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November 16, 2005

Teenage girl solves paper-folding puzzle

Remember learning that a piece of paper cannot be folded more than 8 times? Well, a sixteen-year-old girl has proven that this isn't true.

For extra credit in a math class Britney was given the challenge to fold anything in half 12 times.  After extensive experimentation, she folded a sheet of gold foil 12 times, breaking the record. This was using alternate directions of folding.  But, the challenge was then redefined to fold a piece of paper. She studied the problem and was the first person to realize the basic cause for the limits.  She then derived the folding limit equation for any given dimension. Limiting equations were derived for the case of folding in alternate directions and for the case of folding in a single direction using a long strip of paper. The merits of both folding  approaches are discussed, but for high numbers of folds, single direction folding requires less paper.

--> http://accordionguy.blogware.com/blog/ _archives/2005/11/16/1408517.html

Podcasting: Where Are the Women?

A recent Wired article focuses on the seeming absence of women in podcasting. At the Portable Media Expo, 85% of the 2,000 attendees were male.

It turns out even the president of Women in Technology International, which had a booth at the show, is a man. David Leighton said his mother founded the group, and he has since taken over.

Leighton said he believes the male skew is largely due to the newness of the medium and the fact that many of the most popular podcasts focus on, uh, podcasting.

"Any of these new, cool mediums tend to attract guys at first," he said. "Right now, it's technology for technology's sake. Once we see more practical uses, we'll start seeing more women. It was that way with the internet and e-mail usage, too."

Safety concerns may also play a role, since podcasting is less anonymous than a website can be. One female-run podcast stopped production after receiving threats from a male stalker.

--> "Women Warm the Podcast Bench", Steve Frieiss, Wired, November 16, 2005, http://www.wired.com/news/culture/ 0,1284,69583,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_2

November 2, 2005

Pamela Samuelson honored by the Anita Borg Institute

From the School of Information Management and Systems comes this news of one of my professors...

Pamela Samuelson honored by the Anita Borg Institute

Pamela Samuelson was recently honored by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. She is the first Women of Vision winner in the Social Impact category.

The Women of Vision Award winners were selected from a field of more than 60 nominees, all of who are engaged in technology in industry, academia or government. The Women of Vision Award for Social Impact recognizes a woman who has significantly influenced the ways in which technology impacts society and/or the community, creating positive change in our world.

Pamela Samuelson is a McArthur Prize Winner and a professor at the University of California at Berkeley with a joint appointment in the School of Information Management & Systems and the School of Law. She teaches courses on intellectual property, cyber law and information policy. Pam received the University of Hawaii 's distinguished alumni award, has been named one of the nation's 50 most influential lawyers, one of the 100 most influential people in the digital age, and one of the 25 most intriguing minds of the new economy.

For more information on Professor Samuelson or to read her acceptance speech, please go to http://www.anitaborg.org/womenofvision/winners05/psamuelson_acc.htm.

 Congratulations, Professor Samuelson!