Imperial College London to launch a mentoring scheme for Black students

The scheme is said to cost around £20m.

A NEW mentoring scheme will be launched at the Imperial College London to tackle the under-representation of black students.

The scheme will offer a £5m scholarship to offer to a new intake of students as part of a wider £20m diversity scheme.

Figures show that out of more than 10,000 undergraduates at Imperial, only 235 are black. The university, one of the world’s top science institutions, says that it wants to at least double that number.

(via The Voice)

The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain by Francesca Sobande

The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain by author and academic Francesca Sobande tells the story of Black British women in digital culture.

An often-overlooked side of the Digital Age is from a Black British female perspective. Francesca Sobande’s new book ‘The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain’ tells that side of the narrative.

Based on interviews and archival research, this book explores how media is implicated in Black women’s lives in Britain. From accounts of twentieth-century activism and television representations, to experiences of YouTube and Twitter, Sobande’s analysis traverses tensions between digital culture’s communal, counter-cultural and commercial qualities.

The book’s five chapters are:

The good news is two of the chapters are free to read (the links above) but I strongly suggest you buy the hard copy/PDF.

The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain is available to purchase at Palgrave Macmillan for £24.99 hardback/£19.99 ebook (with 20% Oct discount code: FxNCXTKa7Fx39cX)

The Galton board and the Normal distribution

Sir Francis Galton was a Victorian genius who invented the Galton board with real world applications. Find out how it works here.

Have you ever watched the show Tipping Point or played on a coin pusher machine? You drop a coin from the top of the machine and is bounces around a series of pegs before landing on a moving platform. People try and predict where they want the coin to land in order to push the most coins down but it’s rigged (arcades surprisingly don’t want you to win money).

The concept shares similarities with a more interesting contraption known as the Galton Board. Invented by Sir Francis Galton, a 19th century polymath from Birmingham, UK, the probability machine stood at 19.05cm by 11.43cm desktop and demonstrated an important probability distribution in real-time known as the Normal distribution.

It works as follows:

As you rotate the Galton Board on its axis, you set into motion a flow of steel beads that bounce with equal probability to the left or right through several rows of pegs. As the beads accumulate in the bins, they approximate the bell curve, as shown by the yellow line [see video below] on the front of the Galton board.

From the chaos of randomness comes a uniform curve seen in everything from physics to finance, rainfall, even the growth of hair, nails and teeth. And all that from some beads bouncing against some pegs.