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Indian-American to lead US manufacturing ‘think-and-do’ tank

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New York: An Indian-American engineering professor will lead a US consortium to identify emerging advanced manufacturing technologies to enhance the country’s innovation ecosystem, manufacturing competitiveness and national security, the White House has announced.

Sridhar Kota, director of the Institute for Manufacturing Leadership at University of Michigan, will lead MForesight: The Alliance for Manufacturing Foresight, the White House said on Friday.

“‘Foresight’ is the key word. In this ‘think-and-do’ tank, we will identify emerging technologies early on so the nation can invest public and private sector dollars in a way that builds the infrastructure, knowledge and workforce skills needed to anchor manufacturing technology in this country,” Kota said.

“With collective access to over 30,000 subject matter experts across a wide range of industries, MForesight will serve as a continuous mechanism for research coordination across the public and private sectors,” he added.

The group will examine a broad range of technologies. It could, for example, investigate how to cost-effectively improve quality control in drug-making in order to reduce shortages in certain cancer medications.

It could explore how best to manufacture emerging platform technologies such as flexible electronics, which have a wide variety of applications in places like consumer goods, defence and even health care.

Technologies will be evaluated based on economic impact, job growth, likelihood of co-investment by the private sector, impact on multiple industry sectors, and the likelihood of the US gaining a first-mover advantage, among other criteria.

“Engineering and scientific advancements based on fundamental research have been the main drivers of US economic growth over the past half century,” said France Cordova, director, US National Science Foundation (NSF).

“Thanks to innovative technologies enabled by manufacturing research, production has grown at its fastest pace in more than a decade, creating significant economic value for the nation. To continue to reap these benefits, we must seek new research frontiers for manufacturing and pursue them for high-impact US manufacturing innovation and economic competitiveness,” Cordova noted.

Kota, a mechanical engineering professor and entrepreneur, served as assistant director for advanced manufacturing at the White House from 2009 to 2012.

He helped to create President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership in 2011 and the Manufacturing Innovation Institutes in 2012.

The National Science Foundation and the US Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology are funding MForesight with a three-year, $5.8 million cooperative agreement.

(IANS)

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Coding Made Available for Blind and Deaf School by Apple

Apple said it collaborated with engineers, educators, and programmers from various accessibility communities to make Everyone Can Code as accessible as possible and will work in close coordination with schools to augment the curricula as needed.

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Apple pays $1.77 billion of total $ 15 billion fine. Pixabay

With an aim to offer students with disabilities an opportunity to learn the language of technology, Apple is bringing an accessible coding programme to schools serving the blind and deaf communities, first to the US and then to more schools around the world.

Beginning this autumn, US schools supporting students with vision, hearing or other assistive needs will start teaching the “Everyone Can Code” curricula for Swift — Apple’s intuitive programming language, the Cupertino, California-headquartered tech giant said in a statement on Thursday.

“Apple’s mission is to make products as accessible as possible,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

“We created Everyone Can Code because we believe all students deserve an opportunity to learn the language of technology,” Cook said.

“We hope to bring Everyone Can Code to even more schools around the world serving students with disabilities,” he added.

Apple created the Everyone Can Code curricula so students from kindergarten to college and beyond can learn and write code using Swift.

With teacher guides and lessons, students learn the basics on iPad with Swift Playgrounds which lets them use real code to solve puzzles and control characters with just a tap.

Besides facilitating to App Development with Swift, it can also help aspiring app developers build their first iOS apps.

Apple said it collaborated with engineers, educators, and programmers from various accessibility communities to make Everyone Can Code as accessible as possible and will work in close coordination with schools to augment the curricula as needed.

This will include providing additional tools and resources such as tactile maps to enhance the understanding of coding environments for non-visual learners, it added.

The Everyone Can Code curricula is compatible with VoiceOver, an advanced screen-reading technology for people who are blind or low vision.

Read also: 5G Roll Out Will Assume Centre Stage

VoiceOver is a gesture-based screen reader that describes nearly everything happening on your screen.

With VoiceOver integration, Swift Playgrounds can take students step-by-step through learning Swift, all without needing to see the screen.

Accessibility features for people who are deaf or hard of hearing include FaceTime for capturing every gesture and facial expression, Type to Siri, closed captions, LED Flash for Alerts, Mono Audio and Made for iPhone hearing aids.

The tech giant said that iPad and Everyone Can Code can also be used by students with physical motor limitations through Apple’s built in Switch Control, which enables switches, joysticks and other adaptive devices to control what is on your screen. IANS.

Coding Made Available for Blind and Deaf School by Apple
Technology made accessible by Apple. Pixabay.

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