The Columbia Chronicle

The hip-hop musical “The Last Stop on Market Street” will be performed at the Chicago Children’s Theatre, 100 S. Racine Ave., April 24–May 27. 

Children can visit ‘Market Street’ for life lessons

April 14, 2018

In a single bus ride, children can learn both the importance of appreciating elders and never judging a book by its cover. The hip-hop musical “The Last Stop on Market Street” will be performed at the...

Born into fame: celebrities and pregnancy

Born into fame: celebrities and pregnancy

February 9, 2018

With a life in the spotlight, it's a struggle to keep anything under wraps. When a person becomes famous, the line between public and private becomes blurred, but a public figure should be allowed to live...

City provides support for mental health crises

City provides support for mental health crises

September 11, 2017

Chicago is improving services for people with mental illnesses by strengthening crisis response and awareness training, according to an Aug. 30 press release from Mayor Rahm Emanuel. A mayoral pilot ini...

Local publishing company shows diversity through children’s books

Chicago’s Tiger Stripe Publishing, which aims to create diverse children’s books, is currently developing seven projects, its largest production since it opened. 

By Kendrah Villiesse

April 17, 2017

Searching nearby libraries and bookstores, Joy Triche was on a mission to find books that depicted protagonists with whom her three children could identify.Disappointed in her findings, Triche found onl...

Children are not to blame in child marriages

Children are not to blame  in child marriages

By Arabella Breck

December 5, 2016

Bangladesh is in the process of passing the “Prohibition of Child Marriage Act – 2016” as part of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s promise to end child marriage by 2041, according to a Dec. 2 Financial ...

Family, medical leave should not be an ‘FML’

April 11, 2016

Family and medical leave policies in the United States have historically been inadequate, especially compared with those of other countries, such as the United Kingdom.New York recently took a step toward the international standard of family and medical leave by passing a law as part of its March 31 budget that entitles full-time and part-time workers to 12 weeks of paid leave if they have been with a business for at least s...

Congressman Bobby Rush met with high school students at Mikva Challenge’s Youth Voice Congress on Feb. 6 to discuss economic improvement ideas.

City leaders propose ideas to support ‘black futures’

February 15, 2016

More than 400 high school students from across Chicago packed into the Jones College Prep High School auditorium Feb. 6 for the Youth Voice Congress, where students met with their peers and elected officia...

More crisis counseling needed in Chicago schools

By Editorial Board

November 30, 2015

Traumatic events like divorce or the death of a relative can disrupt a child’s behavior, schoolwork and attention span, according to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Research also suggests trauma is particularly prevalent among students living on Chicago’s South and West sides, which are plagued by gun and gang violence. A 2007 study by Dexter Voisin, an associate professor at the University of Chicago, sur...

Hanna Ashbrook, a 2013 music alumna, said despite feeling under pressure on “The Voice,” she impressed herself with being in front of a camera.

Music grad sings heart out on ‘The Voice’

November 9, 2015

Hanna Ashbrook, a 2013 music alumna, became the second Columbia grad to be featured on NBC’s “The Voice” this season when she performed a cover of Tegan and Sara’s “Closer” before being eliminat...

Cooking robot may offer artificial culinary intelligence

By Sports & Health Editor

January 26, 2015

One of the greatest questions in developing of artificial intelligence is how to provide robots with a software template that enables them to recognize objects and learn actions by watching humans. Researchers from the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies and the National Information Communications Technology Research Centre of Excellence in Australia have developed a software system that allows robots to learn actions and make inferences by watching cooking videos from YouTube.“It’s very difficult [to teach robots] actions where something is manipulated because there’s a lot of variation in the way the action happens,” said co-author Cornelia Fermüller, a research scientist at the University of Maryland’s Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. “If I do it or someone else does it, we do it very differently. We could use different tools so you have to find a way of capturing this variation. ”The intelligent system that enabled the robot to glean information from the videos includes two artificial neural networks that mimic the human eye’s processing resulting in object recognition, according to the study. The networks enabled the robot to recognize objects it viewed in the videos and determine the type of grasp required to manipulate objects such as knives and tomatoes when chopping, dicing and preparing food. “In addition to [accounting for variation] there is the difficulty involved in capturing it visually,” Fermüller said. “We’ve looked at the goal of the task and then decomposed it on the basis of that.”Fermüller said the group classified the two types of grasping the robot performed as “power” versus “precision.” Broadly, power grasping is used when an object needs to be held firmly in order to apply force—like when holding a knife to make a cut. Holding a tomato in place to stabilize it is considered precision grasping—a more fine-grain action that calls for accuracy, according to the paper. When observing human activity in real life, robotic systems are able to perceive the movements and objects they are designed to recognize in three dimensions over time, Fermüller said. However, when the movement and objects are viewed in a video, that information is not as immediately understood. “The way we think of videos is as a three-dimensional entity in the sense that there are two dimensions of space and one dimension of time,” said Jason Corso, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan. “It’s not as 3D as the world we live in, but one can use a video … which is a spacetime signal, and from it correspond feature points that could be used to reconstruct the 3D environment that is being seen or imaged in that video.”According to the paper, the development of deep neural networks that are able to efficiently capture raw data from video and enable robots to perceive actions and objects have revolutionized how visual recognition in artificially intelligent systems function. The algorithms programmed into the University of Maryland’s cooking robot are one example of this neural functioning.“So what was used here was really the hand description and object tool description, and then the action was inferred out of that,” Fermüller said. Previous research on robotic manipulation and action recognition has been conducted using hand trackers and motion capture gloves to overcome the inherent limitations of trying to design artificial intelligence that can learn by example, she said. “Part of the problem is that robot hands today are so behind what biological manipulation is capable of,” said Ken Forbus, a professor of computer science and education at Northwestern University. “We have more dynamic range in terms of our touch sensing. It’s very, very difficult to calibrate, as there’s all sorts of problems that might be real problems and any system is going to have to solve them.”Forbus said some of the difficulty that presents itself in robotic design arises from the fact that the tools robots are outfitted with are far behind the ones humans are born with both physically and in terms of sense perception.“There is tons of tacit knowledge in human understanding—tons,” Forbus said. “Not just in manipulation, [but] in conceptual knowledge.”According to Forbus, artificial intelligence researchers have three ways to incorporate this type of conceptual thinking into intelligent systems. The first option is to try to design robots that can think and analyze in a manner superior to humans, and the second is articulating the tacit knowledge that humans possess by trying to boil it down into a programmable set of rules. The third way is to attempt to model the AI on the type of analogical thinking humans use as they discern information and make generalizations that help provide a framework for how to act during future experiences. “That’s a model that’s daunting in the sense that it requires lots and lots of [programmed] experience,” Forbus said. “But it’s promising in that if we can make analogical generalization work in scale … it’s going to be a very human-like way of doing it.”

Boys & Girls Club Closed, Leaves many kids out in the cold | The Columbia Chronicle

November 28, 2014

Boys & Girls Club Director Jose Vilella talks about his tenure at the Boys & Girls Club organization and the closing of the Yancey Boys & Girls club on the border of the Englewood and Woodla...

Kara Vana, a sophomore public relations major, said gaining experience in diverse fields is an important part of the college experience. To achieve this, Vana became a college representative for Headbands for Hope, an organization that gives headbands to children with cancer and donates money to fund research.

Someone You Should Know: Student stays busy by giving back

November 10, 2014

Kara Vana, a sophomore public relations major, is bringing Headbands of Hope, a nonprofit that raises funds for children’s cancer research, to Columbia. For every standard headband sold for $14.95, the company donates $1 to the cause and gives a headband to a girl battling the di...

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