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Signal-to-noise in the classroom

Posted by on Monday, August 5, 2019 in Commentary, News.

by Cynthia J. Brame, CFT Associate Director

I’ve been thinking a lot about signal-to-noise ratio this summer. My post-doctoral research relied heavily on mass spectrometry of complex mixtures, and we thought a lot about signal-to-noise and whether we were missing the thing we were after in a sea of other things our instrument could detect. Because we were using an analytical technique, we could focus in on what we wanted to see, setting the instrument to only detect the range of signals we wanted—if, that is, we knew what we were looking for. When we weren’t as certain, though, we were relying on a robust signal, sometimes with particular markers to let us detect what we needed. I think learning can be like this. [more]

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