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''What are the implications of the computing world - as some people see it - having taken over the world?'' Dr. Bobby Schnabel asked a large group of students and professors at a computer science colloquium last Tuesday. Currently the CEO of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), Schnabel described the evolution of computer science in relation to society and then challenged the audience to consider the many ethical implications of this development.
Posted on 22 Dec 2016
Why Diversity Programs Backfire And How To Fix Them
New evidence suggests that diversity programs aren't quite doing as well as they could. Tessa Dover and Brenda Major of the University of California, Santa Barbara along with Cheryl Kaiser of the University of Washington conducted a series of experiments that revealed how some diversity efforts cause a backlash. The results, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, showed that (perhaps not surprisingly) pro-diversity messages make members of high-status groups (i.e.: white men) feel threatened.
Posted on 22 Dec 2016
Tech companies treat diversity reports like a press release - and it's a massive failure
Every year, major tech companies like Pinterest, Google, Facebook, Apple and Twitter release diversity reports. They tend to show minimal, if any, progress toward hiring more employees and leaders who aren't white men. The press is critical; the tech community begs for improvement. A year later, the cycle repeats. These reports (and their timely release) are important: They build transparency and trust in the company, and allow the public to hold it accountable to its pledged commitments. This year, however, some companies missed their 12-month mark. They're waiting until the end of the calendar year to release their reports.
Posted on 22 Dec 2016
FACT SHEET: A Year of Action Supporting Computer Science for All
There are half a million open technology jobs in the United States today, and that number is projected to more than double within the next 4 years. These jobs pay 50 percent more than the average private-sector job. One recent analysis of 26 million job postings found that nearly half of all the jobs in the top quartile in pay require some computer-science (CS) knowledge or coding skills. And yet, CS remains largely missing from American K-12 education. By the most recent estimates, just 40 percent of K-12 schools report offering even a single computer-science course, and only 32 states currently allow students to count computer science towards core high school graduation requirements. These challenges, and the growing relevance of computing to America's economy, cybersecurity, and national security, are why President Obama issued a bold call to action at the beginning of this year - in his final State of the Union address - to give every child the opportunity to learn computer science.
Posted on 22 Dec 2016
Tech Companies Delay Diversity Reports to Rethink Goals
Several Silicon Valley technology companies have delayed releasing their annual diversity reports as the industry struggles to show progress in adding more women and minorities to their ranks.
Posted on 22 Dec 2016
The L'Oreal USA For Women in Science fellowship program awards five women postdoctoral scientists annually with grants of $60,000 each for their contributions in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields and commitment to serving as role models for younger generations. The program is the U.S. component of the L'Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Fellowships. Celebrating its thirteenth year in the U.S., the For Women in Science program has awarded 65 postdoctoral women scientists over $3 million in grants. L'Oreal USA partners with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to manage the program's application and peer-review process. Each year, the program attracts talented applicants from diverse STEM fields, representing some of the nation's leading academic institutions and laboratories. The 2017 L'Oreal USA for Women in Science application period opened on November 28, 2016 and will close on February 3, 2017.
Posted on 04 Dec 2016
Apollo software engineer Margaret Hamilton receives Presidential Medal of Freedom
President Obama awarded his last Presidential Medal of Freedom - the highest US honor given to a civilian - in a packed ceremony on Tuesday, according to The New York Times. Margaret Hamilton, the woman behind the onboard flight software for NASA Apollo lunar modules and command modules, was among the 21 recipients.
Posted on 04 Dec 2016
Why do so many women leave engineering? Probably not for the reason you're thinking
Around 20% of engineering graduates are women, but only 13% of the engineering workforce is female. So why do so many women who study engineering leave the profession? While plenty of possible reasons have been mooted, from a lack of mentors for women in the field to the demands of maintaining a work-life balance, a recent study has come up with a new explanation for the discrepancy. Teamwork is a key requirement in many engineering roles. Yet female engineering students told the researchers they were treated differently by male classmates when working in groups. The study found that in group situations, especially during internships and summer jobs, women were often given less challenging problems and were relegated to doing routine ''managerial and secretarial'' tasks instead of the ''real'' engineering work.
Posted on 04 Dec 2016
NASA Announces Early Stage Innovation Space Technology Research Grants
NASA has selected 13 university-led proposals for the study of innovative, early stage technologies that address high priority needs of America's space program. The Early Stage Innovations (ESI) grants from NASA's Space Technology Research Grants Program are worth as much as $500,000 each. Universities have two to three years to work on their proposed research and development projects. ''NASA's Early Stage Innovations grants provide U.S. universities the opportunity to conduct research and technology development to advance NASA's scientific discovery and exploration goals,'' said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington. ''Partnering with academia in advancing these critical areas of research ensures we are engaging the best and brightest minds in enabling the agency's future robotic and human space flight missions.''
Posted on 04 Dec 2016
Robotics brokerage day 2016; 5th December 2016 in Brussels at the Brussels Expo
The brokerage event organised by SPARC brings together more than 300 people from the robotics field where ideas and solutions go hand in hand. There will be presentations of the calls for proposals for robotics in H2020 and match-making where you can network and discuss your ideas in the robotics field with experts and find project partners. The current calls for proposals for robotics under Horizon 2020 have been published already. The calls will be open for submission on 8th December 2016 and close on 25th April 2017.
Posted on 04 Dec 2016

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