Pensions think tank Netspar to branch out into big data

first_imgDutch pensions think tank Netspar plans to expand its work into data science and artificial intelligence.In a recent newsletter, the network for pension researchers and professionals said that a working group would look into the impact of “big data” on pension contracts and market structures.The working group – headed by Tilburg University’s Lans Bovenberg, professor of economy, and Bas Werker, professor of finance and econometrics – was to elaborate on a report about pension funds’ and providers’ expectations of big data, Netspar said.Data science focuses on new ways of deploying data and “unstructured” information, such as text files, sound, photos, and videos. “We expect that data science will affect the development of tailor-made solutions for individual participants at pension funds and increase the efficiency of risk management and investing, as well as supervision and policy,” said Marike Knoef, head lecturer at Leiden University, who co-authored the original report with Werker.Talking to IPE’s sister publication Pensioen Pro, she explained that linking data such as postcodes and home ownership would enable providers to improve tailor-made solutions as well as communication.Knoef argued that integral financial planning for an individual’s life course – including other assets on top of a second and third-pillar pension – was becoming increasingly important.Knoef said that the exact task of the working group was not yet clear.“We expect, for example, that a pension fund’s care of duty towards their participants will require much additional research,” she said. “We also assume that we can calculate the effect of a pensions system update on individual participants.”Knoef added that the study could also provide useful information by analysing participants’ internet behaviour and that it could improve the understanding of individuals’ life expectancy.She further pointed out that investors could use data science to identify links between market developments and certain events.“Important to us, however, is to subsequently find an explanation for any link,” she said.Last summer, APG, the €443bn asset manager and provider for the large civil service scheme ABP, announced that it would investigate the potential of blockchain and artificial intelligence in co-operation with Maastricht University and technical research institute TNO.last_img read more

Anti-abortion club may be disaffiliated

first_imgAuckland Now 5 June 2012An anti-abortion club at Auckland University may be disaffiliated after students complained about being harassed by its members. Auckland University Student Association president Arena Williams has called for a special general meeting next month, which could see ProLife Auckland being barred from associating itself with the university. An announcement for the meeting said the association would consider whether the “Prolife Club be disaffiliated for propagating harmful misinformation [sic]”. “Recently we’ve received complaints from students after [ProLife Auckland] handed out fliers at the campus,” said Williams. “On the fliers there was information which some felt was pressuring them into making different decisions than they normally would.” The “Right to Know” flier carries the slogan: “Hands up if you’ve heard this before: ‘Abortion is a safe, simple medical procedure’.”http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/7041095/Anti-abortion-club-may-be-disaffiliatedlast_img read more

Tanzania: Former Finance Minister and Former Energy and Mineral Minister Jailed…

first_imgTears and disbelief reigned at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Monday morning, as two former cabinet ministers bid goodbye to their family members whom they will hardly interact with – at least for the next three years.Former Finance Minister Basil Mramba, 75 and his Energy and Mineral counterpart Daniel Yona, 76 will have to spend the next three years behind bars, serving their jail sentence for abuse of office and subjecting the government to 11.7bn/- loss.They were convicted in the historical trial related to the procurement of gold assayers firm, Alex Stewart Government Business Corporation. Observers say this is the first court decision in the judiciary’s history to condemn influential former cabinet ministers to jail on criminal charges.Two members of a panel hearing the historical case, Judge Sam Rumanyika and Mr Saul Kinemela, who is a senior official in the Labour Commission, convicted the two ex-ministers of the offences after they were satisfied by the evidence given by prosecution witnesses.In the judgment, the two members of the court who sat at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court as Principal Resident Magistrates rejected the shield applied by the convicts that President Benjamin Mkapa had authorised the acquisition of the gold assayers company.“We do not think that the president had directed urgent procurement of the Alex Steward Assayers without following the procedure.The president, otherwise, should have so directed in express terms,” Judge Rumanyika, declared when reading the judgment.They further held that the Government Notices that were granted by Mramba for tax exemptions were arbitrarily issued in total disregard of the advice given by the Attorney General (AG) and officers from the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), leading to pecuniary loss.The judgment of the court was not commonly reached as one member of the panel, Judge John Utamwa, gave a dissenting judgment. He had differed with others in respect of evidence given to have proved the charges against the two convicts.last_img read more

Ivy Tech to give students free online-access to textbooks

first_imgStatewide — Ivy Tech Community College is providing all 90,000 students at more than 40 locations across Indiana with day-one access, on the first day of class, to textbooks and course materials through Cengage Unlimited. Cengage also assists Ivy Tech administration and faculty with hybrid and online teaching.Cengage, the largest US-based education and technology company serving the college market, provides course materials to almost 10 million students pursuing higher education in the US.last_img read more

Louis van Gaal remains Manchester United boss as Jose Mourinho speculation grows

first_img Press Association Mourinho was keen on taking the United job when Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, but the Scot chose David Moyes as his successor instead. Ferguson and director Sir Bobby Charlton were known to have doubts about Mourinho, but they will have only a minor say in who succeeds Van Gaal should he be axed. Woodward and the club’s owners the Glazer family will bear that responsibility should the situation arise. As well as Mourinho, Pep Guardiola will be available in the summer as he is leaving Bayern Munich. United playmaker Juan Mata, meanwhile, insists he and his team-mates can arrest their slump over the next week when they face Stoke and Chelsea. Addressing fans in his weekly blog, the Spaniard wrote: “We are really disappointed for not giving you what you deserve, because your support is amazing and unconditional, but I’m sure that we will turn this situation around.” Mata, who was sold by Mourinho to United for £37.1million in January 2014, was disappointed to lose to Norwich but hopes the Red Devils can return to winning ways at Stoke on Boxing Day. “I was confident that we were going to get the three points on Saturday in Old Trafford, but that was not the case,” said the 27-year-old, who will come up against his former club, now managed by Guus Hiddink, on December 28. “We are in a complicated situation and in order to get out of it we have to stick together and believe in ourselves so we can get a positive result as soon as possible. “We all feel frustrated, same as last week, and we need to win a game as quickly as possible because it will change our mood and give us confidence, I’m sure of that. “Our next chance to do it will be on Boxing Day at Stoke, and that’s not an easy game. “No matter how tough the situation can be, I’m not even thinking about giving up. “I believe that’s the only way to get out of this bad streak – keep working hard and sooner or later we will get the results that we want.” Former Manchester United defender and coach Phil Neville believes Van Gaal should not be sacked. He said on Match of the Day 2: “I hope Manchester United give Louis van Gaal until the end of the season – he’s got the experience – and I hope there’s more respect for managers. “I just think it’s disgraceful (and) disrespectful to managers when they’re still in a job and other managers are being talked about for their job.” The home fans left inside Old Trafford booed their team off following the 2-1 defeat and some cried Mourinho’s name during the game. Mourinho is a free agent following his sacking by Chelsea and the Portuguese has made it known he would be happy taking over at Old Trafford if a vacancy arises in the near future. Although he is expected to fly to Portugal to spend some time with his family this week, Mourinho has no plans to take a sabbatical and United are thought to be one of four big European clubs the 52-year-old would consider joining. United refused to comment on speculation that Van Gaal has two games to save his job, but it is understood the Dutchman was at the club’s training base in Carrington on Monday continuing his work as normal. The 64-year-old was also at the AON Training Complex on Sunday. In the immediate aftermath of the defeat, Van Gaal insisted he had the support of United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and the players. The United manager said: “Ed was very fast out of the dressing room but I feel that support, yes. “The most important support is from the players because the players have to do it on the pitch and the chemistry between the players and the manager and his staff is very important.” Despite those words, Van Gaal must be cursing his luck that two of the best managers in football have become available during the most challenging period of his 17-month spell at the club. Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal was back at his desk on Monday morning amid speculation he is about to be replaced by Jose Mourinho. The pressure increased on Van Gaal on Saturday when United stretched their winless run to six matches with an embarrassing home defeat to Norwich. United’s latest loss saw them drop out of the top four in the Barclays Premier League and the club’s supporters made their feelings known during the match and after the final whistle. last_img read more

Man shot at West Palm Beach gentlemen’s club, Probe underway

first_imgPolice are investigating a shooting at a gentleman’s club in West Palm Beach.One man was transported to the hospital early Wednesday after reportedly being shot inside the Playhouse 2 gentlemen’s club.His condition remains unknown at this time.Police have not identified a suspect or established a motive at this time.“Call Crime Stoppers at 800-458-TIPS if you have any information.”This story is developing.last_img

JUCO offensive lineman gives verbal commitment to Syracuse, becomes 23rd member of Class of 2013

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 13, 2013 at 4:03 pm Contact Chris: cjiseman@syr.edu | @chris_iseman Michael Lasker, an offensive lineman from Riverside City College in California, will transfer to Syracuse, Scout.com reported Saturday.The 6-foot-5, 315 pound lineman is the 23rd member of the Orange’s Class of 2013. According to Scout.com, Laker committed to the Syracuse coaching staff during a visit this weekend.With left tackle Justin Pugh graduating, Syracuse has at least one offensive tackle to replace. Sean Hickey resume his starting role on the right side. Andrew Phillips, Pugh’s backup, left the program last month. Commentslast_img read more

UW lands on favorable side of Big Ten bracket

first_imgThursday’s game between Wisconsin and Illinois will pit Alyssa Karel (above) against Karisma Penn, two of the Big Ten’s best guards.[/media-credit]Tournament time is here at last, and the end of the regular season had an interesting scenario develop. The Wisconsin women’s basketball team lost its last game of the regular season to Ohio State, but there is certainly an upside to the loss.Had the Badgers (15-13, 10-6) beaten the Buckeyes, they may have ended up on the opposite side of the Big Ten tournament bracket with the likes of Michigan State, Ohio State and Iowa, three teams that the UW had a combined record of 0-4 against this season.Instead, Wisconsin missed its opportunity at a first round bye but also receives the potential of more favorable pre-championship game matchups versus Indiana, Purdue, Penn State, Michigan and Illinois, against whom Wisconsin had a combined record of 6-2.“We like the side of the bracket we are on. It is all about matchups,” assistant coach Oties Epps said. “We feel like if we can take care of business there, the road to where we want to get is very favorable.”In their opening game of the tournament, the Badgers will be set in a rematch against the Fighting Illini (7-22, 2-14) Thursday. In the only regular season contest between the two teams at the Kohl Center, Wisconsin was able to walk off the floor with a comfortable 60-47 victory, but as history shows, matchups can be very unpredictable when each team’s back is against the wall.“It is going to be really different; it is tournament time, and anything can happen,” junior guard Jade Davis said. “[The Illini] are trying to make a run to the NCAA Tournament just as we are, so the way they played here can be totally different than the way they are going to play in the Big Ten Tournament.”Illinois, despite its unimpressive record, still boasts talented assets, most notably sophomore forward and All-American candidate Karisma Penn. Penn is averaging 18 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game.“Everything [Illinois] want[s] to do surrounds Penn,” Epps said. “For us, it is great having that knowledge. It makes it a little easier for us to prepare and game plan for some of the things that we want to do.”And there are concerns outside of Penn herself. The Illini feature a fast paced, up-and-down game that, without a collective defensive effort, could really pose some problems for the Badgers.“They are explosive, and their athleticism [stands out],” Epps said. “I think teams like that are always dangerous because if they can dictate tempo, if they can get out and make it an open court game, force tempo a little bit, it can be a rough game for us.”One part of Wisconsin’s game will clearly be gone since the last meeting between these two teams: Tara Steinbauer. In the previous contest, Steinbauer led the Badgers with 19 points, and with Steinbauer now sidelined with a torn ACL, junior forward Anya Covington will slide into the starting lineup again for only the seventh time this season.Since Steinbauer’s injury, Wisconsin has used multiple rotations and different starting lineups such as four-guard, one-post lineups as well as the more conventional three-guard, two-post combos. In this instance, however, it was Covington’s experience that led to her getting the starting nod.“She is the most experienced of out reserve posts. I think what has gotten us to this point is experienced players, so we are going to continue to ride that,” Epps said.Covington seems more than ready for action.“You have to be ready right off the jump,” Covington says. “Ball goes up; it is time to play. You don’t have time to sit there and watch other people and see what they have done; you have to go out there and do it.”Wisconsin’s side of the bracket may seem favorable, but past success means nothing when every team is scrapping for an NCAA Tournament bid. Despite Wisconsin finishing third in the Big Ten, the odds remain slim, and the pre-NCAA Tournament brackets don’t show much promise for the Badgers’ tournament hopes.It may actually take a visit to the Big Ten Championship game or a tournament title itself to deliver Wisconsin to its second straight NCAA Tournament.last_img read more

Women’s basketball: Badgers to face Boilermakers in first round of Big Ten tournament

first_imgA six point victory to close out the regular season against Penn State could not save the Wisconsin women’s basketball team from a bottom four Big Ten finish, and so the team will play Wednesday in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament as the No. 11 seed.Facing off against 14th-seeded Purdue (6-23, 3-15 Big Ten), the Badgers (9-19, 5-13) will look to advance to the second round by dealing the Boilermakers their 11th consecutive defeat. Purdue’s last win came at Minnesota on Jan. 22, a 90-88 overtime thriller, and has since failed to score more than 70 points in nine of their past 10 contests.Wisconsin and Purdue have matched up one time already this season, resulting in a 65-56 Wisconsin victory in West Lafayette, Indiana, on Jan. 15. Offensive balance was key in the Badgers’ win, with guards Dakota Whyte, Tessa Cichy and Nicole Bauman scoring 14, 13 and 11 points, respectively. Purdue shot just 32 percent from the field, and the Badgers held the Boilermakers to 26 points in the second half despite 37 shot attempts.The winner will punch their ticket to face sixth-seeded Minnesota (22-8, 11-7 Big Ten), the same team that knocked the Badgers out of the conference tournament a season ago. In that game, the Badgers were on the verge of an upset until the Gophers crawled back from a late 16-point deficit to win in overtime.The possibility of revenge, however, is not a primary concern at the moment, according to head coach Bobbie Kelsey, who cited the dangers of overlooking a current opponent.“I think that’s setting you up a little bit,” Kelsey said. “You get caught up in the two and three ahead, and this is a hard run for any team that starts out on the first day. I just take it one game at a time, and I ask our kids to do that.”Wisconsin’s defense against Purdue poses a difficult matchup to predict, as neither side has been promising this season. While Purdue has had their fair share of scoring woes in conference play (60.8 ppg), Wisconsin has been equally ineffective at stymieing opposing offenses, allowing more than 72 points per game in the same span.The Boilermakers’ top scoring threat, forward and all-Big Ten honorable mention Whitney Bays (15.3 ppg), could create problems for Wisconsin’s suspect interior defense. But Purdue’s lack of offensive versatility could force it to rely on its lone star. If the Badgers can stop Bays, the Purdue offense might resort to their troubling outside shooting game, which has shot at a 23 percent clip this season.After losing star Michala Johnson early in the season to a torn ACL, Wisconsin’s offense has been led by the breakout efforts of junior guard and honorable mention All-Big Ten selection Nicole Bauman (15.1 ppg). Behind Bauman’s efficiency from behind the three-point line (47%, the second highest in all of Division I), the Badgers have revamped their scoring identity from a heavy post-minded approach to an outside-shot first mentality.Aside from her consistency from three-point range, Kelsey also pointed out Bauman’s versatility as a shooter. Unlike many players, Kelsey said Bauman has taken the time to adopt a mid-range game that involves searching for the best look.“That’s the one thing I preached when I first got here because I’ve seen it,” Kelsey said. “Kids either want to get all the way to the basket, or they just want to shoot threes.“When the defense gets on you, you got to be able to pull up, and I think that’s why Nicole is such a threat.”Game VitalsWhat: Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament, first roundWho: Wisconsin vs. PurdueWhere: Sears Centre Arena, Hoffman States and ILWhen: Wednesday, March 4, 25 minutes after the conclusion of Indiana vs. Penn State at 5 p.m. CTWatch/Listen: BTN Plus/The Mic 92.1Records on a neutral court this season: Wisconsin (0-2), Purdue (1-1)Wisconsin Probable Starters: (With season scoring averages)Nicole Bauman – G (15.1 ppg), Dakota Whyte – G (11.0 ppg), Tessa Cichy – G (9.3 ppg), Jacki Gulczynski – F (9.6 ppg), F – Cassie Rochel (6.7 ppg)Key ReservesAnnMarie Brown – G/F (2.2 ppg), Cayla McMorris – G (5.1 ppg), Malayna Johnson – F (4.2 ppg)Purdue Probable Starters:Ashley Morrissette – G (11.1 ppg), Bridget Perry – G (10.2 ppg), April Wilson – G (8.9 ppg), Liza Clemons – F (8.8 ppg), Whitney Bays – F (15.3 ppg)Key ReservesAndreona Keys – G (5.5 ppg), Hayden Hamby – G (2.2 ppg), Bree Horrocks – C (2.3 ppg)last_img read more

Feeling Homesick after 25 Days in Russia

first_imgDURO’S RUSSIA NOTES…After 25 days in Russia, crisscrossing one city to the other covering the 2018 FIFA World Cup, most Nigerian sports journalists remaining in the host country have become homesick, waiting for the Mundial to end on Sunday.Apart from communication problems that most faced at the beginning of the tournament and braved to get the job going, some have become tired of the routine food from eateries. Those who can no longer live on the ‘leaves and half cooked’ meals have taken to life of just fries and buggers. One fellow from the south of the Niger is almost on ‘hunger strike’. He has started his own count down to Sunday when curtain will fall on Russia 2018. Pray he does not fall ill before then as he is going lean everyday.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more