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STEM-Centric Career Assessments

When scientists’ jobs involve not just measuring data on climate change but also gauging public reaction to potentially volatile information, the challenges of their jobs multiply. John H. Richardson tackles this nuanced topic in Esquire with an intriguing feature article(warning: the article includes significant cursing – it’s not a typical source for me, I tend to favor academic sources, but the topic proved to be compelling enough for me to explore it), “When the End of Human Civilization Is Your Day Job,” and he clusters his coverage into four areas:

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Have you ever posted a photo on Facebook and dropped your jaw in stunned silence when a suggestion appeared to tag someone in the photo after mere microseconds? That facial recognition capacity is an outgrowth of Deep Learning, an arm of artificial intelligence that commands upwards of $200K in annual salary for skilled engineers.

The buzz around Deep Learning right now is magnetic, and it includes educational opportunities, businesses that are sprouting up, and heretofore inconceivable ideas:

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You might want to plan a trip to Belgium in the near future. It’s not just the land of legendary chocolate. It also houses Dorothee Goffin’s Smart Gastronomy Lab, full of 3-D printers and open to the public one day each week for anyone to come and experiment. Those experiments involve some pretty enticing foods, specifically chocolate.
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Calculator.com is a great resource for all subjects that call for a calculator. The collection of chemistry calculators is broken down into different fundamental concepts. It’s helpful for all chemistry levels, from introductory chemistry, to higher level endeavors in such topics as quantum numbers and advanced stoichiometry.

Art Olson, a professor at The Scripps Research Institute, explains “understanding the body helps us keep people well and to cure people who are sick.” Olson creates 3-D models that provide insight into how molecules interact. These models are useful in Ebola and HIV research.

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Sandra Encalada, assistant professor at Scripps Research Institute, wanted to be a scientist since she was a child. Her labs study the process of which components of the cell move from one location of the cell to another.

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A resource for educators and students.  ChemCollective provides content for pre-labs, for alternatives to textbook homework, and for in-class activities for individuals or teams. Students can find the site helpful for reviewing and learning chemistry concepts via  virtual labs, simulations, and tutorials.

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The Webby Awards, aka the “Oscars of the Internet,” were announced on Monday. Winners include two New York City teenage girls who created the video game “Tampon Run“.

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