Category Archives: Computer Science
On November 22, GreenHouse held their 30th Social Impact Showcase at United College, celebrating the next generation of innovators. GreenHouse is a social impact incubator for students and community members who want to create environmental or social change, with their early-stage business venture ideas.
Richard Myers, principal at United College, speaking at theopening remarks of the fall 2023 GreenHouse Social Impact Showcase.
The University of Waterloo from its inception has been distinguished by a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship that is really unique in this country, said Richard Myers, principal at United College, during his opening remarks.
Waterloo is consistently ranked the top university in Canada for entrepreneurs by Pitchbook University Rankings.
A decade ago, we noticed the outstanding achievements of Waterloos first student incubator, Velocity, which tends to focus on Engineering and Computer Science students. GreenHouse was conceived as a kind of complementary piece to Velocity, focusing on innovation aimed at social or environmental progress. Were pleased to host students from all six Waterloo faculties in equal numbers over the years, where we have made our programming available at zero cost to student participants.
The Social Impact Showcase held two rounds of pitches with 10 student-led startups competing for more than $18,000 in funding. From assistive technologies to community programs, GreenHouse announced the six winning teams who received between $500 to $8,000 in funding to support their sustainable ideas. While Rising SheFarmers was awarded the fall 2023 Peoples Choice and received an additional $1,000 in funding.
University of Waterloo and United College students pitch at the fall 2023 GreenHouse Social Impact Showcase.
Waterloo students Miraal Kabir, Martin Turuta and Daria Margarit, created Safi as the worlds first off-the-grid pasteurization monitoring unit to prevent the spread of milk-borne diseases in East Africa.
East Africa has the highest global incidence of ill health and death from heart disease, with 30 per cent of deaths in children under the age of five, explained Kabir, a computer science student and co-founder of Safi.
That is because right now theres no access to safe and quality milk. There are many problems in the dairy supply chain, which is why at Safi, we have patented the worlds first off-the-grid pasteurization control unit aimed towards smallholder farmers and vendors.
In 2023 alone, the Safi team has travelled to Africa twice this year to create a network of creation with more than 100 farmers in a WhatsApp group chat that communicate back and forth with the Safi team to make a product thats catered towards them.
The Safi team previously pitched at the 2021 Concept $5K startup finals and the spring 2023 Social Impact Showcase, where they won and received funding towards their innovative startup. Now, Safi has received the go ahead from the Rwandan dairy supply chain to do a pilot program with the six most sellers (that are all women) in Kenya and Rwanda.
Safi co-founders Martin Turuta (second left), Miraal Kabir, Filip Birger (head of Engineering at Safi) and Daria Margarit receive $8,000 in funding towards expandingSafi, the worlds first off-the-grid pasteurization monitoring unit to prevent the spread of milk-borne diseases in East Africa.
Patient Companion $5,000
Founded by Engineering student Christy Lee, Patient Companion is an easy-to-use solution devised as a communication app between nurses and patients to not only improve patient experience, but also helps reduce stress and burnout for nurses.
When I was volunteering at a hospital and at a long-term care center for two years, I saw a constant number of lights flashing across the hallway, Lee said. With the current nurse call system, the nurses do not know what types of requests the patients are making, and which patients need immediate help.
Lee explained how on average, nurses are assigned between five to nine patients each, where roughly 56 per cent of requests made by patients are non-urgent requests. As a result, 3 per cent of the time nurses would forget to come back after asking what the patient needs, while 10 per cent of requests get cancelled.
Patient Companion allows patients to make specific requests via the Patient Companion app that will then automatically prioritize the requests on the nurses end. While requests for water or blankets can be distributed among personal safety workers, volunteers or other available staff, which will ultimately reduce the workload and stress for nurses.
Patient Companion will also be competing as a finalist team in the fall 2023 Velocity Pitch Competition.
Engineering student, Christy Lee, receives $5,000 in funding towards Patient Companion an easy-to-use solution devised as a communication app between nurses and patients to not only improve patient experience, but also helps reduce stress and burnout for nurses.
Rising SheFarmers $2,000
Founded by masters student, Lydia Madintin Konlan, Rising SheFarmers want to empower rural women in Ghana to get out of poverty through mushroom farming.
I counted a lot of women [in Ghana] who struggle a lot to get access to decent work and employment due to limited access to productive resources, Konlan explained. We decided that the 57 per cent of women who remain having limited access to work can have something to do by producing mushrooms.
Rising SheFarmers has been able to produce a supplier to five women in these five communities across Ghana, produce 1,500 bags of mushrooms to these women and make a huge impact in their lives. The market for mushrooms is growing and Konlan and her team are committed to this transformative journey by making agriculture more sustainable for women to work in.
With the funding, Rising SheFarmers hope to grow their reach from 200 to 300 women and become an incorporation where rural women in Ghana can farm mushrooms for income.
More than 1,600 community members placed their votes for the People's Choice award. WhereRising SheFarmersreceived 54 per cent (900) of the total number of votes, making themthe fall 2023 Peoples Choice award. Konlan received an additional funding of $1,000 to grow Rising SheFarmers.
Raising SheFarmers founder,Lydia Madintin Konlan, receive $2,500 in funding towards empowering rural women in Ghana to get out of poverty through mushroom farming. Konlan also received the People's Choice award with an additional funding of $1,000.
Braille Buddy $1,500
Braille Buddy is designing computer-vision powered braille books to help low-vision individuals learn braille independently. Led by Shaahana Naufal, Julia Turner, Mathurah Ravigulan and Ayla Orucevic, the group of fourth-year systems design engineeringstudents are hoping to address the declining literacy rate among American children who have visual impairments and living in low-income communities.
Weve completed our image classification model, where we essentially take an image of each page of our braille book that is being read and isolate each character into its own images, explained Orucevic, a Faculty of Engineering student.
Then we would feed those images into our machine learning model which converts them into English texts. Were also building out the motion tracking feature, which would allow us to detect the coordinates of finger movement along with paper recognition.
With the Social Impact Fund, Braille Buddy hopes to register their device with the Ontario Assistive Devices program and partner with various school boards and low-vision organizations that the team are already in contact with, to pilot their device in real classroom and make Braille Buddy a reality for many children.
Student venture, Braille Buddy, receive $1,500 Social Impact Fund towards designingcomputer-vision powered braille books to help low-vision individuals learn braille independently.
Founded by solo travellers, Carla Castaneda and Wanetha Sudswong (MEng 23), who want to empower other solo female travellers to travel around the world safely by using artificial and authentic intelligence to do the research for you.
WhereCafe has developed a mobile application where solo female travellers can type in their location and destination and the app will find the safest path from A to B. The app also provides multiple safety features to make travelling alone a bit easier. The first feature provides users the ability to set up an automated text (or call someone in their contacts) along the way based on their GPS location. The second feature provides the ability to add a report, where the app will then notify other travellers to avoid or navigate away from the reported area.
Our competitors dont know that it is extremely valuable to hear from our solo female travellers and well be the first to implement safe navigation and crowd sourcing in the same platform, Sudswong said.
Castaneda and Sudswong hopes to tap into the $11.5 billion market that had a record of more than 900 million travellers worldwide in 2022 alone. In the next six months, WhereCafe will start building a community in the Kitchener-Waterloo region for solo female travellers interested in exploring the city.
Student venture, WhereCafe, receive $1,500 Social Impact Fund towards empowering other solo female travellers to travel around the world safely by using artificial and authentic intelligence to do the research for you.
Real Research $500
Real Research is led by Faculty of Science student Ria Menon, whose student-run venture program is providing undergraduate students with more opportunities to get involved in scientific research labs on campus.
During the Spring 2023 term, Real Research saw a 100 per cent recommendation rate from their first cohort (20 students)of the program. Where the applications have doubled in size with a staggering 117 applicants for the fall cycle.
That just demonstrates the need for the Real Research program to fill in the gap that is missing for undergraduate students and research to be connected, said Menon, who looks forward to expanding the Real Research program to help advance the future of research.
Menon previously pitched at the spring 2023 Social Impact Showcase where Real Research received the Peoples Choice award. Since then, Real Research has launched their pilot program, received and incorporated feedback, and allocated additional funding from the Faculty of Science Foundation.
Student venture, Real Research, receive $500 Social Impact Fund towards supporting the student-run venture program in providing undergraduate students with more opportunities to get involved in scientific research labs on campus.
During the Social Impact Showcase, Erin Hogan, GreenHouse Programs Manager, announced that United College and the Faculty of Arts will be launching a new Social Innovation and Impact minor in the Fall 2024 term.
The Social Innovation and Impact minor will open up pathways for existing GreenHouse students and beyond to engage in pitches and projects, while they receive an official academic credit towards their degree. The launch of the new minor program also provides other Waterloo students with the ability to research, design, launch and test social innovations through applied and experiential learning opportunities.
More information to come on the Social Innovation and Impact minor.
Interested in making social or environmental change? Learn more about the GreenHouse Social Impact Showcase that is held each term and get started on your venture idea today by visiting the United College website.
NHGRI selects Adam Phillippy as first director of new Center for … – National Human Genome Research Institute
The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has selected Adam Phillippy, Ph.D. as the founding director of the new Center for Genomics and Data Science Research within the Institutes Intramural Research Program. In this role, he will provide scientific and administrative leadership, foster a collaborative and inclusive research environment and provide mentorship for researchers within the Center.
Since joining NHGRI in 2015, Dr. Phillippy has been an investigator and head of the Genome Informatics Section, where his research group develops and uses computational methods to sequence and analyze genome sequences. As a key leader of the Telomere-to-Telomere Consortium, he played a pivotal role in generating the first truly complete human genome sequence, which revealed the presence of over 200 million additional bases of DNA. He is also a major contributor in the international Human Pangenome Reference Consortium, which published the first draft of a human pangenome, a more complete collection of genome sequences that captures more human diversity.
Adams vision for our new Center will uniquely position NHGRI to lead the burgeoning computational genomics and data science fields, said Charles Rotimi, Ph.D., Scientific Director of NHGRIs Intramural Research Program. Adam has established himself as an expert in genome sequence assembly and analysis not only within NIH but in the broader scientific community. I cant think of anyone more qualified and ready for this role.
Previously called the Computational and Statistical Genomics Branch, the Center for Genomics and Data Science Research represents a reconfiguration of the research program to meet current challenges and opportunities in using computational strategies to study human and other genomes. As a newly designated center, the program aims to eventually have collaborative connections with other NIH institutes and bring together a larger set of local experts.
Adams vision for our new Center will uniquely position NHGRI to lead the burgeoning computational genomics and data science fields. Adam has established himself as an expert in genome sequence assembly and analysis not only within NIH but in the broader scientific community. I cant think of anyone more qualified and ready for this role.
The new Center will be developing and using cutting-edge computational approaches to analyze genome sequence data and conducting research in basic and applied genomics, comparative genomics, bioinformatics and genomic medicine. The newly established Center and its researchers are highly complementary with other components of NHGRIs Intramural Research Program, further enhancing their collective and collaborative abilities to address a fundamental challenge in genomics: understanding how genomic variants affect genome function in giving rise to phenotype.
As the genomics field becomes increasingly more data-intensive, the development of more powerful computational tools and technologies is necessary for making continued research advances, said Dr. Phillippy. Im excited to lead this incredibly talented and interdisciplinary group of investigators as we bring new knowledge and approaches to genomics research and medicine.
After graduating from Loyola University Maryland with a B.S. in computer science, Dr. Phillippy worked at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) before earning his M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to joining NIH, he worked at the National Bioforensic Analysis Center, where he founded and led a bioinformatics group that developed genomic methods and analyzed DNA sequence data for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Dr. Phillippy has authored and co-authored over 130 peer-reviewed research papers and scientific reviews. He has received numerous awards, including the U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and the NIH Directors Award. He was also a finalist for the 2022 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal and was named one of the worlds most influential people of 2022 by TIME magazine for his work on completing the human genome sequence.
Dr. Phillippy will begin his appointment as Director of the Center for Genomics and Data Science Research in the near future.
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Superintendent, Mineola School District
He believes strongly in the districts mission to inspire students to become lifelong learners that exhibit strength of character and contribute positively to a global society. During his twenty three years with the district, he has been a big proponent of using technology to engage students in rigorous content. All five schools in Mineola have been recognized as Apple distinguished schools. Mineola is also a member of the League of Innovative Schools, Dr. Nagler is the Chairperson of the Advisory Board.
Mineola was one of the first schools in the State to implement a comprehensive computer science curriculum starting in kindergarten. Mineola is also at the forefront of digital student portfolios. Dr. Nagler recently utilized the Districts coding platform to create his own digital portfolio. http://michaelnagler.oyosite.com
Dr. Nagler was the 2020 New York State Superintendent of the Year and was a Finalist for the 2020 National Superintendent of the Year. He recent published a book entitled: The Design Thinking, Entrepreneurial, Visionary Planning Leader- a Practical Guide for Thriving in Ambiguity
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Founded in 1919, AUC moved to a new 270-acre state-of-the-art campus in New Cairo in 2008. The University also operates in its historic downtown facilities, offering cultural events, graduate classes, and continuing education. Student housing is available in New Cairo. Among the premier universities in the region, AUC is Middle States accredited; its Engineering programs are accredited by ABET, its Chemistry program is accredited by the Canadian Society for Chemistry, and the School of Business is accredited by AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS. The AUC Libraries contain the largest English-language research collection in the region and are an active and integral part of the University's pursuit of excellence in all academic and scholarly programs. AUC is an English-medium institution.
The Department of Computer Science and Engineering invites applications for a full-time faculty position in one of the following areas: Computer Engineering or Software Engineering. Computer Engineering areas of interest include but are not limited to: Computer Organization, Digital Design, Computer Architecture, and Embedded Systems. Exceptional candidates from other areas will be considered. Preference is given to Assistant and Associate Professor applications. The candidate is expected to teach and conduct research, play an active role in the department, the school, and university service activities, and actively cooperate with other faculty within the Department. Interdisciplinary, applied research, and a North American experience is a plus.
Applicants should hold a PhD or equivalent in computing or a related domain. Successful candidates should have an ongoing program of research and publication, have strong leadership capability or potential and proven skills in high quality teaching. Mastery of the English language is required. Industrial experience is a plus.
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. The position is for Fall 2024. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
All applicants must submit the following documents via the online system:
An updated CV that includes a comprehensive list of publications; a letter of interest; a completed AUC Personnel Information Form (PIF); a copy of the graduate transcript, copies of most significant publications; and three references with contact information need to be provided.
Throughout its history, William & Mary has evolved to answer the needs of our nation leading the evolution of the liberal arts and sciences at key moments of transformation. The next chapter of innovation is underway, as the university responds to rapid changes in research and learning by taking an important step to establish a school joining departments and programs of Computer Science, Data Science, Applied Science and Physics.
The William & Mary Board of Visitors voted unanimously Friday to approve a new administrative structure, building on existing strengths and bringing together four academic units that currently operate within Arts & Sciences. A final proposal will be submitted to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) by March 2024, the school will launch in fall 2025, with the completion of the fourth phase of the Integrated Science Center (ISC4), a new building at the heart of campus.
This is an important next step in our evolution to meet the needs of the 21st century and beyond, said Rector Charles E. Poston J.D. 74. Our rapidly changing workforce needs technically trained individuals who have been taught within an exceptional liberal arts and sciences foundation. William & Mary has such distinctive strengths in these four areas, and the establishment of this new school will propel forward what is already exceptional work.
The board appreciates the comprehensive and thoughtful work by the administration and the faculty to develop a forward-thinking proposal that will serve the Commonwealth, nation and generations of graduates.
Through the new school, William & Mary will expand its focus on data fluency a pillar of its Vision 2026 strategic plan facilitating data-intensive research while further enhancing students career prospects in sectors that are driving economic growth. Research conducted by the four units intersects with disciplines across the university. Connections between the new school and the rest of the university will expand the interdisciplinary collaborations that are distinctive to W&Ms liberal arts and sciences educational approach.
This is an important moment in William & Marys long evolution as a preeminent liberal arts and sciences university. Data science is a liberal art for the 21st century: a vital mode of critical thinking in all fields and disciplines, said President Katherine A. Rowe. I am grateful to Provost Peggy Agouris for leading an inclusive, measured process to ensure the Alma Mater of the Nation continues to set the highest standard for excellence keeping the human in AI.
The new school will be the sixth to be created at William & Mary since its inception and the first in over 50 years. W&M was the nations first university to establish a law school in 1779. In the late 19th century, the university added teacher preparation to a liberal arts curriculum, to support Virginias growing public school system. The School of Education was officially established in 1961. William & Marys Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) was founded in the mid-20th century to sustain Virginias vital coastal fisheries. Building on the success of the department of business, and of its Master of Business Administration, in 1968 the university launched the institution now known as the Raymond A. Mason School of Business. Arts & Sciences is the largest academic unit on campus.
W&Ms charter boldly created a place of universal study for good Arts and Sciences for all times coming, Rowe said. Since 1693, W&M has evolved so that faculty, staff and students can lead in a changing world. With the first schools of Law and Modern Languages in the nation, William & Mary prepared citizen lawyers and cosmopolitan leaders for a new republic. At the turn of the last century, we expanded to support Virginia public education with teaching expertise. After World War II, we founded schools to prepare business leaders and marine scientists. Graduates in this century will wield the tools of AI and machine learning with the integrity and humanity that William & Mary has always been known for.
In only 10 years, the universitys combined total of bachelors graduates in computer science and physics grew by over 206%. The data science program, which has offered a minor since 2017 and a major since 2019, has also been growing at a fast pace, graduating 49 students in 2023. Applied science currently offers a minor and does not grant undergraduate degrees. Masters and doctoral degrees in applied science, computer science and physics made up over one third of all the graduate degrees conferred by Arts & Sciences in 2023.
The effort to develop a new structure for computing, data science, applied science and physics was driven by extraordinary demand from students and by faculty, Agouris explained. Computer science and physics both saw the greatest growth in degrees conferred at William & Mary in the last decade. Weve seen a commensurate surge in data science and applied science.
William & Mary activities in these areas have been achieving scholarly and public impact, as well as attracting external funding. So far in 2023, research projects with principal investigators from the four units have received over $9 million in funding from external agencies including the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health.
Student and employer demand for the offerings of the new school is reflected in national enrollment trends and job growth projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for computing, data science and physics jobs is projected to grow at a faster-than-average pace over the next decade. Such jobs will be needed in almost every industry across public, private, nonprofit and academic sectors. Computing and data science positions in particular are ranked among the top jobs in the nation in terms of pay and demand.
William & Mary data on its undergraduate classes of 2021 and 2022 aligns with national projections and figures. Six months from graduation, 64% of W&M computer science, data science and physics alumni reported being employed full-time in a wide range of industries from banking and management consulting to healthcare and education. Earnings data from graduates who reported income indicates that average starting salaries for this cohort exceeded $85,000 annually. Over one quarter of graduates from these three units reported pursuing advanced education, confirming W&Ms position as a top feeder for science and engineering doctorates across the country.
From quantum computing to generative AI, our country needs leaders and William & Mary is the place to train them, said Associate Professor Dan Runfola, who serves as director of graduate studies for applied science.
The new configuration will further the universitys commitment to academic excellence while allowing greater opportunities for faculty and students, he added.
From their first year, our undergraduate students are exposed to a wide range of topics as a part of a liberal arts curriculum promoting their ability to integrate new types of knowledge and critically solve new types of problems, Runfola said. Through the new school, we will be able to more effectively expand the W&M way to advance computer science, data science, applied science and physics fields which are changing the world around us at a pace we havent seen since the Industrial Revolution.
The Boards decision Friday follows an extended process of discussion, consultation and design which began in spring 2022 and involved multiple entities within the William & Mary community, including a vote by the physics department to join the new school.
The new school will be a doctorate-granting entity offering both undergraduate and graduate programs. Its exact structure will be determined by an implementation committee led by a newly appointed dean and will include both new and existing personnel and activities. As its initial constituent units are already in place, much of its operations are already supported by current university funds, with additional costs currently estimated at $1.1 million.
The new school will be particularly well-positioned to benefit from developments that will accelerate scientific discovery and boost the Commonwealths economy, Agouris said.
Recently, the U.S. Department of Energy has designated Jefferson Lab (JLab) in Newport News as the lead for a more-than-$300 million High Performance Data Facility (HPDF), whose research focus is aligned to that of the proposed new school. William & Mary has a long history of partnership with JLab and supported its bid for the HPDF. This synergy will further develop the existing link between the university and the lab, opening to further opportunities for William & Mary and the new school in particular.
Faculty Assembly President K. Scott Swan said Fridays action by the Board represents the type of innovation leading universities pursue as they adapt to changing needs.
From an innovation perspective, this is both logical since we already have deep skills in these areas and relationships with Jefferson Lab among others as well as radical, in that it recognizes the dramatic way the world and our students require a different way of organizing, educating and researching, said Swan, who serves as the David Peebles Professor of Business at the Mason School of Business.
While innovation is difficult, the payoffs are considerable in this instance: elevating our national profile and responding to the demand for W&M students prepared to accept these challenges both propelled by attracting and retaining world-class faculty, said Swan. I am also excited to see how this accomplishment leverages future innovations that William & Mary can achieve across our other schools.
Agouris said Fridays action by the Board of Visitors recognizes the unique curricular, organizational and budgetary needs of these four high-performing, growing units and the significant benefits William & Mary accrues by aligning them in a new school.
While the process of creating a new school will continue from now through 2025, Im gratified we have established a clear direction that will allow students and faculty in computer science, data science, applied science and physics to thrive, to the benefit of William & Mary and ultimately, the Commonwealth, Agouris said.
Antonella Di Marzio, Senior Research Writer
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Pushing back against the surge of misinformation online, California will now require all K-12 students to learn media literacy skills such as recognizing fake news and thinking critically about what they encounter on the internet.
Gov. Gavin Newsom last month signedAssembly Bill 873, which requires the state to add media literacy to curriculum frameworks for English language arts, science, math and history-social studies, rolling out gradually beginning next year. Instead of a stand-alone class, the topic will be woven into existing classes and lessons throughout the school year.
Ive seen the impact that misinformation has had in the real world how it affects the way people vote, whether they accept the outcomes of elections, try to overthrow our democracy, said the bills sponsor, Assemblymember Marc Berman, a Democrat from Menlo Park. This is about making sure our young people have the skills they need to navigate this landscape.
The new law comes amid rising public distrust in the media, especially among young people. A 2022 Pew Research Center survey found that adults under age 30 arenearly as likely to believe informationon social media as they are from national news outlets. Overall, only 7% of adults havea great deal of trust in the media, according to a Gallup poll conducted last year.
Media literacy can help change that, advocates believe, by teaching students how to recognize reliable news sources and the crucial role that media plays in a democracy.
The increase in Holocaust denial, climate change denial, conspiracy theories getting a foothold, and now AI all this shows how important media literacy is for our democracy right now, said Jennifer Ormsby,library services manager for the Los Angeles County Office of Education. The 2016 election was a real eye-opener for everyone on the potential harms and dangers of fake news.
AB 873 passed nearly unanimously in the Legislature, underscoring the nonpartisan nature of the topic. Nationwide, Texas, New Jersey and Delaware have also passed strong media literacy laws, and more than a dozen other states are moving in that direction,according to Media Literacy Now, a nonprofit research organization that advocates for media literacy in K-12 schools.
Still, Californias law falls short of Media Literacy Nows recommendations. Californias approach doesnt include funding to train teachers, an advisory committee, input from librarians, surveys or a way to monitor the laws effectiveness.
Keeping the bill simple, though, was a way to help ensure its passage, Berman said. Those features can be implemented later, and he felt it was urgent to pass the law quickly so students can start receiving media literacy education as soon as possible. The law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024, as the state begins updating its curriculum frameworks, although teachers are encouraged to teach media literacy now.
Bermans law builds on aprevious effort in Californiato bring media literacy to K-12 classrooms. In 2018, Senate Bill 830 required the California Department of Education to provide media literacy resources lesson plans, project ideas, background to the states K-12 teachers. But it didnt make media literacy mandatory.
The new law also overlaps somewhat withCalifornias effort to bring computer science education to all students. The state hopes to expand computer science, which can include aspects of media literacy, to all students, possibly even requiring it to graduate from high school. Newsom recently signedAssembly Bill 1251, which creates a commission to look at ways to recruit more computer science teachers to California classrooms. Berman is also sponsoringAssembly Bill 1054, which would require high schools to offer computer science classes. That bill is currently stalled in the Senate.
Teachers dont need a state law to show students how to be smart media consumers, and some have been doing it for years. Merek Chang, a high school science teacher at Hacienda La Puente Unified in the City of Industry east of Los Angeles, said the pandemic was a wake-up call for him.
During remote learning, he gave students two articles on the origins of the coronavirus. One was an opinion piece from the New York Post, a tabloid, and the other was from a scientific journal. He asked students which they thought was accurate. More than 90% chose the Post piece.
It made me realize that we need to focus on the skills to understand content, as much as we focus on the content itself, Chang said.
He now incorporates media literacy in all aspects of his lesson plans. He relies on theStanford History Education Group, which offers free media literacy resources for teachers, and took part in a KQED media literacy program for teachers.
In addition to teaching students how to evaluate online information, he shows them how to create their own media. Homework assignments include making TikTok-style videos on protein synthesis for mRNA vaccines, for example. Students then present their projects at home or at lunchtime events for families and the community.
The biggest impact, Ive noticed, is that students feel like their voice matters, Chang said.The work isnt just for a grade. They feel like theyre making a difference.
Ormsby, the Los Angeles County librarian, has also been promoting media literacy for years. Librarians generally have been on the forefront of media literacy education, and Californias new law refers to theModern School Library Standardsfor media literacy guidelines.
Ormsby teaches concepts like lateral reading (comparing an online article with other sources to check for accuracy) and reverse imaging (searching online to trace a photo to its original source or checking if its been altered). She also provides lesson plans, resources and book recommendations such as True or False: A CIA analysts guide to spotting fake news and, for elementary students, Killer Underwear Invasion! How to spot fake news, disinformation & conspiracy theories.
Shes happy that the law passed, but would like to see librarians included in the rollout and the curriculum implemented immediately, not waiting until the frameworks are updated.
The gradual implementation of the law was deliberate, since schools are already grappling with so many other state mandates, said Alvin Lee, executive director of Generation Up, a student-led advocacy group that was among the bills sponsors. Hes hoping that local school boards decide to prioritize the issue on their own by funding training for teachers and moving immediately to get media literacy into classrooms.
Disinformation contributes to polarization, which were seeing happen all over the world, said Lee, a junior at Stanford who said its a top issue among his classmates. Media literacy can address that.
In San Francisco Unified, Ricardo Elizalde is a teacher on special assignment who trains elementary teachers in media literacy. His staff gave out 50 copies of Killer Underwear! for teachers to build activities around, and encourages students to make their own media, as well.
Elementary school is the perfect time to introduce the topic, he said.
We get all these media thrown at us from a young age, we have to learn to defend ourselves, Elizalde said. Media literacy is a basic part of being literate. If were just teaching kids how to read, and not think critically about what theyre reading, were doing them a disservice.
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We Lead CS, a virtual career academy that will expand access to accelerated early college career pathways in computing for Kentucky high school students, will be the first of its kind in the nation and put Kentucky at the forefront of tech talent pipeline development.
Kentucky Senate President Pro Tem David Givens, other legislative leaders, and more than 80 employers and educators gathered recently at Northern Kentucky University to announce that We Lead CS will open for the 2024-2025 school year following a successful two-year pilot at iLEAD Academy in Carrollton.
Cracking the Code conference at Northern Kentucky University. (Photo provided)
Theres a gap between students hungry for coding, programming, computer science, and curriculum that doesnt really provide opportunities to teach it and the business community that needs the talent, said Sen. Givens.
We Lead CS will connect the dots by saying heres the curriculum and here are the skilled educators to teach it. Were going to feed these really hungry students this vitally important information and help them move forward in their careers.
The U.S. Department of Education (USED) selected Kentuckys iLEAD Academys idea to create a virtual computer science academy as one of the five most innovative ideas in the nation to expand students access to computer science education. In 2022, Sen. Givens and his colleagues in the Kentucky General Assembly passed legislation to scale the virtual academy statewide in an innovative effort to fill Kentuckys talent gap in the tech sector.
On October 1, 2023, there were 3,300 active, open computer science jobs in Kentucky with an average salary of $63,700. Despite the overwhelming need for these workers, only 738 Kentucky high school students earned an industry certification in computer science in 2021. The gap widens in college. In 2021, graduates earned 358 computer science associate degrees and 587 computer science bachelors degrees. Of the combined 945 graduates, only 169 were women and just 64 were African American.
INTERalliance employers involved in designing We Lead CS include 5/3 Bank, Cincinnati Reds, GE Aviation, Great American Insurance, Procter & Gamble and INTERalliance of Greater Cincinnati. In 2023, the USED tapped iLEAD and INTERalliance to lead again in its Career Z Challenge.
Along with the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, We Lead CS will engage Kentucky employers hiring tech talent to design an innovative, virtual-work-based learning program.
We Lead CS will offer dual college credit career pathways to their students in cybersecurity, data science, and programming. Students can graduate with 18-21 hours of college credit transferrable for completion of computer science associate and bachelors degrees. School districts will contract with We Lead CS to provide its virtual career academy program for as few or as many as they have interested in preparing for tech careers. Employers and educators can get information on how become involved or register for a school district webinar by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
iLEAD Academy is where it all started, said Alicia Sells, Director of Innovation at the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative and manager of iLEAD Academy. The USED said we were one of five high schools in the nation with the most innovative ideas to expand students access to computer science education. We asked, what if and now were going to totally transform the way we prepare kids for the tech workforce.
Anyone who has been pregnant or lived with someone who is pregnant knows the kaleidoscope of emotions that can lead up to delivery day and fill the weeks that follow. This major life transition can bring not only giddy excitement but also stress, anxiety and depression. Now two researchers in Marquettes Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences Dr. Kimberly DAnna-Hernandez, associate professor of psychology, and Dr. Sabirat Rubya, Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute Assistant Professor are working with colleagues across campus to develop new ways to support perinatal mental health.
Their community-oriented research projects are especially needed in Milwaukee, which struggles with wide racial and ethnic disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes. A parents mental health in pregnancy and beyond can affect a babys health in numerous ways.
Women who experience depression in pregnancy are more likely to give birth to babies who are preterm and babies who are low birth weight. And those are the two biggest risk factors for disease physical or mental, explains DAnna-Hernandez, who directs the Cultural Perinatal Health Laboratory at Marquette. Theyre obviously more likely to have postpartum depression as well, and it interferes with that mother-child bond.
DAnna Hernandez and her collaborators are developing an interdisciplinary prevention program for perinatal depression with three aims: strengthen an existing intervention to make it more culturally responsive, expand the perinatal mental health workforce through training, and form a perinatal mental health collaborative to gather resources and make it easier for new and expecting parents to access support. The project is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act through a $250,000 grant administered by the Medical College of Wisconsin.
The projects principal investigator is Dr. Kavitha Venkateswaran, clinical assistant professor of counseling education and counseling psychology in the College of Education. Dr. Lisa Edwards, professor and director of training for counseling psychology, and Dr. Karen Robinson, associate professor of nursing, are also collaborators.
If we can prevent or reduce mental health concerns during pregnancy, were likely going to start seeing some of those health outcomes improve as well, both for the mother and the child.
Were all very interested in perinatal mental health, particularly in women of color and women from marginalized backgrounds, says DAnna-Hernandez, who brings expertise in behavioral neuroscience and perinatal mental health disparities in Milwaukees Latinx population.
Up to 80 percent of mothers develop whats commonly known as the baby blues during the two weeks after childbirth, and 1 in 7 mothers have this condition progress to postpartum depression. Although it gets less attention, depression during pregnancy is common too, especially for women of color. DAnna-Hernandezs research has found that Mexican and Mexican-American women are three times more likely to experience depression during pregnancy compared with the general population.
Early intervention can be transformational for both expecting parents and babies. After the baby comes, its much harder to develop skills and tools to start making changes in your life. Oftentimes, at that point, the stress is so high and folks are sleep deprived, Venkateswaran notes. If we can prevent or reduce mental health concerns during pregnancy, were likely going to start seeing some of those health outcomes improve as well, both for the mother and the child.
The team plans to adapt and augment an existing perinatal prevention program known as Reach Out, Stay Strong, Essentials for mothers of newborns, or ROSE developed at Michigan State University. The evidence-based program can be delivered by any health care worker, not just mental health clinicians.
To make the program even more accessible, the Marquette researchers plan to add a telehealth option and make the content more culturally relevant for mothers from diverse backgrounds.
The team will involve a doula nurse and physical therapist. And the program will cover issues that can worsen mothers depression and anxiety from breastfeeding to sleep deprivation to pelvic floor issues after childbirth. By making the program more comprehensive, researchers hope to reach more pregnant and expecting moms who may not traditionally think of themselves as needing mental health support.
After the team finishes developing program content, it will gather feedback from clinic partners and community members. Local clinics could use the intervention with expecting parents as early as next summer.By working with partners from this broad, community-based collaborative, DAnna-Hernandez says, we can see what are their concerns, what are the things that they want to know and that we can help to support and amplify together as equal partners.
In computer science, Rubya is working on a project that explores how new and expecting mothers turn to online communities for support. She started by reviewing the literature and interviewing pregnant people and those who had recently given birth.
We learned that social support is really important. They need support from their spouse, their family and friends, and also other peers who have been through similar experiences, says Rubya, co-director of Marquettes Social and Ethical Computing Lab. So, we also wanted to know: What are their sources of social support or what are the barriers?
Online social support, especially when its anonymous, can feel safer for people from marginalized communities, she notes. Women expressed reluctance to seek support for mental health struggles through traditional channels, worrying that if their providers knew about these problems, their children would be taken away from them.
With the help of graduate student Farhat Tasnim Progga, Rubya explored online support communities devoted to postpartum depression on the Reddit, BabyCenter and What to Expect websites. She particularly noticed the power of storytelling, both in relating trauma and sharing successes. But existing online communities have their own challenges: misinformation or conflicting advice, toxic interactions and lack of timely response when someone is facing a mental health crisis.
If I can even reduce the stigma even a little bit, that would be a big success.
Rubya plans to develop an app that will pair storytelling using artificial intelligence to generate personas that resonate with users from different backgrounds with educational content on topics such as babies sleep, breastfeeding and various potential stressors. Her goal is to create content that respects users privacy while delivering more trustworthy and timely support than one might find on a giant message board.
She hopes to have a prototype ready within six months and then will conduct an evaluative study, partnering with DAnna-Hernandez to get feedback from new and expecting parents in Milwaukee. Shes grateful for that anticipated collaboration and for assistance from departmental colleagues who are experts in artificial intelligence. Anytime I need help, I have those colleagues who can help me where I lack that expertise, she says.
Eventually, Rubya would love to see her intervention reach beyond the United States. In her home country of Bangladesh, she notes, families often hide mental health issues instead of seeking treatment. Its a very sensitive topic there, she says. If I can even reduce the stigma even a little bit, that would be a big success.
With an issue as complex as perinatal mental health, interdisciplinary approaches are valuable. That makes the Klingler College well-suited for this type of research, the faculty note. I found the barriers between departments really low, so that makes it great for collaborating, DAnna-Hernandez says. That spirit of really moving everybody forward and particularly doing things for the community that has been a strong piece of what Ive seen in my collaborators in Arts and Sciences.
Rubya echoes that sentiment, and that spirit extends across colleges too. Venkateswaran sees cross-disciplinary-expertise making our work stronger because we all have a different lens and can provide that diverse perspective.
And thats promising for the future of perinatal mental health in Milwaukee and beyond. Says DAnna-Hernandez: I really see this collaborative being just the beginning of where we can go and take this work.
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Congratulations to the 2023 Society of Women Engineers (SWE) scholarship recipients!
SWE is proud to award nearly 330 scholarships, totaling more than $1,500,000, to freshman, sophomore, junior, senior and graduate students for the 2023-2024 academic year. The recipients of SWE scholarships are a group of extremely accomplished and driven students who excel inside and outside the classroom.
The SWE scholarship program will assist these young individuals in accomplishing their dreams of being engineers. The names of all recipients are posted below and published in the conference issue of SWE Magazine in October.
Kaitlin Day Washington University in St. Louis // Masters // Data Science and AnalyticsCasey Eaton The University of Alabama in Huntsville // Ph.D. // System EngineeringHannah Iezzoni Villanova University // Doctorate // Civil EngineeringAlexandra Jack University of Michigan // Sophomore // Biomedical EngineeringJuliana Pereira Purdue University at West Lafayette // Ph.D. // Civil EngineeringMyriam Sarment Purdue University at West Lafayette // Ph.D. // Civil EngineeringMason Shelden Colorado School of Mines // Masters // Environmental EngineeringAliyah Shell University of Arkansas // Doctorate // Biomedical EngineeringMary Tasket The University of Tennessee, Knoxville // Junior // Biomedical Engineering
Helena Ilic University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign // Incoming Freshman // Computer Science
Sydney Zucco University of the Pacific // Senior // Mechanical Engineering
Shriya Musuku Rochester Institute of Technology // Senior // Mechanical EngineeringAdya Aditi Parida Syracuse University // Junior // Computer Science
Zoey Ballard University of Houston // Incoming Freshman // Computer EngineeringHeather Brayer Carnegie Mellon University // Incoming Freshman // Electrical & Computer EngineeringMarcela Campassi Mississippi State University // Incoming Freshman // Electrical EngineeringPriscilla Chau University of Notre Dame // Incoming Freshman // Electrical EngineeringSun A Cho Carnegie Mellon University // Masters // Electrical and Computer EngineeringRachel Clark Colorado School of Mines // Senior // Electrical EngineeringLeah Crespo Georgia Institute of Technology // Incoming Freshman // Electrical EngineeringNatalie Daly Northeastern University // Masters // Electrical & Computer EngineeringNuhamin Deyaso Minnesota State University, Mankato // Masters // Electrical EngineeringYuliya Fedorchenko Washington State University // Junior // Mechanical EngineeringNi Gayatri University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Campus // Masters // Electrical EngineeringHaben Gebrekidan Syracuse University // Masters // Electrical & Electronic EngineeringEmily Herbert Northern Illinois University // Senior // Electrical EngineeringKayla Knudtson University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee // Sophomore // Electrical EngineeringRachel Krauss University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Campus // Sophomore // Electrical EngineeringChristy Li Massachusetts Institute of Technology // Incoming Freshman // Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (Course 6-2)Luana Liao Columbia University in the City of New York // Sophomore // Electrical EngineeringJemma Mallia University of California, Berkeley // Masters // Electrical Engineering & Computer ScienceHanna Mofid University of California, Irvine // Junior // Computer EngineeringOdunayo Oluokun Howard University // Ph.D. // Electrical EngineeringNeha Pazare University of Colorado Boulder // Masters // Electrical & Electronic EngineeringVaidehi Pujary The University of Arizona // Junior // Electrical and Computer EngineeringAsmaa Romia Colorado School of Mines // Ph.D. // Electrical EngineeringAnjali Sivasothy Rice University // Incoming Freshman // Electrical EngineeringPatrice Sterling Bluefield State College // Junior // Electrical Engineering TechnologyPahlychai Thao Oregon State University // Incoming Freshman // Electrical and Computer EngineeringKatelynn Thorne Clemson University // Senior // Electrical EngineeringNeeli Tummala University of California, Santa Barbara // Ph.D. // Electrical & Computer EngineeringGenesis Williams University of Texas at Austin // Incoming Freshman //Electrical Engineering, Computer EngineeringNicole Xu Massachusetts Institute of Technology // Incoming Freshman //Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)Isha Yeramilli-Rao Princeton University // Sophomore // Electrical EngineeringRocelyn Young University of Texas at Austin // Incoming Freshman // Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering
Ava Chang University of Michigan // Incoming Freshman // Computer Engineering
Kaleigh Ray University of Southern California // Junior // Astronautical Engineering
Ciara Horne University of Virginia // Doctorate // Systems EngineeringValentina Marini Fichera Columbia University in the City of New York // Junior // Mechanical EngineeringLeonie Otte University of Rhode Island // Ph.D. // Industrial and Systems Engineering
Darby Bankoski Johns Hopkins University // Incoming Freshman // Mechanical Engineering
Cara Baah-Binney University of Cincinnati // Senior // Mechanical EngineeringBella Baker Oklahoma State University // Junior // Industrial EngineeringKaya Dorogi Columbia University in the City of New York // Senior // Computer ScienceEmma Martz University of California, Berkeley // Senior // BioengineeringAndrea Miramontes Serrano Cornell University // Senior // Electrical and Computer EngineeringMackenzie Molina Washington University in St. Louis // Senior // Mechanical EngineeringLucia Piotraszewski University of Washington // Senior // Mechanical EngineeringAmantina Rossi Stanford University // Senior // Computer Science
Emily Nguyen University of Houston // Incoming Freshman // Computer Engineering Technology
Catherine Schuch The University of Illinois at Chicago // Incoming Freshman // Electrical Engineering
Saiedeh Akbari University of Florida // Masters // Mechanical Engineering
Emily Keller University of Rhode Island // Sophomore // Ocean Engineering
Olivia Loeffler The Ohio State University // Junior // Chemical Engineering
Lynn Connelly University of Michigan-Dearborn // Masters // Robotics Engineering
Olivia Mergler University of Virginia // Senior // Biomedical Engineering
Dala Chatila University of Houston // Junior // Electrical EngineeringTaralyn von der Linden Drexel University // Masters //Computer Science
Jasmin Azan North Carolina State University // Incoming Freshman // Computer ScienceAlissa Collins Liberty University // Incoming Freshman // Mechanical EngineeringGiselle Edwards University of Southern California // Incoming Freshman // Computer Engineering and Computer ScienceOlivia Fogel North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University // Incoming Freshman // BioengineeringFavor Hutchins Tuskegee University // Incoming Freshman // Mechanical EngineeringKaitlyn Kirt Rice University // Incoming Freshman // Mechanical EngineeringJillian Petty North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University // Incoming Freshman // Mechanical Engineering
Morgan Klover Southern Illinois University Carbondale // Junior // Civil Engineering
Sierra Quintana University of New Mexico // Junior // Electrical Engineering
Arianna Ortega Sanabria University of Arkansas // Ph.D. // Biomedical Engineering
Ariana Boykin The University of Kansas // Incoming Freshman // Electrical EngineeringJaneil Chambers Kennesaw State University // Incoming Freshman // Information TechnologyLailah Collins Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College at Baton Rouge // Incoming Freshman // Mechanical EngineeringElla Cundiff California State Polytechnic University, Pomona // Incoming Freshman // Mechanical EngineeringPaige Dailey University of California, Davis // Incoming Freshman // Mechanical EngineeringMaile Frankwick University of California, Berkeley // Incoming Freshman // Mechanical EngineeringAmira Hamilton Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College at Baton Rouge // Incoming Freshman // Mechanical EngineeringAmbrosia Ingoglia New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology // Junior // Computer ScienceDalima Lappia Pennsylvania State University // Incoming Freshman // Computer ScienceAthaliah Mackewicz University of California, Los Angeles // Junior // Electrical EngineeringAshley Martin University of Virginia // Incoming Freshman // Chemical EngineeringMorgan Mcfarland San Diego State University // Junior // Mechanical EngineeringMelia Miner San Diego State University // Incoming Freshman // Mechanical EngineeringMelody Nguyen University of Houston // Junior // Mechanical EngineeringChristina Pham University of Houston // Sophomore // Electrical EngineeringEsther Svaighert Florida Atlantic University // Incoming Freshman // Mechanical EngineeringMiLee Vogel The University of Arizona // Junior // Electrical and Computer EngineeringMaria Wang Brown University // Incoming Freshman // Computer EngineeringElizabeth Wilson The University of Arizona // Junior // Environmental Engineering
Kaylani Kam Oregon State University // Junior // Mechanical Engineering
Katt Gamblin University of Portland // Junior // Mechanical Engineering
Chigozirim Ifebi California Institute of Technology // Incoming Freshman // Mechanical Engineering
Bala Abinaya Parivakkam University of Michigan // Incoming Freshman // Aerospace Engineering
Shantal Adajian University of California, Santa Barbara // Ph.D. // Mechanical EngineeringLila Arrasjid California State University, Long Beach // Incoming Freshman // Mechanical EngineeringPrecious Elele Texas Tech University // Senior // Computer Engineering
Monica Mendoza University of Michigan-Ann Arbor // Incoming Freshman // Electrical Engineering
Zoe Barbour University of Maryland, College Park // Sophomore // Civil EngineeringAlexandra Labrecque Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute // Sophomore // Aeronautical EngineeringRachel May Worcester Polytechnic Institute // Sophomore // Aerospace EngineeringDivya Shukla Texas A&M University // Sophomore // Biomedical EngineeringClaire Turner Colorado State University // Sophomore // Civil Engineering
Phoebe Demers Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute // Junior // Biomedical EngineeringSidney Finkler Bucknell University // Junior // Civil EngineeringHannah Kruger Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute // Incoming Freshman // Chemical EngineeringLauren Lamberson Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute // Incoming Freshman // Biomedical EngineeringSkylar Neilsen Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute // Sophomore // Biomedical EngineeringKeleigh Nihart Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute // Incoming Freshman // Aeronautical EngineeringCelina Ohiwa Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute // Sophomore // Aeronautical EngineeringCarla Perez-Espina Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute // Incoming Freshman // Industrial and Management EngineeringKatherine Sears Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute // Senior // Mechanical EngineeringShianne Twoguns Bucknell University // Senior // Computer Science and EngineeringEleanor Tyner Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute // Junior // Chemical Engineering
Cassie Agren Syracuse University // Senior // Civil Engineering
Karin Brett University of Virginia // Senior // Civil Engineering
Saleema Mohamed New York University Tandon School of Engineering // Senior // Computer Engineering
Celeste Irwin Wright State University // Senior // Computer Engineering
Jayden Christmas North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University // Sophomore // Mechanical Engineering
Daniela Perez Oliveras University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez Campus // Junior // Mechanical Engineering
Jessica Bernat Gannon University // Senior // Mechanical EngineeringAmberlyn Diehl Georgia Institute of Technology // Senior // Mechanical EngineeringAlayna Wanless Kettering University // Senior // Electrical Engineering
Kelly Kramer University at Buffalo, The State University of New York // Senior // Civil Engineering
Maren Brown Georgia Institute of Technology // Incoming Freshman // Nuclear and Radiological Engineering
Hazel Burch Colorado State University // Junior // Electrical EngineeringAammarah Gage University of California, Los Angeles // Incoming Freshman // Electrical EngineeringNyambura Njenga-Benton Georgia Institute of Technology // Sophomore // Computer SciencePriyanshi Patel Purdue University at West Lafayette // Incoming Freshman // Mechanical EngineeringRebecca Rode Hofstra University // Junior // Mechanical EngineeringHana Thibault Duke University // Junior // Civil EngineeringCheyenne Trujillo Harvey Mudd College // Incoming Freshman // EngineeringNga Vu Bucknell University // Junior // Chemical EngineeringChristina Ziuchkovski Anderson University // Junior // Mechanical Engineering
Madison DeBruin Georgia Institute of Technology // Junior // Mechanical EngineeringFaith Miskell Missouri University of Science and Technology // Sophomore // Mechanical Engineering
Francisca Oseghale Baylor University // Senior // Electrical and Computer Engineering
Elizabeth Krolczyk University of North Texas // Masters // Biomedical Engineering
Havilah Akachukwu Tennessee State University // Senior // Mechanical EngineeringAreen Azouz University of Houston // Junior // Chemical EngineeringJosephine Dominguez University of California-Santa Cruz // Sophomore // Electrical EngineeringNicole Hernandez University of Houston // Senior // Electrical EngineeringGuerodye Joseph Howard University // Senior // Chemical EngineeringIvaneisha Lee Howard University // Junior // Computer ScienceAshlee McGhee Tuskegee University // Incoming Freshman // Aerospace EngineeringTara Patel The University of Arizona // Incoming Freshman // Mechanical EngineeringAisha Williams Mississippi State University // Incoming Freshman // Computer EngineeringLakeira Williams Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College at Baton Rouge // Senior // Mechanical Engineering
Ira Sharma San Jose State University // Masters // Software Engineering
Kayla Sorenson Portland State University // Doctorate // Civil Engineering
Rachel Xing University of Texas at Austin // Junior // Architectural Engineering
Sherie LaPrade Florida Institute of Technology // Senior // Aerospace EngineeringLily Nordyke University of Washington // Senior // Mechanical EngineeringRachel Sapola The Ohio State University // Senior // Mechanical Engineering
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 22, 2023
STUDENTS EARN RECOGNITION AT 8th ANNUAL HAWAII CODE CHALLENGE
High School, College Teams Create Solutions to Modernize Community Services
HONOLULU Two high school teams and a team from the University of Hawaii Mnoa took the top honors at the 8th Hawaii Annual Code Challenge (HACC) held Nov. 18 on the UH West Oahu campus.
The HACC solicits challenges from state departments and community groups and asks student, amateur and professional coders to develop technology applications to help solve specific problems during a four-week period.
The HACC was created to encourage engagement between Hawaii residents and the local technology community to modernize state functions and services for a more effective, efficient, and open government. Another objective of the hackathon is to strengthen the pipeline of the IT workforce and expand the tech industry in our state.
Lieutenant Governor Sylvia Luke told the teams gathered during the presentation and judging event that their efforts can make peoples lives better.
In this competition, you have the opportunity to help address some of the states most challenging issues such as homelessness and housing, Lieutenant Governor Luke said. Using coding, you are asked to identify a problem, find ways to help address the issue, and make it easier for the end user to utilize the application. What you folks do can improve peoples lives and being here speaks volumes about who you are as individuals.
Mililani High School team MHS HAKK took first place in the high school category and a $1,500 prize for their work to develop a solution for a challenge to help underinsured or uninsured individuals find and access affordable healthcare in Hawaii.
Cassidy Ibanez is the team captain and members include Courtney Hisamoto, Kyle Bain, Nolan Carlisle, Miles Hackeny, Toby James, Kyler Ching and Jourdan Hung.
In the coded category, first place and a $4,000 prize went to team VENGEN for their design to create a web portal to facilitate civic engagement around rebuilding Lahaina, Maui, including surveys, forums, sharing design concepts with visual and data models for economic, environmental analysis.
Ethan Chee is the captain of the UH Mnoa student team and members include Timothy Huo, Michelle Leano, Eda Cadiena and Marissa Halim.
In the low/no code category, team T777+ took first place and a $4,000 prize for their response to the affordable healthcare challenge. The team is from a mix of high schools also took second place in the high school category.
Joshua Li is the team captain and members include Brix Kozuki, Jacob Osada, Max Chin and Leo Zhang.
The 2023 HACC was sponsored by the State of Hawaii Office of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) in partnership with the University of Hawaii.
State Chief Information Officer Doug Murdock said the teams submissions were presented in-person for the first time since the 2020 restriction and judged by a group of technology professionals.
We were very pleased with the quality and creativity of the submissions this year and having the presentations live, in-person added to the excitement, Murdock said. These teams took the challenges to heart and did their best to provide solutions.
By the Numbers
HACC 2023 included 5 challenges:
Sponsors for the event include Transform Hawaii Government, Hawaiian Airlines, Verizon, Google for Government, Tyler Technologies, Microsoft, eWorld Enterprise Solutions, Salesforce, Hawaii Data Collaborative, AT&T and AWA.
Partners include IMAG Foundation, the Hawaii Department of Education Computer Science Team, UH Mnoa Information & Computer Sciences, Hawaii Pacific University, and the Hawaii Technology Develop Corporation.
For more information, visit https://hacc.hawaii.gov/
See HACC photos at https://www.flickr.com/photos/144304884@N07/albums/72177720312873814
Caption: Mililani High School students on team MHS HAKK took first place in the 2023 Hawaii Annual Code Challenge high school category and a $1,500 prize.
Photo Hawaii Office of Enterprise Technology Services
James Gonser, Senior Communications Manager
State of Hawaii Office of Enterprise Technology Services
Office: (808) 285-0520
Senior Communications Manager
Office of Enterprise Technology Services
State of Hawaii
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