Notetaking has many forms

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Photo: Yay Images (Adobe Stock)

Today’s story is a bit different from all the other ones I’ve written so far: It’s not about findings from research, but rather about tools I find helpful for taking notes about research (among other things), both digitally and physically. “What are Roam Research and Notion, and what do scanners have to do with Leonardo da Vinci?” you might ask, and rightfully so. Let’s start off with that second question.

Scanners and their Daybooks

If you’ve read Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher, then you’re probably already familiar with the concept of scanner daybooks. If not, you might be wondering what a scanner and a daybook are. …

If you’ve read my past two stories on Game-Based Learning and exciting projects at the intersection of video games, CS and education, then you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been on the lookout for positive examples of novel approaches to learning and teaching, especially those involving digital technology.

Incidentally, I came across the docudrama The Social Dilemma yesterday, which reminded me why it’s so important to have online platforms, products and software that are designed in a way so that their use and content is of benefit to the user. …

Game-Based Learning (GBL) is one of those things that kind of sound too good to be true. How could it be that games teach us things in an effective manner? After all, most of the commonly known ones are designed for entertainment. Furthermore, digital games are often made so that the story takes place in a fictional world nothing like ours, take Super Mario for example. However, that’s not exactly what researchers mean when they speak of GBL. Let’s have a look at the definition(s) first.

What exactly is Game-Based Learning (GBL)?

So, what falls under GBL? According to Qian & Clark, (2016) the term is defined as an environment where both the game content and game play induce skill and knowledge acquisition. This means that the activities taking place as part of the game involve problemsolving as well as challenges that give the player some sense of achievement once completed. …

When you hear or read the words “video games”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Childhood memories? “Waste of time”? “Fun free-time activity”? “Something only kids use”?

Personally, I have drawn some of these connections in the past (fun free-time activity), and some of them are still in place (childhood memories). However, nowadays, I mostly see video games as some of the most used and most promising media — something that has the potential to benefit old and young alike. Why? Let’s start with some numbers.

The Stats

Two well known sources within the realm of video game market analytics are Newzoo (global analytics) and the ESA (American Entertainment Software Association). According to the former’s 2020 global report, there were 2.55 billion video game players in 2019, and we will be reaching an estimated 2.69 billion by the end of this year. That’s about 34% of the world’s population (7.8 billion)! In terms of regional distribution, half of this number is located in Asia-Pacific, which isn’t very…

When I first heard about Computation and Computational Science, I stopped for a moment and asked myself: “Do I know what a computation is? It has something to do with computers, that much I’m sure of. But do I know anything more?” The answer was no. As always, this drove me to learn more about the topic.

Today, many months later, I’d like to put into words parts of what I have since gotten to know about Computation and Computational Science, similar to the jumble of definitions and concepts that I picked up on in my article on Cognitive Neuroscience.

What exactly is Computation?

To compute really just means to calculate or process.

Last year, I first read Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, and I’m not the only one — to date, 25 million copies (or more) of it were sold, making it one of the best sellers in popular science. I have also watched a couple too many space movies, my favorites being Interstellar, Ad Astra and The Martian.

Whenever timezone differences allow for it, I take a look at NASA or SpaceX launches. I also have made multiple attempts at watching the Starlink satellites fly by at night, unfortunately without success thus far (not giving up quite yet though!). …

A couple of weeks ago, I was first introduced to the existence of Cyber Valley. My initial guesses as to what it could be included a) a newly released video game or b) a TV series.

Hint: Both of these guesses are wrong — if you haven’t Googled it yet, see if you can get it right without checking. I later looked into it some more, and here’s what I found:

What exactly is Cyber Valley?

Cyber Valley is a research consortium, initiated in 2016 by Bernhard Schoelkopf. It is located in the region between Stuttgart and Tuebingen, Germany, and has grown to be the biggest research cooperation in Europe within the field of Artificial Intelligence. Its partners include “the state of Baden-Württemberg, the Max Planck Society with the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, the Universities of Stuttgart and Tübingen, as well as Amazon, BMW AG, Daimler AG, IAV GmbH, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Robert Bosch GmbH, and ZF Friedrichshafen AG … Moreover, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft recently joined Cyber Valley as an associated partner. Cyber Valley also receives support from the Christian Bürkert Foundation, the Gips-Schüle Foundation, the Vector Foundation, and the Carl Zeiss Foundation”, according to its website. …

According to multiple reports, podcasts have been sharply rising in popularity in the past years (Statista, Forbes, NYTimes). A recent announcement that made waves and some of you might have seen is the deal between Joe Rogan and Spotify, which includes the acquisition of the “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast (going live on Spotify next Tuesday, Sep 1st) for 9 figures. This certainly illustrates the value that this kind of medium can have in this day and age, despite being built on a free-to-download respectively free-to-listen basis.

I find myself being a frequent listener of podcasts aswell, and as a contrast to the more science oriented texts I usually write (and because I’m currently out of ideas), I thought I’d start a “Top 5” series and start with my favorite podcasts. …

I recently started picking up chess again, the “king of board games”. Interestingly enough, there has also been a wave of chess players starting to stream on Twitch, drawing in a relatively high number of viewers. The “chess” category on Twitch has been averaging many thousand concurrent viewers a day (spread over multiple channels), at one point even peaking at 156'000 concurrent viewers.

One of the most popular chess channels on Twitch would be the one of Chess Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, reaching up to 30'000 concurrent viewers when streaming tournament games or the like. In fact, as I’m writing this, he’s streaming the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour Finals versus Magnus Carlsen with 20'000 people watching online. …

In my first two years of study I have come across Cognitive Psychology, Neuropsychology and Neuroscience, but Cognitive Neuroscience is a term I was not familiar with — up until recently.

Past Thursday I was lucky enough to get to talk to Ivan Simpson-Kent, a PhD candidate at the Cambridge Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit. Ivan specializes in developmental cognitive neuroscience, researching how intelligence is produced via interaction of the brain and behavior. But let’s take a look at the discipline as such first.

What is Cognitive Neuroscience?

The field concerns itself with the study of the biological processes and aspects that lie beneath cognition. Cognition is broadly defined as understanding and/or the acquisition of knowledge via experience, sensory processing and thought. Some of the more commonly known aspects that cognition encompasses would be memory and decision making. …


Adani Abutto

Psychology student from Zurich, Switzerland with interests in STEM and various other things | Website:

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