Pittsburgh Tech Report

On Tuesday, 16 universities across the United States and United Kingdom held #NoTechforICE events, urging the company Palantir to drop a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

Carnegie Mellon University

College students have access to an abundance of data to track their progress in classes, from test scores to grades on projects and assignments. Professors, however, often have to rely on subjective evaluations once a year to get a sense of how they are doing. A system developed by a Carnegie Mellon University team aims to give educators more data to work with so they can improve their teaching techniques.

University of Pittsburgh

Coaches are tasked with helping their athletes improve, but when those athletes are underwater, in the case of competitive swimmers, it can be hard to actually see if what they're doing is right. A University of Pittsburgh invention, called Impulse, helps coaches visualize a swimmer's form under water. 

RedFlash Group

For first responders, communication is key to saving lives, but technology for these professionals has lagged behind traditional consumer products. A traveling codeathon coming to Carnegie Mellon University this weekend aims to encourage the development of apps for firefighters, EMTs and other public safety personnel.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

More and more people are working from home; one in 20 Americans worked remotely in 2018. Developing the skills, however, to find a remote career can be tricky, especially when you have children. This problem is what local company Moms Can & Co. aims to solve. 

Wilfredo Lee / AP

Airplanes are expensive to build, and relatively few are made each month. A Boeing press release from January touts the company has a seven-year order backlog for the Boeing 737, and is increasing production of the model to 52 airplanes each month.

Whitethorn Digital

In an industry flooded with shooter games and adventure titles, one Erie company is branding itself as an oasis for stressed out gamers. Video game publisher Whitethorn Digital aims to give a platform to independent, chilled-out games.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Inside the Star Lab for sensor development at the University of Pittsburgh, professor Alexander Star holds a black box, about the size of a remote control. It's a breathalyzer developed to measure tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Children aren’t always taught how to cope with stress, and their experience can look very different from what adults find stressful.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Sammia Eutsey’s son, Chadd Jr., was born 10 weeks early, due in part to her pre-eclampsia, a condition related to high blood pressure.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Local financial technology company Honeycomb Credit is encouraging people to invest in Pittsburgh businesses through crowdfunding, a departure from donation-based sites like Kickstarter or GoFundMe.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and for those who need a transplant, the wait list is long. A Carnegie Mellon University bioengineering lab is on its way to achieveing a lofty goal: 3-D printing the human heart.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

It's a truth we can't escape: human beings have biases, and those biases can seep into computer programs and algorithms based on who is creating them.

Thrival Festival

Technology, education and music will come together next month for the seventh annual Thrival Festival,  Sept. 18-20 in Oakland. This year's event has a local theme: "By Pittsburgh, For Pittsburgh, For the World."

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

On a warm, sunny day, Humane Animal Rescue's director of volunteer and foster services, Monica Garcia, takes a beagle named Shadow out for a walk. In especially hot weater, the rescue requires dog walkers to test the temperature of the pavement with their fingers or bare foot. Like human feet, dog paws are sensitive to heat.

Purple Air

Graduate students in Santa Monica, Calif. are collecting hyperlocal air quality data -- in Pittsburgh. The hope for the project, run out of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, is that the data collected from at-home sensors will inform public policy. Pardee RAND is an extension of the RAND Corporation, which has an office in Pittsburgh.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Earlier this month, Sheetz made headlines when it announced it would be adding bitcoin ATMs to five of its Pennsylvania stores. However, bitcoin ATMs aren’t new to the Pittsburgh area, or to Pennsylvania.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The field of cyber security needs people.

Across the country, there are more than 300,000 unfilled jobs in the sector. A five-day summer camp at the University of Pittsburgh aims to teach high school students the ropes and get them interested in a cyber security career.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Regular computers, including smart phones, can do a lot of cool stuff, but some datasets are so big that normal PCs just don’t cut it. When that’s the case, many researchers turn to the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, which is planning to construct a faster, stronger machine next year.

Jessica Hill / AP

new study is looking to artificial intelligence to address the opioid crisis by identify people who may be at risk for opioid overdose.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Forced air heating and cooling systems aren't always very efficient at keeping homes at a comfortable temperature. Just ask Jacob Kring, a co-founder and CEO of local startup HiberSense. He's a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, and said during his time there, he lived in a "crappy" college apartment.

Learning a new skill can be tricky, and neuroscientists aren’t entirely sure how humans do it.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University are using video games, brain implants and Rhesus monkeys in an effort to figure it out. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

There are more than a dozen research laboratories run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs across the country, all with the common goal of developing new ways to help veterans adjust to life after the military. 

Carnegie Mellon University

  

University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University researchers are developing emergency medicine technology for the U.S. military that uses artificial intelligence.

GiftYa

Imagine this: It's a special occasion, and you're given a gift card to celebrate. You put it in your wallet, amongst other cards and coupons, then forget it's there. Or, you can't remember how much money is still on it – was it three dollars or three cents? – and eventually, it goes in the trash.

Carnegie Mellon University

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Tokyo and Waseda University in Tokyo are developing a suitcase that helps visually impaired people navigate airports. 

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

An Allegheny Health Network chemist is developing a longer-lasting version of naloxone, to stop people from slipping back into overdose.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh held a grand opening this past weekend for its new Museum Lab, a space that allows kids 10 and older to be hands-on with art, tech and shop tools. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Street maintenance can be a Sisyphean task. Like in the myth of the Greek king sentenced to push a boulder up a hill for all of eternity, the work of paving and filling potholes and cracks is never really done.

Sabrina Bodon / 90.5 WESA

Jake Williams’ favorite position to play in baseball is shortstop. He can also step in as a right-handed pitcher or play third. His infield throw is 94 miles per hour. He also has a 4.4 GPA and a 1440 on his SAT. All of this information can be found on his sports resume.

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