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Electronic Design

Welcome Dan Harris To Digital Overload

I'll be vacating this page so our new Digital ICs/DSP Editor, Daniel Harris, can fill the space with the latest digital delights in our July 20 issue. Tracking two technology areas has been a challenge, and I will be glad to reduce the information overload to just what fits into the embedded/systems/software sections of Electronic Design.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to welcome Dan on board. I've had the opportunity to work with him for a while now, planning next year s editorial calendar. He's sharp as a tack, and we'll be benefiting from his input in the near future. For example, check out his Tech Report on ASICs in our next issue.

In the meantime, I wanted to stay on the soapbox and congratulate another group of engineers and scientists whose careers are just getting started the nearly 1500 students who attended the 2006 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Indianapolis this spring.

The top winners were three young ladies who examined a broad range of topics (Fig. 1). Madhavi Gavini looked at fighting an opportunistic pathogen that causes secondary infections. Meredith MacGregor researched the Brazil Nut Effect. And, Hannah Wolf investigated the impact the next California earthquake will have on a 70 million-year-old rock face in Utah. The gender split at the fair was almost even, but the distribution in various areas still tends to be skewed.

I've noticed the impact of this split at some recent shows. The ZigBee Developers Conference was almost devoid of female engineers and programmers, while there was a significant number of female developers at JavaOne. Still, as an industry, we need to foster more interest in electronics from the primary and secondary schools through young engineers starting out in the industry if we're to benefit from their expertise and experience.

A number of other young women also presented notable engineering projects at ISEF. For example, Maria Estela Godinez built a glove that uses computer-driven actuators to generate Braille based on a text stream input (Fig. 2). It s clear from these projects that gender isn't an issue for either insight or expertise.

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