Collaborating Authors


Remote Sensing Scientist at Leidos in Arlington, VA


Want to be a part of an elite team where our innovative technical solutions are delivered to customers that advance the state of the art while addressing long-term problems of importance to national security? At our Leidos' Multi-Spectrum Warfare Research and Analytics Systems (MSWRAS) Division, an organization in the Leidos Innovation Center (LInC), we are looking for you, our next Scientist who specializes in remote sensing data analytics. Join our team of Ph.D. level peers in designing and developing advanced technology-based solutions for contract research and development projects working in our Arlington, VA office. Fun roles you will have in this job: Describe instances of successful, proven, and demonstrable experience contributing to the technical work as part of cross-discipline teams in the development and integration of software-based solutions for competitive, contract-based applied research programs Work with teams composed of members from industry, small businesses, and academic-based researchers and should have experience working on projects focused on multiple technical fields such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, engineering, and software development and integration Describe how the work products to which they contributed had solved customers' problems in such domains as energy, health, and national security or in the commercial sector Work within the MSWRAS Division and across the LInC, performing basic and applied contract research and development projects both leading and working under the guidance of senior scientists and engineers. Processing, interpreting and analyzing large volumes of data collected by remote sensing platforms but may also include other types of phenomenological data such as field measurements, or weather data Independently design and undertake new research as well as partner in a team environment across organizations Contribute to the development of creative and innovative R&D approaches to solving major remote sensing analytics challenges and work with potential sponsors (customers or internal champions) to secure funding for new research efforts based on those topics Contribute to the productivity of teams composed of fellow researchers, data scientists, data engineers, and software engineers to execute complex R&D programs Under the guidance of a senior scientist or engineer, design and develop or integrate secure and scalable applications that are part of broader solutions, that are applicable across multiple domains.

Data visualization gets artificial intelligence boost with $5 million NSF grant


Researchers at University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Virginia Tech were awarded a $5 million National Science Foundation grant to synergize two complementary technologies -- large-scale data visualization and artificial intelligence -- to create the Smart Amplified Group Environment (SAGE3) open-source software. SAGE, soon to be on its third iteration as SAGE3, is the most widely used big-data visualization and collaboration software in the world. SAGE and SAGE2 are software to enable data-rich collaboration on high-resolution display walls. SAGE2 moved SAGE into cloud computing and SAGE3 ushers in the inclusion of artificial intelligence. Principal investigator Jason Leigh is a computer and information science professor at University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and the inventor of SAGE.

Google's Wing drones deliver library books to Virginia students


Many U.S. states are lifting some or most of their COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, allowing folks to retain at least some semblance of pre-pandemic life. But not everyone is ready or able to venture outside again. And for those people, Google has a lofty solution. Public schools in Montgomery County, Va., last week became the first in the world to offer a library book drone delivery service. The idea--allowing kids to access titles even when the library was closed due to novel coronavirus--came from Kelly Passek, a Blacksburg Middle School librarian and one of the original Wing drone delivery customers.

Drone Delivery Service to Drop Books for Virginia Students

U.S. News

Students aren't able to visit school libraries during the summer months anyway, but the pandemic has made it especially hard for many families to keep getting free reading material until public libraries reopen. Wing's library book delivery service is available to any of the roughly 600 students in the district who live in the delivery area. They won't have to return the books until school starts up again in the fall, Passek said.

Google's drone delivery service Wing brings books to children in areas where libraries are closed

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Google's new drone delivery service Wing will help bring library books to school children in Christiansburg, Virginia to help make up for the city's library closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new initiative is being overseen by Kelly Passek, a librarian for Montgomery County Public Schools, who first pitched the idea to Wing. Students in Christiansburg can submit a request for books in the school district's library system and Passek will pull the book from the stacks and send it out in one of Wing's custom delivery containers. Google's Wing drone delivery service will now bring library books to school children in Christiansburg, Virginia'I think kids are going to be just thrilled to learn that they are going to be the first in the world to receive a library book by drone,' Passek told The Washington Post. Passek initially got the idea after wondering about how the 600-plus students in the school district were fairing after the county closed school campuses and libraries.

Researchers eye tech wearables as coronavirus early-warning system

The Japan Times

Washington – Can your Fitbit or Apple Watch detect a coronavirus infection before the onset of symptoms? Researchers are increasingly looking at these devices and other such wearables as a possible early-warning system for the deadly virus. Last month, scientists at the West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute said they had created a digital platform that can detect COVID-19 symptoms up to three days before they show up using the Oura ring, a wearable fitness and activity tracker. An app developed by the researchers uses artificial intelligence to forecast the onset of COVID-19 related symptoms such as fever, coughing, breathing difficulties and fatigue, with over 90 percent accuracy, according to the university. The researchers said the system could offer clues of infection in people not yet showing symptoms -- helping address one of the problems in detection and containment of the deadly outbreak.

Dating app Grindr removes 'ethnicity filter' allowing users to search for potential partners by race

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Dating app Grindr has said it will remove its'ethnicity filter' that allows users to search potential matches by race. Singletons prepared to pay £12.99-a-month for the'premium' service are currently able to sort users based on their ethnicity, weight, height, and other characteristics. But less than 24 hours after its tweet supporting'Black Lives Matter' received widespread condemnation over the filter, the company has said it will delete it. Protests have rocked the US for six days following the death of George Floyd, who was filmed gasping'I can't breathe' as an officer knelt on his neck in Logan County, West Virginia. Writing on Twitter, the app said: 'As part of our commitment to (Black Lives Matter), we have decided to remove the ethnicity filter from our next release.

Researchers say Oura rings can predict COVID-19 symptoms three days early


One of the challenges to curbing the spread of COVID-19 is that asymptomatic individuals, or carriers, can spread the virus before they realize they are infected. In April, researchers from West Virginia University's (WVU) Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute (RNI) and WVU Medicine set out to predict symptoms before they appear using wearable rings by Oura and AI prediction models. Now, the researchers claim their digital platform can detect COVID-19 related symptoms up to three days early with over 90 percent accuracy. The approach is neuroscience-based, and it asks participants to track stress, anxiety, memory and other psychological and cognitive biometrics in the RNI app. Oura Ring collects physiological data, like body temperature, heart rate variability, resting heart rate, respiratory rate and sleep patterns.

How Documentary Theater Goes From Interviews to Final Production


This week, host Isaac Butler talks to documentary theater makers Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, whose plays include The Exonerated, about the criminal justice system, and Coal Country, about the Upper Big Branch mine disaster in West Virginia. Blank and Jensen explain how documentary theater works, from interviews with subjects to the final product, where actors perform interview excerpts verbatim. After the interview, Isaac and co-host June Thomas discuss why documentary theater is such a great way to communicate important information to an audience. Send your questions about creativity and any other feedback to

Trump Doubles up With Maryland, Virginia Memorial Day Events

U.S. News

Trump will visit Baltimore just over a week after Maryland began to lift some of the restrictions it had put in place for the coronavirus, though they remain in effect in Baltimore. Baltimore and the Washington, D.C., area have the nation's highest percentages of positive cases, according to Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force.