Yale ranks #124 for best global universities in computer science, faculty comment on lack of institutional support

Zoe Berg, Photo Editor

Just over four years since Yale University President Peter Salovey first said that the University would make up ground in the sciences, 2021 U.S. News rankings have placed the computer science department at Yale as 124th in the world.

The University is currently ranked #11 in overall best global universities according to U.S. News, but its standing in computer science is far lower. The ranking is based on the department’s research performance. 

Within the past 10 years, the number of CS majors at Yale has grown ten-fold, and the program is now the third most popular undergraduate major. But for more than 20 years, the number of faculty in the department did not increase significantly, even as the field has gained popularity. The hiring process is also crippled by subpar facilities, seven faculty who spoke to the News said, and Yale’s science priorities initially placed computer

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Jaguars robust to climate extremes but lack of food threatens species

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

A new QUT-led study has found wild jaguars in the Amazon can cope with climate extremes in the short-term, but numbers will rapidly decline if weather events increase in frequency, diminishing sources of food.

Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen and Professor Kevin Burrage led a team of researchers in a world-first investigation of the big cat’s chances of survival.

The new research results have been published in Ecology and Evolution.

The jaguar (Panthera onca) is the dominant predator in Central and South America and is considered a near-threatened species by the International Union Conservation Nature.

Research main points:

  • Results are concerning for future viability of jaguar populations in Peruvian Amazon.
  • Stochastic statistical temporal model of jaguar abundance considers six population scenarios and estimates of prey species.
  • Jaguar diet includes white lipped peccary, collared peccary, red brochet deer, white tailed deer, agouti, paca and armadillo.
  • Species exhibit
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Best Buy Q3 online sales surge, stock falls on lack of forecast

  • Best Buy posted $11.85 billion in third-quarter revenue on Tuesday, beating analyst expectations. 
  • Online orders continued to surge, making up more than a third of all sales, amid another rise in coronavirus cases. 
  • Despite the results, Best Buy’s stock sank as much as 5% after executives declined to give a forecast for the fourth quarter.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Best Buy posted booming sales Tuesday, including online orders almost tripling, as demand for home electronics and entertainment products continues to soar during the pandemic. Yet anxiety about a fourth-quarter slowdown and lack of future guidance caused the retailer’s stock to fall more than 6%. 

The electronics retailer reported $11.85 billion in total revenue for the quarter to October 31 — up 21.4% on the same time last year, which the company noted was better that expected. Analysts had expected revenues of about $11.0 billion. 

The rising revenue

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What Did Twitter Just Do? Lack Of Edit Button Upsets User After Fleets Unveiled

Twitter (TWTR) on Tuesday introduced a new feature, and no, it’s not an edit button. 

Following the path set by Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, Twitter has implemented a feature called “Fleets.” It is similar to “Stories,” which allows users to make posts that disappear after a certain amount of time, usually 24 hours. 

Tweets are able to be deleted, but many times they can stay on the internet through search engines and third-party websites. With Fleets, there’s no trace of them after they’re deleted by the user or the time runs out. 

Fleets is a new accessory to the social media site that can add more open conversations and creativity, according to Variety. However, it’s not what some Twitter users were expecting, nor what they’ve been asking for, for years.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook and Instagram apps have an edit button after users post something on their feed. Whether it be

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Pandorabots’ Bot Battle highlights lack of industrywide metrics for open domain AI

Emerging technology fields need industrywide metrics to measure progress. So a pun-loving chatbot startup called Pandorabots decided to put on a flashy Bot Battle. The Bot Battle consisted of two virtual beings chatting 24 hours a day, seven days a week for two weeks (unlike humans, AIs never tire). Viewers were invited to vote on the better chatbot.

The first contestant, “Mark Zuckerb0rg,” is based on Facebook’s Blenderbot. He’s a terse figure who wears a “Make Facebook Great Again” hat and doesn’t shy away from intolerant opinions like “I don’t like feminists.” The Pandorabots chatbot Kuki is arguably more eloquent. But she’s a politician, often taking the conversation back to her comfort zone and delivering the same quips again and again. The winner? Kuki, with 79% of the votes and 40,000 views. But Pandorabots says the real aim of the Bot Battle is to spark an industrywide conversation about the

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Apple’s new M1 chip, Macs, lack of performance data, and more tech news today

Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Wednesday, 11 November 2020.

1. Apple’s M1 chip, and new M1 Macs

Apple’s event yesterday introduced its Arm-based M1 chip as its new Apple silicon chipset, and announced three new Macs that will sport the no-longer-Intel hardware: the 13-inch MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and a surprise, the Mac Mini. The new Macs look just about identical, with some keyboard changes, and the main promise is more battery life right now.

To be clear, these are the low-end Macs getting a boost:

  • They go on sale next week, at more or less at the same prices as the current Intel versions.
  • We haven’t seen any reviews yet from independent sources.

That’s the top line.

Let’s dig in a little.

Apple's M1 chip

The M1 chip:

Finally, we saw some limited detail into the first Apple silicon system-on-a-chip (SoC) for Macs.

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Sony addresses PS5’s lack of web browser and 1440p support

As is often the case with newly launched game consoles, the PlayStation 5 doesn’t support every feature you might have hoped for out of the box. In an interview with Japanese outlet AV Watch, Sony EVP Masayasu Ito and SVP Hideaki Nishino have addressed some of the functionality that won’t be there at launch.

Unlike the Xbox Series X, Series S, and the One X before them, the PS5 won’t output natively to 1440p monitors, instead scaling up from 1080p. Nishino says this is because Sony wanted to focus on TV support at first, but notes that there’s no technical reason why it couldn’t be done and may be added if the company decides there’s enough demand.

The PS5 won’t have a web browser, breaking from the tradition set by the PS3 and PS4. Nishino doubts whether it’s really necessary to have a discrete browser app beyond the browser

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Experts urge review of maths teaching after study shows children lack spatial reasoning skills

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Mathematics teaching needs to be rethought because children’s spatial reasoning skills are not developed enough, a new study says.

Pupils who took part in the research struggled with basic geometry problems, suggesting their knowledge about shapes isn’t checked often enough, and there needs to be more space on the curriculum for them to practice what they have learned.

Academics measured children’s spatial reasoning skills by asking them simple questions about which shapes fit together. Pupils could identify a main shape from an images made up of many but struggled to identify others.

Spatial reasoning skills help people to rotate shapes mentally to see how they would look in different directions. This is essential in professions involving IT and engineering. Experts believe the 1,357 grade 4 to 9 students in Japan who took part in the study struggled because they couldn’t both visualize shapes and apply mathematical

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Scientific Journals Commit to Diversity, but Lack the Data

Publishing papers in top-tier journals is crucial scholastic currency. But the process is deeply insular, often hinging on personal connections between journal editors and the researchers from whom they solicit and receive manuscripts.

“Science is publicized as a meritocracy: a larger, data-driven enterprise in which the best work and the best people float to the top,” Dr. Extavour said. In truth, she added, universal, objective standards are lacking, and “the access that authors have to editors is variable.”

To democratize this process, editors and reviewers need to level the playing field, in part by reflecting the diversity that journals claim they seek, Dr. Kamath said. “People think this is a cosmetic or surface issue,” she said. “But in reality, the very nature of your scholarship would change if you took diversity, equity and inclusion seriously.”

In responses to The Times, several organizations, including A.A.A.S., Cell Press, the Lancet and PLoS,

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Apple sees $111 billion in market value erased on disappointing 4th-quarter iPhone sales and lack of forward guidance

Tim Cook wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Apple CEO Tim Cook. Karl Mondon/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images

© Karl Mondon/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images
Apple CEO Tim Cook. Karl Mondon/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images

  • Apple shares fell as much as 5.6% on Friday after the tech giant’s fiscal fourth-quarter figures failed to meet analysts’ expectations.
  • As much as $111 billion was erased from Apple’s market cap.
  • The company beat estimates for overall revenue and profit, but iPhone sales landed below hopes.
  • Apple’s updated phone lineup was released roughly one month later than usual, ensuring that sales of the new models will materialize in its current-quarter report.
  • The company stopped short of providing forward guidance for the third consecutive quarter. While its finance chief, Luca Maestri, said new-phone sales were “off to a great start,” the lack of official guidance rankled investors.
  • Watch Apple trade live here.

Apple sank as much as 5.6% on Friday after the company’s fiscal fourth-quarter report fell

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