Common ailment and complaint for more than 50 million Americans of all ages every year

As much as we hate allergies, they’re a common ailment and complaint for more than 50 million Americans of all ages every year. While you may identify major allergen sources outside your home, like pollen, the reality is that tons of allergens can lurk inside your home, too. The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology cites indoor causes like cockroaches, dust mites, and pet dander as major allergens in perennial allergic rhinitis. To help your kids survive their allergies, you can take several steps to eliminate the allergens in your home.

Take your HVAC system. The HVAC system can be part of the allergen problem or part of the solution, and its role is largely up to you. If you keep your HVAC system maintained well and change your filters regularly, it will help eliminate allergens in your indoor air. But, leave that HVAC system without any maintenance and holding a dirty filter? You’re sending dust mites and mold spores throughout your house on an endless loop.

To help the HVAC system, energy-recovery ventilators, UV lamps, and air cleaners are extra implements you can use. If your child is one of the seven million who suffers from asthma, these extras become necessities. As you can see, you can do a lot with just one part of your home environment. Check out the Easing Allergies for Kids infographic to discover other measures you can take. You might be surprised to discover that things like diet have a big impact on allergies.

5 online learning platforms to kick-start your career in machine learning

Want to work in machine learning? There are plenty of online courses that will give you a solid grounding in the world of data.

Machine learning is one of the top emerging technologies of the year. Jobs in data analytics, data science and data mining are plentiful but, as with most of the technology sector, there is a talent gap.

Third-level education has been catching up in recent years with a number of relevant courses added in various universities and institutes of technology. As the CAO change of mind facility is open until 1 July, you can still put one of these top machine learning degrees as your first preference.

However, there are other options to help you get on the career ladder. If a three or four-year degree doesn’t take your fancy, an online course can often give you a solid grounding for a fruitful career.

Online courses give people more flexibility and less commitment when it comes to learning the basics of any skill.

For many online courses and e-learning facilities, you can dip in and out in your own time, study and practise in your own time and move at your own pace. Many are free and the ones that aren’t often offer a free trial.

5 online learning platforms to kick-start your career in machine learning

There is also a wide variety of course levels you can do, prices you can pay, time you can spend learning and there’s scope to upskill.

Below we’ve looked at just some of the e-learning platforms where you can learn about machine learning that will help kick-start your career.


Udacity is a US-based e-learning platform offering a number of online courses in machine learning in collaboration with various industry experts and educational institutes.

Udacity offers a nanodegree for those interested in becoming a machine learning engineer with certification at the end of the programme. Udacity also offers a ‘nanodegree plus’ programme, which offers a job or money-back guarantee.

For those who are looking for something a little less costly, Udacity also offers a number of free machine learning courses ranging from 10 weeks to four months.


With links to some of the best universities in the US, Coursera offers high-quality education in various topics online.

Its machine learning course is 11 weeks for a fee and is offered by Stanford University.

You will receive a certificate at the end and throughout the course you will be able to connect with thousands of other learners on the course.


Lynda from LinkedIn is a leading online learning platform that helps anyone learn a wide range of skills, including machine learning. The site offers a 30-day free trial and after that, prices are from €14.95.

Lynda offers short online courses of approximately an hour into various aspects of machine learning from beginner to advanced.

One in particular to consider is Mathematica 11 machine learning. In this, you can learn how to analyse data using machine learning capabilities built into Mathematica 11.


To help grasp the basics of technology and data mining, Alison is a Galway-based e-learning platform offering a number of free online courses on software development, data science and machine learning.

For those interested, Alison has an introduction to machine learning course. This course is an ideal starter for anyone who is interested in computer science.


Udemy offers thousands of online courses with which to upskill, including a number of machine learning courses.

One in particular is Machine Learning A-Z: Hands-on Python and R in Data Science. This course offers more than 40 hours of on-demand videos and a number of other articles and resources.

For this course, you only need some second-level maths in exchange for an insight into data mining, R programming and Python.


Fort Bend County Fair awards 47 scholarships

The Fort Bend County Fair Association hosted its Scholarship Reception and presented 42 scholarships and five Queen scholarships.

Forty-two scholarships, each valued at $4,000, were awarded to students representing schools and districts throughout Fort Bend County.

“It is so rewarding to give away these scholarships; we look so forward to watching these kids at their next level – at college – to see what they do in life. It is extremely rewarding and I couldn’t be happier to do what we do,” said Fort Bend County Fair President Ernest Lawson.

Recipients are set to pursue a range of higher educational paths. Agricultural degrees spanning from science to business, to finance and medical degrees, make up a few of the career choices of recipients.

The fair’s scholarships are divided into several divisions: restrictive, non-restrictive, open, art, vocational and Queen.

A Brazos High School senior, Taylor Hoelscher, is no stranger to the fair. This scholarship recipient has been showing animals for the past six years.

“It means a lot every year coming to the fair in September. All the hard work finally gets to pay off. Especially for how much it gives back to me, not only the auctions but all the committee members giving all their support, not only to me but my fellow competitors and friends as well,” said Hoelscher of being awarded a scholarship.

Several of scholarship winners began their journey half a world away. Parichehr Sadeghi from Iran and Marki Samuel, from Ethiopia; both immigrated to Texas. Both are students at Stafford High School.

 The Fort Bend County Fair Association recently presented its 2017 scholarships to students. Photo: Fort Bend County Fair Association

Sadeghi, an aspiring dermatologist and University of Houston bound, said, “I think it (the scholarship) means a lot to me because I can help my parents financially and try to at least help them a little bit by paying for a small portion of it on my own.”

Samuel, who is planning to pursue a medical degree but is first Aggieland-bound, said, “This scholarship means that I get the opportunity to go the college – that I actually plan on going to and money would not hold me back from going to a college I wanted to go to.”

Scholarship recipient Caitlin Wesneski wants to be an agriculture teacher. Since the third grade, Wesneski has been showing animals at the Fort Bend County Fair.

“I started showing chickens first, then eventually I wanted to show something bigger, so I showed pigs and then steers. By far pigs are my favorite,” says the 19-year-old Sam Houston State University student.

Wesneski has come back to volunteer at the fair to help with the swine tag-in and show.

“The county fair has done a lot for me throughout the years. This is the place that ‘built me’ – it molded me into the young adult that I am today,” she said. “It taught me hard work, dedication, responsibility, and more life lessons than I will ever be able to remember. I’d like to say thank you because without them (Fort Bend County Fair Association) this would not be possible and I would not be able to make my dreams come true.”

The scholarships are a result of money raised by the Fort Bend County Fair Association and its various committees’ fundraising efforts and individual sponsors. The Go Tejano Committee, Life Member Silent Auction, Art Auction Committee, Grapes on the Brazos Committee and sponsors such as The Charlie Seely Memorial, Durwood Greene Construction, Kunz Farms and McDonald’s have given back by generating or donating scholarship funds.

The 2017 Fort Bend County Fair will run from Sept. 29 to Oct. 8. For more information on the fair’s scholarship program or schedule of events visit or call the Fair Office at 281-342-6171.


Smooth Sailing with Distance Education

Ever asked for a quality education that helped you balance your personal and professional commitments?

One ambitious student did and found her answer through a leader in distance education.

“I studied Bookkeeping at Damelin Correspondence College (DCC),” says Elizabeth Heydenrych. “It was simple, convenient and affordable.”

Heydenrych is currently employed as a Debt Collector at SARS.

Damelin Correspondence College, a private tertiary education institution, has been a prominent part of the education landscape for over 60 years.
“We’re proud of Heydenrych,” says DCC Brand Manager, Tamaryn van Wyk. “Her experience is a reflection of what we offer people here at DCC.”

Damelin Correspondence College, a private tertiary education institution, has been a prominent part of the education landscape for over 60 years. Their course offerings range from Accounting, Human Resources Management, Public Relations to Business Management.

With Mid-Year Registrations now open at DCC, distance learning is an option for anyone wanting to inspire a personal revolution in their life.

“We’re offering a 30% saving for our top accredited courses in June”, says van Wyk. “We’re excited to see further success stories being written through distance learning.

MBA Careers: Women In Business Scholarship Opens New Opportunities For ESADE MBA

In March this year, GMAC released a white paper to mark International Women’s Day, based on a survey of 5,900 business school applicants worldwide. 29% of female survey respondents cited financial issues as the key reason why they had not yet accepted their admissions offer to business school.

In the US, 38% of female survey respondents cited financial reasons, compared with 20% of male respondents.

Duygu Ates worked for six years in financial services for top firms like KPMG before deciding to pursue an MBA. She came across Barcelona’s ESADE Business School at an MBA fair in Istanbul – drawn by a customizable MBA experience with flexible exit points at 12, 15, and 18 months.

Unable to finance the MBA on her own, she applied for ESADE’s Women of the World Scholarship, designed to help promote women in business. Without it, she’d have had to defer. Now she’s one of a number of MBA students flying the flag for women in business at ESADE – ranked among the 20 best MBA programs in the world by the Financial Times.

The 190-student ESADE MBA class is 32% women and 94% international, composed of 48 different nationalities. Duygu is a leading member of ESADE’s Women in Business club. Determined to kick-start her career in finance, she’s exploring a range of career opportunities at ESADE.

The opportunities are there. In 2015, 96% of ESADE MBAs changed either industry, role, or location after graduation.

Duygu Ates is a current ESADE MBA student set to graduate in 2018

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at ESADE?

Doing an MBA abroad has always been one of my goals for my professional career. I was just waiting for the right time to apply to the right program. An MBA, as a career break, may seem as a risky move. ESADE gives students the chance to customize their MBA based on their career focus and opportunities, and leverage their past experiences.

It was attractive to live in a different country that I have visited several times before, although I could not speak its language. However, thanks to the diversity of ESADE, I never feel alone or isolated in my new journey. Now, I have more than 200 friends from 40 countries!

How big an issue was funding the MBA for you?

Without ESADE’s Women of the World Scholarship, I might have deferred my MBA. Fortunately, as in my case, if you don’t have enough personal savings to pay for your MBA, there are numerous scholarships at ESADE that help students reach their MBA goals. Now, I am a part of the Women in Business Club and we are trying to increase the number of these scholarships with the help of the program management.

What stands out from your MBA experience at ESADE so far?

Since joining ESADE, I have been continuously introduced to new opportunities, ideas, people and challenges at the business level. Pushing my limits and moving out of my comfort zone are the biggest gains so far.

During my first semester, I was one of 20 students to be selected for the Career Acceleration Program in Investment Banking. I’ve had the chance to further improve my finance skills, gain more insight about this competitive business environment, and meet people from this industry.

What advice do you have for MBA applicants?

A school’s reputation is important and the MBA rankings help a lot, but they are not enough to decide.

Define a focus subject within an MBA program. Some programs have more finance classes than others, while some have a strong marketing focus. Dive deep into the curricula! If an applicant wants to change career in terms of industry, function or country, it would be beneficial to do more research about the school’s job placement performance in each industry.

How far is the MBA an enabler for women in business? 

Successful work experience it not always enough for women to guarantee a future career path in any industry. There are still some barriers for women in many industries, particularly financial services and consulting. An MBA program is important for women’s careers, as it brings all the tools to the table to accelerate women’s career from the very first day.

Before doing the MBA, I was working in the financial services industry, and I thought I would continue in finance after graduation. However, there are many opportunities that I have become aware of during the MBA – like the entrepreneurship scene in Barcelona, which ESADE is heavily connected with. I am still trying to stick to my finance career plans after MBA, but thanks to the strong ESADE network, I’m also thinking about starting my own

Open, distance learning courses need fresh UGC approval

Higher educational institutions offering open and distance learning (ODL) courses with the approval of the University Grants Commission (UGC) will now have to apply afresh with it for grant of recognition.

The higher education regulator has made it mandatory for all universities, notifying revised regulations for the institutions offering undergraduate and post-graduate level ODL programmes in various disciplines.

The UGC (Open and Distance Learning) Regulations, 2017 came into immediate effect from June 23, with the commission notifying it in an official gazette.

Higher Educational Institutions in India do not have the Government’s permission to offer degree programmes in engineering, medicine, dental, pharmacy, nursing, architecture, physiotherapy and other technical disciplines in the ODL mode.

“Every higher educational institution offering a programme in ODL mode in pursuance of an approval granted to it for the purpose by the then Distance Education Council or by the Commission or by any other regulatory authority or intending to offer a programme in ODL mode from the academic session immediately after the notification of these regulations shall, for grant of recognition, make an application to the Commission,” the revised regulations stipulate.

 The UGC (Open and Distance Learning) Regulations, 2017 came into immediate effect from June 23, with the commission notifying it in an official gazette. PTI File Photo

Only last month, the UGC granted approval to more than 100 higher educational institution’s ODL programmes for the academic session of 2017-18.

The institutions will have to make an on-line application in the format specified by the UGC and upload the same on its portal along with scanned copy of the documents required “at least six months before the commencement of the academic session of the programme intended to be offered by them, the regulations sought.

Under the revised rules, the UGC will grant approval to the ODL programmes of only those higher educational institutions which have a valid accreditation from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and has completed five years of existence.

“Provided that this clause shall not be applicable to Open Universities until the time they become eligible for the NAAC accreditation and it shall be mandatory for Open Universities to get NAAC accreditation within one year of their becoming eligible for the same,” the UGC regulation provides.

Besides, an institution deemed to be a university so declared by the Central Government shall offer the ODL courses or programmes as per the extant Deemed-to-be-a University Regulations of the UGC, it further clarifies.

If a higher educational institution does not obtain UGC recognition under the revised regulations for offering ODL programmes, the degrees granted by them to their students will not be treated as valid.

For violation of the regulations, the institutions may have to face de-recognition of their ODL programmes.

“If a higher educational institution is found continuing the violations, a First Information Report (FIR) may be lodged against the officials or management of the errant institution to take action as per law,” the UGC regulation stipulates.


DU PG admit card 2017 released at, exams to begin from July 1

The Delhi University has activated the admit card link of PG, M.Phil and PhD entrance exams. These exams will start from July onwards and the applicants can download their admission ticket from official portal. After getting delayed twice, the online registration for the exam had started from June 12 and closed on June 22, 2017. DU initially planned to conduct the entrance examination online but had to change the decision.

The candidates can view the admit card on the official website –, du pg admit card, du pg admit card 2017, du admit card,

DU PG admit card 2017, here’s how to check
Step 1: Vist the official website mentioned above
Step 2: On the homepage, click on PG link
Step 3: You’ll be directed to a new page. Enter your registered email id and password
Step 4: Your admit card will be displayed
Step 5: Download and take a print out
Remember to carry the admission ticket as it has important details like venue, exam time etc.

As per Maharaj K Pandit, chairperson of the admission committee, around 650 seats would be announced for M Phil course and around 850 seats would be allotted for Ph D courses.Admission process: The admission will be done on the basis of offline entrance examination and 50 per cent on merit basis. The exam was held in six centres – Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Kolkata, Nagpur and Varanasi between July 1 and 6.

Delhi University admissions: Get your best four score right to book your seat

Now that the Delhi University has announced its first list of cutoffs for admission in its colleges, all that is standing between applicants and a seat in their preferred college is your ‘best four’ score.

Students have until June 28 to visit colleges and secure a seat in these highly sought-after colleges. However, one must first calculate the ‘best four’ score to ascertain if they have cleared the cutoff grade to be eligible for one of the 56,000 seats available in 63 DU colleges.

DU asks its students to calculate the aggregate of the ‘best four’ subjects, to see if they qualify for admission based on the cutoff. This may sound simple enough, but with different courses having different requirements for calculating the best four, this process can get daunting.

You can find the different guidelines for different courses given below:

Science courses

For most Bachelor of Science courses, Physics and Chemistry are mandatory. If the course has a Biology component, such as Zoology or Botany (Hons) courses, then you would need to have done Biology too. For some other courses Mathematics is mandatory.

A few courses such as Biotechnology, etc, will require both Biology and Mathematics.

These courses will be used to calculate your best of four score and the scores for these subjects should have been on a 70/30 basis, where 70% of the marks is for theory and 30% is for practical. If it does not follow this division, then the scores will be adjusted to fit this ratio.

Mathematical Science courses

There are four Mathematical Science courses, such as Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science and Mathematical Sciences. Mathematics is mandatory to apply for these.

The best of four for these courses is calculated as the aggregate of your scores in one language subject, Mathematics and the scores of any two subjects from List A.

List A is a compilation of academic courses, published by the DU. If any of the elective courses do not fall in list A, then 2.5% will be deducted from your aggregate.


Arts Courses

There are many BA (Hons) and BA programmes that applicants can choose from. The best of four for BA (Hons) programme is calculated as aggregate of the scores in a language subject, the subject in which you would like to do your honours program in and any two subjects from List A.

If you do not include the subject in which you want to do the honours programme in, or if your electives are not from List A, then 2.5% each will be deducted for these.

Commerce courses

Delhi University is well known for its B Com (Hons) and B Com programmes. Students should have studied Mathematics to apply for BCom (Hons).

Students need to use their scores in one language subject (either English or Hindi) and select three subjects from lists C1 or C2 to get their best four score. Like List A, these are compilations of subjects that are prepared by the DU.

However, here there is a small catch. If all three elective courses are from List C1, then the student would not face ant deduction. But for each subject taken from List C2, there will be a deduction of 1%.


DU admissions: Keep your documents handy, get the best of four calculation right

Gear up to grab a seat at their dream college as Delhi University (DU) released its first cutoff list on Friday evening.

The admission process for the first cutoff list will be on from June 24 to June 28, following which the university will release its second list on July 1.

HT spoke to a few DU students who shared their experience of struggling to find the way to offices in colleges, losing their original certificates to hiring e-rickshaw drivers as guardians to get rooms in hostels.

Many students recounted the first day of admission to be full of struggle. “The first day of admissions was such a blur. I kept getting lost in the college campus and had to try really hard to find my way back to the admin office each time,” said Divya Ahuja from Shri Ram College of Commerce.

Akshay Mehta from Hans Raj College said that many out-station students, who did not go through the dates and guidelines, faced many issues. “I am from Kolkata and I didn’t know that the day the cutoff list is out, it is also the first day of admissions. So, one day I’m sitting at home and the next, I’m boarding a flight to Delhi because I am already a day late for admissions,” he said.

On a lighter note, an outstation student further said, “I have friends who have had to hire e-rickshaw drivers as local guardians to get admission into the hostel as that is a requirement.”

The best four calculations can leave the best of applicants stumped, so you may want to pay close attention to the norms to avoid mistakes.

“After confirming my admission in a college after the first cutoff by four teachers in the panel, getting my documents attested for BSc (H) Statistics, waiting for four hours and completing the whole procedure, the last teacher in the panel says ‘Sorry, you are 0.25% short’,” said Anjali Sharma, a student of College of Vocational Studies.

Many students also reported losing original documents during the admission process.

Nikita Gupta from Lady Shri Ram Collegeg said, “When the second list of cut offs was released, I had gone to a DU college to withdraw my admission so that I could migrate to LSR. It turned out that the college had lost my original documents and I had to search for them all by myself.”

Unfortunately, Gupta is not alone; students like Vaishnavi Gosain from Atma Ram Sanatan Dharam College have also had similar experiences.

“I cried for an hour in front of the administration staff of the college because after standing in a queue for three hours to get myself admitted, I found out that they had misplaced my original certificates. They found them later but till then I had made up my mind to not to take admission in this college,” she said.


There were some who faced issues as they had uploaded incorrect documents, while others had to prove that they were aspirants and not parents to enter the college.

“In my DU form I uploaded my original birth certificate as proof of birth and completed the process, only to realise a day before the deadline that it was the Class 10 marksheet which was required as date of birth proof. I had to redo the form all over again,” he said.

Sanket Aggarwal from CVS was stopped at the gate just because of his appearance. “I have a very tall and muscular build and I like to keep a well groomed beard. So, when I went to Maharaja Agrasen College, the guard stopped me and asked ‘Aapka bacha kahan hai? Parents are not allowed inside.’ I was stunned and had to show him all my documents to prove that I was a student,” said Aggarwal.



Day 1: Students wait and watch as few take admissions despite low cutoffs in Delhi University

The first day of admissions at most Delhi University colleges, under the first cut-off list, was a slow affair with many colleges recording only a handful of admissions.

The process was also plagued with issues of payment, as the portal was not working earlier in the day. Some applicants, despite meeting the required cut-off, could not confirm their seats as they could not get the printout of the college form on time.

One such applicant was Bindu Patnana from Chhattisgarh, who waited the entire morning for her DU college form, but in vain. “I will now have to extend my stay in Delhi for two more days to get admission on Tuesday,” said Bindu, who wishes to pursue BA (Hon) History from Sri Venkateswara College.

According to Venkat Kumar, admission convener from the college, the applications were pending for approval as the online link through which the principal had to grant them were not working. “There were problems in the portal till evening, due to which students had to face problems,” said Kumar.

The college staff said it may be one reason why the number of admissions on the first day was not huge. Principal of a north campus college, who did not wish to be named, said, “The university portal, through which the student is expected to pay the admission fees online, opened a little later in the day, by around 1.45 pm. This also slowed down the admission process a little.”

Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College principal Gyantosh Jha said, “During the day, there were problems with the portal, due to which fee payment was not happening. “

However, a DU offical said that the university opened the portal for fee payment after 4pm and that it was a planned decision. “We had decided to open the portal after 4pm and informed the same to colleges as well,” an official said.

Despite the lowered cut-offs, many colleges saw fewer students visiting on the first day of admissions to secure a seat. Miranda House admitted 86 students on the first day, with 15 of them opting for the BA Programme. BSc (Hon) in Botany had the fewest takers, with just one person getting admitted to the course.

At Shri Ram College of Commerce, around 100 out of the 624 seats were full by the end of the day. At Kirori Mal College, only about 147 admissions were done against the 1,350 seats.

“The number of students seeking admission picks up on the third day of the admission, which is the last day to get admission under the first list. But it looks like we will announce a second cut-off for most courses,” said Dinesh Khattar, acting principal of KMC.

Some DU colleges claimed that this was a normal phenomenon on the first day of admissions. “Students usually indulge in ‘admission tourism’ on the first days, where they go visit multiple campuses and ‘window shop.’ They then start clamouring for seats on the last day,” said the vice principal of a north campus college.

Students and officials were also plagued with concerns over not being able to access the college portal.

The students, who did make it to the colleges, expressed their surprise and joy at the reduced cut-offs at many of the DU colleges.“The cut-offs in many colleges are lower than last year, which is a good thing. It gives many more students opportunities to pursue degrees at DU colleges,” said Shambhavi Ojha, who is hoping for a seat in Political Science (Hon) at Daulat Ram College.

There were many who were also surprised at the dip. “I was expecting it to increase this year. I had read that the number of students in India who had scored more than 95% (in the CBSE Class 12 exams) had increased. I thought this would also increase the cut-offs at DU,” said Shanna Jain, who secured a seat at Kirori Mal College for English (Hon).