Well File:


100 Women of Color Remember Their First Encounter With Racism--And How They Overcame It


Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. This was a mantra I picked up on the playground at elementary school--something I repeated over and over again anytime I came face to face with racism. It was a coping mechanism meant to guard my heart from the cacophony of discriminatory comments that shaped me as a young Korean American girl growing up in predominantly white spaces. But now that I'm well into adulthood, I think about the girls of color who are also being taught to pretend that words don't hurt--and the people this way of thinking actually protects. It's hard to escape the unrelenting consequences of racism: In the past year alone, we lost Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and the six women of Asian descent murdered in Atlanta (Xiaojie "Emily" Tan, Daoyou Feng, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant) at the hands of this insidious disease--and those are just the names that were in the headlines. If we don't acknowledge ...

Tackling Gender Diversity in Tech, One Robot at a Time - Pittsburgh Region: Next is Now

CMU School of Computer Science

If you've heard of Carnegie Mellon University's Girls of Steel, I hope it was from someone who's participated in our program and not from a robot. Maybe you saw a young woman from Girls of Steel on the news as she constructed one of the program's 120-pound robots. Or heard that she and her teammates visited and made a presentation at the White House. Perhaps you read about their work in GeekWire. While the robots tend to get a lot of media attention, our focus is more straightforward: the girls who build them.

Salvaging the school year depends on quickly vaccinating teachers, lower infection rates

Los Angeles Times

Saving the Los Angeles school year has become a race against the clock -- as campuses are unlikely to reopen until teachers are vaccinated against COVID-19 and infection rates decline at least three-fold, officials said Monday. The urgency to salvage the semester in L.A. and throughout the state was underscored by new research showing the depth of student learning loss and by frustrated parents who organized statewide to pressure officials to bring back in-person instruction. A rapid series of developments Monday -- involving the governor, L.A. Unified School District, the teachers union and the county health department -- foreshadowed the uncertainties that will play out in the high-stakes weeks ahead for millions of California students. "We're never going to get back if teachers can't get vaccinated," said Assemblyman Patrick O'Donnell (D-Long Beach), who chairs the state's Assembly Education Committee and has two high schoolers learning from home. He expressed frustration that educators are not being prioritized by the L.A. County Health Department even as teachers in Long Beach are scheduled for vaccines this week. Although Long Beach is part of L.A. County, it operates its own independent health agency.

Can the Government Regulate Deepfakes?

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Last month, the British television network Channel 4 broadcast an "alternative Christmas address" by Queen Elizabeth II, in which the 94-year-old monarch was shown cracking jokes and performing a dance popular on TikTok. Of course, it wasn't real: The video was produced as a warning about deepfakes--apparently real images or videos that show people doing or saying things they never did or said. If an image of a person can be found, new technologies using artificial intelligence and machine learning now make it possible to show that person doing almost anything at all. The dangers of the technology are clear: A high-school teacher could be shown in a compromising situation with a student, a neighbor could be depicted as a terrorist. Can deepfakes, as such, be prohibited under American law?

When Artificial Intelligence Surpasses Human Intelligence


Artificial Intelligence has impacted almost every aspect of human life, leaving large amounts of manual jobs to computers, and allowing humans to pursue intelligent jobs. However, in the future, there may be a time when intelligent jobs are also done artificially. Even more unsettling is the possibility that machines will become more intelligent than humans. Although there is little consensus on this topic, such an event is almost certain to happen. We can only hope that we have found a way to make AI "friendly", or share humans interests beforehand.

Drones – the New Critical Infrastructure


Be prepared in the near future when you gaze into the blue skies to perceive a whole series of strange-looking things – no, they will not be birds, nor planes, or even superman. They may be temporarily, and in some cases startlingly mistaken as UFOs, given their bizarre and ominous appearance. But, in due course, they will become recognized as valuable objects of a new era of human-made flying machines, intended to serve a broad range of missions and objectives. Many such applications are already incorporated and well entrenched in serving essential functions for extending capabilities in our vital infrastructures such as transportation, utilities, the electric grid, agriculture, emergency services, and many others. Rapidly advancing technologies have made possible the dramatic capabilities of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV/drones) to uniquely perform various functions that were inconceivable a mere few years ago.

Fran Allen

Communications of the ACM

Frances E. Allen, an American computer scientist, ACM Fellow, and the first female recipient of the ACM A.M. Turing Award (2006), passed away on Aug. 4, 2020--her 88th birthday--from complications of Alzheimer's disease. Allen was raised on a dairy farm in Peru, NY, without running water or electricity. She received a BS degree in mathematics from the New York State College for Teachers (now the State University of New York at Albany). Inspired by a beloved math teacher, and by the example of her mother, who had also been a grade-school teacher, Allen started teaching high school math. She needed a master's degree to be certified, so she enrolled in a mathematics master's program at the University of Michigan.

Satellite Data Fill the Void of Dwindling Crop Tours


The pandemic is helping to usher in a new era of food-production forecasts that rely more on satellite data and artificial intelligence and less on information gathered by people. The crop world, including major trading houses and statisticians at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has long depended on scouts trudging through fields to count corn kernels and soybean pods. But travel restrictions and new virus safety measures have cut participation in field tours at a time of increasing scrutiny over food security. "Covid-19 is disrupting agricultural supply chains in developing countries, and observers on the ground can no longer report on crop conditions," said Lillian Kay Petersen, a student at Harvard University. She won the top prize of this year's Regeneron Science Talent Search, a 79-year-old competition for high school students held by the Society for Science and the Public, for her model that uses daily satellite images to predict crop yields in Africa.

Applications of Deep Neural Networks

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Deep learning is a group of exciting new technologies for neural networks. Through a combination of advanced training techniques and neural network architectural components, it is now possible to create neural networks that can handle tabular data, images, text, and audio as both input and output. Deep learning allows a neural network to learn hierarchies of information in a way that is like the function of the human brain. This course will introduce the student to classic neural network structures, Convolution Neural Networks (CNN), Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM), Gated Recurrent Neural Networks (GRU), General Adversarial Networks (GAN), and reinforcement learning. Application of these architectures to computer vision, time series, security, natural language processing (NLP), and data generation will be covered. High-Performance Computing (HPC) aspects will demonstrate how deep learning can be leveraged both on graphical processing units (GPUs), as well as grids. Focus is primarily upon the application of deep learning to problems, with some introduction to mathematical foundations. Readers will use the Python programming language to implement deep learning using Google TensorFlow and Keras. It is not necessary to know Python prior to this book; however, familiarity with at least one programming language is assumed.

Mars 2020 rover is christened 'Perseverance' after NASA let public choose name in a contest

Daily Mail - Science & tech

NASA has equipped its Mars 2020 rover with everything it needs to explore the Red planet, except for a name – until now. Called Perseverance, the rover's title was picked from a'Name the Rover' essay contest that received 28,000 entries from children ranging from kindergartners to high school. The name was revealed on Thursday during a live streaming and was chosen by seventh grader Alex Mathers who's winning essay compared the rover to the human race. 'If you think about it, all of these names of past Mars rovers are qualities we possess as humans.' 'We are always curious, and seek opportunity. We have the spirit and insight to explore the Moon, Mars, and beyond.