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  1. Dopaminergic neurons with distinct projection patterns and physiological properties compose memory subsystems in a brain. However, it is poorly understood whether or how they interact during complex learning. Here, we identify a feedforward circuit formed between dopamine subsystems and show that it is essential for second-order conditioning, an ethologically important form of higher-order associative learning. The Drosophila mushroom body comprises a series of dopaminergic compartments, each of which exhibits distinct memory dynamics. We find that a slow and stable memory compartment can serve as an effective ‘teacher’ by instructing other faster and transient memory compartments via a single key interneuron, which we identify by connectome analysis and neurotransmitter prediction. This excitatory interneuron acquires enhanced response to reward-predicting odor after first-order conditioning and, upon activation, evokes dopamine release in the ‘student’ compartments. These hierarchical connections between dopamine subsystems explain distinct properties of first- and second-order memory long known by behavioral psychologists.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 24, 2024
  2. The decomposition of multi-subject fMRI data using rank- (L,L,1,1) block term decomposition (BTD) can preserve higher-way data structure and is more robust to noise effects by decomposing shared spatial maps (SMs) into a product of two rank-L loading matrices. However, since the number of whole-brain voxels is very large and rank L is larger than 1, the rank-(L,L,1,1) BTD requires high computation and memory. Therefore, we propose an accelerated rank- (L,L,1,1) BTD algorithm based upon the method of alternating least squares (ALS). We speed up updates of loading matrices by reducing fMRI data into subspaces, and add an orthonormality constraint on shared SMs to improve the performance. Moreover, we evaluate the rank-L effect on the proposed method for actual task-related fMRI data. The proposed method shows better performance when L=35. Meanwhile, experimental comparison results verify that the proposed method largely reduced (17.36 times) computation time compared to ALS while also providing satisfying separation performance.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 23, 2023
  3. Understanding teachers’ conceptions surrounding integrated STEM education is vital to the successful implementation of integrated STEM curricula in K-12 classrooms. Of particular interest is understanding how teachers conceptualize the role of the STEM disciplines within their integrated STEM teaching. Further, despite knowing that content-agnostic characteristics of integrated STEM education are important, little is known about how teachers conceptualize the real-world problems, 21st century skills, and the promotion of STEM careers in their integrated STEM instruction. This study used an exploratory case study design to investigate conceptions of 19 K-12 science teachers after participating in an integrated STEM-focused professional development and implementing integrated STEM lessons into their classrooms. Our findings show that all teacher participants viewed STEM education from an integrative perspective that fosters the development of 21st century skills, using real-world problems to motivate students. Our findings also reveal that teachers have varying ideas related to the STEM disciplines within integrated STEM instruction, which could assist teacher educators in preparing high-quality professional development experiences. Findings related to real-world problems, 21st century skills, and STEM careers provide a window into how to best support teachers to include these characteristics into their teaching more explicitly.
  4. As large-scale scientific simulations and big data analyses become more popular, it is increasingly more expensive to store huge amounts of raw simulation results to perform post-analysis. To minimize the expensive data I/O, “in-situ” analysis is a promising approach, where data analysis applications analyze the simulation generated data on the fly without storing it first. However, it is challenging to organize, transform, and transport data at scales between two semantically different ecosystems due to the distinct software and hardware difference. To tackle these challenges, we design and implement the X-Composer framework. X-Composer connects cross-ecosystem applications to form an “in-situ” scientific workflow, and provides a unified approach and recipe for supporting such hybrid in-situ workflows on distributed heterogeneous resources. X-Composer reorganizes simulation data as continuous data streams and feeds them seamlessly into the Cloud-based stream processing services to minimize I/O overheads. For evaluation, we use X-Composer to set up and execute a cross-ecosystem workflow, which consists of a parallel Computational Fluid Dynamics simulation running on HPC, and a distributed Dynamic Mode Decomposition analysis application running on Cloud. Our experimental results show that X-Composer can seamlessly couple HPC and Big Data jobs in their own native environments, achieve good scalability, and providemore »high-fidelity analytics for ongoing simulations in real-time.« less
  5. Workflow management systems (WMSs) are commonly used to organize/automate sequences of tasks as workflows to accelerate scientific discoveries. During complex workflow modeling, a local interactive workflow environment is desirable, as users usually rely on their rich, local environments for fast prototyping and refinements before they consider using more powerful computing resources. However, existing WMSs do not simultaneously support local interactive workflow environments and HPC resources. In this paper, we present an on-demand access mechanism to remote HPC resources from desktop/laptopbased workflow management software to compose, monitor and analyze scientific workflows in the CyberWater project. Cyber- Water is an open-data and open-modeling software framework for environmental and water communities. In this work, we extend the open-model, open-data design of CyberWater with on-demand HPC accessing capacity. In particular, we design and implement the LaunchAgent library, which can be integrated into the local desktop environment to allow on-demand usage of remote resources for hydrology-related workflows. LaunchAgent manages authentication to remote resources, prepares the computationally-intensive or data-intensive tasks as batch jobs, submits jobs to remote resources, and monitors the quality of services for the users. LaunchAgent interacts seamlessly with other existing components in CyberWater, which is now able to provide advantages of both feature-richmore »desktop software experience and increased computation power through on-demand HPC/Cloud usage. In our evaluations, we demonstrate how a hydrology workflow that consists of both local and remote tasks can be constructed and show that the added on-demand HPC/Cloud usage helps speeding up hydrology workflows while allowing intuitive workflow configurations and execution using a desktop graphical user interface.« less