|Search Alert: 60 new results|
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|1 .||The feedback between where we go and what we know — information shapes movement, but movement also impacts information acquisition||Spiegel, O., Crofoot, M.C.||2016||Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences ,
12 pp. 90 – 96 .
|2 .||Behavior and conservation, conservation and behavior||Caro, T.||2016||Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences ,
12 pp. 97 – 102 .
|3 .||Parabens inhibit fatty acid amide hydrolase: A potential role in paraben-enhanced 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation||Kodani, S.D., Overby, H.B., Morisseau, C., Chen, J., Zhao, L., Hammock, B.D.||2016||Toxicology Letters ,
262 pp. 92 – 99 .
|4 .||Nonagonal cadherins: A new protein family found within the Stramenopiles||Fletcher, K.I.G., van West, P., Gachon, C.M.M.||2016||Gene ,
593 ( 1 ) pp. 64 – 75 .
|5 .||Effect of morphine, methadone, hydromorphone or oxymorphone on the thermal threshold, following intravenous or buccal administration to cats||Pypendop, B.H., Shilo-Benjamini, Y., Ilkiw, J.E.||2016||Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia ,
43 ( 6 ) pp. 635 – 642 .
|6 .||Wheat landraces currently grown in Turkey: Distribution, diversity, and use||Morgounov, A., Keser, M., Kan, M., Küçükçongar, M., Özdemir, F., Gummadov, N., Muminjanov, H., Zuev, E., Qualset, C.O.||2016||Crop Science ,
56 ( 6 ) pp. 3112 – 3124 .
|7 .||Testing a single regression coefficient in high dimensional linear models||Lan, W., Zhong, P.-S., Li, R., Wang, H., Tsai, C.-L.||2016||Journal of Econometrics,
195 ( 1 ) pp. 154 – 168 .
|8 .||Effect of emptying the vasculature before performing regional limb perfusion with amikacin in horses||Sole, A., Nieto, J.E., Aristizabal, F.A., Snyder, J.R.||2016||Equine Veterinary Journal ,
48 ( 6 ) pp. 737 – 740 .
|9 .||Endosperm carotenoid concentrations in wheat are better correlated with PSY1 transcript levels than enzyme activities||Qin, X., Fischer, K., Dubcovsky, J., Tian, L.||2016||Crop Science ,
56 ( 6 ) pp. 3173 – 3184 .
|10 .||Cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic responses to apnea induced by atlanto-occipital intrathecal lidocaine injection in anesthetized horses||Guedes, A., Aleman, M., Davis, E., Tearney, C.||2016||Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia ,
43 ( 6 ) pp. 590 – 598 .
|11 .||The Importance of Methyl Positioning and Tautomeric Equilibria for Imidazole Nucleophilicity||Campos, R.B., Menezes, L.R.A., Barison, A., Tantillo, D.J., Orth, E.S.||2016||Chemistry – A European Journal ,
22 ( 43 ) pp. 15521 – 15528 .
|12 .||Oil sludge recycling by ash-catalyzed pyrolysis-reforming processes||Shen, Y., Chen, X., Wang, J., Ge, X., Chen, M.||2016||Fuel ,
182 pp. 871 – 878 .
|13 .||Multi-omics integration accurately predicts cellular state in unexplored conditions for Escherichia coli||Kim, M., Rai, N., Zorraquino, V., Tagkopoulos, I.||2016||Nature Communications ,
7 , art. no. 13090
|14 .||Single-molecule charge transport and electrochemical gating in redox-active perylene diimide junctions||Hosseini, S., Madden, C., Hihath, J., Guo, S., Zang, L., Li, Z.||2016||Journal of Physical Chemistry C ,
120 ( 39 ) pp. 22646 – 22654 .
|15 .||Zigzag Sc<inf>2</inf>C<inf>2</inf> Carbide Cluster inside a Fullerene Cage with One Heptagon, Sc<inf>2</inf>C<inf>2</inf>@C<inf>s</inf>(hept)-C<inf>88</inf>: A Kinetically Trapped Fullerene Formed by C<inf>2</inf> Insertion?||Chen, C.-H., Abella, L., Cerón, M.R., Guerrero-Ayala, M.A., Rodríguez-Fortea, A., Olmstead, M.M., Powers, X.B., Balch, A.L., Poblet, J.M., Echegoyen, L.||2016||Journal of the American Chemical Society ,
138 ( 39 ) pp. 13030 – 13037 .
|16 .||The antenna of horse stomach bot flies: Morphology and phylogenetic implications (Oestridae, Gasterophilinae: Gasterophilus Leach)||Zhang, D., Li, X., Liu, X., Wang, Q., Pape, T.||2016||Scientific Reports ,
6 , art. no. 34409
|17 .||Inhibition of Escherichia coli CTP Synthetase by NADH and Other Nicotinamides and Their Mutual Interactions with CTP and GTP||Habrian, C., Chandrasekhara, A., Shahrvini, B., Hua, B., Lee, J., Jesinghaus, R., Barry, R., Gitai, Z., Kollman, J., Baldwin, E.P.||2016||Biochemistry ,
55 ( 39 ) pp. 5554 – 5565 .
|18 .||Efficacy of an anti-CD22 antibody-monomethyl auristatin E conjugate in a preclinical xenograft model of precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia||Yoshida, S., Tuscano, E., Duong, C., Chung, J., Li, Y., Beckett, L., Tuscano, J.M., Satake, N.||2016||Leukemia and Lymphoma ,
pp. 1 – 4 .
Article in Press
|19 .||Galectin-12 inhibits granulocytic differentiation of human NB4 promyelocytic leukemia cells while promoting lipogenesis||Xue, H., Yang, R.-Y., Tai, G., Liu, F.-T.||2016||Journal of Leukocyte Biology ,
100 ( 4 ) pp. 657 – 664 .
|20 .||Ethical issues surrounding psychologists’ use of neuroscience in the promotion and practice of psychotherapy||Bott, N.T., Radke, A.E., Kiely, T.||2016||Professional Psychology: Research and Practice ,
47 ( 5 ) pp. 321 – 329 .
|21 .||Arabidopsis receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase BIK1: Purification, crystallization and X-ray diffraction analysis||Lal, N.K., Fisher, A.J., Dinesh-Kumar, S.P.||2016||Acta Crystallographica Section:F Structural Biology Communications ,
72 ( 10 ) pp. 738 – 742 .
|22 .||Surgical Management of Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Is Decreasing But Is Associated With Improved Survival||David, E.A., Canter, R.J., Chen, Y., Cooke, D.T., Cress, R.D.||2016||Annals of Thoracic Surgery ,
102 ( 4 ) pp. 1101 – 1109 .
|23 .||Impact of mechanical harvesting and optical berry sorting on grape and wine composition||Hendrickson, D.A., Lerno, L.A., Hjelmeland, A.K., Ebeler, S.E., Heymann, H., Hopfer, H., Block, K.L., Brenneman, C.A., Oberholster, A.||2016||American Journal of Enology and Viticulture,
67 ( 4 ) pp. 385 – 397 .
|24 .||Dynamic contrast optical coherence tomography images transit time and quantifies microvascular plasma volume and flow in the retina and choriocapillaris||Merkle, C.W., Leahy, C., Srinivasan, V.J.||2016||Biomedical Optics Express ,
7 ( 10 ) , art. no. #269104 , pp. 4289 – 4312 .
|25 .||Positive energy conditions in 4D conformal field theory||Farnsworth, K., Luty, M.A., Prilepina, V.||2016||Journal of High Energy Physics ,
2016 ( 10 ) , art. no. 1
Leading the News
Power Industry Challenges New York Subsidies Plan For Upstate Nuclear Plants.
EnergyWire (10/20, Rahim, Subscription Publication) reports that NRG Energy and a group representing competitive power generators have launched a legal challenge against a key part of New York state’s Clean Energy Standard: “its subsidies to nuclear power plants.” The groups say the subsidies “give nuclear an unfair leg up against other competitive generators and, in so doing, violate federal jurisdiction over wholesale power markets.” The companies want the court to “invalidate the nuclear part of the program.” New York state’s Public Service Commission Chair Audrey Zibelman, “said she’s confident New York will win in court.” Zibelman called the lawsuit “frivolous” and “right out of [the] fossil fuel industry’s playbook,” asserting that the “The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the rights of states to protect their environment for the welfare [of] citizens.”
Reuters (10/20, Bailey) reports that the complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan Wednesday. The Washington Examiner (10/20, Siciliano) reports that the coalition of utility companies “argues that it is illegal for the public utility commission ‘to raise electric rates’ across the state ‘solely to save several New York nuclear plants that, allegedly, can no longer compete successfully in the federally regulated wholesale electric power market,’ the coalition and its allies said.” One of the group’s key arguments “refers to Supreme Court precedent from the last year siding with the [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission] when it comes to states establishing power plant subsidies.” The high court held that only the commission has the authority to regulate wholesale electricity markets because states’ subsidies would affect electricity being conveyed across state lines.
Some Large Industrial Companies Threaten To Move Away If Subsidies Plan Goes Forward. The Poughkeepsie (NY) Journal (10/20, Zambito) reports that a “groundswell of opposition has sprung up in recent days” to the proposal, with groups like “Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and the New York Public Interest Research Group organizing a petition to head off what they’re calling ‘The Cuomo Tax.’” One estimate suggests the proposal “will add some $3.4 billion to utility bills over the next five years, while another predicts some $7 billion in payments to the upstate plants over the duration of the plan.” Energy-intensive power users “like large industrial companies will pay significantly more than $2 a month” and some of them have “hinted that if the plan moves ahead they would consider taking their business elsewhere, the Journal News/lohud.com has learned.”
NIH Awards $25M To Hopkins For Innovation Center.
The Baltimore Sun (10/20) reports the National Institutes of Health has awarded Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine a seven-year, $25 million grant “to form a trial innovation center with Tufts University School of Medicine.” NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences “awarded the grant to Hopkins’ Brain Injury Outcomes program and its Institute for Clinical and Translational Research to develop a framework for studies conducted between different institutions by collaborating with Tufts.”
DC Council Considering Beefing Up Oversight Of Student Loan Servicers.
The Washington Post (10/20, Douglas-Gabriel) reports the Washington, DC Council is considering “legislation that would give the District greater oversight of the companies that collect student loan payments,” noting that the measure would make the District “one of a handful of jurisdictions to regulate the multi-billion-dollar industry.” The piece notes that consumer advocates and elected officials have criticized student loan servicers “for failing to help place and keep people in affordable repayment plans,” and notes that while ED “draws criticism for lax monitoring of these companies, states are playing more of a role to help residents manage their student debt.”
UCLA: Lessons From June Shooting Lead To Security Upgrades.
The Los Angeles Times (10/19, Resmovits) reports that UCLA on Tuesday released a report on the lessons learned from an analysis of the June 1 attack that left an engineering professor and a student perpetrator dead. The report detailed “the steps it will take to improve its emergency response and attempt to prevent future crises,” such as “better training in emergency procedures…as well as adding locks, using faster emergency communications software, sending out more frequent alerts, and helping staff and faculty learn to detect emotional distress.”
Research Finds Worsening Gender Gap In Computing Fields.
USA Today (10/20, Guynn) reports new research by Accenture and the nonprofit group Girls Who Code warns that the number of women in the computing workforce will decline to 22 percent from 24 percent by 2025 if nothing is done to encourage more girls to study computer science. “The research shows that the gender gap in computing is getting worse, not better,” said Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code. The research recommends hands-on experience with computer games designed for girls in elementary and middle school. Additionally, the report recommends sending girls to summer camps where they would learn about computer science.
Fox Business (10/20, Elavia) reports Accenture’s North America CEO Julie Sweet said that “training more female teachers is key to closing the industry’s gender gap.” According to the study, “girls’ interest in computing increases when they are taught by a female, while boys’ interest remains steady regardless of their teacher’s gender.”
Colorado Tech Firms Facing Challenges Filling 10,000 Job Openings.
The Denver Post (10/19) profiles National Cybersecurity Center CEO Ed Rios, who said at the Colorado Technology Association’s Tech Summit on Wednesday that Colorado firms need to fill some 10,000 job openings. The piece says Rios said employers “need to think differently about how to fill those jobs,” quoting him saying, “We need to extend beyond our traditional academic methods of teaching cyber. We still need cyberengineers, hardware engineers and computer scientists. I’m not saying to stop that. But at the same time, we need to bring in relevant skill sets to match the pace of technology and the changes going on. That way, when a person graduates, they have immediate value.”
Opinion: Zuckerberg And Chan Should Give More Funding To Scientists In Developing World.
Nina Dudnik writes in a Scientific American (10/20, Dudnik) “Guest Blog” that Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan should give more of the $3 billion they pledged to cure all diseases to the “thousands of scientists in the developing world who have spent decades toiling against the diseases that affect the majority of humanity,” as opposed to “the high-profile institutions in their backyard.” Dudnik argues that medical researchers and other scientists in developing countries are doing important work in many fields, but that they are often constrained by “limited access to research funding,” which Zuckerberg and Chan could address. Dudnik also points out that “a typical NIH grant for a US scientist can be hundreds of thousands of dollars” while “typical grants for developing world scientists may be capped at $15,000 and they may come with restrictions on how the money is spent.”
NYTimes: Kenyan Wind Farm Project Shows Great Promise.
The New York Times (10/20, Subscription Publication) editorializes that the wind farm development around the shores of Kenya’s Lake Turkana is “being closely followed across sub-Saharan Africa, where almost two-thirds of the population still has no access to electricity.” The Times says that such a wind-energy development is what Kenya and other sub-Saharan countries need: “abundant power that helps each nation meet its obligations under the Paris climate-change agreement, unleashes economic potential and lights dark homes.” But the project “also demonstrates the huge hurdles in undertaking large projects in a region of poor infrastructure, widespread corruption and weak financial markets.” The Times hopes the wind farm project in Kenya will succeed because it “would be good for Africa, and good for global climate.”
Engineering and Public Policy
Transportation Group Says White House Should Oversee Driverless Cars.
The Washington Post (10/20, Halsey, Laris) reports a white paper released Thursday by the recently formed Alliance for Transportation Innovation argues that the next president should move supervision of driverless vehicles under the auspices of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in order to better keep up with the rapid pace at which the technology is emerging. Paul Brubaker, the chairman of the alliance, said that the Department of Transportation “is not equipped to lead something this big, this complex,” but said that the Office of Science and Technology Policy “has access to the talent, to the mandate and will have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to effectively operationalize” driverless-vehicle technology.
USDOT To Establish Autonomous Vehicle Advisory Committee.
Truckinginfo (10/20, Whitacre) reports Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced that the US Department of Transportation will be establishing “an Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation to help frame federal policy on the development and deployment of autonomous cars and trucks.”
Transport Topics (10/20, Elfin) reports the new committee will be responsible for “assessing DOT’s current research, policy and regulatory support to advance the safe and effective use of autonomous vehicles before presenting recommendations to the secretary,” in addition to exploring “emerging or ‘not-yet-conceived’ innovations to ensure that DOT is prepared when disruptive technologies emerge.”
Litigation Against EPA’s Rule On New Power Plants Mirrors CPP Case.
Greenwire (10/20, Reilly, Subscription Publication) reports that a lawsuit over the EPA’s carbon rule for new power plants “features similar battle lines, many of the same attorneys and the same federal court as the litigation over the Clean Power Plan.” The two rules are “inextricably linked under the Clean Air Act” as the EPA “cannot require existing power plants to meet carbon dioxide limits under Section 111(d) of the law, as it has done in the Clean Power Plan, without requiring new or modified plants to meet limits under Section 111(b),” Greenwire explains.
Silverstein Discusses Feasibility Of Clinton’s Call For “Open Borders” Energy Grid.
In a piece for Forbes (10/20), Ken Silverstein examines the feasibility of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s proposal for “an energy system that crosses borders.” Silverstein writes, “given that the utilities in this country find it nearly impossible to expand their transmission systems even a few miles, it would seem insurmountable to stretch the wires from one continent to another,” although grid modernization “is making those systems more efficient and allowing more space on them to carry wind and solar electrons.” With more infrastructure, Silverstein says it would be “theoretically possible in some cases” to transmit renewable energy across continents. Silverstein mentions that “California will be increasing its renewable energy standard to 50 percent by 2030, up from 33 percent by 2020,” which will eventually mean that “the state’s investor-owned utilities – Edison International’s Southern California Edison, PG&E Corp. and Sempra Energy’s San Diego Gas & Electric – will need to construct new transmission lines.”
San Diego Officials Announce Delay Of Solar Project.
The San Diego Union-Tribune (10/20) reports officials in San Diego “announced a fresh delay” yesterday “in a solar project that Mayor Kevin Faulconer introduced at a news conference a year ago.” The most recent “extension pushes the agreement with SunEdison back to at least April 2017 and perhaps as late as June of next year.” In a statement issued yesterday the city said, “The city and SunEdison have settled on a tentative agreement that will extend the commercial operation date by approximately six to eight months and SunEdison has agreed to compensate the city for the opportunity costs related to the delay.”
White House Will Welcome “Kid Science Advisors” On Friday.
The Washington Post (10/20, Matos) reports the White House will welcome 11 “Kid Science Advisors” – outstanding students from among the 2,500 who submitted ideas about science, technology, engineering, and math education to the White House. The students are scheduled to meet with President Obama’s science adviser, John Holdren, as well as astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly, NASA Director Charles Bolden, and National Science Foundation Director France Cordova.
Montana Schools Chief Releases College, Career Readiness Guidelines.
The Billings (MT) Gazette (10/20) reports Montana Superintendent Denise Juneau on Thursday released “a framework for unraveling the meaning behind a wide-open phrase — ‘college and career ready.’” The guidelines include “a set of measurable objectives indicating college and career readiness.” The guidelines recommend that “students identify a career path” and complete at least three items on a list of related benchmarks.
Utah CTE Event Aims To Connect Students With Employers.
KSL-TV Salt Lake City (10/20) reports on an event held in Sandy, Utah on October 12-13 called the Pathways to Professions showcase, in which some 10,000 students and adults participated. The piece quotes Jordan School District Director of Career and Technical Education Jason Skidmore saying, “Our conversations have been around how we connect students with industry….about getting from point A to point B and that career, that job.” Some 200 firms were represented.
Thursday’s Lead Stories
• ESA Confirms Schiaparelli’s Mars Landing.
• NYTimes Calls For Higher Standards For College Accreditors.
• Engineers Develop Wearable Device To Combat Drunk Driving.
• Commentary: Clinton Expresses Interest In Tech Sector Gender Parity Issues.
• Nintendo Set To Reveal New NX Game Console.
• Vermont Village Approves New Approach To Hydro Renovation Project.
• First Robotics Competition Holds Regional Round In Waco, Texas For First Time.
Leading the News
ESA Confirms Schiaparelli’s Mars Landing.
The Independent (UK) (10/19, Griffin) reports that the European Space Agency (ESA) confirmed that the Schiaparelli probe landed on Mars via a signal sent from the Mars Express spacecraft, in orbit around the planet. Scientists “didn’t initially confirm that meant that the lander had arrived on the planet safely,” the article reports. ExoMars manager Don McCoy had announced earlier on Wednesday that Schiaparellia had entered Mars’ atmosphere and deployed its parachute.
The New York Times (10/19, Chang, Subscription Publication) reports that Schiaparelli’s signal disappeared sometime during its descent. ESA Mission Operations Department head Paolo Ferri said, “At a certain point, it stopped. … It was unexpected, but we couldn’t conclude anything from that.”
Schiaperelli Tracked By GMRT, MRO. On the Rocket Science Blog (10/18) ESOC Operations Engineer Thomas Ormston described how scientists are able to track the flights of spacecraft such as the Schiaperelli Mars lander through monitoring of UHF radio signal transmissions using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), located in Pune, India. Schiaparelli began transmissions “nearly 1.5 hours before the Entry Interface Point,” and was due to continue transmission through descent and touchdown. GMRT tracking enables scientists to monitor spacecraft descents and landings in real time. The NASA/JPL’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) was scheduled to fly over the Schiaparelli landing site about two hours after landing to capture “status information and data from the lander.”
NYTimes Calls For Higher Standards For College Accreditors.
A New York Times (10/20, Subscription Publication) editorial says the “system created by Congress to determine eligibility” for federal funding for higher education “virtually guarantees that a portion…will be wasted by schools that have abysmally low standards, high dropout rates and, in many cases, saddle students with huge debt in exchange for useless degrees.” Congress, it argues, “can remedy this problem by changing the way schools are accredited and by giving the Department of Education more say in the process.” The Times offers its support for a bill pending in the Senate that would “force accreditors to respond more quickly to investigations and lawsuits alleging fraud by the schools, and to root out conflicts of interest that lead to cozy relations between accreditors and the schools they are supposed to oversee.”
College Students Create Election Prediction Model Forecasting Clinton Win.
USA Today (10/18) reports that Election Analytics @ Illinois, a project created by college students, predicts “election winners through combining multiple polls” and works “combining current polling data and results from the last presidential election to construct voter turnout models.” The piece reports University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professor Sheldon H. Jacobson aid “the polling system weights polls based on sample size and recency.”
Research and Development
Engineers Develop Wearable Device To Combat Drunk Driving.
CBS News (10/19, Mastroianni) reports on an experimental wearable device by engineers at the University of California with funding from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) that can detect alcohol levels from perspiration and send it to a smartphone, letting a user know when they have had too much to drink. NIBB Tissue Chips Director Seila Selimovic explained, “It resembles a temporary tattoo, but is actually a biosensor patch that is embedded with several flexible wireless components.” The device aims to cut back on drunk-driving related car accidents and chronic health problems. The article mentions that according to the NHTSA, over 9,900 people are killed each year in drunk driving accidents.
Malfunction Prevented Juno Spacecraft From Observing Jupiter During Close Flyby.
The New York Times (10/19, Chang, Subscription Publication) reports that NASA’s Juno spacecraft “experienced a malfunction” prior to its flyby of the planet Jupiter on Wednesday, after which the spacecraft put itself into safe mode, shutting down its instruments and restarting its computer. The malfunction prevented Juno from collecting data or images during its close flyby of the planet, but an opportunity for another close flyby will occur on December 11.
ABC News (10/19, Chang) reports that NASA is in communication with Juno, “but its activities are limited until engineers diagnose what went wrong.”
AFP (10/20) quotes Juno Project Manager Rick Nybakken, who said, “At the time safe mode was entered, the spacecraft was more than 13 hours from its closest approach to Jupiter. … We were still quite a ways from the planet’s more intense radiation belts and magnetic fields. The spacecraft is healthy and we are working our standard recovery procedure.”
IBM Plans To Leverage Watson, Medical Research Labs To Further Expand Artificial Intelligence Footprint.
The New York Times (10/19, Subscription Publication) reports that IBM is “betting its future” on the success of its artificial intelligence division, headlined by its Watson technology and associated business initiatives. Among related AI investments the company plans on making, the report lists a new Watson-based offering in genomics, gene sequencing, and medical diagnostic analysis as a major part of its strategy going forward. Senior vice president of IBM’s research labs and Watson division envisions great things for the firm’s health industry contribution, commenting specifically on how the technology can collaborate with various medical labs to target a variety of diseases. The report adds, that “the technology, IBM executives say, has the potential to make precision medicine and tailored therapies available to millions of cancer patients instead of the small number now treated at elite medical centers with genomics expertise.”
Prof. Stephen Hawking Warns About Potential Consequences of AI.
The Daily Mail (10/19, Best) reports that renowned Professor Stephen Hawking is warning about the potential conflict that could result from increased experimentation with artificial intelligence technology. According to Hawking, among the dangers presented by AI, are their capacity to create “powerful autonomous weapons” that could have dire consequences globally. Hawking, also however added, that “if sufficient research is done to avoid the risks, it could help in humanity’s aims to ‘finally eradicate disease and poverty.’”
Automakers Beating Silicon Valley At Car Tech Game.
Engadget (10/19, Baldwin) reports that with Apple reportedly scaling back its Titan EV/autonomous car project, and with Google continuing to report how often other drivers run into its vehicles, automakers such as Ford, GM, Audi, Mercedes, Honda, BMW, and Tesla have themselves introduced vehicles with semi-autonomous features. Engadget observes that “Research is great, but shipping a product is the end goal.” Automakers are not only shipping, but they are also iterating faster than before. Google has expressed its desire to partner with an automaker, and Apple reportedly has a similar aim, but a “big question” remains: “Do the car companies need them?” Engadget believes “[t]he next stage of driving (or not driving, as the case may be) is exciting. But right now and for the foreseeable future, it’s going to be automakers, not tech giants, pushing the technology forward.”
Commentary: Clinton Expresses Interest In Tech Sector Gender Parity Issues.
Stern Group founder Paula Stern writes in commentary for The Hill (10/19) “Pundit’s Blog” about the impact of the tech sector on the overall US economy, and points out that eliminating gender gaps in the industry brings “the potential to significantly boost the tech sector and the American economy overall.” Moreover, the issue of gender disparity in computer science and the IT industry “has begun to gain some serious traction in recent months, capturing the interest of heavy-hitters like Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and philanthropist Melinda Gates.”
Nintendo Set To Reveal New NX Game Console.
Bloomberg News (10/20, Alpeyev) reports that Nintendo today is finally set to reveal its new NX gaming platform. The console has been anticipated for some time now, and according to Ace Research Institute analyst Hideki Yasuda, “the reveal comes relatively late for a game console that is slated to go on sale in March.” Forbes (10/19) similarly adds that the late October debut would make the time between the presentation and official release “a very short window, shorter than what nearly every other console” has received in the past. Business Insider (10/19) also reports.
Engineering and Public Policy
Vermont Village Approves New Approach To Hydro Renovation Project.
The AP (10/19) reports officials in the Vermont village of Enosburg Falls “are moving forward with a phased approach to a hydro renovation project.” The village’s Board of Trustees “approved appropriating $107,000 from the village electric department for the project at its Oct. 4 meeting.” The project which involves “engineering firm H.L Turner Group and Pennsylvania-based manufacturer Kingsbury Inc. aims to upgrade the village’s four-blade turbine runner at its hydroelectric facilities.”
Report Finds Solar Power Compensation Isn’t Enough.
Fuel Fix (TX) (10/19) reports according research compiled and released this week by Environment Texas, “utility customers around the country who rely on individual solar power generation could be under-compensated by their local utility companies.” Forty-one U.S. states “offer solar energy users net metering, which repays those users at retail prices for the extra energy they offer the grid” and the report contends “those repayments are not equal to the value of the power generated.” Environment Texas “examined 16 studies of solar power grids around the country–including two in San Antonio and Austin–and found that in most cases solar users are being underpaid in exchange for the energy they produce.” E&E Publishing (10/19, Subscription Publication) reports in a statement co-author of the report Bret Fanshaw said, “Rooftop solar users are givers, not takers, when it comes to the value they provide to society and the electric system. … In many cases it appears that solar programs are a bargain for utilities, not a burden.” The study found “the median value of rooftop solar energy in the 16 analyses was 16.35 cents per kilowatt-hour…while an average residential retail rate in related states was about 13 cents per kWh.”
Colorado Shifts To Wind Power As Mountain States Shift to Natural Gas.
The Denver Post (10/19, Svaldi) reports that according to the EIA, Colorado is shifting to wind power while most mountain states are shifting to natural gas for power generation. The Post explains that “wind sources added 6.7 billion kilowatt-hours to the generation mix in the state the past decade, more than what wind added in Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Montana and Utah combined.” Gwen Farnsworth, a senior energy policy advisor with Western Resource Advocates, said that a utility has a motivation to use established renewable generation capacity when available over sources that burn fuels.
Vermont Town Plans To Place Solar Array On Old Landfill.
The AP (10/19) reports South Burlington, Vermont officials are “looking to install a solar array on top of an old landfill in an attempt to gain something out of a strip of land that can’t be used for much else.” The city, according to a report by Vermont Public Radio, is “collaborating” with Altus Power American and Encore Renewable Energy “on the project, which seeks to place solar panels on a three-foot soil ‘cap’ on top of the landfill.”
First Robotics Competition Holds Regional Round In Waco, Texas For First Time.
The AP (10/19) reports that “for the first time this year, all three Waco-based teams that compete in the internationally-recognized First Robotics Competition are led by girls, and they have worked the past several months to bring the competition to the city.” While the competition has usually been held in Dallas or Houston, “the Rapoport Academy, Harmony Science Academy and Girl Scout Troop 3994 managed to bring a regional round of the FRC to the area for the first time this spring.”
Oceanside, California Students Take Part In PLTW Robot Building.
KGTV-TV San Diego (10/19) reports on its website that students at Palmquist Elementary School in Oceanside, California “put their engineering skills to work Wednesday in an effort to build robots. Project Lead the Way developed the curriculum, which teaches students to think critically.” The school is currently “the only elementary school in the Oceanside Unified School District that teaches the curriculum to students as young as kindergarten.”
Omaha-Area Students Take Part In Manufacturing Day.
The Omaha (NE) World-Herald (10/19) reports, “More than 150 Omaha-area high school students toured one of four regional manufacturers Wednesday as part of Nebraska’s annual Manufacturing Day.” The event, “coordinated by the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership and the Partnership’s Manufacturing Council, connects area high schools with local manufacturers, with the aim of introducing students to manufacturing careers.”
Economist Says Engineering And Vocational Studies Must Be Expanded.
Peter Morici, an economist and business professor at the University of Maryland, writes in the Washington Times (10/18) that “rekindling growth and creating enough good-paying jobs will require wholly rethinking how we educate and socialize young people for work.” He writes that “further subsidizing college tuition and more resources for public schools” is not sufficient. Rather, “we need to dramatically expand engineering and other applied arts as was once the primary mission of state universities, send fewer students to four-year colleges, and steer more young people and resources into vocational tracks at community colleges.”
Wednesday’s Lead Stories
• Federal Interagency Task Force Recommends Safety Upgrades For Natural Gas Storage Facilities.
• Clark Foundation Gives Johns Hopkins $15 Million To Support STEM Undergrads.
• Microsoft Says Speech Recognition Technology Now On Par With Humans.
• Grace Hopper Conference Highlights Women In Tech Industry.
• Brexit Could Negatively Impact UK Research.
• California Town Leads Charge Into Solar Power Mandates.
• Google Study Highlights Race/Gender Gaps In Computer Science Education.
|Frankfurt Book Fair 2016 begins|
The annual Frankfurt Book Fair began with THE ARTS+, the new marketplace for the business of creativity at the Frankfurter Buchmesse, on Wednesday morning. This is the place at the fair where creativity meets technology, art meets innovation, content meets business. About 7,100 exhibitors from more than 100 countries are attending the Frankfurt Book Fair this year. Over the course of the next 5 days, the fair will offer over 4,000 events featuring renowned writers and publishing professionals.
|Elsevier announces new release of Reaxys|
STM publisher Elsevier has announced the launch of the new release of Reaxys, a chemistry research experience that delivers relevant literature and data more than twice as fast as any other solution. The new Reaxys combines a highly streamlined user interface with search and indexing enhancements powered by machine learning algorithms to ensure maximum discoverability.
|Karger announces 54th participation, ‘Topic Article Packages’ and cooperation with Altmetric at Frankfurt Book Fair|
Karger Medical and Scientific Publishers will participate for the 54th time in the Frankfurt Book Fair where it will introduce its new product ‘Topic Article Package’ and announce its cooperation with Altmetric. These packages consist of journal articles and book chapters individually compiled on different topics with the help of a semantic search. The first ‘Topic Article Package’ to become available will cover diabetes.
|Charleston pre-conference preview: SSP announces Predators, “Pirates” and Privacy – a panel discussion on new challenges in publishing|
Offered in collaboration with the Charleston Library Conference, the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP)presents a pre-conference session titled Predators, “Pirates” and Privacy: Educating Researchers on New Challenges in Publishing. It will be held November 2, 2016, the day preceding the annual Charleston Conference, at the Courtyard Marriott, Charleston, SC.
|Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. launches OA platform, LiebertOpenAccess.com|
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, has announced the launch of its LiebertOpenAccess.com platform, featuring the company’s open access publications and services in one online destination. Using the latest technology,LiebertOpenAccess.com offers an intuitive interface and tools to help researchers discover free, open access content and explore the Liebert Open Access publishing services.
|IOP signs partnership agreement with British Institute of Radiology|
The IOP and the British Institute of Radiology (BIR) have signed an agreement to strengthen collaboration between them and to offer a 25% discount on the first year of membership to existing members of the IOP who join the BIR, and vice versa. The arrangement is set out in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which was signed by the IOP’s chief executive, Professor Paul Hardaker, and the BIR’s president, Andy Rogers, at the Institute’s London centre on October 6.
|IET and WES make journal of the Women’s Engineering Society digitally available for the first time|
The Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) have digitally published The Woman Engineer (TWE), providing online access to 18 volumes from 1919 to 2014 for the first time. The TWE journal, which contains a wealth of information about women in engineering, was first published by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) in 1919.
|New functionality and design introduced to Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy|
Academic publisher Taylor & Francis Group has introduced new functionality and design to Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy is committed to updates on a quarterly basis providing both newly commissioned articles alongside revisions to older content. Providing fifty-four new or updated articles in the past year Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy claims to be the most updated product on the market today.
Leading the News
Federal Interagency Task Force Recommends Safety Upgrades For Natural Gas Storage Facilities.
The AP (10/18) reports a “year after a blowout” at the Aliso Canyon gas well in Southern California “spewed tons of natural gas and drove thousands from their homes,” a federal task force has recommended “dozens of safety changes for the nation’s 400 underground natural gas storage wells.” A report by an interagency task force released yesterday “recommends that operators of gas-storage facilities conduct strict risk assessments and develop robust safety procedures,” including making sure “that wells have backup systems to contain gas flows in the event of a leak.” Scientists say that the Aliso Canyon leak was the “largest-known release of climate-changing methane in U.S. history.”
The Hill (10/18, Cama) reports the task force was organized by the Department of Energy. In the report Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said, “No community should have to go through something like the Aliso Canyon leak again. … It is up to industry to implement these recommendations in a timely fashion, while state and federal officials develop regulations that enhance the safety of underground storage facilities in the United States.” The are “44 distinct recommendations to the industry and regulators” outlined in the report. Reuters (10/18) reports that Under Secretary for Science and Energy at the Energy Department Franklin Orr and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Administrator Marie-Therese Dominguez co-chaired the task force.
Platts (10/18) reports Orr “said the task force’s recommendations are designed to prevent incidents such as Aliso Canyon from ever recurring.” He stated, “We need to work to make sure that something like that doesn’t happen again. It caused real destruction and they’re still working to deal with the problems created by not having that facility available.”
The Wall Street Journal (10/18, Smith, Subscription Publication) reports the American Gas Association signaled that it was happy the report highlighted that gas storage is important. Interstate Natural Gas Association of America head Don Santa expressed some concerns about the recommendation calling for “double barriers” saying that the recommendation could impact “the majority of U.S. natural gas storage wells.” NPR (10/18) and a second Reuters (10/18) article also provide additional coverage.
Clark Foundation Gives Johns Hopkins $15 Million To Support STEM Undergrads.
WTOP-FM Washington (10/18) reports in continued coverage that the Clark Charitable Foundation is giving Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering $15 million “to provide financial aid and to create a new academic program for undergraduate engineering students.” This gift is the biggest the school has ever received.
Citybizlist (10/18) reports the gift “honors the late A. James Clark, a former trustee of the university and of Johns Hopkins Medicine, and a construction engineer and executive for more than 60 years” and will establish “the Clark Scholars Program” and will bolster “the university’s ability to attract talented engineering students while providing need-based aid, the university said.”
University Of Oregon To Receive Record-Breaking Donation.
The Washington Post (10/18, Svrluga) reports the University of Oregon will receive a $500 million dollar gift, allowing it to “build a new campus to kick-start scientific research into real-world impact.” According to University President Michael Schill, the gift “has the potential to jump-start the regional economy as well, and to provide an ambitious model for the future of public higher education.” Since the year 2000, the University of Oregon’s state funding has been slashed by more than 50 percent, so Schill says the gift “is a remarkable vote of confidence in a public university that has really been disinvested by the state.” Because the university doesn’t have a medical or engineering school, the original goal for the donation of “finding a cure for disease” has limitations. The donation will be used instead for developing “an environment that is conducive to the next generation of discoveries,” according to acting executive director the campus Patrick Phillips.
Plan To End Ban On Higher Education Data Collection Draws Criticism.
Politico Morning Education (10/18) reports on opposition to a bipartisan plan in Congress to “lift a federal ban on tracking individual students through college and into the workforce,” noting that backers “say lifting the ban is the only way to get critical information such as a college’s true graduation rate and average salaries of graduates from different majors in particular schools. But opponents…say that changing the law comes at too high of a cost — particularly in a time of hackers and problematic internet leaks.”
New Research Says Women’s Spatial Reasoning Not Inferior To Mens’.
The Huffington Post (10/18) reports on the “enduring stereotype that women tend to be worse than men when it comes to spatial reasoning,” noting that decades of research “supports this view,” which has been cited as a reason for women being underrepresented in STEM fields. However, a new study published in the journal Psychological Science “found that women performed better on spatial reasoning tests when certain superficial aspects of the tests were changed.” Researchers “asked 135 college students to take a test involving spatial perspectives,” and women’s performance equaled that of men when the questions were rewritten so that they were presented as “a type of social intelligence test that women tend to do better at than men.”
Research and Development
Microsoft Says Speech Recognition Technology Now On Par With Humans.
Several reports today discuss Microsoft’s new speech recognition technology, which according to CBS News (10/18, Mastroianni), Microsoft has described as having reached “human parity” in the ability to now “equal humans in the ability to recognize words.” While USA Today (10/18, Cava) reports that chief speech scientist at Microsoft Xuedong Huang has referred to the breakthrough as a “historic achievement,” The Verge (10/18, Byford)predicts the update is “far from an endgame” for the technology. The software will require a wider range of arduous testing, according to The Verge, and needs to take on additional, “more challenging real-life situations and with a broader selection of devices.” Mashable (10/18, Bell) and PC World (10/18, Thibodeau) offers similar coverage.
Battelle Develops Revolutionary Navy Bandage.
Military (10/18, Seck) reports Ohio-based research company Battelle, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, has developed “a new Navy bandage wrap that promises to prevent limb loss or even death by keeping severely wounded arms and legs clean and protected for up to three days.” The bandage wrap, Acute Care Cover for the Severely Injured Limb (ACCSIL), is “designed to be carried by medics and corpsmen” and features “an outer cover that conforms to the shape of the wounded arm or leg to inhibit blood loss, keep the limb warm, and block dirt.” Furthermore, the bandage includes an “inner ‘bioactive’ layer that uses chemical compounds to treat pain, prevent flesh from dying out, and stop infection,” according to ONR officials. Researchers also “believe the new Navy bandage wrap could also be useful in industrial settings and aboard ships, where sailors and Marines are at greater risk for crush injuries and burns.”
Google’s Made With Code Encourages Women To Learn Coding.
In a piece highlighting the need for women in coding and STEM, U.S. News & World Report (10/18, Golod) applauds women like Rose Broome, founder and chief executive officer of HandUp, who was featured on Google’s Made with Code website for using coding “to make a difference.” Google launched Made with Code in 2014, hoping to “inspire girls to learn how to code and to expose them to the idea that coding is a means for achieving their professional aspirations.” In May 2014, Google’s study “Women Who Choose Computer Science – What Really Matters,” found “that encouragement and exposure are instrumental to inspiring girls’ pursuit of computer science.” Groups across the nation, like Girls Scouts of the USA, are encouraging young girls to use the program to “play creative games, practice STEM skills and learn about other girls and women who are using code to achieve their dreams.”
Robot Pilot Technology Being Developed For Cargo And Passenger Planes.
The AP (10/18, Lowy) reports private contractor Aurora Flight Sciences is collaborating with the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop a “program that seeks to replace the second human pilot in two-person flight crews with a robot co-pilot that never tires, gets bored, feels stressed out or gets distracted.” Suffering shortages of trained pilots, military and airlines officials believe there is “an advantage to reducing the number of pilots required to fly large aircraft while at the same time increasing safety and efficiency by having a robot pick up the mundane tasks of flying.” The program, called Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS), goes beyond currently used aircraft autopilot, by making spontaneous decisions. ALIAS learns from experience and “the entire history of flight in that type of plane.” Officials say some features of ALIAS “could be adopted within the next five years.” The technology isn’t without critics, though, as some pilot unions are skeptical about the program’s decision making skills.
AARP, University Of Illinois Create “Nest” For Tech Research.
In continuing coverage, Crain’s Chicago Business (10/18, Ruiz-Branch) reports on AARP’s collaboration with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on the new Tech Nest in Research Park, which will “allow the company to collaborate with students on technology-based research and solutions” for issues faced by those over 50. AARP Illinois director of communications Gerardo Cardenas called the rapidly increasing senior population a “demographic phenomenon unlike any other,” an understanding of which is essential to addressing the needs of AARP’s membership. Students working in the Tech Nest will develop prototypes in “artificial intelligence, mobile apps, information security, biometrics, and software engineering” under guidance from an AARP mentor, and the students will be compensated for their work.
Robotic Fleet To Monitor Deep Ocean Heat Uptake.
ClimateWire (10/18, Patterson, Subscription Publication) reports aquatic machines called Argo floats are surveying oceans to measure heat content and have “revolutionized scientists’ ability to study how climate change is affecting the seas.” The robotic fleet will now enter “the deepest ocean abyss” to inform scientists about “deep ocean heat uptake.” According to a report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress, “oceans have taken up 93 percent of the warming created by humans since the 1970s.” Two deep sea Argo floats were deployed in New Zealand in June 2014, and “the goal is to expand the program to have global coverage.” Scientists have said “learning more about where the heat sucked up by the ocean is being stored” is crucial “because it ties directly to the ability of mankind to stave off the worst effects of a changing climate.”
Grace Hopper Conference Highlights Women In Tech Industry.
U.S. News & World Report (10/18, Golod) reports the 16th Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) begins October 19th in Houston. The event is “an opportunity for women who are working in technical roles in the industry to get together to both share technical information and ideas and skill sets, but also to share inspiration, encouragement and to partake in sessions that will help them to expand their skill set, both technically and professionally,” says Elizabeth Ames, senior vice president of marketing, alliances and programs at the Anita Borg Institute. Additional opportunities presented through the event are networking and recruitment. GHC allows women to view “the potential influence of role models” and connect “with other like-minded women.” Software engineer at Pinterest Stephanie deWet will speak at two sessions during the conference, highlighting the “major gender gap within software engineering.”
Brexit Could Negatively Impact UK Research.
The New York Times (10/17, De Freytas-Tamura, Subscription Publication) reports that the UK’s planned withdrawal from the European Union is causing anxiety among entrepreneurs in the research and science fields, given the prospect that skilled workers will no longer be able to cross borders without visas. This anxiety, the Times reports, is “acutely felt in the scientific community, dependent as it is on long-term funding, cross-border mobility and international collaboration.” Britain “has long been a global leader in scientific research,” and “excels at health sciences and advanced engineering, areas that have thrived partly because of factors tied to Britain’s membership in the bloc.”
Thales Opens New Satellite Propulsion Center In Belfast.
The Irish Independent (10/19, Canning) reports Astronaut Tim Peake opened Thales’ “new £6m (€6.7m) space propulsion centre in Belfast,” which “will be manufacturing propulsion systems for sending high-tech satellites into space.”
BBC News (UK) (10/18) reports Philip McBride, the head of Thales in Belfast, “said the city’s engineering heritage was a factor in the company choosing its Castlereagh site to manufacture electric-powered rocket boosters.” The company is hoping that electric propulsion technology “will be a game changer for the satellite industry.”
Engineering and Public Policy
California Town Leads Charge Into Solar Power Mandates.
E&E Publishing (10/18, Mulkern, Subscription Publication) reports Lancaster, California was the first city in the U.S. to mandate all new homes built must add solar power, leading more cities to adopt similar measures. Next year in San Francisco, “all new buildings 10 stories or less must add solar power,” a mandate passed as “part of its goal to cut carbon emissions and limit climate change.” Other California cities have similar requirements, that are proving efficient “in changing the environment,” according to Stanford University Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Mark Jacobson. He predicts that trend “will catch on slowly at first but then speed up until most cities in the U.S. will ultimately adopt some type of ordinance.” California is “leading the charge on this effort nationwide, but these conversations are definitely beginning to happen elsewhere,” says Solar Energy Industries Association Senior Communications Manager Alex Hobson. Home buyers in Lancaster applaud the mandate, stating it reduces energy bills and adds value to homes.
Study: Solar Power Has Value For Utilities, Customers.
The Baltimore Sun (10/18, Gantz) reports that Baltimore nonprofit Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center released a report Tuesday that “aims to highlight the benefits of solar energy as Baltimore forges ahead with a financing model to make solar available to low-income homeowners.” Solar energy costs 3 cents more than the average retail electricity rate, according to the review of 16 studies, but solar benefits to customers and utilities include price stability and reduced demand for electricity and need for utilities’ capital improvements.
Google Study Highlights Race/Gender Gaps In Computer Science Education.
USA Today (10/18, Guynn) reports new research released by Google and Gallup indicates a significant lack of women, blacks, and Latino students in the field of computer science education, a gap Google hopes will be eliminated through the research. Although computer science classes are being increasingly offered nationally, “disparities persist in who has access to computer science education.” Google’s Sepehr Hejazi Moghadam believes “structural and social barriers still keep girls and underrepresented minorities from studying computer science.” The major tech companies in Silicon Valley are currently “staffed mostly by white and Asian men.” Google has said it has increased hiring of black and Hispanic workers, but this “has not budged the overall percentage of underrepresented minorities in the Google workforce.” Additionally, seven out of ten Google employees are male. Moghadam stated: “For us, a diversity of perspectives, ideas and cultures within the company and the industry overall lead to the creation of better products and services that meet the needs of all users.”
Oregon English Teacher Urges Passage Of CTE Funding Bill.
In a Salem (OR) Statesman Journal (10/18, Spaulding) op-ed, local English teacher Caroline Spaulding highlights the benefits of vocational and career technical courses and laments that “most Oregon high schools offer little to no career technical education (CTE).” Spaulding claims the “shortsighted decision” to cut CTE “has left most of our state’s high schools with barebones or no vocational education.” Therefore, Spaulding endorses Measure 98, which funds some CTE programs, to “get our students graduating and succeeding.”
Miami-Dade Students Contribute To New STEAM-Focused Musical.
The Miami Herald (10/18) reports Miami-Dade Schools seventh-grade students and teachers visited the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami on Oct. 14 “to contribute to ‘Kitty Hawk,’ one of the first STEAM-focused musicals in the nation.” In a release, the Arsht Center explains the musical, which “aims to make history come alive and be more relevant and fun for seventh-graders learning about Wilbur and Orville Wright’s historic first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903,” also “aims to fuel student interest in pursuing a science, technology, engineering, arts or mathematics career – collectively known as STEAM.”
Tuesday’s Lead Stories
• Bloomberg: Apple Sets Deadline For Project Titan Self-Driving Car Initiative.
• Clark Foundation Gives Johns Hopkins $15 Million For Engineering Scholarships.
• MIT, Harvard Researchers Create Implantable Optic Fibers That May Detect Disease.
• Manufacturing Sector Struggles To Find Software Engineers, Developers.
• Grid Improvements Lessen Length Of Outages Following Major Storms.
• Girl Scouts CEO Wants Girls To Learn To Code.
Leading the News
Bloomberg: Apple Sets Deadline For Project Titan Self-Driving Car Initiative.
On Monday, Bloomberg News (10/17, Gurman, Webb) published a report in which it claimed Apple executives set a clear deadline for its Project Titan autonomous car development team to produce a feasible product. By the deadline, Bloomberg said, the project members must not only evidence the feasibility of the Apple Car, but also determine a final direction for the project. Media outlets that covered the issue overwhelmingly predicted that Apple will terminate its Apple Car initiative and pointed to Project Titan’s tumultuous two years to support that prediction.
Quoting the Bloomberg report, Investor’s Business Daily (10/17, Seitz) explains that “Apple executives have given the car team a deadline of late next year to prove the feasibility of the self-driving system,” after which it will focus solely on the development of an autonomous driving software system. CNBC (10/17) says prior to the deadline, Project Titan already refocused its efforts on the development of an independent driving system instead of on the creation of an actual self-driving car. This shift in strategy, says CNBC, will grant Apple the option of marketing the self-driving system to existing car manufacturers, should Project Titan fail to produce a feasible demo by the deadline.
TIME (10/17) explains that Apple has encountered a variety of setbacks in the initiative and began shifting its focus in July, when it brought Apple veteran Bob Mansfield onto Project Titan. Engadget (10/17) says an unnamed source told Bloomberg that the initiative was “an incredible failure of leadership” until Mansfield took over as the team lead and reshaped the project’s direction. The article points to auto industry suppliers’ unwillingness to invest in Apple’s initiative as yet another setback to Project Titan. The Verge (10/17) similarly says Apple “underestimated the complexity” involved in the auto industry, “particularly the challenges of automotive supply chains.”
TechCrunch (10/17) explains, “If a company doesn’t have the right technology, engineers and strategy, then it could end up being a costly mistake. That’s why Apple is treading carefully.” The article says “Apple is having second-thoughts about becoming a car company” in part because Project Titan also experienced a string of leadership and directional changes. AppleInsider (10/17, Fingas) notes that prior to the deadline announcement, hundreds of Project Titan team members already left voluntarily, were reassigned, or fired. The remaining team members are allegedly developing self-driving code and sensors and simulators in preparation for real-world testing scenarios. Those developments, Motor Trend (10/17) claims, show that Apple intends to develop “autonomous drive software that would be sold to automakers and other third parties” while simultaneously leaving open the option to develop a car in-house. Motor Trend concedes that when Apple brought on Mansfield as the new Project Titan chief in May, however, it effectively “put the kibosh on the Apple Car” and “did not inspire confidence” in the initiative.
Popular Mechanics (10/17) praises Apple’s strategy shift and says “Apple enjoys huge profit margins and exclusive rights to certain components manufactured by suppliers,” but the company lacks the “complex and well-established relationships between traditional automakers and suppliers, as well as the astounding regulatory burden of putting a new car on the market.” That challenge, the article suggests, “must have looked insurmountable to the Titan team.”
Business Insider (10/17) similarly suggests that Apple either “wanted to develop a vehicle to use future technologies that aren’t practical or accessible today; or that Apple is completely incompetent when it comes to this car project.” It adds that those optimistic about Apple’s introduction of a self-driving vehicle within the next decade will likely “be disappointed.” Business Insider claims that Apple’s best course of action “is to develop a comprehensive automotive interface of some sort, a CarPlay that takes over your entire vehicle.”
PC World (10/17) more optimistically writes that “Apple develops and prototypes devices and software all the time” but most of those efforts never manifest into actual products, a practice engaged by most technology companies. PC World says “the oft-rumored Apple television set is a good example of that.” PC Magazine (10/17) posits that Apple is still exploring the idea of creating an autonomous car and points to the company’s attainment of auto-themed website domain names and its hiring of several Tesla executives. MIT Technology Review (10/17) suggests that the harder deadline could force the Project Titan team members to focus more intensely on the initiative but, like the majority of media outlets on the issue, says Apple “may ultimately end up canning the project.” Regardless of the outcome, the article says, the harder deadline “appears to be a vitalizing force that the team needs.”
Clark Foundation Gives Johns Hopkins $15 Million For Engineering Scholarships.
The Baltimore Sun (10/17) reports Johns Hopkins University has announced that it is receiving $15 million from the Clark Charitable Foundation “to provide financial aid for undergraduate engineering students.” This is the largest gift Hopkins’ Whiting School of Engineering has received to date. The Baltimore Business Journal (10/17, Subscription Publication) also covers this story.
NSF Awards Grant To Six Universities For Pilot Engineering “Redshirt” Programs.
In a more than 1,600-word article, the Urbana/Champaign (IL) News-Gazette (10/16, Wurth) reports on the National Science Foundation’s recent award of a five-year, $5 million grant to a six-university consortium “to implement a bridge year for incoming freshmen from disadvantaged backgrounds,” which at the University of Illinois is an “engineering “redshirt” program” to help “who show academic promise but may be unprepared for the rigors of college because they had fewer opportunities in high school.” The News-Gazette adds that “the NSF wants to see if the program could be implemented across the country, said Professor Kevin Pitts, associate dean of undergraduate programs and one of three lead investigators on the grant.”
UT Board Votes To Name College Of Engineering.
Tennessee Today (10/14) reported Friday that the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees “voted today to name the College of Engineering for distinguished alumnus John D. Tickle,” the chairman of the Strongwell Corporation, the second time in the 22-year history of the university “that a college has been named for an alumnus and benefactor.” The piece adds Tickle recently made a “transformational gift [that] will impact every aspect of the college–from students and faculty to research and facilities.”
Texas For-Profit Shutting Down After Employees Violated Student Aid Rules.
The San Antonio Express-News (10/16) reports San Antonio, Texas’ Career Point College has announced that it is “closing immediately,” saying in an announcement that “management discovered that three long-term employees had ‘collaborated to violate the rules related to student aid funds.’” The announcement “blamed the school’s shuttering on the federal Education Department, to which Career Point self-reported the violation.” ED, Inside Higher Ed (10/17) reports, “rejected a plan by the college to repay funds it received ‘inappropriately’ and restricted the use of federal funds at the college, forcing the shutdown.”
CFPB Points To Problems In Student Loan Rehab Program.
The Washington Post (10/17, Douglas-Gabriel) reports that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Monday that if ED fails to fix problems in the Federal student loan rehabilitation program, a third of the defaulting student borrowers the program is intended to help “could be driven back into default over the next two years and pay more than $125 million in unnecessary interest charges.” The Post notes that CFPB has received complaints from participants about “collection agencies setting incorrect monthly payment amounts, having trouble verifying their income and not applying payments toward the rehabilitation process.” CFPB cites “misaligned debt-collection incentives” as contributing to the issue, and the Post explains that ED “pays debt collectors as much as $40 for every dollar collected from struggling borrowers, even if borrowers end up back in default.” The Post reports ED spokesperson Kelly Leon “said the agency is working overhaul the payment system to help people avoid default.”
Glassdoor: Engineering, Tech Diplomas Most Lucrative.
The Washington Post (10/17, Douglas-Gabriel) reports that according to a study from Glassdoor, “engineering and technology are among the most challenging fields of study in college, but…many of the top-earning entry-level jobs are tied to related majors.” Eight of the ten majors with the highest associated salaries are “tied to engineering or technology, such as computer science, electrical engineering and information technology.”
Analysis Explores Interest Of Lower-Income Students In For-Profit Schools.
Stars And Stripes (10/17, Elejalde) carries a more than 1,900-word analysis originally run in the Chicago Tribune investigating the reasons that “youth from lower-income communities…enroll in for-profit trade schools they often can’t afford,” which include “a lack of information and an urgency to land a job.” Stefanie DeLuca, an associate professor of sociology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, co-authored a study, published in the October issue of the Sociology of Education, that examined the post-secondary decisions of low-income black 15- to 24-year-olds in Baltimore that “found many of the 150 students…who ended up at for-profit trade schools were trying to make the best decision they could with little information beyond what they saw on advertisements.”
Research and Development
MIT, Harvard Researchers Create Implantable Optic Fibers That May Detect Disease.
Fox News (10/17) reports researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School “have developed a stretchy, biocompatible optical fiber” intended to help doctors visually detect disease in the body. They are also intended to “deliver therapeutic pulses of light when the fiber senses when and where it’s being stretched.”
Montana State Researcher Gets L’Oreal Women In Science Fellowship For Gravitational Wave Research.
The Bozeman (MT) Daily Chronicle (10/17) reports that Laura Simpson, a Montana State University graduate “whose work contributed to the groundbreaking first detection of gravitational waves” has been given a $60,000 L’Oreal 2016 Women in Science Fellowship. Sampson will use the funding “to advance her postdoctoral research.”
Apple Increases Artificial Intelligence Focus With New AI Director, R&D Facility.
As Apple explores a more substantial foray into the world of artificial intelligence, PC Magazine (10/17, Brant) , Bloomberg News (10/17) , and Business Insider (10/17) report that the firm has recruited several experts to assist in that effort. Among them, PC Magazine highlights recently hired AI expert and former Carnegie Mellon professor Russ Salakhutdinov, who joins as its director of AI research. The hire also coincides with Apple CEO Tim Cook’s visit to Japan, which according toMacWorld (10/17, Raymundo), is centered around celebrating the company’s new R&D facility which will research new AI and “deep engineering” focused technology. MacWorld quotes Cook’s comments to Nikkei Asian Review regarding the visit, “AI is horizontal in nature, running across all products, and is used in ways that most people don’t even think about. We want the AI to increase your battery life, to recommend music to Apple Music subscribers… [to] help you remember where you parked your car.” UberGizmo (10/17, Lee), International Business Times (10/17) reports similarly on Cook’s AI-focused Japan trip.
Toyota Offers Donations To Encourage Participation In Connected-Vehicle Study.
MLive (MI) (10/17) reports that Toyota in partnership with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute is offering donations of $15,000 to Ann Arbor Public Schools Parent-Teacher Organizations in an effort to “encourage more participation in the Ann Arbor Connected Vehicle Test Environment that aims to collect enough data on drivers’ habits to help reduce collisions.” Participants will need to install a vehicle-awareness device, which “will transmit data about the vehicle’s speed, location and direction of travel.” The school with the highest proportion of participation will win the price money for the use on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) programs.
Manufacturing Sector Struggles To Find Software Engineers, Developers.
The Wall Street Journal (10/17, Tangel, Subscription Publication) reports the manufacturing industry is struggling to find software engineers and developers, as many of the potential recruits flock to Silicon Valley tech firms. The Journal says the struggle puts further strain on the industry’s skills gap, adding that while some companies are able to get a foothold in recruiting pools, many find difficulty in filling roles.
Engineering and Public Policy
Grid Improvements Lessen Length Of Outages Following Major Storms.
Bloomberg News (10/17, Polson) reports the “billions of dollars spent to harden” power grids in the US “are reducing the time it takes to recover from major storms like Hurricane Matthew and throwing growth-starved utilities a lifeline to better earnings.” The Edison Electric Institute reports that “annual power-grid spending by investor-owned utilities has more than doubled to $52.8 billion since hurricanes Katrina and Rita.” And “grid-hardening efforts accelerated after it took 19 days to restore power to 8.7 million homes and business” following tropical cyclone Sandy. Approximately “1.2 million FP&L customers blacked out by Matthew had power restored within two days after the storm.” NextEra has spent over “$2 billion hardening Florida’s power grid over the past decade.” At an energy conference last week Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said, “They were really walking the talk. … They invested their own $2 billion in everything from simple stuff like concrete poles rather than wooden poles to making the grid smarter and harder with information technology.”
DOE Employee Touts Potential Of Micro-Hydro Projects.
Greenwire (10/17, Subscription Publication) reports the only Energy Department employee in Alaska “is betting that small-scale hydropower will reduce energy costs for rural residents in the remote state.” DOE Office of Indian Energy Alaska program manager Givey Kochanowski “is pressing for resources to build more micro-hydropower projects.” Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz “has committed to adding three employees to Kochanowski’s office, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is pushing Moniz to ramp up the hiring process.” E&E adds “Kochanowski notes thousands of streams, rivers and beaches that might provide an energy boom.” He stated, “This is a first step of bringing together tribal interests and hydropower up here.”
Green Groups Worry Clean Power Plan Will Drive More Natural Gas Generation.
ClimateWire (10/17, Holden, Subscription Publication) reports environmental groups are concerned that utilities may add additional natural gas capacity in order to comply with the Clean Power Plan, reducing carbon rates while still increasing overall emissions. Virginia League of Conservation Voters director Michael Town said, “We cannot look at doing the bare minimum…We need this administration to act and actually reduce the pollution we’re putting into the air.” The article highlights Dominion, reporting that the utility thinks Virginia “should focus on reducing the power sector’s carbon intensity or rate, rather than overall carbon levels,” meaning that “some companies could build large amounts of natural-gas-fired power” under rate-based plans.
Texas Wind Farms Killing Thousands Of Birds, Experts Say.
The Houston Chronicle (10/17, Ramirez) reports that “wind farms are becoming a trademark of the Lone Star State.” The MIT Technology Review has found that “if Texas were a country, it would be the sixth-largest generator of wind power in the world.” The Energy Information Administration places “Texas as the top wind power state in the nation, producing twice as much wind energy as the next leading state, Iowa.” However, “Texas wind farms kill between 123,000 and 146,000 birds a year.” Sierra Club Lower Rio Grande Valley Group chairman Jim Chapman said, “They’re pushing for carbon-free energy really hard, and obviously wind is a big part of that, and to some degree they’re turning a blind eye to the slaughter that entails.”
Girl Scouts CEO Wants Girls To Learn To Code.
CNBC (10/17) profiles Sylvia Acevedo, a Stanford university engineering graduate and White House commissioner on the Presidential Initiative for Hispanic Educational Excellence, who is also the interim CEO of Girl Scouts, “said she aims for Girl Scouts to not only instill the mission of leadership into girls, but to become more technology-focused and teach how to code.” The piece quotes her saying, “It is part of our culture to do technology, to learn how to code, to have hands on projects — whether it’s creating fashionable wearables, or creating robots.”
Professor Discusses How to Get Women Into Engineering.
In a more than 1,400-word U.S. News & World Report (10/17) piece republished with permission from The Conversation, Carolyn Conner Seepersad, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, asks “how can we get more women into engineering fields, and help them stay for their whole careers?” According to experts, Seepersad says, “we need to encourage young girls to develop their spatial skills” and “find ways to help women feel less alone as they help us build a more inclusive engineering community.” She concludes that “when we begin to tell multifaceted stories…we find that a much larger and more diverse set of students identify” as engineers.
Monday’s Lead Stories
• FAA Bans Galaxy Note 7 Phones On Planes Over Fire Hazard.
• Better Storytelling Will Help Women Get Involved In Engineering.
• Obama Promotes Benefits Of Innovation For The US Economy.
• Researcher’s Microchip Implant Could Deliver Birth Control, Osteoporosis Treatment.
• Companies Pitch Plans For Commercial ISS Modules.
• Opponents Say EPA Went “Far Beyond Its Authority” In New Carbon Regulation.
• Chevron Donates $150,000 To Mobile County Schools.
|Springer Nature rolls out free content sharing initiative across its entire owned portfolio of over 1,300 journals|
Global research, educational and professional publisher Springer Nature has rolled out its free content sharing initiative, now named SharedIt, to all of the Springer Nature-owned portfolio and over one thousand additional co-owned and partner-owned journals. This now encompasses over 2,300 journals and enables authors and subscribers to post links to free-to-read versions of primary research articles anywhere, including social media platforms, repositories, websites, scholarly collaborative networks and via emails.
|Copyright Clearance Center partners with SciBite|
Global licensing and content solutions provider Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. (CCC) has entered a partnership with Cambridge, UK-based SciBite, a provider of semantic solutions for the Life Sciences and Pharmaceutical industries. CCC will work with SciBite to further support customers’ needs in text analytics and semantic search.
|Yale University Press partners with De Gruyter the worldwide sales of e-publications|
Academic publisher De Gruyter and Yale University Press (YUP) have announced a partnership for the worldwide sales of YUP’s electronic publications. This includes a significant frontlist of titles and a selection of backlist and archive publications. The partnership will expand YUP’s international reach and also strengthens De Gruyter’s portfolio with a range of outstanding academic publications.
|ACCUCOMS signs new representation deal with AIAA|
ACCUCOMS has announced that the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has signed an agreement for further representation in South Korea. ACCUCOMS already represents AIAA in Europe, India, Turkey and the MENA region.
|ÜberResearch unveils global grants database, Dimensions, for publishers|
Data science company ÜberResearch has unveiled its global grants database, Dimensions, for scholarly publishers – to enable them to understand new trends in research as they emerge, and compare the most up-to-date activity in research funding with ongoing publication trends. Dimensions is the industry’s first searchable database of awarded research funding, including $1 trillion USD in global research funding from hundreds of funding organisations across the World, with more than three million funded projects.
|EPUB 3.1 now proposed specification|
The IDPF Board recently approved working group recommendations to advance the specifications of EPUB 3.1 to Proposed Specification status. A final member and public review and comment period for these specifications will be open through November 7, after which the final step according to IDPF policies is a member vote to approve as Recommended Specifications.
|Latest edition of Blogspeak now online|
|The latest edition of Blogspeak is now online. Featured are: Roger C. Schonfeld (A Taxonomy of University Presses Today); Adam Hodgkin (Guest Post, Adam Hodgkin: Do Books Need More Aggregation or More Curation – Time to Uncircle the Wagons?); Fiona Murphy (Publishing and sharing data papers can increase impact and benefits researchers, publishers, funders and libraries); Cat Williams (Digging into the (feedback) data); and Alex Oxborough (What can dynamic data visualisation do for us?). Blogspeak includes blog posts relevant to the publishing industry, particularly STM publishing. Subscribers are invited to participate in the latest edition of Blogspeak Here.|