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November 27, 2014

Posts in "R&D"

November 11, 2014

‘Queen of Carbon’ Among Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients

1512238381 154x240 Queen of Carbon Among Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients

Mildred Dresselhaus after receiving the 2012 Kavli prize in Oslo on Sept. 4, 2012. (AAS, ERLEND/AFP/GettyImages)

Among the Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients announced early Monday evening:  Mildred Dresselhaus, also known as the Queen of Carbon.

The White House release described the physics and electrical engineering professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as “one of the most prominent physicists, materials scientists, and electrical engineers of her generation,” and that “she is best known for deepening our understanding of condensed matter systems and the atomic properties of carbon, which has contributed to major advances in electronics and materials research.”

The New York Times published an interview with her in 2012. The piece described her work on carbon, her various accolades — including the 2012 Kavli Price in Nanoscience — and noted that she’s been a “prominent advocate for women in physics and engineering, disciplines that are still short on high-ranking female faces and that were outright hostile to women when she began her career in the late 1950s.”

Full story

By Anne L. Kim Posted at 8:29 a.m.
R&D

September 26, 2014

Friday Q&A: Application Developers Alliance’s Tim Sparapani

Tim 335x335 Friday Q&A: Application Developers Alliances Tim Sparapani

(Source: Application Developers Alliance)

The Application Developers Alliance, which *surprise* represents app developers, is just a couple years old and has roughly 40,000 individual and nearly 180 companies as members. The policy issues they focus on are data and patents and Technocrat talked with the group’s vice president for policy, law and government affairs, Tim Sparapani. He was previously Facebook’s public policy director and senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Q: What are your top policy issues that you’re working on right now?

A: Well, it’ll be no surprise that most of them revolve around data.

And, you know, because our members are the experts in how to build new and novel technologies, using both businesses’ and the public’s data, there are a whole host of questions that arise from that.

So, they sort of span the globe of things. But mostly it’s about how we can use data wisely and well to benefit consumers and the public writ large.

Sometimes people sort of truncate this by calling it a privacy debate. Well, it’s a lot more than that. You know, it’s a really a sort of a debate about whether data can be used to solve a series of societal problems, as our members believe it can be. And whether we can provide increasingly customized and personalized services and benefits to individuals, which give them tools and services that before the app industry arose used to cost them a whole lot of money, and now we can hopefully give them to them for free or nearly so. So it’s also about consumer benefit.

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September 11, 2014

Eshoo Wants an Updated Innovation Agenda Next Congress

armenian presser002 040814 445x292 Eshoo Wants an Updated Innovation Agenda Next Congress

Eshoo attends a news conference at the House Triangle on April 8. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

If California House Democrat Anna G. Eshoo, who’s been vying to become the top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee next Congress, gets that spot, one area she might pursue is updating an innovation agenda.

Eshoo spoke at an education and technology event hosted by The Atlantic on Thursday, and while she didn’t mention her bid for the senior Democratic spot on the panel, she did say she wants to see an updated innovation agenda next Congress. She wrote an innovation agenda for Democrats several years ago and next Congress she said she wants to “update the innovation agenda, to go back and review not only what we accomplished, but where we need to build.”

“I think that we really have to put the pedal to the medal in producing future teachers that are skilled… in these key areas of science, technology, engineering and math,” she continued. “And we need to bring that and integrate it into the educational experience of younger and younger students and we need to attract more girls and young women into the field.”

Eshoo, currently the ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee, also called for a reauthorization  of a science authorization law known as America COMPETES. The most recent reauthorization expired in 2013.

August 1, 2014

Senate Appropriators Worry About ‘Gold Standard’ of Research, Too

House appropriators have worried the “gold standard” of science — the ability to reproduce results — isn’t being met in a significant amount of recent research. It looks like Senate appropriators have the same concern, at least as it applies to some biomedical research.

July 18, 2014

Sizing Up the National ‘Research Enterprise’

Is the U.S. measuring its “research enterprise” well enough?

At a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing Thursday, Stephen Fienberg, a statistics and social science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, talked about some findings in a report the National Academy issued last month:

We found that current measures are inadequate to guide national decisions about what research investments will expand the benefits of science. Moreover, we noted that the U.S. lacks an institutionalized capacity for systematically evaluating the nation’s research enterprise taken as a whole and assessing its performance and developing policy options for federally-funded research.

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3D Printing in Space: There’s Much to Learn, Report Says

188124497 445x296 3D Printing in Space: Theres Much to Learn, Report Says

This 3D printer creation by Joshua Harker, shown in Paris in November, was not printed in space. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images)

Three-dimensional printing has been a hot topic lately, with Home Depot even starting to sell the machines in some stores and the National Institutes of Health maintaining an exchange for 3D printer files. What about using 3D printing in space? There are potential benefits, but we still don’t know the full scope of this technology, and its capabilities in the short-term have been exaggerated, says a new report by the National Research Council.

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July 17, 2014

Amazon, the Cloud and its Call for a Privacy Law Change

CQ Roll Call’s Kerry Young reports that Amazon has asked lawmakers to tweak federal health privacy law to allow freer data flow for research projects conducted through its cloud-services business while maintaining information security.

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Golden Goose Awards Honor Spectrum Auction Brainpower

Robert Wilson, Paul Milgrom and R. Preston McAfee will each receive Golden Goose Awards for work that led to the design of the first Federal Communications Commission spectrum auction.

The awards, offered by a group of university, research and other organizations, go to researchers whose federally-funded work has spurred big social impact.

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By Anne L. Kim Posted at 11:46 a.m.
R&D, Spectrum

July 14, 2014

Botnets, the Video Marketplace and Permanent Internet Tax Ban Bill This Week

This week, activity on the Hill includes hearings on botnets and the future of the video marketplace as well as  House consideration of a permanent ban on taxing Internet access. Elsewhere in Washington, events on the IP transition, data analytics and Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference are on tap.

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July 9, 2014

Facebook News Feed Filtering: Beyond the Emotion Study

Among the flood of writing that’s emerged after news of Facebook’s controversial changing of users’ News Feeds for an emotion study involving more than 689,000 users, a number of articles point out that even the News Feeds that users see outside of such an experiment don’t fully reflect all of their friends’ activities on the site.

For example, Vox’s Nilay Patel writes that “manipulating the News Feed is Facebook’s entire business” and lays out how it works with advertising.

So, what’s the response to the idea that everything’s filtered, whether it’s for a study or not? David Weinberger, a senior researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society in his piece in CNN raises concerns about commercial objectives of entities making decisions about what people see.

Full story

By Anne L. Kim Posted at 10:28 a.m.
Ideas, R&D, Social Media

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