Our second episode of ECS Podcast features Jon Gertner, author of The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation. Listen as we explore one of the most innovative institutions of the 20th century and how it revolutionized computing and information technology.
One of the quotes I like to keep on my desk is, “A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for. Sail out to sea and do new things.”
“Amazing Grace” Hopper, who said those words, certainly did new things. She was a computer programming pioneer, and the first woman at Yale University to earn a doctorate in math.
She is perhaps most noted for having invented key software technologies that laid the ground for today’s computer languages, and which remain a part of our everyday life. She was able to convince industry and government agencies to agree on a common business programming language, called Cobol, which (among many uses) is still used when you withdraw money from a cash machine.
She also worked on a device called the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator, which worked out flight trajectories for rockets. Named for her are many places and objects, including the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Hopper, the Department of Energy’s flagship computer system “Hopper,” and the Cray XE6 “Hopper” supercomputer at NERSC.
Read about just ten of the many women who changed the tech industry forever.
Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for an alumni meeting of the Executive Energy Leadership Academy (Energy Execs), a program that empowers executives to integrate clean energy solutions in their own communities.
Since its inception, more than 200 representatives of industry, government and non-profit organizations have completed the Energy Execs program, delivered through the Executive Energy Leadership Academy. In 2014, I participated in the abbreviated program which offers decision-makers a look at renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. As part of the experience, we received briefings by NREL technology experts, research laboratory tours and visits to renewable energy installations.
The call for abstracts for the 228th ECS Meeting to be held Oct. 11-16, 2015 in Phoenix, AZ is now open.
Meeting abstracts should explicitly state objectives, new results, and conclusions or significance of the work.
Regardless of whether you submit as a poster or an oral presentation, it is at the symposium organizers’ discretion whether it is scheduled for an oral or poster presentation.
Technical programming for this meeting will be determined in June 2015.
Abstracts are due no later than May 1, 2015.
The ECS Canada Section meeting will be a one-day event on May 19 and includes a plenary lecture by Nenad Markovic from the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.
The Surface Canada meeting begins the following day on May 20 and includes invited talks from electrochemists Christa Brosseau (Saint Mary’s) and Steen Schougaard (UQAM).
Further details on both events can be found here.
The two conferences are running in conjunction and a discounted registration fee is offered to attendees who register for both events. Student participation is encouraged.
Hopefully we will see you in Saskatoon!
Date: Friday, April 3, 2015
Time: Invited Talk | 2-3 pm
Poster Session | 3-5:30 pm
Location: MoSE Building
901 Atlantic Drive
Atlanta, GA, 30332
Have you heard of mechanochemistry yet? Researchers from McGill University are making a name for themselves in this up-and-coming multidisciplinary field with their discovery of a new material unveiled through unconventional means.
Prof. Tomislav Friščić’s research group in McGill’s Department of Chemistry is now producing chemical reactions through milling, grinding, or shering solid state ingredients. In other words, the team is using brute force to elicit these reactions rather than the typical liquid agents.
The group states that their process is similar to that of a coffee grinder. The advantage to using force over liquids is that it avoids environmentally harmful bulk solvents that are typically used when producing chemical reactions.
These findings were published in the paper “In Situ X-ray diffraction monitoring of a mechanochemical reaction reveals a unique topology metal-organic framework”. It all began in late 2012, where researchers reported that they had been able to observe milling reaction in real time – seeing chemical transformations using highly penetrating X-rays.
The Electrochemical Society’s Vilas Pol has developed a new process to turn simple packing peanuts into energy-storing battery components.
Pol, an associate professor at Purdue University and active member of ECS, has thoroughly succeeded in turning one person’s trash into another person’s high-tech treasure. He and his team from Purdue University have developed a system that turns the puffy packing peanuts into nanoparticles and microsheets perfect for rechargeable batteries. Pol’s new generation of battery could even outperform the ones we currently use.
We’ve been hearing about the new generation of vehicles for some time now. The self-driving, autonomous, electric car seemed to be so distant that it transformed into a pipe dream—until now. Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced this past week that Tesla’s self-driving cars will hit highways this summer.
On Thursday March 18, Musk arranged a press conference to talk about Tesla’s automobile software update that will eliminate range anxiety—or the fear that your electric car will run out of power before being able to recharge on long trips.
But that wasn’t the highlight of the press conference. Musk casually announced that beginning around June, all Tesla models well get an update that allows them to drive in “Autopilot” mode.
What is ORCID?
ORCID, or Open Researcher and Contributor ID, is an organization that aims to ensure that all scientific works can be appropriately attributed to their authors. By providing members with unique 16-digit persistent digital identifiers (called ORCID identifiers) and maintaining a central registry of members, ORCID is rapidly taking hold in the research community as a means of improving the accuracy of attribution, collaboration, and funding.
Due to the ever-expanding and international nature of scientific literature, the need for a unique identifier has become increasingly apparent. First and last names can be unreliable and inaccurate due to cultural differences in name-order conventions, changing last names due to marriage, or inconsistent use of abbreviations or initials. All of these factors can lead to the unfortunate result of authors being incorrectly credited (or worse, not credited) for their work.
The use of ORCID identifiers actively prevents this potentially damaging mishap, instead allowing journals and institutions to accurately monitor individual authors’ contributions to science.