There’s no doubt that music is an integral part of our society. From its early function as a storytelling tool to its modern ubiquitous nature, music is a priority. And with tech growing exponentially, music’s importance has never been more clear. Music technology is transforming music into something that everybody can access. Today, musicians can write, produce, record, and collaborate on Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) that translate everything into a digital format. Tools like SoundBridge’s Lumit are making that process easier and mobile.
Lumit is a Full-Featured DAW developed by SoundBridge, an advanced audio technology company founded by Northeastern graduate, Wake Anderson. The software is recognized by Recording Magazine as the first DAW optimized for Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP) from the ground up. Post and Recording Magazine have also recognized Lumit as being one of the most intuitive professional DAWs on the market – with a learn-curve of approximately a couple of days. If you have ever used a DAW before, you probably know it can take years to master. Microsoft Surface Pro 4 users will experience fast and agile control over Lumit due to the development team’s implementation of original hand-gestures and creative mobile navigation – technology typically not seen in desktop software. The hybrid mobile/desktop environment opens the doors for creative expression in ways the mouse and keyboard never could.
And whether you’re in the studio doing precise editing or recording a street performance to sample – you’re not limited in terms of professional capabilities. For the first time ever, audio engineers can create professional audio assets using virtual studio technologies (VST), USB musical instrument digital interface (MIDI) controllers, and high-fidelity/low latency USB soundcards that run audio stream in out (ASIO) drivers from a device that weighs less than a pound – such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. SoundBridge’s Lumit is a true technological achievement by all means – it’s the most mobile professional digital audio workstation on the market.
The SoundBridge Team is expanding its easy-to-use functionality to the place it makes most sense; schools. Since Lumit is designed for everyone to use, Anderson is hoping to help students embrace music tech with one platform. This program kicks off in Almada, Portugal at Mastering Lisboa where partners will be teaching professional recording and audio production in Lumit for two months with high-school- aged aspiring audio professionals. Through this educational curriculum, Lumit seeks to teach students the basics of audio and music theory all in tandem, bridging tech and music together to get kids to think creatively.
Recently, we’ve seen Lumit in action at Make Music Day Boston, a live celebration of music in the city. Lumit’s DAW was set up in Copley Square, where passersby could contribute to a production and watch live as Lumit put everything together. Recorded entirely on Surface, Lumit presented the Make Music Day “theme” — Veggie Blues:
The state of Massachusetts, along with STEM education group MassCAN, an alliance of organizations advocating for computer science in schools, has recently developed voluntary Digital Literacy and Computer Science Standards for MA high schools. Microsoft was proud to participate on the diverse review panel that was assembled to head the project, which involved reviewing existing CSstandards and the current Technology Literacy Standards.
We spoke with local, MA high school CS teachers and STEM education advocates about why these new digital literacy standards are important for our kids:
Why are digital literacy standards important? What impact will they have on MA?
“I think these standards show that digital literacy and Computer Science are important parts of the K-12 education. It will take time for schools to ramp up, but a lot is already being done to provide interested teachers with professional development. I would like to see this expand over the years to the point that every student in Massachusetts gets a chance to learn some basic computer programming.”
“Young people are not pursuing STEM fields as often as they did in the past. Less than 25 percent of students are choosing STEM majors in college, and of that, 38 percent do not graduate with a STEM degree. Meanwhile, demand for STEM workers has grown three times faster than non-STEM employment over the past 10 years. For Massachusetts to be globally competitive and to expand its economy, we must have digital literacy standards to prepare young people for the ever changing work force.”
“It also shows that Massachusetts finds value in the topics of computer science and digital literacy. As a teacher, this is very important to me, because I have faced issues as a computer science teacher in MA, such as no licensure currently existing to teach CS in MA. Now that the standards are outlined, licensure tests can be created and masters programs specifically around teaching HS CS will be developed.”
— Meg Bednarcik, Computer Science teacher at Burlington High School (@msbednarcik)
“The standards are a historic step forward. They are important because they validate computer science as a foundational skill, and provide a consistent framework for all schools, so all students can have the same educational experiences, regardless of zip code, race or gender. They are a step toward giving all students the code they need to unlock the door to future opportunity.”
“Engineers, innovators, and other STEM professionals are building the world we want to live in. They are tackling issues and coming up with solutions that are transforming how we live and work – making our communities smarter, more productive and successful. Without STEM, we will not innovate and build our economy. We will not be able to compete globally.”
“Science, technology, engineering, and math are the tools we are using to solve problems, create products and improve our quality of life. STEM education is the the key, preparing today’s students to solve tomorrow’s problems. STEM education teaches kids to think, problem-solve, work in groups and risk failure – all skills they need in life as much as they need in work.”
How has computer science education impacted MA so far?
“Our education system is being transformed already. Many schools have or are moving toward “1:1” — the standards are just setting a baseline of what we should be teaching, although many schools are already teaching these standards, if not more. These standards should be a wake up call for the schools that have been slow in teaching these skills to their students.”
“We have one of the largest tech and innovation communities in the world here in Massachusetts. Computer science education is preparing more people for jobs in this growing industry. Also tech crosses over ever sector – education, government, healthcare, finance – to name a few. We also know STEM jobs pay more than twice the state’s average salary. It’s a field that can lift people out of poverty and into the middle class and beyond.”
How will digital literacy transform our education system?
“We must provide students with more opportunities to explore coding and app development as well as design thinking, collaboration and entrepreneurship. To do this, we need standards and educators who are prepared to teach in a digital world. We also need to provide more support to educators so they can hone their skills and understanding in digital literacy across the curriculum. Organizations such as the Verizon Foundation are focused on improving digital literacy and student achievement in STEM.”
What is the best way youth and parents can support computer science education?
“The best way is for students and parents to advocate for more CS classes or lessons in their school system. If your school already has these courses, make sure you take them — the higher the demand is, the more courses will be offered. I feel that a basic course in computer science should be a high school graduation requirement for every student in Mass., and that we should be moving in that direction.”
Are you registered to vote? In 2008, 6 million Americans missed their chance to vote — either because they missed a registration deadline, or didn’t know how to register. National Voter Registration Day, a new annual initiative, brings this information to the forefront to make sure every American has all the necessary information to register to vote.
The National Association of Secretaries of State has established the fourth Tuesday of September as National Voter Registration Day annually, making today (September 27, 2016) the day to act!
This presidential election, we want to make sure every American has a chance to vote. That’s why we’re excited to partner in Rock the Vote’s Corporate Civic Responsibility Program, working to make voter registration readily available to employees and consumers alike. And, with Microsoft Pulse, we’re helping the public become more informed voters through initiatives like WatchTheDebates.org.
Looking for an easy way to find voter registration information? Just Bing search “how to register to vote” and Bing will display local information for you, including deadlines, requirements, and an online voter registration platform.
America’s national healthcare apparatus, with its many gatekeepers, rules, regulations, and interested parties, is one of the most debilitatingly confusing systems in the world. However, even though it sounds like the grime of bureaucracy may slow the gears of progress, healthcare is actually ripe for disruption.
Healthcare’s myriad stakeholders may be in competition for greater visibility, but what makes it most viable for disruption is the fact that everyone is aligned on the same goal: patient outcomes. It is only through leveraging this shared value to promote collaboration can healthcare innovation be truly catalyzed, and that’s what PULSE@MassChallenge is here for.
We believe that when entrepreneurs and the ecosystem come together to solve problems we will accelerate innovation and transform healthcare.
In partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, MeHI, MACP, and the region’s leading institutions, corporations, payors and healthcare experts, PULSE@MassChallenge brings a startup-friendly approach to accelerating the development of new digital health innovations.
How will PULSE@ Help startups succeed?
PULSE@ takes a startup-friendly approach and provides entrepreneurs with access to resources critical for growth. Through mutual-matchmaking, every PULSE@MassChallenge startup connects with a Champion (institution, corporation, payor, etc) to help the startup reach critical milestones such as:
On top of this, PULSE@ provides startups with access to 8,000 sq ft of free office space in Hatch Fenway, a growing innovation center in Boston and a stone’s throw from the Longwood Medical Area.
Who can apply?
PULSE@MassChallenge is seeking startups that address the following:
Aging | Biosensors | Care Coordination | Caregiving | Chronic Disease Management | Clinician Collaboration| Cybersecurity | Data Analytics | Holistic Health | Home Health Care | Interoperability | Nutrition | Patient Education and Self | Management | Patient Engagement | Patient Monitoring | Patient Transportation | Specialty Pharmacy | Telehealth | Wearables | Women’s Health | AND MORE! We’re looking for the BEST IN DIGITAL HEALTH!
Any digital health startup from anywhere in the world with less than $5 million in funding and $5 million in revenue is eligible to apply.
Applications are open September 14 – October 20 (Early Bird), November 9 (Regular).
At MassChallenge, Jibran is not only responsible for coordinating with the Events, Partnerships, and Marketing teams to make sure the entire world knows what’s going on in the startup accelerator through digital content, but he also dedicates himself to amplifying the amazing stories the MassChallenge startups have to tell on a daily basis.
Prior to joining MassChallenge, Jibran interned at the Law Offices of Carlos Estrada and the Alliance for Business Leadership. Jibran loves Lord of the Rings and chocolate milk – but what he loves most of all is peace, quiet, and good tilled Earth.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! For innovators, artists, scientists, citizens, and more — those who love Boston — HUBweek is here from Sunday, September 25 through Saturday, October 1 to celebrate the best of the best our city has to offer. HUBweek is an annual celebration focused on the future that is being built in and around Boston, spotlighting innovation at the intersection of art, science, and technology. Over 130 organizations have teamed together for behind-the-scenes views, live talks, demonstrations, and parties that encourage HUBweek-goers to explore, imagine, and exchange ideas.
We’re honored to not only be in the middle of the celebration at our Kendall Square offices but by sponsoring HUBweek and hosting/co-hosting events of our own throughout the week. We’ve gathered some of these events (and some bonus events) to give you, our beloved reader, an insider’s guide to HUBweek 2016:
The impact of innovation in Greater Boston spans from art and food to technology and community.
At the HUBweek Roxbury Innovation Showcase, now’s your chance to taste innovation in Roxbury. Hear from leaders making an impact by promoting inclusive innovation in our city. Meet tomorrow’s innovators who are shaping the future of business, technology, design and fashion. Learn, mingle and share experiences to help each other take new ideas and ventures to the next level.
What does it take to make a building extroverted? How do parks, plazas, and streetscapes foster collaboration and innovation?
The future is always under construction in Kendall Square: world-shaping ideas, breakthrough discoveries, and a built environment that constantly responds to the ever-changing needs of Kendall’s vibrant community.
Join us for a walking tour of Kendall Square. Visit the places that make work work and learn how developers and planners are mixing living and working in this emerging neighborhood. You’ll get an insider’s view on the development strategies that artfully blend high tech labs, eateries, walkable outdoor civic spaces, co-working incubators and corporate campuses.
The tour culminates with an insightful panel discussion where you’ll hear from urban planners, architects, and designers on how they collaborate to create an environment that’s as exciting as the inventions it helps to spawn.
This event is sold out, but the waitlist is still open.
Join us for an evening of storytelling with some of Boston’s top female leaders in the innovation economy as they share their biggest “Aha Moments.” Storytellers will share a 10 minute story about a realization, discovery or instrumental conversation that changed the course of her career. There will be plenty of time for audience Q&A, so bring your pressing questions and let’s tip the scales toward more women in leadership positions in Boston and beyond!
This event is sold out, but the waitlist is still open.
The overwhelming abundance of granular data is recasting and overturning public perceptions in a number of different fields, from criminal justice to health care. An interdisciplinary group of scholars, technologists, and media members will leverage administrative data, both historical and current, to explore pressing, emerging trends and deeper issues around fairness, community, safety, and privacy during HUBweek’s first annual hackathon: Data Science, Journalism and the Future of Justice.
Thursday, September 29
pARTy On the Greenway
Rings Fountain The Wharf District Parks of the Rose Kennedy Greenway
Boston, MA 02109
Food, music, and art collide at the pARTy on The Greenway at the Wharf District Parks for a massive celebration of Greater Boston’s creative community and the kickoff of ArtWeek Boston. This block party-meets-nighttime-arts festival will feature a one-of-a-kind musical performance by The ECCE Ensemble who will premiere their performance of Allegorical Gardening: a music, dance, and visual arts event that combines Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads, Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Tierkreis, and the choreography of Creative Collaborator Colin Gee, around the The Greenway’s Rings Fountain.
Musicians Ernst Karel & Bhob Rainey (duo) and Caroline Park (solo) perform original multichannel works within the enormous mezzanine of Boston City Hall. Taking their cues from the unusual raw concrete forms and cavernous space of this icon of Brutalist architecture, the musicians will use the room’s fantastic, complex acoustics to shape and diffuse the sounds.
At this first-of-its-kind event, HUBweek, the Museum of Science, Boston Children’s Hospital, Hacking Pediatrics, and Microsoft invite children and their families to join us in reimagining the future of health. Using the beloved game of Minecraft, participants and patients from Boston Children’s Hospital will work together to build the hospital of the future in worlds created specially for this event. Children will be encouraged to think creatively and to build spaces that promote fun, health, and happiness.
Created to inspire youth to take interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and computer science, Google Geek Street has partnered with local technology organizations for a free, fun-filled day of interactive demos like virtual games, robotics and electronic tinkering. Music, giveaways and tasty treats will be available!
While you’re celebrating HUBweek in Kendall Square, don’t forget to look up at our video wall at 522 Main Street — your #HUBweek tweets may be featured LIVE!
Join us on September 27th and 28th for the Innovation and the City Conference. Innovation and the City is hosted by the Microsoft Technology & Civic Engagement Team, the Venture Café Foundation, and Mass Economics. The conference convenes practitioners, policy makers, and scholars to discuss the strategies, opportunities, and drawbacks associated with the innovation economy and urban economic development. Our goal is to provide a forum for experts and practitioners to discuss building vibrant and inclusive innovation economies in U.S. cities. The conference will be held at the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center in Cambridge’s Kendall Square. Last year’s conference attracted about 200 people for two great days of discussion and networking.
This year’s presentations and panels include:
Cities in the Innovation Economy
How City Governments Can Support Innovation
Building Coalitions for an Innovation Agenda
Innovating Across Borders
Innovation in the Just City
Panel moderators include Jennifer Bradley, co-author of The Metropolitan Revolution and founding director of the Center for Urban Innovation at the Aspen Institute; Toni Griffin, Professor in Practice at Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) and founder of Urban Planning for the American City; and Patrick Larkin, Interim Executive Director at Mass Technology Collaborative (MTC) and Director of the Innovation Institute at MTC. Dr. Maarten Hajer, Professor of Urban Futures at University of Utrecht and Chief Curator of International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam 2016, will give the keynote address, “The City as Public Domain: Strategies for Cities in the Next Economy.”
Please visit the conference website, www.innovationandthecity.org, for a detailed agenda, videos of past conference sessions, registration, and additional information. You may also register on Eventbrite here.
Teresa M. Lynch is the Principal of Mass Economics. In this role, Teresa works with national philanthropic and policy leaders to create programmatic and investment frameworks to address economic and social inequality across the U.S, as well as with local organizations and governments to develop neighborhood and city strategies that generate economic vitality and broad-based opportunity for residents. Her most recent work has focused on developing economic cluster strategies that align with cities land and workforce assets; evaluating urban innovation assets and potential innovation districts; and working to develop frameworks and strategies for inclusive core city economic growth and neighborhood entrepreneurship.
After highlighting the winners of 16 separate impact categories, from Emerging Executive of the Year to Best Use of Internet of Things to Innovative Technology, the awards shifted to more individual honors. The MassTLC Distinguished Leadership Award, honored to individuals growing, changing, and inspiring lives through developing and promoting technology in the region, was awarded to the following leaders:
Want to join these Distinguished Leaders in transforming your community?
Join New Urban Mechanics in igniting Boston’s public spaces at the Public Space Invitational (or create your own!). Follow Vicky Wu Davis’ footsteps and volunteer to support YouthCITIES’ March-to-May Bootcamp or recommend the program to a teen near you. Nominate a nonprofit for Resilient Coders’ Resilient Rebuild, which will (re)build a website for a non-profit organization for free. Consider how you’re promoting diversity in your company like Akamai does, and seek companies who want to take real action to drive diversity. Or… enact your own idea to make direct change.
Congratulations to all the winners!
Missed out on the gala? Catch up below with some of the top tweets from the night:
With our two 2016 major-party candidates gearing up for debates, we’re excited to announce the newest venture between PBS NewsHour and Microsoft: WatchTheDebates.org, expanding on an existing civic education partnership between PBS and the Commission on Presidential Debates. This interactive civic education and voter engagement site provides access to every general election debate since 1960, allowing visitors ability to screen entire debates and highlights, track how specific issues over the years, and interact with the content using online voting tools from Microsoft Pulse.
Since the first televised presidential debate in 1960, these events have been integral to the American democratic process and the leading forum for serious discussion of current affairs. Today, for the first time, these debates are being organized and made available in one place for the American public in an online forum.
New England-based businesses have something to celebrate: four Microsoft Stores in the region have rolled out SMB Zones. What are those, you ask? SMB Zones are spaces where you can get hands-on access to business-grade technology — and they were designed with entrepreneurs and small and midsize business (SMB) owners in mind.
The nonprofit Smaller Business Association of New England has approximately 600 small business member companies. To further support these businesses and their employees, Microsoft Stores are also offering the Accelerate Your Business leasing program – created to help small and midsize organizations choose the technologies that best meet their business needs as well as get training, support, warranties and deals for combined solutions.
The new programs can be found in Microsoft Stores in Burlington, Mass.; Danbury, Conn.; West Hartford, Conn.; and Salem, N.H.
To underscore Microsoft’s commitment to SMBs, on Thursday, Sept. 22, entrepreneur, author and CNBC contributor Carol Roth will host a live-streamed event at the flagship Microsoft Store in New York to discuss how small business owners can use technology to solve problems and take their business to the next level of success. Register here for the event and tune in online starting at 4 p.m. Eastern Time to hear from Roth as well as a handful of other entrepreneurs.
In addition to the SMB Zone and the Accelerate Your Business program, SMBs can access a host of in-store and on-the-ground support, training, and services designed especially for them. Check out the Microsoft U.S. Small and Midsize Business Blog for more details.
Project Santorini team of Microsoft Garage interns based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (L-R: Maddy Leger, Anna Pfoertsch, John Martin, Veronica Lee, Georgie Halpern, Arianna Benson, Connor Cooper, Katy Ma, Larry Guo and Subby Olubeko)
The student interns of The Garage made an impact this summer by applying their experiences and knowledge to develop three customer-centric products.
Within 12 weeks, the three teams of innovative interns worked on their experiments, which have all been shipped as initial invite-only releases.
Take a look at their final projects:
Project Santorini, a Windows 10 UWP photo viewing experience, asks “What if there was a more serendipitous and fun way of revisiting photo memories?”
Project Copenhagen, a Google Chrome extension, asks “Could we streamline how students use OneDrive with Gmail to make collaboration much easier?”
Project Oceana, a Google Chrome extension, asks “Can we make your email experience less stressful and time-consuming?”
You can try out the students’ projects by signing up at the Garage Workbench. If Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, is impressed, we think you will be too.