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- Six STEM Tweets - Sep 22 2024

# Six STEM Tweets - Sep 22 2024

## ML for whale ID, cyanometer blues, 1000 days of JWST and more

# Six STEM Tweets

Six tweets that celebrate engineering and all things STEM.

I scroll so you don’t have to.

Hello friends, both old and new. I am so glad you are here.

If you enjoy any part of the newsletter, please ‘reply’ to let me know. And ‘forward’ to share it with another curious cat. Thanks!

Let’s get to the Six STEM Tweets of the week

# #1 🤯

Introducing our new whale bioacoustics model, which can identify eight distinct species, including multiple calls for two of those species. The model even includes the “Biotwang” sounds recently attributed to the Bryde’s whale. Learn more at: goo.gle/3Znukdk

— Google AI (@GoogleAI)

3:31 PM • Sep 18, 2024

This is a really impressive use of machine learning to identify whale species through their sound recordings. According to the Google Research website:

The acoustic range of whale species is incredibly broad, ranging from as low as 10 Hz for blue whales to above 120kHz for odontocetes (toothed whales), and recordings also vary dramatically by location and with time, which can make model development difficult. Additionally, researchers often don’t know what types of vocalizations are made by some especially elusive whale species, which complicates identifying those animals in the soundscapes.

# #2 🤯

Is OpenAI's o1 a good calculator? We tested it on up to 20x20 multiplication—o1 solves up to 9x9 multiplication with decent accuracy, while gpt-4o struggles beyond 4x4. For context, this task is solvable by a small LM using implicit CoT with stepwise internalization. 1/4

— Yuntian Deng (@yuntiandeng)

6:46 PM • Sep 17, 2024

o1 is OpenAI’s latest large language model (LLM).

To be honest, I am ambivalent about these experiments. On one hand, they are important to know how good the model is but we know that these are not calculators. They are not math tools. A cheap calculator will do the math better than these LLMs. But researchers still spend compute time and cycles showing how the LLMs aren’t good at math.

Is this useful? What do you think?

# #3 🤯

A cyanometer is an instrument for measuring the intensity of blue in the sky.

— Brian Roemmele (@BrianRoemmele)

2:24 PM • Sep 21, 2024

Invented by Swiss physicist Horace-Bénédict de Saussure - has 52 different hues of blue arranged from light to dark on a gradated circular scale.

# #4 🤯

397 is conjectured to be the largest prime that can be represented uniquely as the sum of three positive squares

— Fermat's Library (@fermatslibrary)

5:25 PM • Sep 20, 2024

# #5 🤯

JWST is on Day 1000 in space today. We have not needed to adjust a single primary actuator since April 2nd (our plan was every two weeks). The imaging performance is still better than twice requirements. Basically, it's still incredibly awesome!

— lee feinberg (@leefeinberg1)

5:16 PM • Sep 20, 2024

JWST is the James Webb Space Telescope - it is not in orbit around the Earth, like the Hubble Space Telescope is - it actually orbits the Sun, 1.5 million kilometers (1 million miles) away from the Earth at what is called the second Lagrange point or L2.

The latest images from the telescope are on the NASA website at https://science.nasa.gov/mission/webb/#Latest-Images

# #6 🤯

Storage Tanks xkcd.com/2974

— Randall Munroe (@xkcd)

12:21 PM • Aug 20, 2024

If you have ever taken calculus or know a calculus student or an educator who teaches calculus, you will appreciate this one.

If you aren’t in any of the groups, the joke is that problems that talk about “related rates” and the time it takes to empty tanks of various sizes are a staple of high school calculus.

The last issue was #40 and I had mentioned that 40 is a “Harshad” number. Several folks ask about it so here’s the explanation:

Harshad numbers were defined by D. R. Kaprekar, an Indian mathematician. The word "harshad" comes from the Sanskrit harsha (joy) + da (give), meaning joy-giver.

In mathematics, a harshad number (or Niven number) in a given number base is an integer that is divisible by the sum of its digits when written in that base.

Example: The number 18 is a harshad number in base 10, because the sum of the digits 1 and 8 is 9, and 18 is divisible by 9.

40 is also a harshad number since it is divisible by 4 (4+0)

There's a lot of cool math esp. when you consider different bases etc.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harshad_number has all the interesting details

This is issue #41. Here’s some fun facts about 41:

It’s the sum of the first six prime numbers (2 + 3 + 5 + 7 + 11 + 13).

The atomic number of niobium Nb (formerly known as columbium, Cb)

The international direct dialing (IDD) code for Switzerland.

It’s a twin prime with 43 - twin primes are prime numbers that are 2 apart

It’s also the sum of 2 squares, 4

^{2}+ 5^{2}

About

This newsletter is my way of sharing interesting science-related news with my curious friends. I enjoy finding science and math connections in our world.

Please share this newsletter with others. Let’s encourage curiosity.

That’s it for this issue.

Hit ‘reply’ to tell me what you think.

And hit ‘forward’ to share with your friends and family.

Let’s all celebrate science and engineering and curiosity.

Best wishes,

Harshal