Meeting: Numeracy in Brazil: diagnoses and perspectives

The Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics (RIDC NeuroMat) has organized the meeting "Numeracy in Brazil: diagnoses and perspectives," to be held on May 16. This event has the support of the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) and the University of São Paulo School of Education (FEUSP). (In portuguese)

Streaming of two sections on the uses of Wikipedia for education and scientific dissemination

Videos of the workshops "The Use of Wikipedia in Education," with LiAnna Davis (Wiki Edu Foundation), and "How to disseminate scientific topics on Wikimedia projects," with Davis and João Alexandre Peschanski (NeuroMat/FCL), that occurred on March 13 and 14, at the University of São Paulo. Streaming was made available by USP. Videos in English.

Encouraging education work in Brazil

A group of Wikimedians based at USP’s Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics (RIDC NeuroMat) has dramatically improved information available on the Portuguese Wikipedia on topics in neuroscience and mathematics. With a grant funded by São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), they’re working hard to bring more science information to the Portuguese Wikipedia. LiAnna Davis, Wiki Edu Blog, 03/20/2017.

Project strives for improving the quality of life of people with Parkinson's Disease

On April 11, the World Parkinson's Disease Day is celebrated; and this year the celebration is more special, since it has been 200 years since the first description of the disease, by James Parkinson. "We have progressed in the treatment of the disease, since then and especially in the last ten years, but we are still far away from finding a cure," says Maria Elisa Pimentel Piemonte, from USP and NeuroMat. Carolina Marins Santos, Jornal da USP, 4/12/2017. (In Portuguese)

Correlations induced by depressing synapses in critically self-organized networks with quenched dynamics

João Guilherme Ferreira Campos, Ariadne de Andrade Costa, Mauro Copelli and Osame Kinouchi

In a recent work, mean-field analysis and computer simulations were employed to analyze critical self-organization in networks of excitable cellular automata where randomly chosen synapses in the network were depressed after each spike (the so-called annealed dynamics). Calculations agree with simulations of the annealed version, showing that the nominal branching ratio σ converges to unity in the thermodynamic limit, as expected of a self-organized critical system. However, the question remains whether the same results apply to the biological case where only the synapses of firing neurons are depressed (the so-called quenched dynamics). We show that simulations of the quenched model yield significant deviations from σ = 1 due to spatial correlations. However, the model is shown to be critical, as the largest eigenvalue of the synaptic matrix approaches unity in the thermodynamic limit, that is, λc = 1. We also study the finite size effects near the critical state as a function of the parameters of the synaptic dynamics.

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