As Sam Wang talked this morning on how to countermand the evils of gerrymandering — legislative districts structured to favor one party — I kept thinking “he’s the perfect person for this.” Wang spoke this morning at the Princeton Regional Chamber breakfast.
The battle to redistrict Congress will be fought in the courts, probably leading to the Supreme Court, which has turned down several cases for lack of a manageable standard. As Wang said, lawyers don’t go to law school because they like math. (Nodded agreement from the 80+ attendees, with more than the usual number of lawyers.) Lawyers might be good in math but it’s probably not their forte.
So if you want to use algorithms to uproot gerrymandering, you’d better figure out how to make that math accessible to the lawyers’ brains, especially the SCOTUS brains.
If any one can do that, Wang can. He is an eminent neuroscientist with an unusual facility to state complicated concepts in simple ways, as in his first book “Welcome to Your Brain.”
Though Wang is still doing neuroscience he is also consulting on political statistics via the Princeton Election Consortium. During the question page he talked about testifying in various court cases and presented various “manageable standards.”
His webpage even has an option to do the math yourself – pick a data set and work out whether those districts are configured fairly.
On that page, Wang says he wants to do more than use math and polls to explain politics. He wants to stimulate people to act. Not just Democrats, but “all Americans who want to save institutions – whether they are liberal or conservative, Democratic or Republican.” He recommends that we all
joining our U.S. Representative’s party (even though that may be hard to do)
A friend wrote to me, jubilant, because her husband – diagnosed with a prostate problem — had researched and found a state of the art therapy “green light laser prostate therapy.” it worked wonderfully, she says. Apparently it is not available here in Princeton.
To have an effective team, it’s more important for everyone to feel comfortable in raising difficult issues than for team members to take satisfaction in their work. So says Rita McGrath, who offers a workshop on effective ways to build teams on Tuesday, January 31.
Reduce friction to accelerate the progress of your team, says Rita McGrath, known for her savvy in connecting research to business problems.Her Valize team presents a morning workshop on Tuesday, January 31, in Lawrence.
Says McGrath: Most team effectiveness assessments focus on the level of satisfaction of team members. However, research has shown that there is not a strong correlation between satisfaction and team performance. During this 2-hour workshop, we will focus on five important elements that have great impact on the effectiveness of team performance.
Bring your team, she says, and you’ll leave with ‘actionable results.’
Thirty thousand grand will be on the line on Wednesday, February 15, at the Innovation Forum organized by Princeton University’s Keller Center. Participants present their research in a three-minute “elevator pitch” to the audience and a panel of judges. Simon Cowell’s got nothing on this show!
Register to come and watch the excitement. You get to see inside the Andlinger Center and there’s networking and refreshments afterward.
It all started with a video from the United Methodist Church alerting me to the possibility that my faith community, Princeton United Methodist Church (PUMC), might be a Poke’stop in the new Poke’mon game.
What is this new mobile phone game? I quote my granddaughter in an article she wrote this summer: … gamers young and old have been glued to their phones, perpetually catching all of the Pokémon from the original game released in 1996. In this version, the user must download the application, developed by Nintendo in collaboration with Niantic, on their mobile device, and an augmented reality begins.
Sure enough, PUMC is a Poke’stop where gamers fuel up on the Poke’ balls used to trap characters. Two other Poke’stops are nearby. So, egged on by millennials — staffers and church members — we set up a lemonade and cookie stand in front of the church and
spread “lure” a virtual enticement that attracts Poke’mon characters and, therefore, Poke’mon players. The combo of the lemonade and the “lure” attracted at least 100 people in one hour. — some for the game, some for the refreshments, many just curious to see our beautiful stained glass windows or even just recharge their phones.
Now I am hooked on the game. Part of its appeal is, frankly, to combat ageism prejudice. “YOU, playing THAT!” is what I often hear. The game is invaluable as a conversation topic with grandchildren. But mostly it’s fun to acquire cute animal characters. On that first Sunday morning, my first catch was Electabuzz, and my current count is 26 characters. Does anyone know where I can find a Wigglytuff?
A quick way to cure a hangover, a new medical imaging technique, an innovation in American Sign Language, a hackathon tool kit, a robot sous chef, and a fashion discovery engine — some of the best and brightest Princeton undergraduates are launching exciting startups. List here.
They’ve been working all summer in the Keller Lab, and their Demo Day in Princeton is Tuesday, August 9, 2:30 p.m. at the Friend Center. You need to register!
I can’t attend. If anyone who reads this can go, and wants to write it up for this blog, I’d welcome that. If you don’t have my email, put in the comments that you’d be willing to be a guest blogger.