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November 2017 — December 2017

OSU Linguistics Team Using OSC to Translate Lesser-Known Languages (Dec 16, 2017)
Off the top of your head, how many languages can you name? Ten? Twenty? More? It is estimated there are more than 7,000 languages worldwide. For those involved in disaster relief efforts, the breadth and variety of that number can be overwhelming, especially when addressing areas with low resources. William Schuler, Ph.D., a linguistics professor at The Ohio State University, is part of a project called Low Resource Languages for Emergent Incidents (LORELEI), an initiative through the Defense Ad...
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A Not-Quite-Random Walk Demystifies the Algorithm (Dec 16, 2017)
The algorithm is having a cultural moment. Originally a math and computer science term, algorithms are now used to account for everything from military drone strikes and financial market forecasts to Google search results. "People outside of computer science and math have come to describe these and other phenomena as 'algorithmic,' ascribing complex matters to a single, somehow magical entity that has developed a life of its own," says Malte Ziewitz, assistant professor of science and technology...
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Top 3 Industries AI Will Disrupt in 2018 (Dec 15, 2017)
When it comes to artificial intelligence, we most often hear about the flashiest of consumer applications – such as robots or autonomous driving vehicles. But AI also has the potential to deliver practical benefits for businesses, including driving higher profit margins, improving performance rates, enhancing the customer experience, and more. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that businesses are investing big in the technology; according to McKinsey, companies invested $26B to $39B in AI i...
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Artificial Intelligence and Supercomputers to Help Alleviate Urban Traffic Problems (Dec 15, 2017)
Look above the traffic light at a busy intersection in your city and you will probably see a camera. These devices may have been installed to monitor traffic conditions and provide visuals in the case of a collision. But can they do more? Can they help planners optimize traffic flow or identify sites that are most likely to have accidents? And can they do so without requiring individuals to slog through hours of footage?

Physicists Win Supercomputing Time to Study Fusion and the Cosmos (Dec 14, 2017)
More than 210 million core hours on two of the most powerful supercomputers in the nation have been won by two teams led by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). The highly competitive awards from the DOE Office of Science’s INCITE (Innovative and Novel Impact on Computational Theory and Experiment) program will accelerate the development of nuclear fusion as a clean and abundant source of energy for generating electricity and will a...
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Supercomputing How First Supernovae Altered Early Star Formation (Dec 14, 2017)
Over at LBNL, Kathy Kincade writes that cosmologists are using supercomputers to study how heavy metals expelled from exploding supernovae helped the first stars in the universe regulate subsequent star formation. In their respective efforts to understand the universe and all it comprises, there is a telling gap between what cosmologists and astrophysicists study and how they study it: scale. Cosmologists typically focus on the large-scale properties of the universe as a whole, such as galaxies ...
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Basic Element for Quantum Computer -- Stable Quantum Gate -- Created (Dec 13, 2017)
Milestone on the path to the quantum computer: Scientists of the University of Konstanz, Princeton University, and the University of Maryland develop a stable quantum gate for two-quantum bit systems made of silicon. The quantum gate is able to perform all necessary basic operations of the quantum computer. The electron spin of individual electrons in silicon is used as the basic storage unit ("quantum bits").

Female Computer Science Students Given Boost by Leading Games Company (Dec 13, 2017)
The video games industry is usually seen as a bro-ey, male-dominated one. But US games giant Bethesda – which is behind popular titles like Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, DOOM and Wolfenstein – wants this to change. It has donated US $100,000 to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation which provides scholarships to women and minority communities to study computer science or games production, “to do our part to support the next generation of game developers”.

Computer Science GCSE in Disarray After Tasks Leaked Online (Dec 11, 2017)
Exams regulator Ofqual plans to pull this chunk of the qualification from the overall marks as it has been seen by thousands of people. Ofqual said the non-exam assessment may have been leaked by teachers as well as students who had completed the task. The breach affects two year groups. The first will sit the exam in summer 2018. Last year 70,000 students were entered for computer science GCSE. A quick internet search reveals numerous posts about the the non-exam assessment, with questions and ...
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Why Do Women Drop Computer Science? (Dec 11, 2017)
Ann Marie Fred was 10 years old when her father brought home a used Commodore 64 computer—a vestige of the 80s—from work. Fred, the girl who stayed after school to play Oregon Trail on the Apple computers, jumped at the chance to take advantage of her family’s new computer. In addition to the Commodore 64, Fred’s father brought home a monthly computer programming magazine with simple programs that played songs or changed the colors of pixels on the screen. Fred said her first experience ...
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Making Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Treatable Again (Dec 7, 2017)
Transport proteins called efflux pumps, and their role in creating drug-resistance in bacteria, could lead to improving effectiveness of drugs against life-threatening diseases and perhaps even bring defunct antibiotics back to prominence. Some life-threatening infections do not respond to antibiotics because efflux pumps inside a particular type of infectious microbe called Gram-negative bacteria flush out antibiotics before the drugs can work. One type of efflux pump, which until recently had ...
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Advances to Brain-Interface Technology Provide Clearer Insight into Visual System (Dec 6, 2017)
Carnegie Mellon University engineers and cognitive neuroscientists have demonstrated that a new high-density EEG can capture the brain's neural activity at a higher spatial resolution than ever before. This next generation brain-interface technology is the first non-invasive, high-resolution system of its kind, providing higher density and coverage than any existing system. It has the potential to revolutionize future clinical and neuroscience research as well as brain-computer interfaces.

Girl Scouts Hope to Change the Face of AI, Robotics, and Data Science (Dec 6, 2017)
The Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) announced today a new partnership with Raytheon, an innovator in the cybersecurity space, to further the organization’s objective to encourage young women to develop skills in science, technology, engineering, and math, aka STEM. The pair is teaming up to launch the GSUSA’s first national computer science program and coding challenge for girls in middle and high school. According to the official release, “the program aims to prepare girls in grades 6-12 t...
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3-D Printed Minifactories: Researchers Print ‘Living Bacteria Loaded Inks’ (Dec 5, 2017)
There will soon be nothing that cannot be produced with 3D printing. However, the materials used for this process are still "dead matter" such as plastics or metals. A group of ETH researchers led by Professor André Studart, Head of the Laboratory for Complex Materials, has now introduced a new 3D printing platform that works using living matter. The researchers developed a bacteria-containing ink that makes it possible to print mini biochemical factories with certain properties, depending on w...
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Big Step Forward for Quantum Computing (Dec 5, 2017)
Harvard researchers have developed a specialized quantum computer, known as a quantum simulator, which could be used to shed new light on a host of complex quantum processes, from the connection between quantum mechanics and material properties to investigating new phases of matter and solving complex real-world optimization problems.

Sheryl Sandberg Says We Need Equal Access to Computer Science Education (Dec 4, 2017)
At today’s Computer Science Education Week kickoff, the theme was women in coding. In the U.S., just 18 percent of computer science college graduates are women. Hence why tech leaders like Microsoft’s Peggy Johnson, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and YouTube’s Susan Wojcicki took to the stage at the College of San Mateo to discuss the importance of getting young girls involved in technology.

How Minecraft is Becoming the Foundation of a Generation's Computer Science Education (Dec 4, 2017)
Like many adults, Benjamin Kelly didn’t initially get the global Minecraft phenomenon, which has seen millions upon millions of kids investing endless hours exploring and creating within a blocky virtual world. Eventually he came around. “I consider myself a late adopter,” says Kelly, who teaches technology at Caledonia Regional High School in New Brunswick. “But the students’ passion for the game was unyielding. I adopted Minecraft mainly because of that.”

Getting Hyper and Converged About Storage (Dec 3, 2017)
Hyperconverged infrastructure is a relatively small but fast-growing part of the datacenter market, driving in large part by enterprises looking to simplify and streamline their environments as they tackle increasingly complex workloads. Like converged infrastructure, hyperconverged offerings are modular in nature, converging compute, storage, networking, virtualization and management software into a tightly integrated single solution that drives greater datacenter densities, smaller footprints,...
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NCSA Paves a New Way for Using Geopolymers (Dec 3, 2017)
"It was a perfect recipe," said Dr. Seid Koric, Technical Director for Economic and Societal Impact at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and Research Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois. Koric, this year's winner of the Top Supercomputing Achievement award in the annual HPCwire Editors' Choice Awards, teamed up with NCSA Faculty Fellow and PI, Professor Ange-Therese Akono, geopolymers expert Professor ...
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Simulations Predict that Antarctic Volcanic Ash can Disrupt Air Traffic in Vast Areas of the South Hemisphere (Dec 2, 2017)
Simulations performed by Barcelona Supercomputing Center in collaboration with the Institut de Ciències de la Terra Jaume Almera – CSIC demonstrated that Antarctic volcanoes might pose a higher threat than previously considered. A research focused on the potential impacts of ash dispersal and fallout from Deception Island highlights how ash clouds entrapped in circumpolar upper-level winds have the potential to reach lower latitudes and disrupt Austral hemisphere air traffic. The study has be...
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Ireland Reaches #1 in TOP500 Supercomputers Per Capita (Dec 2, 2017)
The 9th Irish Supercomputer List was released today. For the first time, Ireland has four computers ranked on the Top500 and Ireland is now ranked number one globally in terms of number of TOP500 supercomputers per capita. The new list features two new world-class supercomputers that boost the Irish High Performance Computing capacity by nearly one third, up from 3.01 to 4.42 Pflop/s. The new entrants, from two undisclosed software and web services companies, feature at spots 423 and 454 on the ...
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Apollo 11 and the Smartphone: Hitting the New Sweet Spot with AI and High-Performance Computing (Nov 29, 2017)
It’s a well-worn industry talking point that today’s smartphones exponentially outperform the supercomputers that landed Apollo 11 on the moon. Today’s bleeding edges are tomorrow’s table stakes. Nowhere is this truth more evident than in high-performance computing (HPC). Similar advancements are taking place in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI). Data fuels AI, and HPC systems are increasingly the only architectures capable of harnessing the rush of ones and zeros that power thes...
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PNNL Protecting Electric Grid From Cyberattack (Nov 29, 2017)
We depend on electricity for nearly everything we do. Flip a switch, and the lights come on. Turn up the thermostat, and the room gets warm. Pre-heat the oven and start preparing the Thanksgiving turkey, or microwave the leftovers. Electricity is essential to our quality of life, our well-being and our energy-dependent economy. Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are working with industry, academia and municipalities to ensure that electrons continue...
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Enhancing the Quantum Sensing Capabilities of Diamond (Nov 28, 2017)
Researchers have discovered that dense ensembles of quantum spins can be created in diamond with high resolution using an electron microscopes, paving the way for enhanced sensors and resources for quantum technologies.

Deleting Disparity in Computer Science (Nov 28, 2017)
During a collegiate coding competition in her native India, computer science student Mehul Smriti Raje noticed something striking—she was the only woman in the room. She knew men far outnumbered women in computer science at universities around the world; her program at the Manipal Institute of Technology had only one female student for every five male students. But that experience threw the disparity into even sharper relief. Raje, who recently received the Student of Vision ABIE Award from th...
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