Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

New report on the current state of the OA publishing market evaluates the range of policy options available to increase access and enhance competition and sustainability

Research Consulting, within the scope of the OpenAIRE Work Package dealing with the FP7 Post Grant Open Access Pilot (WP5), was commissioned by LIBER in October 2016 to undertake an economic analysis study of the Open Access publishing market – “Towards a Competitive and Sustainable OA Market in Europe – A Study of the Open Access Market and Policy Environment“. This study assesses the current state of the open access publishing market, and evaluates the range of policy options available to increase access and enhance competition and sustainability in the market.
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PolicyMedical and Elsevier announce reseller agreement

PolicyMedical, a provider of cloud-based healthcare regulatory compliance software, has entered into a reseller agreement with STM publisher Elsevier. The agreement enables Elsevier to sell PolicyManagerTM, an enterprise healthcare policy management platform into its customer/prospect base which includes health systems, hospitals and clinics.
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Rittenhouse R2 Digital library platform becomes eighth partner to join ProQuest’s OASIS in just one year

ProQuest has announced a partnership with Rittenhouse Book Distributors so libraries can order ebooks from the R2 Digital platform via the OASIS system. Offering over 5,700 ebook titles, the R2 Digital Library is an ebook platform for health science collections and features a comprehensive selection of medical, nursing and allied health content presented through a clean and intuitive interface.
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Clarivate Analytics appoints industry experts to rapidly accelerate company performance

Clarivate Analytics, formerly the IP & Science business of Thomson Reuters, has announced the appointments of Richard Hanks as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Robert Lemmond as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) and Daniel Videtto as President of the Patents and Standards division. As a newly independent, global company with industry-leading products and services, Clarivate Analytics accelerates the pace of innovation for customers by providing trusted insights and analytics.
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The Royal College of General Practitioners partners with ACCUCOMS to increase subscription sales in North- and Central America

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has called upon ACCUCOMS to increase subscription sales in North- and Central America, Mexico and in the Caribbean. The parties signed a multi-year agreement. The RCGP is the professional body for general medical practitioners in the United Kingdom.
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Jisc and Adam Matthew to make digital primary sources more accessible for UK Higher Education

A vast selection of digital primary sources are now available through a group purchasing pilot to further enhance UK teaching and research. UK Higher Education institutions are now able to benefit from a group purchasing pilot with Jisc which sees multiple Adam Matthew digital research and teaching collections made available to purchase at an exceptional discount level.
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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

NFAIS Half-Day Virtual Workshop – Beyond the PDF: Emerging Trends in Next Generation Articles

The National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS) will be conducting a Half-Day Virtual Workshop, Beyond the PDF: Emerging Trends in Next Generation Articles, on March 23, 2017 from 9:00 am – 12:30 pm (EDT). This workshop will benefit scholarly researchers, publishers, discovery service providers, research librarians, government agency officials, non-profit scholarly society staff plus information services advisors and software and tool developers.
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Brill announces new collaboration with Dutch Universities

Academic publisher Brill has reached an agreement with the VSNU – the Association of Universities in the Netherlands – with an emphasis on Open Access. As part of the agreement, scholars and students of ten Dutch universities will be granted access to Brill’s complete journal portfolio. The journal package includes over 240 titles in the Humanities, Law, Social Sciences and Biology.
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University Library at UC Berkeley signs the OA2020 Expression of Interest

The University Library at UC Berkeley has signed the OA2020 Expression of Interest, in collaboration with UC Davis and UC San Francisco. OA2020 is an international movement, led by the Max Planck Digital Library in Munich, to convert the entire corpus of scholarly journal literature to open access by the year 2020.
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Celebrating two years of Emerald Publishing Services

Academic publisher Emerald Publishing Services (EPS) has announced that since its launch as a third party publishing program for research dissemination two years ago, 16 agreements have been signed with a range of universities and associations worldwide, comprising a combination of new journal launches and acquisitions. EPS converts peer-reviewed papers into professional publications both in print and online.
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Panelists discuss JATS for Reuse at OASPA webinar

Kelly McDougall (MIT Press), Mary Seligy (Canadian Science Publishing), and Stephen Laverick (Maverick) recently joined OASPA for a webinar to discuss Open Access Publishing in the Global South. Melissa Harrison (eLife) chaired the discussion. The Copyright Clearance Center hosted the webinar.
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AIP Publishing hosts 38 journals and ‘Physics Today’ on Atypon’s Literatum platform

Publishing technology company Atypon has announced that its Literatum, a widely used online publishing platform, now hosts all of AIP Publishing’s journals, the journals of its member societies and publishing partners, and Physics Today, American Institute of Physics’ (AIP) flagship magazine. Atypon’s in-house design team created the relaunched Scitation.org site, which houses all of AIP Publishing’s publications—the most influential news, comment, analysis and research in the physical sciences.
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Authorea and Rockefeller University Press partner to offer better collaboration and submission options for scientists

Authorea, the online collaborative document editor for researchers, has announced a partnership with life sciences publisher Rockefeller University Press (RUP) to offer better collaboration and submission options for scientists. With this partnership, researchers writing on Authorea can submit directly to The Journal of Cell Biology, The Journal of Experimental Medicine, or The Journal of General Physiology with one-click submission.
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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

ARM Debuts New Chip Design Aimed At Self-Driving Cars, AI.

Bloomberg News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21, Kahn) reports UK-based semiconductor design firm ARM debuted a new chip, dubbed DynamIQ, aimed “at markets ranging from self-driving cars to artificial intelligence.” Softbank-owned ARM hopes the upgrade will help it “compete with chips engineered for neural networks, a promising type of artificial intelligence software,” from rivals including Intel and IBM. The company’s new chip design “is aimed at higher-end IoT applications” requiring “complex computing tasks, such as running AI software, locally while communicating with other devices and remote servers.” According to Bloomberg, DynamIQ chips “can handle up to eight processor cores of varying size on a single chip in almost any configuration” and, “when coupled with special ARM software,” can “perform as much as 50 times better on AI tasks than the existing chips within three to five years.”

According to PC Magazine Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21, Brant), ARM General Manager Nandan Nayampally said during a press briefing Monday, “As systems get more complex, we need to redefine how multiprocessing works. You will not be able to do this purely in the cloud.” PC Magazine offers the following example to illustrate the importance of fast processors as technology advances: conducting “a marathon virtual reality gaming session with [a] Samsung Gear VR” may cause the phone to “overheat and shut down.” While “that equivalent of the blue screen of death might be little more than an inconvenience for gamers,” PC Mag says such a shutdown occurring to a self driving car could have “far more dire” consequences.

Higher Education

Student Loan Servicer Vows Not To Charge Higher Fees Despite ED’s Lifting Of Restrictions.

The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21, Douglas-Gabriel) reports that Great Lakes Higher Education Corp. announced this week that “its guarantee agency, United Student Aid Funds, will not charge people with past-due student loans high collection fees if they agree to make good on the debt.” The piece notes that the Trump administration last week rescinded guidance from the Obama administration that restricted such fees.

College Leaders, Teachers Push Trump To Keep DACA.

Politico Morning Education Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21) reports that a group of “more than 500 college leaders and 1,200 teachers” have written to President Trump calling on him to say “whether or not he’ll preserve an Obama administration program that protects more than 750,000 undocumented immigrants from deportation.” The piece explains that Trump “has apparently softened his stance on repealing Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program that protects people brought to the country as children, saying it’s one of the most difficult issues he’s faced in office.”

Finance Sector Offers Graduate Engineering Students Lucrative Career Option.

U.S. News & World Report Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21, Cates) reports quantitative analysis jobs are expected to grow 12 percent over the next few years in response to increasingly-complex investment portfolios and securities, and the ever-increasing influence of big data on the financial sector. The positions typically “command high salaries” because they demand master’s degrees and a combination of math, computer, and finance skills. Thus, engineering graduate students are uniquely qualified for qualitative analyst positions at banks, hedge funds, and financial technology companies.

Policy Scholar Rejects Community Colleges’ “Second-Class” Reputation.

In guest commentary for Forbes Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21, Anymore), Nexus Research and Policy Center visiting scholar Dr. Ronald L. Trowbridge recalls that as a University of Michigan student, “the general view was that community colleges were second-class academic institutions, students going there couldn’t get into four-year schools.” University tuition has since skyrocketed and “poor kids just don’t have the money to attend universities,” so they are flocking to community colleges. Trowbridge says he taught freshman English at both the University of Michigan and Lone Star College, a community college, and discovered students’ academic talents were indistinguishable in nearly all aspects. He also reiterates that “excellent professors are ubiquitous throughout the land,” not just “at elite universities.” Trowbridge reiterates that student motivation is the most important aspect, and ambitious “students will excel later in the marketplace wherever they attended college.” He encourages students to take introductory courses at community colleges and then transfer to a university to declare a major.

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Research and Development

Clemson Professor Developing Algorithm To Make Clinical Trials Cheaper And More Productive.

The Greenville (SC) News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21, Osby) says Clemson Prof. Amin Khademi is working on an “algorithm that uses an adaptive approach to make trials safer and less costly.” Currently, there are nearly a quarter of a million clinical studies worldwide. Khademi’s goal is to minimize the potential adverse affects of a drug in a trial while maintaining the integrity of the trial itself as well as maximizing the probability of a positive outcome for as many patients as possible. By developing this algorithm, it will be easier to identify which drugs in a trial are likely to be more effective and reducing the chances of ineffective or even harmful treatments.

Pennsylvania Doctor Finalist In XPrize Competition For $9 Million Prize.

The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21, Heller) reports Dr. Basil Harris, along with three siblings and three friends, is one of two finalists in the XPrize Competition to design device under five pounds that can properly diagnose whether a person has one of 12 conditions. The device, known as a tricorder, is a inspired by the old television series, “Star Trek” and was used by Dr. Bones McCoy to scan a body. The competition is sponsored by the Qualcomm Foundation and the hope is that the devices can help properly diagnose diseases in underserved areas. Harris’ competition is led by Harvard Medical School Professor C.K. Peng along with 50 other professionals and backed by HTC and the Taiwanese government. In order to ensure that money does not become an issue, the Foundation has already dispersed $1 million to contestant. The winner will be announced on April 12 and has the potential of receiving up to $9 million.

Researchers Test Oil Spill Cleanup Invention Off Alabama Coast.

NPR Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21, Elliott) reports Worcester Polytechnic Institute researchers conducted the first test of the Flame Refluxer, which is designed to clean oil spills from water, at the US Coast Guard’s Joint Maritime Test Facility on Little Sand Island in Alabama’s Mobile Bay. Fire Protection Engineering Professor Ali Rangwala described the “very simple” invention as a giant Brillo pad of cooper wool in between layers of copper screen, with copper coils on top. Researchers hope the technology makes a hotter, faster, and more complete burn of the spilled oil that results in less pollution than existing methods. NPR says the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has spent $1.5 million to develop the Flame Refluxer.

Fraunhofer Institute Develops Prototype Quad-Sensor Smartphone Camera Module.

Phone Arena Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21, Nathan) reports the Fraunhofer Institute – which developed the .MP3 format – created a prototype “slide-out camera module that’s thin enough to be included in a reasonably slim smartphone,” while also providing high-quality photos. The prototype includes four image sensors, which are “rotated 90 degrees so they point out of the side of the phone,” and a set of minuscule “mirrors in front of the sensors reflects the image from the front or rear of the phone.” The prototype features auto-focus and optical image stabilization, capturing images at a 20MP resolution. Phone Arena explains that “selling this module to smartphone makers as-is could prove problematic” because it is “very different to what’s currently in use, it requires unorthodox engineering, and it’s probably as power-hungry as four cameras firing at once can be.”

Study Finds Urge To Socialize Dissipates After Limited Interaction With Human-Like Assistants.

The Chicago Tribune Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21, Bowen) yesterday discussed the possibility people will replace relationships with digital devices with new assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant taking off in popularity. One takeaway from the research study found people’s need to socialize or maintain human relationships dissipated after just a few minutes engaging with products featuring “humanlike characteristics.” Mourey noted, “It’s as if the phone replaces the human interaction.” Whether that means that AIs can be a replacement for human-based engagement is less clear. Mourey points out that once individuals were reminded the products were inanimate projects, the isolation feeling returned – suggesting that in the long term, AIs won’t totally supplant the need for social interaction. “It does not mean that you’re replacing your friend Sandy with Siri,” said Mourey.

SpaceX’s Dragon Capsule Returns Two Tons Of ISS Experiment Equipment.

The San Jose (CA) Mercury News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21) reports that on Monday, ISS equipment returned to Earth on Sunday by a SpaceX Dragon capsule was flown from Long Beach to NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The cargo contains two tons of equipment for scientific experiments, which will be sent to researchers across the company. Cynthia Bouthot, director of commercial innovation and sponsored programs for the Center of Advancement of Science in Space, which manages the U.S. National Laboratory aboard the ISS, said the variety of experiments “showcases a variety of inquiry that really highlight microgravity and the extreme conditions of space.”

New Paper Reports First-Ever Observation Of Landslide On Comet.

The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21, Kaplan) reports that in a paper published Tuesday in the journal Nature Astronomy, researchers detail the first-ever observation of a landslide on a comet, captured by the Rosetta spacecraft in 2015. Astronomer Maurizio Pajola of NASA’s Ames Research Center – who studies Rosetta in his spare time – noticed a glint on an image of the asteroid, which was later determined to be “pristine water ice” revealed by the collapse of dark organic material on a cliff face. In a second paper published in the journal Science, the research team discusses how the comet’s surface changes more dramatically on its closest approaches to the sun.

Engineering and Public Policy

Trump Signs NASA Spending Bill.

President Trump on Tuesday “signed a $19.5 billion bill…to fund NASA programs,” USA Today Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21, Jackson) reports. Trump reaffirmed “what he called a ‘national commitment’ to ‘human space exploration.’” His comments came after his team last week “proposed a budget that would reduce NASA to $19.1 billion for the year after that.” The Washington Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21, Miller) says Trump “put NASA on course for deep space exploration Tuesday, signing a bill that authorizes $19.5 billion in funding to revive the agency’s manned-space flight program and plan missions to Mars and beyond.”

According to the Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21, Kaplan), the bill, which is “the first such authorization bill for the space agency in seven years.,” is “more or less” in alignment “with the budget blueprint Trump laid out last week.”

Shah: Federal R&D Responsible For Significant Achievements In Energy-Saving Innovations.

In an op-ed in Fortune, Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21, Shah) Tarak Shah former chief of staff for science and energy at US Department of Energy from 2014 to 2017, discusses the achievements in innovation that are a result of federally funded research and development. “Every major appliance in your house, the vehicle in your garage, and the widgets in factories across the country are more energy efficient because of DOE-funded work at the National Labs, universities, and in the private sector,” according to Shah. Moreover, through improvements in energy efficiency and renewable energy use, “the DOE is generating huge taxpayer savings on our energy bills.” For example, Shah notes that federal research and developments efforts created LED light bulbs, which now “cost $2 and use 10 times less energy and last 20 times longer than a standard 60-watt bulb,” and that “the savings to consumers from just this one technology – $24 billion – dwarfs the amount spent on all R&D at DOE.” Shah concludes by urging Congress to support energy innovation by protecting federal research and development from the Trump budget cuts.

Clean Line Energy Makes Second Bid For Grain Belt Express Approval.

E&E Publishing Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21, Subscription Publication) reports that “for the second time in three years,” Clean Line Energy Partners is attempting to gain approval from Missouri regulators for its $2.8 billion Grain Belt Express transmission line. The Missouri Public Service Commission previously voted 3-2 to deny the project, “saying the company hadn’t established a need for it,” despite the fact that several other states had already approved the project. Mark Lawlor, director of development for the Grain Belt Express project, said the group has addressed “every single one of the issues they raised,” but that if PSC denies the project again, it will probably be the group’s last application to the commission.

Montana Lawmakers Scrambling To Save Colstrip Coal Plant From Early Closure.

ClimateWire Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21, Subscription Publication) reports that Montana lawmakers are scrambling to react threats from the owners of the Colstrip Generating Station to pull out of Units 1 and 2 before the 2022 retirement. The owner, Talen Energy Corp., says it is losing “tens of millions” by staying online. Meanwhile, Montana lawmakers say that closing the coal-fired plant could cost jobs and send electric bills soaring. There are now 12 bills being considered by lawmakers in Helena regarding the fate of the plant, including one proposal requiring the plant’s owners to “pick up the tab on declining property values, municipal revenues and workforce training.” A proposal put forth by House Speaker Austin Knudsen (R) would loan one of the plant’s owners up to $10 million annually for the next five years from the state’s $1 billion coal tax trust fund. Knudsen said keeping the plant open is critical, as, “This is an extraordinary circumstance. We’ve got a town that is literally on the brink here.”

Major Companies Join With Green Advocates In Plea To Save Energy Star Program.

The Hill Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21, Cama) reports that “dozens of companies and organizations,” including big names such as 3M, Johnson Controls Inc., Philips Lighting and Intel, have joined with environmental organizations to ask Congress to save the Energy Star program from President Trump’s proposed budget cuts. “This voluntary partnership program…helps businesses, state and local governments, non-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, homeowners, and consumers save money by investing in energy efficiency,” the companies wrote in a letter to congressional appropriators on Tuesday. The Washington Examiner Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21, Siciliano) reports that proponents of the Energy Star program say it has “saved Americans $430 billion since it was created 25 years ago, while having an operating budget of $50 million per year.”

US Solar Policy Must Adjust To Global Realities To Succeed.

In an op-ed in the New York Times, Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21, Ball, Reicher, Subscription Publication) Dan Reicher, executive director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford, and Jeffrey Ball, scholar in residence, write that “the time has arrived” for the United States to adopt a “more-enlightened” policy approach to solar energy which would seek to “continue slashing solar power’s costs — not to prop up types of American solar manufacturing that can’t compete globally.” Referring to U.S. competition with China in the solar energy industry, the authors urge the U.S. to “focus American solar subsidies more on research and development and deployment,” while acknowledging China has a comparative advantage in manufacturing.

Maine Solar Rules Challenged By Environmental, Pro-solar Groups.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21) reports “pro-solar groups and businesses have filed a petition” asking Maine’s “utility regulators to reconsider new solar rules.” This year the Maine Public Utilities Commission “tweaked its ‘net metering’ policies that give homeowners electricity bill credits for excess solar energy produced.” The commission “approved gradually reducing some credits for homeowners who install solar systems in 2018 or later.” The AP adds “residents who have solar panels before 2018 will receive credits at the full retail rate for 15 years.”

Elementary/Secondary Education

Federal, State Officials Increase Focus On K-12 Cybersecurity Education.

Education Week Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/22, Herold) reports “a stead drumbeat of reports” addressing cybersecurity issues prompted “new attention for nascent efforts to support cybersecurity education, including in K-12 schools.” President Trump was expected to sign an executive order that would direct several Federal agencies to review the nation’s cybersecurity education endeavors and recommend improvements, but he placed the order on hold. A later draft of the order “eliminated altogether the provision related to education and workforce development.” ED and several other departments support cybersecurity education and workforce-training initiatives, and leaders at the state level “have also pushed forward their own cybersecurity initiatives.” Meanwhile, the Cyber Innovation Center launched in 2007, and its founders established the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center because they “quickly realized” that their efforts to prepare a cybersecurity workforce “would ultimately depend on K-12 schools.” Seventeen states have thus far approved the center’s curricular materials; however, “the scale and quality of K-12 cybersecurity education remains spotty.”

Tuesday’s Lead Stories

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

Leading the News

Bloomberg: Apple’s AR Ambitions Coming Close To Fruition.

A report from Bloomberg highlighting Apple’s AR ambitions received fairly wide tech media coverage, with all subsequent coverage focusing on the Bloomberg article, and most emphasizing the new camera-based AR features expected to come to the next generation of iPhones; though, many outlets also highlighted the possibility of wearable AR glasses Apple is now eventually expected to launch. Bloomberg News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20, Gurman) reports on Apple’s AR efforts, which include “several AR projects including digital spectacles that could connect wirelessly to an iPhone and beam content—movies, maps and more—to the wearer.” Bloomberg notes that Loup Ventures partner Gene Munster sees a move to AR as a necessity to “defend against the shift in how people use hardware,” as he expects AR devices to replace phones. Bloomberg notes that building out AR on the iPhone “isn’t a giant leap,” but developing “glasses will be harder,” including the creation of an new operating system. Bloomberg also notes that Apple has put Mike Rockwell at the head of its main AR team, who has a strong background in hardware design, and has filled out the team with “people with expertise in everything from 3D video production to wearable hardware,” while also making “tactical acquisitions” in the AR space. Bloomberg says the company now has “hundreds of engineers devoted to AR,” and again quotes Munster who said “To be successful in AR, there is the hardware piece, but you have to do other stuff too: from maps to social to payments. Apple is one of the only companies that will be able to pull it off.”

TIME Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20, Eadicicco) reports on the Bloomberg article, noting that some of the AR features Apple is working on include changing the “depth of photographs taken with the phone’s camera after they’ve been captured,” and allowing users to isolate a particular aspect of an image and rotate it. Time also notes the report said Apple is working on a “feature that would make it possible to overlay virtual effects and objects on a photo.” Time also comments on the potential for AR glasses, which would “put Apple in direct competition with Snap Inc.” AppleInsider Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20, Fingas) reports the AR glasses will connect to the iPhone “wirelessly” and “display content like maps and movies.”

TechCrunch Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20, Dillet) highlights the team Apple has assembled to work on AR, including Rockwell, Cody White, who used to work for Amazon as lead engineer on Amazon’s CryEngine game engine fork, Duncan McRoberts previously of Meta, Oculus researcher Yury Petrov, and Avi Bar-Zeev who “worked on HoloLens among other things.” TechCrunch notes that while “all of this sounds cool,” the Bloomberg report is sparse on details, though it seems likely Apple will begin implementing AR through its Camera app.

The Verge Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20, Vincent) reports the Bloomberg article “certainly fits with reports from other sources” on Apple’s AR ambitions, highlighting a recent report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that suggested the next iPhone’s camera would be “revolutionary.”

Fortune Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20, Reisinger) reports that the company’s vision may “ultimately lead to new gadgets centering on the burgeoning technology melding the physical world with virtual elements.” Fortune notes that Apple CEO Tim Cook has been bullish about augmented reality in the past saying it presents a market opportunity potentially as large as the iPhone. Fortune notes that Apple’s AR-glasses likely won’t be released “for quite some time,” though it could “embed simpler augmented reality features in upcoming iPhones, and then offer more sophisticated features in standalone devices at some point in the future.”

Business Insider Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20, Leswing), CNET News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20, Reardon), and Mashable Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20, Schroeder) also cover the Bloomberg report.

Higher Education

Documents: ED Has Paid $141 Million To Erase Former ITT Technical Institute Students’ Debt.

The Dayton (OH) Daily News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20) reports that according to court documents filed last week by ED, “taxpayers have already shelled out more than $141 million to help students affected by the collapse of ITT Technical Institute and they may be on the hook for hundreds of millions more.” The documents indicate that discharging all relevant debt could “eventually cost more than $460 million.”

Noting that the documents are part of ITT’s bankruptcy proceedings, MarketWatch Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20) reports that ITT parent company ITT Educational Services “filed for bankruptcy last year amid allegations the company misled students about the nature of its programs and lured them into taking on predatory private loans.” The firm declared bankruptcy just weeks after ED “banned the school from enrolling new students using federal financial aid over concern about the company’s financial management.”

Politico Morning Education Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20) reports that the figures described in the new court documents exclude “any loan forgiveness that the Education Department provides to students on the basis that ITT Tech defrauded them,” and that thus far, ED “does not appear” to have approved any such borrower defense to repayment claims. Politico says ED attorneys “made the filing last week to carve out their claims to ITT’s remaining assets that will be divided up among the company’s creditors as part of the bankruptcy.”

Warren Questions DeVos Over Hiring ED Employees With Ties To For-Profit College Sector.

The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20, Douglas-Gabriel) reports Sen. Elizabeth Warren has written to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos seeking an explanation about “the hiring of two officials with ties to the for-profit-college industry, questioning their roles and potential conflicts of interest.” Warren’s letter expressed concerns about Robert S. Eitel, who “has taken unpaid leave from Bridgepoint Education, an operator of for-profit colleges where he works as an attorney, to serve as a special assistant to DeVos.” Taylor Hansen is a former lobbyist at the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities who “told ProPublica that he was hired on a temporary basis at the department.” The article reports that the hires come as ED “has extended the deadline for career schools and community colleges that provide vocational training to submit appeals under the gainful employment rule.”

Hansen Steps Down After Ruling That Would Benefit Father’s Agency. The Chronicle of Higher Education Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20) reports that Hansen “quit his job” at ED on Friday, noting that he is “the son of Bill Hansen, head of USA Funds, a student-loan-guarantee agency that has recently branched out into other career-education projects.” Tyler Hansen “resigned after the department announced that it would reverse an Obama-administration regulation that limits fees charged by guarantee agencies. In 2015, USA Funds sued the Education Department over the rule.”

Bloomberg News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20, Nasiripour) reports that DeVos’ reversal of the “Obama administration directive limiting some fees” on late student loans is likely to cost student borrowers more money, and that “one of the decision’s top beneficiaries—the father of a key DeVos lieutenant who just quit—ran a firm which sued to overturn the rule.” The rule change “allows companies known as guaranty agencies to charge distressed student debtors fees equivalent to 16 percent of their total balance, even when borrowers agree within 60 days to make good on their bad debt” and is “almost certain to hand United Student Aid Funds Inc., the nation’s largest guaranty agency, a victory in its two-year legal battle against” ED.

Democrat’s Bill Would Tax Millionaires To Fund Tuition-Free College.

The Los Angeles Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20, Mason) reports California Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman (D) “is proposing to make public colleges and universities tuition-free for all Californians, and wants to tax millionaires to do it.” Eggman’s “proposal would impose a 1% tax on incomes over $1 million to help pay for the approximate $2.2-billion price tag to cover tuition and fees for all in-state students in conjunction with existing aid.”: The Times adds, “New taxes generally face a steep climb in the Legislature, where a two-thirds vote is required for passage. But Eggman said her bill, AB 1356, would also be coupled with a constitutional amendment that would put the tax before voters for ultimate approval.”

The Sacramento (CA) Bee Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20, Koseff) reports, “A recent poll found a majority of Californians believe college affordability is a major problem, and it was a motivating factor for many supporters of Democrat Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election. ‘We see a real engaged citizenry after the last election, and I think this is something they would really be behind,’ Eggman said.”

University Of New Mexico International Student Applications Declining.

The Albuquerque (NM) Journal Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20) reports, “Fewer foreign students are looking into continuing their educations at the University of New Mexico, perhaps threatening one of the school’s growing enrollment streams.” International graduate school applications are down 16 percent from the same time last week, with applications from India, Iran, and Mexico representing the largest declines.

Purdue University Extends Tuition Freeze.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20) reports, “Purdue University will continue to hold tuition costs at 2012 levels through the 2018-19 academic year. … Indiana residents’ tuition will remain about $10,000, out-of-state students will pay about $28,800, and international students will pay about $30,800.” Room and board costs “also will remain at 2012-13 levels or lower.”

From ASEE
Prism Podcast
One faculty member has a method for dealing with engineering education’s “dirty” words.

Webinar – Landing a Job in Academia and Industry
Part of ASEE’s early career webinar series, topics include seeking and securing positions in academia and industry. Nadia Kellam (Arizona State University) and Katy Arenschield (Ohio State University) offer tips and techniques to 1) craft resumes and application packages, 2) impress recruiters and interviewers, 3) negotiate with tact, and more! This March 22 webinar is only $5 for ASEE student members. Learn more and register today.

ASEE Member Needs Survey
Take a few moments to let us know how ASEE can better serve you, our valued members.

Research and Development

Notre Dame, South Bend Team Up On Advanced Wireless Technology Research.

The South Bend (IN) Tribune Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20) reports that researchers with Notre Dame Wireless Institute have partnered with the city of South Bend, Indiana to demonstrate “the latest in wireless technology Monday as part of an effort to build a city-scale test bed here for advanced wireless research, including the next generation of Wi-Fi.” Researchers on Monday “conducted a test involving a drone and a small-scale wireless network consisting of two separate antennae — one atop the center itself and one affixed to a nearby mobile research vehicle.” Researchers measured the “level of communication between the drone and network as part of an effort to better understand how future networks might best communicate with autonomous vehicles and drones.”

WNDU-TV Share to FacebookShare to Twitter South Bend, IN (3/20) reports that the researchers are angling to win “a $100 million competition conducted by the National Science Foundation,” noting that “a share of the proceeds would be used to set up $25 million worth of high tech antennas from one end of South Bend to the other.” WBND-TV Share to FacebookShare to Twitter South Bend, IN (3/20) reports that if the researchers win the grant, “drones could one day be flying around downtown doing jobs for the city.” The piece quotes Notre Dame Wireless Institute’s Nick Laneman saying, “What we’re looking toward – we’re building toward – here is the idea of network control of a number of drones flying throughout the city for various use cases.”

Researchers: Perovskites Poised To Disrupt Solar Industry.

Bloomberg News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/21, Watanabe) reports solar energy researchers and industry executives say that “perovskites, a range of materials that can be used to harvest light when turned into a crystalline structure,” could revolutionize the solar energy sector. The substances “can be sprayed or printed onto the windows of skyscrapers or atop sports utility vehicles – and at prices potentially far cheaper than today’s silicon-based panels.”

Researchers Using Evolution To Develop Better Algorithms.

Quartz Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20, Gershgorn) reports that computer scientists are putting artificial intelligence through evolutionary processes to help develop more efficient algorithms a process called neuroevolution. Neuroevolution tries to reconstruct the processes that built parts of the brain where only the strongest survived.

HPE, BASF Partnering To Develop New Supercomputer.

Forbes Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20, Bridgwater) reports Hewlett Packard Enterprise and German chemical firm BASF have partnered to develop a supercomputer for industrial chemical research. Forbes reports that the computer be equipped with “Intel Xeon processors as well as high-bandwidth low-latency Intel Omni-Path Fabric and HPE management software.” Dr. Martin Brudermueller, BASF’s Vice Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors and Chief Technology Officer, said that the “new supercomputer will promote the application and development of complex modeling and simulation approaches, opening up completely new avenues for our research at BASF.”

Industry News

Analysis: Apple Needs To Produce Game-Changing New iPad Models If It Hopes To Reinvigorate Tablet Market.

USA Today Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20, Baig) tech writer Edward Baig reports Apple’s iPad is still the top-selling tablet, but the sales are “on the decline.” In response, Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted “exciting things” were coming to the iPad, “within the timeframe of a 90-day clock.” Strategy Analytics senior analyst Eric Smith says, “Price is a key barrier for high-powered 2-in-1s right now. … Consumers want them, especially as hard choices lie ahead as to which computing devices will be replaced.” Smith notes that as smartphones get bigger, consumers become less intrigued by tablets, especially with higher-performing PC options. IDC senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani adds, “Regardless of what marketers are saying, detachable tablets are simply not putting pressure on notebooks yet.” As a result, Baig indicates Apple will have to produce a tablet capable of luring consumers to purchase the iPad over an iPhone or a laptop, that offers cutting-edge features unavailable from other tablets.

Engineering and Public Policy

Opinion: Trump Budget Cuts To Science Would Harm US Technological Primacy.

In a Bloomberg View Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20, Smith) opinion piece, Noah Smith says the Trump budget proposal “would cut the National Institutes of Health budget by a fifth. That would slow U.S. progress in cutting-edge medical technology and biotech. Those industries are helping Rust Belt cities like Pittsburgh revitalize themselves. Trump’s Midwestern supporters should worry.”

Elementary/Secondary Education

UC Davis Develops New Program Designed To Teach C-STEM At Low Cost Through Computing And Robotics.

The Woodland (CA) Daily Democrat Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16) reports that UC Davis Center for Integrated Computing has developed a new program called C-STEM Studio that is designed to teach STEM through computing and robotics. The program is available on Raspberry Pi computer, Windows and Mac systems and retails from $5-$35.

Local NY High School Students Compete In Robotics Competition.

WROC-TV Share to FacebookShare to Twitter Rochester, NY (3/20) reports that local New York high school students are competing at the Finger Lakes First robotic competition for $50 million in scholarships nationwide. Regional Director of FIRST in Upstate New York Glen Pearson said “Honestly for us, it’s not really about the robots. We’re not trying to make a whole generation of Robot engineers. We’re trying to get kids excited about science, technology and math, and no matter what field they choose in the future, that’s going to be very important to them.” WHEC-TV Share to FacebookShare to Twitter Rochester, NY (3/17) reports that an all girls team from Our Lady of Mercy High School in competing in the FIRST competition with their robot named “Otto.”

Regeneron Science Talent Search Awards Grand Prize To New Jersey Student.

The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20, Balingit) reports the Regeneron Science Talent Search named New Jersey high school senior Indrani Das as its grand prize winner. Das won $250,000 for her project, which examined how brain cells called astrocytes damage neurons and potentially cause brain damage. Her work could help researchers better understand and potentially slow or reverse the process that leads to brain damage. Thousands of high school students participated in the talent search, and 40 finalists presented their work to a selection committee in Washington, DC.

Jacksonville University, Robotics Nonprofit Collaborate To Introduce Students To STEM Fields.

On its website, WJXT-TV Share to FacebookShare to Twitter Jacksonville, FL (3/20) reports the nonprofit Renaissance Jax, which supports about 2,000 Florida students in robotics competitions, partnered with Jacksonville University in a joint effort to “aid local children in their discovery of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) in an enjoyable educational setting that inspires educational and real-world achievement,” according to the nonprofit’s website. Jacksonville University will provide Renaissance Jax with academic and financial support, and will extend five annual scholarships to incoming freshman who competed on a robotics team in high school.

Toyota Donates Northern Kentucky Facility To School.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/20) reports Toyota will donate a facility at its Erlanger campus in northern Kentucky to Boone County Schools. Boone County will use a $6.8 million Work Ready Skills initiative grant to convert the office and engineering lab into the Ignite Institute at Roebling Innovation Center. The school is slated to open for the 2019-20 academic year, and will initially serve grades nine through 12. According to a Toyota news release, the school hopes to expand student possibilities through science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics education; transform the region into a high-value industry magnet; and prepare students for the workforce.

Monday’s Lead Stories

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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

Clarivate Analytics announces the ‘Eugene Garfield Information Sciences Pioneer Award’ to honour Dr. Eugene Garfield’s legacy to Information Sciences

Clarivate Analytics, formerly the Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters, has announced the creation of the ‘Eugene Garfield Information Sciences Pioneer Award’ to honour the legacy of Dr. Eugene Garfield, the visionary founder of the Web of Science and a pioneer of Information Science. This award will be given annually to at least one promising information scientist, selected by a board of prominent scientometricians.
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Elsevier publishes five new plastics and polymers titles

STM publisher Elsevier has announced the publication of Plastics in Medical Devices for Cardiovascular Applications by Ajay Padsalgikar. The book enables designers of new cardiovascular medical devices to make decisions about the kind of plastics needed to manufacture each device by explaining the property requirements of various applications in this area, including artificial valves, lead insulation, balloons and vascular grafts. Elsevier also announced the publication of four additional plastics and polymers books.
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IOP Publishing announces Reviewer Awards winners for 2016

IOP Publishing, as part of its commitment to recognise and reward peer review, has announced their Reviewer Awards winners for 2016. The best reviewers from each journal have been carefully selected by their Editors based on the quality, quantity and timeliness of their reviews. Each journal has chosen one person to receive the Reviewer of the Year Award, and selected a number of other excellent reviewers to receive Outstanding Reviewer awards.
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Knowledge E materials science conference indexed in Web of Science

Information resources and software solutions provider Knowledge E has announced its first conference proceedings indexed in Clarivate Analytics Web of Science (formerly Thomson Reuters and ISI). The IV Sino-Russian ASRTU Symposium on Advanced Materials and Processing Technology was celebrated at Ural Federal University, Russia between the 23rd and 26th June, 2016.
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MDPI journal Cancers accepted for Coverage in Science Citation Index Expanded (Web of Science)

Academic open-access publisher Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI) has announced thatCancers, an international, peer-reviewed open access journal on oncology, has been accepted for indexing in the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE), as well as BIOSIS Previews and Biological Abstracts. The coverage starts with volume 6 (2014); the articles will be available in Web of Science soon.
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Association of Research Libraries releases ARL Academic Health Sciences Library Statistics 2014–2015

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released ARL Academic Health Sciences Library Statistics 2014–2015, which presents data describing collections, expenditures, personnel, and services in 59 health sciences libraries at ARL member institutions in the US and Canada. The ARL Statistics Collection provides online access to the annual publications ARL Statistics, ARL Academic Health Sciences Library Statistics, and ARL Academic Law Library Statistics that have been published since 2006.
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Latest edition of Blogspeak now online

The latest edition of Blogspeak is now online. Featured are: Anne-Wil Harzing (Google Scholar is a serious alternative to Web of Science); David Moher and Larissa Shamseer (Black lists, white lists and the evidence: exploring the features of ‘predatory’ journals); Rick Anderson (The Danger of Face Validity); EBSCOpost Blog (Three Challenges for Corporate Institutional Repositories – Answered); and Kornelia Junge (Using altmetrics to deliver value to authors and editors). 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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Latest Publications: UC Davis/UC Davis Medical Center

Search Alert: 90 new results
Your search alert called “UCD/UCDMC” has found 90 new results on Scopus. |  View all new results in Scopus
First 25 of 90 results
Document Author(s) Date Source Title
1 . Tangible geospatial modeling for collaborative solutions to invasive species management Tonini, F., Shoemaker, D., Petrasova, A., Harmon, B., Petras, V., Cobb, R.C., Mitasova, H., Meentemeyer, R.K. 2017 Environmental Modelling and Software ,
92 pp. 176 – 188 .
2 . Non-destructive prediction of soluble solids and dry matter content using NIR spectroscopy and its relationship with sensory quality in sweet cherries Escribano, S., Biasi, W.V., Lerud, R., Slaughter, D.C., Mitcham, E.J. 2017 Postharvest Biology and Technology ,
128 pp. 112 – 120 .
3 . Control of nitrification/denitrification in an onsite two-chamber intermittently aerated membrane bioreactor with alkalinity and carbon addition: Model and experiment Perera, M.K., Englehardt, J.D., Tchobanoglous, G., Shamskhorzani, R. 2017 Water Research ,
115 pp. 94 – 110 .
4 . Active targeting theranostic iron oxide nanoparticles for MRI and magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound ablation of lung cancer Wang, Z., Qiao, R., Tang, N., Lu, Z., Wang, H., Zhang, Z., Xue, X., Huang, Z., Zhang, S., Zhang, G., Li, Y. 2017 Biomaterials ,
127 pp. 25 – 35 .
5 . Flanking region variation of ForenSeq™ DNA Signature Prep Kit STR and SNP loci in Yavapai Native Americans Wendt, F.R., King, J.L., Novroski, N.M.M., Churchill, J.D., Ng, J., Oldt, R.F., McCulloh, K.L., Weise, J.A., Smith, D.G., Kanthaswamy, S., Budowle, B. 2017 Forensic Science International: Genetics ,
28 pp. 146 – 154 .
6 . A prospective study of low fasting glucose with cardiovascular disease events and all-cause mortality: The Women’s Health Initiative Mongraw-Chaffin, M., LaCroix, A.Z., Sears, D.D., Garcia, L., Phillips, L.S., Salmoirago-Blotcher, E., Zaslavsky, O., Anderson, C.A.M. 2017 Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental ,
70 pp. 116 – 124 .
7 . A tale of two temporal coding strategies: Common and dissociable brain regions involved in recency versus associative temporal order retrieval strategies Lieberman, J.S., Kyle, C.T., Schedlbauer, A., Stokes, J., Ekstrom, A.D. 2017 Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience ,
29 ( 4 ) pp. 739 – 754 .
8 . Testing identifying assumptions in nonseparable panel data models Ghanem, D. 2017 Journal of Econometrics ,
197 ( 2 ) pp. 202 – 217 .
9 . Structural insights into the atomistic mechanisms of action of small molecule inhibitors targeting the KCa3.1 channel pore Nguyen, H.M., Singh, V., Pressly, B., Jenkins, D.P., Wulff, H., Yarov-Yarovoy, V. 2017 Molecular Pharmacology ,
91 ( 4 ) pp. 392 – 402 .
10 . Amygdala reactivity predicts adolescent antisocial behavior but not callous-unemotional traits Dotterer, H.L., Hyde, L.W., Swartz, J.R., Hariri, A.R., Williamson, D.E. 2017 Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience ,
24 pp. 84 – 92 .
11 . Mothers’ Employment Attributes and Use of Preventive Child Health Services Shepherd-Banigan, M., Bell, J.F., Basu, A., Booth-Laforce, C., Harris, J.R. 2017 Medical Care Research and Review ,
74 ( 2 ) pp. 208 – 226 .
12 . Novel method for the extraction and identification of microplastics in ocean trawl and fish gut matrices Wagner, J., Wang, Z.-M., Ghosal, S., Rochman, C., Gassel, M., Wall, S. 2017 Analytical Methods ,
9 ( 9 ) pp. 1479 – 1490 .
13 . Advancing Human Health through Exploration of Plant Metabolism and Reaping the Benefits of Edible Medicinal Plants Tian, L., Hu, Y., Chen, X.-Y. 2017 Molecular Plant ,
10 ( 3 ) pp. 533 – 536 .
14 . The C-reactive protein/albumin ratio, a validated prognostic score, predicts outcome of surgical renal cell carcinoma patients Guo, S., He, X., Chen, Q., Yang, G., Yao, K., Dong, P., Ye, Y., Chen, D., Zhang, Z., Qin, Z., Liu, Z., Xue, Y., Zhang, M., Liu, R., Zhou, F., Han, H. 2017 BMC Cancer ,
17 ( 1 ) , art. no. 171
15 . Connecting tweakable and multi-key blockcipher security Lee, J., Luykx, A., Mennink, B., Minematsu, K. 2017 Designs, Codes, and Cryptography ,
pp. 1 – 18 .

Article in Press

16 . A GLABRA1 ortholog on LG A9 controls trichome number in the Japanese leafy vegetables Mizuna and Mibuna (Brassica rapa L. subsp. nipposinica L. H. Bailey): evidence from QTL analysis Kawakatsu, Y., Nakayama, H., Kaminoyama, K., Igarashi, K., Yasugi, M., Kudoh, H., Nagano, A.J., Yano, K., Kubo, N., Kimura, S. 2017 Journal of Plant Research ,
pp. 1 – 12 .

Article in Press

17 . Multiple Ecological Factors Influence the Location of Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis larvatus) Sleeping Sites in West Kalimantan, Indonesia Feilen, K.L., Marshall, A.J. 2017 International Journal of Primatology ,
pp. 1 – 18 .

Article in Press

18 . The role of ultrasound (US) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in penile fracture mapping for modified surgical repair Zare Mehrjardi, M., Darabi, M., Bagheri, S.M., Kamali, K., Bijan, B. 2017 International Urology and Nephrology ,
pp. 1 – 9 .

Article in Press

19 . Unity in defence: Honeybee workers exhibit conserved molecular responses to diverse pathogens Doublet, V., Poeschl, Y., Gogol-Döring, A., Alaux, C., Annoscia, D., Aurori, C., Barribeau, S.M., Bedoya-Reina, O.C., Brown, M.J.F., Bull, J.C., Flenniken, M.L., Galbraith, D.A., Genersch, E., Gisder, S., Grosse, I., Holt, H.L., Hultmark, D., Lattorff, H.M.G., Le Conte, Y., Manfredini, F., McMahon, D.P., Moritz, R.F.A., Nazzi, F., Niño, E.L., Nowick, K., van Rij, R.P., Paxton, R.J., Grozinger, C.M. 2017 BMC Genomics ,
18 ( 1 ) , art. no. 207
20 . Modeling organic electronic materials: bridging length and time scales Harrelson, T.F., Moulé, A.J., Faller, R. 2017 Molecular Simulation ,
pp. 1 – 13 .

Article in Press

21 . Predominant contribution of L-type Cav1.2 channel stimulation to impaired intracellular calcium and cerebral artery vasoconstriction in diabetic hyperglycemia Morotti, S., Nieves-Cintrón, M., Nystoriak, M.A., Navedo, M.F., Grandi, E. 2017 Channels ,
pp. 1 – 7 .

Article in Press

22 . Point-counterpoint: What is the optimal approach for detection of clostridium difficile infection? Fang, F.C., Polage, C.R., Wilcox, M.H. 2017 Journal of Clinical Microbiology ,
55 ( 3 ) pp. 670 – 680 .
23 . Diabetes spatial care paths, leading edge HbA1c testing, facilitation thresholds, proactive-preemptive strategic intelligence, and unmanned aerial vehicles in limited-resource countries Kost, G.J., Pratumvinit, B. 2017 Point of Care ,
16 ( 1 ) pp. 12 – 31 .
24 . Hot matters-Experimental methods for high-temperature property measurement Navrotsky, A., Ushakov, S.V. 2017 American Ceramic Society Bulletin ,
96 ( 2 ) pp. 22 – 28 .
25 . Predicting fracture in civil engineering steel structures: State of the art Amit, K. 2017 Journal of Structural Engineering (United States) ,
143 ( 3 ) , art. no. 03116001
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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

Proposed Budget Cuts Seek To Shift Research Initiatives To Private Sector.

EnergyWire Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/17, Ferris, Subscription Publication) reported that President Trump’s proposed budget calls for a “historic scaling-back of research and development by the Department of Energy, upending decades of bipartisan consensus on the department’s mission.” The Administration believes that the private sector, not the federal government, should be leading major research initiatives. Meanwhile, “entrepreneurs who receive DOE research funding see themselves as helping the United States gain a competitive edge in a global energy sector.” E&E notes that it is “unclear how a DOE retreat would affect today’s system” in which the federal government often collaborates with outside partners in “complex, expensive efforts to turn a promising technology into actual product.”

ClimateWire Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/17, Subscription Publication) reported that the 5.6 percent cut to DOE’s overall budget and the programs slated for elimination “runs counter to Perry’s stated support for programs like ARPA-E.” In a post on Twitter last week, Perry wrote, “Innovators like the ones supported by our @ARPAE program are key to advancing America’s energy economy.” He later released a statement calling the budget “forward looking, mission focused.”

Newsday (NY) Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/19, Dobie) contributor Michael Dobie laments budget cuts to the Energy Department, which target “programs studying biofuels, energy efficiency and renewable energy— like cutting-edge battery research being done at Brookhaven National Laboratory,” and are “critical because the nation’s transition to alternative energy will require more efficient storage of energy.”

Key Republican Appropriator Pushes Back Against Trump Budget Cuts. E&E Daily Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/17, Subscription Publication) reported that a key Republican appropriator “pushed back” against President’s Trump’s sharp budget cuts, stating that discretionary spending is “already under control because of earlier cuts.” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee, is a longtime supporter of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program with noted interest in national laboratories. He maintained that Congress, not the White House, is responsible for determining whether a program is wasteful and should be cut.

Higher Education

Engineering Students Experience “Revolutionary” Change To Education System.

U.S. News & World Report Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/17, Marsa) reported on the “rapid surge in interest in advanced manufacturing, or in using sophisticated technologies to re-energize the country’s manufacturing sector.” Carnegie Mellon University’s Jelena Kovacevic, head of the electrical and computer engineering department, is quoted saying, “Engineering education is undergoing a revolution. … At the center of meeting today’s challenges is an age-old idea: Learn by making, doing and experimenting. We can do this by imbuing real-world problems into our curricula through projects, internships and collaboration with companies.” The article says Kovacevic is “currently working within a $10 million collaboration between Purdue and General Electric aimed at devising new ways to boost factory output and lower production costs.”

Administration Rescinds Rule That Blocked Student Loan Agencies From Targeting Defaulted Borrowers.

McClatchy Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/17, Welsh) reports the Department of Education on Thursday “rolled back a 2015 rule that prevented student-debt collection of large fees from defaulted borrowers who quickly begin paying again.” The department in a statement “said the Obama administration rule would have benefited from public comment before it was put in place,” and it “said the rule would not be reinstated without a period of public comments. In the meantime, guaranty agencies are free to resume collecting the fees.”

The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/17, Douglas-Gabriel) reports that the move comes “days after a report on federal student loans revealed a double-digit rise in defaults,” explaining that ED “is ordering guarantee agencies that collect on defaulted debt to disregard a memo former President Barack Obama’s administration issued on the old bank-based federal lending program, known as the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program. That memo forbid the agencies from charging fees for up to 16 percent of the principal and accrued interest owed on the loans, if the borrower entered the government’s loan rehabilitation program within 60 days of default.” Politico Morning Education Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/17) also covers this story.

Key Members Of Congress Seeking Answers About FAFSA Data Retrieval Tool Shutdown.

Politico Morning Education Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/17) reports that the leaders of Congress’ education committees from both parties are calling for “more information about the IRS and Education Department’s sudden decision earlier this month to suspend” the FAFSA Data Retrieval Tool, which allows applicants to import tax return information into their FAFSA. The members are calling on DeVos to brief them on the situation, saying “they wanted to know ‘the cause and scope of the outage and the steps the [Education] Department and the IRS will take to assist students and families that are impacted.’”

Inside Higher Ed Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/17) also covers this story.

Lack Of HBCU Funding Boost In Trump Budget Sparks Criticism.

Politico Morning Education Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/17) reports that President Trump’s recent executive order “aimed at supporting historically black colleges…failed to deliver on a major request from those college leaders: A call for more money for the schools.” President Trump’s budget proposal, the piece reports, adds to HBCUs’ funding woes because though it keeps direct funding level, “it also recommends cuts to programs that help low-income students pay for college — and which are particularly critical for these colleges.” The article quotes Marybeth Gasman, who runs the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Minority-Serving Institutions, saying, “He’s not genuine in his support of HBCUs in particular because he was willing to put forth a budget like this.”

CUNY Going To “Fundamentally” Rework Its Remediation Programs.

The New York Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/19, Harris, Subscription Publication) reports that in a effort to better prepare students for college-level classes, the City University of New York (CUNY) is going to “fundamentally rework its traditional remedial programs.” Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost at CUNY Vita C. Rabinowitz said that currently 80 percent of freshman require remediation and that after one year only half of the students have advanced out of remediation. Rabinowitz also said that “we had outcomes that were in line with national averages, which is to say very disappointing,” and that is the system is not working then “CUNY is not working.”

From ASEE
Prism Podcast
One faculty member has a method for dealing with engineering education’s “dirty” words.

Webinar – Landing a Job in Academia and Industry
Part of ASEE’s early career webinar series, topics include seeking and securing positions in academia and industry. Nadia Kellam (Arizona State University) and Katy Arenschield (Ohio State University) offer tips and techniques to 1) craft resumes and application packages, 2) impress recruiters and interviewers, 3) negotiate with tact, and more! This March 22 webinar is only $5 for ASEE student members. Learn more and register today.

ASEE Member Needs Survey
Take a few moments to let us know how ASEE can better serve you, our valued members.

Research and Development

University Teams Working With NASA’s Valkyrie Robots.

TechCrunch Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/18, Heater) reported on a NASA Valkyrie robot currently on loan to Northeastern University researchers as part of the agency’s Space Robotics Challenge. The $2 million, six-foot, 290-pound model is one of four units produced by NASA, which kept one and loaned the others to MIT and Scotland’s University of Edinburgh. While Valkyrie is a test robot and will never make the journey to space, the research teams are working “to help prep Valkryie’s successors prepare for the important task of setting up hostile Martian terrain for human settlement.” In January, NASA narrowed the Space Robotics Challenge down to 20 finalists competing for a $1 million prize.

NASA Adds Four Research Teams SSERVI Roster.

Engadget Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/19) reports that NASA has added four research teams to the roster of its Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI). NASA selected the teams from 22 finalists, and the four join nine other SSERVI teams to share $3 to $5 million of annual funding from the agency over the next five years. The teams’ research areas are the moon, near-Earth asteroids, and Martian moons Phobos and Deimos.

Scientists: Texas Well Placed To Lead Hydrogen Fuel Cell Development.

In an op-ed in the San Antonio Express-News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/19, Lloyd, Webber), senior research fellow at the University of Texas at Austin’s Energy Institute Alan C. Lloyd and deputy director at the Energy Institute Michael E. Webber argue that “Texas is ideally situated to be a leader in producing hydrogen” fuel cells “for the next generation of electrically powered vehicles.” They explain that the state “has excellent resources of natural gas – the main feedstock for manufacturing hydrogen – and of solar and wind, which can be used to produce renewable hydrogen by electrolyzing water.” They note that the technology has support, including a group of “13 major international companies” that “recently created a Hydrogen Council to pool” nearly $2 billion “to promote hydrogen in the energy transition.”

Engineering and Public Policy

NYTimes A1: Driver Hubs In New York Show Competition Between Taxis, Uber.

A front-page New York Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/18, A1, Hu, Subscription Publication) article reports on the competition between Uber and the New York City’s taxis as exemplified in their competing centers with the one serving cabdrivers having opened in 2015 and being 3,000 square feet, while the Uber center is 30,000 square feet with “a raft of lucrative perks that are unmatched by the taxi center.” Uber has opened similar, though smaller, hubs in other major cities “including in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Philadelphia and Miami.”

The New York Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/18, Benner, Subscription Publication) reports in a second story on problems Uber is facing, including charges of discrimination and sexual harassment, other ethical allegations, and a video of CEO Travis Kalanick telling “one of Uber’s drivers that ‘some people just don’t want to take responsibility’ for their own behavior.” The article focuses on the actions of board member and early investor Bill Gurley, who is “helping the company search for a chief operating officer” and is regarded as a moderating influence on the company and personally on Kalanick.

EPA Awards $100 Million To Upgrade Flint Water System.

Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/17, Volcovici) reports the Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday it has awarded $100 million to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality “to upgrade Flint, Michigan’s drinking water infrastructure to address a crisis that exposed thousands of children to lead poisoning.” The money was disbursed under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, which was passed by Congress last year and signed into law by former President Obama.

Maryland Governor Supports Fracking Ban.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/17, Witte) reports Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan expressed support for a statewide fracking ban Friday. The announcement “gives a strong boost to legislation to ban the drilling process.” The Baltimore Sun Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/17, Wood, Dresser) reports Hogan called the ban “an important initiative to safeguard our environment,” and called on “members of the legislature on both sides of the aisle and in both houses to come together and finally put this issue to rest.”

Automotive Executives Expect Pursuit Of Efficiency To Continue Even If US Eases Requirements.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/17, Krisher) reports from a Thursday meeting of Auto industry executives near Detroit where they said that President Trump’s decision to reconsider fuel economy standards “might allow for sales of more trucks,” but that “the pursuit of fuel-efficiency technologies will proceed unabated.” That’s because of “the billions of dollars already invested in efficient vehicles,” and “other countries are toughening” efficiency standards. The AP explains that Trump announced earlier in the week that the EPA “will re-examine gas mileage requirements” adopted by the Obama Administration in its “last days,” a decision which “automakers lobbied Trump hard to get.” Now, “given Trump’s promises to auto CEOs” it is expected that “the requirements will be weakened.”

Elementary/Secondary Education

Connecticut To Implement Climate Change-Related Instruction With New Science Standards.

The Greenwich (CT) Time Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/19) reports Connecticut “is in the midst of converting school science curriculum to the Next Generation Science Standards, an inquiry-based program created by several states, the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.” Those standards will require teachers to increase the number of lessons related to climate change and other environmental issues. Some educators compared the subject matter to evolution, which is taught in biology classes and no longer considered controversial because, as Shepaug Valley School science department chair Scott Werkhoven explained, it “is one of the cornerstones of biology” and “one of the central themes that explains how life arose to what we have today and how things are related.” Even though “the existence of climate change is widely accepted, its cause is more controversial,” so Newton assistant superintendent Jean Evans Davila stressed that its instruction must adhere to state and national standards.

STEM Gender Gap Decreases In High School, Persists Beyond.

EdSource Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/19) reports the National Girls Collaborative Project, which is partially funded by the National Science Foundation, suggested female students now account for about half of high school science and math class enrollments and score nearly identical to their male peers on standardized tests. Yet, “progress lags beyond the walls of high schools.” Female college students are still underrepresented in STEM majors, and those “numbers are even lower in the workplace.” High school girls’ increased STEM participation is largely attributed to nonprofits’ efforts and general societal trend shifts, but those changes “have not been across” all STEM fields. Colleges are encouraging women to pursue computer and engineering fields through various programs, but obstacles to those efforts include gender differences in career goals, Silicon Valley’s male-dominated culture, and video games that typically depict girls “in demeaning ways, either as sidekicks or as hypersexualized.”

Washington School District Purchases Virtual Welding Machine.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/19) reports the Longview School District in Longview, Washington recently purchased a $35,000 Lincoln Electric virtual welding machine “designed to help beginning welders learn the techniques and basics.” The district funded the purchase with its Computer and Technical Education budget in hopes of granting “students a step up toward a potentially lucrative career.” The “new, hidden gem” looks like an “elaborate video game device,” but it “spits out a report card on the student’s performance” and makes immediately available “images of the student’s finished virtual weld, along with statistics on position, arc length, work angle, travel angle and travel speed.” It also identifies “potential reasons for why the weld was imperfect.” Industrial technology teacher Tim Lam said the system saves grading time and money that would be otherwise necessary to finance real welding materials.

San Francisco Hosts Regional First Robotics Competition.

The San Francisco Chronicle Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/18) reported hundreds of high school students participated this weekend in the regional For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (“First”) Robotics Competition in San Francisco. The winners advance to Houston in April for the world final. This year’s theme is SteamWorks, “standing for science, technology, engineering, arts and math,” and students designed and built their robots from scratch in only six weeks.

New Jersey Students Participate In Wind Turbine Competition.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/18) reported New Jersey high school students gathered at Paramus High School on Friday to participate in the New Jersey STEM League competition “to create the most efficient wind turbine.” Student teams used computer-aided drafting, or CAD, to develop wind turbine scheme drawings, tested their models in a physics experiment, and “then built a product based on their drawing.” The wind turbines were pitted against “electric fans to see which ones produced the most electricity.” Judges scored the students not only on their wind turbines’ energy output, but also on students’ public speaking skills and how well they explained their designs.

Montana School District Increases Focus On Career And Technical Education.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/18, Hoffman) reported Montana’s School District 2 has, in recent years, heightened its focus on career and technical education. This year, it “started funneling more freshmen and sophomores toward the Career Center, which was traditionally home to older students.” The district praised a bill adding $1 million in CTE funding in 2015, but because the state “still lags far behind most states,” SD2 “is spearheading another funding increase proposal this year.” It also announced a new administrative position aimed at coordinating district education with employers’ needs. SD2 will pay half of the new position’s salary, and local businesses and foundations will finance the other half.

Friday’s Lead Stories

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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

Two new titles join Nature Research journals portfolio

Two new titles will join the Nature Research journals portfolio in January 2018 – Nature Catalysis and Nature Electronics. They will open for submissions in the spring of 2017. The journals will be online-only and subscription-based. They will be included in Springer Nature’s SharedIt content sharing initiative, which was recently expanded across the Springer Nature owned portfolio.
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EBSCO Information Services partners with MOTOR Information Systems to offer AutoMate

EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) and MOTOR Information Systems (MOTOR), the world’s premier supplier of automotive data for over 100 years, have announced a partnership to offer AutoMateTM, a reference database that provides accurate, authoritative and up-to-date auto service and repair information. Powered by the automotive experts at MOTOR, AutoMate delivers trusted, reliable information on more than 38,000 domestic and imported cars, light trucks, vans and SUVs, making it a valuable resource for vehicle owners, auto service companies and auto enthusiasts.
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New SPARC Europe report on Open Data and Open Science policies in Europe

SPARC Europe, together with the Digital Curation Centre (DCC), has released a report that provides a snapshot of various Open Data and Open Science policies, as they currently stand throughout Europe. The report gives an overview and quick access via live links to the sourced policy information, by country.
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MyScienceWork wins NFAIS national ‘Startup Shootout’ competition

The 2017 Winner of the Year in the National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS) Startup Shootout was MyScienceWork, a startup organisation that serves the whole scholarly community with services and products optimized by strong semantic algorithms and one of the largest databases of research content and profiles. MyScienceWork received a plaque from NFAIS and an invitation to present in an upcoming NFAIS Webinar.
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Annual Reviews appoints Eva Emerson to lead new digital magazine

Nonprofit publisher Annual Reviews has announced that Eva Emerson has been appointed editor to lead a soon-to-be launched digital magazine. Eva has an outstanding track record in the communication of science, having most recently served as Editor of Science News. She brings over 20 years of experience in science communication to the Annual Reviews team.
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AAU, ARL, AAUP to launch Open Access Monograph Publishing Initiative

The Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Association of American University Presses (AAUP) are implementing a new initiative to advance the wide dissemination of scholarship by humanities and humanistic social sciences faculty members by publishing free, open access, digital editions of peer-reviewed and professionally edited monographs. The AAU/ARL/AAUP Open Access Monograph Publishing Initiative, expected to launch this spring, will benefit scholars, the public, universities, libraries, and presses in several ways.
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ACCUCOMS to represent Meteo Inc. in North America

ACCUCOMS has announced a partnership with Japanese publisher Meteo Inc. for its sales representation services in North America. Meteo Inc., a provider of Japanese medical information, has partnered with ACCUCOMS to expand the reach of Medical*Online-E information service into the United States and Canada.
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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

Trump Budget Would Sharply Cut Funding For Scientific Research.

The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Achenbach) reports that the budget proposal released by the Trump administration on Thursday “calls for a seismic disruption in government-funded medical and scientific research,” with cuts that are both “deep and broad.” The Post notes that scientific research has depended “to a large degree on competitive grants distributed by federal agencies that face dramatic budget cuts,” noting that while “investment in research and development has been seen since World War II as critical to national prosperity and security,” Trump plan expresses the view that “government-funded science, like government more broadly, has become too sprawling.” The Post says the plan “seems likely to energize scientists and students who have been rattled by Trump’s rhetoric and political appointments and are preparing to participate in the ‘March for Science’ demonstration scheduled for April 22 in Washington.” Moreover, though the plan “does not mention the National Science Foundation,” it “may fall under the category of ‘other agencies,’ which are not detailed but which the blueprint puts down for a 9.8 percent cut.”

The New York Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Fountain, Schwartz, Subscription Publication) reports that Trump unveiled his proposed budget on Thursday to the shock of “scientists, researchers and program administrators,” who were alarmed by an 18 percent cut to the National Institutes of Health, and a nearly 20 percent from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Climate science programs throughout the federal government were also targeted for elimination. During a White House briefing, Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, further clarified, “As to climate change, I think the president was fairly straightforward: We’re not spending money on that anymore.” The Washington Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Boyer) reports that the budget proposal offers $100 million in savings in fiscal 2018 “by discontinuing funding for climate-change research, international climate-change programs and the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.” The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Paletta) reports that if implemented, the budget cuts would “represent the widest swath of reductions in federal programs since the drawdown after World War II,” a state goal of the new administration. Meanwhile, the AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Daly) says the budget cuts to science and environmental programs “reflect the Republican’s rejection of mainstream science.”

Inside Higher Ed Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16) reports the budget “would make deep cuts to some student aid programs and science agencies on which colleges, their students and their researchers depend.” Funding for Pell grants and HBCUs would remain level, though “the Trump administration has pledged to provide help for historically black colleges, and some leaders of HBCUs have been hoping for increases.” PBS NewsHour Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16) runs a piece with a set of thumbnails detailing how the cuts would impact various categorites of research.

Scientific Community Warns Of Dire Consequences Of Cuts. The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Achenbach) reports that “leaders of the scientific and medical establishment woke up to [the] startling news Thursday morning and quickly fired off statements of protest and alarm,” saying the plan “threatens America’s pre-eminence in science and technology.” The piece quotes American Association for the Advancement of Science CEO Rush Holt saying, “This is not a budget that’s designed to make America first.”

McClatchy Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Koh) reports that the “harsh cuts to federal funding for scientific research” prompted “American scientists across the country to condemn what they feared might cripple the nation’s scientific advancement.” Some went so far as to tell “younger scientists and researchers to consider giving up on the United States and moving to China, Germany or other countries instead to pursue their careers.”

Budget Would Defund NASA Education Office. The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Kaplan) reports that the NAAS Office of Education “is one of several science programs on the chopping block” in the proposal, saying that “to scientists who have benefited from the Office of Education, which represents just half a percent of NASA’s overall budget, its elimination is hard to swallow.”

Higher Education

NSF Grant Provides 3-D Printers For Virginia Tech Student Teachers.

The Augusta (VA) Free Press Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/15) reports that a group of 56 students in the master of education program at Virginia Tech are receiving 3-D printers “as part of a three-year, $449,421 National Science Foundation Research Experience for Teachers grant.” The grant program was “headed by associate professors Christopher Williams, of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering, and Brenda Brand, of science education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences’ School of Education.” The teaching students “will graduate this spring and take up positions primarily with middle and high schools, armed with research-based science training and now, a 3-D printer that will help them develop engaging curriculum for their students.”

Doggett: IRS Shut Down FAFSA Link Due To “Criminal Activity.”

The Wall Street Journal Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Belkin, Korn, Subscription Publication) reports that Rep. Lloyd Doggett (R-TX) says IRS Commissioner John Koskinenon told him Thursday that the IRS shut down the part of ED’s FAFSA website which allows students to import their parents’ tax info because of “criminal activity.” Doggett said Koskinenon “assured me that IRS is working to get it back online for student use this month, and promised prompt updates on the timeline.”

Outside Monitor Questions Zenith’s Progress On Improving Former Corinthian Colleges.

The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Douglas-Gabriel) reports that according to a new report from an independent monitor, Zenith Education Group, which “set out two years ago to turn dozens of campuses formerly owned by for-profit giant Corinthian Colleges into premier nonprofit schools,” is failing to live up to its promises. The review found “69 instances of ‘unfair’ or ‘misleading’ language in the admissions documents,” and while “none of those claims violate the law,” the report “suggests the school is not being completely transparent with students.”

Chicago Teams Up With Local Universities To Create Entrepreneur Program.

The Chicago Business Journal Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Lazare) reports that the City of Chicago is joining with five local universities to create a new Global Entrepreneur in Residence program (Global EIR) to “provide a pathway for an H-1B visa for highly skilled immigrant entrepreneurs” Chicago Mayr Rahm Emanuel announced. Northwestern University president Morton Shapiro said “We are excited to participate in this new effort, which will bring entrepreneurs with a wealth of knowledge and experience and connect them with our students and faculty.”

Survey: 40% Of US Colleges See Decline In International Applicants.

The New York Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Saul, Subscription Publication) reports almost 40 percent of US colleges and universities have reported overall drops in applications from international students, according to a survey of 250 schools that the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers released this week. The survey saw the most significant decline in applications from the Middle East. Almost 50 percent of graduate schools reported decreases. Many officials say prospective students are worried by President Trump’s rhetoric and executive orders, but the Times says trends in applications to overseas colleges are dependent on fluctuations in the economic realm, in addition to the political domain. Uncertainty about the future of the H-1B visa program may also be deterring potential international students.

From ASEE
Prism Podcast
One faculty member has a method for dealing with engineering education’s “dirty” words.

Webinar – Landing a Job in Academia and Industry
Part of ASEE’s early career webinar series, topics include seeking and securing positions in academia and industry. Nadia Kellam (Arizona State University) and Katy Arenschield (Ohio State University) offer tips and techniques to 1) craft resumes and application packages, 2) impress recruiters and interviewers, 3) negotiate with tact, and more! This March 22 webinar is only $5 for ASEE student members. Learn more and register today.

ASEE Member Needs Survey
Take a few moments to let us know how ASEE can better serve you, our valued members.

Research and Development

Purdue Researcher Working On Robot Language Acquisition.

The Lafayette (IN) Journal and Courier Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16) profiles Jeffery Siskind, a professor in Purdue University’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who “has worked for decades to ground natural language in computer and robotics systems.” The piece explains that the research “focuses on facilitating language acquisition in computers and robots.” Siskind’s team has used a NSF grant to develop “the process and technology to teach a robotic car how to drive and navigate based on verbally issued instructions.”

Study: Earth’s Inner Van Allen Belt Weaker Than Previously Thought.

The International Business Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Pandey) reports that in a new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, scientists found that Earth’s inner Van Allen belt contains less radiation than previously believed. Using NASA’s Van Allen Probes, the scientists discovered that the inner belts “very rarely contain superfast – or relativistic – electrons,” and only do contain them when strong geomagnetic storms push the particles down from the upper belt. The scientists said that the discovery “may enable scientists and engineers to design lighter and cheaper satellites tailored to withstand the less intense radiation levels they’ll encounter.”

MIT Students Unveil AI-Power Robot.

The Economic Times (IND) Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Sangani) reports that Maharashtra Institute of Technology students unveiled its new AI-powered robot called Chintu. According to the Times, the final year computer engineering students got the robot from SoftBank Robotics and equipped it with APIs from IBM’s Watson and an IBM Bluemix Cloud platform. The Times adds that the “robot is the result of IBM’s global Shared University Research grant [program], under which the team at MIT received a grant of Rs 10 lakh to work on this project.”

Canadian Researches Develop A Flexible Touchscreen Sensor.

TechRadar Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Geere) reports engineers from the University of British Columbia have developed a new inexpensive sensor that could be useful in bendable phones. The engineers created a sensor that can detect “different kinds of touch even when stretched, folded or bent,” that is made from “a conductive gel sandwiched between two layers of silicone.” Mirza Saquib Sarwar, a PhD student in electrical and computer engineering at UBC said that it is currently “possible to make a room-sized version of this sensor for just dollars per square metre.” The team also sees the technology being implanted into robots as a way to make interactions with humans safer, as a robot that “could detect our presence and be ‘soft’ enough that they don’t damage us during an interaction,” is a possibility.

Industry News

Cars May Become More Efficient, Even Without Efficiency Rules.

Bloomberg News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Stock) reports that while Trump has said he will roll back efficiency rules for automakers, cars may still become more efficient. The article highlights that over the last nine years, “the federal measurement of efficiency in the U.S. fleet has increased 25 percent, to 31.3 miles per gallon, according to the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute.” The article explains “many of the engineering improvements are driven by performance as much as environmental concerns.”

Engineering and Public Policy

House Panel Eyes Hydro Power Permit Reforms.

E&E Daily Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Subscription Publication) reports House members on the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy expressed interest in streamlining the permitting process for expanding the use of hydropower, a process witnesses “said has been hamstrung by duplicative and unnecessary regulations.” Chairman Fred Upton “noted the increasingly difficult regulatory environment facing hydropower,” while ranking member on the full committee Rep. Frank Pallone touted hydropower as a “virtually carbon-free baseload” energy source. E&E reports Chuck Hookham of the American Society of Civil Engineers said the largest obstacles to revamping hydropower “are low natural gas prices, permitting uncertainty, increasingly cheaper wind and solar power, long lead times and reviews for new projects, and other market conditions.” Hookham called on Congress to fully fund dam inspection programs and research at DOE to study the privatization of “select federally owned dams” where the local community can operate the facilities.

California Utilities Lose Business To Community Choice Aggregators.

Bloomberg News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/15, Eckhouse, Martin) reports California utilities are losing business to community choice aggregators, with Pacific Gas & Electric expecting “to lose about 7.3 percent of its electric load this year, and potentially 21 percent by 2020.” The article reports “the shift may eventually account for 40 percent of the total load at San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Edison.” The article mentions that SCE said it is “neutral” on community aggregators, while PG&E said it “supports customer choice and control of their energy.”

Broadcast coverage was provided by KNEW-AM San Francisco (3/16, 2:42 p.m. EDT).

Minnesota Senate Passes Legislation Targeting PUC Oversight.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Hughlett) reports the Minnesota Senate approved legislation “perceived as weakening the authority of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission” over electricity co-ops. The PUC had opened a review of grid connection fees ranging from $7 to $83 that the co-ops had begun charging for new residential solar arrays. Gov. Mark Dayton last month indicated he could veto the Senate bill. A similar House bill passed last originally would have ended the PUC’s solar fee investigation, but it was amended after Dayton said he “would not accept any bill that limits or weakens the (PUC’s) authority.”

Elementary/Secondary Education

Ghanaian And DC High School Students Team Up For STEM.

The Washington Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Times) reports that Ghanaian and DC high school students have teamed up to compete in the inaugural World Smarts STEM Challenge. The challenge puts student and teachers together to develop STEM solutions for community environmental problems. The contest is organized by IREX and funded by a grant from the Carnegie Corp.

Thursday’s Lead Stories

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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

Evidence-based characteristics could help authors recognize predatory journals

A study published in the open access journal BMC Medicine identifies 13 evidence-based characteristics by which potential predatory journals may be distinguished from presumed legitimate ones. While the characteristics identified in this study may not be sensitive enough to detect all potentially predatory journals, the authors hope that their findings may be helpful to researchers in assessing a journal’s legitimacy and quality.
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SAGE Publishing and the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons partner to publish two journals

Academic publisher SAGE Publishing will partner with the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons to publishPlastic Surgery and Plastic Surgery Case Studies. The journals serve as major outlets for Canadian research, society guidelines, and continuing medical education.
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The IET launches new OA journal – Engineering Biology

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has launched a new fully open access engineering journal,Engineering Biology. The new online-only journal is focused on the application of engineering science and practice to the design of biological devices and systems for a wide range of fields and applications including biosensors, medical and plant biology.
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ScienceOpen announces new partnership with Karger

Research network ScienceOpen has announced a partnership with Karger, a biomedical publisher of international speciality journals and books covering basic and clinical research. Two of their thematic articles packages, one on Stroke and another one on Diabetes are now indexed on the ScienceOpen platform.
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Registrations for 9th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing now open

The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) has announced that registrations and accommodations for the 9th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing (COASP) are now open. This year, the annual conference will take place in Lisbon, Portugal at the Altis Grand Hotel on September 20-21, 2017.
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Altmetric releases new version of the Explorer for Publishers platform

Data science company Altmetric has announced the release of a new version of the Explorer for Publishers platform. Designed to make it easier than ever for publishers to explore and report on the online engagement and academic impact for their own articles, books, datasets and other publications, the platform also offers insights into the competitive landscape.
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