Recent News Clips
NOVA Making Stuff Safer
Host David Pogue examines groundbreaking research that aims to keep us out of harm's way.
Students tackle rocket science
Making future space exploration less costly is the ultimate goal of a group of engineering students at UC San Diego who have created a working metal rocket engine from a 3-D printer. Ten students spent about eight months designing and analyzing the 7-inch-long engine, which they tested in the Mojave Desert in early October. Much to their delight, it worked.
9.16.14 Hardcore Gamer
Greenlight District: Poncho, The Corridor, desolate, Hardland, CodeSpells
Creating an interesting and entertaining edutainment game is a difficult premise. Too heavy on the informative aspect and you?re likely to lose interest off the bat, too light on it and it loses credibility. CodeSpells uses a sleek, intuitive coding interface to allow players to create an infinite variety of spells in a sandbox environment. Players can team up online and even create game modes to compete in!
Kickstarter to teach children coding raises $50,000
Computer scientists in the US have received $50,000 on Kickstarter - a funding platform for creative projects - for a new and improved version of CodeSpells, a first-person player game they developed that teaches children how to code.
9.16.14 San Diego Metro
Computer Scientists Launch Kickstarter For Video Game That Teaches Kids How to Code
Computer scientists at UCSD have successfully funded on Kickstarter a new and improved version of CodeSpells, a first-person player game they developed that teaches players how to code. The game's previous iteration, developed by UCSD computer science Ph.D. students Sarah Esper and Stephen Foster, has been in use in dozens of schools throughout the world for more than a year. The researchers have been using the game as a platform to learn about the best ways to teach children how to code.
Smart toilet seat bids bye-bye to bad smells
CodeSpells is an open world video game that is trying to inspire an interest in coding by requiring that Players rank their own magic spells by experimenting with code in the game. The game provides a coding interface where you can specify exactly what your spells will do. This interface is intuitive enough. For individuals young and old, who have never coded before. Newcomers can learn by coding pre made cells using a drag and drop language, that makes the learning process pretty simple.
9.16.14 Scientific American
Crime Ring Revelation Reveals Cybersecurity Conflict of Interest
A small cybersecurity firm claimed this summer to have uncovered a scam by Russian Internet thieves to amass a mountain of stolen information from 420,000 Web and FTP sites. The hacker network, dubbed "CyberVor," possessed 1.2 billion unique credentials -- a user name and matching password -- belonging to 500 million e-mail addresses, asserted Hold Security, LLC.
'Minecraft' add-on helps you learn programming while you play
9.11.14 the Guardian
Minecraft add-on LearnToMod aims to teach children coding skills
Minecraft is teaching a generation of children how to build architecturally-improbable houses with chickens embedded in the walls. Now it may be teaching children programming skills too. US company ThoughtSTEM is preparing to release an add-on called LearnToMod in October, which will teach children how to make their own Minecraft "mods", altering the game's features. The software is being tested with 150 students before its release, when it will cost $30.
New Minecraft Mod Teaches You Code as You Play
Like many nine-year-olds, Stanley Strum spends a lot of time building things in Minecraft, the immersive game that lets your create your own mini-universe. The game has many tools. But Stanley is one of many players taking the game a step further by building entirely new features into the game. And, more than that, he's also learning how to code.
9.5.14 Michigan Radio
Scientists hope E. coli genome sequencing will help track future outbreaks
A research team has produced the first complete genome sequencing of a strain of E. coli. This particular strain is associated with outbreaks of food poisoning that can be deadly. Haythem Latif is on the research team at the University of California-San Diego. "Although early detection is key to treatment, it has been known to cause severe renal failure in children," Latif said. He says the updated genome sequence for this strain of E. coli will help scientists tell one strain from another.
DRAWN TO THE NUMBERS
Minnes works at the intersection of math and computer science. She teaches many of the introductory and advanced undergraduate computer science courses for the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego and works on research and outreach projects. She co-developed the five-week residential Summer Program for Incoming Students in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
9.4.14 San Diego Source
UCSD takes lead in field with new robotics institute
With many robotics companies and a call for the FAA to designate the region an unmanned aerial vehicle center of excellence, San Diego has been making a big push in the past few months to become the center of the rapidly expanding drone industry. The University of California, San Diego and several local companies want to expand the region's reputation as the hub not only of UAVs, but also robotics.
UCSD to collaborate with Tijuana university
UC San Diego has entered into an agreement aimed at increasing its collaboration among faculty and students with a Tijuana university, expanding on existing partnerships the La Jolla campus has with Mexican schools.
CodeSpells: Write code, invent magic spells
Programming has become a highly important skill -- but from the outside, it often seems like it would be both difficult and boring to learn. Ask anyone who's a programmer and they'll probably say otherwise, but taking that initial step can be a hurdle for many.
9.4.14 USA Today
Robot toy invasion: Tech fuels the latest toys
Forget dollhouses, footballs and jigsaw puzzles -- kids today want tech in their toys. Whether its video games, touch-screen tablets or radio-controlled flying drones, many of 2014's "most wanted" fuse entertainment with electronics. And in many cases, the lines are blurring between playing and programming -- whether it's Lego Mindstorms with "on-brick programming," Sphero 2.0's Macrolab app (with code you can share among friends) or the Moss robot construction kit.
8.25.14 HS Today
Study Finds Glaring Vulnerabilities in TSA's Controversial Full-Body Scanners
After coming under intense public scrutiny last year for depicting nude images of passengers, the full-body scanners widely deployed at US checkpoints throughout the United States from 2009 to 2013 are now the center of a new controversy--they don't work. Researchers from the University of California-San Diego, the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University recently published the findings of several laboratory tests conducted on Rapiscan Secure 1000 full-body scanner.
8.25.14 MyFox Washington DC
Study: TSA scanners can miss bombs, guns
A new study by Johns Hopkins reveals that full body airport scanners can easily be obstructed, leading Transportation Security Administration agents to miss weapons or bombs. In the study, researchers found that passengers could easily carry contraband on board if they just covered it with a plastic shield and under clothing. Researchers also found that these scanners could easily be hacked, giving hackers the ability to manipulate the image reflected on the screen.
Airport Body Scanner Bought On EBay Raises Security Alarm
Investigations have revealed that airport security may have been flawed for several years and the online shop eBay has played a surprising part in the discovery. Among the many strange items available on eBay, one in particular has kicked up a storm of controversy over the efficiency and effectiveness of those airport security procedures. When a US government surplus "Rapiscan Secure 1000 DP (Dual Pose) Backscatter Body Scanner (Never Installed)" was on offer...
8.25.14 Washington Times
EDITORIAL: The naked truth about airport screening
American airline travelers, it now turns out, have surrendered their dignity for nothing. When the Transportation Security Administration introduced X-rated x-ray scanners five years ago, many travelers suspected the devices were an expensive sham. This was confirmed Thursday by researchers at a security conference in San Diego.