9 ways to expand computer science equity in high school

Black, Latinx and Native American students are less likely to attend a school where computer science is taught

(GettyImages/Hill Street Studios)

Almost half of U.S. high schools now teach at least one computer science course. That means, however, students at a majority of high schools don’t have access to computer science, according to a new report.

And Black, Latinx and Native American students are less likely to attend a school where computer science is taught, according to “State of Computer Science Education: Illuminating Disparities” by Code.org, the Computer Science Teachers Association, and the Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance.

Students from rural areas and economically disadvantaged backgrounds are also less likely to have a chance to take computer science.

Students in these underrepresented groups are also less likely than are white and Asian American teeens to attend a school that offers an advanced placement computer science course or to an

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Preparing for Exascale Science on Day 1

ESP research projects are in the areas of chemistry, physics (high energy physics, fusion energy, cosmology), biosciences (cancer treatment informatics, modeling metastasis, brain connectomics, molecular dynamics of cell membrane transport proteins), engineering (aerodynamics, nuclear reactor coolant, combustion in coal boilers), materials science (functional materials, semi-conductors).

William Tang, professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University and principal research physicist with the DOE’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), is leading an ESP project that is one of the more successful efforts in artificial intelligence (AI) for science using pre-exascale systems. His work is focused on using deep learning and exascale computing power to improve the behavior of fusion reactors aiming to produce sustainable clean energy.  Tang’s AI research studies disruptions in confinement devices called tokamaks, which use a powerful magnetic field to confine hot plasma to produce controlled thermonuclear fusion power.

Engineers working with the potential energy source have estimated a window

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Quality research in Africa matters more than ever — for the whole world

We are at a unique moment in history. Two particular, ongoing events stand out. COVID-19 is one. The other is a long-overdue recognition of inequities among people in the US and worldwide, as exemplified by the Black Lives Matter movement. These issues provide a useful, timely lens through which to consider the role and value of African research.

There are many levels on which the future of the world, not just Africa’s, rests on African research. First, Africa represents the youngest and fastest growing population in the world. This makes intellectual investment an imperative, to harness talent that is a significant and growing share of the global population.

Second, Africans represent the oldest and most diverse genome in the world. Human genetics research has the potential to reveal some of the small differences in our genes that are influential in determining what makes Africa more susceptible or resistant to certain

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Dystopia as Clickbait: Science Fiction, Doomscrolling, and Reviving the Idea of the Future

This spring, the fashion house Balenciaga launched its latest line with a fictional news broadcast from dystopia. Repurposing the uncanny valley as virtual runway, the video features prosthetically altered models with blackened mouths speaking in electronic blurts over a grim techno soundtrack, pantomiming headlines from a world of disappearing water, robot control, and planets realigning—all while wearing austerely futuristic new couture apparently designed to aesthetically summon this grim tomorrow into being, as the conceptual chyron crawl scrolls enigmatic koans like “In space humans cannot cry,” “Mushrooms have thousands of genders,” and (perhaps grimmest of all) “It’s always Fashion Week somewhere.” While it may not make you want to buy the clothes, it provides another remarkable example of people explaining what it feels like to be alive right now through reference to our darkest science fictions.

You don’t need to trawl avant-fashion shows to find it—just check your news feed.

As

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The new line of attack on climate science in the age of megafires

Every morning, wildland firefighters gather around radios to listen to the weather forecast. This summer, I was part of the team that fought a fire near Big Sur. When I heard the staticky voice announce that temperatures would exceed 105 degrees, the forecast sounded like a death sentence.



a close up of clouds in front of a sunset: The August Complex fire burns near Lake Pillsbury in the Mendocino National Forest on Sept. 16. By Oct. 5, it had burned more than 1 million acres. (Noah Berger/Associated Press )


© (Noah Berger / Associated Press)
The August Complex fire burns near Lake Pillsbury in the Mendocino National Forest on Sept. 16. By Oct. 5, it had burned more than 1 million acres. (Noah Berger/Associated Press )

Across California, unprecedented heat has made wildfires more difficult to predict and control. During the heat wave in Big Sur, the fire, which had been 40% contained at 30,000 acres, tripled in size in a matter of days. It has now burned nearly 125,000 acres.

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Fighting wildfire involves hauling heavy packs and tools up mountains. Record heat makes this work more difficult and

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UAE experts turn the focus on latest research in rain enhancement science

The National Center of Meteorology announces on Wednesday targeted research areas for the UAE Rain Enhancement Program’s fourth cycle Projects.
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Abu Dhabi: UAE scientists will focus on new areas of research on rain enhancement, including using artificial intelligence in weather forecasting, to improve the country’s ability to address water-stress issues, it was announced on Wednesday.

The updated research areas include advances in weather modelling and forecasting using artificial intelligence and ensemble modelling; evaluation of rain enhancement effectiveness through the use of cloud chamber and use of randomised inputs in statistical methods; innovations in rain enhancement systems through the use of new measurement and numerical tools; and testing and leveraging several rain enhancement models.

Financial grant

Meanwhile, the programme will continue to support previous areas of research, locally and globally, to help the awardees fulfil the aims of their projects. Information about on-going projects funded by the programme and

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What science and democracy have in common: us, hopefully

Parthenon in Athens, undergoing partial restorationThe Parthenon, a symbol of democracy, is undergoing renovation and repair—symbolically enough. Image courtesy of Vladimirya/Pixabay

Donald Trump has said, several times in the week up to and including September 29’s presidential debate, that he will not commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose the election in November. He said this in 2016, and it was frightening then. It is incomparably more frightening now, when he has the power of the presidency at his disposal, and when a Republican party that controls most of the levers of power has shown no inclination, now or in the last four years, to check his abuses of power. The President of the United States is telling us clearly that he has no respect for the most fundamental principle of democracy.

A few days after the debate, the White House revealed that Trump had contracted COVID-19. This was clearly a consequence

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Tardigrades survive deadly radiation by glowing in the dark

Tardigrade
This tardigrade uses fluorescence to resist lethal UV radiation

Harikumar R Suma & Sandeep M Eswarappa

A tiny tardigrade can survive intense ultraviolet radiation for an hour by glowing in the dark. “It acts like a shield,” says Sandeep Eswarappa at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.

Tardigrades, also known as water bears, are animals around 1 millimetre long. They are famous for being able to withstand extreme conditions that would kill most organisms, such as being completely dried out.

Studying moss at their institute’s campus, Eswarappa and his colleagues found what may be a new species of tardigrade, though they don’t yet have enough information to formally describe it. For now, they are calling it Paramacrobiotus BLR, short for Bangalore.

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“We found this particular tardigrade in many places, especially in places that are well lit with sunlight,” says Eswarappa. The researchers

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Houston will be home to the nation’s largest psychiatric hospital in 2021

The UTHealth Behavioral Sciences Center will be making history in Houston.

The facility will be the first public mental health hospital constructed in more than three decades, and will be the largest of its kind in the United States.

UTHEALTH MAKING WAVES IN RESEARCH: UT Health Science Center shows off new high-tech teaching facility

UTHealth enlisted the help of architecture firm Perkins and Will to design the mental health facility near the Texas Medical Center.

The future building will “consist of two buildings connected by a glazed bridge, surrounded by a tranquil green space,” as reported by Jillian Goltzman at Innovation Map.


The facility will be an educational hospital, where future physicians and specialists will be trained. Not only will the facility provide mental healthcare, but substance use intervention, treatment and medical care via integrated treatment programs, according to Innovation Map.

The infrastructure of the new building is being

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Why Scientists Should Stop Misusing Science To Influence The Election

Earlier this month, the editors of Scientific American, published an all-out, endorsement of Joe Biden for President—something unprecedented in the journal’s 175 year history. Then, last week, all of the New England Journal of Medicine’s editors signed a scathing review of the Trump administration’s handling of the COVID-19 emergency, calling for Trump to be voted out of office.

In truth, both editorials offer several valid criticisms of the administration on scientific grounds. And to be clear: The present article is not making any counter-endorsement of Donald Trump—far from it.

Rather, we pose an important question: Are high-profile scientists crossing a dangerous line by using their trusted platforms to influence the election? Based on behavioral science, we believe they are and their actions come at the risk of diminishing the public’s trust in

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