View post tag: Navy View post tag: contract View post tag: Pro View post tag: Russian View post tag: Ministry Share this article View post tag: Defense February 29, 2012 View post tag: News by topic Russian Defense Ministry to Sign Contract with Tetis Pro Industry news Deep-sea diving system produced by Divex (Scotland) for Russian rescue ship Igor Belousov will be delivered, mounted, and tested by specialists of Russian company Tetis Pro which is going to provide 5-year long aftersales service and train operators. The contract with Tetis Pro will be signed in the nearest time, a source in defense ministry told Central Navy Portal.Project 21300 rescue ship Igor Belousov was laid down in 2005 at Admiralteyskie Verfi shipyard. As is planned, the ship would be launched in Oct 2012, and commissioned into Russian Navy – in 2014.Construction of the rescue ship so vital for the Navy was going on with considerable delays. In many ways, the reason was unsatisfactory work of Lazurit Design Bureau which was supposed to develop deep-sea diving system GVK-450, said the source.Improper organization of design works and ineffective management of the bureau’s directors led to considerable schedule slippage which affected the ship’s construction rate.JSC Lazurit Design Bureau presented feasibility study of development works with the system delivery date postponed to 2013 (so that the ship would be commissioned at least in 2015) and the necessity for about RUR 1.5 bln additional financing for manufacturing and delivery of GVK-450 system (without mounting on the ship). Upon examination of the mentioned sum, it was revealed that the amount was groundlessly overrated. According to the source of Central Navy Portal, this indicates dishonesty of that organization as executor of contractual commitments.In Nov 2011, defense ministry, JSC United Shipbuilding Corporation, and Admiralteyskie Verfi shipyard decided to complete rescue ship Igor Belousov in 2014 without increase of overall cost. It was decided to waive the services of Lazurit Design Bureau offered to equip Igor Belousov with Italian components for diving system.[mappress]Naval Today Staff , February 29, 2012; Image: Lazurit Design Bureau Back to overview,Home naval-today Russian Defense Ministry to Sign Contract with Tetis Pro View post tag: sign View post tag: Tetis View post tag: Naval
February 23, 2018 By Michael Leppertwww.contrariana.comFrom behind a podium in Florida last week, Emma Gonzalez said plenty. Much of what she has said the last several days has been said before, sort of.Michael Leppert is a public and governmental affairs consultant in Indianapolis and writes his thoughts about politics, government and anything else that strikes him at Contrariana.com.A sample of her tone was directed toward our nation’s political class. She said to a mourning crowd, mocking the old guard “that us kids don’t know what we’re talking about, that were too young to understand how the government works—we call B.S.!”I mourn the kids from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who died February 14. I love the ones who survived.I tend to agree with the survivors’ underlying message, which helps me be a fan, but that is secondary for purposes of this column. They are rattling cages. And it is refreshing to watch.There has been an abundance of protesting lately in America. The “resist” movement is getting people off of the coach who had grown far too comfortable there. Of course, I’m talking about old people when I say that. I can say “old” because I certainly qualify. And please don’t misunderstand me on this, I support activism in general and not just the brand with which I agree.This is a special moment I hope our nation does not overlook. Obviously, the catalyst for this movement was a catastrophe that hopefully does not recur. But part of the uniqueness of the moment is that the young people speaking out today are the actual victims of the catastrophe. I hope that part is never the case again.The other part is a belief that speaking up actually matters. That is the thing that the old people in this country need to help make sure remains true. Young people need to know that what they are saying is important. Not because it represents some cliché participation trophy, but because their perspective can help us old folks hear B.S. with fresh ears.That’s what these kids are giving us more than anything: fresh ears.David Hogg is one of Gonzalez’ classmates. He was a prominent target of conspiracy theorists who wanted the public to believe that these young people were actors. While we are discussing B.S., this is on top of the list. Hogg’s dad happens to be an FBI agent as if that matters.“I haven’t lost hope in America, and my dad hasn’t either,” is a sample of what this young man said. He is 17 years old. He has already taken more from the mysterious and cowardly opposition on gun issues than anyone should have to take. And he appears unphased by it. Stay strong, kid. We need you to stay strong.Perspective is the thing that is changing the conversation on gun violence this time.I have had some conversations with my guns rights friends these last few days. I am not friends with the NRA’s Dana Loesch and Wayne LaPierre. The people I have talked to are beginning to sound more reasonable than ever. My pals are making suggestions to me like, “be specific about the policy you want” and we might be able to agree. “Quit attacking the person who believes in gun ownership…” and maybe we can make a change together.I ask things like “how about investing in a background check system that is as important to you as social security numbers, citizenship records, or voter rolls?” Or “how about having the Centers for Disease Control do research on how to identify mass shooters before they kill?”These questions got me treated like David Hogg last year, but now 2nd Amendment lovers are actually thinking before they answer them.The conversation is changing. These young people are responsible for it.I hope all of this results in progress on America’s gun violence problem as much as anyone. But I also want to see the experience our nation is having, by listening to a new perspective, teach us a lesson that is broader. When the same group of people keeps having the same fruitless arguments over and over, sometimes the answer to the conflict is as simple as listening to someone with a different perspective.Gonzalez, Hogg and their friends are not really suggesting anything that hasn’t been suggested before. It’s just that it sounds so much more clear coming from them. They are suggesting solutions to us that are inspiring in their simplicity and familiarity.And their intentions are pure.So, kids, watch your mouths. Make sure whatever it is that comes out of them is as honest as everything you have said so far. The world is listening. If you keep doing this right, it just might become a habit.For all of us.FOOTNOTE: Michael Leppert is a public and governmental affairs consultant in Indianapolis and writes his thoughts about politics, government and anything else that strikes him at Contrariana.com.The City-County Observer posted this article without opinion, bias or editing.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
The Ocean City VFW Post No. 6650 collects clothing for the Ocean City Board of Realtors Warmth for Winter Drive.The Ocean City Board of Realtors is pleased to announce its fall community service project, a drive to collect coats, sweaters, blankets, snow boots, hats and scarves. Donations will be collected now through Nov. 26, and will be used to give the gift of warmth for winter.The Warmth for the Winter Drive will collect gently used or new items to be donated to the Ocean City Ecumenical Council Clothes Closet to provide for needy families. Of special need for this winter are children’s coats, children’s snow boots, and men’s sweat pants and pajamas. Monetary donations will be accepted — we will shop for you! Funds will be used to purchase items of need as requested by the Ecumenical Clothes Closet.Donations can be dropped off at the office of the Ocean City Board of Realtors, 405 22nd Street, or for pickup please call the office at 609-399-0128.“It’s time to clean out those closets, and we encourage our fellow Realtors, friends and neighbors to donate items that are gently used or new, especially coats, that will provide warmth for the winter to families in need” said Gloria Votta, Chair Community Services Committee, Ocean City Board of Realtors.For more information, please contact Vicki Heebner at 609-399-0128 or [email protected]— News release from the Ocean City Board of Realtors
…the increase in value recorded by the vegetarian food market last year, partly due to clever marketers using the term “meat-free” on packaging rather than the stigmatised “vegetarian”, claims The Grocer. Sneaky.
Bakery brand Mrs Crimble’s has appointed Symon Aylen as its new sales director.The former business unit manager for Fabulous Bakin’ Boys, who has also worked for Bestfoods and Golden Wonder, joins the company as part of its ongoing growth strategy. Aylen told British Baker that, in his new role, his 2012 strategy would be to, “increase the penetration of the Mrs Crimble’s brand by distribution, promotion, and brand activation techniques”.Jeremy Woods, managing director of Mrs Crimble’s, said: “Despite the economic conditions, 2011 has been a particularly strong year for us and, on top of that, we have just finished giving Mrs Crimble’s a total makeover. That has also been a big success. “To manage our growth, and ensure it continues, we have appointed Symon Aylen as our new sales director and asked Gareth Toms to focus on helping us break into new export markets and grow existing ones. We have also taken on a number of graduates, who have been coming up with new ideas to help Mrs Crimble’s stay fresh, inspiring and ahead of the curve.”
Thank you Madam President and thank you to the two Under-Secretaries-General for your helpful briefings.Madam President, I’d like to structure my remarks around six headings: The UK position on the Golan; UN Security Council Resolutions; What this means for the international order; Israel’s right to security; The Middle East Peace Process; and UNDOF. On the first point, the United Kingdom’s position has not changed Madam President. It is our position that the Golan Heights is territory occupied by Israel.The turbulent history of the region is of course well-known. Following the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel took control of the Golan, including the disputed Sheba’a Farms, and in 1981 took the decision to annex the territory. The United Kingdom did not recognise that annexation and nor do we today.Annexation of territory by force is prohibited under international law, including the UN Charter. In addition, under the Law of State Responsibility, states are obliged not recognise the annexation of territory as a result of force.Turning to the UN Security Council Resolutions; it is important, Madam President, that we uphold the relevant UN Security Resolutions. Security Council Resolution 242 – which the then British delegation had the honour to pen – was adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council on November 22, 1967. British sponsored, it called on all parties to end territorial claims, acknowledge the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and for “the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict”.We recall, Madame President, that Security Council Resolution 497, adopted unanimously on 17 December 1981, decided that the Israeli Golan Heights Law, which effectively annexed the Golan Heights, is “null and void and without international legal effect” and it further demanded that Israel rescind its action.The decision by the United States to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights is in contravention of UN Security Council Resolution 497.In terms of international order, Madame President, the United Kingdom firmly believes that the rules based international system has increased states’ ability to resolve their differences peacefully, and it has provided a framework for the greatest sustained rise in prosperity which mankind has seen. This is why the United Kingdom thinks we should work hard with our international partners to nurture and protect these rules.Madame President, the right to self defence is inherent. Israel has a right to defend itself. She has a right to security and her people has a right to live in safety. We do not wish to diminish Israel’s genuine security concerns. We fully support her right to defend herself and urge, the Asad Regime, Iran and Hizbollah to refrain from actions which will only lead to increased instability in the region as well as put civilians at risk. As the US Representative has noted, Syria has allowed the use of its territory to launch missiles at Israel and at Israeli civilians. This is not acceptable. But at the same time Madame President, we emphasise importance of adhering to rules-based international system and abiding by UNSCRs which are designed to protect that system. And this is true irrespective of the importance of the Golan is to Israel’s security, or of the lack of progress in peace talks.Turning to the peace talks; Resolution 242 enshrined the concept of land for peace and this has proven successful in ending the conflict between Israel, Jordan and Egypt. We believe it remains a basic principle for resolving peace between Israel, the Palestinians and other neighbours.I want to emphasise, Madame President, that we strongly welcome the US’s efforts on the Middle East Peace Process and we encourage the US Administration to bring forward detailed proposals for a viable Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement that addresses the legitimate concerns of both parties. We continue to believe that the best way to achieve this is through substantive peace talks between the parties leading to a two-state solution.Finally, Madame President, turning to UNDOF; the United Kingdom expresses its strong support for UNDOF. It should be the only armed forces active in the area of separation. The presence and activity of any other armed forces, armed personnel and/or military equipment of any kind in the area of separation contravenes the Disengagement of Forces Agreement and Security Council Resolution 2394 of 2017. The United Kingdom remains committed to supporting UNDOF’s mandate and we look forward to engaging in discussions regarding its renewal in June.Thank you Madam President.
We would also like to thank all our associate sponsors: AAK, AB Mauri, BAKO North Western, Kerry Foods, Kluman & Balter, Puratos, and Thomas Lowndes & Co.To view or purchase pictures from the awards night, go tohttp://roblawson.thirdlight.com/a.tlx?k=2bgzhp9For more details on the Baking Industry Awards, go to http://www.bakeryawards.co.uk The Baking Industry Awards 2013 celebrated the cream of the crop at last night’s annual awards ceremony, held at the Park Lane Hilton.Julian Carter, head baker at Hambleton Bakery in Exton, was crowned Baker of the Year in the ADM Milling-sponsored category, while Morrisons took the coveted title of In-Store Bakery Retailer of the Year, sponsored by Zeelandia. A total of 11 awards were handed out on the night, including a special accolade for Outstanding Contribution to the Baking Industry, sponsored by Délifrance, which was awarded to Piero Scacco of Montana Bakery.Other winners included The Bread Factory, which walked away with The Craft Business Award, sponsored by Dawn, and Peter Cook of S C Price & Sons, who won the Speciality Bread Product of the Year award, sponsored by Bakels, for his Seeded Sourdough Loaf.Our celebrity host, musician and television presenter Myleene Klass presented all our winners with their trophies, as well as giving the 850-strong audience a special piano performance. Guests also had the chance to dabble with funny money at the AB Mauri-sponsored casino, or have a boogie on the dance floor.Martyn Leek, editor, British Baker, said: “The Baking Industry Awards continue to demonstrate the wealth of both established and emerging talent in the baking industry, and is the ultimate occasion to celebrate the individuals and the businesses that make up this thriving sector.”Check back soon for extended coverage of the event including photos and video content.Baking Industry Awards winners 2013:Baker of the Year, sponsored by ADM Milling – Julian Carter, Hambleton BakeryThe Rising Star Award, sponsored by Stevens Group – Simon Curran, MorrisonsSpeciality Bread Product of the Year, sponsored by Bakels – Peter Cook of S C Price & Sons, for his Seeded Sourdough LoafThe Craft Business Award, sponsored by Dawn – The Bread FactoryThe Customer Focus Award, sponsored by CSM United Kingdom – Speciality BreadsIn-Store Bakery Retailer of the Year, sponsored by Zeelandia – MorrisonsCelebration Cake Business of the Year, sponsored by Renshaw – Terry Tang Designer CakesThe Product Innovation Award, sponsored by Asda – Ruby Tuesdays Patisserie, for Ruby’s Mini LoavesBakery Supplier of the Year, sponsored by Tesco – Finsbury Food GroupThe Retail Innovation Award, sponsored by Macphie of Glenbervie – GreggsOutstanding Contribution to the Baking Industry, sponsored by Délifrance – Piero Scacco
Crowdsourcing, the act of contracting out problems to large groups rather than tapping individual experts, has solved puzzles in fields such as marketing, engineering, and computer software. But can the wisdom of crowds help cure disease?A large, multidisciplinary panel has recently selected 12 pioneering ideas for attacking type 1 diabetes, ideas selected through a crowdsourcing experiment called the “Challenge,” in which all members of the Harvard community, as well as members of the general public, were invited to answer the question: What do we not know to cure type 1 diabetes?“We wanted to ask the entire Harvard community — faculty, students, and administrators and staff of all levels and specialties — to share their ‘out of the box’ questions and proposals for this challenge, regardless of whether they had the expertise or resources to answer the question,” said Harvard Catalyst Director and Harvard Medical School (HMS) Dean for Clinical and Translational Research Lee Nadler. “We wanted the participants to apply their insights to a problem that may not have been in their academic or intellectual domain.”Among the authors of the winning ideas are a patient, an undergraduate student, an M.D./Ph.D. student, a human resources representative, and researchers who are not experts in the field.Out of 190 entries, 12 were chosen. Each of the winners, who were formally announced in a ceremony held at Harvard Medical School on Sept. 28, will receive a prize of $2,500. Working with the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Harvard Catalyst plans to solicit research proposals from within the Harvard research community on some or all or the winning questions.In a letter to the Harvard University community at the Challenge’s launch in February, Harvard President Drew Faust expressed her hope that “such broad outreach will help stimulate innovative thinking and potential new understandings and therapies,” wishing that “in the spirit of this novel project, we will continue to multiply the means to connect the remarkable people and ideas across Harvard in imaginative and powerful ways.”Apart from the potentially revolutionary submissions from the community, the Challenge, in which Harvard collaborated with InnoCentive, provides evidence that finding new and innovative ideas for tackling disease is itself an act of innovation. “The Challenge was an exercise in tapping the knowledge of the widest possible community and encouraging the formation of new teams and new forms of collaboration around a specific topic area,” said Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Eva Guinan, director of the Harvard Catalyst Linkages program and one of the Challenge’s co-leaders.According to research by Challenge co-leader Karim Lakhani, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School, innovation contests like this one can help reveal and foster unexpected and novel solutions to vexing scientific problems. “Open innovation is an effective way to solve scientific problems in the business world.”The Challenge was part of an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)-funded effort by Harvard Catalyst and InnoCentive to investigate whether new approaches employed in the private sector for sparking new research directions and collaborations might be useful in the academic health care community.The winners and their ideas Anonymous: The Diabetes Triangle: A Systematic Approach to Align Diabetes Classification with Diabetes Management A new way of looking at diabetes by the numbers. Is there a better way of classifying diabetes than “type 1” and “type 2?” This winner, a patient with an uncommon form of diabetes and who wished to remain anonymous, thinks there is: A new scale — the Diabetes Triangle — that would use three simple measures to classify diabetes in a much more fine-grained, personalized way. This easy-to-use scale would help patients, and their doctors, better understand their disease and the steps they need to take to control it.Megan Blewett: Lipid Autoreactivity in Type 1 Diabetes: Clue to Etiology, Co-occurrence, and Drug Discovery Diabetes Chemistry 101. Even though diabetes medications are essentially chemicals, we don’t know much about the chemistry underlying the development of diabetes. Harvard College undergraduate chemistry major Blewett suggests that studying diabetes — and in particular how, in the context of diabetes, the immune system interacts with molecules called lipids — from a chemical perspective could yield new insights into the diabetic process and new strategies for treatment.“I first heard about the Challenge through the campuswide email sent by President Faust,” said Blewett ’11. “I was drawn to the fact that the challenge promised to create a dialogue spanning scientific disciplines and based on the merit of people’s ideas. Opportunities like this are extremely rare.Kevin Dolan: Type 1 Diabetes, Patient Maintenance and Care Keeping a constant eye on blood sugar. The current crop of implanted insulin pumps do their job by keeping constant track of the amount of glucose in the fluids that bathe our cells, a kind of proxy method for tracking blood sugar. Dolan, who works in Human Resources at HMS and who has type 1 diabetes, suggests that a new generation of pumps that sample blood sugar directly could help improve patients’ quality of life and blood sugar control, consequently bringing overall health care costs down.“Type 1 diabetes is a complicated disease that requires one to be thinking constantly about what he/she eats, what his/her exercise level has been or needs to be, what his/her blood sugar level is at, and knowing if it rising or falling,” said Dolan. “Despite all that, it is not a disease that prevents someone from being successful in whatever endeavor they choose to pursue. I felt providing the perspective to Challenge of someone who deals with type 1 diabetes on a daily basis would help researchers as they pursue improved diabetes care management and eventually a cure.”Mark Feinberg: Synergistic System Targeting for Type I Diabetes Taking a multipronged approach. Which is better: to treat the root causes of diabetes from one direction at a time, or from multiple directions at once? Feinberg favors the latter. He suggests that a better understanding of how different parts of the immune system affect the pancreas in diabetes would allow for the development of tools capable of targeting those parts simultaneously.“I had two recent ‘jolts’ that motivated me to take part in the contest,” said Feinberg, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “First, I recently had a patient with long-standing type 1 diabetes who, despite his and his doctors’ best efforts, was suffering the end-stage effects of his disease. The second was the news that a very young family member of mine had just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This prompted me to think about my own research endeavors and whether some of the things I’ve been studying could be applicable to this disease.”David Friedman: A Quiet Role for Platelets and Eosinophils in Pathogenesis of Type 1 Diabetes?Roles for other immune cells in diabetes? The discussion about immunity in type 1 diabetes usually focuses on T cells. But the immune system has many, many more components. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center nephrologist Friedman wants to know whether these other parts, including, for example, cells and proteins involved in the body’s response to allergens and parasites, might also play roles in the development of diabetes.“In thinking about the Challenge, I wanted to connect immunity and autoimmunity through the lens of genetics,” Friedman explained. “These are ideas that would generally be considered too speculative for funding through typical channels.”Jason Gaglia: In-depth Analysis of T Cell Repertoire During the Development of Type 1 Diabetes in Pancreatic Islet Infiltrating and Peripheral CD4 T Cells The T cell as a window on diabetes development. What can immune system T cells tell us about the origins of diabetes? Gaglia, an endocrinologist in the Pathology Department at HMS, suggests quite a bit. He proposes using T cells in the blood as a view into what’s going on in the pancreas of patients with diabetes. This approach could help lead to new, targeted treatments, or to ways of measuring whether treatments are working.“The Challenge gave me an opportunity to think globally about approaches to diabetes, as opposed to the niche my research has focused on,” Gaglia commented. “It has helped me explore aspects of my field and related fields that are removed from my current research.Danwei Huangfu: A Cell-Electronic Approach to Insulin Therapy Merging biology and engineering. Where should we look for the next generation of blood sugar monitors? Our own bodies. Eons of evolution have fine-tuned our beta cells to sense blood sugar levels and secrete insulin accordingly, in precisely the right amounts. Huangfu, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, proposes linking beta cells of the pancreas to an electronic insulin pump, establishing a new paradigm for diabetes control.“I am preparing to start my own laboratory, and looked at the Challenge as an opportunity to identify novel research directions,” said Huangfu. “But I realized that my own research had become more focused on the cells destroyed by diabetes than on the disease itself. Thinking through my submission has, in the end, made me more conscious of Type 1 diabetes as a disease.”Carlos Mendivil Anaya: Integral Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes Using Smart Liposomes Make “smart” treatments for diabetes. The current methods of taking diabetes medications — by mouth or by injection — allow these drugs to spread throughout the body. Mendivil Anaya, an endocrinologist from Colombia in a doctoral program at the Harvard School of Public Health, suggests using microscopic spheres (called “smart liposomes”) studded with proteins that can dial down the immune attack against the beta cells in people with type 1 diabetes to carry drugs directly to the pancreas, giving them extra targeted punch.“I have seen the trials and tribulations of many type 1 diabetes patients as they moved from childhood into adolescence and adult life,” said Mendivil Anaya. “This has made the human face of diabetes very familiar and very close to my heart.”Matthew Meyerson, Sally Kent, David Hafler, Joonil Jung, Alex Kostic, and Akinyemi I. Ojesina: Hunting for Microbial Genomes in Type 1 Diabetes by Next-Generation Sequencing A germ theory for diabetes. Viruses like to leave little bits of genetic baggage behind. This team of researchers from the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and Yale School of Medicine sought to find out whether viruses or other microbes might play some part in triggering diabetes by looking for signs of this baggage in the genes of people with diabetes.James Mulvihill: Development of a Noninvasive Blood Glucose Monitor Measuring blood sugar without the blood. For patients with diabetes, keeping close track of their blood sugar means a lifetime of painful needle pricks or an implanted glucose pump. Mulvihill, a former president and CEO of both The Forsyth Institute and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, wants to know whether it’s possible to develop a blood glucose sensor that works without actually having to break the skin.“My motivation to respond to the challenge came from my knowledge of what an important advance it would be in the care of individuals of all ages with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, if a reliable methodology to monitor blood glucose noninvasively could be developed,” Mulvihill said. “My knowledge comes from having a child who 20 years ago was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, as well as meeting thousands of individuals with type 1 diabetes and their families.”Dirk Moore: Family-based Association Studies to Identify Gene-Environment Interaction and Genomic Imprinting in Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Probing the “nature vs. nurture” question. How do genes and environment mix in the development of diabetes? A biostatistician at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Moore believes that by re-analyzing genetic studies using new statistical techniques, it may be possible to tease apart their relative roles in ways that lead to better tools for controlling or preventing diabetes.“I have taken part in InnoCentive challenges in the past,” said Moore, “and when I saw the Challenge posting, I realized that some of the family-based population study designs that I have worked with in other fields could be applicable to important questions in type I diabetes.”Srinivas Viswanathan: Post-Gastric Bypass Nesidioblastosis as a Model for Understanding Beta-Islet Cell Neogenesis Turning up the volume on beta cell replacement. Why do beta cells undergo an explosive period of growth in the wake of gastric bypass surgery? We don’t know, but Harvard M.D./Ph.D. student Viswanathan thinks this phenomenon could provide new insights into ways of replacing lost beta cells in patients with type 1 diabetes.“I’d not considered doing any work on diabetes before, but happened to be on my surgery rotation at the time the challenge was announced, and at the time I had contact with many patients who had undergone gastric bypass procedures,” said Viswanathan. “I was intrigued by the observation that many of these patients were no longer diabetic after having the surgery, and read about this phenomenon wherein gastric bypass surgery could alter the pancreas’s insulin-producing capacity.”
For Harvard hoops, an off-court education HSAC’s current leadership shares Puopolo’s commitment to moving the field forward. Current co-president Erik Johnsson, a junior concentrating in statistics and a member of the Crimson volleyball team, recently completed a project designed to improve upon the Elo model, a widely respected player skill-level rating system often employed by statistics heavyweight fivethirtyeight.com. When perusing fivethirtyeight while watching an NBA game, Johnsson noticed that the site had “huge percent chances” for then-underperforming teams the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans to make the playoffs, which he thought to be “a little odd.” So Johnsson read up on the site’s model, replicated it, and, to make the model more exact, added in some new variables (in short, accounting for off-season changes in team strength by making adjustments in ratings for games earlier in the current season). His findings: Over a 10-year period, his model did make “slightly better” yet “statistically significant” predictions.By working with the Elo model, Johnsson followed in the footsteps of HSAC faculty adviser and senior lecturer on statistics Mark Glickman, whose Glicko Rating System was also developed as an improvement to the Elo model. Johnsson was also able to implement ideas from a Harvard statistics course in his analysis. This spirit of learning and then teaching, especially among members of the Collective, has always been a big part of what HSAC does.“We actively encourage members to ask us for help,” said the other current co-president, Jack Schroeder, a sophomore studying government and data science who is also on the curling team, “either with the methodology behind the project, the writing process, or even just getting the data, which is often the hardest part.”Faculty adviser Rader added that he is able to maintain a largely hands-off approach in his own role thanks to mentoring from the older members in the group, who have a wealth of institutional knowledge and a stronger understanding of potential methodologies than some of their younger counterparts. He said he only steps in when he sees an opportunity to push the students further by recommending more sophisticated models that they may not be familiar with yet. Hoping for an edge in this year’s March Madness office pool? Have a longstanding argument with your friends on which team’s fans are the most loyal? Always wondered how much of a difference it makes to be able to throw the last stone in the initial curling end? You can find your answers in the work of the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective (HSAC), a student-run organization dedicated to the quantitative analysis of sports strategy and management.Since its founding in 2006 under the tutelage of “Moneyball”-cited statistician and Professor Emeritus Carl Morris, HSAC has been answering a variety of sports-related questions, employing often-sophisticated statistical models to get to the bottom of longstanding debates or offer context to those eye-popping and head-scratching numbers that excite, and boggle the minds of, sports fanatics and pundits all over the world. (The collective just posted its analysis of this year’s March Madness college basketball tournament.)HSAC member projects, which range from social media posts drawn from simple fact-finding exercises to senior theses engaging complex quantitative analysis, reflect what’s current and relevant in the sports world, and they often emerge from spirited conversation during Collective meetings, which take place Tuesday nights in Winthrop House. According to HSAC faculty adviser and senior preceptor in statistics Kevin Rader, popular methodologies compare two groups (teams, leagues, player pools) or look at how things have changed over time. “Or a really extreme event happens,” he explains, “something cool happens in the Super Bowl, and a decision needed to be made. Was it the right decision? Let’s investigate that from an empirical perspective.”This past January, HSAC took to Twitter to answer a simple question many college football fans were likely pondering during Clemson’s surprising national championship drubbing of Alabama, 44–16, namely: When was the last time the Crimson Tide gave up more than 50 points in a regulation game? The answer, according to HSAC: When they lost to Sewanee 54–4 way back in 1907. The tweet received close to 250 retweets and nearly 500 likes.,When the HSAC team looks to delve deeper into a question and really engage their skills as statisticians, they’ll write about their findings on the blog, which has drawn coverage from significant mainstream media outlets like ESPN, NBC Sports, Bleacher Report, the Boston Globe, and The New Yorker, as well as major league franchises and the leagues themselves, including the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, and Orlando Magic, the National Football League, and Major League Soccer. Some popular posts over the years: “A Way-Too-Early Prediction of the NFL Season,” “Conference Bias in College Football,” and “Which Sports League Has the Most Parity?”Often, existing fan theories (“that referee hates my team” or “we never win in that stadium”) inspire HSAC members to challenge their veracity. Last February, HSAC President Emeritus Andrew Puopolo, a senior at the College and a self-professed soccer addict, sought to answer the age-old question of referee bias using the oft-maligned English soccer official Mike Dean, who is particularly reviled by supporters of the London-based Arsenal Football Club, as an entrée into a statistical analysis of referee/team-specific bias throughout the English Premier League. In short, Puopolo looked at every combination of Premier League teams and referees who managed at least 15 of their matches between the 2005–2006 and 2016–2017 seasons, comparing actual results against pregame betting odds in his quest to find bias — of which, in the end, he found “no alarming signs.” Not that an Arsenal supporter would ever be swayed by the data, even if it was culled from tens of thousands of combinations.Which is fine by Puopolo, who is the first to admit when he finds flaws in his own methodologies, and who loves the opportunity to spark conversation — on sports, but especially on statistics — in a quest to help himself and his colleagues get better. Often, HSAC analyses encourage readers to make their own decisions about the data; there isn’t always a clear-cut answer to every question. This spirit of engagement in finding new ways to look at data is what HSAC is all about. Often, existing fan theories (“that referee hates my team” or “we never win in that stadium”) inspire HSAC members to challenge their veracity. On a Southern swing, men’s basketball team meets former President Carter and visits Martin Luther King Jr.’s church and gravesite Quidditch, anyone? Inside Harvard club sports Johnsson, Schroeder, and Puopolo all foresee potential future careers in sports analytics, aspiring to follow in the footsteps of HSAC alumni such as Alec Halaby ’09, vice president of football operations and strategy for the Philadelphia Eagles; Daniel Adler ’10, HLS/HBS ’17, director of baseball operations for the Minnesota Twins; and recent grad Nathán Goldberg Crenier ’18, who is already assistant to the president of the U.S. Soccer Federation. And opportunities may arise in fields outside of traditional sports venues, said Puopolo. As more and more states seek to legalize sports gambling, there will be new opportunities for machine-learning- and data-science-minded graduates to pursue careers in that field as well.The pipeline is real, and the connections to the professional major sports are active. Last semester, Puopolo set up consulting projects with teams from the National Football League and Major League Baseball, which are ongoing.“[These projects] give everyone a chance to take these skills that we talk about during meetings, and stuff people are learning at school in an academic setting,” said Schroeder, “and really apply it in a professional, business setting.”“We see this as a great way to increase membership in the club, too,” added Johnsson. “If we can convince freshmen and sophomores who like sports and statistics to come to the club, and who can then gain actual experience working for real teams, and say they have connections with [major professional sports teams], it’s a great way to get people involved and excited.” Related Snapshots of student athletes in motion The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.
Student body president Lauren Vidal and vice president Matthew Devine, both seniors, hit the ground running when they took office last April; in the earliest student Senate meetings of the year they put their initiatives surrounding Safewalk (now O’SNAP) and college readership on the agenda.By the end of September, O’SNAP was fully operational and student government had negotiated bringing the Wall Street Journal to campus.Other initiatives the administration has taken up this year include Quad Markets, Political Brew and 29 for 29, which launched this month. Vidal credited department directors and staff with much of this administration’s success.“We’ve been very fortunate; our team has been phenomenal,” Vidal said. “We’ve been able to push a lot of initiatives that we had from the get-go through the help of the administration and our directors.“We had a few big wins early on in terms of solidifying O’SNAP and the College Readership program, but we’ve picked up a few things along the way that we’ve been able to see through, and that’s been very exciting as well.”Devine echoed this sentiment in his assessment of the term so far.“The most important part of this has been our team,” Devine said. “Our department directors and their ideas, as well as the ones that we articulated way back in January when we were campaigning, have really made this semester unique, fun, just really incredible.”“I think a lot of things that we originally planned we’ve been very lucky to see through, but we’ve also understood the different steps that are going to be needed to push them forward,” he said.Vidal described the first few weeks in office as a learning experience for both herself and Devine. She said the two of them have developed a good working relationship with various branches of student government and the administration.“I think where we are right now is at a very good understanding of how our student government has worked for us and how we can build it in the next few months,” Vidal said. “We’ve learned from relationships, from administrators; we’ve learned a lot from communicating.“We’ve learned that there are some gaps in communicating through different bodies of student government, whether that be communication through Senate or CLC or even faculty senate”Vidal and Devine both cited transparency and communication as issues that they have been working on and will continue improve next semester.“There are disconnects that we are learning of, and we learned that, I think, most vividly through the 29 for 29 initiative,” Vidal said. “We really had to work hard to ensure that we were communicating through all the proper parties, and there were times when certain bodies didn’t feel like they were informed.“We learned a great deal from tha,t and we are taking steps to improve how student government communicates generally because that’s always been a lack and we understood that there have been these gaps for years.”Vidal said she and Devine had both been reaching out to different groups in order to foster better communication between different branches of student government; in particular, the two have recently been working with the Hall President’s Council (HPC).“We have opened conversation really extensively with HPC,” she said. “We’re working hand in hand with [student government department heads] to really make sure the hall presidents and the hall councils are informed, from their end on our initiatives but also through Senate.“Matt chairs Senate, and he really tries to make sure the senators are up-to-date and are providing feedback of what’s going on on campus,”The issue of transparency, while not new, has been something particularly important to this administration, Vidal said.“I think transparency has been a huge thing for us because as long as I can remember transparency has always been a goal of student government, but I think this year we’ve been fortunate in building on the foundation that was set forward by previous administration to enhance transparency, and we’ve gotten a lot of feedback,” Vidal said.According to Devine, the administration’s transparency efforts go beyond simply being open and honest and involve a more assertive approach.“I’d say it’s like an active transparency, not just not hiding anything, which obviously we don’t, but also just making sure that everything we do is known and even things that are works in progress — not even necessarily just finished projects, but things that are in development, things that are in the brainstorming stages,” he said.The result of this active transparency is more student involvement and participation in student government, Vidal said.“We’ve been able to list initiatives that we’re working on, and students have reached out and said ‘hey, I’d love to work on this,’ even just as an outsider,” she said. “They’re not affiliated with student government at all. And that’s been really exciting for us.”“That was our goal, to make sure that people would be part of the formula, not just seeing the end of the equation,” Vidal said. “We wanted to make sure that if someone saw that something we were doing was ineffective, they would be able to provide feedback and we could change that. And we’ve seen that — we’ve seen it in 29 for 29, and in O’SNAP, in College Readership, in Quad Markets — we’ve been fortunate there.”Looking back on the year, Vidal said two particular issues received more feedback than others: “campus safety and communication with the administration on major decisions that the University is making.”“So what we’ve done with that is really opened lines of communication with main building, just making sure that students are aware of what’s going on,” Vidal said. “One of the results of that will be a town hall with [University president] Fr. [John] Jenkins.”Looking forward, Vidal and Devine have several tangible goals and projects to accomplish before leaving office at the end of March.“As we’re going through our initiatives and really tailoring them to the current student body and their needs, we’ve found there are other initiatives we’ve needed to take up just in terms of the climate on campus,” Vidal said.“One of those was campus safety, which we didn’t initially think was going to be so salient in our campus now,” Vidal said. “We thought O’SNAP would be an excellent platform for campus safety, but with some of the crime recently in the South Bend area and some of the conversations we’ve had with students who are concerned with off-campus, we’ve picked up several initiatives to fully address the concerns of our peers — our constituency, really — to make sure that we’re answering their questions.“One of the things we’re doing is working on a campus safety video; that’s actually in production right now,” she said. “We’re going to release it to the student body, and it’s through recommendations from code enforcement in South Bend, conversations with local law enforcement, conversations with [the Community/Campus Advisory Coalition] to just ensure that our students are aware of the resources and make sure we’re really addressing this.”Also on the horizon for next semester is “It’s On Us,” the new sexual assault prevention campaign, Vidal said. The “One is Too Many” and “It’s On Us” campaigns both sprung from White House initiatives bearing the same names that were implemented at universities across the country.“[One Is Too Many] was brought to our campus last year, and it was a great success here,” Vidal said. “This year they’re working on ‘It’s On Us,’ and so [student government director of gender issues] Kristen [Loehle] has been in communication with some of the people in Washington, D.C. to figure out how to best bring that here and how that will look on this campus,”Devine described the new campaign and how it will differ from the previous one.“’It’s On Us’ is going to take a similar tone, but it’s also trying to build off ‘One Is Too Many,’” he said. “‘One Is Too Many’ was more of an awareness campaign, but ‘It’s On Us’ is a more actionable phrase.”While neither the focus on campus safety or ‘It’s On Us’ was originally part of the pair’s plan for their tenure, Vidal and Devine both said they were excited about the feedback they had received from their constituents and were looking forward to next semester.“We’ve come a long way from our vision that we had in the beginning … we’ve added a lot of tangibility to it,” Devine said.Tags: 29 for 29, Campus Safety, It’s On Us, Lauren Vidal, Matthew Devine, NDSP, O’SNAP, One is too many, quad markets, Student government