Friday Five for October 1, 2021

1. Event: BruinTech Listening Sessions 

BruinTech, built and managed by a few staff and many volunteers, has served the campus for nearly 10 years. Each year, the BruinTech Board works collaboratively to maintain a quality portfolio of programs and events.

It is important that we understand the needs and interests of the BruinTech community, so that we continue to evolve in thoughtful, relevant ways and provide ongoing value to the community.
We will be engaging in an assessment of BruinTech this fall, starting with a series of listening sessions. Both brief individual sessions and open drop in/out sessions will be offered throughout October and November. Register here.

2. UCLA internet studies and race scholar Safiya Noble awarded MacArthur Fellowship

Noble’s scholarship focuses on digital media and its impact on society, as well as how digital technology and artificial intelligence converge with questions of race, gender, culture and power. She is the author of the bestselling book “Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism,” which examines racist and sexist bias in the algorithms used by commercial search engines.

“Noble’s work deepens our understanding of the technologies that shape the modern world and facilitates critical conversations regarding their potential harms,” the MacArthur Foundation said in a statement. Continue reading.

3. Is Facebook leading us on a journey to the metaverse?

According to the Washington Post the company is in conversation with thinktanks about metaverse standards and protocols – a move that some observers say allows the company to shift discussion away from issues such as the antitrust lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission last year.

But experts fear that with regulation still struggling to catch up with the impact of the first wave of social media, the metaverse is likely to be a way for companies like Facebook to capture and profit from even more data. They also warn that more foresight and government protections are needed to counter the risk of the space, and people’s lives, being overrun by big tech. Continue reading.

4. STROBE nano-imaging center receives $22.5 million renewal from NSF

In partnership with national laboratories and industry, STROBE is developing new high-powered microscopes that allow researchers to observe and characterize, for the first time, structures and phenomena at the nano- and atomic scale. Their approach integrates photon, electron and X-ray imaging with algorithms, fast detectors, big data analysis, machine learning and other advanced technologies.

“The vision of STROBE is to transform nanoscale imaging science and technology by developing the microscopes of tomorrow,” said the center’s deputy director and co-principal investigator, Jianwei “John” Miao, a professor of physics and member of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA., built and managed by a few staff and many volunteers, has served the campus for nearly 10 years. Continue Reading.

5. Mr Goxx, the crypto-trading hamster beating human investors

He's notable for two reasons: first, he is making money, with his lifetime career performance up about 20% - beating many professional traders and funds.

Second, Mr Goxx is a hamster. Continue reading.