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October 2013 — January 2014

Code.org YEAR IN REVIEW: In One Month, 500,000 Students Sign Up for Computer Science 101 Course (Jan 21, 2014 - Jan 22, 2014)
Hadi Partovi, a longtime Seattle entrepreneur who founded Code.org this past January with his brother, Ali, wrote up a 2013 recap on Wednesday that outlined the organization’s accomplishments thus far. One particular stat was impressive: In just one month after Code.org launched its free 20-hour intro to computer science course last month, 10,000 teachers have signed up for program — that’s about 500,000 new students now learning how to develop. Partovi estimates that before Dec. 9, there ...
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PRACEdays14 - PRACE Scientific and Industrial Conference 2014 (Jan 14, 2014 - Jan 20, 2014)
Event: May 20-22, 2014 – Barcelona, Spain
In 2014, PRACE will organize its first Scientific and Industrial Conference – the first edition of the PRACE days - under the motto HPC for Innovation – when Science meets Industry. The conference combines the previously separate PRACE Scientific Conferences and PRACE Industrial Seminars and will bring together experts from academia and industry who will present their advancements in HPC-supported science and engineering. The program will include invited keynotes, scientific presentations an...
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Meteor Aims to Make JavaScript Programming Fun Again (Jan 10, 2014)
The Meteor open source JavaScript platform, released in 2012 with the goal of streamlining Web application development, is moving toward its 1.0 release in early 2014, says Meteor Development Group's Matt Debergalis. Debergalis, who co-wrote Meteor, says the program is designed to simplify Web programming to make it more fun and inclusive for a wider range of programmers. He notes that Meteor's developers were motivated by a move toward thick client applications, in which most of the code runs w...
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Behind America's Decline in Math, Science and Technology (Jan 9, 2014)
America has fallen far from its place as a leader in math and science, experts said during a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Diversity Symposium on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. "International comparisons place the U.S. in the middle of the pack globally," said Debbie Myers, general manager of Discovery Communications. Myers said in order for the U.S. to compete in the global market, we need to a do a better job of inspiring children to develop that desire for discovery and encoura...
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Wave Fingers, Make Faces: The Future of Computing at Intel (Jan 8, 2014)
Intel is developing perceptual computing technology that will sense a user's emotions and body language. Perceptual computing uses gestures, facial recognition, and voice recognition to make devices more "natural, intuitive, and immersive," says Intel's Anil Nanduri. He says Intel aims to obtain "sensory inputs that make [computers] more human like." Cameras, for example, will enable devices to sense emotion and detect a person's biometric data. Computers also will be able to hold conversations ...
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Klobuchar Bill Will Expand STEM Across the Country (Jan 7, 2014)
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar has introduced a bill that would expand STEM education nationwide by creating 100 high schools, adding computer-science teachers and building new opportunities for undergraduate research. Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, announced the legislation Wednesday. The idea, she said, is to give students more opportunities to succeed in an increasingly skilled and specialized workforce while making the country’s economy more competitive.



San Diego Computer Scientists Develop First-person Player Video Game that Teaches How to Program (Dec 20, 2013 - Dec 21, 2013)
Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have developed an immersive, first-person player video game designed to teach students in elementary to high school how to program in Java, one of the most common programming languages in use today. The researchers tested the game on a group of 40 girls, ages 10 to 12, who had never been exposed to programming before. “CodeSpells is the only video game that completely immerses programming into the game play,” said William Griswo...
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XSEDE and PRACE call for requests of joint support (Dec 18, 2013 - Dec 19, 2013)
Deadline: January 31, 2013
XSEDE and PRACE, major research infrastructures, providing peer-reviewed access to high-end HPC resources and services in the United States and Europe, respectively, are now exploring options to extend collaborative efforts to other activities that effectively support research teams spanning the US and Europe. One of these options is the provisioning of interoperable services; this is a call to invite research teams that are using both infrastructures--or will be interested in doing so in the fu...
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Blue Waters Graduate Fellowships (Dec 9, 2013 - Dec 15, 2013)
Deadline: Feb. 3, 2014
The Blue Waters Graduate Fellowship Program enables select graduate students from across the country to immerse themselves in a year of focused high-performance computing (HPC) research. The fellowships will empower these talented graduate students to advance their HPC knowledge while also providing them with time and support to accelerate their research. The fellowships provide PhD students with a year of support, including a $38,000 stipend, up to $12,000 in tuition allowance, an allocation on...
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Sign Up to Get Robots In Your Classroom! (Dec 6, 2013 - Dec 7, 2013)
Play-i is a startup that is making delightful robots that make computer programming fun and accessible for children ages 5 and up. They are launching a pair of robots - Bo and Yana - today in a crowdfunding campaign. These robots are perfect for children ages 5-10, so elementary school teachers are especially encouraged to sign up. If your school gets selected, they will be given to you for free during the summer of 2014. As part of their crowdfunding campaign, they are raising money to buy robo...
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Computer Science Education: The 'Why' and 'How' (Dec 4, 2013 - Dec 5, 2013)
Some U.S. states are starting to boost computer science education as a way to prepare students for high-paying jobs that will help boost the economy. In May, Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill to count Advance Placement (AP) computer science as a math or science credit. The state previously offered computer science as an elective, and many students passed over the course for others that met graduation requirements. Nationwide, just 10 percent of schools offer programming classes, and...
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Indiana University Researcher Teaches Machines to Think The Atlantic (Dec 2, 2013 - Dec 3, 2013)
Indiana University professor and artificial intelligence expert Douglas Hofstadter directs the Fluid Analogies Research Group (FARG) in a mission to understand how humans think and to write software that functions in the same manner. FARG believes the mind is akin to a unique piece of software and to understand how software works, you must write it yourself. If successful, the group will not only explain human thought, but also make truly intelligent machines. Although in the early 1980s Hofstad...
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1,700,000 Students and Growing - Hour of Code Update (Nov 26, 2013 - Nov 29, 2013)
Event: December 9-15th, 2013
They are almost passed 1.8 million students planning to participate in the Hour of Code across 144 countries! It’s now on track to be the largest online education event in history, proving that the demand for computer science education knows no boundaries. See every school participating at http://csedweek.org/events/events. Registered schools have a chance to win laptops or a video chat with Bill Gates, and the odds of winning are still exceptionally high in many states. With CSEdWeek (Dec. 9-...
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Hour of Code Tutorials Available Now (Nov 25, 2013)
Event: December 9-15th, 2013
Hour of Code tutorials are ready to try -- with options for every age and every device. Although there may be a few bugs, they invite you to check out the options. In particular, Code.org’s own tutorials are available to preview for the first time - learn basic sequencing, repeat loops, and if-then statements from Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Angry Birds. To view the tutorials, please visit the http://csedweek.org. Don't forget Computer Science Education week is December 9-15, 2013!



IBM Launches Accelerated Discovery Lab (Nov 9, 2013 - Nov 10, 2013)
IBM recently unveiled its Accelerated Discovery Lab (ADLab), which aims to augment the data-mining concept in practical application domains with smart analytics derived from its Watson question-and-answer technology combined with deep domain knowledge for each area being researched. "Instead of looking for answers that are already known--where it's just a matter of finding them--we are learning how to search for things that are not yet known," says IBM's Jeff Welser.



MIT's 'Kinect of the Future' Looks Through Walls With X-Ray-like Vision (Nov 6, 2013 - Nov 7, 2013)
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have demonstrated a device dubbed the "Kinect of the future" that can see through walls and pinpoint the movements of someone with an accuracy of plus or minus 10 centimeters. "What we're doing here is localization through a wall without requiring you to hold any transmitter or receiver [and] simply by using reflections off a human body," says Fadel Adib, a Ph.D. student on the project from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intel...
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A Day to Remember the First Computer Programmer Was a Woman (Nov 4, 2013 - Nov 5, 2013)
Ada Lovelace wrote the first computer program in 1842, a feat that is commemorated on Oct. 15. However, 171 years later most programmers are men, and just 18 percent of computer science degrees are awarded to women, according to Symantec and the Anita Borg Institute, which works to recruit and promote women in tech. As Lovelace's history indicates, women have played a significant role in the software industry, and some say the tide is changing again in Silicon Valley.



SDSC, Indiana University, University of Texas to Build Science Gateway Service Platform (Oct 31, 2013)
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $5 million grant for a collaborative five-year project under which researchers at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego will help develop and build a Science Gateway Platform (SciGaP) as a service to advance scientific discovery by providing researchers improved access to a variety of hosted or cloud services. The project will be led by Indiana University’s (IU) Marlon Pierce and Suresh Marru, wi...
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Computer Science Education Week: Hour of Code (Oct 28, 2013 - Oct 30, 2013)
Deadline: November 1st, 2013
Computer science provides a foundation for virtually any career - everybody can benefit from learning the basics. Computer Science Education Week is observed each year, in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906). The Hour of Code is just one of many different events planned for CSEdWeek. It's a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code" and show that anyone can learn the basics to be a maker, a creator, an innov...
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XSEDE Announces New Campus Bridging Services and Tools (Oct 23, 2013)
XSEDE is releasing a set of software that enables researchers and campus-based IT managers to build a “basic XSEDE-compatible computing cluster” from scratch, conveniently. This capability is provided by a bundle of software called a “ROCKS Roll.” ROCKS (http://www.rocksclusters.org/) is a tool that automates the process of building a cluster from a pre-defined set of software. A video about the XSEDE Campus Bridging cluster software project is online at http://youtu.be/E96mlWruATM. For ...
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Computer Smart as a 4-Year-Old (Oct 22, 2013)
University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) researchers have IQ-tested the ConceptNet4, considered one of the best available artificial intelligence systems, and found that it is about as smart as the average four-year-old. The researchers tested the ConceptNet4 system using a standard IQ assessment for young children. Sloan says one of the hardest problems in building an artificial intelligence is devising a computer program that can make sound and prudent judgments based on a simple perception of ...
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University of Utah's Christopher Johnson Will Receive IEEE-CS Sidney Fernbach Award (Oct 21, 2013)
Christopher Johnson, founding director of the University of Utah's Scientific Computing and Imaging (SCI) Institute, has been named the recipient of the 2013 IEEE Computer Society Sidney Fernbach Award for his work in scientific visualization and computing. Johnson is a Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at the University of Utah, and also holds faculty appointments in the departments of physics and bioengineering. In 1992, he founded the SCI research group, which has since evolved into...
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Android Fingerprint Sensors 6 Months Away (Oct 18, 2013)
The FIDO Alliance is aggressively pushing a new standard of biometric identification for consumer access to mobile payments and other services. FIDO Alliance president Michael Barrett anticipates the rollout of Android models with FIDO-compliant biometric fingerprint sensors in six months. FIDO is designed to reduce, if not completely eliminate, the use of passwords to access accounts on mobile devices. Although the Touch ID fingerprint sensor included in Apple's latest iPhone is not FIDO-compli...
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Now You Can Build Google’s $1M Artificial Brain on the Cheap (Oct 17, 2013)
Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab director Andrew Ng has released a paper aimed at making deep learning more accessible to researchers by showing how to make a neural network that costs about $20,000 using powerful but inexpensive graphics-processing units (GPUs). Deep learning relies on a combination of hardware and software to imitate the functioning of the human brain. Last year at Google, Ng built a $1-million computerized brain that detects cat videos on Youtube. However, Ng says some re...
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University of Washington Engineers Invent Programming Language to Build Synthetic DNA (Oct 16, 2013)
University of Washington researchers have developed a programming language for chemistry that they hope will streamline efforts to design a network that can guide the behavior of chemical-reaction mixtures in the same way that embedded electronic controllers guide devices. The language is used to write programs that direct the movement of tailor-made molecules. "The vision is that eventually, you can use this technology to build general-purpose tools," says Washington professor Georg Seelig. He ...
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