A follow-up to this post from Saturday, Harvey Mudd College president Maria Klawe talks with Bloomberg news about her efforts to get more women into computer science. Under Klawe’s watch, female enrollment in the CS program has tripled (!).
She really knocks it out of the park around the 3-minute mark:
I think every tech company right now would love to hire more female engineers simply because we find that if we have more diverse teams, including gender diversity, you tend to get better solutions.
If you need to switch high current and or high voltage loads with a micro controller you’ll need to use some type of transistor. I’m going to be covering how to use a MOSFET since it’s a better option for high power loads. This guide will be just a brief introduction that will discuss how to drive a mosfet in a simple manner with the ultimate goal of making it act like an ideal switch.
Refer to the N or P channel basic wiring schematics and remember the three pins: Gate, Drain, and Source. When I mention something like Gate-Source potential difference, I’m talking about the difference in voltage between the two pins.
In an interview with Le Figaro, when the final question is asked: “From where do you see the next big technological turning point?”, Reid Hoffman, CEO of LinkedIn answers: “I keep a close eye on the domain of open source hardware”.
Q: “D’où voyez-vous venir la prochaine grande rupture technologique?”.
A: “Je surveille de près le domaine du hardware open source.”
The final video I captured at the Open Hardware Summit was this interesting talk by Mark Norton. Mark is heading up the steam engine project of the Global Village Construction Set. Open-sourcing purely mechanical projects like engines is something which I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, so this talk was really exciting to me.
The idea, in the context of the GVCS, is to use this steam engine as a prime mover for a number of other tools, including electrical generators and pumps. Because of it’s simplicity, and the fact that it can be powered by pretty much anything that makes enough heat to boil water, it’s a very useful and versatile source of power. It’s also designed to be scalable: multiple single-cylinder engines can be mated via a common crankshaft to increase power output, so as to adapt to varying requirements.
Check out these cool pendant necklaces from the Open Hardware Summit. Becky writes:
Open Hardware Summit co-chair Alicia Gibb brought a wonderful surprise to this year’s event – handcrafted silver pendants made by her father, James Gibb. This is my new favorite necklace! James cut each of ten Open Hardware logo gears to make these beautiful pendants, wouldn’t you like one? Show support in the comments if you’d like to see these made more widely available.
The Deleted City is a digital archaeology of the world wide web as it exploded into the 21st century. At that time the web was often described as an enormous digital library that you could visit or contribute to by building a homepage. The early citizens of the net (or netizens) took their netizenship serious, and built homepages about themselves and subjects they were experts in. These pioneers found their brave new world at Geocities, a free webhosting provider that was modelled after a city and where you could get a free “piece of land” to build your digital home in a certain neighbourhood based on the subject of your homepage. Heartland was – as a neigbourhood for all things rural – by far the largest, but there were neighbourhoods for fashion, arts and far east related topics to name just a few.
Around the turn of the century, Geocities had tens of millions of “homesteaders” as the digital tennants were called and was bought by Yahoo! for three and a half billion dollars. Ten years later in 2009, as other metaphors of the internet (such as the social network) had taken over, and the homesteaders had left their properties vacant after migrating to Facebook, Geocities was shutdown and deleted. In an heroic effort to preserve 10 years of collaborative work by 35 million people, the Archive Team made a backup of the site just before it shut down. The resulting 650 Gigabyte bittorrent file is the digital Pompeii that is the subject of an interactive excavation that allows you to wander through an episode of recent online history.
I can’t help but wonder if this is what all archaeology will look like in the future.
Not all electronic signals are communicated via electricity. By transmitting information in the form of light, we can avoid many limitations inherent to traditional wiring. And on top of all those benefits – fiber optics are just straight-up cool!
PAULA PATTERSON was back in her studio the other night, where she has spent nearly every weeknight and too many weekends to admit since January. From her day job as a graphic designer at an executive search firm in Midtown, she takes the subway and the fickle B61 bus to Brooklyn (“I don’t know why they print a schedule,” she said). That leaves her about two hours to build another V-Luxe, the iPad stand she designed as a birthday gift for her boyfriend last summer and soon after decided to market online.
“If there’s one thing I failed to estimate, it was the time this project would take,” said Ms. Patterson, 41, looking exhausted but also relieved, because the last of the V-Luxes were boxed up on her work table, ready to ship.
The recipients were backers Ms. Patterson found last fall, through the Web site Kickstarter. For pledging at least $500 toward her $5,000 financing goal, they are entitled to a finished V-Luxe, which stands about 18 inches high, is made of three species of wood and looks a little like a classic Philco Predicta TV from the 1950s.
In turning to Kickstarter to finance the V-Luxe, Ms. Patterson is among a growing number of designers who are using the site to get their sketch pad ideas into production, through crowd-sourced financing. Scan Kickstarter’s design category, and there are dozens of projects in search of backing, from screen-printed glassware billed as “awesome glasses for awesome people” to a sustainable house intended for use in developing countries.
Yeah, well, not so fast. Let’s think about this for a sec.
First, what happened is that they create these particles, called neutrinos, at CERN in Geneva. Neutrinos don’t interact with normal matter well, so they can pass right through the Earth as if it isn’t there. In a fraction of a second, some of them enter a detector called OPERA in Italy where they are recorded (pictured here). If you divide the distance between those two points by the time it takes for the neutrinos to travel, you get their speed.
And when the scientists did that, they find the neutrinos get to Italy about 60 nanoseconds faster than a photon would.
The thing to do is to look at where this claim might have gone awry. First, the timing is interesting. They claim a measuring accuracy of 10 nanoseconds, so 60 ns would be pretty significant. However, my first thought is that light travels about 30 centimeters in 1 ns, so they need to know the distance between the source and the detector to an accuracy of 3 meters. If they are off by 20 meters, then we’re done; that would explain the difference entirely. I suppose this depends on how they measured the distance and the speed of the particles, too. However, they haven’t published a paper on this just yet, so that’ll have to wait.
Also, as pointed out in a Science Magazine article, knowing the exact moment the neutrinos are created isn’t easy either. Mind you, 60 nanoseconds is 0.00000006 seconds, so they need a pretty good clock here. That page also says they used GPS to determine the distance, which could be off a bit.
Meet Eddie (Expandable Development Discs for Innovation and Experimentation).
We offer the Eddie two ways; unassembled and assembled. Eddie – Assembled (#28990; $1199) Eddie – Unassembled (#28992; $999)
Eddie is a new type of robot from Parallax Inc. designed to foster creativity, innovation and experimentation. Compatible with Microsoft’s Robotics Developer Studio, Eddie can roam autonomously, see in 3D using the Microsoft Kinect™, and be driven remotely using a wireless controller.
The included control board uses the 8-core Propeller microcontroller to directly control two 12V motors and collect data from several sensors around the robot. The entire base is controlled over a simple USB connection and convenient open-source command interface. The Eddie Control Board provides access to additional I/O, making Eddie fully expandable with numerous sensors & accessories.
Available for pre-order now, Eddie will be ready to ship on October 7th.
Texas Instruments (TI) offers a variety of semiconductor solutions for tablets and eBooks. The OMAPTM processor shown in the system diagram perfectly balances power and performance to give designers and end users an optimal multimedia solution. Also represented is an extensive array of solutions for tablets and eBooks that support wireless connectivity, video, audio and power management. The selection guide on the following page is a sampling of TI devices available to streamline your design process.
Great article from Business Week about Harvey Mudd College President Maria Klawe:
As Harvey Mudd College President Maria Klawe strolled her Southern California campus recently, she stopped to talk with Lillian de Greef, a senior eager to discuss her plans to pursue a graduate degree in computer science. De Greef entered Mudd as a technology novice and, like a growing number of women at the school, she’s now fluent in multiple programming languages. “I just really enjoy learning about all this stuff, writing the code,” she says.
De Greef’s enthusiasm is a testament to the quiet revolution waged by Klawe, 60, since she arrived in 2006 from Princeton University, where she was dean of the engineering school. On her watch, the percentage of female computer science majors at Mudd, one of California’s prestigious Claremont colleges, has more than tripled, to 42 percent. Nationally, women account for 14 percent of college graduates in the field, according to the Computing Research Assn.
Klawe’s transformation of this small liberal arts college 35 miles east of Los Angeles has sent ripples from Seattle to Silicon Valley, where startups and technology giants are desperate to find talented developers, even as the unemployment rate hovers above 9 percent. In the U.S., women hold less than 25 percent of jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, according to the Commerce Dept. Klawe has “actually moved the numbers,” says Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook. “In the midst of what is a very serious employment issue in the country, there’s a field here that’s dying for more very well qualified people.”