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August 12, 2020


Welcome back, <<First Name>> 🎉

Oh no. Putin just approved a COVID-19 vaccine for public use yesterday, skipping Phase III trials.

In other news, Kamala Harris is the first woman of color to be nominated for national office by a major political party. 



🦵 Smart prosthetics

🎒 Back to school

🦵 Smart prosthetics



  • Researchers at the University of Utah have developed an AI powered prosthetic leg that allows users to negotiate obstacles more smoothly 
  • Previous versions of “smart” prosthetic legs used preprogrammed behaviors based on the movements of non-amputee individuals. However, this approach limited users to areas that had already been pre-mapped, making it impractical for walking in new and dynamic environments
  • How does this new approach work? The prosthetic leg takes signals from the biological hip above the amputation and determines the proper movements of the joints in the prosthetic leg using adaptive AI
  • This AI optimizes for smoothness in an effort to mimic the movements of a biological leg


  • Tommaso Lenzi is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah. Professor Lenzi specializes in prosthetics and rehabilitation robotics.


  • There are nearly 2 million people in the United States living with limb loss
  • However, current state of the art prosthetics are still bulky and difficult to use, making everyday activities difficult to perform


  • Researchers have developed a prosthetic leg that uses AI to simulate human-like strides, allowing users to more easily navigate obstacles



🎒 Back to school



  • Should schools and college campuses reopen this fall? Princeton abruptly cancelled a return to campus, while Georgia is allowing the reopening of public schools.   
  • If college campuses were to open in the fall, how would COVID-19 spread? Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Swarthmore have tackled this exact question.
  • The model examines a hypothetical university with 20,000 students and 2,500 students who interact daily for 100 days.
  • Without intervention, the whole campus will have had COVID-19 by the end of the semester. Surprising, right?
  • With standard intervention of quarantine, contact tracing, universal mask wearing, daily testing of 3 percent of university population, and online classes, researchers find that 95% of simulations resulted in < 3% infection rates. 


  • Philip Gressman is a mathematics professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Jennifer Peck, an economics professor out of Swarthmore College, co-authors this paper.


  • If you’re a student, professor, or young professional and itching to go back, this could be in your favor. Harvard is still planning on bringing students back to campus, and health experts claim that NYC is set to reopen schools.
  • On the other hand, schools and college campuses alike will require standard protocols to achieve a safe return. Poorer schools will be unable to fund these interventions, and enforcing all protocols may pose a challenge to school officials.  


  • Simulating COVID-19 in a college campus has found that universities can prevent serious outbreaks by implementing a number of interventions. 



Anyone here get the brainteaser from Monday?  Well we got another one that's coming in hot today 🔥 🔥

  • A town contains two klans: the Knights and the Knaves.
  • The Knights always tell the truth, whereas the Knaves always lie. An anthropologist walks into this town and interviews 3 random men. 
  • "To which klan do you belong to?" the anthropologist asks the first. He replied with a mumble that she couldn't understand.
  • The anthropologist asks the other two men what he said. “He said that he is a Knight,” said the second. “No, he said that he is a Knave,” countered the third.

To which clans do the second and third individuals belong?
Solution here

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