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New study demonstrates link between music and statistical learning

The Sydney Morning Herald – Bridie Smith

“The results showed that children exposed to at least a year and a half of private music lessons have an edge when it comes to detecting patterns in the world around us, with musical instrument training making their brains better at statistical learning. “This is a key building block of learning a language, learning to read and also learning a second language,” Dr Mandikal-Vasuki said. “It’s a fundamental ability.” The results outlined in the journal Clinical Neurophysiology suggests that music-based therapies could potentially be used to treat specific learning impairments.”(more)

NBA, Discovery Education partner to make math appealing to nation’s youth

USA Today – AJ Neuharth-Keusch

“Imagine, just for a second, that you’re in a middle school math class. The question in your textbook: If eight of your 12 classmates are right handed, what percentage of classmates are left handed? Now imagine you’re in that same math class, but the question reads: Stephen Curry made eight of his 12 three-point attempts in last night’s game against the Boston Celtics. What was his percentage?.”(more)

Baseball can teach education a lesson

Ed Source – Arun Ramanathan

“I wish that discussions of education data were as interesting as my conversations on baseball statistics. Contrary to my reputation as an Ed Dork, I do not wake up every morning, grab my phone and check out EdWeek, EdSource and Eduwonk for the latest Ed news. I wake up, grab my phone and check out two pretty amazing baseball blogs: crashburnalley.com and fangraphs.com. The first was created by amateur statisticians and hardcore fans of the Philadelphia Phillies. The second is the online bible for baseball statistics junkies nationally. Both sites view the game through the lens of numbers. The movement of those numbers up and down reflects the performance of ballplayers. The beauty of these sites is that they’ve taken the numbers that were once the province of baseball lifers and general managers and democratized them. This has resulted in the proliferation of metrics such as OPS (On-base Plus Slugging), WAR (Wins Above Replacement), BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play), and countless others. Over the past decade, as these metrics have proliferated, it’s hard to know which ones have been created by professionals and which ones by amateurs. In fact, the stats revolution has moved beyond baseball, taken over basketball and started to change football.”(more)

How to teach … statistics

The Guardian – Zofia Niemtus

“Statistics are everywhere – from Brexit to Britain’s Got Talent. The way these numbers are presented – or manipulated – shape our understanding of the world. Just this month, a misleading representation of data on local elections caused a furore after being shared widely on Facebook. It’s important to equip your students with the skills to understand and interrogate figures so they can work out what they really mean. Here are some ideas on how you can make statistics add up in your classroom.”(more)

BASF taking innovation where markets are

China Daily- Zhu Wenqian

“BASF director says the firm is coasting on its long history with China to industrial glory
BASF SE’s association with China goes back all the way to 1885. Over the last 130 years, the Ludwigshafen, Germany-headquartered 150-year-old multinational, which deals mainly in chemicals, plastics, performance products, crop protection products, petrochemicals, nutrition and health products, oil and gas, has made China key to its growth and evolution.
Sanjeev Gandhi, 49, one of BASF’s executive directors, now heads the company’s operations in Greater China and Asia Pacific. A BASF veteran, Gandhi has risen through the ranks over 22 years to reach the Board of Executive Directors.”(more)

China cuts tax to boost innovation

China Daily- XINHUA

“BEIJING — China cuts more than 300 billion yuan ($46.15 billion) of taxes in 2015 to boost mass entrepreneurship and innovation, according to official data.
Among this, tax exemptions and breaks on small enterprises reached 100 billion yuan and tax cuts designed to encourage high technology development totaled 140 billion yuan, according to the State Administration of Taxation.”(more)