Pulse


Pulse

By GCN Staff


Congressional app challenge kicks off for student submissions

Congressional App Challenge kicks off for student submissions

The 2015 Congressional App Challenge launched Nov. 9, offering high school students the opportunity to create, code and submit original applications in an attempt to enhance student engagement in science, technology, engineering and math programs.

The challenge is co-chaired by Reps. Mimi Walters (R-Calif.) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.).  At launch, 116 representatives from 37 states had signed up to host student app contests within their districts.

Each district's contest is hosted on Challenge.gov. Through Jan. 15, students can submit iOS, Android and Windows applications based on original ideas and creations. The judging period runs until Feb. 15, and  winning applications will be featured in the Capitol Building and on the CAC website. 

Congress created the CAC to maintain America competiveness, build future technical talent and encourage innovation in STEM-based and computer science skills. Interested students can visit the contest site to find their congressional district and further rules for submission, and interested congressional offices can still sign up to participate.

Posted on Nov 10, 2015 at 11:07 AM0 comments


Mapping the future of planetary data

Mapping the future of planetary data

NASA is looking to map the future of planetary data.

The information that the space agency collects from its robotic explorations of the solar system is currently stored as archived data products in the Planetary Data System.  In order to maximize the usefulness for researchers, NASA is seeking information to help it develop a roadmap for the data and sample management architecture that supports PDS.

The RFI seeks input and possibly answers to these questions:

  • What tools, resources, workflows, tutorials and interfaces will future users expect or require?
  • How can the interaction between the PDS and data providers (missions and individual researchers) be improved in order to make the archiving process seamless and less costly (to both data providers and the PDS)?
  • What role should the PDS play, relative to other archiving alternatives (including scientific journals), in providing the public access to the data that is the product of NASA’s funded research and the basis of published scientific studies?
  • What is the highest priority need for integration between PDS data products and data products from NASA’s other data archives?
  • What role should the PDS play in encouraging the development of higher-order data products and ensuring archive quality is quickly achieved?
  • Are there identifiable improvements to the current search capabilities of the PDS that would allow researchers improved access to data products and metadata?

All responses must be submitted by Dec. 5.

Posted on Nov 10, 2015 at 9:51 AM0 comments


Pennsylvania to upgrade criminal record data collection

Pennsylvania to upgrade criminal record data collection

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will be able to improve local criminal records information in the state thanks to a grant from the Justice Department.

With the over $814,000 in grant funds, PCCD will purchase Live Scan Plus devices for six counties and 10 Pennsylvania State Police substations to improve the accuracy of information in criminal records databases. With the devices, officers can electronically collect fingerprints, photographs and other data during the booking process and immediately upload that information to state and federal systems.

Additionally, some of the grant funding will be used to streamline the process for the electronic processing of Protection from Abuse Orders and enhance the electronic submission of PFAs into the National Crime Information Center.

Posted on Nov 09, 2015 at 8:59 AM0 comments


DHS makes more investments in automotive cyber research

DHS makes more investments in automotive cyber research

The Department of Homeland Security continues to fund research into automotive cyber security, with new grants announced for the University of Michigan and HRL Laboratories.

The Michigan team was awarded $1.2 million to develop a method for convenient, safe and reliable over-the-air updates for government and privately owned vehicles, with the goal of creating a comprehensive industry standard that includes design specs, reference source code and best practices for integration, testing and deployment.

HRL Laboratories will receive $2.5 million to design a system to detect cyber-physical inconsistencies that would provide an early warning in case of an attack.

On Oct. 20, DHS announced funding to researchers at New York University to design, build and demonstrate deployment of a practical secure update system for automobiles.

Posted on Nov 03, 2015 at 11:27 AM0 comments


GSA’s Integrated Award Environment embraces GitHub

GSA’s Integrated Award Environment embraces GitHub

The General Service Administration’s Integrated Award Environment (IAE) will now use the cloud-based GitHub platform for both its software code repository and its outreach efforts to the broader developer community.

IAE is part of the White House’s E-Government initiatives and, according to GSA, aims to

"improve systems and operations for those who award, administer or receive federal financial assistance (i.e., grants, loans), contracts and intergovernmental transactions."

By adopting GitHub as the IAE’s new foundation, community developers can minimize repetition, avoid overwriting another’s code and more efficiently recover from errors, according to the post on GSA Interact.

Considering how many agencies and private-sector partners already use GitHub for public engagement, the platform was an easy choice for IAE.  Software code version control within the cloud is also extremely helpful in creating a distributed workforce environment for the many off-site GSA developers.

Additional benefits, according to the GSA’s blog post, include widespread developer collaboration, a secure and common ground for code sourcing, “roll back” capabilities to previously made code changes, documentation of bugs and better tracking of development progress and issues.

IAE will also use GitHub for outreach to the award management community as a means for software developers to review IAE architecture documentation. GSA plans for it to become one of the primary channels for the OpenIAE Initiative.

Posted on Nov 03, 2015 at 11:23 AM0 comments