News Channel

RuCCs Post-Doc Assistant Professor Ryan Rhodes talks to Fresno State about Chukchansi language


With a limited number of native speakers left, the Chukchansi tribe partnered with the Fresno State Linguistics Department to keep their language alive. It was a partnership that started over ten years ago to save the Chukchansi Indians' native language.

No one had ever written down Chukchansi," said former Fresno State student, Ryan Rhodes. "There's a couple of stories or something, but there's no grammar, so if the last three speakers disappear, we'll never know how it worked. Something that will be around so when there's no more speakers the language doesn't disappear, so dictionary, grammar, stories, language and all that kind of stuff."

Read more about it here

RuCCs Sara Pixley received the 2019 faculty mentorship award for her contribution to the FIGS program


FIGS Breakfast Sara Pixley

 Sara and her mentee Yoni Friedman (Cog. Sci. club president) at the presentations


Dr. Sara Pixley was Cognitive Science club president Yoni Friedman's mentor and received an awarded for her contribution to the FIGS program. 

First-Year Interest Group Seminars (FIGS) were established at Rutgers University to help incoming students discover professional fields and learn more about their campus community. These one credit courses have students explore a specific topical area and take advantage of resources and opportunities and gain insight to academic success and professional development. FIGS classes are taught by Peer Instructors (juniors and seniors) who share their experiences with first-years.


Dimitris Metaxas [RuCCs affiliate] to present at NeurIPS [AI/ML Conference]



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RuCCs affiliate, Dimitri Metaxas, and colleagues are presenting on kernel methods for node representation at this years Neural Information Processing Systems conference held in Vancouver.

More details about the conference below!


Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) is a multi-track machine learning and computational neuroscience conference that includes invited talks, demonstrations, symposia and oral and poster presentations of refereed papers.


The 33rd annual NeurIPS Conference brings together researchers from all fields engaged in fundamental  work in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to enjoy a week of talks, panels, workshops, demonstrations, and competitions.

Now in its second year, The NeurIPS EXPO presents work in AI ML done in an industrial setting. The EXPO offers a unique opportunity for a firsthand perspective on how industry is translating the power of the tools developed in this field. As a bridge between academia and industry, the NeurIPS EXPO is the premier forum for issues in AI ML in a real-world setting. 

This year, NeurIPS is supporting the creation of Meetups, distributed gatherings streaming the talks in other cities  focused on furthering the impact of the information being shared at the conference. 



12/08: NeurIPS Expo

12/09: Tutorials

12/10-12/12: Conference & Demonstrations

12/13-12/14: Workshops & Competitions

SNARL- Kristen Syrett was featured in a podcast!

SNARL post also features Prof. Kristen Syrett-- and for a different reason! She was recently interviewed for an episode of In Plain Language (a really wonderful podcast on speech and language), which just aired last week. 

But more importantly, a HUGE congratulations to Kristen for being chosen to receive the LSA Linguistic Service Award-- we're so glad to see all your hard work being recognized!

For more information about Kristen's episode and the podcast itself, please take a look at the SNARL post linked below.  

If you want to skip that step and head directly to the episode (which is free to listen to, by the way!), here's the link for that:  

It's a really cool episode, so please give it a listen!

Julien Musolino speaks to Vogue (Portugal) [November issue]

 Vogue November cover 1

 It is with great pleasure to announce Julien Musolino's interview with Vogue Portugal. Attached is the cover photo and the interview [in Portuguese]. Some rough translations are posted below:


They are more and more, and these, where I include myself, no longer have the petulant boldness to say 'doesn't exist and that's it'. Is there absolutely conclusive evidence of all that might have to do with the soul? No. But it is good to refer to one of the fundamental laws of science, which for many of us sins as a corset of knowledge, according to which the absence of proof does not prove the absence. And this is unquestionable. ”If this opinion leaves us room for some reverie, it bumps into the (pertinent) questions raised by Musolino.

“Here we need to be accurate. If by 'soul' is meant an immaterial, psychologically potent and immortal entity, separated from the body, conventional science has completely abandoned the idea. This is what I show in my book The Soul Fallacy. But of course the word 'soul' can also be used in many other ways, such as 'soul food', 'soul mate', 'poor soul', etc. Note, however, that when I say that the poor souls who died on the Titanic were not expecting that end, I am not making a metaphysical or scientific statement. So when the word soul is used metaphorically or poetically, conventional science has nothing to say about it. ”

Clearly not speaking “in these souls,” the question does not arise. Musolino continues: “Dominant science rejects, in fact, the concept of soul as an immaterial, psychologically potent and immortal part of each of us. Here again it is convenient to be clear about what is meant by soul. So let's call the soul I just described as 'the traditional soul'. The reason science has rejected the traditional soul is because such a soul is in fact a scientific hypothesis for which there is no evidence and against which there is a mountain of doubt. Therefore, mainstream science has rejected the traditional soul for the same reasons it rejected, for example, the idea that the earth is flat or that humans were created in their present form over the last ten thousand years. ”

[São cada vez mais e esses, onde me incluo, já não têm a ousadia petulante de dizer ‘não existe e pronto’. Há provas absolutamente concludentes de tudo o que poderá ter a ver com a alma? Não. Mas é bom referirmos uma das leis fundamentais da ciência, que para muitos de nós peca por ser um espartilho do conhecimento, segundo a qual a ausência de prova, não prova a ausência. E isto é indiscutível.” Se esta opinião nos deixa espaço para algum devaneio, ela esbarra nas questões (pertinentes) levantadas por Musolino.

“Aqui necessitamos de ser precisos. Se por ‘alma’ se entende uma entidade imaterial, psicologicamente potente e imortal, separada do corpo, a ciência convencional abandonou completamente a ideia. É isso que mostro no meu livro The Soul Fallacy. Mas é claro que a palavra ‘alma’ também pode ser usada de várias outras maneiras, como em ‘alimentos da alma’ (soul food), ‘alma gémea’ (soul mate), ‘pobre alma’ (poor soul), etc. Observe, no entanto, que quando digo que as pobres almas que morreram no Titanic não estavam à espera daquele fim, não estou a fazer uma afirmação metafísica ou científica. Portanto, quando a palavra alma é usada metaforicamente ou poeticamente, a ciência convencional não tem nada a dizer sobre isso.”\

Não estando, claramente, a falar “nessas almas”, a questão não se coloca. Continua Musolino: “A ciência dominante rejeita, de facto, o conceito de alma como uma parte imaterial, psicologicamente potente e imortal, de cada um de nós. Aqui convém novamente ser claro sobre o que se entende por alma. Por isso vamos chamar a alma que acabei de descrever como ‘a alma tradicional’. A razão pela qual a ciência rejeitou a alma tradicional é porque esse tipo de alma é de facto uma hipótese científica para a qual não há evidência alguma e contra a qual existe uma montanha de dúvidas. Assim sendo, a ciência dominante rejeitou a alma tradicional pelas mesmas razões que rejeitou, por exemplo, a ideia de que a Terra é plana ou de que os seres humanos foram criados, na sua forma atual, nos últimos dez mil anos.”]

 Julien Vogue Interview [Portuguese]