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A group of American researchers from MIT, Indiana University, and Tufts University, led by Erin Treacy Solovey, have developed Brainput — pronounced brain-put, not bra-input — a system that can detect when your brain is trying to multitask, and offload some of that workload to a computer. The idea of using computers to do our grunt work isn’t exactly new — without them, the internet wouldn’t exist, manufacturing would be a very different beast, and we’d all have to get a lot better at mental arithmetic.
There are around 100 billion neurons in a human brain, forming up to 100 trillion synaptic interconnections. Neuroscientists believe that these synapses are the key to almost every one of your unique, identifiable features: Memories, mental disorders, and even your personality are encoded in the wiring of your brain . Understandably, neuroscientists really want to investigate these neurons and synapses to work out how they play such a vital role in our human makeup.
Translated by Geoffrey James Transcribed by Duke Hillard Transmitted by Anupam Trivedi, Sajitha Tampi, and Meghshyam Jagannath
Last week at the Association for Computing Machinery's Symposium on Discrete Algorithms (SODA) a new way of calculating Fast Fourier Transforms was presented by a group of MIT researchers. It's possible that under certain situations it may be up to ten times faster than the current way we do these. At this point you are probably wondering: What the hell is he talking about ? Let me explain, because improving these three little letters--FFT--may change your life. Here's a quickie explainer: Fourier transforms are a mathematical trick to simplify how you represent a complicated signal--say the waves of sound made by speaking. They work by reducing the complex wave pattern to a simple and pretty short list of numbers that, when run through the system again, result in a very good approximation of the original signal.
by +++The Mentor+++ Written January 8, 1986
written by: Daniel Robson • edited by: Aaron R. • updated: 2/13/2011