December 13, 2013 |
What if you could explore and conduct research on the floor of the Grand Canyon, or examine archaeological sites underneath the Vatican, without ever leaving the Philadelphia region? By next fall, those kinds of experiences and many more will be available to students and the broader community inside a virtual-reality enclosure off the lobby of Villanova University's Falvey Library. The project is known as a CAVE, which stands for Cave Automated Virtual Environment. It's being developed under a $1.67 million grant from the National Science Foundation, awarded this year to a team led by computer scientist Frank Klassner.
November 15, 2013 |
IBM has agreed to buy Fiberlink, a Blue Bell firm that connects companies to their field staffs through smartphones and other technology. Fiberlink's patents and its 400 employees (up from 250 two years ago) will join International Business Machines Corp., the companies said. The staff includes 150 software developers, cofounder Jim Sheward, president Chris Clark, and engineers, programmers, and salespeople at a new office opened in Center City last year in the hope of attracting recent college grads.
November 12, 2013 |
Taking an entire class to Germany, Australia, and Serbia would have been, well, difficult. So Rutgers-Camden art professor Elizabeth Demaray brought contemporary artists from those countries to her class. Kind of. "Hello? Milos, can you hear us? Hello?" Demaray asked last week, leaning in toward her laptop screen, where Serbian artist Milos Tomic's face had frozen into a jumble of pixels. Tomic was the third and final artist in this semester's videoconference lecture series, a continuation of the SkypeOnArt series Demaray began in 2010 to bring international artists to campus without the costs associated with physical travel.
November 3, 2013 |
It's a scene that might be repeated dozens of times on Drexel University's campus today: A student, sitting at a table, eating pizza. But Annie Feng is different. The sophomore nibbles on a mini pizza while wearing a headband designed to measure her brain activity. And unlike many brain-imaging machines, this device can be used at a table. By monitoring the brains of people during meals, researchers hope to learn about the cognitive aspects of eating, and why some people stop at a single slice while others devour the pie. This portable device has sparked the interest of researchers worldwide.
October 21, 2013 |
When Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey began his career in 1968, police forces around the country were still using call boxes and card files. These days, he told a packed room of the International Association of Chiefs of Police at the Convention Center on Saturday afternoon, the resources available to police are a bit more sophisticated, and come with their own set of challenges. "Technology is a powerful tool, both a benefactor and a curse to policing," he said. Hundreds of representatives from police forces around the world converged on Philadelphia over the weekend for the association's annual conference, an undertaking that police here have been planning for nearly two years.
October 5, 2013 |
Ankur Kumar , head of admissions and financial aid at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and a woman credited with boosting the number of female MBA candidates, is stepping down "to pursue a new endeavor," the school told staff. Kumar's departure comes five days after the Wall Street Journal ran a story that noted that total Wharton MBA applications have been dropping on her watch, as applicants to rivals Harvard and Stanford Universities rose. Kumar defended her record, arguing that Wharton's applicants might be fewer but were of higher quality.
October 4, 2013 |
A common frustration during the Internet era's version of the Cambrian explosion - the sudden appearance, in the six years since the iPhone's launch, of about a million mobile apps - boils down to this: We've developed this amazing thing. How do we get people to try it? It's a huge challenge for a small inventor. But even the largest businesses don't find it easy, which may explain why something new popped up recently on Route 202 in Malvern: a PNC "concept branch" that showcases how the $300 billion bank hopes to integrate technology into a business bound by hundreds of years of tradition.
September 30, 2013 |
TORONTO - It's one thing to make a science fiction film. It's another to feel like you're living in one. You would think that for Alfonso Cuarón - director of the verite road pic Y Tu Mamá También , the giant Hogwarts installment Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban , and the dystopian thriller Children of Men - a nice, simple stranded-in-space saga would be a cakewalk. Or at least a space walk. You would think wrong. "Here's the thing," says the filmmaker, on the couch in a swanky hotel on the morning after the Toronto International Film Festival premiere of his Sandra Bullock / George Clooney survival thriller.
September 28, 2013 |
Camden County College math professor Lester Owens thought technology would solve many of education's problems, but many of his students wanted facetime, not FaceTime. With a master's degree in instructional technology, he had designed a website with practice problems, created video lessons he could send to students' phones, and integrated clickers into his classes to instantly poll students. He's available for online videoconferencing every Sunday at 9 p.m. "But then you find out a lot of students - and I'm in the Camden area - didn't have that technology that we all think they have," Owens said.
August 5, 2013 |
Ben Perlman knew how to lock up a bike. Every night, the University of Pennsylvania junior said, he latched a U-lock onto the frame of his $400 Cannondale, laced a cable through the wheels, and secured it all to a fat wooden post on the porch of his off-campus house in West Philadelphia. But the city's bike thieves are a determined lot. One morning 18 months ago, Perlman woke up to find it all gone. Including the wooden post. "Which, to me, was impressive," Perlman said.