Tag Archives: engineering


InnoCentive is a Waltham, Massachusetts-based crowdsourcing company that accepts by commission research and development problems in engineering, computer science, math, chemistry, life sciences, physical sciences and business. The company frames these as “challenge problems” for anyone to solve. It gives cash awards for the best solutions to solvers who meet the challenge criteria.[1]

The idea for InnoCentive came to Alpheus Bingham and Aaron Schacht in 1998 while they worked together at Eli Lilly and Companyduring a session that was focused on exploring application of the Internet to business. The company was launched in 2001 by Jill Panetta, Jeff Hensley, Darren Carroll and Alpheus Bingham, with majority seed funding from Eli Lilly and Company. Darren Carroll led the launch effort and became the first CEO.

In 2005, InnoCentive was spun out of Eli Lilly with investments led by Spencer Trask of New York. In December 2006, shortly after Dwayne Spradlin took the helm as CEO, the company signed an agreement with the Rockefeller Foundation to add a non-profit area designed to generate science and technology solutions to pressing problems in the developing world. Between 2006 and 2009, The Rockefeller Foundation posted 10 challenges on InnoCentive with an 80% success rate.[2]

In February 2012, InnoCentive acquired UK-based OmniCompete.[3]

InnoCentive is a privately held, venture-backed firm headquartered near Boston in Waltham, Massachusetts, with a European office in London, UK. The company posts “Challenges” to its “Global Solver Community” in addition to internal Challenges—those targeted at private communities like employees, customers and suppliers.

InnoCentive’s solver community consists of over 355,000 people from nearly 200 countries,[4]

As of January 2014, there was a total of 355,000 users from nearly 200 countries. Aside from traditional science PhDs, the user group includes technicians, students and engineers. More than 50% of registered solvers come from Russia, India, and China. Most of the problem solvers are well-educated, with a majority (65.8%) holding a PhD. InnoCentive has also signed agreements with the Chinese and Russian national science academies. As motivation for Russian universities, for example, a solver’s academic department can get 10% of any award.[5]


La historia de π (pi)

π is wrong!” by Bob Palais

appeared in

The Mathematical Intelligencer Springer-Verlag New York Volume 23, Number 3, 2001, pp. 7-8.

Bob Palais gratefully acknowledges Dr. Chandler Davis, for his encouragement and editorial input.

(See also the Wikipedia entry on Dr. Davis.) The most amusing letter to the editor in response stated:

“I agree with Bob Palais’ pi-ous article, but it may be 2-pi-ous.”

The Pi Manifesto


Last updated July 4th, 2011

– See more at: http://www.thepimanifesto.com/#sthash.R4ubVZpw.dpuf

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Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM, previously SMET) is an acronym that refers to the academic disciplines of science[note 1], technology, engineeringand mathematics.[1] The term is typically used when addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools to improve competitiveness in science and technology development. It has implications for workforce development, national security concerns and immigration policy.[1] Education emphasizing STEM disciplines is considered to be more beneficial to the student than the previous generation of education standards that emphasizes broad “core” disciplines and social skills instead.

The acronym arose in common use shortly after an interagency meeting on science education held at the US National Science Foundation chaired by the then NSF director Rita Colwell.[citation needed] A director from the Office of Science division of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists, Dr. Peter Faletra, suggested the change from the older acronym SMET to STEM. Dr. Colwell, expressing some dislike for the older acronym, responded by suggesting NSF to institute the change. One of the first NSF projects to use the acronym was STEMTEC, the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Teacher Education Collaborative at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, which was funded in 1997.

waves and tides in Scotland

Published on Dec 13, 2012
This short film, narrated by scientist and TV presenter Heather Reid at Whitelees Windfarm, explores the opportunities for using the power of the wind, waves and tides in Scotland to produce energy.

Heather speaks to Laura Watson, an engineer with Scottish Renewables, who explains how wind and tidal turbines works and the difficulties of using these turbines including selecting the best location and under-water maintenance.

Tom Wills, an engineer from Aquamarine, explains how his company’s new Oyster technology converts wave energy into power. Storms in the Scottish sea are just one of the challenges they face.

Video and all copyright belongs to: Education Scotland

Scotland  has the ambitious goal of getting 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2020, and it is making amazing progress toward attaining it. Although many provinces or countries get 60% or more of their electricity from renewables, most of these depend mainly on hydro-electic. For those without riparian resources, the challenge is to implement other renewable energy generating technologies. Scotland is favorably situated to develop wind power, and is going for it in a big way.

Based on the performance of the first three quarters, Scotland was on track in 2012 to generate 15 percent more electricity from renewablesthan in the previous year (which also broke earlier records).

In 2011, Scotland was already getting 36 percent of its electricity from green energy, ahead of its target of 31 percent! In 2012 alone, renewables are estimated to have attracted $1 billion in investments. Pete Danko writes of these investments, which have produced 11,000 jobs at a time of economic retrenchment, “Maybe this is what happens if you have a national policy that encourages not just incremental but radical transitioning to renewable energy: Not only do you get clean energy, you get a lot of the manufacturing infrastructure that comes with it.”

In 2011, Scotland had generated 13.735 gigawatt hours from renewable sources (up 44.3% from 2010 and an increase of 97.3% from 2006). Unlike in Portugal, a relatively small portion– only about a gig — of that was from hydroelectric.

Scotland is planning the world’s largest offshore wind farm.

Some of the Scottish have even put in solar panels and use solar thermal to heat water. Although solar is a harder technology to profit from in overcast Scotland than wind, it can be part of the renewable mix there. The government is also now experimenting with wave energy, which could be huge for Scotland, as well as tidal energy.

The UK in general is now wavering on commitment to renewables, under the Tory government of David Cameron, and national policy may hobble Scotland’s efforts a bit. BP and other Big Carbon interests (and Donald Trump) are propagandizing against wind as ruining the beauty of the countryside, as though oil rigs do not, or as though catastrophic climate change would be better.