February 2013

From Barack’s Diary to the Republic of Cambridge: White House Focuses on STEM Education


One point four million. That’s the number of new technology jobs estimated by 2018. Whoa, who will fill all these jobs? Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) training is gaining popularity, but not nearly fast enough to keep up with the job creation.

“One of the biggest challenges in growing the pipeline of students in [STEM], especially women and under-represented minorities, is the lack of awareness of computing careers. Parents don’t know, students don’t know, and community members in at-risk areas have no idea about the opportunities available to them” says Rane Johnson-Stempson of Microsoft Research.

Bingo! The solution to the problem that will solve this other problem is increasing awareness of STEM opportunities. Countless non-profit organizations already exist to do just that and they are, but when multiple groups have parallel goals they compete for funding, hindering everyone’s benefit.

Companies need more technical employees, schools produce technical graduates and cities support technical education; why don’t they all work better together? What a novel idea! I wish I could take credit, but actually this idea came straight from Barak Obama’s diary.

Last month the White House Tech Inclusion Summit addressed this concern and the Activate Local Communities Across America Initiative (ALC) was established. The idea is simple: get more from what we already have. Microsoft Research and The America21 Project who co-chair the ALC appointed 3 pilot cities to pave the path and guess what, Cambridge is one of them.

Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis is honored to be part of the ALC pilot program.

“From its inception, Cambridge has stood apart when it comes to innovation that shapes our future. In fact, we are known as the home of the most innovative square mile on the planet, Kendall Square. Of course, MIT and Harvard are centers of the globe’s top STEM programs. And our city is very fortunate to be home to leading science and tech businesses. At the same time, many families and our city’s youngest residents grow up in the shadows of these businesses and universities.

It’s a question of fairness. We want our young people to have a sense of all the possibilities available to them and to learn how to build those skills that will make them players in a competitive work force. Not enough Cambridge students look at the abundance of jobs in Kendall Square and believe ‘I will work there someday.’ That’s got to change,” says the Mayor.

Along with Cambridge, Chicago and Portland, Oregon will bring stakeholders from local governments, corporations, entrepreneurs, nonprofits and schools together to come up with a strategy on how to prepare for our technological future.

The plan of action will be scalable to other cities and the end result will capitalize on the potential of all our citizen’s talent that will fill the jobs, then move on to start companies and create 1.4 million more jobs.

Our wonderful City of Cambridge

Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis

Let’s Get More Women in STEM: Celebrate International Women’s Day at NERD

Did you know March 8th is International Women’s Day? Oh you did? Well then you must already be registered for our FREE Celebration the night before.

For those unaware, International Women’s Day (IWD) has been observed for over 100 years.  It started in the early 20th century with a few vocal ladies and has grown into a wicked awesome holiday celebrated around the globe (I’m not biased or anything).  It’s even an official holiday in dozens of unexpected countries including Afghanistan, Cuba, Russia, Uganda and Zambia.

So we got our own day, what more do woman want? (Actually, let’s not go there).  But seriously, this post is about women; primarily future women, aka today’s girls. Women’s rights have progressed significantly but there is still a ways to go, especially in the male dominated high-tech world.

Ah, this is where YOU come in.  You and I already know how cool science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs are, so let’s share this cool factor with today’s girls. Sharing is caring and sharing will lead to more girls selecting STEM majors in college, STEM jobs upon graduation, STEM masters degrees, and general STEM enthusiasm all over.

Our IWD celebration will include a panel of STEM experts and influencers sharing ways to increase female STEM engagement. The event will also launch Boston’s newest and hottest nonprofit Boston Area Girls STEM Collaborative.

Join us Thursday evening, March 7th, at NERD to help us celebrate and take action. Register here and we’ll see you on there!

As always, we’re a 5 minute walk from the Kendall T stop on the Redline and there’s $10 dollar parking in the NERD garage after 4pm.

Sign up today.

15,000 women marched through New York City in 1908 demanding more rights.

Events at NERD This Week: February 4, 2013

Where can you find developers, designers, marketers, VC’s, entrepreneurs and students all in one room? At Microsoft New England Research and Development of course!  NERD is a special place and the events held here attract extraordinary people.  We have an all-star lineup of networking and hands-on learning events happening this week at NERD.  Come check them out at One Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA. We are a 5 minute walk from the Kendall Square stop on the red line and our building has $10 parking after 4pm. We are proud to host these events, but please note they are not organized by Microsoft.  If you have a questions, please contact the event organizer directly.

Monday Feb 4th: 6-9pm
Boston Predictive Analytics Meet-Up: UnWorkshop Data Science, Analytics, Infovis

Are you interested in learning a new statistical package, machine learning, or different data visualization approaches? Join the Boston Predictive Analytics Meet-up tonight and get hands-on training and coaching about data science.  You’ll work in small groups with people who share your interests. Beginners, experts and fans are all welcome. The event is analogous to the Python group’s Project Night; though tonight is more about data, analytics, and visualization than on a specific computer language. 254 people said they are attending. Will you be one of them? More info and registration here.

David Cooperstein

Tuesday Feb 5th: 6-8:30pm
American Marketing Association of Boston Presents The Impact of Video Media: TV, Cable, Web, Mobile and Beyond

Twitter: @amaBoston
Guest Speaker: @minicooper
Did you know that online video viewers will reached 169.3 million in 2012? Whether you are an avid video user or new to the whole idea, incorporating video into your marketing mix will have notable benefits.  AMA Boston invites you to engage in a unique networking-learning experience called “AMA Boston Connector Series” featuring David M. Cooperstein, Vice President, Strategist and Marketing Thought Leader at Forrester Research. More info and register here.

Tuesday Feb 5th: 6:30-9:30pm
Boston Python Project Night
Python project nights are unstructured chances for Python developers to work together, mentor each other, connect socially, teach, learn and do whatever else Python developers want to do together. Our project nights build the Python community by enabling interactions in whatever way they find most beneficial. 124 people are attending, will you be one of them?  There might be a waitlist but get more info and register here.

Wednesday Feb 6th:  7-9:30pm
Boston Image Processing and Computer Vision Group

Engineers, researchers, companies, job seekers, and students interested in the image processing and computer vision field must attend this unique Meet-up.  The Boston Image Processing and Computer Vision Group (BIPCVG) provides an opportunity for the image processing/computer vision community to network, socialize and learn. It covers the basics as well as advanced subjects, and the hottest and latest developments in areas such as biomedical and mobile applications.  More info and registration here.

Steve Hickey

Wednesday Feb 6th: 6:30-8:30pm
Boston New Technology: Networking Night & Web Design with Steve Hickey

Twitter @BostonNewTech
Come network with Boston area developers and designers, and learn about Flexible Grid Systems with Steve Hickey, User Interface Designer & Front-End Developer at Fresh Tilled Soil – a team of designers, coders and UX experts that helps entrepreneurs and businesses create bloody brilliant user experiences for web and mobile applications through consulting, education, training, and events. Originally educated in print design, Steve adopted the web as his chosen medium shortly after graduating from college. From a humble start coding marketing emails, he quickly moved into creating standards-compliant websites built with clean and semantic HTML, CSS, and jQuery. An unflappable master of his craft, Steve loves a good design challenge. His finger is always on the pulse of UI/UX advances, making him the go-to guy to find out what’s next in design innovation. This free monthly event is always a crowd pleaser. More info and register here.
We look forward to seeing you at NERD tonight, tomorrow, the day after and forever. Check out our website for a full listing of upcoming events.

Some of the people you could meet this week.

You might want to sit in the jungle.

You might fall in love with this room.