Blog

A historical perspective from Alison Boeckmann

Prior to 1978, PK data was obtained from drugs that were tested on healthy young volunteers (typically medical students).

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It’s like playing with a better tennis partner

Are you a whistle-blower? Or do you cringe just to read those words? According to Margaret Heffernan* (links to a dead link) in a 2012 TEDTalk, most whistle-blowers are good guys. A whistle-blower can provide constructive conflict, which is vital for success. Heffernan says that great research teams, relationships, and businesses allow people to deeply disagree. When we are afraid of conflict, our doubts remain hidden. But when we dare to break that silence – when we dare to create conflict – we enable ourselves and the people around us to do our very best thinking.

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The age of the smart machine.

Frances Fukuyama had some interesting things to say in the current issue of Foreign Affairs about the implications of globalization and technical innovation for our children’s future.*

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Model hurricanes.

Although some meteorological modelers may disagree, it seems to me that models predicting development and movement of hurricanes are getting more and more accurate.

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Mesmerizing Machine

As you study the blue ball machine, it is easy to see how you can be mesmerized by a process that doesn’t actually do anything. See if you can find the part where the ball replaces the worker’s head. Then find the little sign that every now and then flashes NO. It never says yes

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Visualize in KIWI 1.5 – Available Now!

Speed and agility is more important than ever as the demand for M&S increases. KIWI 1.5 allows you to easily select and compare parameters estimates and diagnostic plots across multiple candidate models in one view to make decisions quickly and confidently, and delivers high quality graphs to inform team decision making and put in regulatory documents- all formatted, all validated!

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Get over it!

Brené Brown is a researcher at the University of Houston who studies vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame.* She speaks to many different audiences, including corporations and universities. Often, the person arranging a presentation timidly suggests that it might be better if she does not mention vulnerability or shame in her presentation. When asked what they want to hear about, the reply is “innovation, creativity, and change.” Her emphatic retort is that, “vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change!” To learn more, watch her second TEDTalk, Listening to Shame, here:

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It’s not gloom and doom if it helps to frame the problem.

I know, I know — you don’t want to read another doom and gloom blog. But, in a recent article in the National Review* (link is no longer available), Peter Thiel does an excellent job of linking the desperate necessity of advancements in technology and science with the broader societal crises we are now experiencing. Thiel posits that there is a mistaken, but nearly universal, background assumption about easy progress that underlies our unwillingness to tackle difficult problems.

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What if the constants we take for granted are not really constant?

Seems like every time we learn something new, whether it is in biology or cosmology, we learn something else that just makes us sit back and say Wow. So it is with a recent story in The Economist about new information regarding one of the universal “constants” alpha.

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Lean Production

I have been reading The Machine That Changed the World: The Story of Lean Production (1), by James Womack and others from MIT’s International Motor Vehicle Program (Content no longer available) research team. This book caused a sensation 20 years ago with its description of the Toyota Production System. The blurb on the book’s back cover says, “The hallmarks of lean production are teamwork, communication, and efficient use of resources. The results are remarkable cars with one-third the defects, built in half the factory space, using half the man-hours.”

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