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Electronic Glove Gives Robots Human-Like Sense Of Touch
A new paper in the Nov. 21 Science Robotics sheds new light on how robots could take a more human approach in the future. Chemical engineer and Stanford professor Zhenan Bao and her team at Bao Labs have developed an electronic glove with sensors designed to give robotic hands a sense of touch - theoretically enabling a human degree of coordination and pressure sensitivity. ''This technology puts us on a path to one day giving robots the sort of sensing capabilities found in human skin,'' Bao said in a statement. The gloves achieve this effect by simultaneously measuring the intensity and direction of pressure - and demonstrated a capability of touching and handling berries and pingpong balls without destroying them. Like human skin, which employs a complex layering system to sense and react to outside stimuli, the gloves were designed with multiple layers that work in concert.
Posted on 01 May 2019
Facebook nominates Peggy Alford, first African American woman, to its board of directors
Facebook will nominate prominent technology executive Peggy Alford for election to its board. Alford would be the first African-American woman and second African-American to join the board of the social media giant. Her nomination at the company's annual meeting on May 30 would mark a major step in diversifying its nine-member board. Last year, Facebook named former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault to its board. The move came after years of pressure from the Congressional Black Caucus and civil rights leaders such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson to add black executives to its board as part of the company's efforts to reverse decades-long patterns of exclusion in the high-tech industry, which mostly employs white and Asian men. Alford is being nominated to Facebook's board at a particularly turbulent time in the company's history as it faces intensifying scrutiny of its business practices after months of scandals.
Posted on 22 Apr 2019
Researchers say bias in AI a crisis, linked to lack of tech diversity
The questions surrounding bias in artificial intelligence are urgent and the answers lie in diversifying tech workforces, researchers say. A yearlong look at the issue, which included poring through 150 previous studies, found that ''bias in AI systems reflects historical patterns of discrimination,'' a new report being released Wednesday says. The report finds that such technology is being created by large tech companies and a few universities, mostly by wealthy white men who benefit from such systems, which can harm people of color, gender minorities and other under-represented groups. Only 15 percent of AI research employees at Facebook and 10 percent at Google are women, according to researchers at AI Now Institute at New York University, which published the report. The overall numbers of black workers at tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft range from 2.5 percent to 4 percent. Taken together, that constitutes what the researchers call a crisis, especially as AI is being used in determining loan or insurance approvals, who gets interviewed for a job, who gets bail, and in predictive policing and more.
Posted on 22 Apr 2019
10 Women In STEM To Know About For Women's History Month 2019
Despite its reputation as a male-dominated field, STEM - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics - is filled with inspirational women who are putting in the work to change the world as we speak. Some of them are starting young, others are breaking boundaries further through their careers, but all of them are making new discoveries and chasing the future. Women's History Month is often a time to look at the women of the past who shook things up, but it's also a great opportunity to look forwards - and these women are going to be among the ones history remembers. Women in STEM need good role models and mentors; it's science. Research by Microsoft found that the amount of girls interested in science doubles when female STEM role models exist in their lives - because those figures help them imagine the realities of a STEM career kicking ass and taking names, whether it's in a lab, in space or out in the field. In 2019, every area of STEM research and practice has outstanding women setting new standards for the next generation. From quantum computing to sanitation, electrical engineering to the stars, these are ten women worldwide who are changing the world right now - or, in one case, building a new world on another planet.
Posted on 31 Mar 2019
NASA Says An All-Woman Spacewalk Is Happening & It'll Be Out Of This World
Today, NASA astronaut Christina Koch will take off from Earth to join fellow astronaut Anne McClain in space to prepare for history's first all-women spacewalk later this month. A spacewalk generally takes five to seven hours and usually involves an astronaut conducting repairs, tests, or experiments outside of a spacecraft. In addition to the two female spacewalkers, the crew will be guided by female flight directors, flight controllers, and ground support specialists. Learn more about this exciting moment and mark your calendars for March 29th to watch NASA's live broadcast!
Posted on 14 Mar 2019
The Women Who Contributed to Science but Were Buried in Footnotes
In a new study, researchers uncovered female programmers who made important but unrecognized contributions to genetics. In science, the question of who gets credit for important work - fraught in any field - is set down on paper, for anyone to see. Authorship, given pride of place at the top of scientific papers, can advance reputations and careers; credits buried in the rarely read acknowledgments section do not. Over the past few years, a team of students led by Emilia Huerta-Sánchez from Brown University and Rori Rohlfs from San Francisco State University has been searching through two decades' worth of acknowledgments in genetics papers and discovering women who were never given the credit that would be expected for today’s researchers. They identified dozens of female programmers who made important but unrecognized contributions. Some were repeatedly thanked in the acknowledgments of several papers, but were never recognized as authors. They became literal footnotes in scientific history, despite helping make that history.
Posted on 14 Mar 2019
In the News: The Center for American Entrepreneurship (CAE) Releases New Report, Sponsoring Matters for Women and for Business, and More
The Center for American Entrepreneurship (CAE), a nonpartisan research, policy, and advocacy organization, and the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), has released a new analysis by Research Director Ian Hathaway: ''The Ascent of Women-Founded Venture-Backed Startups in the United States.'' The report adds to the relatively limited research in this area by studying patterns of women-founded, venture-backed startups in the United States between 2005 and 2017. While others have tended to look at topline aggregates of venture deals and funding amounts by the gender composition of founding teams, CAE's report focuses on the number of new companies entering the venture-backed pipeline each year by tracking ''first financings'' (initial venture investments). In her own foreword to the report, Lucy Sanders, co-founder and chief executive officer of NCWIT, writes: ''Technology innovation is a creative process; multiple people work on a single product or service, from company startup and front-end requirements generation, through design and development, to product rollout and support. It matters who sits at the design table and in the boardroom working on these innovative efforts. Just as in the creation of great art, inspirational music, or a fine meal, technology creation benefits from diverse life experiences. The Center for American Entrepreneurship commissioned this effort because of our belief that inclusive leaders are informed leaders. That's why, after reading this report, we encourage you to share it with a colleague.''
Posted on 14 Mar 2019
Pass It On Awards Program
The Anita Borg Systers Pass It On Awards Program honors Anita Borg’s desire to create a network of women technologists helping each other. The cash award helps fund women in computing or projects that inspire and support girls and women to enter computing. We encourage recipients to ''pass on'' the benefits they gain from the award, creating a movement of women helping women. These awards are funded by generous donations from Systers, our online community founded by Anita Borg in 1987, and other members of the community.
Posted on 21 Feb 2019
Hopper X 1 Seattle, Friday, March 22 - 23, 2019, Seattle, USA
Hopper x 1 Seattle is a two-day locally organized conference modeled after our Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC). This immersive event brings together women technologists at all levels - along with leading companies from industry, academia, and research - to build relationships, learn, and advance their careers.
Posted on 14 Feb 2019
GHC 19 Committee Volunteer Opportunities
Are you interested in helping to shape GHC19? Anitha Borg Organisation is looking for committee volunteers for Scholarships, Posters, Tracks, Open Source Day, and Mentoring Circles. Committee members directly impact the program by picking which scholars and speakers attend and reviewing submissions for specific tracks. Each committee member reviews, on average, 15 applications online, and provides ratings and comments to help the committee co-chairs make decisions on applicants. Students are ineligible to be reviewers, but we encourage eligible students to apply for the scholarship.
Posted on 18 Jan 2019

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