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30 OCTOBER 2015

Science and Islam: The Islamic Golden Age

"Physicist Jim Al-Khalili travels through Syria, Iran, Tunisia and Spain to tell the story of the great leap in scientific knowledge that took place in the Islamic world between the 8th and 14th centuries. Its legacy is tangible, with terms like algebra, algorithm and alkali all being Arabic in origin and at the very heart of modern science – there would be no modern mathematics or physics without algebra, no computers without algorithms and no chemistry without alkalis.

He discovers how medieval Islamic scholars helped turn the magical and occult practice of alchemy into modern chemistry and argues that these scholars are among the first people to insist that all scientific theories are backed up by careful experimental observation, bringing a rigour to science that didn’t really exist before."

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14th century2009 • 8th century • Abbasid Caliphate • Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali • Abu Nasr Muhammad al-Farabi • Al-Farabi • Al-Khwarizmi • Al-Muallim Al-Thani • algebraalgorithm • alkali • Amira Bennison • Ancient GreekArabic scienceastronomy • Averroes • BaghdadBBC Four • Canon of Medicine • chemistry • early medicine • fundamental research • geometry • George Saliba • Greek culture • Greek geometry • Greek mathematics • history of ideashistory of scholarshiphistory of science • House of Wisdom in Baghdad • Ian Stewart • Ibn Arabi • Ibn Khaldun • Ibn Rushd • Ibn Sina • India • Indian texts • Iran • Islamic design • Islamic geometric design • Islamic Golden Age • Islamic mathematics • Islamic patterns • Islamic science • Islamic world • Jim Al-Khalili • language translation • mathematical elegance • medieval Islamic civilisation • medieval Islamic science • middle ages • Muslim territories • Nader El-Bizri • Okasha El Daly • outward-looking culture • patronage • Persian texts • personal journey • Peter Pormann • pioneering engineering • pioneering mathematics • pioneering science • progressive societyrenaissance • repeated geometrical shapes • science and Islam • Science and Islam (2009) • scientific knowledge • Simon Schaffer • SpainSyriatelevision documentary • Thabit ibn Qurrah • The Sabian • The Translation Movement • trigonometry • TunisiaTurkey

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 OCTOBER 2015

Hans Rosling: Don't Panic - The Truth About Population

"'Don't Panic' is a one-hour long documentary produced by Wingspan Productions and broadcasted on BBC on the 7th of November 2013.

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2013BangladeshBBC2birth and deathchanging worldchild mortalitycountry and comparative datadata visualisationdebunkingdemographicsdeveloping countriesdifferent strata of society • Dollar Street • economic developmentenvironmental determinismenvironmental statistics • extreme poverty • family planning • Gapmindergender equalityglobal population • global portrait • Hans Roslinghuman history • human mortality • ignorance survey • Indiainfographics • life expectancy • mortalityour planetPeoples Republic of Chinapopulation change • population explosion • population growthpopulation statisticspovertypreconceptionsmall data • social development • social inequalitystatistical graphicsstatistician • street metaphor • sustainable global development • television documentary • understanding statistics • United Nationsvisualising data • Wingspan Productions

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
09 JUNE 2015

Compelling motion infographics: The Fallen of World War II

"The Fallen of World War II is an interactive documentary that examines the human cost of the second World War and the decline in battle deaths in the years since the war. The 15-minute data visualization uses cinematic storytelling techniques to provide viewers with a fresh and dramatic perspective of a pivotal moment in history."

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23 • 80 • Africa • AlteredQualiea • Andy Dollerson • Aotearoa New Zealand • Auschwitz-Birkenau • AustraliaAustriaaverage age • battle deaths • Belgium • Belzec • British colonial era • BurmaCanadacasualties • Chelmno • civilian deaths • concentration camp • cost of war • counting the numbers • course of historyD-Day landingdata visualisation • data-driven documentary • death campDenmark • Eastern Front • Estonia • firebombing • Francefutility of wargas chambergassingGreecehistorical perspective • human cost of war • HungaryIndiaIndonesiainfo graphicsinteractive information designItalyJapanJewish HolocaustKoreaLatviaLithuania • long peace • Luxembourg • Majdanek • military conflictMyanmarNazi Germany • Neil Halloran • Netherlands • North American historical perspective • Norwaynumerical scalesOkinawa • Omaha Beach • Pacific Rim • Pacific War • peace • Pearl Harbor • Peoples Republic of ChinaPeoples Republic of PolandPhilippinespicture statisticsPolandRomania • Siege of Leningrad • Slovakia • Sobibor • Soviet armySoviet Russia • Stalingrad • statistical graphics • Steven Pinker • Treblinka • UKvisual information designwarwar crimes • Western Front • World War II • Yellow River • Yugoslavia

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 JULY 2014

The Adventure of English: the evolution of the English language

"The Adventure of English is a British television series (ITV) on the history of the English presented by Melvyn Bragg as well as a companion book, also written by Bragg. The series ran in 2003.

The series and the book are cast as an adventure story, or the biography of English as if it were a living being, covering the history of the language from its modest beginnings around 500 AD as a minor Germanic dialect to its rise as a truly established global language.

In the television series, Bragg explains the origins and spelling of many words based on the times in which they were introduced into the growing language that would eventually become modern English."

[Complete eight part series available on YouTube distributed by Maxwell's collection Pty Limited, Australia]

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2002 • A Dictionary of the English Language • American English • American Spelling Book • Anglo-SaxonArabicaristocracyAustraliaAustralian Aborigineauthoritative historyBible • Blue Backed Speller • British televisionCaribbean • Catherine of Aragon • Celtic language • Celts • Church of England • cockney rhyming slang • colonisationcommon languagecommunication • Convicts land • dialectdictionaryDutch • educated people • English languageEsperantoFrenchFrench languageFrisian • Frisian language • Gaelic • Germanic rootsgrammarGreek • Gullah language • Hebrew • Henry V of England • Henry VIII of England • historical eventshistoryhistory of ideas • History of the English language • history of useimmigrationIndiaindustrial revolutioninvasionIsaac NewtonITVJamaicanJane Austen • John Cheke • John WycliffeJonathan Swift • Joseph McCoy • Katherine Duncan-Jones • King James I • languagelanguage developmentLatin wordlinguisticsmedieval churchMelvyn Braggmini-series • modern English • Netherlands • Noah Webster • North America • Old English • peasant • Philip Sidne • pidgin • pronunciation • Queen Elizabeth I • Robert Burns • Rural Rides • Samuel JohnsonSanskritScotland • Scottish language • scripture • spelling • Squanto • television series • The Adventure of English (2002) • theologian • Thomas Sheridan • United Statesuse of wordsvikingvocabulary • Websters Dictionary • West Africa • William Cobbett • William Jones • William Shakespeare • William the Conqueror • William Tyndale • William Wordsworth • words

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
22 DECEMBER 2013

Global Technology Outlook 2013: Personalised Education

"An industry at the brink of transformation: The education industry is at the brink of an IT–enabled transformation. This transformation is driven by a demand for quality education that outstrips supply especially in the growth markets, misalignment between education and employment needs, and impatience with inefficiencies of education systems. For example, the government of Brazil is already funding students to go abroad because of a shortage of education infrastructure and quality educators. If growth continues to follow the existing trajectory, India will need about 800 more traditional universities than current levels today of about 350 universities.

Today, the most talked about application of technology to address these gaps is the advent of Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOC, which are growing rapidly. Several startups have emerged including Udacity, Khan Academy and Coursera, with millions of students enrolled across hundreåds of countries. Large amounts of new data are being created, which thus far is untapped for its potential.

What is Personalized Education: Education today is mainly delivered on a one size fits all basis. This is a key cause of the poor quality and inefficiencies associated with the industry. Educational institutions can learn from healthcare by drawing the parallels of doctors to educators, patients to learners, medicine/treatment to courses/learning, and payers to education loan providers. From a technology point of view, the use of electronic health data to form patient records, derive evidence, and provide patient–centric personalized healthcare can be extended to education, with the formulation of digital student records helping to inform and provide personalized learning pathways based on the capabilities of the learner and the desired outcomes.

Implications for the industry: The education industry is ripe for innovation, as new business models are instantiated on the emerging new sources of data, in particular the longitudinal learning data (tracking student information over multiple years in multiple schools). Predictive and prescriptive analytics will be applied to improve outcomes and efficiency. Clustering learners into groups, assigning new learners to existing clusters, identifying when a learner is deviating from a particular path are some possible outcomes. Prescriptive analytics would identify personalized learning pathways, track progress, and provide feedback to ultimately improve timely graduations and employability. Combined with industry demand data, supply estimates could be provided and targeted courses created with intakes tweaked to meet estimated demand. What will it take to succeed?: Ultimately there are many stakeholders who will be involved in improving education. This includes academic institutions, state education departments, students, learning management systems (LMS) and MOOC providers, government social service agencies and corporations. In order to achieve their often–shared goals, particularly to improve graduation and employment rates, they'll need to come together to create an open platform for sharing this data and insights from the analytics."

(William LaFontaine, 2013, IBM Research)

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2013 • Alabama State Education • analyticsBrazilCourseradata integration • demand for quality education • Desire2Learn • digital student records • e-learningeducationeducation and employment • education industry • education shortage • electronic health data • healthcareIBM • IBM Global Technology Outlook (GTO) • IBM Research • IndiaKhan Academy • learning management systems • LMSlongitudinal learning dataMassive Open Online CoursesMOOCsone-size-fits-all solution • outcomes and efficiency • patient records • patient-centric • personalised educationpersonalised healthcarepersonalised learning • personalised learning pathways • predictive analytics • prescriptive analytics • Qatar Supreme Education • study abroadUdacity

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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