Science & Technology

Penn Team Bridges the Digital Divide in Cameroon

Penn Team Bridges the Digital Divide in CameroonJan. 30, 2007PHILADELPHIA -- Some students in Cameroon now have computers thanks to a University of Pennsylvania engineering service organization.  A six member team of students, faculty and alumni of CommuniTech spent two and a half weeks during the winter break in Cameroon to establish computer labs.

Jeanne Leong

A Quarter-century of Community Partnerships

Glen Casey will be the first to admit it: He wasn’t the perfect student in high school. “I was always doing the dumbest things; getting into fights, getting arrested,” he says. A student then at University City High, Casey failed ninth grade, and barely passed 10th. “I just really wasn’t into school,” he says.



In the News


ABC News

Why the global chip shortage threatens the economy, national security and Americans’ ‘status quo’

Morris Cohen of the Wharton School spoke about the semiconductor shortage. "Most consumers didn't know and didn't care where their chips came from: 'You turn the car on, it should go, I don't really care who made the chip and what country it was built in,'" he said. "But now, all of a sudden, these issues become really important, and so I think we become more sensitized to how dependent we are, how interdependent we are, how things can be disrupted."

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BuzzFeed.com

Congress is trying to figure out what to do about crypto’s colossal carbon footprint

Zane Griffin Talley Cooper, a doctoral candidate in the Annenberg School for Communication, said “proof of work” algorithms used to mine and trade cryptocurrencies need to be “intensely regulated.”

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The Guardian

The inner lives of cats: what our feline friends really think about hugs, happiness and humans

Carlo Siracusa of the School of Veterinary Medicine said cats are capable of bonding with people, contrary to claims that they’re merely using their owners for food and shelter. “Humans hug and kiss. Dogs become very excited and jump around. Cats don’t do anything like that. They are much more elegant,” he said. “They approach us. They bump their heads. Then they have some contact with us and walk away.”

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Wired

Can a digital reality be jacked directly into your brain?

Researchers led by Daniel Yoshor of the Perelman School of Medicine are developing better electrode arrays, which are used to induce neural activity. Current arrays approved for human use are bulky and contain around 1,000 electrodes, whereas the arrays Yoshor and colleagues are working on would have 64,000 electrodes, and eventually 1,000,000 electrodes.

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Times Higher Education U.K.

Progress on gender equality ‘set back by lost generation’

Scott Kim, a Ph.D. student at the Wharton School, worked with NYU’s Petra Moser on a study that found the post-WWII baby boom created a dearth of women scientists. “By eliminating a generation of female role models, this loss affects science to this day,” they wrote.

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The Washington Post

Fighting food waste, one apple at a time

Strella Biotechnology, a company housed in Pennovation and co-founded by then junior Katherine Sizov, a winner of the 2019 President’s Innovation Prize, is working to reduce food waste using biosensors to monitor ethylene, a natural gas that ripens fruits and vegetables. “If we don’t solve this food waste problem now, it will become a lot more expensive later,” Sizov said. “As our climate becomes more volatile, this is going to crop up more and more.”

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ABC News

Philadelphia doctor develops rapid COVID test with results on smartphone

A team of researchers led by Ping Wang of the Perelman School of Medicine is developing a more accurate rapid test for COVID-19 that uses smart phone cameras. “The PCR is great. It's sensitive, but at the same time it's only residing in the core laboratories,” she said. “So, you can't really do PCR at home for most settings.”

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The Washington Post

Facebook is like chairs. No, telephones. No, cars. No …

Zachary Loeb, a doctoral candidate in the School of Arts & Sciences, spoke about Facebook’s attempts to compare the platform to simpler, less threatening technologies. “There used to be this utopian aura where they had been trying to act as though they were the latest in the stream of these transformative [communication] technologies,” he said.

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The Scientist

Signaling dynamics fine-tune gene expressiong

Lukasz Bugaj of the School of Engineering & Applied Science comments on a systematic and quantitative look at how gene information is transmitted and what can influence the amount of expression.

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Wired

Now that machines can learn, can they unlearn?

Aaron Roth of the School of Engineering and Applied Science spoke about his research on machine unlearning, which seeks to answer the question, “Can we remove all influence of someone’s data when they ask to delete it but avoid the full cost of retraining from scratch?”

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