Friday, January 11, 2013

Winter Storm Daily Digest - 01.10.2013

Highlights from earlier WS events: From Yakov Kronrod: "The heritage and bilingual phonology group has been talking about potential experiments comparing phonological transfer from L1->L2 and vice versa in cases where the L1 and L2 representations of a contrast differ in terms of allophony, separate phonemes, or non-existent contrast. We are a small group and open to new participants, especially as we move through these weeks and set up the foundation of what is sure to be a great journal club in the coming years."

From Scott Jackson: "Today's (Thursday) session focused on: (1) more examples of interpreting coefficients, (2) centering and other transformations, (3) contrasts and multiple comparisons, and (4) model building and beginnings of hypothesis testing. Topics for the last session (on next Tuesday) are still "attendee-driven", so if someone wants to talk about some specific or "advanced" issues they've been having, they are welcome to let me know so I can work it in!"

 Events for Friday: 1/11/13

 1. Python There will be an extra help session 9-10am to answer any questions on previous material or homework's. Yakov Kronrod will be available during this time in the regular room, MMH 1304. Then from 10-12, He He will demonstrate use of the Natural Language ToolKit (NLTK) for tokenization, and pickle for serialization. Please follow the instructions on installing the 'NLTK' package available at, and bring your laptop to all Python sessions!

 2. Lunch Talk: Susanne M. Jaeggi, Psychology Department and Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Working memory skills are highly important for complex cognition; they are involved in a multitude of school-relevant tasks and predict academic achievement. Thus, training on working memory should improve skills that rely on the efficient functioning of working memory. I will show data that demonstrate transfer to non-trained tasks throughout the lifespan, that is, in young adults, in old adults, in typically developing children, as well as children with ADHD. I will provide evidence that working memory training not only leads to improvements in measures of attention and reasoning, but also in important scholastic skills, such as mathematics and reading. I will conclude with the notion that cognitive training can be effective and long-lasting, but I will also point out that there are limiting factors that must be considered in order to evaluate the effects of cognitive training, such as training time, individual differences in training performance, and motivation.
 Remember, the room we are using for the lunch talks, SKN0200, normally prohibits food, so please be respectful of the space and clean up thoroughly!

 3. Special Interest Groups (SIG) Research planning groups meet for the third time this week. Please come prepared! Check the website for individual SIG pages, which contain group agendas and member contact information. Don't forget to send us updates at so we can let the rest of Winter Storm know what you're up to!

 4. How to use Mechanical Turk Aaron Steven White and Dan Parker cover the basics of setting up experiments on Amazon's Mechanical Turk. a crowd-sourcing platform that has become a vital tool for researchers looking for a quick, cheap method for gathering human behavioral data. Topics covered include account creation, task creation using Amazon's command line tools, building experiments and more.

 5. House Party - BYOB The WS House Party this year is graciously hosted by Susan Teubner-Rhodes and Anna Lukyanchenko, (details on wiki and in the program). We will have some amazing food there from Shanghai Tokyo for all to enjoy. However, it is BYOB, so please feel free to bring by some drinks of choice. As always, some Winter Storm beer will be provided by Colin. Faculty are welcome and encouraged to attend along with all the graduate students. Please refer to the website for precise scheduling and location information. If there is any information you would like included in a future Winter Storm daily digest, please forward this information to the WS Committee ( Thank you for your participation! The Winter Storm Committee

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