Password protected areas
Spotlight Article Index
CCST Spotlight is a weekly newsletter focusing on CCST activities and highlighting innovative science and technology research, applications, and policy issues in California. The Spotlight editor is Danny DeCillis. We welcome information and feedback from our readers about science and technology at work in the private, public, and education sectors. To send us questions or comments, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (951) 682-8701.
CCST Council Meeting: Taking a Closer Look at China
(06/07/13) The June CCST Council meeting focused on the impact that China's quest to become a global science, technology and innovation leader will have on California, and the global community as a whole. The dinner speaker, Tai Ming Cheung, is the director of the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC) at UC San Diego. IGCC studies a wide range of topics involving the security, environmental, and economic policies that shape our ability to prevent conflict and promote cooperation, including through nontraditional connections between and across disciplines and institutions. The Council dinner was paired with an international forum co-hosted by CCST and the California Chamber of Commerce.
CCST Report Examines Role of Biofuels in California's Energy Future
(05/31/13) CCST has released the seventh and final report in its California's Energy Future (CEF) project, "California's Energy Future: The Potential for Biofuels". The CEF project seeks ways the State could meet the mandated reductions of the state's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, exploring possible energy strategies for California through in-depth examinations of different technology scenarios.
Reinventors Round Table Focuses on Higher Education
(04/26/13) On April 18, a virtual roundtable in the "Reinventors" series was held on how to tackle intractable problems in higher education. The Reinventors virtual roundtables are a series of online conversations among top innovators about how to "fundamentally reinvent America" with an eye to leveraging new paradigms made possible by advances in technology. Topics have ranged from regulation to government bureaucracy to adaptive cities.
CCST Council Member Katherine Yelick Honored by ACM Council on Women
(04/16/13) CCST Council Member Katherine Yelick has been honored by the Association for Computing Machinery's Council on Women, which has named her the 2013-2014 Athena Lecturer. Yelick, a Professor of Electrical Engineering Computer Sciences at UC Berkeley and also the Associate Laboratory Director for Computing Sciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is being honored for her work in parallel programming.
Oceanographer at Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation Helps Charts Course Towards Good Science Policy
(04/05/13) Jon Kaye, who was recently recognized with a profile by The Oceanography Society, is not your typical oceanographer. He has left the traditional academic path for the world of philanthropy and public policy, helping the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation work to facilitate better science and technology related policy in California.
Calit2 to Build High-speed Network for 'Big Data'
(04/02/13) Researchers in the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) are using a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to build a high-performance digital network capable of carrying more than twenty times the bandwidth of the current research network.
CCST Council Member Named President of KAIST
(02/21/13) CCST Council Member Sung-Mo "Steve" Kang has been appointed the new president of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Korea's leading technology school. Kang's four-year term is scheduled to begin on February 23. Kang has served on the CCST Council for three years. He was about to begin a second three-year term when his nomination to KAIST forced him to step down from the Council.
CCST Guide to 2013 State of the Union
(02/14/13) This year's State of the Union address focused on topics such as energy, climate change, and science and math education. The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) provides resources directly related to these issues with a focus on how they impact California. Here, we list a selection of excerpts from President Obama's address together with links to CCST work that has addressed these issues.
Cal TAC Briefs Legislators in D.C. on Digital Education Work
(02/01/13) A delegation from the California Teacher Advisory Council (Cal TAC) spent three days in Washington, D.C. last week, introducing Cal TAC as an organization dedicated to strengthening STEM teaching and learning throughout California, and briefing Senate staff and Congressional members about their current work on digitally enhanced education.
CCST Senior Fellow David Okrent Dies at 90
(01/28/13) CCST Senior Fellow Dr. David Okrent, Professor Emeritus of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of California, Los Angeles and world renowned nuclear physicist and expert on nuclear reactor safety, died at his home in Los Angeles on December 14, 2012, after a sudden illness.
San Jose State University Launches Online Course Program
(01/18/13) San Jose State University has announced a partnership with an online education startup to offer low-cost online classes for credit. The experimental pilot project marks the first significant foray into online education for the California State University system, and could be the harbinger of a paradigm shift in higher education in California.
Newly Appointed S&T Policy Fellows Arrive in Sacramento
(01/10/13) The California Science and Technology Policy Fellowship program has placed its fourth consecutive group of fellows in the California state legislature, continuing to build on a growing legacy of making S&T expertise available to lawmakers in a way most states do not have. The CCST program is modeled on a similar one run by AAAS in Congress for decades; four years after its inception, the California S&T Policy Fellowship remains the only state-level program of its kind.
Curiosity Rover Adds to Dual JPL Legacy of Exploration and Education
(12/14/12) Four months after landing on the red planet, NASA's largest-ever Mars rover, Curiosity, is fully functional and writing the latest chapter in a story of exploration that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has been building for decades.
New CEF Report Examines California's Building and Industrial Efficiency
(11/30/12) CCST has released the sixth publication in its California's Energy Future project, "California's Energy Future: Building and Industrial Efficiency". The CEF project focuses on exploring possibilities for California's energy strategy through the coming decades, seeking ways the State could meet the mandated reductions of the state's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
UC Davis Institute Focuses on Energy and Environmental Policy
(11/16/12) A new initiative at the University of California, Davis is promoting collaborative engagement between University researchers and policy-makers to help better inform energy and environmental policy. The Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy was created earlier this year to bring to bear expertise at the University of California and other research institutions to help inform state, federal and international policy in the areas of energy, climate, transportation, and ecology.
AAAS Issues Statement on Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods
(11/1/12) The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) issued a statement on October 20 on the labeling of genetically modified foods, stating that there is no scientific evidence to justify efforts to mandate labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods for consumers.
Integrating Digital Media into Teacher Preparation: Cal TAC Summit Report
(10/26/12) A new summary report has been released detailing the proceedings of a June 2012 summit on integrating digital media into teacher preparation in California. The summit, convened by the California Teacher Advisory Council (Cal TAC), brought together science and math teachers, university faculty, philanthropists, and technical experts to develop a strategy for steering digital media and education in the right direction and explore various pilot programs already underway in the state.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship, from Existing Data
(10/12/12) A successful culture of innovation depends as much on enabling entrepreneurship as on the ideas themselves, according to CCST Council Member Atul Butte, who spoke at the October Council meeting.
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050: California's Energy Future
(09/21/12) CCST has released the next report in the California's Energy Future (CEF) series, which focuses on exploring possibilities for California's energy strategy through the year 2050. Portraits of Energy Systems for Meeting Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets examines a variety of scenarios for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
CCST Annual Report 2011-12: Big Data, Big Future
(09/07/12) An important key to California's future - economic, technological, and social - is information. Research indicates that analyzing large data sets is rapidly becoming a key basis of competition, underpinning new waves of productivity, growth and innovation. This genuinely is the beginning of a new information age. We have been hearing about the 'information age' for so long that the phrase has become trite. Nonetheless we are reaching a point where the knowledge available to us has exceeded our ability to easily grasp it.
CCST Conducting Water Technology Survey
(08/24/12) CCST is seeking input from water experts on the future of California's water plans. Through the use of an on-line survey CCST is working to identify innovative technology and/or system approaches that can be used in California within the next five to ten years to help address challenges in managing finite water resources in the face of future uncertainties such as population growth and climate change. The surveys are due by September 17.
California Legislature Recognizes Science and Technology Policy Fellows
(08/17/12) The 2011-2012 group of California Science and Technology Policy Fellows has received acknowledgments from both the Assembly and the Senate, marking the program's third year of success. "Each of these men and women have brought a vital body of knowledge and experience, and have shared with us their insights on crucial policy issues ranging from energy to agriculture," said Assembly Speaker Pérez.
JPL Steers Mars Rover from Pasadena to Martian Surface, And Beyond
(08/09/12) This past Sunday, August 5, people around the world watched closely as the Mars Curiosity rover executed a complex and unprecedented landing procedure to arrive safely on the Martian surface. But no one was watching more intently than the more than 1400 scientists and engineers in the Mission Support Area at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, which erupted into jubilant cheers as the rover transmitted confirmation that it had landed without a hitch.
California Trailblazer Sally Ride Left Legacy of Dedication to Science Education
(07/27/12) When astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, passed away this week at 61, she left behind a decades-long legacy of commitment to the science and technology community that resonates deeply in the California communities where she lived and worked. "I was privileged to know Sally Ride," said CCST Council Member Julie Meier Wright. "She was a true American pioneer in space and in science."
CCST Releases Summary of Cal TAC Digital Media Workshop
(07/20/12) Using digital media to improve teaching and learning is essential to the classrooms of the 21st century. However, many challenges must be overcome in order to fulfill the potential of digital education in California, as the members of the California Teacher Advisory Council (Cal TAC) discussed in a recent meeting.
CCST, CSUSB Lead STEM Task Force
(06/29/12) CCST Executive Director Susan Hackwood is co-chairing the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Task Force force with Herb Brunkhorst, Chair of the Department of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education at California State University, San Bernardino, in a bid to develop a blueprint on how to improve teaching, learning, and equal access to STEM-related courses and careers for students in kindergarten through grade twelve.
UC Santa Cruz Engineering Students Tackle Real-World Design Challenges
(06/07/12) Ensuring that California's education institutions, research labs, and industries work collaboratively is important to translate the state's research into products that generate jobs for Californians. A new program at in the Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz offers students an opportunity to work with companies including, Oracle, Texas Instruments, Applied Materials, and Corning Glass, developing functional prototypes of products for class credit.
Council Meeting to Feature Screening of College Access Documentary
(06/01/12) CCST's June Council meeting will feature a special presentation, a private screening of the award-winning feature-length documentary "First Generation," narrated by Golden Globe nominee Blair Underwood. The film tells the story of four California high school students - an inner city athlete, a small-town waitress, a Samoan warrior dancer, and the daughter of migrant field workers, who set out to break the cycle of poverty and bring hope to their families and communities by pursuing a college education.
CCST Releases Updated Overview of Digitally Enhanced Education in California
(05/17/12) CCST has released a new overview on the status of digitally enhanced education in California in a two-volume report that covers the specifics of California's digital education landscape and policies. "In the arena of virtual schools and online learning, a lack of consistent vision, combined with a complex educational code, have left the state uncharacteristically behind the curve," notes Volume 1 of the report. "California needs to clarify its vision for digitally enhanced education, apply it consistently, and begin asking forward-thinking questions again."
Report Raises Significant Concerns about State Corrections Investment in Technology to Block Contraband Cell Phone Use at Prisons
(05/08/12) The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) released a report today advising the State of California to use security screening systems, similar to those in airports, in state prisons before investing millions in untested technology intended to block calls by inmates from contraband cell phones.
Livermore Valley Open Campus Builds Research Partnerships for the Future
(04/27/12) The Livermore Valley Open Campus is an open, unclassified research and development space intended to foster research on current and future national security challenges that require increased coupling to the private sector. Although years away from the ultimate capacity of the campus, the first facilities are already in use and open for business.
Air Resources Board, CCST Launch Online Climate Change Research Database
(04/19/12) The California Air Resources Board (ARB) and the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) have unveiled a public database of climate change research projects and programs taking place in California, focusing on projects or programs receiving federal funding. The California Climate Change Research Database includes research in a wide range of fields, including air quality, alternative energy sources, energy efficiency, climate change over time, and the impact of climate change on the ecosystem and biodiversity.
CCST Releases New Energy Futures Report: Renewable Energy and Carbon Capture
(04/12/12) CCST has released a new publication as part of the California's Energy Future (CEF) project. "Electricity from Renewable Energy and Fossil Fuels with Carbon Capture and Sequestration", the fourth report in the CEF publication series, examines electricity generation through fossil fuel combustion with CO2 capture and sequestration ("fossil/CCS") - a process that removes as much carbon as possible from major emissions sources such as power plants, and stores it in deep geological formations.
A Different Approach to Digitally Enhanced Education
(04/06/12) Harnessing the increasing capacity of advanced information and digital technologies to improve all levels of learning and education has become a goal for many in the education system at the local, state, and national level. However, finding the best ways for the education system to take advantage of rapid and significant advances in information technology has proven to be a challenge. Former Google executive Prasad Ram has suggested that the best way forward may lie in an innovative community-based approach, leading to a novel web-based system, Gooru, intended to revolutionize digitally enhanced education around the world.
Getting to the Heart of Biometric Data
(03/30/12) The increasing ability to track, store, and analyze biometric data has offered many possibilities for those interested in monitoring their own health. At Calit2, numerous projects are underway exploring the potentials that inexpensive, ubiquitous biosensors offer. For Calit2 UCSD Division Director Ramesh Rao, the exploration has been both professional and personal, as he has applied rigorous analysis of his own biometric data to his performance in running, yoga, and meditation.
F. Sherwood Rowland Leaves Legacy of Dedication That Goes Beyond Nobel Prize-winning Research
(03/22/12) CCST Senior Fellow F. Sherwood Rowland, who passed away on March 10 at age 84, was known for many significant accomplishments. A founding professor of the Chemistry Department at UC Irvine, he was a widely acclaimed scientist who won a Nobel Prize for demonstrating that chlorofluorocarbons damage and could destroy the Earth's ozone layer. But Rowland was also known for his sense of social responsibility and a passionate dedication to education.
CSU Partners with PhysTEC to Boost California Science Teacher Production
(03/15/12) California's perennial shortage of qualified science teachers is nothing new. Despite focused efforts by UC and CSU to increase teacher production, however, demand continues to exceed supply of qualified science and math teachers. It is to help address this problem that the American Physical Society is proposing a systemwide partnership with CSU, aimed at assisting the CSU in reaching its goal of producing 1,500 science teachers a year over the next decade.
Inter-institutional Water Management Project Receives Partnership Award
(03/09/12) The Federal Laboratory Consortium - Far West Region has awarded the 2011 Outstanding Partnership Award to a multi-institutional collaboration including NASA Ames Research Center, California State University-Fresno, California State University-Monterey Bay, and the University of California, as well as the California Department of Water Resources. The project, "Water Management in California: A NASA-CDWR Partnership," uses cutting-edge technology to help assess water demand for agricultural irrigation.
Calit2 Director Sees Healthcare on Cusp of Breakthrough
(03/01/12) Physicist and supercomputer expert Larry Smarr is known for big, forward-thinking ideas about the future needs of scientific research. The initiator of an unsolicited NSF proposal that led to the creation of five supercomputer centers, Smarr has been directing the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) since its inception in 2000. Lately, however, he has been making headlines for a different vision: the transformation of his own healthcare.
CCST Adds New Council Member, Senior Fellows
(02/23/12) At the February Council meeting, CCST announced its changes in membership for the new year, with Atul J. Butte, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Professor of Medicine (Biomedical Informatics) and Pediatrics at the Stanford Center for Biomedical Informatics Research joining the Council. "We are pleased to welcome Atul to the Council," said CCST Council Chair Miriam John. "His research is at the nexus of information technology and advanced medical diagnostics and therapeutics - areas that contribute to both the intellectual and economic vibrancy of the state of California.
Presidential Science Advisors Benefit from CCST Policy Fellow Alum
(02/16/12) The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) is one of very few state-level organizations in the nation designed to offer expert advice to the state government and to recommend solutions to science and technology-related policy issues. There are some issues however which need to be addressed at a national, rather than state, level. One alumna of the CCST S&T Policy Fellows program has been learning exactly what the differences are between the two.
Mobile Technologies Revolutionizing Biomedical Research
(02/10/12) Mobile technologies are likely to have a profound impact on health care and biomedical research, according to Robert Kaplan, Director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) at the NIH and NIH Associate Director for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research. "This is an emerging trend that's become apparent across many areas of research," Kaplan told the CCST Council in his address on February 7. "We've come to realize that electronic devices are going to revolutionize clinical care, bringing the laboratory to the people."
California Teacher Advisory Council Explores Digital Education with iPad Workshop
(02/08/12) On Tuesday the California Teacher Advisory Council (Cal TAC) took an important step in exploring the possibilities of digitally enhanced education directly thanks to Computer-Using Educators (CUE), which hosted a workshop on using iPads. "Cal TAC has been eager to connect with CUE to help bring digital education to the forefront of California," said Cal TAC Chair Brian Shay, a Secondary Mathematics Teacher at the Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego. "These iPads are just the beginning of expanding our teachers' knowledge base of digitally enhanced education."
Board Member Bruce Darling Named Executive Officer of NAS and NRC
(02/02/12) CCST Board member Bruce Darling, vice president for laboratory management at the University of California, has been selected as Executive Officer of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council. Darling will transition to his new position over the next several months. "I cannot think of a better choice for the position of Executive Officer," said CCST Board Chair Karl Pister.
Council Member Funds New Autism Institute
(01/26/12) Parents of autistic children often have trouble finding suitable schooling and treatment providers for their children, and are left perplexed and exhausted by managing all of the separate services for their children's care. CCST Council member, Fariborz Maseeh, was one such parent. When he wasn't able to find the combination of services that his son required, he took a different approach, founding a new school dedicated to the education and treatment of children with autism.
California Energy Futures Project Member Wins Fermi Award
(01/19/12) Nobel laureate Burton Richter, a member of the CCST California's Energy Future (CEF) team and lead author of the 2011 CEF subreport on nuclear energy, has been awarded the Enrico Fermi Award, one of the nation's most prestigious science awards, in recognition of his eminent career in particle physics and his notable contributions in energy and public policy.
Former Cal TAC Member Brings Classroom Experience to Nation's Capitol
(01/12/12) Successful education reform, particularly in STEM disciplines, (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), has been a major concern both for California and the nation in general. The gap between education policy and practice can, however, at times be significant. For educator Peg Cagle, a former member of the California Teacher Advisory Council (Cal TAC), this is a gap that needs to be addressed at every policy level.
Policy Fellows Bring S&T Expertise to Legislature
(01/05/12) As 2012 gets underway, lawmakers in Sacramento are returning to confront the difficult fiscal challenges of the State. In addition they will continue to navigate California's ever-evolving science and technology related policy issues. Thanks to a small group of dedicated experts, they have a little extra help. The California Science and Technology Policy Fellowship program is in its third year, and has placed ten professional scientists in yearlong appointments in the California state legislature.
CCST Releases Studies on Waste-to-Energy Technologies and Transportation Energy Use
(12/15/11) CCST has released two separate studies related to energy use and emissions in California. "Transportation Energy Use in California" is part of the California's Energy Future group of projects, which is designed to help inform the decisions California state and local governments must make in order to achieve California's ambitious goals of significantly reducing total greenhouse gas emissions over the next four decades. The transportation study shows how a combination of electrification and increase in vehicle efficiency could significantly lower emissions from this sector.
The second report, "Waste-to-Energy in California: Technology, Issues, and Context," is a document designed to serve as a starting point for discussions concerning the conversion of post-recycled urban-derived biomass and municipal waste to energy. The report concludes that waste-to-energy technologies could have positive environmental impacts in California.
Cell Phone Safety Study Suggests No Risk of Cancer
(10/29/11) A major study in Denmark found no increased risks of cancer among cell phone users, suggesting that there is little evidence that exposure to cell phones is related to tumors of the central nervous system. The study, however, is unlikely to settle the ongoing public policy debate over the safety of electromagnetic emissions from wireless devices.