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A Theory of Linguistic Computation and Storage

Language allows us to express and comprehend an unbounded number of thoughts. This fundamental and much-celebrated property is made possible by a division of labor between a large inventory of stored items (e.g., affixes, words, idioms) and a computational system that productively combines these stored units on the fly to create a potentially unlimited array of new expressions. A language learner must discover a language’s productive, reusable units and determine which computational processes can give rise to new expressions.

In the era of “big data,” science is increasingly information driven, and the potential for computers to store, manage, and integrate massive amounts of data has given rise to such new disciplinary fields as biomedical informatics. Applied ontology offers a strategy for the organization of scientific information in computer-tractable form, drawing on concepts not only from computer and information science but also from linguistics, logic, and philosophy.

A BIT of Girls Coming to Tech!

Engineering education in the United States was long regarded as masculine territory. In this BIT, Amy Bix describes how a few women breached the gender-reinforced boundaries of engineering education before World War II. They were a rare group of women who simply worked their way into engineering, through observation, persistence, and the happenstance of being in the right place at the right time.

A BIT of Dream Life

In this BIT, a pioneer in sleep and dream science addresses the infant’s experience of consciousness, considering developmental factors inaccessible to memory, the continuous evolution of the brain, and the importance of sleep to brain development.

A BIT of The Architecture of Error

When architects draw even brick walls to six decimal places with software designed to cut lenses, it is clear that the logic that once organized relations between precision and material error in construction has unraveled. In this BIT, Francesca Hughes examines the roots of architecture’s fetishization of precision and fear of error.

A BIT of Play Matters

What do we think about when we think about play? A pastime? Games? Childish activities? The opposite of work? Play goes beyond games; it is a mode of being human. If we are happy and well rested, we may approach even our daily tasks in a playful way, taking the attitude of play without the activity of play. In this BIT, Miguel Sicart examines the distinction between play and playfulness.

A BIT of Dreaming

Dreams, conceived as conscious experience or phenomenal states during sleep, offer an important contrast condition for theories of consciousness and the self. In this BIT, Jennifer Windt considers how the phenomenology of (dis)embodied selfhood in dreams relates to the sleeping, physical body and the brain.

Policies toward China and India

The European Union has long portrayed itself as an international leader on climate change. In this book, the first systematic assessment of Europe’s claim to climate leadership, Diarmuid Torney analyzes the EU’s engagement with China and India on climate policies from 1990 to the present.

Algorithms, Worked Examples, and Case Studies

Machine learning is often used to build predictive models by extracting patterns from large datasets. These models are used in predictive data analytics applications including price prediction, risk assessment, predicting customer behavior, and document classification. This introductory textbook offers a detailed and focused treatment of the most important machine learning approaches used in predictive data analytics, covering both theoretical concepts and practical applications.

Bell Labs, the S-C 4020, and the Origins of Computer Art

In 1959, the electronics manufacturer Stromberg-Carlson produced the S-C 4020, a device that allowed mainframe computers to present and preserve images. In the mainframe era, the output of text and image was quite literally peripheral; the S-C 4020—a strange and elaborate apparatus, with a cathode ray screen, a tape deck, a buffer unit, a film camera, and a photo-paper camera—produced most of the computer graphics of the late 1950s and early 1960s. At Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, the S-C 4020 became a crucial part of ongoing encounters among art, science, and technology.

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