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A life-long learner. Undergraduate sequence: Chemistry, Physics, Pure Mathematics. Graduate: Mathematics Education. Career Sequence: Math Teacher, Member of Technical Staff, Project Manager, Senior Scientist. Applications Sequence: Space Science, Radar, Infrared. Technical Specialties: Data Analysis, Modeling, Simulation, Signal and Image Processing, and Pattern Recognition Algorithm Development. Abiding research interests: State-of-Mind, Neuroscience, Education, and Political-Economics.
TheThe issueissue of ofinfrared infraredtargettarget imagery imageryclassifiability classifiabilityisis investigated. Features that provideprovide classclass discrimination information are automatically discovereddiscovered and used to construct n-ary decision tree classifiers. Independent testtest data are classified and resulting performance repo...
The performance of any automatic target recognizer (ATR) is dependent on the quality of the input signal. For example, as the noise or clutter becomes increasingly severe, the ATR performance will correspondingly degrade. Therefore it is important to have an objective and quantitative measure of image signal quality by which ATR performance may be...
The Sobel and Maximum Gradient edge detection operators are examined with respect to their response to Gaussian noise, and closed form solutions to their resulting probability density functions are presented. The results of million event Monte Carlo simulations are presented for various contrast to noise ratios (CNR) for an ideal edge and an expres...
This report discusses principles of synthetic aperture radar, properties of radar targets, characteristics of radar imagery, statistical analysis of radar imagery, and the application of modern data analysis.
We have a majority of people who have felt inferior as they matriculated through traditional schools because they seldom, if ever, received any self-affirming feedback from their test results, homework, or course grades. As a result, they develop a negative attitude towards school and towards the "educated elites."
This is a tragedy because each individual has unique talents and interests that should be uncovered and developed so as to enable self-actualization and self-pride.
People may be gifted in the arts, in auto mechanics, in agriculture, etc. which should be recognized and appreciated in their schools and in society.
We would all be better off if such recognition of the worth of each unique individual became the norm.
The chemical approach to tackling the problem of plastics waste is still unsolved practically.
The physical approach to tackling the problem of nuclear waste is still unsolved practically.
What if the chemists and the physicist come out of their respective silos and working together devise methods by which they can use the ionizing radiation from nuclear waste to decompose the structure of plastic polymers that will render them environmentally harmless?
My limited understanding is that homo sapiens first migrated from East Africa to all parts of Asia and Europe; whereas there were other homo sapiens that remained in other parts of Sub-Sahara Africa. In 2022, population of the world is ~8 billion; and the population of Sub-Sahara Africa is ~1 billion. The difference is ~7 billion. Why?
TEACHING PROGRAMS FOR FUTURE PARENTS
An essay by Antonio B. Lucero
4 December 2021
All of us have had personal difficulties and blessings in our lives as we grew up, from childhood through young adulthood. These personal experiences and conditions have helped form us into the adults we became.
As to the difficulties: Some of us have grown up without one or both parents. Others have never had an opportunity for a carefree childhood. Still others have been abused by people in whose care we have been entrusted. Then there are those of us who did not receive the attention we needed. Some were not taught morals and ethics by our caregivers. Others were never held accountable for our misdeeds. And there are others of us who refused to be constrained. Then there are others for whom approval by our (often misguided) peers was more important than approval by our parents. And, there are those of us who (despite the love and devotion showered on us by our parents) always compared ourselves (or were compared by others) unfavorably with our siblings.
As to the blessings: Hard work has sometimes led to recognition, promotions, grit, and self-esteem. Early responsibilities has often led to independence, self-reliance, and being a responsible person. A simple word of encouragement can improve our self-confidence. Early lessons and exemplars in morals and ethics can serve us well throughout our life. A balance between love and discipline is required to become a well-balanced adult. The development of our unique talents can serve us well to develop self-pride.
TODAY’S CURRENT SOCIETAL PROBLEMS
Society in the USA today is facing many widespread problems: the opioid crisis; the huge incarceration rates; the emphasis on money over other values; and truth decay – to name a few.
When we try to understand why some people commit acts that are harmful to others, it often can be traced to the neglect or mistreatment of the perpetrators in their formative years – which can result in a self-perpetuating cycle that lasts over generations.
As the perpetrators grow from infancy to adulthood, various character flaws are revealed. Some examples are: inability to empathize; objectifying others; desire for absolute control over others; lack of remorse; lack of true self-confidence; and a lack of a sense of belonging.
SYMPTOMS, CAUSES AND REMEDIES
Neuroscience shows that a lack of nurturing and loving care from birth to about age 2 results in the malformation of neural connections that no amount of counseling or therapy can remedy.
Almost as serious, is the lack of parents (or other caregivers) teaching a whole host of values, such as love; truth; responsibility; honesty; and respect for others. This should occur primarily at ages 2-5. Without this, the child will lack a moral compass.
Once a child goes to elementary and junior high school (ages 5-13), other influences, besides the parents, come into play: classmates; neighbors; church; teachers; school administrators; television; movies; and smartphones. Even though the parents will be spending less time with the child, the parents must still be involved to help guide the child. Without such guidance, the child may be susceptible to interpersonal problems and misbehavior.
When a child goes to high school (ages 14-18), they are encouraged and want to behave as self-directed agents, i.e., adults. But, as neuroscience shows us, the adolescent prefrontal cortex of the brain is not fully developed yet; so some children at this age may act impulsively and lack self-discipline. Again, the parents, must hold the reins - however loosely - to help guide the child. Without this parental interest and support, a child can get into trouble – slight or major.
After high school and up to age 24, at which point the prefrontal cortex should be fully formed, the wisdom and finances of the parents can be welcome and instrumental towards helping the child find their niche and prepare for their career. Without this support, the child could go astray or be taken advantage of.
As we are all too well aware from the news each day, there are numerous stories ranging from anti-social behavior to psychopathic aggression. Occasionally, when in-depth investigations of the backgrounds of the perpetrators are done, it is often revealed that there were telltale signs in their behavior, even as children. The child may have tended to be self-isolating, uncooperative, or deceptive. In early years of school, the child may have bullied or been bullied by others; or may have been disciplined by the administration. Later, either in high school or as a dropout, the adolescent may have had problems with law enforcement or with substance abuse. As an adult, the pattern may have continued onward to committing spousal or child abuse, and finally to committing a major criminal offence.
PARENTAL NURTURING & GUIDANCE
In order to help prevent the development of such anti-social behavior and its perpetuation over generations, it is clear that we, as a society, have to do a much better job at nurturing, guiding, and acculturation of children from birth to young adulthood. Too often, parents raise their children the way they themselves were raised. For some, this may be good; but for others this may perpetuate bad parenting.
Besides the possible overt negative impacts contributed by bad parenting, there is also the more subtle thwarting of a child’s potential due to a parent’s overly narrow view of the skills or credentials a child may need to thrive. It is a parent’s duty to help a child explore a great many possible interests, ranging from sports to the arts, from nature to history, and from science and engineering to public service. Special interests and talents of many children remain hidden or not cultivated; as a result, full self-actualization is never achieved. “If you are the best at what you do, the world will beat a path to your doorstep.”
So, rather than leaving the practice of good parenting to chance, it would be much better to have compulsory classes on good parenting in high school and elective classes beyond high school.
Some people may balk at having such compulsory classes in high school. But remember, we already have compulsory driver education and sex education. Of course, the parenting classes must be vetted to be of high standard. In the final analysis, it is up to the students whether or not to put all or part of what they have learned into practice. Nevertheless, they will be made aware of the importance of nurturing and how to foster it.
As to the cost of such classes, there is the potential for a large net gain for our society. Consider the enormous costs we are bearing under the status quo, we have: 1) by far, the highest per capita expenditures in the world for policing, courts, jails, and prisons; 2) the lost potential of people who endure a job or life devoid of personal significance; 3) the indifference of people regarding civics due to various modern distractions.
Compare these costs with the modest costs of incorporating parenting classes that offer the potential of nurturing many of our children to become happier and full contributors for the betterment of society.
How do we accomplish a program of teaching effective parenting?
First of all, we have to recognize that the problem of inadequate parenting is a national problem. As such, it will require applying the resources and capacity of our national government. Since this is a new challenge, applying conventional institutional methods will not suffice.
A similar, but much bigger, challenge occurred back in the 1960’s when the Air Force was faced with the problem of projecting our military presence into space, with all the uncertainties and challenges yet to be discovered. The approach taken was to form a non-profit, quasi-governmental corporation to deal with the highly technical engineering and scientific problems that no single part of the Air Force was equipped to handle. Thus, The Aerospace Corporation was formed. Its purview was limited strictly to technical issues; whereas, issues regarding costs and management were handled exclusively by the Air Force. (I was a Member of the Technical Staff at The Aerospace Corporation from 1964 to 1969.)
Drawing from this experience, I would suggest that we need a relatively small, but, special “Board of Parenting Instruction” within the Department of Education to create and monitor the technical development of a “Program of Parenting Instruction.”
This Board would recruit the best staff from: academia, psychological and sociological practice, and educational innovators. The first order of business for the Board would be to produce a Mission Statement describing their goal regarding the imparting of parenting classes within our existing schools (high schools, community colleges, trade schools, and night schools).
The second order of business would be to produce Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) to be published broad and wide. These RFP’s would seek proposals from groups (corporations, educational institutions, local governmental agencies, think tanks, etc.) for the production of Guidance Manuals and Modules to facilitate local school adaptation and implementation of programs for incorporating parenting classes into our existing schools, as well as, requisite teacher training and certification . The respondents to the RFP’s should include contributions from diverse, expert points of view, as well as, surveys of students’ opinions, for different age groups.
Contracts would be granted to the top three proposals.
The Program to be adopted and implemented by the Department of Education would glean the best ideas and products from these contracts. In addition, the Department of Education would plan for the best use of federal finances to achieve an accelerated Program implementation. Then, once the Program is underway, reviews should be held every two years to evaluate the Program execution and to refine Program elements, as necessary
Free divers and other scientifically inexplicable phenomena demonstrate the power of our minds over the sympathetic and parasympathetic functions of our bodies. What can be said now in the 21st Century about the subject?
From my observations, there appear to be three principal avenues to engender critical thinking in education K-12: debate; mathematics, and science.
For some students, all three avenues are relatable and enjoyable. For others, only one or two avenues would work.
In any case, even one avenue can go a long way towards engendering critical thinking.
The ability and habit of thinking critically is an important remedy for the affliction of people accepting fake news and conspiracy theories. It can become the foundation for a well-functioning democracy.
I invite others to describe what has been done along these lines; or what they think should be done and how to install such educational paradigms.
When principals in a corporation develop a yearly forecast. This is usually done in October for the following calendar year. The principals estimate what income and what costs they expect will occur on a month-by-month basis. Their estimates are based on fixed costs, probabilities of capturing new business, and variable costs, among other factors. But these are only estimates.
The line managers are expected to use these forecasts during the year to monitor their progress on keeping costs under control and on landing new contracts.
Usually, however, most everyone in the chain of command regard these forecasts as immutable and to be rigidly adhered to. - forgetting that they are only estimates, and should be viewed only as guides. This creates a lot of unnecessary pressure and stress on the workers and managers.
Only if there are trend lines that (when extrapolated) would appear to drastically deviate from the plan should there be some concern.
It may be a sign that the forecasts need to be updated because the assumptions or information available in October no longer are valid. If that is not the case, maybe some changes in the operation need to be implemented. Or maybe some of the basic concepts need to be re-evaluated - innovative thinking may be needed.