The ministry also sets the country's basic research policies and integrates them into the country's 5-year economic plans. The " program" identifies the strategic sectors for China's technological development during China's 5-year economic-development plan. This program provides the policy rationale for China's high-profile and well-funded megaprojects, described below. CAS plays a role similar to that of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States, advising the country's leadership on science and technology issues. CAS has six major academic sections, for mathematics and physics, chemistry, life sciences and medicine, earth science, information technology, and technology sciences.
In addition to its advisory functions, CAS maintains 11 regional branches that oversee more than disciplinary research institutes and training graduate students and postdocs. CAS's Bureau of International Cooperation supervises the organization's foreign-collaboration activities including joint research projects, expeditions, laboratories, workshops, and young-scientists' groups. Young-scientist groups bring together young specialists, including some participants from American universities. NSFC is similar in some respects to the U. National Science Foundation NSF ; its main mission is funding basic research in China across a wide range of disciplines.
NSFC has seven scientific departments: mathematical and physical sciences, chemical sciences, life science including biomedical disciplines , life science, engineering and materials sciences, information sciences, and management sciences. NSFC has memoranda of understanding with 60 scientific and technical institutes and organizations worldwide, including some in the United States, Canada, and Europe. NSFC takes advantage of these arrangements to sponsor joint research projects and conferences, and to pay for Chinese nationals working abroad to return to China to work or lecture.
NSFC uses a peer-review system to evaluate funding proposals. The group says it has 61 disciplinary panels with direct participants and more than 20, corresponding reviewers. The focus of the Chinese Academy of Engineering CAE is, as you might expect, on engineering and technology rather than pure science. A similar organization working in a different domain is the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. CASS hosts a Bureau of International Cooperation , which is responsible for exchanges with foreign governments and institutions within its disciplinary scope.
Research in China is carried out at universities, industrial sites, and research institutes. The Chinese government has designated a series of research institutes, many affiliated with universities, as State Key Laboratories. According to Richard Nader, NSF's East Asia and Pacific program manager, many of China's State Key Laboratories began as clusters of science and technology talent but have developed over time into well-organized and supported centers of excellence.
These labs, Nader says, provide the Chinese government with "a way to focus funding on basic research targets. The lab has also carried out several joint research projects with institutes or universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Japan. Earlier this year, MOST approved a series of what it calls megaprojects as part of the current 5-year economic development plan. As Science magazine reported in March subscription required , the plan specifies 16 major initiatives, including basic research projects in protein science, quantum physics, nanotechnology, and developmental and reproductive science.
Still, because China's government sees science largely as a way to stimulate economic development, it tends to give high priority to research that leads to fast commercial payoffs. For now, says NSF's Nader, although China welcomes researchers in all disciplines and for basic and applied research, "the attention of funders is going to mid- and downstream development, for those projects that are close to market and have large potential payoffs.
Most scientists probably would consider this a disadvantage, but in an April article on Science Careers, David Evans, a chemist working in Beijing University's Department of Chemical Engineering, noted some advantages of China's market-based view of science. His department, he says, takes an interdisciplinary approach involving chemists and chemical engineers. This approach, which he says is not often found in European universities, closely ties together basic with applied research.
The university even has pilot-plant facilities to develop processes and products for fast commercial development, he notes. Nader says the old American phrase "Go West" would aptly describe this policy. An exchange visit with China is a major undertaking, so scientists need to plan thoroughly.
Because of differences in language and culture and the challenges of obtaining visas and permits, the planning process for students and researchers can take many months or even years.
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What makes us optimistic about the possibility of achieving this? Secondly, the research that we have in the field of dyscalculia points in the right direction. Developmental dyscalculics also show difficulties on basic cognitive tasks known to activate these areas Landerl et al. Finally, research in the field of acquired dyscalculia dyscalculia acquired as a result of brain injury is in line with these findings; damage to the same area of the brain results in dyscalculia that has similarities to developmental dyscalculia Stanescu-Cosson et al.
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Not necessarily! This is a common misconception. The functioning and structure of the brain reflects not only our genes, but also our environment, and finally the interaction between the two. Research on dyslexia has shown that auditory training programs can result in significant improvement in reading Merzenich et al. This discovery is fundamentally driven by brain research; research showing that auditory areas were highly involved in reading a very non-intuitive finding!
In the case of mathematics, we do not know yet whether the same type of plasticity is present in the brain, but researchers are actively working on this question. Because we do not yet have a way to diagnose dyscalculia based on its underlying cause, we have to diagnose it based on its effects, i. This is much more difficult, because there are other factors that may cause the same effects. Reasons other than dyscalculia include inadequate instruction, lack of motivation, attentional disorders, anxiety disorders, or mental retardation.
Methods of diagnosis differ widely, but in general include some common aspects: 1 an identification of a difficulty in mathematics that affects academic or everyday life, and 2 an attempt to rule out some of the other factors that could be responsible for the difficulty. The idea is, of course, that once all other factors are ruled out, brain dysfunction is the only explanation left. While this may sound fine in theory, it is not so easy in practice.
Which tests should be used to show difficulty in mathematics, and where should the cut-off point be? How should other factors be ruled out, and which other factors should be ruled out? For instance, if a pupil has difficulties in mathematics because of a difficulty in memorising verbal information — which means she cannot remember her times tables — is she dyscalculic? Currently, there is little agreement on these questions, but as more research is conducted, consensus is likely to increase.
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The percentage of the population suffering from developmental dyscalculia is difficult to establish, because of the different criteria used for diagnosis. However, the prevalence studies that have been conducted allow at least a rough idea. In these studies, prevalence is estimated to be between percent of the population Badian, ; Gross-Tsur et al.
The relationship between dyscalculia and dyslexia is not clear. It is unknown whether there is a common cause for those children with both disorders and, if so, at which level it could be, for example a brain area in common, or a general brain development factor. Researchers are currently investigating this question. There is very little research on the overlap between this and dyscalculia.
It is a reasonable hypothesis that dyscalculia may increase the chances of having math anxiety, and preliminary work by Butterworth and colleagues, based on focus groups of dyscalculic children, supports this idea. It is also possible that math anxiety could cause dyscalculia, although this is less likely. What is the relationship between dyscalculia and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder?
Dyscalculia also appears to be associated with behavioural disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder if diagnosis does not exclude cases with this disorder present. Are there any other disorders that dyscalculia is related to? This is a question that has been much debated, and is still a point of controversy. It is important because it is part of the process of identifying causes of dyscalculia, and also because different types of dyscalculia should probably be diagnosed and treated in different ways. Some researchers have argued that children who have dyscalculia as well as dyslexia show a different pattern of difficulties to those who just have dyscalculia.
In early research, Rourke e. However, this distinction has not been supported by subsequent research and appears to be too simplistic. More recent research by Jordan and colleagues Jordan et al. However they still present the same difficulties in more non-verbal tasks. From this research it seems that this group really does have two deficits that combine together to produce even more problems than a single deficit.
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Another researcher, Geary , has argued for three different subtypes of dyscalculia, one based on difficulties in fact retrieval ie. As you can see, there is little consensus in this area, and more research to be done. Part of the problem is that each group of researchers uses different tests, and the types of dyscalculia found then seem to be related to this factor! Many researchers are actively working on this question, so we will all stay tuned to see what emerges…. If your child has persistent difficulties with mathematics, you should suspect dyscalculia, even if your child also has reading problems.
You should have your child referred to a school psychologist for evaluation.
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Diagnosis should include interviews with you and your child, an IQ test, and mathematics achievement tests; as well as a more detailed examination of mathematics abilities. The kind of diagnosis that is carried out will vary depending on where you live and who you see. However, do not forget though that you have the right to be informed of results, and that you know your child best.
Always ask for a second opinion if in doubt. You should be aware that dyscalculia is less well known than dyslexia, so this makes it hard to diagnose. You may need to be persistent! Find more information on our blog here. Searchable by poet, title, first lines and more. They offer the first complete collection of Shakespeare's plays , from the First Folio of , in their original spelling and orthography. And some talented Russian artists did the animation. The course moves from ancient to modern literature, and is taught by David Damrosch at Harvard.
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