Subject: Re: Minority issue, lunar calendar, Secretary
From: "Bill Howell. Retired from NRCan. now in Alberta Canada" <>
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2014 12:26:41 -0700
To: "Hava Siegelmann. INNS Awards & BoG. Uof Massachusetts. USA" <>

Please tell me next steps that I should do to re-instate you as Secretary - it would be an honor for me to help a real professional (male or female), and it helps for a neanderthal like me to help women too.   I can easily first suggest this to Danil&Ali, but I need to know how you would like to approach it.  One thing - I still have to integrate Mariannes notes into the 08Aug2014 DRAFT minutes from the July meeting, but that's "just" an issue of finding the time, so I can proceed to finalize those.

Please ask if Pnina has any comments about Einstein's first wife (who got the Nobel money, whereas Albert got the award).   Communities persist over the last 100 years in the belief that not only did she do the math for Einstein initially, but that the entire photo-electric effect was hers right through.  Apparently solid "proof" is missing, but history is always an interpretation, and I always try to force myself into a "Multiple Conflicting Hypothesis" mindset, to avoid becoming a believer and to stay open to reality (often far too occluded by concepts and beliefs).

One the other hand, I've read a bit of refutations of all three "miracle year" concepts, and I'm agast at all the patch-overs throughout history on relativity.  I'm trying to find the time to work a bit on the Michaelson-Morely interpretations -
I seem to remember that Michaelson himself believed that his much more solid Michaelson-Gale experiment of 1922 categorically disproved relativity.  However, I have the impression that interferometer experiments are no longer taken as substantive proofs of relativity anyways, but the points are important historically, and collectively many of these points make a strong case that relativistic correction factors are very easily produced by classical physics (many ways are claimed).

But I think you (Marley Vellasco, Jennie Si, and many others) need to put together an historical context on female contributions and creations in Computational Intelligence.  I suspect this has already been done, but has not been broadcast.


-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: Re: Minority issue, lunar calendar, Secretary
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2014 14:04:51 -0500
From: Hava Siegelmann <>
To: Bill Howell. Retired from NRCan. now in Alberta Canada <>

Hi Bill,

I'm happy to get this message.

I have a friend Pnina who works on women in science as her research and I was involved in this issue for some years now. It is interesting: many men feel women cannot
do good in high positions and you may see how few full professors there are among women (and the ones are mostly asians that men are less prejudice about). I would love to share with you about calendar and about women too. There are some bright women in the past, historically the ones that were recognized where doing so via their husbands, I'll ask Pnina to send us her research on it.

And - this is very kind of you. I would like to go back to secratery, and I do believe it does help young women who feel we are being thrown away. This is really kind of you.

thanks so much and lets be in touch


On 11/13/14, 1:52 PM, Bill Howell. Retired from NRCan. now in Alberta Canada wrote:
Hava - I have been meaning to get back to you about two issues for a long time, and now your email has prompted me to respond.   No response is necessary to the first and second points, but if you really would like to regain the position of Secretary (point 3), I would not be offended in any sense of the word for you to reclaim it...

1.  Lunar calendars
I am wasting your time here, but your comment "...   The jewish new year is going by moon.   ..."  (email below) was extremely interesting to me, and I meant to go back to books and bring out details long forgotten.  But I've blurted out a couple of off-the-top-of-my-head reactions in the section "Lunar calendars" below my signature block.  

2.  Female scientists in history
Some loose, scattered thoughts are provided below from one book that covered solar science history.  I have no background in feminist studies, and perhaps a knowledge of history is the first problem, as I am probably not the only one (females are likely also included in that).

3.  Secretary of INNS
When Danil asked me to fill the role of INNS Secretary, I had no context of your situation, and it seems that your health was probably the issue.   About a month or so after you commented that you were doing well (OK - it takes time for things to sink into my head, especially when I don't think!) it struck me that you might like to fill that role again. 

Whether your return to Secretary would put a woman in a slightly higher profile in a key NN society isn't so much the issue to me (but it may be for young female scientists and high school students!!), it's more a feeling of unease over taking away a chance from someone who could really benefit career-wise or for personal profile somehow, when at the end of the day these are NOT issues for me at all.  NN is a "serious, priority" hobby for me since 1988, and my assistance with conferences, paper reviews etc has always been important to me as a way of giving back to the community.  You may not realize my diabolical thinking, but from my perspective all the work the rest of you do really (including your salaried research) is a means of making for a great vacation and entertainment for me (conferences, journals, etc), which I get for free!

Don't get me wrong, I am very happy to be Secretary, and willing to continue.  But I am uneasy if this takes away an important opportunity from someone else. 

Mr. Bill Howell
P.O. Box 299, Hussar, Alberta, T0J1S0
Retired: Science Research Manager (SE-REM-01) of Natural Resources Canada, CanmetMINING, Ottawa
IJCNN2015 Killarney Ireland, Publicity co-Chair
INNS BigData2015 San Francisco, Publicity Co-Chair
IJCNN2014 Beijing, Technical Program Committee,
INNS BOG member, Secretary

Lunar calendars
  • My interest in calendars started first by a gnawing suspicion that modern astronomy (multi-body problem and planetary motions) is [incomplete, incorrect] even for historical times, let alone on the scale of hundreds of thousands or millions of years, albeit awesome for periods of shorter timescales, and a useful yardstick or framework for longer periods.
  • It was the Jewish history that provided the first clues for me, but I can't remember specific details.  That later was re-reinforced by a few radical and stunning analysis I later read through refuting modern scientific analysis of ancient calendars.  I have no idea if those analysis were correct or not, but they were sure interesting. 
  • A striking theme for me was the use of the Jewish bible as a means of correcting HUGE historical errors of chronology that several authors felt exist because of misinterpretations of ancient Egyptian history.  The Jewish bible became a way of meaningfully aligning ancient histories in a much more coherent way, and a basis for rejecting Ptolemic Egyptian historian Manetho's imposition of the concept of Egyptian "Dynasties" (and yet perhaps not all due to Manetho, but the way in which his work was interpreted by others).  It also brought out the issue of huge anomalies in the way that carbon 145 dating has been applied to ancient Egyptian history to force the data to fit the "known" history.
  • One analysis actually suggested that Manetho may have been instrumental in initiating profound, long-term, historical anti-Semitism.  If I remember correctly Manetho lived BEFORE the period of Christiantity (most often one gets the comment of Jews being "Christ killers?, leading to anti-Semitism).  This was explained in terms of Manetho's apparent suggestion that Jews were the much-hated foreign Hyksos who decimated ancient Egypt for a few hundred years.  But an alternate explanation is that the Hysksos were actually "Amelikites" (?spelling?, Saudia Arabian, I think), and that even today mothers sometimes refer to Amelikites in some kind of process to get their children to stay in bed and sleep (I've probably butchered that story, memories have faded).  That account suggested that the liberation of Egypt from the Hyksos was actually led and driven by Jews under King Saul, who ultimately refused to kill the Hyksos leaders when victorious.  
  • One philological-type comment was that in the King James version of the Bible, the phrase "dark angels" only appears once, and this may have been a "normal or understandable" mis-interpretation of the phrase "king sheppards" , which may not have made sense to the translators, but which may refer to the Amelikites. 
  • Another fascinating interpretation relates to King ?David or Solomon?, the Queen of Sheba, and pictures on the temple of Karmac in Egypt, which I spun into a naive story on whether that may relate to the fate of the Arc of the Covenenant.  My twist is entirely lacking credibility - it was not supported by the (controversial) author, but for me the issue was to raise a question, to challenge my own understanding and dig deeper, and to have fun :
  • I'm not an historian, and I have no idea of whether any of this is well based.  But it was sure interesting to me, and still is.

Female scientists in history
To me, one very interesting depiction of females in science is provided by Steven Yaskell in his book "Grand phases on the sun".  Several very interesting historical situations are described, many illustrating how females were not recognized (DNA is a well known case, but there are many others). 

Most curious was Yaskell's attempt to qualify a difference in male versus female scientists contributions.  I'm not a fan of classifying people as with much of psychology, and it is perhaps dangerous to believe anything.  But it's nice to hear the ideas, and use the\m to challenge ones own understanding, especially when examp;les are provided.  But for what it's worth, Yaskell commented (bootom of page xv in the introduction) that :
"...   Males pioneered ideas, insights, technology and accumulated much data on stellar objects.  Yet both the spectral class analysis tool and the logarithmic law of stellar distance in their first practical applications were hit upon by females who pored voer their gleanings.  I wish to stress this fact and underline it.   ..."
I don't really trust the generalisation given my weak knowledge, but perhaps in the context of a much wider set of ideas, it would gain greater strength.

By the way, in his book, Yaskell acknowledges my father and I as the "...   two fools who rushed in   ..."  based on our [naive, one dimensional, lunatic] hypothesis of history (the rise and fall of civilisations).  The theory doesn't really work, but is was a lot of fun (my father loves history and can remember details), and Yaskell did use bits and pieces of our historical charts in his book.  And my father and I really like our title...!!

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: Minority issue
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2014 07:53:58 -0500
From: Hava Siegelmann <>
To: Leonid Perlovsky <>, 'Danil Prokhorov' <>, 'David Casasent' <>
CC: 'Asim Roy' <>, 'Irwin King' <>, 'Jacek Zurada' <>, 'Dave Casasent' <>, 'Risto Mikkulainen' <>, 'Peter Erdi' <>, 'Lipo Wang' <>, 'Ganesh Venayagamoorthy' <>, 'Ron Sun' <>, 'Nik Kasabov' <>, 'Marley Vellasco' <>, 'DeLiang Wang' <>, 'Juergen Schmidhuber' <>, 'De-Shuang Huang' <>, 'Danilo Mandic' <>, 'Ali Minai' <>, 'Soo-Young Lee' <>, '' <>, 'Richard Duro' <>, 'Marianne Van Wagner' <>, 'Alison Watson' <>, 'David Brown' <>

Hi Friends

I want to share with you:

Recently my department made an industrial introduction day -- all the 8 
speakers where men. In our relations with industry there are women too, 
and the message my department
transferred to the young generation was a bit problematic. This is a 
type of message that is being transferred without us noticing it. I was 
almost surprised to hear the strong words
from students about feeling it means it was not for them.

Another little workshop is running in my department soon - with the same 
issue, this time in a field that has biology and clearly women stars. 
Yesterday I gave a talk in another place
and talked with women to find very strong feelings there too of being 
excluded. This is not good.

So my plea here is - If everyone is OK with that - I would like to 
assume a formal "job" of overlooing-diversity - should we call it 
minority work-force?. I'm not going to "eat" the men around and as you 
know me I am not negative at all. What I would try to do is to point out 
possible errors before we do them, suggest women speakers and 
participants, and organize groups of different minorities to enlarge and 
welcome these people who feel they may be different. I may also go with 
your permission to find grants that will allow for special programs in 
our meeting to empower
young diversity participants. It will be nice that here in the INNS we 
will be very welcoming and demonstrate how this can be done well even in 
engineering setup.

I actually would welcome if any of you would like to join me and we 
could work on it together.

I would very much welcome response, your feelings and suggestions

all the best


-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: 	Re: INNS Big Data Conference - CONTRACT VOTE TODAY
Date: 	Tue, 23 Sep 2014 13:57:05 -0400
From: 	Hava Siegelmann <>
To: 	Bill Howell. Retired from NRCan. now in Alberta Canada <>

Hi Bill

The jewish new year is going by moon.

best regards


On 9/23/14 1:53 PM, Bill Howell. Retired from NRCan. now in Alberta Canada wrote:
> Great to see that you are back up and running, Hava!  I'm sure you're happy about that. 

> Which new year is it? I've become more interested in the strange new year dates as of the last 5 years or so, given my exposure to very interesting historical [calendar, astronomical] anomalies, and not-always-convincing [archaeological, scientific] explanations for them.
> I remember the slate of candidates being approved at the INNS-BOG meeting n Beijing, but I can't remember a vote (it's been a while and my memory's not always the best). I'll wait to see if Marianne responds, and I'll follow-up next week in an email I have to send to her on another matter (he [additions, deletions, corrections] to the Aug2014 draft INNS-BOG minutes that were waiting for feedback before wider distribution (Quick notes had been sent).

> Bill Howell

Hava T. Siegelmann, Ph.D.
Director, BINDS Lab (Biologically Inspired Neural Dynamical Systems)
Dept. of Computer Science
Program of Neuroscience and Behavior
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA, 01003
Phone: 413-545-2744  Fax: 413-545-1249