Global data challenge winners investigating county-level COVID-19 impact of in-person college classes; social determinants of health

( NewMediaWire ) – December 03, 2020 – DALLAS – Researchers from University of Michigan and University of Alabama studying the impact of in-person college classes on community COVID-19 cases and the affect social determinants of health play in virus outbreaks and deaths won the top awards in the American Heart Association’s first ever COVID-19 data challenge. The challenge focused on understanding the relationships between COVID-19 and other risk factors, health conditions, health disparities and social determinants of health that may bring a higher burden of illness or mortality.

After rigorous peer review by a panel of 26 U.S.-based data science and public health experts, these teams have been selected as winners:

  • Grand Prize ($15,000): Brahmajee Nallamothu, M.D., and Ji Zhu, Ph.D., University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, led the project “Population-based Features and Their Association with Coronavirus Disease 2019 Infection in the United States.” The team analyzed national data
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While many Michigan students go virtual, some Ann Arbor parents continue push for in-person classes

ANN ARBOR, MI – Ann Arbor Public Schools has been hearing from frustrated parents sounding the alarm about their children’s needs not being met by remote-only learning since the beginning of the school year.

Others have used school board meetings to press the district on the “unattainable” metrics they said it has developed to allow for a return to the classroom.

These grievances have become commonplace as AAPS remains one of just 14% of districts statewide still offering only fully remote instruction. Similarly sized districts have either stayed in virtual learning the entire school year or switched to completely virtual learning in recent weeks.

AAPS is operating on the side of caution to limit the spread of COVID-19, district officials said. But some parents said they worry about the potential impact that being socially isolated from their peers so long will have on students.

More than just high schools are

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Identifying compound classes through machine learning — ScienceDaily

Everything that lives has metabolites, produces metabolites and consumes metabolites. These molecules arise as intermediate and end products from chemical processes in an organism’s metabolism. Therefore, they not only have huge significance for our lives, but they also provide valuable information about the condition of a living being or an environment. For example, metabolites can be used to detect diseases or, in the field of environmental technology, to examine drinking water samples. However, the diversity of these chemical compounds causes difficulties in scientific research. To date, only few molecules and their properties are known. If a sample is analysed in the laboratory, only a relatively small proportion of it can be identified, while the majority of molecules remain unknown.

Bioinformaticians at Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany together with colleagues from Finland and the USA, have now developed a unique method with which all metabolites in a sample can be taken

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Floyd teams up with Amazon for coding classes for Amazon Future Engineer Program

FLOYD, Va. (WDBJ) -Floyd County High School is now part of a program through Amazon to help train students in rural communities for careers in computer science. It’s one of about 1,600 schools across the country chosen for this two-year project.

“Really the goal from Amazon’s perspective is to grow the amount of computer programmers that are available,” said Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Innovation Jessica Cromer.

The district pushed hard to get Floyd in the Amazon Future Engineer Program as thousands of coding jobs are unfilled and the company wants to target students in rural areas.

“Digital literacy in general is the language of the future and in order for our students to be successful in the future, we have to teach them that language,” Cromer said.

The coding program runs through a web browser instead of software, making it easier to access with classes largely online now.


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Siberian student scales birch tree for internet access as classes move online

STANKEVICHI, Russia (Reuters) – Russian student Alexei Dudoladov has been forced to go to great lengths – or rather great heights – to attend classes online, having to climb a birch tree in his remote Siberian village every time he needs an internet connection.

The 21-year-old, a popular blogger and a student at the Omsk Institute of Water Transport, located 2,225 kilometres (1,383 miles) east of Moscow, has got the authorities’ attention by pleading for better internet coverage from the top of a snow-covered birch tree.

In his plea – viewed 1.9 million times on TikTok and more than 56,000 times on Instagram since last week – Dudoladov tells regional governor Alexander Burkov that his home internet is not strong enough to connect to his online classes and that he has been forced to come up with a creative solution.

“I need to go into the forest 300 metres from

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Surviving Weed-Out Classes in Science May Be a State of Mind

“Look to your left, look to your right. One of you won’t be here in the next semester.”

It’s a typical lecture delivered at the start of a semester in the sciences, and one that Ainissa Ramirez remembered hearing early during her undergraduate studies at Brown University.

Now a successful materials scientist and science writer, Dr. Ramirez recalls that she was almost pushed out of pursuing a career in science because of her weed-out classes. As their name suggests, the classes are common especially in the sciences and mathematics at American universities, and are designed to demarcate students who are likely to do well in a given subject from those who are not.

Those who excel in these introductory classes can proceed with completing a major on the topic if they wish. But there’s evidence that weed-out classes disproportionately hinder underrepresented groups including women as well as Black, Native American

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Teen Kills Himself After Shattering Phone He Used for Online Classes

This story contains content related to suicide.

A 16-year-old in Western India killed himself after smashing his family’s phone screen, the Independent reported.

Rohit Varak lived in the western state of Goa and dropped the smartphone shared by his family of six while he was using it to attend online classes earlier in October. He was reportedly found dead four days later.

The case is among many reported suicides in India related to the country’s lockdown. Many schools in India remain closed, and families, such as Varak’s, are struggling with access to education and technology. 

“It would have cost about Rs 3,000 ($40) to repair the phone,” Rohit’s sister Neha Varak, 18, told the Independent. “My father did not have that kind of money.”

Varak’s uncle also spoke with the Independent and said the family has been heavily affected by the pandemic and that they are not earning enough

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