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Report of a Workshop on the Scope and Nature of Computational Thinking presents a number of perspectives on the definition and applicability of computational thinking. For example, one idea expressed during the workshop is that computational thinking is a fundamental analytical skill that everyone can use to help solve problems, design systems, and understand human behavior, making it useful in a number of fields. Supporters of this viewpoint believe that computational thinking is comparable to the linguistic, mathematical and logical reasoning taught to all children. Various efforts have been made to introduce K-12 students to the most basic and essential computational concepts and college curricula have tried to provide a basis for life-long learning of increasingly new and advanced computational concepts and technologies. At both ends of this spectrum, however, most efforts have not focused on fundamental concepts. The book discusses what some of those fundamental concepts might be. Report of a Workshop on the Scope and Nature of Computational Thinking explores the idea that as the use of computational devices is becoming increasingly widespread, computational thinking skills should be promulgated more broadly. The book is an excellent resource for professionals in a wide range of fields including educators and scientists.
Synthetic biology is an innovative and growing field that unites engineering and biology. It builds on the powerful research that came about as a result of a recombinant DNA technology and genome sequencing. By definition, synthetic biology is an interdisciplinary enterprise comprising biologists of many specialties, engineers, physicists, computer scientists and others. It promises a fundamentally deeper understanding of how living systems work and the capacity to recreate them for medicine, public health and the environment, including renewable energy. NAKFI Synthetic Biology: Building a Nation's Inspiration discusses new foundational technologies and tools required to make biology easier to engineer, considers ethical issues unique to synthetic biology, explores how synthetic biology can lead to an understanding of the principles underlying natural genetic circuits and debates how synthetic biology can be used to answer fundamental biological questions.
Mental, Neurological, and Substance Use Disorders in Sub-Saharan Africa: Reducing the Treatment Gap, Improving Quality of Care - Summary of a Joint Workshopby Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
Millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa suffer from mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders, and most do not have the resources to obtain treatment. The Uganda National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine hosted a workshop to discuss the state of care for MNS disorders in sub-Saharan Africa.
For multi-user PDF licensing, please contact customer service. The nation has compelling reasons to reduce its consumption of oil and emissions of carbon dioxide. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) promise to contribute to both goals by allowing some miles to be driven on electricity drawn from the grid, with an internal combustion engine that kicks in when the batteries are discharged. However, while battery technology has made great strides in recent years, batteries are still very expensive. Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies--Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehiclesbuilds on a 2008 National Research Council report on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The present volume reviews the current and projected technology status of PHEVs; considers the factors that will affect how rapidly PHEVs could enter the marketplace, including the interface with the electric transmission and distribution system; determines a maximum practical penetration rate for PHEVs consistent with the time frame and factors considered in the 2008 Hydrogen report; and incorporates PHEVs into the models used in the hydrogen study to estimate the costs and impacts on petroleum consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.
Engineering Curricula: Understanding the Design Space and Exploiting the Opportunities, Summary of a Workshopby National Academy of Engineering of the National Academies
In April 2009 a workshop was held to explore how engineering curricula could be enhanced to better prepare future engineers. The workshop, summarized in this volume, included individuals from industry, academia, government agencies, and professional societies. During the workshop participants addressed the rationale for the scope and sequence of current engineering curricula, considering both the positive aspects as well as those aspects that have outlived their usefulness. Other topics of discussion included the potential to enhance engineering curricula through creative uses of instructional technologies; the importance of inquiry-based activities as well as authentic learning experiences grounded in real world contexts; and the opportunities provided by looking more deeply at what personal and professional outcomes result from studying engineering. General themes that appeared to underlie the workshop attendees' discussions included desires to (a) restructure engineering curricula to focus on inductive teaching and learning, (b) apply integrated, just-in-time learning of relevant topics across STEM fields, and (c) make more extensive use and implementation of learning technologies. During breakout discussions, many additional suggestions were offered for means by which to facilitate curricular innovation.
NASA's space and Earth science program is composed of two principal components: spaceflight projects and mission-enabling activities. Most of the budget of NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is applied to spaceflight missions, but NASA identifies nearly one quarter of the SMD budget as "mission enabling." The principal mission-enabling activities, which traditionally encompass much of NASA's research and analysis (R&A) programs, include support for basic research, theory, modeling, and data analysis; suborbital payloads and flights and complementary ground-based programs; advanced technology development; and advanced mission and instrumentation concept studies. While the R&A program is essential to the development and support of NASA's diverse set of space and Earth science missions, defining and articulating an appropriate scale for mission-enabling activities have posed a challenge throughout NASA's history. This volume identifies the appropriate roles for mission-enabling activities and metrics for assessing their effectiveness. Furthermore, the book evaluates how, from a strategic perspective, decisions should be made about balance between mission-related and mission-enabling elements of the overall program as well as balance between various elements within the mission-enabling component. Collectively, these efforts will help SMD to make a good program even better.
Value-added methods refer to efforts to estimate the relative contributions of specific teachers, schools, or programs to student test performance. In recent years, these methods have attracted considerable attention because of their potential applicability for educational accountability, teacher pay-for-performance systems, school and teacher improvement, program evaluation, and research. Value-added methods involve complex statistical models applied to test data of varying quality. Accordingly, there are many technical challenges to ascertaining the degree to which the output of these models provides the desired estimates. Despite a substantial amount of research over the last decade and a half, overcoming these challenges has proven to be very difficult, and many questions remain unanswered--at a time when there is strong interest in implementing value-added models in a variety of settings. The National Research Council and the National Academy of Education held a workshop, summarized in this volume, to help identify areas of emerging consensus and areas of disagreement regarding appropriate uses of value-added methods, in an effort to provide research-based guidance to policy makers who are facing decisions about whether to proceed in this direction.
The technical and cultural boundaries between modeling, simulation, and games are increasingly blurring, providing broader access to capabilities in modeling and simulation and further credibility to game-based applications. The purpose of this study is to provide a technical assessment of Modeling, Simulation, and Games (MS&G) research and development worldwide and to identify future applications of this technology and its potential impacts on government and society. Further, this study identifies feasible applications of gaming and simulation for military systems; associated vulnerabilities of, risks to, and impacts on critical defense capabilities; and other significant indicators and warnings that can help prevent or mitigate surprises related to technology applications by those with hostile intent. Finally, this book recommends priorities for future action by appropriate departments of the intelligence community, the Department of Defense research community, and other government entities. The Rise of Games and High Performance Computing for Modeling and Simulation will serve as a useful tutorial and reference document for this particular era in the evolution of MS&G. The book also highlights a number of rising capabilities facilitated by MS&G to watch for in the coming years.
Consumption of goods and services represents a growing share of global economic activity. In the United States, consumption accounts for more than two-thirds of gross domestic product. This trend of increasing consumption has brought with it negative consequences for the environment and human well-being. Global demand for energy, food, and all manner of goods is on the rise, putting strains on the natural and human capital required to produce them. Extractive industries and production processes are prominent causes of species endangerment. Modern economies are underpinned by substantial energy consumption, a primary contributor to the current climate crisis. Expanding international trade has led to many economic opportunities, but has also contributed to unfair labor practices and wealth disparities. While certain processes have improved or become more efficient, and certain practices have been outlawed or amended, the sheer scale of global consumption and its attendant impacts continue to be major challenges we face in the transition to sustainability. Third-party certification systems have emerged over the last 15 years as a tool with some promise. There has been anecdotal evidence of success, but to date the overall impact of certified goods and services has been small. Moreover, definitions of sustainable vary across sectors and markets, and rigorous assessments of these programs have been few and far between. In order to take a step in learning from this field of practice, the National Academies' Science and Technology for Sustainability Program held a workshop to illuminate the decision making process of those who purchase and produce certified goods and services. It was also intended to help clarify the scope and limitations of the scientific knowledge that might contribute to the economic success of certified products. The workshop, summarized in this volume, involved presentations and discussions with approximately 40 invited experts from academia, business, government, and nongovernmental organizations.
The Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) collects data on the number and characteristics of individuals receiving research doctoral degrees from all accredited U.S. institutions. The results of this annual survey are used to assess characteristics and trends in doctorate education and degrees. This information is vital for education and labor force planners and researchers in the federal government and in academia. To protect the confidentiality of data, new and more stringent procedures were implemented for the 2006 SED data released in 2007. These procedures suppressed many previously published data elements. The organizations and institutions that had previously relied on these data to assess progress in measure of achievement and equality suddenly found themselves without a yardstick with which to measure progress. Several initiatives were taken to address these concerns, including the workshop summarized in this volume. The goal of the workshop was to address the appropriateness of the decisions that SRS made and to help the agency and data users consider future actions that might permit release of useful data while protecting the confidentiality of the survey responses.
Vaccination is a fundamental component of preventive medicine and public health. The use of vaccines to prevent infectious diseases has resulted in dramatic decreases in disease, disability, and death in the United States and around the world. The current political, economic, and social environment presents both opportunities for and challenges to strengthening the U.S. system for developing, manufacturing, regulating, distributing, funding, and administering safe and effective vaccines for all people. Priorities for the National Vaccine Plan examines the extraordinarily complex vaccine enterprise, from research and development of new vaccines to financing and reimbursement of immunization services. Priorities for the National Vaccine Plan examines the extraordinarily complex vaccine enterprise, from research and development of new vaccines to financing and reimbursement of immunization services. The book makes recommendations about priority actions in the update to the National Vaccine Plan that are intended to achieve the objectives of disease prevention and enhancement of vaccine safety. It is centered on the plan's five goals in the areas of vaccine development, safety, communication, supply and use, and global health.
The National Research Council of the National Academies was requested by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to perform an independent assessment of NASA's National Aviation Operations Monitoring Service (NAOMS) project, which was a survey administered to pilots from April 2001 through December 2004. The NRC reviewed various aspects of the NAOMS project, including the survey methodology, and conducted a limited analysis of the publicly available survey data. An Assessment of NASA's National Aviation Operations Monitoring Service presents the resulting analyses and findings.
Biographical Memoirs is a series of essays containing the life histories and selected bibliographies of deceased members of the National Academy of Sciences. The series provides a record of the life and work of some of the most distinguished leaders in the sciences, as witnessed and interpreted by their colleagues and peers. They form a biographical history of science in America--an important part of our nation's contribution to the intellectual heritage of the world.
Two surveys of the National Science Foundation's Division of Science Resources Statistics (SRS) provide some of the most significant data available to understand research and development spending and policy in the United States. These are the Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development and the Survey of Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions. These surveys help reach conclusions about fundamental policy questions, such as whether a given field of research is adequately funded, whether funding is balanced among fields, and whether deficiencies in funding may be contributing to a loss of U.S. scientific or economic competitiveness. However, the survey data are of insufficient quality and timeliness to support many of the demands put on them. In addition the surveys are increasingly difficult to conduct in times of constrained resources, and their technological, procedural, and conceptual infrastructure has not been modernized for procedure or content. Data on Federal Research and Development Investments reviews the uses and collection of data on federal funds and federal support for science and technology and recommends future directions for the program based on an assessment of these uses and the adequacy of the surveys. The book also considers the classification structure, or taxonomy, for the fields of science and engineering.
Extremely hazardous substances (EHSs) can be released accidentally as a result of chemical spills, industrial explosions, and other accidents, or intentionally through terrorist activities. Workers and residents in communities surrounding industrial facilities where EHSs are manufactured, used, or stored and in communities along the nation's railways and highways are potentially at risk of being exposed to airborne EHSs during accidental or intentional releases. To help understand the risk involved with EHSs, the National Advisory Committee (NAC) on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Hazardous Substances developed Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (AEGLs) for approximately 200 EHSs. The present volume is the sixteenth interim report evaluating the AEGLs. It summarizes conclusions and recommendations for improving NAC's AEGL documents for 26 chemicals. The report also summarizes the committee's conclusions and recommendations for improving the http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10122 Standing Operating Procedures for Developing Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Hazardous Substances published in 2001.
Interacademy Programs between the United States and Eastern Europe 1967-2009: The Changing Landscapeby National Research Council of the National Academies
Interacademy Programs Between the United States and Eastern Europe 1967-2009 documents how interacademy programs have played a significant role in establishing and maintaining American scientific contacts with colleagues in Eastern Europe prior to and following the lifting of the Iron Curtain. The book also discusses the changing roles of the academies of the region and the changing nature of interacademy cooperation that has emerged since 1991. The countries of interest are Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, the former German Democratic Republic, and the countries that previously were united politically within the framework of the former Yugoslavia. The book should be of interest to officials and specialists in both the United States and the countries of Eastern Europe who are actively engaged in promoting scientific cooperation through bilateral and other channels. Also, an emerging audience for this book is the growing group of analysts in the United States interested in "science diplomacy" involving U.S. cooperation with countries that have political agendas that differ in important respects from the objectives of U.S. policies.
The United States is currently the only country with an active, government-sponsored effort to detect and track potentially hazardous near-Earth objects (NEOs). Congress has mandated that NASA detect and track 90 percent of NEOs that are 1 kilometer in diameter or larger. These objects represent a great potential hazard to life on Earth and could cause global destruction. NASA is close to accomplishing this goal. Congress has more recently mandated that by 2020 NASA should detect and track 90 percent of NEOs that are 140 meters in diameter or larger, a category of objects that is generally recognized to represent a very significant threat to life on Earth if they strike in or near urban areas. Achieving this goal may require the building of one or more additional observatories, possibly including a space-based observatory. Congress directed NASA to ask the National Research Council to review NASA's near-Earth object programs. This interim report addresses some of the issues associated with the survey and detection of NEOs. The final report will contain findings and recommendations for survey and detection, characterization, and mitigation of near-Earth objects based on an integrated assessment of the problem.
On April 29, 2009 the National Research Council held a 1-day symposium titled, 'Avoiding Technology Surprise for Tomorrow's Warfighter.' This volume, a report of the symposium, highlights key challenges confronting the scientific and technical intelligence (S & TI) community and explores potential solutions that might enable the S & TI community to overcome those challenges. The symposium captured comments and observations from representatives from combatant commands and supporting governmental organizations, together with those of symposium participants, in order to elucidate concepts and trends, knowledge of which could be used to improve the Department of Defense's technology warning capability. Topics addressed included issues stemming from globalization of science and technology, challenges to U.S. warfighters that could result from technology surprise, examples of past technological surprise, and the strengths and weaknesses of current S & TI analysis.
Vital statistics, the records of birth and death, are a critical national information resource for understanding public health. Over the past few decades, the specific program that gathers the data has evolved into a complex cooperative program between the federal and state governments for social measurement. The Vital Statistics Cooperative Program (VSCP) is currently maintained by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The U.S. vital statistics system relies on the original information reported by myriad individuals, channeled through varying state and local information systems, and coordinated and processed by a federal statistical agency that has experienced relatively flat funding for many years. The challenges facing the vital statistics system and the continuing importance of the resulting data make it an important topic for examination. A workshop, held by the National Academies and summarized in this volume, considered the importance of adequate vital statistics. In particular, the workshop assessed both current and emerging uses of the data, considered the methodological and organizational features of compiling vital data, and identified possible visions for the vital statistics program.
In 2006, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a series of three books on the Future of Emergency Care in the United States Health System. These reports contained recommendations that called on the federal government and private stakeholders to initiate changes aimed at improving the emergency care system. Three years later, in May 2009, the IOM convened a workshop to examine the progress to date in achieving these objectives, and to help assess priorities for future action. The May 2009 workshop, summarized in this volume, brought stakeholders and policy makers together to discuss which among the many challenges facing emergency care are most amenable to coordinated federal action. The workshop sought to foster information exchange among federal officials involved in advancing emergency care and key stakeholder groups from around the country.
Energy touches our lives in countless ways and its costs are felt when we fill up at the gas pump, pay our home heating bills, and keep businesses both large and small running. There are long-term costs as well: to the environment, as natural resources are depleted and pollution contributes to global climate change, and to national security and independence, as many of the world's current energy sources are increasingly concentrated in geopolitically unstable regions. The country's challenge is to develop an energy portfolio that addresses these concerns while still providing sufficient, affordable energy reserves for the nation. The United States has enormous resources to put behind solutions to this energy challenge; the dilemma is to identify which solutions are the right ones. Before deciding which energy technologies to develop, and on what timeline, we need to understand them better. The summary edition of America's Energy Future summarizes the full analyses of the potential of a wide range of technologies for generation, distribution, and conservation of energy found in the complete edition of America's Energy Future. This summary edition also succinctly considers technologies to increase energy efficiency, coal-fired power generation, nuclear power, renewable energy, oil and natural gas, and alternative transportation fuels. It assesses the associated impacts and projected costs of implementing each technology and categorizes them into three time frames for implementation.
As civil space policies and programs have evolved, the geopolitical environment has changed dramatically. Although the U.S. space program was originally driven in large part by competition with the Soviet Union, the nation now finds itself in a post-Cold War world in which many nations have established, or are aspiring to develop, independent space capabilities. Furthermore discoveries from developments in the first 50 years of the space age have led to an explosion of scientific and engineering knowledge and practical applications of space technology. The private sector has also been developing, fielding, and expanding the commercial use of space-based technology and systems. Recognizing the new national and international context for space activities, America's Future in Space is meant to advise the nation on key goals and critical issues in 21st century U.S. civil space policy.
Approaches to Future Space Cooperation and Competition in a Globalizing World: Summary of a Workshopby National Research Council of the National Academies
Numerous countries and regions now have very active space programs, and the number is increasing. These maturing capabilities around the world create a plethora of potential partners for cooperative space endeavors, while at the same time heightening competitiveness in the international space arena. This book summarizes a public workshop held in November 2008 for the purpose of reviewing past and present cooperation, coordination, and competition mechanisms for space and Earth science research and space exploration; identifying significant lessons learned; and discussing how those lessons could best be applied in the future, particularly in the areas of cooperation and collaboration. Presentations and initial discussion focused on past and present experiences in international cooperation and competition to identify "lessons learned." Those lessons learned were then used as the starting point for subsequent discussions on the most effective ways for structuring future cooperation or coordination in space and Earth science research and space exploration. The goal of the workshop was not to develop a specific model for future cooperation or coordination, but rather to explore the advantages and disadvantages of various approaches and stimulate further deliberation on this important topic.
This Report of the Treasurer of the National Academy of Sciences presents the financial position and results of operations, as well as a review of the endowment, trust, and other long-term investments pool activities of the Academy for the year ended December 31, 2008.
There has been renewed interest in soil and soil science in recent years as the recognition that biogeochemical processes that occur at the Earth's surface influence global climate change, land degradation and remediation, the fate and transport of nutrients and contaminants, soil and water conservation, soil and water quality, food sufficiency and safety, and many other issues pertinent to the stewardship and conservation of land and water resources. In some areas of the Earth we have approached near irreversible soil conditions that may threaten the existence of future generations. Understanding the long-term implications of decreased soil quality and addressing the aforementioned challenges will require new information based on advances and breakthroughs in soil science research that need to be effectively communicated to stakeholders, policy makers, and the general public. On December 12-14, 2005, the National Academies convened the Frontiers in Soil Science Research Workshop, summarized in this volume, to identify emerging areas for research in soil science by addressing the interaction of soil science subdisciplines, collaborative research with other disciplines, and the use of new technologies in research. The workshop focused around seven key questions addressing research frontiers for the individual soil science disciplines, and also addressing the need for integration across soil science with other disciplines.
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