ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

University Of Michigan Researchers Working On Plasma Thrusters.

WXYZ-TV Share to FacebookShare to Twitter Detroit (10/17) reports that University of Michigan aerospace engineering doctoral student Scott Hall is part of a team working on plasma thrusters for potential future spacecraft. The piece quotes University of Michigan Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering Alec Gallimore saying, “In the test that we did recently in Ohio we broke three records. The amount of thrust generated by a hall thruster, the amount of current generated by a hall thruster and the power generated by a hall thruster. The power we generated is about 25 times more powerful than the most powerful hall thruster operating in space right now.”

SPACE Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/13) reports that the thruster “broke several records during recent tests, suggesting that the technology is on track to take humans to the Red Planet within the next 20 years, project team members said.” Researchers at the University of Michigan, working in conjunction with the US Air Force and NASA, developed the X3 thruster, “a Hall thruster — a system that propels spacecraft by accelerating a stream of electrically charged atoms, known as ions.” In testing at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Ohio, the thruster “broke records for the maximum power output, thrust and operating current achieved by a Hall thruster to date.” The International Business Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17) also covers this story.

Higher Education

Valparaiso Art Students Working With Engineering Professor On 3d Printed Sculptures.

The Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/18) reports that a number of sculpting students at Valparaiso University are working with electrical and computer engineering professor Jeff Will and art professor Kevin Firme “to master computer-aided drafting and have their creations printed on a 3-D printer.” The piece quotes Will saying, “What engineers do when they design a part or a widget is creating a 3-D object. It’s what artists do, too. Since we have the technology on campus, it makes sense to leverage that to benefit as many students as possible.”

From ASEE
ASEE Week of Giving
October 23-27 we’ll ask members to help us get to 25 by 125 – that is, $25K in time for our 125th anniversary next year. More details to come but know that our highest-tier givers get a batch of fresh-baked, from-scratch chocolate chip cookies overnighted to their office or home!

Start Smart with “Smart Start”
Researchers and innovators will want to be in this two-week course to improve STEM education at all levels. Courses offered in the spring of 2018. Learn more and apply here.

New Safe Zone Online Workshops – Coming Next Month!
Don’t miss the Fall 2017 Safe Zone Ally Training online workshops! These free online workshops help faculty, staff and students build knowledge and skills to create a more inclusive environment for LGBTQ individuals in STEM. Each workshop emphasizes tips and action strategies for allies. Tune in on Nov. 7 to learn LGBTQ terms and concepts, the steps of the coming out process, and more. Register today.

Research and Development

NSF Gives University Of Michigan $1.8 Million To Study Using Smart Tech To Control Flooding.

Crain’s Detroit Business Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17) reports that the National Science Foundation has given the University of Michigan a $1.8 Million grant “to develop autonomous technology for stormwater systems.” Civil and environmental engineering professor Branko Kerkez “received the grant and is leading the team, which includes engineers, computer scientists and local officials” from a number of cities in Michigan, Indiana, Virginia and Tennessee.

Amazon Engineers Tackle Seattle’s Parking Problems In Facebook Hackathon.

GeekWire Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17, Levy) reports Amazon engineers Paramita Ghosh and Raghavendra Kotikalapud, who both work on Amazon Instant Video, scored “top marks” in a Facebook Hackathon for their project “that scans parking lots for available spaces” in Seattle, “cutting down time drivers spend cruising for parking.” Their “Find ‘n Park” solution “uses deep learning vision models to determine how many cars are currently parked in a given lot to give real-time availability of parking and where there might be an available spot.” Seattle contributed its vast set of open data to the project.

Velvet Worm Secretions Lend Lessons On Synthetic Materials Production.

Nanowerk Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17) reports that Researchers, including scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, are studying velvet worms to learn how industrial manufacturers can improve processes for creating synthetic polymers and develop methods for sustainable production of synthetic materials. The article explains that to capture prey, “velvet worms shoot out a sticky secretion that stiffens into strong threads under the action of force.” The secretion can be dissolved and reformed into new threads that behave just as a new one would. Matt Harrington, head of the research group and a biochemist in the Biomaterials Department of the Potsdam Institute, says, “This is a nice example of a fully reversible and indefinitely repeatable regeneration process.”

New Research Demonstrates LED Wafer That Can Transmit And Receive Information.

Ars Technica Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17, Timmer) reports on new research published in Nature Nanotechnology that “suggests an alternate possibility” to conventional light-based communications that use one laser, saying researchers “put together an LED just two atoms thick and integrated it with a silicon chip.” Moreover, the researchers were able to use the chips as “a photodetector” as well.

Global Developments

Mexican Tech Sector Looks To Gain From Trump Anti-Immigration Policies.

Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17) reports, “Amazon, Facebook and other U.S. tech companies” are boosting their footprint in Mexico as the country “works to capitalize on the Trump administration’s anti-immigration stance.” Oracle also plans to expand operations in Mexico. Trump’s “efforts to reduce immigration to the United States, including new constraints on H-1B visas for skilled workers – which many tech companies rely on for attracting foreign talent” have spurred countries around the globe to look to recruit tech workers and firms “that might once have found a home in the United States.”

Engineering and Public Policy

Natural Gas Affects Renewable Energy Growth.

Natural Gas Intelligence Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17, Cocklin, Subscription Publication) reports that as solar and wind power is becoming incorporated into the power grid, the demand for natural gas is being threatened. ConocoPhillips Director of Market Research Jim Duncan “said the western states are unequivocally going to continue adding more renewable capacity, if only for the space that exists in the region compared to the more densely populated East Coast.” Natural Gas Intelligence states that “natural gas is poised to continue providing short-term reliability or even long-term baseload.”

Bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus Gains Influence.

Roll Call Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17, Nawaguna) reports that the growing House Climate Solutions Caucus demonstrated its effectiveness for the first time when the all but one member of the bloc voted against an effort to strip the 2018 defense spending bill of its requirement to plan for global warming. “We know for sure that we can block bad policy,” said Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R), “and that’s significant.” Although only three Republican members of the caucus signed an Oct. 13 letter affirming the group’s support for the Clean Power Plan, caucus members “are confident the group will grow to a point where it can make legislative changes.” Right now Rep. Curbelo said he views the group’s role as a “blocking minority within the majority,” and moving forward, “he wants the coalition to be an ‘ideas factory.’”

Republican Losses In 2018 Could Cripple Climate Solutions Caucus. E&E Daily Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17, Subscription Publication) reports that Democrats are singling out 79 Republican-head seats to target in 2018 elections, 24 of whom are GOP members of the Climate Solutions Caucus. If the Democrats succeed in taking back the House, it could “come at the cost of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus,” which “can only add members in bipartisan pairs, so a Republican loss drops a Democrat from the body.”

EPA Administrator To Restrict Grant Funding To Agency Science Advisers.

The Washington Examiner Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17) reports EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt “plans to issue a directive next week to limit research grants provided by the agency to scientists serving on the agency’s boards.” At a Heritage Foundation event, Pruitt said, “If we have individuals who are on those boards receiving money from the agency, sometimes, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, that calls into question the independence of the recommendations that come our way. … Next week, I will issue a directive that addresses that, to ensure the independence and transparency and objectivity with respect to the scientific advice that we are getting at the agency.” He did not “make clear if he would block scientists who receive grants from serving on the agency’s scientific advisory committees or if he would simply impose restrictions on how grants are distributed.”

Appeals Court Urged To Rule On Obama-Era Climate Rules By States, Environmental Groups.

The Washington Examiner Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17, Siciliano) reports “environmental groups and aligned states” on Tuesday urged the DC Circuit Court of Appeals “to issue its long-awaited decision on the Clean Power Plan and reject the Trump administration’s arguments for holding its ruling in permanent suspension after proposing to repeal the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s climate agenda last week.” The coalition said in a brief filed with the court, “This court should deny respondent Environmental Protection Agency’s latest request for indefinite abeyance. … Because EPA has not established the necessary grounds for the requested abeyance and because the case involves a time-sensitive statutory obligation to protect the public health and welfare from grave threats, the court should decide this fully briefed and argued case on the merits.”

Senate Democrats Plan Amendment To Challenge ANWR Drilling.

NBC News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17, Seitz-Wald) reports in continuing coverage that the Senate budget bill contains a provision that could allow drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Environmentalists are especially concern because the measure is part of a filibuster-proof legislative process that Republican lawmakers hope to use to pass tax reform. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said, “This provides an excellent opportunity for our committee to raise $1 billion in federal revenues while creating jobs and strengthening our nation’s long-term energy security.” Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17, Gardner) reports Senate Democrats promised to fight the measure, saying it would destroy a pristine wilderness. Sen. Edward Markey said, “This Republican budget scam to hand over the wildest place left in America to Big Oil should be removed from the budget and put on ice.” Democrats are hoping Republican Sens. John McCain and Susan Collins will support the effort to block drilling. The Hill Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17, Cama) reports the Senate Democrats are planning an amendment to prevent the GOP from using the budget process to allow ANWR drilling. Markey said, “We’re going to work together with our colleagues to determine just the right moment in this budgetary process to make this amendment. … But we are going to do so, and we are reaching out to Republicans to try to make this as bipartisan as we can. It should be a bipartisan issue.” Sen. Maria Cantwell said, “It tells you something that this idea does not stand on its own. It tells you that every time it has to be paired with something else as almost a sneak attack, you have to vote for this because of these other issues.”

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17, Daly), Washington (DC) Examiner Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17, Siegel), and Hull (MA) Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17, Norton) also provide coverage.

Pruitt Seeks To Assure Senators Over Biofuels Mandate.

The Hill Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17, Henry, Cama) reports EPA Administrator Pruitt “sought to reassure” Midwestern lawmakers on Tuesday that he supported the federal biofuels mandate. In a nearly hour-long meeting in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Senate office that included Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Deb Fischer (R-NE), Pruitt “made a political case for the ethanol mandate.” The meeting came amid concerns from lawmakers in both parties about proposed changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The Quad-City (IA) Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17) reports that prior to the meeting, Grassley “suggested the Senate could hold up Trump administration’s nominees to the agency if it doesn’t abandon a potential rollback of some Renewable Fuel Standard requirements.” E&E Publishing Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17, Subscription Publication) reports the biofuel supporters “are threatening to derail the nomination of Bill Wehrum to lead U.S. EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.” The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is slated to vote on his nomination Wednesday morning, “but some corn state lawmakers are threatening to block him unless the agency provides assurances on biofuel blends.”

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17) reports, “Grassley said EPA’s proposed rollback would result in job losses in his home state.” The EPA Administrator’s “position is in contrast to the staunch support for the biofuel industry Trump pledged as a presidential candidate last year.” Grassley told reporters, “I’ve made it clear that EPA’s latest proposal under the RFS would break the president’s and Administrator Pruitt’s commitment on this issue. … It would hurt rural America and also hurt Iowa.” The Washington Examiner Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17) also provides coverage of this story.

Mediator Appointed In Michigan Wind-energy Dispute.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17) reports that “a mediator has been appointed to try to settle a dispute between a wind-energy operator and township officials in Michigan’s Thumb region.” A federal judge has selected Grand Rapids lawyer Bruce Neckers. The article adds that “after four wind-energy critics were elected in 2016, Almer Township rejected a permit that could have cleared the way for 19 turbines in the Tuscola County community.” NextEra Energy Resources operates Tuscola Wind III. The company “has three wind facilities in Michigan.” The wind farm “filed a lawsuit earlier this year, claiming Almer Township violated its rights by rejecting a land-use permit.”

Elementary/Secondary Education

RAND Report: STEM Education Grows In Importance As Older Workers Retire.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/17, Huba) reports that, according to a RAND Corp study, the demand for STEM workers in Pennsylvania will increase into the next decade. The industry will require “a steady supply of workers with skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)…to offset predicted shortages in skilled labor in the energy and advanced manufacturing industries.” The study said “the growing need for a STEM-skilled workforce is likely to further intensify given impending retirements of larger numbers of older workers.”

Tuesday’s Lead Stories

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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

 The NIH Center of Scientific Review in deal with Elsevier to support the peer review process of grant applications
The Center for Scientific Review at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has signed an agreement withElsevier, the information analytics company specializing in science and health, to support improving the peer review process of NIH grant applications by using Expert Lookup, Elsevier’s tool that identifies scientific experts. Expert Lookup use Elsevier’s powerful semantic Fingerprinting algorithms, the Scopus abstract and citation database of over 69 million records, and 10 disciplinary and multidisciplinary thesauri to ensure the recommended reviewers are relevant and thought leaders in their fields.
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 Taylor & Francis adds 6,000 ebooks to Academic Complete®
ProQuest has added 6,000 ebooks from Taylor & Francis to the Academic Complete® collection. Focused on offering a balance of quality and quantity, the pioneering subscription now offers unlimited, multi-user access to a growing selection of more than 150,000 ebooks from the world’s leading publishers.
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 Stanford bioengineering researcher Norbert Pelc to serve as interim editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Imaging
The SPIE Board of Directors recently announced that Norbert Pelc of Stanford University will step in for University of Chicago professor Maryellen Giger as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Imaging (JMI) for the 2018 calendar year. Giger is stepping away to serve as president of the journal’s publisher, SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics (www.spie.org), during the year.
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 Knowledge E unveils new type of e-library enabling collaboration towards a more effective research ecosystem
Knowledge E is pleased to introduce SciCloud as a new type of e-library enabling research organisations and research service providers to collaborate towards a more effective research ecosystem. In collaboration with several research organisations, Knowledge E has designed SciCloud as a next generation platform bringing knowledge workers, librarians and others that support researchers, together across organisations in a novel approach to research discovery, dissemination and community engagement.
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 International Baccalaureate and Emerald Publishing deploy Ixxus Publishing Platform to accelerate digital transformation
Data systems integration and knowledge engineering experts Ixxus has announced that scholarly publisherEmerald Publishing and world-renowned educational foundation International Baccalaureate (IB) recently became the two latest organisations to deploy the Ixxus Publishing Platform (IPP) to meet their most challenging digital transformation initiatives. By providing a suite of authoring, assembling, enrichment, discovery, reuse and delivery capabilities, the IPP empowers digital transformation by streamlining production workflows, accelerating new product assembly and maximising the value of every asset.
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 Yale University Library joins the Open Preservation Foundation
The Open Preservation Foundation (OPF) has announced Yale University Library as its newest member. Yale University Library (YUL) is an academic research library that supports the mission of Yale University. Its collections range from ancient papyri and early printed books to digital collections and electronic databases using many formats including text, photographs, video, audio, data, maps, and ephemera.
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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

Astronomers Discover Gravitational Waves In Neutron Star Collision.

CBS News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16, Harwood) reports that astronomers at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) said Monday that they observed a rare collision of two neutron stars. The event produced a so-called “kilonova” explosion around 130 million years ago, giving off light and gravitational waves and creating heavy elements ranging from gold and platinum to uranium. Harvard University astronomer Edo Berger said that the event “revealed details that we’ve never seen before in any astronomical event.” The collision was the “first direct confirmation that gravitational radiation travels at the speed of light,” as well as the first time a gravitational wave could be connected to a visible counterpart. This data will allow scientists to “study the aftermath of the collision across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from high-energy gamma radiation to X-rays, visible light, infrared and radio.” Georgia Tech Associate Professor and LIGO spokeswoman Laura Cadonati said that, “The combined information of gravitational waves and light is bigger than the sum of its parts. From the combined information we’re learning new things about physics, about the universe, about the elements we’re made of.”

The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16, Kaplan, Guarino) reports that the event was “the first cosmic event in history to be witnessed via both traditional telescopes, which can observe electromagnetic radiation like gamma rays, and gravitational wave detectors, which sense the wrinkles in space-time produced by distant cataclysms.” researchers are for the first time “able to observe the universe using two fundamental forces: light and gravity.” This method gives astronomers “new means to probe some of their field’s most enduring mysteries: the unknown force that drives the accelerating growth of the universe, the invisible matter that holds galaxies together, and the origins of Earth’s most precious elements, including silver and gold.”

In a separate piece, the Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16, Guarino, Kaplan) reports that the “massive undertaking” marked “the first observation of a cosmic event using gravitational wave detectors and conventional telescopes,” saying that “thousands of researchers from diverse fields in physics and astronomy played crucial roles.” The Post presents a number of brief bullet points about the announcement. Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16) and USA Today Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16) also cover this story.

Higher Education

 

Commentary: US Must Invest In Education To Compete Globally In 21st Century.

In a piece for The Hill Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16), Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology President Tom Baldwin writes that it is noteworthy that of the 10 recent Nobel laureates, eight are Americans, saying, “decades ago, here in the U.S., we created an environment supportive of scholarship and innovation that has set us apart from other nations.” Baldwin writes about such “enlightened legislation” as the GI Bill and the Morrill Act that invested in education, and says the US’ “openness to immigrants from other countries made this nation a magnet for innovative scientists and engineers.” He says such policies established US global dominance in the 20th Century, but says that now “many of the practices that made us great are being questioned or reversed.” Baldwin calls for “21st century investments in education and research that will ensure our ability to compete.”

Michigan Colleges Partner To Prepare New Engineers For Self-Driving Vehicles.

The Detroit News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16) reports that Leadership at the American Center for Mobility is partnering with 15 Michigan colleges and universities in an effort to prepare new engineers to work on self-driving vehicles at Willow Run. The partnership will include “training, courses, recruitment, internships, co-ops and work-study programs.” The article notes that in January, DOT “designated 10 proving grounds for developing and testing self-driving cars, including Willow Run.”

Growing Number Of Prospective College Students Hire Coaches To Write Application Essays.

Inside Higher Ed Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16) reports that in recent years, a new and unregulated agency has emerged: “Students – many of whom are also paying for private counselors, sometimes at hefty rates – are” paying thousands of dollars for help on their college application essays. In interviews, essay coaches “insist[ed] that they don’t actually write essays,” although “most also say that they know of competitors who do so.” Many essay coaches also said they routinely save students from their parents, who push for such services but are “unaware that their essays would immediately be flagged as written by people much older than a typical college applicant.” On condition of anonymity, one counselor expressed concern that “the growing industry adds another level of income inequality to the admissions process,” as “those using these services already have wealthy parents and are likely to attend high schools (public or private) with far more resources than the average institution attended by a low-income student.”

From ASEE
ASEE Week of Giving
October 23-27 we’ll ask members to help us get to 25 by 125 – that is, $25K in time for our 125th anniversary next year. More details to come but know that our highest-tier givers get a batch of fresh-baked, from-scratch chocolate chip cookies overnighted to their office or home!

Start Smart with “Smart Start”
Researchers and innovators will want to be in this two-week course to improve STEM education at all levels. Courses offered in the spring of 2018. Learn more and apply here.

New Safe Zone Online Workshops – Coming Next Month!
Don’t miss the Fall 2017 Safe Zone Ally Training online workshops! These free online workshops help faculty, staff and students build knowledge and skills to create a more inclusive environment for LGBTQ individuals in STEM. Each workshop emphasizes tips and action strategies for allies. Tune in on Nov. 7 to learn LGBTQ terms and concepts, the steps of the coming out process, and more. Register today.

Research and Development

Researchers Tout Potential Of Quantum Computing.

In a more than 2,200-word article, the Wall Street Journal Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16, Nicas, Subscription Publication) interviews Google employees and outside researchers who tout the efforts to build quantum computers due to their potential to revolutionize information. The Journal puts a spotlight on Google’s initiatives in particular.

NSF Gives Bucknell University Professor Grant To Study Driverless Vehicle Mechanics.

The Sunbury (PA) Daily Item Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16) reports the National Science Foundation has given Bucknell University mechanical engineering professor Craig Beal a $154,000 grant to “provide for equipment, including a pair of sensors valued at $70,000 each, to measure steering torque towards programming a vehicle to predict the grip between the tires and the roadway.” The paper says the technology could be used for both traditional and driverless cars. THE research is intended “to develop methods not only to predict grip and program a vehicle to steer appropriately but also to share that information in real time with other vehicles to act accordingly.”

Clemson, Duke Partner On Research On Deterring Drone Activity.

The Pickens (SC) Sentinel Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16) reports that the National Science Foundation has given a partnership between Duke University and Clemson University a $750,000 grant to research “technology to detect and deter drone activity.” The research is intended to find economical deterrence technologies for open public spaces.

Workforce

America Has Jobs, Needs Skilled Workforce.

U.S. News & World Report Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16, Gonzales, Culbertson) reports, in a feature article entitled, “The Worker-Jobs Mismatch,” that America is simultaneously experiencing very low unemployment, a low workforce participation rate, and a lack of skilled workers to fill available jobs. The article states that “the real issue isn’t a lack of family-wage sustaining jobs in the US As of August, there were 6.1 million job openings in the US, with 397,000 of them in manufacturing and over 1 million in health care, two industries that typically have jobs with family-sustaining wages.” In addition, retiring baby boomers are expected to leave even more job vacancies. The real problem, US News writes, “is a mismatch between workers and available jobs.” It adds, “the US faces a projected shortage of workers for jobs that require skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM),” and, “while some of these jobs require a college education, most are “middle skill” jobs requiring a high school diploma, a foundation of math and some additional training – but not college.” Too few Americans “follow educational pathways that prepare them for these jobs.” While these jobs exist in significant numbers, “the challenge is figuring out how to inform people about these opportunities and helping them acquire skills through lifelong learning.”

Industry News

Research Suggests Unicorn Startups Inflate Valuation.

Writing for the New York (NY) Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16, Sorkin, Subscription Publication), Andrew Ross Sorkin argues that the “eye-popping valuations” of Airbnb, Uber and SpaceX Technologies are “a bit of myth – or perhaps wishful thinking.” Stanford University professor Ilya A. Strebulaev concluded after evaluating “unicorn” companies that the “average unicorn is worth half the headline price tag that is put out after each new valuation.” Sorkin says the inflated valuation of such companies is not widely understood, which may impact public investors who often aggressively invest in firms such as Uber. “Big mutual fund companies like T. Rowe Price and BlackRock have aggressively begun investing in unicorn companies in recent years on behalf of public investors – yes, you may own a stake in Uber and not even know it – helping to increase the valuations even further,” says Sorkin.

Engineering and Public Policy

EPA To Restrict Settlements With Environmental Groups.

The Hill Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16, Cama) reports the Environmental Protection Agency is vowing “to crack down on settlements with environmental groups that sue the EPA.” In a statement EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said, “The days of regulation through litigation are over. … We will no longer go behind closed doors and use consent decrees and settlement agreements to resolve lawsuits filed against the agency by special interest groups where doing so would circumvent the regulatory process set forth by Congress.” Under the new directive from Pruitt, “the agency will post all lawsuits online, reach out to affected states and industries and seek their input on any potential settlements.”

Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16, Gardner) reports Pruitt “sued the agency he now runs more than a dozen times in his former job as attorney general of oil producing Oklahoma.” The EPA “under former President Barack Obama quietly settled lawsuits from environmental groups with little input from regulated entities, such as power plants, and state governments, he argues.” Bloomberg News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16, Dlouhy) reports the directive “takes aim at a practice conservatives have long criticized as empowering environmental groups to force federal agencies to issue regulations and commit to timelines for imposing them.”

Fewer Puerto Rico Residents Have Power Restored Than A Week Ago.

CNN Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16, Petulla) reports that in Puerto Rico “the number of customers getting power off of the island’s grid has declined, according to the latest available data and conversations with energy experts.” On Monday of last week, “15% of customers were receiving power compared with typical peak load” but today “that number was down to 13.7%, according to Department of Energy and Puerto Rican government status reports.” On Sunday, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló expressed hope that have 95% of residents would have “power restored by December” but “the progress of the last week shows how difficult getting there will be, say groups working on the ground and energy analysts.”

Solar Industry Turns Its Eye To Puerto Rico. Bloomberg News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16, Eckhouse) reports “the solar industry has taken particular interest in San Juan in the aftermath of the hurricane.” It is “primarily a humanitarian effort for these companies, but it’s also a chance to showcase an energy source capable of enduring natural disasters.” The article adds “Tesla Inc. is sending its Powerwall battery systems and Sunrun has sent more than 12,000 pounds of solar products and equipment to the island. The Solar Energy Industries Association has received pledges for more than $1.2 million in product and monetary contributions from its network.”

Puerto Rico Facing Environmental Crisis. The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16, Michael Melia) reports that “nearly a month after the hurricane made landfall,” the island “is only beginning to come to grips with a massive environmental emergency that has no clear end in sight.” Officials with EPA “said that of last week they still had not been unable to inspect five of the island’s 18 Superfund sites.”

States Pushing Clean Energy Efforts.

U.S. News & World Report Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16) reports that “both Republican and Democratic states” have been “pushing policy and investments in green technology to reduce their energy consumption and drive economic growth, despite partisanship in Washington, D.C., that has divided climate and clean energy issues along party lines.” At the National Clean Energy Summit last week “electric cars, clean energy storage and affordable solar panels are among the top recent innovations in states pushing clean energy, governors said during a panel.” Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, called clean energy an “irresistible force” during the event. He said that Nevada’s “renewable energy production has nearly doubled since 2009,” and “its clean energy workforce has grown 9.5 percent over the past year, more than three times faster than other Nevada industries.”

Study Finds Renewable Energy Jobs In Minnesota Up 16 Percent.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16) reports a study Clean Energy Economy Minnesota “shows renewable energy jobs in Minnesota grew by 16 percent from 2015 to 2016.” The study found “there are about 6,200 jobs in the state in renewable energy, most in solar or wind power.”

Elementary/Secondary Education

New Mexico Officials Hold Public Hearing On Controversial New Science Standards.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16) reports on the “intense criticism” for proposed new science standards in New Mexico, with opponents complaining that they omit “references to global warming, evolution and the age of the Earth.” Speakers at the hearing “overwhelmingly sided against” the revised standards, the piece reports, saying “teachers, state university faculty, Democratic Party officials and the science chairman for a school catering to local Native American students urged the Public Education Department, led by a recent appointee of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, to throw out its proposed changes and adopt unedited standards.”

The Los Alamos (NM) Monitor Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/16) reports that “no one spoke in favor of PED’s proposal, many saying the department’s rewritten version of the national Next Generation Science Standards, known as Next Gen, were politically motivated.” The changes “include replacing references to climate change with ‘temperature fluctuations,’ removes mention of the earth’s age as 4.8 billion years, and tweaks instruction on evolution.”

California Voters Express Strong Support For Expanded Science, Computer Education.

EdSource Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/15) reported an online Berkeley IGS/EdSource “survey of 1,200 registered voters in California found that 87 percent favored schools putting ‘greater emphasis on integrating science as part of the entire public school curriculum.’” Even though the majority of respondents were unaware of the Next Generation Science Standards, 68 percent said they support the concept. Additionally, 85 percent of respondents supported “a greater emphasis on computer programming and coding.” EdSource notes the state is currently drafting computer science standards to be adopted statewide in 2018. California State Board of Education member Trish Williams hailed the survey’s findings, adding that the state “is seen as a national leader on the new science standards.” WestEd K-12 Alliance director Kathy DiRanna, however, said the lack of awareness over the national standards is a problem, and called for greater community outreach.

Monday’s Lead Stories

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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

 Wiley appoints Ella Balagula as new EVP of publishing business
John Wiley and Sons, Inc., a global research and learning company, has announced that Ella Balagula has been named Wiley’s new Executive Vice President of Wiley’s Publishing segment. Prior to joining Wiley, Balagula was Senior Vice President and General Manager of Engineering Solutions at Elsevier, one of the world’s largest providers of scientific, medical, and technology information, where she was responsible for commercial go-to-market, product management, software development and content acquisition and production in the engineering and academic segments.
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 Taylor & Francis Group successfully completes Share More Easily book pilot in partnership with ReadCube
Academic publisher Taylor & Francis Group has completed a successful pilot of its Share More Easily program in partnership with ReadCube, a Digital Science technology company. The Share More Easily pilot included 600 titles across HSS and STM: 300 received sharing links to promote their work and 300 did not – the latter acting as a control group.
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 Royal Society of Chemistry to sell Portland Press journals content
The Royal Society of Chemistry and Portland Press, the wholly-owned publishing arm of the Biochemical Society, have announced a partnership enabling the Royal Society of Chemistry to sell Portland Press journals content. According to Dan Dyer, commercial director at the Royal Society of Chemistry, with the strategic alliance of the two societies, customers will benefit by having a single sales contact to discuss all their chemistry and biochemistry content requirements.
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 BMJ Learning partners with Duodecim to support learning and development for hospital doctors in Finland
BMJ Learning, an international provider of online CME and postgraduate training, has teamed up with Duodecim Medical Publications (The Finnish Medical Society) to help healthcare professionals improve their knowledge and deliver the very best care to their patients. The partnership will provide access to curated e-learning modules from BMJ Learning’s Hospital Collection, via Duodecim’s Learning Management System – Oppiportti.
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 Project MUSE expands its relationship with Google Scholar to implement Campus Activated Subscriber Access
Project MUSE has expanded its relationship with Google Scholar to include implementation of Campus Activated Subscriber Access (CASA), providing seamless access to subscribed or purchased content for an institution’s users even when off campus or from a mobile device. An extension of Google Scholar’s Subscriber Links service, CASA makes note of a user’s institutional affiliation when they access content from an authorised on-campus location, and then enables continued access to their library’s MUSE journal and book holdings from home or when using a device not connected to the institution’s network.
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 Bowker connects users to StreetLib publishing platform
Visitors to the Bowker website myidentifiers.com will now be able to access StreetLib, a publishing platform offering all the essential book publishing tools in one place. StreetLib supports authors and publishers by providing the services necessary to publish and sell books online in multiple formats. It also provides technical and commercial assistance to help its users get the most out of its services.
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 OpenAthens launches its cloud-based content provider solution, OpenAthens Cloud
OpenAthens, the international identity and access management software provider for the information industry, officially launched its cloud-based content provider solution at the Frankfurt Book Fair. OpenAthens Cloud enables federated single sign-on via OpenID Connect: a standard protocol for the secure, lightweight transfer of authentication and user attributes, which has seen rapid adoption by global brands such as Google and Microsoft.
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 Latest edition of Blogspeak now online
The latest edition of Blogspeak is now online. Featured are: David Crotty (The Facebooking of Scholarly Research); John Sack (Innovation starts with HighWire’s Intelligent Publishing Platform); Hollydawn Murray (Transparency meets transparency); Amy Forrester, Bo-Christer Björk and Carol Tenopir (New web services are helping authors make data-driven decisions when choosing which journal to submit to); and Matthew Sherlock (The Mobile Buzz: Data Protection and the GDPR). Blogspeak includes blog posts relevant to the publishing industry, particularly STM publishing. Subscribers are invited to participate in the latest edition of Blogspeak Here.
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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

University Of Maryland Student Team Wins Second Place At “Solar Decathlon.”

The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/14, Chandler) reported that a team of University of Maryland students took second place on Saturday at a nine-day “Solar Decathlon” sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. During the event, teams of students built homes that were evaluated for their energy efficiency, livability and market potential. The UMD team’s house “stood out for its water-reuse system and emphasis on home gardening.”

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/15) reports that the “house also features a composting toilet, a hydroponic garden and greenhouse, and water filtration system, as well as a solar-powered dryer and food dehydrator.” The competition was won by a team from Switzerland.

University Of Denver/UC Berkeley Team Finishes Third.The Denver Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/14) reports that the partnership between the University of Denver and UC Berkeley came in third “for the group’s house designed specifically for the city of Richmond, Calif.” The article explains that the Solar Decathlon “is a challenge for college teams to build and operate highly energy-efficient and innovative solar houses.”

Higher Education

Most Students, Faculty In University Of Wyoming STEM Courses Male.

The Laramie (WY) Boomerang Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/15, Victior) reports that according to Ph. D. student Emily Beagle, the University of Wyoming mechanical engineering department “supports roughly 40 to 50 graduate students…but only about seven of those students are women.” According to Shawna McBride, who oversees the university’s WiMSE – or Women in Math, Science and Engineering – initiative, this “disparity is not unique to mechanical engineering, but is common among the STEM fields.”

FTC, State AGs Fight Student Debt Relief Scams.

The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/13, Douglas-Gabriel) reports that on Friday the Federal Trade Commission announced it has formed a task force along with 12 state attorneys general in order to fight “student debt relief scams.” The new task force is so far “responsible for five cases against companies, such as Student Debt Doctor and American Student Loan Consolidators, accused of misleading borrowers about their ability to lower student-loan payments or illegally charging upfront fees before providing the service.”

Declining Research Funding For Midwest Universities Threatens Economic Troubles.

The Atlantic Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/15) reports that declining federal funding for basic research at universities is especially pronounced at “public institutions in the Midwest, which have historically conducted some of the nation’s most important research. These schools are desperately needed to diversify economies that rely disproportionately on manufacturing and agriculture and lack the wealthy private institutions that fuel the knowledge industries found in Silicon Valley.” However, “many flagship Midwestern research universities are being weakened by deep state budget cuts” and other financial pressures.

Minnesota Delegation Pushes Non-College Postsecondary Options.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/15, Spencer) reports on the difficulty Minnesota manufacturers have in finding qualified workers and touches on how four-year college programs are not appropriate fits for all families. The piece reports that Sens. Al Franken (D) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN) “have each offered multiple bills to try to encourage high school graduates to consider credentialing or community and technical college programs that lead to well-paying, stable jobs that don’t require four-year degrees.” The legislation has proposed such things as “classes that give high school students college credit, partnerships between schools and employers that provide money, equipment and apprenticeships, and federal grants to start more pathway programs.”

University Of Kansas Faculty Group Sounds Warning About Student Hack.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/14) reports that a University of Kansas faculty group is expressing concerns that “a recent cybersecurity breach…could lead to other attacks, not just at the university, but across higher education.” Aerospace engineering professor Ron Barrett-Gonzalez said “an apparently disgruntled engineering student” used a keystroke logger to hack into school computers to raise his failing grades.

From ASEE
ASEE Week of Giving
October 23-27 we’ll ask members to help us get to 25 by 125 – that is, $25K in time for our 125th anniversary next year. More details to come but know that our highest-tier givers get a batch of fresh-baked, from-scratch chocolate chip cookies overnighted to their office or home!

Start Smart with “Smart Start”
Researchers and innovators will want to be in this two-week course to improve STEM education at all levels. Courses offered in the spring of 2018. Learn more and apply here.

New Safe Zone Online Workshops – Coming Next Month!
Don’t miss the Fall 2017 Safe Zone Ally Training online workshops! These free online workshops help faculty, staff and students build knowledge and skills to create a more inclusive environment for LGBTQ individuals in STEM. Each workshop emphasizes tips and action strategies for allies. Tune in on Nov. 7 to learn LGBTQ terms and concepts, the steps of the coming out process, and more. Register today.

Research and Development

Robots’ “Odd” Driving Habits Lead To Fender Benders.

The Bloomberg News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/15) reports that a number of “low-speed fender benders” in which human drivers have collided with robot-controlled cars in California “highlight an emerging culture clash between humans who often treat traffic laws as guidelines and autonomous cars that refuse to roll through a stop sign or exceed the speed limit.” The people quotes Mike Ramsey, an analyst for Gartner, says, “They don’t drive like people. They drive like robots. They’re odd, and that’s why they get hit.”

Roboteq Introduces Simulator To Accelerate Design Of Magnetic Guided AGVs.

Process and Control Engineering (AUS) Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/8) reports that Roboteq has introduced RoboAGVSim, a free simulator which allows PC-based programming, testing, and fine-tuning by AGV designers. The article explains that only two Roboteq components are needed to create a magnetic track guided AGV: “an MGS1600 magnetic guide sensor and any Roboteq dual-channel motor controller.” The simulator allows any track design to be drawn or loaded in were a virtual AGV representation can then test the track configuration with “real physical characteristics, such as wheel base, gear ratio, wheel diameter and sensor distance from the pivot point” all taken into account. THe article says “a source code editor is available for writing the program that will be simulated” and “once the program has been verified in the simulator, it can be loaded into the Roboteq controller that is on the real AGV.”

Northrop, Raytheon BBN Awarded Contracts To Develop Swarming Unmanned Systems.

ExecutiveBiz Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/13, Adams) reported the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced Thursday that it “has awarded contracts to teams led by Northrop Grumman and Raytheon’s BBN Technologies subsidiary to support a program that aims to equip small infantry forces with swarms of small unmanned aircraft and ground vehicles.” The agency “said Thursday [that] the two teams will perform work under the first phase of the OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics program, which seeks to create and deploy swarm autonomy and human-swarm teaming technologies to the field.”

NASA Langley Tests Supersonic QueSST Aircraft Design.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/15) reported that the NASA Langley Research Center conducted wind tunnel testing on a prototype supersonic plane, the Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST), that may one day be able to travel at supersonic speeds without “that infamous sonic boom that can startle livestock, shatter windows and anger anyone within earshot.” Supersonic flights over the US were banned in 1973 due to noise concerns. QueSST Planning Lead David Richwine said, “We’re trying to lift those regulations, and we need data. In order to get the data, you need an airplane that can do that.” Developed with Lockheed Martin, QueSST is being tested “at slower speeds to study its performance under different flap configurations and, especially, how it handles at lower speeds during take-off and landing.” Richwine said, “Being a very fast airplane, it doesn’t like to fly slow. So understanding how to fly slow is very important.” QueSST is designed to fly at speeds of up to Mach 1.4, speeds that could cut long-distance flights in half. NASA has solicited industry bids from manufacturers to use the agency’s data to draft and build a final aircraft design. Langley hopes to choose a contractor for the project early next year, although the project’s estimated $390 million budget has not been approved by Congress.

Vermont Professor Receives Climate Change Research Grant.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/15) reports a professor at Norwich University in Vermont “has won a $132,000 federal grant for research on the impacts of past climate change on the state’s lakes.” Professor Laurie Griggs “will use the National Science Foundation grant to study sediment cores from the bottom of a central Vermont lake.” Griggs “then aims to reconstruct how the aquatic ecosystems have responded to climatic changes during the last 10,000 years.”

Engineering and Public Policy

Experts Say Termination Of CPP Does Not Mean End To EPA Carbon Regulation.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/15, Wolfgang) reports that environmental groups and legal experts say that the EPA’s repeal of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan “doesn’t necessarily let the Trump administration off the hook,” and the federal government “may have to show courts that it intends to address carbon pollution from power plants in some way, shape or form.” They say that just because EPA Administrator Pruitt “is dismantling the flawed CPP doesn’t mean he’ll be able to ignore power plant pollution altogether.” The EPA “seemed to acknowledge as much last week when it left open the door to another rule addressing carbon.” Nonetheless, Steve Milloy, author of “Scare Pollution: Why And How To Fix The EPA,” writes in the Wall Street Journal Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/15, Subscription Publication), that Pruitt’s action is significant because no previous GOP Administration has rolled back a major EPA regulation.

Analysis: Trump Administration Supporting Coal Industry. In a piece titled “Trump’s Love Affair With Coal,” Politico Magazine Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/15, Grunwald) reports that “as the Trump administration has battled internally and seesawed publicly over issues like trade, health care, infrastructure and even immigration, there’s no issue where it’s been more consistent and emphatic than its support for coal.” Coal miners showed up “at his raucous campaign rallies, and sure enough, he’s been a relentless advocate for this small and beleaguered industry.” The Los Angeles Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/15, Halper) reports that despite the attempts of the Trump Administration to end what it calls the “war on coal,” coal communities have yet to really benefit.

FERC Chair “Sympathetic” To Components Of Perry’s Proposal On Coal, Nuclear.

The Hill Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/13, Cama) reports Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Neil Chatterjee told reporters on Friday that “he is ‘sympathetic’ to parts of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to prop up coal and nuclear power plants,” but said that “he would not put in place a policy stemming from the proposal if it would ‘blow up’ competitive electricity markets or not withstand court challenges.” According to The Hill, “Chatterjee’s comments were the first time he has weighed in on Perry’s proposal from last month.”

Administration Seeks To Break Impasse Over ANWR Drilling.

The New York Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/13, Fountain, Subscription Publication) reports that the Trump Administration and congressional Republicans “in recent weeks have renewed the fight over opening part” of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration. The battle over the refuge, “which pits Republicans in Washington and much of the political and business establishment in Alaska against congressional Democrats and environmental and conservation groups, has been going on for decades.” Now, “with Republicans holding both houses of Congress and the presidency, the prospects for opening the refuge, at least to studies of its oil and gas potential, are better than they have been in years.” The article notes that “a budget resolution introduced late last month, and supported by Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, may help pave the way.”

Fracking Battle In Texas Pits Rare Lizard Against Oil Industry. The Wall Street Journal Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/13, Matthews, Subscription Publication) reports on the looming battle between frackers in the Permian Basin of Texas and the rare dunes sagebrush lizard, which environmentalists are seeking to classify as an endangered species.

FAA Speeds Up Implementation Of Automated Drone-Flight Approval Procedures To Deal With Backlogs.

Bloomberg News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/13, Levin) reports the increase in reported “safety incidents involving civilian drones” to about 250 a month on average has led to “emergency” action by the Federal Aviation Administration “to approve drone flights in restricted areas” due to the “pent-up demand for obtaining special permission to fly drones.” FAA says it has received so many applications for commercial drone approvals that people are starting to operate illegally rather than wait for permission, leading to the “increase in safety reports due to non-compliant operations,” the agency said. The aim of the emergency measure is “to sidestep normal regulatory requirements” so the agency “can more quickly adopt an automated system,” or what FAA calls Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability, “for approving low-level drone flights in restricted areas” in as little as five minutes, as opposed to 60-90 days.

NYTimes: Safety Regulators Need Resources To Deal With Industry Push For Autonomous Vehicles.

An editorial by the New York Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/14, Subscription Publication) discusses the low level of public trust in autonomous vehicles, saying it “would be a mistake” for “corporate executives and proponents” of driverless vehicles “to dismiss these concerns as part of humanity’s aversion to change and argue that this resistance will soften once people see the benefits of self-driving technologies.” Citing various challenges with integrating autonomous vehicles onto public roads, the Times specifically mentions NHTSA’s “underfunded” budget and that it is “woefully unprepared to regulate self-driving cars, particularly at the scale proponents hope to see down the line,” with a need at the agency for “more electrical engineers, programmers and cybersecurity specialists who can evaluate such cars.”

NYTimes: Safety Regulators Need Resources To Deal With Industry Push For Autonomous Vehicles.

An editorial by the New York Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/14, Subscription Publication) discusses the low level of public trust in autonomous vehicles, saying it “would be a mistake” for “corporate executives and proponents” of driverless vehicles “to dismiss these concerns as part of humanity’s aversion to change and argue that this resistance will soften once people see the benefits of self-driving technologies.” Citing various challenges with integrating autonomous vehicles onto public roads, the Times specifically mentions NHTSA’s “underfunded” budget and that it is “woefully unprepared to regulate self-driving cars, particularly at the scale proponents hope to see down the line,” with a need at the agency for “more electrical engineers, programmers and cybersecurity specialists who can evaluate such cars.”

Elementary/Secondary Education

New Mexico Scientists Protest Proposed State-Level Edits To National Science Standards.

The Albuquerque (NM) Journal Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/13) reported that on Friday outside the New Mexico Public Education Department’s headquarters, a group of “scientists delivered a mini-seminar on climate change, evolution, astrophysics and carbon dating” to protest the PED’s proposed adjustments to the national Next Generation Science Standards. The Santa Fe Public School Board of Education unanimously supported the mini-seminar. PED’s proposed changes include replacing a reference to the Earth’s “4.6 billion-year history” with “geological history” at the middle school level; replaces a reference to a “rise in global temperatures” with “fluctuations” in temperature; and omits “evolution” in favor or “biological diversity.” The scientists maintained that the proposed changes conflict with well-established knowledge. Meanwhile, the state’s secretary-designate for public education, Christopher Ruszkowki, “criticized participants in the protest for ‘public posturing’ rather than working with the PED on the new standards.”

Santa Fe New Mexican Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/14) reported that the Friday “event was a low-key, personal affair, featuring speakers who used a combination of facts, humor and scientific babble to entertain a gathering of about 30 people and spotlight the proposed omissions.” Santa Fe Public Schools and several other districts have already “publicly challenged the new standards, as have Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists and the LANL Foundation, which for years has provided science materials and curriculum for hundreds of elementary school classrooms across Northern New Mexico.” The teach-in “came as the nonprofit Environmental Education Association of New Mexico sent a letter to the education department, asking state officials to adopt, instead, a set of national science standards created by the National Research Council and the National Science Teachers Association.” The New Mexico Science Teachers Association has also petitioned PED to adopt the national standards in full.

Dallas School District To Introduce Computer Science Curriculum At All Elementary Schools.

Under the guidance of its Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math executive director, Oswaldo Alvarenga, Dallas ISD launched “a three-year plan to expand computer science curriculum to all 151 elementary campuses,” reports the Dallas Morning News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/15, Smith, Writer). Last year, Frederick Douglass Elementary launched a pilot program granting students “the opportunity to learn computer science concepts – such as coding and robotics instruction – in class every day.” Thirty-one other DISD elementary schools are now following suit. The district-wide initiative will cost “$4.4 million over the next three years, not counting nearly $600,000 in professional teacher development through a partnership with national computer science nonprofit Code.org.” The funding “averages out to $10,000 per campus per year, not nearly enough to provide each of the district’s 73,000 K-5 students with a device.” Once the expansion is complete, however, “DISD will offer computer science instruction at every school, across all grade levels.”

Edison Presents STEM Grant To Central Coast Girl Scouts.

The Ventura County (CA) Star Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/14) reported that Edison International recently presented a $10,000 grant to the Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast “to help fund Girl Scout science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs across Ventura County.” The funds “will allow 325 girls and 25 related adults in Ventura County to engage in digital and nondigital STEM activities in a fun and exploratory way while also having opportunities to care for the environment.” Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast CEO Jody Skenderian said, “At Girl Scouts, research findings show that girls are overwhelmingly interested in STEM, and they like to explore how things work, so we are very grateful to receive this grant from Edison International to support STEM programming.”

Friday’s Lead Stories

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Latest Publications: UC Davis/UC Davis Medical Center

Your search alert called “UCD/UCDMC” has found 189 new results.

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Document Title Authors Year Source
1. A bonded sphero-cylinder model for the discrete element simulation of elasto-plastic fibers Guo, Y., Wassgren, C., Curtis, J.S., Xu, D. 2018 Chemical Engineering Science, 175, pp. 118-129.
2. Viewpoint Set on Nuclear Materials Science Katoh, Y., Huang, Q., Han, Y.-H., Risbud, S. 2018 Scripta Materialia, 143, pp. 126-128.
3. Imaging glutamate with genetically encoded fluorescent sensors Broussard, G.J., Unger, E.K., Liang, R., McGrew, B.P., Tian, L. 2018 Neuromethods, 130, pp. 117-153.
4. Minimum tillage of a cover crop lowers net GWP and sequesters soil carbon in a California vineyard Wolff, M.W., Alsina, M.M., Stockert, C.M., Khalsa, S.D.S., Smart, D.R. 2018 Soil and Tillage Research, 175, pp. 244-254.
5. Effect of age and castration on serum anti-Müllerian hormone concentration in male alpacas Ciccarelli, M., Tibary, A., Campbell, A.J., Conley, A.J. 2018 Theriogenology, 105, pp. 174-177.
6. Defective GABAergic neurotransmission in the nucleus tractus solitarius in Mecp2-null mice, a model of Rett syndrome Chen, C.-Y., Di Lucente, J., Lin, Y.-C., (…), Maezawa, I., Jin, L.-W. 2018 Neurobiology of Disease, 109, pp. 25-32.
7. Errors in Calculating Anterior-Posterior Tibial Contact Locations in Total Knee Arthroplasty Using Three-Dimensional Model to Two-Dimensional Image Registration in Radiographs: An in Vitro Study of Two Methods Ross, D.S., Howell, S.M., Hull, M.L. 2017 Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 139(12), art. no. 121003.
8. Microchamber Cultures of Bladder Cancer: A Platform for Characterizing Drug Responsiveness and Resistance in PDX and Primary Cancer Cells Gheibi, P., Zeng, S., Son, K.J., (…), Pan, C.-X., Revzin, A. 2017 Scientific Reports, 7(1), art. no. 12277.
9. Cancer-associated fibroblasts support vascular growth through mechanical force Sewell-Loftin, M.K., Bayer, S.V.H., Crist, E., (…), Longmore, G.D., George, S.C. 2017 Scientific Reports, 7(1), art. no. 12574.
10. Use of Infrared Thermography to Detect Jugular Venipuncture in the Horse Daglish, J., le Jeune, S.S., Pypendop, B.H., Ramirez, E.M., Turner, T.A. 2017 Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 59, pp. 1-6.
11. Fermiology and electron dynamics of trilayer nickelate La4Ni3O10 Li, H., Zhou, X., Nummy, T., (…), Mitchell, J.F., Dessau, D.S. 2017 Nature Communications, 8(1), art. no. 704.
12. Omega-6 and omega-3 oxylipins are implicated in soybean oil-induced obesity in mice Deol, P., Fahrmann, J., Yang, J., (…), Hammock, B.D., Sladek, F.M. 2017 Scientific Reports, 7(1), art. no. 12488.
13. Acoustic cavitation assisted extraction of pectin from waste grapefruit peels: A green two-stage approach and its general mechanism Wang, W., Wu, X., Chantapakul, T., (…), Ye, X., Liu, D. 2017 Food Research International, 102, pp. 101-110.
14. Pathways of DNA unlinking: A story of stepwise simplification Stolz, R., Yoshida, M., Brasher, R., (…), Shimokawa, K., Vazquez, M. 2017 Scientific Reports, 7(1), art. no. 12420.
15. Bartonella, bats and bugs: A review Stuckey, M.J., Chomel, B.B., de Fleurieu, E.C., (…), Boulouis, H.-J., Chang, C.-C. 2017 Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, 55, pp. 20-29.
16. More integrated formal education and practice in water resources systems analysis Rosenberg, D.E., Babbar-Sebens, M., Root, E., (…), Ford, D., Basdekas, L. 2017 Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 143(12), art. no. 02517001.
17. Adaptive variation in natural Alpine populations of Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst) at regional scale: Landscape features and altitudinal gradient effects Di Pierro, E.A., Mosca, E., González-Martínez, S.C., (…), Neale, D.B., La Porta, N. 2017 Forest Ecology and Management, 405, pp. 350-359.
18. Chemoenzymatic synthesis of Neu5Ac9NAc-containing α2–3- and α2–6-linked sialosides and their use for sialidase substrate specificity studies Li, W., Xiao, A., Li, Y., Yu, H., Chen, X. 2017 Carbohydrate Research, 451, pp. 51-58.
19. Altered expression of the FMR1 splicing variants landscape in premutation carriers Tseng, E., Tang, H.-T., AlOlaby, R.R., Hickey, L., Tassone, F. 2017 Biochimica et Biophysica Acta – Gene Regulatory Mechanisms, 1860(11), pp. 1117-1126.
20. Rank acquisition in rhesus macaque yearlings following permanent maternal separation: The importance of the social and physical environment Wooddell, L.J., Kaburu, S.S.K., Murphy, A.M., Suomi, S.J., Dettmer, A.M. 2017 Developmental Psychobiology, 59(7), pp. 863-875
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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

 Project DEAL and Springer Nature in negotiations for a forward-looking model for publishing and reading scientific literature
Project DEAL of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany and publisher Springer Nature are negotiating a forward-looking model for publishing and reading scientific literature. After the latest meeting, the spokesman for the DEAL Project Steering Committee and President of the University Rectors Conference, Prof. Dr. Horst Hippler, and Dagmar Laging, Vice President Institutional Sales Europe at Springer Nature, commented that they have already achieved some alignment on principle questions.
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 Taylor & Francis and the Japan Society of Civil Engineers announce publishing partnership from 2018
Academic publisher Taylor & Francis and the Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE) have announced a new publishing partnership, effective 2018. Taylor & Francis will publish Coastal Engineering Journal on behalf of JSCE. With its 60th volume due to publish in 2018, this well-established journal features articles on coastal, harbor, and offshore engineering achievements and practices.
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 LBF launches the first ever Audiobook Publisher award, entries open for The LBF International Excellence Awards 2018
The London Book Fair (LBF), in association with the Publishers Association (The PA), has launched the LBF International Excellence Awards’ first ever Audiobook Publisher award. The 2018 awards, in their fifth year, have now opened online submissions. The awards, sponsored by Hytex, celebrate publishing success in 16 categories, representing the best publishing ambassadors, innovative publishing, and ground-breaking initiatives in the industry.
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 SSP 40th Annual Meeting Scholarly Publishing at the Crossroads: What’s working, what’s holding us back, where do we go from here?
As the Society for Scholarly Publishing celebrates its 40th anniversary, the theme for the conference highlights the many crossroads within scholarly publishing, including past and future practices, changing revenue models, funding challenges, regulation changes, technological innovations, and reaching new markets while maintaining established ones. These crossroads introduce new challenges as well as new opportunities for scholarly publishing and for the communities it serves and help keep up with the changing needs of researchers and academics who both generate and use the content.
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 The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland and Cambridge University Press announce new publishing partnership
The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland and academic publisher Cambridge University Presshave announced the formation of a new publishing partnership beginning in January 2018. The Society’s journals, Mineralogical Magazine and Clay Minerals, will join Cambridge’s world-leading Earth and Environmental Sciences publishing programme.
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 ACCUCOMS to represent NEJM Group in France, Germany and Italy
ACCUCOMS has announced its new representation agreement with NEJM Group in France, Germany and Italy. NEJM Group, publisher of premier medical resources for research, education and practice, is expanding its presence in institutions around the world. To accelerate that goal, NEJM Group has entered into an agreement with ACCUCOMS to represent its site license products in France, Germany and Italy.
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 OCLC and Internet Archive partner to expand library access to digital collections
OCLC and Internet Archive are working together to make the Archive’s collection of 2.5 million digitised books easier to find and access online and through local libraries. OCLC will process metadata from the Internet Archive for its digital collection, matching to existing records in WorldCat, the world’s most comprehensive database of information about library collections, or adding a new record if one does not exist.
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Current California Fire Sites

CAL Fire: http://www.calfire.ca.gov/general/firemaps

Statewide Fire Map: https://www.google.com/maps/@38.2868344,-122.2052191,13z/data=!4m2!6m1!1s1TOEFA857tOVxtewW1DH6neG1Sm0

AirNow: https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires

GeoMAC Wildland Fire Support: https://www.geomac.gov/viewer/viewer.shtml

ArcGIS US Wildfire Activity Web Map:https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=df8bcc10430f48878b01c96e907a1fc3

 

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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

Waymo Is First To Submit Safety Report On Self-driving Cars.

Forbes Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Ohnsman) reports that as Waymo posted “a 43-page report, ‘On the Road To Fully Self-Driving,’ Thursday with details about its sensors and software, its ‘Early Rider’ program in suburban Phoenix and approach to testing,” it may become a robot-car business with its Moonshot. Generating robot-car rides will be the largest step, to date, in the movement toward self-driving cars. According to the US Department of Transportation, “Just one month after U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced the Automated Driving Systems (ADS): A Vision for Safety 2.0, Waymo today becomes the first company to make a voluntary safety self-assessment public.” The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Laris) reports Waymo CEO John Krafcik wrote to Chao Thursday, saying, “This overview of our safety program reflects the important lessons learned through the 3.5 million miles Waymo’s vehicles have self-driven on public roads, and billions of miles of simulated driving, over the last eight years.”

The Hill Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Zanona) reports, “Google’s self-driving car company” Waymo “has submitted its first-ever safety report to” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation “about its technology, the company said Thursday.” The company said “We hope our Safety Report serves as a resource for anyone who wants to understand Waymo’s technology and commitment to safety, and that it contributes to the larger public conversation about driving safety.”

Waymo Campaign Intends To Convince Americans Self-Driving Cars Are Safe. Quartz Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Hao) reports that “Waymo and Intel have caught on to something: Self-driving cars may be ready for the road, but they’re not very useful without willing passengers.” Waymo has started a campaign called “Let’s Talk Self-Driving” as “a response to US transportation secretary Elaine Chao’s appeal in June for the industry to ‘step up’ on educating the public about its driverless technology.” Chao’s June remarks in Detroit insinuated that the government would have less pressure to regulate self-driving if the industry could explain “how this technology can improve safety, decrease fatalities and help mobility.” Chao said her “challenge to Silicon Valley is in fact supportive of Detroit.” Chao also said “we don’t want to have rules that may impede future advances.”

In an analysis for Wired Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12) Aarian Marshall states that when it comes to self-driving vehicles, “nothing now available or coming soon will let you nap or email or slap on a VR headset behind the wheel.” In an interview with Fox Business, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said “We have now self-driving cars.” Chao also said “They can drive on the highway, follow the white lines on the highway, and there’s really no need for any person to be seated and controlling any of the instruments.” Marshall writes that no one should “blame the secretary for her confusion. When it comes to this new breed of cars that can (kind of) drive themselves, just about nobody knows what they’re talking about.”

Waymo Sought $1 Billion In Damages From Uber. Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12) reports that sources close to the case say that Waymo “sought at least $1 billion in damages and a public apology from Uber as conditions for settling its high-profile trade secret lawsuit against the ride-services company.” Waymo’s “self-driving car unit also asked that an independent monitor be appointed to ensure Uber does not use Waymo technology in the future,” the sources said, adding that Uber “rejected those terms as non-starters.”

Higher Education

University Of Arizona Engineers Build Desalination Plants For Navajo Reservation.

The Arizona Daily Star Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/7) reports students with the Arid Lands Resource Science Graduate Interdisciplinary Program at the University of Arizona have partnered with consulting firm Apex Applied Technologies to build “a desalination and water-purification system on a refurbished school bus and delivered it to the off-the-grid Star School, a charter elementary school located 25 miles east of Flagstaff near the southwest corner of the water-scarce Navajo Reservation.”

University Of Michigan Solar Car Team Takes Second Place In Australian Race.

MLive (MI) Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12) reports the University of Michigan Solar Car Team finished “second in the world at the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, an 1,800-mile race across the Australian Outback.” The team has placed third three times over the past five years in the competition.

From ASEE
ASEE Week of Giving
October 23-27 we’ll ask members to help us get to 25 by 125 – that is, $25K in time for our 125th anniversary next year. More details to come but know that our highest-tier givers get a batch of fresh-baked, from-scratch chocolate chip cookies overnighted to their office or home!

New Safe Zone Online Workshops – Coming Next Month!
Don’t miss the Fall 2017 Safe Zone Ally Training online workshops! These free online workshops help faculty, staff and students build knowledge and skills to create a more inclusive environment for LGBTQ individuals in STEM. Each workshop emphasizes tips and action strategies for allies. Tune in on Nov. 7 to learn LGBTQ terms and concepts, the steps of the coming out process, and more. Register today.

ASEE Board Reorganization – Feedback Needed
ASEE ED Norman Fortenberry presents rationale on a proposed reorganization of the ASEE Board of Directors. Please leave your feedback (ASEE member login required).

Research and Development

Friends Of Bill And Melinda Gates Donate $30 Million Toward New Computer Science Building At University Of Washington.

Bloomberg News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Bass) reports Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos are part of a group of people, all friends of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who are “donating more than $30 million to the University of Washington in Seattle to name a computer-science building after philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates.”

Fortune Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/13, Bach) reports “the new facility will include a 3,000 square foot robotics laboratory, a wet lab space for molecular information system research, an undergraduate commons, and a 250 seat auditorium.”

The Seattle Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Long), the Wall Street Journal Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Belkin, Subscription Publication), and GeekWire Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12) also report.

Cornell University Researchers Develop Shape-Shifting Membrane Inspired By Mimic Octopus.

The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Guarino) reports on research conducted at Cornell University that “with the aid of octopus expert Roger Hanlon, successfully mimicked the mimic [Thaumocotopus mimicus] using sheets of rubber and mesh” in the form of “a thin membrane that contorts into complex 3-D shapes – much like the shape-shifting skin of an octopus.”

The Atlantic Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12) reports that the technology focuses on the creature’s ability to instantly transform the texture of its skin, reporting that the team of Cornell’s Robert Shepherd “has created a material that can change its shape in a similar way. From a starting position as a flat sheet, it can quickly mimic a field of stones, or the rosette of a succulent plant.” The piece reports that the Army Research Office funded the research, noting that there are “obvious benefits to having materials that can adaptively hide the outlines of vehicles and robots by breaking up their outlines.”

USPS To Add Semi-Autonomous Vehicles To Fleet, Raise Prices.

In continuing coverage, the Memphis (TN) Business Journal Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, McDermid, Subscription Publication) reports that USPS plans to add semi-autonomous vehicles into its fleet within seven years. According to a plan released by USPS’s Office of Inspector General, the trucks will be launched on rural routes as soon as 2025. The article mentions that USPS plans to also increase prices next year. However, the article notes that there is a limit to how much USPS can increase prices and it will need approval from the Board of Governors, which currently has no members.

The Car Connection Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Miller) also reports on USPS’s autonomous vehicle plans.

Aerospace Industry Looking Toward Autonomous Planes.

NBC News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/11, Falk) reports that “the aviation industry is pushing to make autonomous passenger aircraft a reality — and sooner than you might think,” with Airbus developing a prototype “tilt-wing, multi-propeller” air taxi called Vahana. Boeing also “has hinted that such a craft might be on the way. At the Paris Air Show last summer, Mike Sinnett, the company’s vice-president of product development, said ‘the basic building blocks of the technology clearly are available.’”

Industry News

NYTimes Analysis: After Years Of Being Hailed As Saviors, Tech Giants Face Criticism.

In an analysis that appeared on the front page of its printed Friday edition, the New York Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Streitfeld, Subscription Publication) observes that US tech giants, once seen as a source freedom and progress, now “are under fire for creating problems instead of solving them” – evidenced most recently by heightened criticism of Facebook, Twitter, and Google over “how their ad and publishing systems were harnessed by the Russians” during the 2016 presidential election. Beyond the election, tech companies also are the subject of growing concert for accruing “a tremendous amount of power and influence.”

The changing tone of media coverage of the social platforms in the news cycle tended to support the Times’ point and was heavily negative in several instances. TechCrunch Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Lomas), for example, reports that “Twitter has blundered into yet another moderation crisis” by temporarily suspending the account of an actress who was speaking “out against sexual harassment of women in the wake of sexual abuse allegations now coming out against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.”

The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Shaban) reports Twitter also faced criticism over the issue of blocking a Republican House member’s ad on its site for “inflammatory” content. The criticism was from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who said “the question is: should divisive political or issue ads run? Our answer is yes.”

CNN Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Byers) reports on its website that Sandberg faced her own criticism and would “not say whether her company has identified similarities in how Russian agents and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign used the social media platform ahead of the 2016 election.” CNN says Sandberg also “dodged several questions…including one on whether or not Facebook owed the American people an apology.”

CNET News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Carson, Nieva) reports, however, that Sandberg on Thursday said, “Things happened on our platform in this election that should not have happened. … We know we have a responsibility to do anything we can to prevent that.”

Fast Company Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Guthrie Weissman) didn’t seem satisfied with Sandberg’s response, writing that she “has the uncanny ability to appear like she’s answering a question head-on while obfuscating the subject at hand.”

GeekWire Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Nickelsburg) devotes a piece to a Seattle tech figure, Ed Lazowska, lighting into social media companies over Russia. Lazowska, who chairs the University of Washington’s Computer Science and Engineering School, said in the embedded video, “You can’t wash your hands of this.” He added that “unlike Microsoft, ‘Facebook has nothing to sell except what they know about you and ads.’”

Amazon, Microsoft Partner To Offer New AI Platform.

Investor’s Business Daily Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/13, Deagon) reports Amazon and Microsoft are teaming up to offer a new AI platform called Gluon, which they say will allow developers of all skill levels “to prototype, build, train and deploy sophisticated machine learning models for the cloud, devices at the edge and mobile apps.” IBD adds that the platform will run on Amazon Web Services.

ZDNet Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Gagliordi) reports the companies “claim is that Gluon is a more concise, easy-to-understand programming interface compared to other offerings, and that it gives developers a chance to quickly prototype and experiment with neural network models without sacrificing performance.” The article reports Swami Sivasubramanian, VP of Amazon AI saying, “Today’s reality is that building and training machine learning models requires a great deal of heavy lifting and specialized expertise.” Eric Boyd, corporate VP of Microsoft AI and Research added, “Machine learning has the ability to transform the way we work, interact and communicate. To make this happen we need to put the right tools in the right hands, and the Gluon interface is a step in this direction.”

Venture Beat Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Hanley Frank) reports, “Gluon is currently compatible with Apache MXNet, AWS’s preferred machine learning framework, and Microsoft is working to enable its compatibility with its Cognitive Toolkit.” The article reports that this announcement comes within days of another announcement saying “companies, including Intel, Qualcomm, AMD, and ARM, are working with the Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX) project to help create a shared representation of one popular form of machine learning.”

TechCrunch Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Lunden) reports Microsoft and AWS have previously worked together on AI initiatives. It is reported, “The two work together in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. And last September, Amazon and Microsoft – along with Facebook, Google and IBM – announced the Partnership on AI to collaborate more on research and best practices in this newly emerging area.”

TechCrunch Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Miller) reports Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are nonetheless fierce competitors, but says that “the cloud has a funny way of driving companies together because it’s all about the customer in the cloud.”

CNBC Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12) reports, “Google open-sourced the TensorFlow AI framework in 2015, and it has since become very popular among researchers – considerably more popular than the Cognitive Toolkit and MXNet;” however, “Google is not among the companies promoting Gluon at this point. … People who wish to use TensorFlow might find it easier to do that with a Google-backed Python API called Keras.”

MIT Technology Review Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Condliffe) reports TensorFlow “started off as an obscure piece of in-house software but is now used by the likes of Airbnb, eBay, Uber, Snapchat, and Dropbox to power their AI development.” The article says that TensorFlow is a major part of Google’s business plan.

The story is also carried by GeekWire Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Bishop, Krazit), SiliconANGLE Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Deutscher)MarketWatch Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Kilgore).

Engineer: US Must Invest In Future Of Manufacturing.

In a piece for the Conversation (UK) Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12), University at Buffalo engineer Kemper E. Lewis writes that the US “needs to figure out what the country should make tomorrow – and invest heavily in it. Whether we do depends on our willingness to embrace the fourth industrial revolution, a new era that is beginning and is destined to be just as pivotal as the previous three.” Lewis describes the nature and impact of the first three industrial revolutions, and says the “fourth industrial revolution focuses on artificial intelligence, big data, the internet of things and other emerging technologies that fuse the physical, digital and biological worlds.”

Engineering and Public Policy

FAA Orders Inspections Of Airbus A380 Engines.

The Wall Street Journal Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Pasztor, Subscription Publication) reports that the FAA issued an emergency airworthiness directive requiring airlines to inspect Airbus SE A380 jet engines after an engine came apart during an Air France flight last month. Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/13, Freed) reports that the “GP7200 engines account for 60 percent of the global market share of engines that power Airbus A380 superjumbos currently in service, according to Corrine Png, the CEO of transport research firm Crucial Perspective.” The Hartford (CT) Business Journal Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Daddona) reports that the FAA also said in its directive that the parts needed to fix the issue “may be installed on as many as 991” planes, “estimating the total cost to comply with the order at more than $13.6 million.”

Lawmakers Press Perry On FERC Directive.

The Hill Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Cama) reports during a Thursday hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s energy subpanel, lawmakers criticized Energy Secretary Rick Perry for “his recent proposal to prop up coal and nuclear plants with higher payments for their electricity.” One Republican and several Democrats on the committee “said the plan would be unnecessarily disruptive to energy market and prop up power plants that aren’t competitive.” Rep. Frank Pallone said “killing off competitive electricity markets just to save generation assets that are no longer economical will lead to higher prices for consumers.” Rep. Pete Olson added “the proposal doesn’t align with Perry’s free-market energy policies from his time as Texas’s governor.” The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12) reports Perry said that the goal of the of the proposal is to build “an energy supply that’s strong ‘if the wind quits blowing, if the sun quits shining’ or natural gas transmissions lines fail.”

The Washington Examiner Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Siegel) reports Perry didn’t “defend the proposal as aggressively as in his prepared remarks in which he said the plan ‘is just a first step’ in his efforts to ensure the reliability of the nation’s electric grid, suggesting he could take additional action in the future.” He said to lawmakers, “I want to hear both sides of this [debate] and have a very robust and open conversation. … I don’t have any idea if there are better options. I am not saying my [proposal] is the be-all-end-all. But obviously, it’s been very successful in getting a conversation started.”

Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Gardner) reports the Energy Secretary “said the federal government had disregarded nuclear power for decades at a risk to national security.” He said, “If we lose our supply chain, if we lose our intellectual chain of supply of bright scientists because we basically pushed the nuclear industry back, then we’re going to lose our role as a leader when it comes to nuclear energy in the world.” The Dallas Morning News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter(10/12, Benning, Bureau) and CNBC Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12) also provides coverage of Perry’s testimony.

Perry Mistakenly Calls Puerto Rico A Country. The “Fix” blog of the Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Blake) reports that also during the hearing, Perry “mistakenly referred to Puerto Rico as a country while talking about how to repair its energy grid.” The Fix blog writes that “in fairness to Perry, immediately before his flub, he did call Puerto Rico a territory. So it was clearly a momentary slip of the tongue rather than his not knowing the difference.” The Houston Chronicle Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, KamathChron.com /, Chronicle) reports Perry made the mistake “when Rep. Kathy Castor of Florida asked him about plans for building a more distributed energy grid.” The New York Daily News Share
to FacebookShare to Twitter(10/12) also provides coverage of this story.

First Solar Bucks Industry, Favors Import Tariffs.

Bloomberg News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/11, Martin) reports that First Solar Inc. has become involved in a “trade case that threatens the $29 billion U.S. solar industry, and it’s supporting tariffs on imports.” First Solar CEO Mark Widmar “said U.S. solar manufacturers face ‘unfair competition’ from rivals in other countries that ‘underscores the need for a fair and effective remedy,’ in a letter to the U.S. International Trade Commission.” That position places the largest US solar manufacturer in “opposition to the Solar Energy Industries Association and most of the rest of the industry.” The company had “refrained from taking sides even as the trade group fought vigorously against tariffs, saying they would drive up panel prices and lead to 88,000 job losses.” First Solar “criticized the trade group, of which it’s a member, saying it has ‘not engaged constructively’ on the tariff issue.”

Bloomberg Argues Against Tariffs On Solar Panels. In an editorial, Bloomberg View Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12) wrote that the solar industry in the US is threatened by President Trump’s “eagerness to punish supposedly unfair trade practices.” The US International Trade Commission, “having unanimously ruled that American solar-panel makers are harmed by competition from Asian and other rivals, will recommend what tariffs or other import penalties the president should impose.” But the “commission and the president need to understand that punishing Asian panel makers would do more than damage trade relations: It would also cripple the thriving U.S. solar-energy business.” Most solar panels sold in the US are made in Asia, but most of the 260,000 jobs in the American solar business are not in manufacturing, but in installation and project development. This “remarkable growth in solar installations and jobs can continue – but not if tariffs raise prices too high for homeowners, businesses and utilities.”

Trump Administration’s Changes To Clean Power Plan Unlikely To Change Ohio Coal Plant Plans.

The Columbus (OH) Dispatch Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Gearino) reports that despite the Trump Administration’s efforts to end the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, coal-fired plants in Ohio are expected to close as planned given the market and price of coal. American Electric Power spokesperson Melissa McHenry said “our long-term strategy for our (power) generation fleet will not change with changes in the Clean Power Plan.” Ohio’s largest coal-fired plant, the General James M. Gavin plant, produced “more than 10 million megawatt-hours from January to July, according to the Energy Information Administration.”

Shell Making Bet On Electric Vehicles With NewMotion Purchase.

The Financial Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Sheppard, Campbell, Subscription Publication) reports Shell is betting on electric vehicles by purchasing NewMotion, an EV-charging company which provides more than 30,000 private home electrical charging points and 50,000 public sites. Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Schaps) reports Shell has starting providing EV charging points for retail stations, and said the acquisition would help offer a full range of EV services. Matthew Tipper, Shell VP for new fuels, said, “Today’s announcement is an early step toward ensuring customers can access a range of refueling choices over the coming decades.” The Hill Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Henry) reports Shell will use NewMotion to help implement EV charging stations at many of its 45,000 service stations. Tipper went on to say, “This move provides customers the flexibility to charge their electric vehicles at home, work and on the go. When you add this customer offer to our current roll out of fast charging points on Shell forecourts, we believe we are developing the full raft of charge solutions required to support the future of EVs.” The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12) reports the acquisition is following CEO Ben van Beurden’s promise to examine “very aggressive scenarios” to remain competitive in a lower carbon future. CNN Money Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Egan) reports NewMotion CEO Sytse Zuidema said the deal will help speed growth by providing access to Shell’s corporate clients and industry contacts. He said, “We are here not to fuel cars with petrol, but with electricity.” MarketWatch Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Walker) reports Shell said NewMotion will operate as part of the enlarged group, and that both companies will work to maximize synergies and opportunities. Investor’s Business Daily Share to FacebookShare
to Twitter (10/12, Rich) reports Shell did not disclose the terms of the deal, but NewMotion will operate as a subsidiary.

Axios Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Pandey) and Canadian Manufacturing Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12) also provide coverage.

Elementary/Secondary Education

Tesla Begins Construction On Solar Arrays To Power San Marcos Schools.

The San Diego Union-Tribune Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Brennan) reports that on Thursday, Tesla Motors began construction on work “to introduce solar arrays at most of” the campuses in the San Marcos school district in California. Under an agreement inked last December, “Tesla will install, operate and maintain the equipment, and the district will purchase power at reduced rates, saving an estimated $30 million over the 20-year contract.” Officials said that “once the solar facilities are installed district-wide, they will produce an estimated 10.1 million kilowatt hours – more than 80 percent of the schools’ annual usage of 11.4 million kilowatt hours.”

Michigan CTE Programs See Higher Enrollment, Low Completion Rates.

MLive (MI) Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12) reports that enrollment in CTE program sin Michigan is growing after several years of declines, with the number of students “climbing by nearly 5,000 students since 2015.” However, state officials say that “the completion rate for CTE programs in Michigan remains relatively low,” with “less than a third of students enrolled in one of the programs” completing it. Completion numbers are up from the previous year, but “the state wants to see the number increase further.”

NSF Gives University Of Montana $300,000 Grant To Increase STEM Access For Native American Students.

THE Journal Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12) reports that the National Science Foundation has given the University of Montana a $300,000 grant intended to “launch a pilot project to encourage American Indian participation in STEM fields. The American Indian Traditional Science Experience (AITSE) will be based at the Flathead Indian Reservation.” The program will “combine after-school, hands-on learning opportunities and long-term educational programming, to generate better cultural awareness around the STEM fields.”

Code/Interactive Trains Texas School District Teachers In Computer Science Education.

The McAllen (TX) Valley Town Crier Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (10/12, Moreno) reports that Mission CISD in Texas, “in partnership with Mission Economic Development Corporation and” the not-for-profit Code/Interactive, “is taking the first step in implementing an immersive computer science education in Mission schools.” The article describes how “this summer Code/Interactive trained 16 elementary school teachers, four junior high school teachers and three high school teachers from Mission CISD to implement coding curriculum into computer science classes in a meaningful way.”

Thursday’s Lead Stories

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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

 Springer Nature launches Springer Nature Experiments – a free-to-use research solution for the life sciences
Springer Nature has launched a new, free-to-use research solution, Springer Nature Experiments, to help researchers in the life sciences advance discovery by accessing the most relevant protocols and methods to support their research projects. The new research solution is being officially launched at the ongoing Frankfurt Book Fair 2017. Members of the team behind the development of Springer Nature Experiments will be available throughout the fair for interviews and live demos at the Springer Nature stand, Hall 4.2 / F8.
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 Wolters Kluwer publishes 14th Edition of Brunner & Suddarth’s Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing
Wolters Kluwer Health has announced the release of the 14th edition of Brunner & Suddarth’s Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing, a landmark resource preferred by instructors and students for its readability, engaging case studies and learning tools, which have been updated to reflect the latest research and nursing practices. Celebrating more than 50 years since its initial publication, the textbook features complete integration with Lippincott CoursePoint, Wolters Kluwer’s robust digital, personalised learning environment for nursing students.
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 Dynamic Health is now available from EBSCO Health
Dynamic HealthTM, a comprehensive collection of evidence-based skills content and corresponding skills checklists intended to help nurses and allied health professionals develop critical clinical, transcultural and patient instruction skills, is now available from EBSCO Health, a division of EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO). The product, created in part by the founders of the CINAHL® databases, provides curated, concise content combined with a cutting-edge cloud-based interface.
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 Emerald joins Kudos’ shareable PDF program
Academic publisher Emerald Publishing has become the latest partner to join Kudos’s shareable PDF program, which helps publishers prevent copyright infringement and reclaim lost usage from sharing of research articles on scholarly collaboration networks (SCNs). Kudos is the award-winning service – free for Emerald authors to use – for maximising the reach and impact of research publications.
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 LBF announces Authors of the Day for Market Focus Baltic Countries
The London Book Fair, together with its partners the British Council and the Publishers Association, have revealed the three headline authors who will represent Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as Market Focus Authors of the Day at LBF 2018. Three internationally celebrated writers – Kristina Sabaliauskaite (Lithuania), Nora Ikstena (Latvia) and Mihkel Mutt (Estonia) – will be honoured on the second day of LBF (11th April 2018), with a special dedicated programme aimed at shining a spotlight on their outstanding career achievements and work.
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 ACCUCOMS in deal to include World Scientific journals in Aggregagent
World Scientific Publishing and ACCUCOMS have reached an agreement to include journals from World Scientific in AggregagentTM. The highly regarded journals will mostly become part of the Physical Sciences collections, especially strengthening the collections in Physics & Astronomy and Mathematics.
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 IEEE names Stephen Welby as next Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer
Technical professional organisation IEEE has announced the appointment of Stephen Welby as its executive director and chief operating officer (COO), effective January 2, 2018. Most recently, Welby served as the US assistant secretary of defence for research and engineering. In his role of chief technology officer for the US Department of Defence, he led one of the largest research, development and engineering organizations in the world.
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 Future Science Group Websites are first to benefit from Atypon’s new UX 3.0 system
Future Medicine and Future Science, the publication websites of the Future Science Group (FSG), have been redesigned and relaunched using Atypon’s UX 3.0, a comprehensive new design language and implementation system for delivering sophisticated, engaging publication websites. Future Science Group (FSG), whose websites have been hosted on Atypon’s LIteratum platform since 2005, is the first publisher to benefit from UX 3.0.
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