Office of Science and Technology Policy Blog
- Posted byon December 12, 2012 at 4:29 PM EDT
Today the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed new rules governing how wireless broadband providers can share the airwaves with Government users, adopting an innovative model first proposed earlier this year by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) in its landmark report, Realizing the Full Potential of Government-Held Spectrum to Spur Economic Growth. The FCC action comes amidst an array of Administration initiatives aimed at freeing up more spectrum for wireless broadband in order to drive productivity, jobs, and innovation, while also protecting the essential Government systems – including public safety, law enforcement, border protection, and military defense -- that also rely on spectrum and are relied upon by the American taxpayer. It is this type of public-private commitment and collaboration that is crucial to maintaining America’s leadership in the development and use of advanced wireless technologies.
- Posted byon December 12, 2012 at 10:31 AM EDT
Tara Tiger Brown, at left, is a leader of the LA Makerspace. Quin (age 12), at right, is a young Maker. (Image credit: family photo)
I recently sat down for a conversation with one of those leaders: Tara Tiger Brown, Technical Director of UC Irvine’s Digital Media Learning Research Hub and Director’s Board member for the Los Angeles Makerspace—a non-profit community of practice for inventors, builders, and creators (“makers”) to work and learn in a range of areas, including software, hardware, electronics, robotics, art, filmmaking, bio-tech, eco-tech, wearable-tech, and more. Though some such “makerspaces” are for adults only, the LA Makerspace is specifically designed to be family friendly and welcomes makers of all ages.
- Posted byon December 7, 2012 at 2:56 PM EDT
This week, OSTP asked winners and finalists from the 2012 Siemens Foundation student competition in Math, Science, and Technology to tell us why they are pursuing STEM and what it means to them.
The Science of Sleep
Daniel Fu (Park Tudor School, Indianapolis, Indiana) and Patrick Tan (Carmel High School, Carmel, Indiana): Daniel and Patrick developed two new mathematical methods for analyzing the human body’s oscillatory network—the system of genes and proteins in the body that regulate periodic processes such as the 24-hour sleep cycle. Their work could help inform the development of better treatments for illnesses that result from irregularities in these processes, such as sleep disorders.
“We first became interested in this problem after watching Inception, which deals with dreams and sleep to a major extent. The movie inspired us to investigate the nature of sleep at a fundamental level, which led us to the 24-hour sleep cycle and genetic oscillatory networks. We like STEM because it can provide answers to fundamental questions about the universe. It is by definition at the forefront of human capability, and it is the only way to advance the human frontier.”—Daniel Fu
- Posted byon December 4, 2012 at 7:05 PM EDT
On Monday in Washington, DC, OSTP Director John Holdren spoke to an audience of scientists and innovators, including the student finalists of the Siemens Foundation Competition in Math, Science, and Technology. In his remarks, Dr. Holdren, who at the event accepted the Siemens Founder’s Award on behalf of the Administration for its work to promote student engagement in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), made the case that a solid STEM education is one of the most powerful routes to a career that is both successful and meaningful to society.
- Posted byon November 30, 2012 at 1:44 PM EDT
Earlier this month, Hurricane Sandy tore through the Northeast leaving thousands of families to pick up the pieces of their homes. As families begin the process of rebuilding, the demand for rental housing is making it difficult for these families to find alternative housing.
While the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has worked to expand housing options for lower income families displaced by Hurricane Sandy, HUD, in conjunction with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), worked with several technology companies that have joined a national effort to help these families with innovative housing solutions. These efforts are evidence of the good that can come when Federal agencies work with the private sector to harness data and technology in creative ways.
Read about these innovative collaborations and how they've helped families on the HUDdle blog.
- Posted byon November 29, 2012 at 4:33 PM EDT
Last month, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy (DOE) announced more than$25 million of funding for innovative materials-science research projects. The research awards are a significant milestone for the Administration’s Materials Genome Initiative (MGI)—a collaborative effort of public, private, and academic leaders to make the discovery, development, and deployment of cutting-edge materials faster and cheaper than ever before.
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