Office of Science and Technology Policy Blog
- Posted byon March 10, 2014 at 5:59 PM EDT
Today, NASA announced that it’s asteroid hunting season. The Asteroid Data Hunter challenge is a $35,000 series of competitions to help identify asteroids in images taken from ground-based telescopes. The competition – which launches on March 17th and runs through August – focuses on developing new algorithms to significant improve asteroid identification software. The goal is to develop asteroid-finding algorithms that increase detection sensitivity, minimize false positives, bypass imperfections in data, and run effectively on all computers.
- Posted byon March 10, 2014 at 12:05 PM EDT
Today, two premier Department of Defense (DOD) research labs, in collaboration with the Pentagon Channel, will debut a science-focused TV series called “Armed with Science,” shining a light on the importance of science and technology to national defense and the innovative work being done in DOD laboratories to help address the complex challenges facing the military. The pilot episode, airing on the Pentagon Channel today at 1:00pm and 5:00pm EST, will explore the cutting-edge research taking place at the Naval Research Laboratory and the Army Research Laboratory based in Washington, DC, and Adelphi, MD respectively.
The Nation’s defense laboratories are critical to DOD's diverse missions and to keeping our country on the leading edge of innovation. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) works closely with DOD labs to develop policies and programs that can strengthen the Department’s in-house R&D capabilities and speed the development of new technologies. Adequately supporting the labs’ research budgets and infrastructure needs and helping to inspire, attract, and retain a world-class science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce in this domain is essential protecting America’s national security and keeping our country on the leading edge of innovation.
At the Army Research Lab, for example, scientists are working to study and develop “super materials” that operate in extreme environments to protect soldiers against threats. These materials, which scientists and engineers are designing at the atomic scale, will help make up game-changing electronics, munitions, and armor for the military of the future.
And at the Naval Research Lab’s Space Robotics Laboratory, scientists are developing robotic technology that can help repair, reposition, or update satellites that are beyond human reach, some 20,000 miles more distant than the Hubble Space Telescope—many of which are critical for Navy and Marine Corps operations.
- Posted byon March 7, 2014 at 6:49 PM EDT
President Barack Obama talks with the 2014 Intel Science Talent Search finalists in the State Dining Room of the White House, March 7, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Becky Fried is Senior Communications Advisor and Web Editor at OSTP
- Posted byon March 6, 2014 at 2:29 PM EDT
President Barack Obama meets with Presidential award for excellence in math and science teaching winners in the East Room of the White House, March 3, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
These outstanding teachers came from far and wide to be recognized for their tireless work to equip America’s students with the skills they need to grow into the next generation of innovators and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professionals.
This Presidential Award is the U.S. Government’s highest honor for K-12 math and science teachers. In December, President Obama announced this year’s 102 winners, who represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Department of Defense Education Activity. These phenomenal educators were selected from a pool of more than 950 applicants by a distinguished panel of leaders in STEM education at both the state and national level.
Before meeting with President Obama, the teachers kicked off a three-day visit to Washington, DC, with a conversation about the future of STEM education in America with experts from the Department of Education, and participated in several professional development workshops with leaders from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the American Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society, and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Then, on Wednesday morning, the teachers received their award during a ceremony at the National Academies of Science.
- Posted byon March 6, 2014 at 12:25 PM EDT
On March 3, the White House Office of Science and Technology policy (OSTP) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) co-hosted a thought-provoking conference about the state of the art in big-data analytics and privacy technologies. Counselor to the President John Podesta and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker gave keynote addresses at the event. The conference attracted some of the top technologists working on leading-edge big data projects in a range of important areas, including healthcare, genomics, education, and transportation, as well as privacy-enhancing technologies. In case you missed it, you can find the MIT webcast here.
I am also pleased to announce the second in the series of public events that OSTP is co-hosting with academic institutions across the country. On March 17, OSTP, the Data & Society Research Institute, and New York University will host a conference to explore the social, cultural, and ethical implications of big data. You can find more information about this event on the Data & Society Research Institute website, here.
As John Podesta remarked in his keynote address at MIT, the discussion of big data should not be confined to Washington or to academia. This issue is of such great importance and involves an array of technologies already so pervasive that it demands a robust, public conversation about how we—as a Nation and as individuals—can realize the great benefits of big data while also protecting privacy and other values.
Toward that end, today, OSTP is releasing a Request for Information seeking public comment on the ways in which big data may impact privacy, the economy, and public policy. The full Request for Information can be found here. Comments are due by March 31, 2014, and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope you will join this important conversation.
Nicole Wong is U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy
- Posted byon March 6, 2014 at 10:00 AM EDT
Today, we are very excited to announce that applications are now being accepted for the third round of the Presidential Innovation Fellows program. This initiative pairs talented, diverse individuals from outside government with top Federal innovators to implement game-changing projects that make the Federal Government work better for the American people.
At its core, the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program is as strong as the incredible people that are willing to join this effort and serve their country. That’s why we want the best and brightest individuals—original thinkers, gifted designers, tech-savvy strategists, private-sector doers, inventors, entrepreneurs, and talented developers and engineers—to offer up their skills and expertise to create huge value for the American public.
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