23][24] political commentator and activist. Sometimes described as the “father of modern linguistics”,[25][26] Chomsky is also a major figure in analytic philosophy.[20] He has spent most of his career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he is currently Professor Emeritus, and has authored over 100 books. He has been described as a prominent cultural figure, and was voted the “world’s top public intellectual” in a 2005 poll.[27]

Born to a middle-class Ashkenazi Jewish family in Philadelphia, Chomsky developed an early interest in anarchism from relatives in New York City. He later undertook studies in linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained his BA, MA, and PhD, while from 1951 to 1955 he was appointed to Harvard University‘s Society of Fellows. In 1955 he began work at MIT, soon becoming a significant figure in the field of linguistics for his publications and lectures on the subject. He is credited as the creator or co-creator of the Chomsky hierarchy, the universal grammar theory, and the Chomsky–Schützenberger theorem. Chomsky also played a major role in the decline of behaviorism, and was especially critical of the work of B.F. Skinner.[28][29] In 1967 he gained public attention for his vocal opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, in part through his essay The Responsibility of Intellectuals, and came to be associated with the New Left while being arrested on multiple occasions for his anti-war activism. While expanding his work in linguistics over subsequent decades, he also developed the propaganda model of media criticism with Edward S. Herman. Following his retirement from active teaching, he has continued his vocal public activism, praising the Occupy movement for example.

Chomsky has been a highly influential academic figure throughout his career, and was cited within the field of Arts and Humanities more often than any other living scholar between 1980 and 1992. He was also the eighth most cited scholar overall within the Arts and Humanities Citation Index during the same period.[30][31][32][33] His work has influenced fields such as artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science, logic, mathematics, music theory and analysis, political science, programming language theory and psychology.[32][33][34][35][36] Chomsky continues to be well known as a political activist, and a leading critic of U.S. foreign policy, state capitalism, and the mainstream news media. Ideologically, he aligns himself with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism.[37]

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NEWS: SKIPPING SLEEP COULD CAUSE BRAIN DAMAGE


Skipping Sleep Could Cause Brain Damage

Burning the candle at both ends can lead to more than a few sluggish, cranky days; it may actually result in permanent brain damage. Just three days of sleep deprivation caused mice to lose a quarter of the nerve cells associated with alertness in a part of the brain stem called the locus ceruleus. If this turns out to be the case in humans as well, it will debunk the long-held notion that getting “catch-up sleep” can make up for night after night of missed sleep. To study this further, researchers plan to examine the brains of deceased shift workers for evidence of this sort of damage. More…Discuss

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Today’s Birthday: SADIE TANNER MOSSELL ALEXANDER (1898)


Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander (1898)

Alexander came from a family of academic achievers—her father and uncle both graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, studying law and medicine respectively. Alexander also earned a degree from the school—becoming one of the first African-American women with a PhD in the US—and moved on to Penn’s law school, where she was the first African-American woman graduate. She also served as the first national president of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. In which subject was Alexander’s PhD? More… Discuss