The multilingual classroom


A book about 20 languages that are spoken by students in German classrooms, including Turkish, Arabic, Polish, Hindi, Japanese, Italian, and English. The book is meant to help teachers understand the properties of their students’ native languages and provides materials for classroom use. The authors are prominent linguists, but the book is for the general public. The idea was conceived by the semanticist Manfred Krifka from the Humboldt University in Berlin.

The book is in German and for German classrooms, but we should all work together to produce such a book for the US, too.

Inferring simple rules from complex structures: Radhika Nagpal


Source: Harvard Gazette

From Science: “Complex systems are characterized by many independent components whose low-level actions produce collective high-level results. Predicting high-level results given low-level rules is a key open challenge; the inverse problem, finding low-level rules that give specific outcomes, is in general less understood. We present a multi-agent construction system inspired by mound-building termites, solving such an inverse problem. “

From Harvard Gazette: “The key inspiration we took from termites is the idea that you can do something really complicated as a group, without a supervisor, and, secondly, that you can do it without everybody discussing explicitly what’s going on, but just by modifying the environment.”

Il linguaggio al Festival delle Scienze di Roma

Il linguaggio al Festival delle Scienze


Il linguaggio. Una delle “caratteristiche più straordinarie e distintive della specie umana”. Sarà questo il tema del Festival delle Scienze di Roma, al via il 23 gennaio all’Auditorium Parco della Musica della capitale.

Language, one of the most extraordinary and distinctive properties of the human species, was the topic of the 2014 Science Festival in Rome.