HPC in the News
SDSC's Comet System Offering Virtual Clusters in Current Research Allocation Submission Period
September 15 - October 15, 2015
This is a reminder to those who are submitting a research allocation request in the current submission period. SDSC's Comet system is offering a new Virtual Cluster (VC) capability. VCs can be selected as an option under the Comet resource. VCs provide user communities a way to deploy highly customized software environments that are otherwise difficult to provision in a one-size-fits-all HPC system. The use of Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) ensures that the virtualized environment delivers nearly the same level of performance as the standard cluster. This new capability is being developed in collaboration with partners at Indiana University. To assist those who may be interested in this unique capability, SDSC has provided an overview of what VCs are, when they are appropriate, and what additional information should be provided in the allocation request: http://www.sdsc.edu/support/user_guides/comet.html#clusters. If you are considering submitting a request for a VC, you are invited to contact XSEDE support (firstname.lastname@example.org) and SDSC staff will contact you to discuss your project requirements.
European Experts Offer Advice to Improve Performance of HPC Applications
Developers of applications that require the use of High Performance Computing (HPC) can count now with the free advice of European experts to analyze the performance of its codes. The Performance Optimization and Productivity (POP) Center of Excellence supported by the European Commission, starts operating today. POP is coordinated by the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) and led by the director of BSC’s Computer Sciences Department, Prof. Jesús Labarta. POP Center of Excellence gathers experts from BSC, the German Supercomputing centers in Jülich and Stuttgart, the Technical University of Aachen, the British center of numerical services NAG and the French center of competence for numerical simulation Ter@atec. The aim of POP is to provide service to the industrial and academic community, help them to better understand the behavior of their codes and suggest improvements to increase their efficiency. To read further, please visit http://www.hpcwire.com/off-the-wire/european-experts-offer-advice-to-improve-performance-of-hpc-applications/.
XSEDE16 Website Update
July 17-21, 2016 – Miami, Florida
XSEDE16, the 5th annual conference, will showcase the discoveries, innovations, challenges and achievements of those who use and support XSEDE resources and services, as well as other digital resources and services throughout the world. The XSEDE16 theme is:
DIVERSITY, BIG DATA, & SCIENCE AT SCALE
XSEDE16 will have various opportunities for students to participate, including travel grants that will help students get to Miami. Additionally, potential sponsors can reach a diverse group of individuals in the science community by participating in the conference. To view the website, please visit https://www.xsede.org/web/xsede16/home.
Microsoft to Invest $75 Million in Computer Science Education
Microsoft is investing $75 million over a three-year period to help make computer science more mainstream in schools. Microsoft plans to give $75 million to nonprofits that can spread computer science education throughout the world, CEO Satya Nadella said on Wednesday during Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. The investment is part of the company’s YouthSpark initiative to promote computer science education it originally launched back in 2012. Microsoft will divvy out the money over a three-year period to select programs, including the company’s Technology Education and Literacy in Schools program, in which technology workers partner up with high schools to teach computer science to their students. To read further, please visit http://fortune.com/2015/09/16/microsoft-invest-75-million-computer-science/.
HPC Movers and Shakers
Alexander Szalay Named Recipient of 2015 IEEE Computer Society Sidney Fernbach Award
Alexander Szalay, a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at the Johns Hopkins University, has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 IEEE Computer Society Sidney Fernbach Award. Szalay was recognized “for his outstanding contributions to the development of data-intensive computing systems and on the application of such systems in many scientific areas including astrophysics, turbulence, and genomics.” Established in 1992 in memory of high-performance computing pioneer Sidney Fernbach, the Fernbach Award recognizes outstanding contributions in the application of high-performance computers using innovative approaches. The award consists of a certificate and a (U.S.) $2,000 honorarium. Szalay will be presented with the award on 17 November 2015 in Austin, Texas at the SC15 Conference. To read further, please visit http://www.computer.org/web/pressroom/2015-sidney-fernbach-award.
XSEDE News From Partners and Friends
Yale Researchers Use TACC, SDSC Supercomputing Resources to Study Vascular Disease
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a vascular disease that affects tens of thousands of people around the world each year. The disease occurs most commonly in men over 60, and is characterized by a dilation of the abdominal aortic wall and often a persistent blood clot. The aorta is the largest artery in the body; it allows oxygenated blood to be distributed to organs and tissues throughout the body. Aneurysms, or localized dilatations, can form in the ascending or descending portions of the aorta within the chest or within the descending portion in the abdomen. Abdominal aneurysms are more common and when they rupture, they are often lethal. To read further, please visit http://www.hpcwire.com/off-the-wire/yale-researchers-use-tacc-sdsc-supercomputing-resources-to-study-vascular-disease/.
IU Launches Transformational Grand Challenges Research Program
In an effort to address some of the most urgent challenges facing Indiana and the world, IU has launched the most ambitious research program in the university’s history. IU will invest at least $300 million over the next five years in a Grand Challenges research program to develop transformative solutions for some of the planet’s most pressing problems. Up to five large-scale research projects will be selected through a competitive review process designed to maximize impact on the state, its economy and the quality of life of Hoosiers. These projects will address challenges that are too big to ignore -- such as global water supplies; the availability of energy; infectious diseases; harnessing the power of, and protecting, big data; and climate change -- by catalyzing collaborative and interdisciplinary research, as well as new partnerships with community organizations, industry and government. To read further, please visit https://itnews.iu.edu/articles/2015/iu-launches-transformational-grand-challenges-research-program.php.
SC15 Releases Latest Invited Talk Spotlight: Dr. Daniel A. Keim
Never before has data been generated and collected at such high volumes as it is today. Oct. 1 —As the volumes of multidimensional data available to businesses, scientists, and the public increase, their effective use becomes more challenging. Visual analytics seeks to provide people with effective ways to understand and analyze large multidimensional data sets, while also enabling them to act upon their findings immediately. It integrates the analytic capabilities of the computer and the abilities of the human analyst, allowing novel discoveries and empowering individuals to take control of the analytical process. This talk presents the potential of visual analytics and discusses the role of automated versus interactive visual techniques in dealing with big data. A variety of application examples ranging from news analysis over network security to SC performance analysis illustrate not only the exiting potential of visual analysis techniques, but also their limitations. To read further, please visit http://www.hpcwire.com/off-the-wire/sc15-releases-latest-invited-talk-spotlight-dr-daniel-a-keim/.
SC15 Blog Puts the Spotlight on Invited Talks
Giant oil and gas reservoirs continue to play an important role in providing energy to the world. Nowadays, state of the art technologies are utilized to further explore and produce these reservoirs since a slight increase in the recovery amounts to discovering a mid-size reservoir somewhere else. Mathematical modeling and numerical simulation play a major role in managing and predicting the behavior of these systems using large supercomputers. With the aid of evolving measurement technologies a vast amount of geoscience, fluid and dynamic data is now being collected. Consequently, more and more high resolution, high fidelity numerical models are being constructed. However, certain challenges still remain in model construction and simulating the dynamic behavior of these reservoirs. To read further, please visit http://insidehpc.com/2015/10/sc15-blog-puts-the-spotlight-on-invited-talks/.
Call for Papers and Participation
Call for Papers: The Second International Conference on Big Data, Small Data, Linked Data and Open Data - ALLDATA 2016
February 21 - 25, 2016 - Lisbon, Portugal
Extended Submission Deadline - October 19, 2015.
ALLDATA 2016, The International Conference on Big Data, Small Data, Linked Data and Open Data, is an inaugural event bridging the concepts and the communities devoted to each of data categories for a better understanding of data semantics and their use, by taking advantage from the development of Semantic Web, Deep Web, Internet, non-SQL and SQL structures, progresses in data processing, and the new tendency for acceptance of open environments.
We solicit both academic, research, and industrial contributions. We welcome technical papers presenting research and practical results, position papers addressing the pros and cons of specific proposals, such as those being discussed in the standard fora or in industry consortia, survey papers addressing the key problems and solutions on any of the above topics short papers on work in progress, and panel proposals.
For further information, please visit http://www.iaria.org/conferences2016/CfPALLDATA16.html.
Complete conference information: http://www.iaria.org/conferences2016/ALLDATA16.html
Complete submission information: http://www.iaria.org/conferences2016/SubmitALLDATA16.html
Call for Papers: The International Workshop on Knowledge Extraction and Semantic Annotation - -KESA 2016
February 21 - 25, 2016 - Lisbon, Portugal
Extended Submission Deadline - October 19, 2015.
The critical step in knowledge acquisition is linguistic processing, reasoning, search etc. In recent times research groups have being dealing with various aspects in the area of computational linguistic, machine learning, stochastic and rule-based reasoning. KESA aims at bringing together researchers from various disciplines and industry interested in theories, methods and applications of knowledge extraction and management, data mining and semantic annotation, as well as in recent advances on data and knowledge bases. The purpose of the workshop is to exchange new ideas and application experiences related to the development of knowledge and information management systems. For more information, please visit http://www.iaria.org/conferences2016/KESA.html#CallForPapers.
Complete conference information:: http://www.iaria.org/conferences2016/KESA.html
Complete submission information: http://www.iaria.org/conferences2016/KESA.html#SubmitAPaper
PRACE Opens 12th Call for Proposals
Submission Deadline - November 11, 2015
The PRACE 12th Call for Proposals is open to Project Access: Proposals can be based on a 12-months schedule, or, for Multi-year Projects, on a 24- or 36-months schedule. The allocation of awarded resources is made for 1 year at a time with provisional allocations awarded for the 2nd and 3rd year. Reserves 0.5% of the total resources available for the 11th Call for Centres of Excellence (CoE) as selected by the EC under the E-INFRA-5-2015 call for proposals. CoE don’t need to apply to this PRACE call – if funded by the EC, CoE requesting access to PRACE resources will be awarded PRACE resources from this reserve. To read further, please visit https://www.nsc.liu.se/2015/10/01/prace-12th-call.html.
ACM Transactions on Modeling and Performance Evaluation of Computing Systems
A New ACM Journal
ACM Transactions on Modeling and Performance Evaluation of Computing Systems (TOMPECS) is a quarterly peer-reviewed journal that publishes refereed articles on all aspects of the modeling, analysis and performance evaluation of computing and communication systems. It solicits and will publish articles that
• define, develop, and assess new performance evaluation methodologies, including analytical techniques, experimental design, formal methods, instrumentation techniques, mathematical modeling, optimization, queueing theory, reliability analysis, simulation, statistical analysis, stochastic modeling, verification and validation, and workload characterization;
• provide new insights on the performance of computing and communication systems; or
• introduce new settings within which performance modeling and evaluation can play an important role
Please visit tompecs.acm.org for further information or submit your manuscript directly to http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/tompecs.
Upcoming Workshops and Trainings
SDSC Graph Analytics Training
November 2-3, 2015 – La Jolla, California
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a graph can be worth a lot more than that in the burgeoning field of big data, even though translating terabytes of information into meaningful insights is no easy feat. To help overcome that challenge, the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego, in partnership with UC San Diego Extension and through a sponsorship from Cray Inc., is offering a “boot camp” in Graph Analytics on Nov. 2-3 at its facilities on the northwest end of campus. Graph Analytics is a rapidly developing field that relies on the ability to retrieve, model, store, and analyze statistics and large databases to create graphs that reveal important connections and relationships, and enable a better understanding of how different conditions change those networks or connections. For complete information and to register, please visit http://extension.ucsd.edu/studyarea/index.cfm?vAction=singleCourse&vCourse=CSE-41240.
Research News From Around the World
SDSC Upgrades Cloud Computing and Storage Services
The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego, has made significant upgrades to its cloud-based storage system to include a new range of computing services designed to support science-based researchers, especially those with large data requirements that preclude commercial cloud use, or who require collaboration with cloud engineers for building cloud-based services. The upgrades to SDSC Cloud, which debuted in late 2011 as one of the first large-scale academic deployments of cloud storage in the world, offers a unique storage service to educational and industry partners. The object-based storage system provides a highly scalable solution with flexible access methods and enhanced durability, while providing exceptional performance using high-speed 10 gigabit (Gb) connectivity at a fraction of the costs of other service providers. To read further, please visit http://www.hpcwire.com/off-the-wire/sdsc-upgrades-cloud-computing-and-storage-services/.
‘The Science Node’ Explores How Tech Works and Why It Matters to Science, Research
Today’s researchers rely on network backbone technology and large-scale computing support to fuel discovery and breakthroughs. These services can often be invisible, complex, and intimidating, but their value is indisputable. A weekly online publication, the Science Node, strives to make advanced computing and networks understandable to the masses. The US desk editor is based at Indiana University while the European desk editor works out of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, better known as CERN, in Switzerland.
With over 11,000 subscribers in 190 countries, the Science Node was previously known as International Science Grid This Week (iSGTW). The publication has been engaging with the public and supporting the research computing community for over a decade. Now, with iSGTW’s reporting extending well beyond grid computing, the editors decided it was time for a new tech-neutral name — and an updated look and feel. To read further, please visit https://itnews.iu.edu/articles/2015/USE-the-science-node-explores-how-tech-works-and-why-it-matters-to-science,-research.php.
HPC User Forum Presses NSCI Panelists on Plans
Attendees at last month’s High-Performance Computing (HPC) User Forum pushed U.S. National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI) agency representatives to clarify the forthcoming implementation plan from the NSCI Executive Council. Among NSCI's strategic objectives are expediting delivery of an exascale computing system, using a holistic approach to boost the capacity and capability of a resilient national HPC ecosystem, and ensuring the U.S. government, industry, and academia all benefit from HPC innovations via public-private partnerships. Technology issues NSCI panelists cited included the end of Moore's Law, power management, extinction of single-thread performance, higher fidelity models, modernizing code, and future computing. Panelists and attendees strongly agreed on the challenges to large-scale data analytics, while there was less consensus concerning governance and collaboration. To read further, please visit http://www.hpcwire.com/2015/09/17/hpc-user-forum-presses-nsci-panelists-on-plans/.
University of Wisconsin’s First Detailed Public Map of U.S. Internet Backbone Could Make It Stronger
University of Wisconsin (UW) researchers have created a map that shows the paths taken by the long-distance fiber-optic cables that carry Internet data across the continental U.S. Until now, the exact routes of those cables, which belong to major telecommunications companies, have been unavailable to the public, despite their importance to the public infrastructure. "Our intention is to help improve security by improving knowledge," says UW professor Paul Barford. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is making the map and the data behind it available through the Predict project, which offers data relevant to Internet security available to government, private, and public researchers. To read further, please visit http://www.technologyreview.com/news/540721/first-detailed-public-map-of-us-internet-backbone-could-make-it-stronger/.
University of St Andrews Gets European Funding to Push the Limits of C++
The European Union is funding a new initiative designed to develop effective software for emerging parallel computer platforms. Researchers at the University of St. Andrews will investigate how to make data-intensive applications run on highly parallel heterogeneous computing architectures. Improving the performance of data processing has the potential to significantly lower costs and energy consumption. The 3.5-million-euro initiative is part of the RePhrase project, which is tackling issues related to data management for parallel processing, including structuring data to make it efficient to access and to process; placement, migration, and replication of data to enable fast parallel access; and ensuring data consistency. The project will produce new software engineering tools, techniques, and methodologies for developing data-intensive applications in C++, targeting heterogeneous multicore/many core systems that combine central-processing and graphics-processing units into a coherent parallel platform. To read further, please visit http://www.computerweekly.com./news/4500253023/St-Andrews-gets-European-funding-to-push-the-limits-of-C.
Educator News, Conferences, and Opportunities
MIT Hosts Discussion on Scaling STEM Education
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Media Lab last month hosted an event examining the current and future state of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The "Scaling STEM" event was hosted by MIT president L. Rafael Reif and Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), and focused on how the use of technology can improve access to quality STEM education, including demonstrations of new learning tools and outreach efforts, as well as presentations by leading education experts and panel discussions. Sanjay Sarma, dean of digital learning at MIT, discussed how MIT had identified a need to extend its education efforts to students of all ages and levels, and how that need informs the desire for scalable research methods. Several presenters discussed the need to use education to help improve the diversity of the STEM fields by attracting more girls and minority students to the subjects at a young age. To read further, please visit http://news.mit.edu/2015/scaling-stem-education-0904.
National Science Teachers Association's Virtual Conference
Shifting to Integrated STEM: Experiences of Three School Districts
Saturday, November 7, 2015 – 10:00am- 2:00p, ET
You will deep dive into three case studies in K-12 STEM Integration from which common goals and practices emerged that can inform your work in STEM implementation. The three case studies (New York, Oregon, and Florida) differ both culturally and geographically. Together, they offer a thought-provoking vision of what "getting to scale with integrated STEM" could look like if we take these lessons to heart and find ways of communicating and collaborating across state boundaries, school subjects, political philosophies, and other barriers to change. For more information and to register, please visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/online_courses/VC_STEM_151107.aspx.
The Hour of Code is Coming and Needs Your Help!!
December 7-13, 2015
Because of your students and your stories, the Hour of Code movement keeps changing the world. Are you ready to do it again? We hope you’ll join us to make this year a turning point for computer science in our schools. Together, we want to reach 100,000 Hour of Code events around the world in December. Be one of the organizers who proves anybody can learn, and every young person deserves to learn how to build technology that will impact everything in their futures. For more information, please visit https://hourofcode.com/us.
Earth Science Week Contests
October 11-17, 2015
Entry Deadline – October 16, 2015
Earth Science Week 2015 Contests
The American Geosciences Institute is sponsoring a series of contests to celebrate Earth Science Week 2015.
• Earth Science Week 2015 Photography Contest — Open to All Ages
• Earth Science Week 2015 Visual Arts Contest — Open to Students in Grades K-5
• Earth Science Week 2015 Essay Contest — Open to Students in Grades 6-9
If you have any questions about these contests, please email the Earth Science Week staff at email@example.com.
Welcome to Connected Educator Month #ce15!
Every October, individuals and organizations join together to celebrate Connected Educator Month through hundreds of professional development and educational events. This year, the CS10K Community is proud to serve as organizing sponsor of the Broadening Participation in STEM Education theme, offering a variety of activities to help computer science and other STEM teachers explore issues of equity and access. It's an exciting time for us because we are also launching numerous events, which will last throughout the entire academic year. There are lots of things to see and do in #ce15 (and beyond!) so be sure to read the e-newsletter until the end. For complete information, please visit http://connectededucators.org/.
CSTA Find Problems With Certification Requirements to Teach Computer Science
More and more school districts are requiring their schools to offer computer science classes, but according to computer science educators, certification requirements to teach the subject are often vague or ineffectual, which could prove problematic as more schools face the need to hire more such teachers. Mark Nelson, executive director of the Computer Science Teachers Association, said that most states don't even offer specific certification or licensing to be able to teach computer science. Some of those states have added computer science to teaching licenses they already provide that are necessary to teach related fields, such as math or science, he said. To read further, please visit http://www.examiner.com/article/computer-science-teachers-ass-finds-problems-with-certification-requirements.
Advocates for arts education support Mayor Bill de Blasio's proposal to expand access to computer science in city schools. Surprised? You shouldn't be. Learning to code flexes many of the same creative and problem-solving muscles as participating in the visual and performing arts. In the arts and in computer science students often start with a blank slate and build something from nothing. The tools may be different, but the process of exploration, experimentation and critical reflection is the same. Fluency with technology is essential to many applied forms of 21st century art-making: music composition and production, graphic design and architecture, filmmaking, and animation. The earlier students become comfortable with advanced tools, the easier it becomes for them to translate the sounds and pictures of their imagination into tangible media: art. To read further, please visit http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/5911-why-arts-educators-support-computer-science.
Student Engagement and Opportunities
LBNL Research Opportunity for Faculty and Students from Diverse Backgrounds
Application Deadline - Friday, October 16, 2015
Imagine yourself collaborating with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Computing Sciences staff, developing solutions to pressing scientific and engineering problems while making use of some of the fastest supercomputers, tools, methods, and high performance computing. All the while, engaging your students in world-class research, creating pathways for their futures, and helping Computing Sciences diversify its staff. This program, developed under a partnership between Sustainable Horizons Institute and Berkeley Lab’s Computing Sciences, is designed for faculty from variety of institutions including Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) and women’s colleges who are supporting students from under-represented or under-privileged backgrounds. Faculty benefit from collaborative leading-edge research with computing scientists at Berkeley Lab. Students who accompany the faculty work side-by-side on exciting research projects using state of the art equipment and tools. For complete information, please visit http://shinstitute.org/srpf/.
Wanted: Graduate Research Fellowship Applications and Reviewers
The NSF-wide Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. GRFP is the country’s oldest national fellowship program directly supporting graduate students in STEM fields. The hallmark features of the program are: 1) the award of fellowships to individuals on the basis of merit and potential, and 2) the freedom and flexibility provided to Fellows to define their own research and choose the accredited U.S. graduate institution that they will attend. For further information, please visit http://www.nsfgrfp.org/.
White House Honors Teenager Who Encourages Girls to Puursue Computer Science
Swetha Prabakaran dreamed of becoming a physician, using the power of medicine to heal the sick and to are for the ailing. She studied biology in middle school, but the course of her life changed during her freshman year at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, in Virginia. She took an introductory class on computer science and learned about programming, becoming fascinated with coding and the intricacies of how to teach computers to make life easier for people. “I learned I could help people in the same way with computers and not just a stethoscope,” said Swetha, 15, a junior from Ashburn, Virginia. Earlier this month, Swetha was honored at the White House as one of 11 young women named “champions of change,” for her work as the founder of Everybody Code Now! The nonprofit operates in 12 states and has partnerships in India and Ghana to help elementary school students, from kindergarten through fifth grade, learn how to code. To read further, please visit https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/white-house-honors-teenager-who-inspires-girls-to-do-computer-coding/2015/09/27/9a9cc036-6080-11e5-b38e-06883aacba64_story.html.
U.S. Department of Energy's BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge for High School Students Team
Registration Deadline - Feb. 4, 2016
Submission Deadline - March 4, 2016
Registration opens soon for the U.S. Department of Energy's new BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge. This competition challenges teams of high school students to design an infographic that responds to one of four specific cross-curricular bioenergy topics. Selected infographics will be promoted nationally on the challenge website and via social media. One team of students will be selected to present their infographic at the Bioenergy Technologies Office's annual conference in Washington, D.C.
To make the challenge easy and effective, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Library of Congress have provided a resource guide with steps for doing research, along with valuable links and references to help students learn about bioenergy topics. Participants also have access to rubrics and guides for creating infographics and designing social media campaigns. Students can participate in this interdisciplinary STEM-focused challenge through classroom learning or informal education programs. For more information, please visit http://www.energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/infographic-challenge.
NASA Swarmathon: Seeking College Students for Swarming Robotics Competition
Team Submission Deadline - October 15, 2015
The Swarmathon is a NASA challenge to develop cooperative robotics to revolutionize space exploration. Selected teams will receive three Swarmie robots (valued at $6,000), training and instruction, a $1,000 stipend for their faculty member who is serving as their mentor, and a chance to compete against other teams from across the United States for a $5,000 cash prize. The First Annual Swarmathon, will occur April 18-22, 2016, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Participants will be challenged to develop search algorithms for robotic swarms. Swarmathon participation will improve students’ skills in robotics and computer science, and further advance technology for future NASA space exploration missions. Naas seeks students from Minority Serving Universities and Community Colleges to apply and compete. For more information, visit http://nasaswarmathon.com/.
Please direct questions about the NASA Swarmathon to Info@NASASwarmathon.com.
ASU Professor to Lead White House Effort to Get More Minority Women Into Science, Technology
The White House Council on Women and Girls has asked Arizona State University professor Kimberly A. Scott to lead the National Academic STEM Collaborative, an initiative that aims to create and share proven projects and highlight best practices that are happening at high schools and colleges. The collaborative will consist of nine universities and nine non-profit groups. The new consortium will serve as a "central unit" where proven ideas can be shared and made accessible, with the goal of using a new research-based strategy to increase the number of underrepresented groups in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Despite improvements made in the number of women entering STEM careers, the numbers are "still low" in terms of the percentage of women who are African-American, Native American, and Latino, according to Scott. To read further, please visit http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/tempe/breaking/2015/09/15/arizona-state-university-professor-white-house-stem-initiative/72283928/.
Computational Science News of Interest
Europe Gears Up for Land, Air, and Sea Robotics Competition
Researchers, engineers, and robots from 21 countries are competing in the euRathlon 2015 Grand Challenge, a contest designed to assess how well the participants' cooperative robot systems perform realistic tasks as part of a simulated emergency-response operation. After three practice and preparation days, there will be separate trials in land, sea, and air, as well as challenges involving operation in two of those domains to evaluate collaborative behaviors. The final days of the contest will pit aerial, marine, and land robots against each other in a Grand Challenge event. Among the participating robots are two humanoid models--the Italian Institute of Technology's WALK-MAN and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology's DRC-HUBO--which will demonstrate search and rescue in disaster-response situations. Another demonstration will showcase the Robot-Era personal assistant from the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies' BioRobotics Institute. The purpose of the euRathlon event is to encourage research and collaboration in robotics, and to develop approaches for gauging robot performance via an open benchmarking process. To read further, please visit http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hardware/europe-gears-up-for-land-air-and-sea-robotics-competition.
Artificial Intelligence in Medicine: Now There's an App for That
Nearly 80 percent of diabetics will develop retinal damage within a decade due to diabetic retinopathy, a condition in which damage to the blood vessels supplying the retina impair vision. The condition can cause blindness if not detected and treated early and the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) believes artificial intelligence (AI) technology could help make detection easier by automating the screening process. Lacking any AI expertise of its own, the organization turned to Kaggle, a website that helps organize competitions for statisticians and data scientists. CHCF provided $100,000 in prize money and uploaded thousands of retinal images, featuring both diseased and healthy retinas, to enable the website's members to develop an algorithm that could detect the disease. Trained doctors agree with each other about whether or not an image of a retina shows signs of diabetic retinopathy about 84 percent of the time. To read further, please visit http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21664943-computers-can-recognise-complication-diabetes-can-lead-blindness-now.
Google's Driverless Cars Run Into Problem: Cars With Drivers
The New York Times
Researchers at Google and other companies pursuing self-driving cars are challenged by the fact that automated vehicles, which are programmed to obey the letter of the law and traffic safety rules, may have trouble fitting in with autos driven by people, who do not always adhere to such rules. "The real problem is the car is too safe," says Donald Norman, director of the Design Lab at the University of California, San Diego. "[Driverless cars] have to learn to be aggressive in the right amount, and the right amount depends on the culture." Google cars routinely make quick, evasive maneuvers or practice caution in ways that are out of alignment with other vehicles on the road. Following the most cautious approach has led to 16 crashes involving Google cars in the last six years, with Google blaming human error for every collision. To read further, please visit http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/02/technology/personaltech/google-says-its-not-the-driverless-cars-fault-its-other-drivers.html?_r=0.