February 4, 2019 STEMdaily

by STEMconnector

In the Monday, Feb. 4th edition of STEMdaily, stories include how the University of Toronto is preparing students to work in the self-driving car field, changes to the H-1B visa process, how life balance impacts women in STEM careers, and more STEM news on student debt and buying homes, an overview of STEM and engineering programs at NC State, and EdTech in Sante Fe schools.

Check out the full edition of 2/4 STEMdaily here: https://conta.cc/2t4GZ4v

Higher Education

Dr. Martin-Vega: Raleigh is great for STEM professionals and NC State Engineering is one key reason why (WRAL) 
Many of our College of Engineering faculty and staff members, students, alumni and area industry partners were surprised to read a story on WRAL TechWire published Jan. 9 about a WalletHub ranking of the Best and Worst Metro Areas for STEMProfessionals. The Raleigh metro area ranking was undercut by its lack of a quality engineering university, according to the rankings. We immediately knew that wasn’t true. The authors of the study used US News & World Report rankings of top graduate engineering programs and somehow completely missed NC State’s strong national ranking. The mistake has since been fixed by WalletHub, and TechWire, to its credit, updated the story.

Want to build self-driving cars? The University of Toronto will teach you how (Digital Trends) 
Self-driving cars are now a booming industry, but that boom has come with growing pains. For example, where does an aspiring autonomous car engineer go for job training? The University of Toronto hopes to fill that void by teaming up with online education company Coursera to offer a specialization in self-driving cars. “It’s pretty clear that it’s an exploding area, and there’s not a lot of introductory material,” University of Toronto Professor Steven Waslander told Digital Trends about the rationale for starting this program.


Putting Higher Education to Work in the Digital Age (WSJ) 
In his 1945 seminal report, Science The Endless Frontier, presidential science adviser Vannevar Bush laid out the blueprint for R&D in post-war America: “New knowledge can be obtained only through basic scientific research” conducted in universities and research labs, and then applied to develop new products by the private sector and new and improved weapons by the defense sector. The report was quite influential and led to the considerable expansion of university research, much of it supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Heath and other U.S. federal agencies.

Heavy Student Loan Debt Forces Many Millennials To Delay Buying Homes (NPR) 
Student loan debt in the United States has more than doubled over the past decade to about $1.5 trillion, and the Federal Reserve now estimates that it is cutting into millennials’ ability to buy homes. Homeownership rates for people ages 24 to 32 dropped nearly 9 percentage points between 2005 and 2014 — effectively driving down homeownership rates overall. In January, the Fed estimated 20 percent of that decline is attributable to student loan debt. Whether that will shift with time as the millennial generation marries and has children is the big economic question.


H-1B changes will simplify application process (Tech Crunch) 
The federal government yesterday published the final rule for changes to the H-1B visa program, which is one of the primary conduits for technical talent to come and work in the United States. There are two key changes coming with the rule. First, the government will require applicants for an H-1B visa to electronically register with the immigration office for the H-1B lottery before they submit their applications or documentation, starting in 2020.


STEM education and the rise of female inclusivity (WITF) 
As men continue to dominate the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, the visibility of women in the those professions often goes unseen. In fact, women make up almost half of the workforce in the United States. But when it comes to STEM-related careers, they quickly become outnumbered by men, making up only 24 percent of Americans in these fields. Fortunately, the youngest generation of women is making their way up to the top as early, secondary, and post-secondary education programs begin to put a focus on females in STEM.

Life in Balance: Getting girls into STEM creates more than gender equality (KTVB) 
There’s a push in Idaho to get more young girls interested in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, also known as STEM. in this week’s Life in Balance, the movement is about more than creating gender equality. She Tech is a day-long event at Boise State where 250 high school girls throughout the Treasure Valley are encouraged to touch, explore, interact, and of course, have fun with technology. “The hope is that the girls leave here with a better understanding of what it means to be an engineer, a scientist, to work in technology,” Alecia Hoobing, the co-founder of Women Innovators in Boise.

What STEM Companies Can Do To Build A More Gender-Balanced Workforce (Forbes) 
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation is a non-profit organization that uses 100% of its donations to fund young scientists in pursuing innovative cancer research. Since its founding in 1946, the Foundation has invested over $360 million in funding more than 3,700 researchers. As the President and CEO of Damon Runyon, Dr. Yung S. Lie is making it her mission to promote STEM education and encourage more women to enter into science, technology, engineering, and math-related careers. She is well on her way. Today, approximately 42% of Damon Runyon’s 212 actively-funded scientists are women, which is well above the world average of 30%.

Education Technology

Veronica Garcia: Education technology is important to Santa Fe students and teachers (Santa Fe New Mexican) 
Thanks to Santa Fe County voters, today’s classrooms don’t look like the classrooms that many adults would recognize from their childhood. In most of our classrooms, smart boards have replaced chalkboards. More often than not, teachers assign and receive schoolwork without any paper at all, and children who’ve never taken a typing class use keyboards with nimble ease. When I visit schools, I am astounded at how seamlessly the technology that voters approved three years ago has been integrated into teaching and learning in the Santa Fe Public Schools.

Philosophical (Not Financial) Drivers of Online Education (Inside Higher Ed) 
Many of us spend our days working towards, and our nights thinking about, the creation of new online programs. Why? The answer to this question may surprise many outside of higher ed, and some within. And yet, I’m convinced that our answer would be the most common response if we bothered asked those in our community. What will be most surprising, is that our answer as to why spend our careers working towards building new online educational programs is that this work has very little to do with money. We are not in the online education game for the revenues.

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