St. Mary’s All-Age Celebrates 175 Years

first_img The quiet, farming community of Above Rocks in St Catherine, is home to the St. Mary’s All-Age School, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year.The Roman Catholic institution was established by Father Joseph Dupont in 1842. The original structure, part of which is out of use, was erected in 1940, with additional buildings erected in 1988.Currently, the school has a population of 263 students, with a staff complement of 16 teachers.Residents of Above Rocks have a close affinity to the institution. Many generations of family members are proud to say they have walked the halls of St Mary’s All-Age and have returned to the school to work as teachers and other members of staff.Among them is Jacquelin Brown-Hope, who is the institution’s vice-principal.“What makes it special for me here is the fact that we are a family,” she tells JIS News.“It has been an integral part of me to ensure that I give back more than what I got as a student, and seeing the children excel and moving from one level to the other has been my greatest achievement,” she notes. The quiet, farming community of Above Rocks in St Catherine, is home to the St. Mary’s All-Age School, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year. Principal, Simone Gillespie, says the school has been doing well academically. She notes that the institution received a reading room from the Digicel Foundation, which has helped to improve literacy and numeracy levels. Principal, Simone Gillespie, says the school has been doing well academically. She notes that the institution received a reading room from the Digicel Foundation, which has helped to improve literacy and numeracy levels.The facility, which opened in April 2013, caters to students who are below grade level and those who are advanced.Ms. Gillespie notes that focus is placed on ensuring that students are well rounded as “we are mindful that it’s not just academics that make the students become good leaders in society”.“We think that because we have a rounded approach to how we teach and develop our children… they perform well academically,” she says.“That contributes to the academic performance – all those extracurricular activities – because if you are motivated and driven in other areas of life, it naturally spills over into your academics; so we try to take a holistic approach,” she adds.She informs that a programme was created to tackle behavioural problems among boys, which not only resulted in a dramatic improvement in behaviour, but also academics.“We know that… boys are not performing as well as girls right across the board. So here we have a unique approach. We have our Building Outstanding Students for Society (BOSS Club), where we target boys of a certain age to kind of give them mentorship. We have male teachers who mentor them, so that we can drive them towards academic success,” Ms. Gillespie notes.Other clubs and societies at the school include literacy (reading and spelling), mathematics, environmental, and school challenge.St. Mary’s All-age has also been doing well in sports, particularly table tennis. They were all island primary school champions between 2007 and 2014, placing third between 2016 and 2017.With the success of the table tennis team, a number of students were invited to the national junior team, including grade-six student, Shamoy Lamont.Shamoy recalls the joy of representing Jamaica at a regional table tennis competition.“It made me feel very happy because while I was playing, the (team) was encouraging me and I was encouraging them. I was happy and we all worked together and put in effort to make our country place second in the championship, because Dominican Republic beat us by six points,” Shamoy says.Activities to mark the school’s 175-year milestone includes a fun run on February 27; open day and concert on April 24; and a football match on June 17.center_img Residents of Above Rocks have a close affinity to the institution. Many generations of family members are proud to say they have walked the halls of St Mary’s All-Age and have returned to the school to work as teachers and other members of staff. Story Highlightslast_img read more

San Diego Water Board files suit over Tijuana sewage

first_img September 5, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom Posted: September 5, 2018 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A lawsuit filed in federal court Wednesday by the San Diego Regional Water Board alleges that the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission has repeatedly violated provisions of the Clean Water Act and its National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit by discharging millions of gallons of waste — including untreated sewage, trash, pesticides and heavy metals — from its water treatment facilities into the Tijuana River, the Tijuana River Estuary and the Pacific Ocean.The plaintiff is asking the court to declare that the USIBWC has violated the Clean Water Act on numerous occasions, has failed to prevent and recover waste from its many illicit discharge events, and must take all actions necessary to comply with the Clean Water Act and the NPDES permit.Lori Kuczmanski of the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission said the USIBWC cannot comment on pending litigation.According to the San Diego Water Board, from 2015 to the present, more than 11 million gallons of waste have gone untreated, raising concerns about long-term damage to the environment, aquatic species and threats to human health. Beaches along the city of Imperial Beach were closed more than 200 days in 2015 and about 150 days in 2016 and 2017 to protect the public.In the last decade, coastal cities in California have imposed 1,000 beach closures in response to contaminated wastewater, the Water Board said.The lawsuit maintains that USIBWC is responsible for addressing cross- border flows of waste from Mexico into California as required by its NPDES permit and that chronic mismanagement of its water treatment facilities through the years has led to the legal action.Last week, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller ruled that a lawsuit brought by the Port of San Diego and the cities of Chula Vista and Imperial Beach, alleging that the federal government is not doing enough to prevent the flow of Tijuana sewage into the U.S., can move forward. San Diego Water Board files suit over Tijuana sewagelast_img read more

Ft Carson to Retain Converting Brigade

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR In a change of plans, the Army has decided to convert the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT) of the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colo., from an infantry BCT to a Stryker unit. The Army originally was planning to convert the unit to a fully armored BCT and considering the possibility of shifting it to one of four other installations. The Army ultimately found a solution that satisfies Colorado Springs and El Paso, Texas, with officials also announcing that the 1st Armored Division’s 1st BCT at Fort Bliss will convert from a Stryker unit to an armored BCT, reported the Gazette.“We dodged a bullet there,” said Colorado Rep. Doug Lamborn (R). The change will add about 200 soldiers to the 2nd BCT as the unit adds hundreds of 18-ton armored vehicles. It also means Fort Carson’s population will reach 26,000 soldiers after adding an 800-soldier security force assistance brigade announced in May. “This shows that Fort Carson remains a high priority at the Pentagon,” Lamborn said. “It solidifies and entrenches Fort Carson’s position.”The Army’s decision announced Thursday to convert two BCTs to a Stryker and an armored unit comes as the military shifts from a global focus on counterinsurgency warfare to competition against near-peer adversaries such as Russia and China, which have large formations of mechanized ground combat units, reports Army Times. Fort Bliss and Fort Carson were selected to house the two BCTs due to their extensive training areas and their capacity to deploy rapidly, said Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, the Army’s deputy chief of staff for operations.U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Ellen Brabolast_img read more

Genetic algorithms can improve quantum simulations

first_imgFor the first time, researchers have used genetic algorithms to reduce quantum errors in digital quantum simulations. Credit: U. Las Heras et al. ©2016 American Physical Society This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Now for the first time, researchers Urtzi Las Heras et al. at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, Spain, have applied genetic algorithms to digital quantum simulations and shown that genetic algorithms can reduce quantum errors, and may even outperform existing optimization techniques. The research, which is published in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters, was led by Ikerbasque Prof. Enrique Solano and Dr. Mikel Sanz in the QUTIS group.In general, quantum simulations can provide a clearer picture of the dynamics of systems that are impossible to understand using conventional computers due to their high degree of complexity. Whereas computers calculate the behavior of these systems, quantum simulations approximate or “simulate” the behavior.As a quantum technology, digital quantum simulations face many of the same challenges that confront the quantum computing field in general. One such challenge is information loss due to decoherence, which occurs when a quantum system interacts with its environment. In order to protect quantum simulations against this loss, scientists use quantum error correction protocols, which provide a kind of back-up by storing information in entangled states of multiple qubits using quantum gates.Storing information in an entangled state is a highly complex undertaking in the context of quantum error correction. For a system with just 4 qubits and 7 gates, the number of possible gate arrangements climbs into the trillions. Optimization techniques are used to sift through all of these designs and find the architecture that minimizes the error. In the new study, the researchers demonstrated that genetic algorithms can identify gate designs for digital quantum simulations that outperform designs identified by standard optimization techniques, resulting in the lowest levels of digital quantum errors achieved so far. Citation: Genetic algorithms can improve quantum simulations (2016, June 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-06-genetic-algorithms-quantum-simulations.html © 2016 Phys.org Besides reducing errors due to decoherence, genetic algorithms can also reduce two other types of errors in digital quantum simulations. One type is the digital error created by the reduced number of steps used for approximating the algorithms. Another type of error arises from the imperfections in the construction of each of the gates. As the researchers explain, one reason why genetic algorithms perform so well is their adaptability. Just like natural selection adapts to changes in environmental conditions, genetic algorithms continually adapt to different constraints imposed by different quantum technologies. “Genetic algorithms are characterized by different features: adaptability and robustness,” Solano told Phys.org. “Their adaptability allows for a flexible and clever technique to solve different problems in different quantum technologies and platforms. The robustness of the algorithm yields solutions that are resilient against errors, which allows us to cancel different error sources. [Due to these characteristics,] our work provides a new flexible tool in quantum simulations that allows us to reduce the required physical resources while keeping the operation precision. It also reduces the total decoherence and digital error by seizing on the different unavoidable error sources to mutually cancel each other.”Genetic algorithms already have been used in a wide variety of applications, such as finding the most efficient electrical circuit design, finding the mirror orientation that focuses the maximum amount of sunlight onto a solar collector, and designing antennas that are optimally tuned for detecting specific types of signals.With help from genetic algorithms, future quantum simulations are expected to be useful for gaining a better understanding of complex physics, designing novel materials and chemicals, and solving problems in machine learning and artificial intelligence.”These techniques could be used to solve problems that require resources unaffordable for present and future digital quantum simulations and gate-based quantum computing, by reducing and optimizing them,” Solano said. “Also these techniques could easily decompose a problem into quantum gates adapted to different quantum platforms and quantum technologies. Finally, these techniques could also be applied to different problems in quantum computation and quantum information, such as the design of improved qubits, for instance. Needless to say, quantum simulations and quantum computing aim at the big picture: artificial intelligence, pattern recognition, design of new materials and chemicals, solving complex problems in aerodynamics, and quantum field theories, among many others.” Google combines two main quantum computing ideas in one computer Journal information: Physical Review Letters (Phys.org)—Inspired by natural selection and the concept of “survival of the fittest,” genetic algorithms are flexible optimization techniques that can find the best solution to a problem by repeatedly selecting for and breeding ever “fitter” generations of solutions. Explore further More information: U. Las Heras et al. “Genetic Algorithms for Digital Quantum Simulations.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.230504last_img read more