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Weekend picks: memory, cyberpunk and startups

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A collection of articles about science and the life of ITMO University. There’s going to be something for everyone: from the limits of the human memory to cyberpunk and startups developed at our accelerator.

Фото: Tokyo Luv Unsplash.com

The human mind

Everything you always wanted to know about human memory (but were afraid to ask)

A good primer on what human memory is, what it isn’t, and how to increase the likelihood of it working. We’ll take a look at the three basic kinds of human memory: incidental, short-term, and long-term. We’ll explore theories surrounding memory retention, talk about the phenomenon of ‘misheard lyrics’, and offer practical advice that will help you remember things in stressful situations, like during exams.

All gain, no pain — learning with the Flashcard method

Of all the popular learning methods, it is one of the most widely used — yet severely misunderstood. With the help of this article, you’ll learn the science that went into creating it, and how to apply it in your own life.

Everything you always wanted to know about amnesia and false memories

Popular culture spreads a number of myths about the way our memory works, which we try to debunk. You’ll learn about the difference between photographic memory as portrayed on-screen and real-life ‘eidetic’ memory, common types of amnesia and mistakes people make when talking about it. Last, but not least — we’ll dismantle the notion that our memory can serve as a source of objective information.

Mind traps: how scientists fool themselves

Intellectual prowess don’t protect you from being biased. In fact, ‘smart people’ fall victim to the traps they set out more often than the rest of us. We’ll explore how errors make their way into otherwise credible research, how our partiality impacts our data processing abilities, and what can we do to keep it in check.

ITMO Accelerator

ITMO, like many great tech universities, aims to be an important part of the local startup infrastructure and promote technological innovation in the region. Four years ago we started operating a full-fledged startup accelerator and a corresponding preparatory program. Since then, we’ve given critical guidance to more than 100 student-owned startups, set them up with some of the best tech investors in the country, and saw them succeed in the industry of their choice. Here are some of their success stories.

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ITMO startups: machine vision edition

Given our university’s focus on computer science and optics, it is no surprise that the ITMO Accelerator produced a number of innovative machine vision startups. We’ll take a look at two of them. Labra produces an AI-powered surveillance system that measures workplace productivity, and gives hints as to how improve it. O.VISION aims to replace traditional checkpoints with smart and secure face recognition–enabled turnstiles.

ITMO University startup accelerator introduces Laeneco, a smart stethoscope

Laenco is the stethoscope of the future. The team behind this reimagining of the trusty ages-old auscultation device equipped it with sensors and machine learning technology in order to improve the accuracy of doctors’ lung disease assessments. The smartphone companion app analyzes audio input from the device and presents the most likely phenomena this data correlates to. Learn more about the thought process behind this product.

GoROBO: an educational initiative from the ITMO University startup accelerator

GoROBO is one of ITMO Accelerator’s biggest success stories. Originally this robotics school for children only had a single location om the outskirts of the city. It has since come a long way, and now its young students all over the city are getting a robotics education unlike any other. Read the article to find out how this business overcame its problems and started to expand, as well as what they plan to accomplish in the near future.

Books and reading

Post-cyberpunk: what you need to know about the latest trends in speculative fiction

Everyone knows cyberpunk. But modern sci-fi is so much more than that. This article will shed light on science fiction’s most promising genres, explore their origin stories and speculate on why we feel so drawn to these new forms of speculative literature. You’ll read about attempts to recenter the universe around non-anglophone cultures, time travelling trends of the past decade, and vapourwave: the literary child of late-stage capitalism.

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Weekend Picks: light reading for STEM majors

Tired after a long week of work? Take a look at some of the books we picked for your entertainment. Our selection includes volumes about technologies of the future, scientific conquests of the past, and the way we live our lives today. Non-fiction, fiction, and somewhere in between — we have a little something for everyone.
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