Pandemic exposes difficulty of data management in education

Education has always revolved and will always revolve around student success and optimizing the learning process, but in the midst of uncertainty and a data deluge, educators and districts are struggling to keep up with the use of data management in education.

Administrations are seeking as many data points as possible to see how their system succeeds and where it comes up short, but managing all this data can be too much for smaller school districts. With a remote approach to learning forced upon many schools, finding a balance between data gathering, reaching students and hitting goals has become a losing game.

Why is data in education?

The goal for educators has always been to transfer important knowledge to students in an effective way. Through tracking test scores, teacher reviews and numerous other data points, administrations can shape the next year to flex strengths and whittle down flaws.  

“Data plays an integral role in today’s higher education system,” said Joe Diamond, CEO of All Campus, a higher education marketer. “Anonymous aggregate data can be used across both programmatic development and the student lifecycle to drive performance.”

The goal is always to produce a successful student, and it is through

Mitra the Robot Helps COVID Patients in India Speak to Loved Ones

A hospital in India has deployed a customer-service robot to patrol its wards, connecting coronavirus patients to friends and relatives.

Mitra, meaning ‘friend’ in Hindi, is best known for interacting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an event in 2017.

Its piercing eyes are equipped with facial recognition technology to help it recall people it has previously interacted with. A tablet attached to Mitra’s chest allows patients to see loved ones, as well as medical staff unable to access the wards.

“It takes a lot of time to recover, and during this time, when patients need their families the most, they are unable to visit,” said Dr. Arun Lakhanpal, a doctor at the Yatharth Super Speciality Hospital in Noida Extension, a satellite city of the capital New Delhi.

Mitra is mainly used by patients who are not able to communicate using their phones.

“We mainly discuss my health,” said Makhanlal Qazi, a retired government bureaucrat and coronavirus patient who has used the robot to communicate with relatives. “I came here on Friday and now I have started feeling better. I am feeling very happy now.”

The robot, developed by Bengaluru-based start-up Invento Robotics, cost the hospital Rs. 10,00,000,

A Human-Computer Duet System for Music Performance

Despite the popularity of virtual musicians, most of them cannot play together with human musicians following their tempo or create their own behaviors without the aid of human characters. The authors of a recent paper created a virtual violinist having these characteristics.

Image credit: 刘睿忱 via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

It can track music and adapt to the human pianist’s tempo varying with time and with performance, making the two voices harmonized. The virtual musician’s body movements are generated directly from the music. The motion generator is trained on a music video dataset of violin performance and a pose sequence synchronized with live performance is generated.

These features mean that the human musician can practice, rehearse, and perform music with the virtual musician like with a real human, by following the music content. The proposed system has successfully performed in a ticket-selling concert, where a movement from Beethoven’s Spring Sonata was played. 

Virtual musicians have become a remarkable phenomenon in the contemporary multimedia arts. However, most of the virtual musicians nowadays have not been endowed with abilities to create their own behaviors, or to perform music with human musicians. In this paper, we firstly create a virtual violinist, who can