News 2020

06/02
Reinvigorating NASA’s lunar exploration plans after the pandemic

Chapter: ASEI National

by Ajay P. Kothari - Monday, May 11, 2020
 
In a recent Washington Post op-ed, Josh Rogin argued for the need for a strong American response to China’s perceived mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic: “Americans in both parties increasingly agree that the United States needs a tougher, more realistic China strategy that depends less on the honesty and goodwill of the Chinese government.” Such a strategy should include space, too.
 
The response to the coronavirus will have long-term impacts on NASA. With trillions of dollars spent so far, budget cuts for all agencies can be expected in the next fiscal year and beyond. NASA will be among the agencies affected more adversely than others, given they are not considered to be essential. Democratic lawmakers, but also many Republican ones, will oppose any increase sought for the agency. The Moon has, in this since, moved further away. How do we fix this problem?
 
Antagonism towards China by the public, and hence lawmakers, combined with the threat of budget cuts, points to a potential and necessary path. For NASA, it may likely not be budget cuts, but almost surely any budget increase will face the axe.
 
China’s activities in space are not just for economic or military superiority, though they may be a side effect, with even higher probability of that now. They are also doing it for civilizational pride, which morphs into national pride. It is very strong. The motivating factors in the near future will not be just financial. China’s pride has been hurt by the pandemic, so they will do the things to rejuvenate it. The Chinese feel that they were an exceptional civilization for a long time. They want that again and understandably so. It is nationalism, not communism. They need a face-saving mechanism badly and space is one of them. Space exploration for China, and other old civilizations like India, beckons of otherworldly qualities. It overlaps with science and the spirit of exploring. We need to understand that, and not try to reduce everything to economic numbers.
 
Despite these recent horrendous stumbles, they will have humans on the Moon in as little as five to seven years. And it will not be for any other reason than to start to “win” in space. They may well be the first to extract water from the Moon. It is not a space race as a military competition this time around, but will devolve into an egoistic and economic one—a “space race” nonetheless.
 
This is why going to the lunar surface, not the lunar Gateway, is very important for the United States. This time, of course, it’s not just to visit, or even just to stay. That is not enough. It is to do things there, and those high priority things to do are on the surface, not in orbit.
 
This also implies we not only will need to be there in large numbers but also quickly, in order to compete or to reach a favorable distribution. Those at the table write the rules. All of the above means we need a solution that can take thousands of tons, not hundreds, of infrastructure and other materials to the lunar surface.
 
NASA is doing the right thing by exploring options for the Human Landing Systems through contracts announced recently. While doing that, though, we need to also find ways to efficiently send needed infrastructure to the surface first, in some format that does not rely on the lunar Gateway to get the task done. It needs to be done over next few years, with the habitats and other infrastructure, including for in-situ resource utilization, awaiting the astronauts’ arrival.
 
This problem cannot be solved by just the Space Launch System. It is five to eight times more costly than the approaches I’ve discussed here previously (see “A giant leap for America”, The Space Review, November 20, 2017; and “How to make an urgent and affordable return to the Moon”, The Space Review, October 14, 2019), and is expected to have much less frequent launch capability. We will need five to ten launches a year of this type to take the requisite infrastructure and material to the lunar surface. Going to Mars using this method is also faster, and it can be done in four years. And later, using in-situ water ice from the lunar surface with gravity assist would be an attractive choice as well. The SLS program needs to be readdressed to design and produce the upper stages for different destinations using different (possibly methane and hydrogen) fuels and different payload sizes, along with other exploration concepts and hardware.
 
Just letting the space companies take over will also miss one important mark. For the public to feel the pride, as they did during Apollo, they have to feel that they did it, that we did it, that NASA largely did it. NASA needs to devise ways where businesses participate, but where the public feels proud and not just the owners of those companies.
 
While continuing science, NASA should do those things now that speak towards this potential competition with China in the human exploration arena. It may be or surely will be a space race, a competition for lunar resources, including water ice, that we do not wish China to get a controlling interest in. Lawmakers will be in mood to listen to that, rather than spend billions for relatively more cosmetic endeavors like the lunar Gateway. If we concentrate on the lunar Gateway, we will miss the bus and then it will be too late: another easy win for China. We cannot allow that.
 
NASA should postpone the lunar Gateway for now, concentrate fully on getting to the lunar surface anyway we can—not that it has to be SLS or bust, especially now that its first launch has again slipped to mid to late 2021. We can get to the surface using reusable boosters like Falcon Heavy, New Glenn, or Starship, at a fifth the cost of SLS, as well as be quicker and scalable. It will require some modifications, some prodding, and some out-of-the-box thinking that I am sure NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate can do under the new leadership it has now. Congress will like it too—surely with grumblings from some, although others will secretly and not-so-secretly applaud it. I believe the Trump Administration will also be quite welcoming of it. The paradigm has shifted greatly in last few months. We can wait for several months to make these changes, but we absolutely cannot afford to wait for years.
 
NASA’s Plan for Sustained Lunar Exploration and Development released on April 3 is very well thought out, but I am afraid the lunar Gateway reliance would be hindering. It needs to be flipped, with trying to concentrate on it after five years instead of before. That we need to beat China and stay several steps ahead is now a much more convincing argument to Congress, and correctly so. NASA should utilize this mindset while the iron is hot. Asking Congress for billions for the Gateway is just not going to fly. Using the unnecessarily costlier SLS will also not be favorably rewarded. But competing strongly with China will be. Upsetting Boeing and Lockheed Martin is minor compared to the whole country being upset by China as has happened now, and may again in future.
 
Dr. Ajay Kothari is founder/president of Astrox Corporation. His MS and PhD in Aerospace Engineering are from the University of Maryland.

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05/30
Health Alert - U.S. Mission to India

Chapter: ASEI National

Health Alert - U.S. Mission to IndiaLocation:  India
Event:  We advise U.S. persons interested in returning to the United States that Air India has announced additional commercially operated evacuation flights departing from India to international destinations, including the United States, to evacuate stranded Indian citizens.  U.S. persons are eligible to travel on these flights.  We understand from an update Air India posted recently on social media that the flights to the United States will depart on June 5 and 6.  Tickets for the flights will be available for purchase on the Air India website the morning of Saturday, May 30.  Interested travelers should contact Air India directly regarding these flights, not the U.S. Embassy or consulates.  
There are no further U.S. government charter flights scheduled or planned to evacuate U.S. persons from India at this time.  We urge U.S. persons wishing to return to the United States to strongly consider available commercial flight options.
Actions to Take:

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19.
Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in India.
Visit the Department of Homeland Security's website for the latest travel restrictions affecting travel to the United States.
Review the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website for information on COVID-19 and Indian travel advisories.

 Assistance:
·         U.S. Embassy New Delhi
Shanti Path, Chanakyapuri 110021
telephone: +91-11-2419-8000
https://in.usembassy.gov
·     U.S. Consulate General Mumbai (Bombay)
C-49, G-Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai 400051
telephone: +91-22-2672-4000
·     U.S. Consulate General Chennai (Madras)
220 Anna Salai, Gemini Circle, 600006
telephone: +91-44-2857-4000
·     U.S. Consulate General Kolkata (Calcutta)
5/1 Ho Chi Minh Sarani, 700071
telephone: +91-33-3984-2400.
·     U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad
Paigah Palace, 1-8-323, Chiran Fort Lane, Begumpet, Secunderabad 500003
telephone: +91-40-4033-8300.
·     State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
·     India Travel Advisory and Country Page
·     Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive security updates
·     Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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05/26
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AND THE EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY

Chapter: ASEI National

With the rise of Artificial Intelligence in recent years, disrupting almost every industry it touches is inevitable. Rise of “new collar" jobs requiring skills and not degrees'' has been evident since the past couple of years. Leaders who are in tune with social trends know very well that we need to prepare citizens and youth for job descriptions that have not yet been defined. Means of doing everything better is continually being explored and with traditional jobs being threatened, the “future of work” has been a common theme of discussions in corporate circles. Over the past few years there was already a debate about the efficacy of our K-12 and college education system and how “flipping the classroom” would challenge the traditional expensive college education system.
 
And then COVID-19 struck the world. Major economies and life itself seemed to come to a standstill. However, thanks to the internet and advancement in Education Technologies, while maintaining social distancing, students were able to stay at home and get connected to their schools and teachers virtually. Work from Home (WFH) became the norm rather than a desirable perk. In such a transformed word, acceleration of digital transformation of all industries is happening rapidly and we are now living in a world that has to deal with everything being reimagined. Including Education.
 
Education technology (EdTech) is a term we use to describe the industry that combines education and technological advances, revolutionizing the conventional landscape of education. EdTech not only allows educational institutions to serve a larger and more diverse audience, but also enables educational participants, both teachers and students, to foster relationships in an interactive fashion.
 
As you can appreciate, EdTech solutions have been becoming part of our everyday lives whether you are a student, parent, educator or knowledge worker in the industry or a professional from any field who is keen on keeping their skills up-to date.
 
In our “Getting Real with Engineering” series of virtual events, ASEI brings together domain experts and we discuss things from an engineering mindset. This time we decided to focus on Education Technology and conducted a webinar with 3 panelists representing different perspectives of education technology Academics, Technology, Venture Capital and Business. This post provides a bird’s eye view of what transpired when Amrish Chopra and Piyush Malik hosted Dr Preetha Ram, Rohit Chhabra and Narendra Shankar.
 
First, we had, Dr. Preetha Ram, who previously was an educator and dean of Emory university and went on to start an education technology startup which had a successful exit a few years ago. She is currently working for Pier 70 ventures and investing in the next generation of educational technology companies. Dr. Ram defined the current state of affairs at universities whereby universities and colleges with low endowment and low ranking may not survive the current crisis of low or no enrollment due to COVID-19 pandemic. This crisis now provides us with an opportunity for disruptive innovation in the academic field. New technologies will be used for educating students such as AR/VR immersive learning, using AI and adaptive learning to tailor education to specific students. With several universities going online, we may also see partnership’s with big tech companies and educational institutions.
 
Next we had Rohit Chhabra who is Vice President of educational technology operations at Zovio which runs an online-only university called Ashford University. Ashford University offers associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in more than 50 areas. Rohit’s view from an already established online university which is already supporting 20,000 plus students. Rohit talked about the challenges in running an online university from a student as well as schools’ point of view. From students’ viewpoint some challenges were: adapting to online learning, keeping motivated, finding the right school, etc. From the school's point of view, it is challenging to convert a regular course to an online course, train faculty, technology help desk for teacher and class and define the value proposition for online education. Given all this there are opportunities available for providing better online education. Some areas were providing better learning and collaboration tools, assessment automation, target course work for individual needs, etc. Finally, Rohit talked about increase in online enrollment numbers as students look for university’s having online presence as it provides them the flexibility.
 
Our third panelist, Narendra Shankar is currently the global head of business at Udacity - an educational startup ‘unicorn” providing focused education and skill training for students. Narendra talked about how there will be increased loss of jobs due to automation and still companies are saying that talent shortage is their number one risk.
 
Narendra talked about how they have built a new type of degree, called NanoDegree, which provides practical and specific skill training for less cost than the Universities program. All education is done online. Udacity delivers their educational material by providing an immersive curriculum with support from mentors and real-world projects. Narendra mentioned that traditional universities are working with Udacity to provide more of a blended experience for students.
 
Key Take Aways:
 
Some key takeaways from the panel discussion and audience questions that ensued:
 
Current educational system is ripe for disruption and COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the process
 
Low ranking and low endowment universities will have to adapt to new technology or become defunct
 
Future of education is more and more online with traditional universities partnering with technology companies to provide education. Google-Stanford University anyone?
 
Traditional University may be replaced or supplemented with online degrees (such as NanoDegree.)
 
There are a number of opportunities for technologists and engineers to take the education Industry to the next level . Some areas are Augmented Reality, Blockchain, Assessment of exams, etc.
 
Overall this session was full of ideas and thoughts on current and future of educational technology and opportunities for engineers. The future of EdTech in a Post COVID word seems promising. Some PreCovid era projections placed the US Ed Tech market at nearly $50 Billion by the end of 2020 growing at 9% year over year but now it will grow much rapidly. Schools, businesses, parents and individuals, everyone wants to be part of the EdTech evolution- why would anyone not want to capitalize? If you would like to know further, watch the video and get in touch for more info.The Video for this session is being posted for the ASEI members here.
 

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05/24
Digital Transformation and the Education Technology Industry

Chapter: Silicon Valley

 
With the rise of Artificial Intelligence in recent years, disrupting almost every industry it touches is inevitable.  Rise of “new collar" jobs requiring skills and not degrees'' has been evident since the past couple of years. Leaders who are in tune with social trends know very well that we need to prepare citizens and youth for job descriptions that have not yet been defined.  Means of doing everything better is continually  being explored and with  traditional jobs being threatened, the “future of work” has been a common theme of discussions in corporate circles. 
Over the past few years there was already a debate about the efficacy of our K-12 and college education system and how “flipping the classroom” would challenge  the traditional expensive college education system.  
 
And then COVID-19 struck the world. 
Major economies and life itself seemed to come to a standstill.  However, thanks to the internet and advancement in Education Technologies, while maintaining social distancing, students were able to stay at home and get connected to their schools and teachers virtually.  Work from Home (WFH)  became the norm rather than a desirable perk. In such a transformed word, acceleration of digital  transformation of all industries is happening rapidly  and we are now living in a world that has to deal with everything being reimagined. Including Education.
 
Education technology (EdTech) is a term we use to describe the industry that combines education and technological advances, revolutionizing the conventional landscape of education. EdTech not only allows educational institutions to serve a larger and more diverse audience, but also enables educational participants, both teachers and students, to foster relationships in an interactive fashion. 
As you can appreciate, EdTech solutions have been  becoming part of our everyday lives whether you are a student, parent, educator or knowledge worker  in the industry or a professional from any field who is keen on keeping their skills up-to date . 
In our “Getting Real with Engineering” series of virtual events, ASEI  brings together domain experts and we discuss things from an engineering mindset.  This time we decided to focus on Education Technology and conducted  a webinar with 3 panelists representing  different perspectives  of education technology Academics, Technology, Venture Capital  and Business. This post  provides a bird’s eye view of what transpired when Amrish Chopra and Piyush Malik hosted Dr Preetha Ram, Rohit Chhabra and Narendra Shankar.
First, we had, Dr. Preetha Ram, who previously was an educator and dean of Emory university and went on to start an education technology startup which had a successful exit a few years ago. She is currently working for Pier 70 ventures and investing in the next generation of educational technology companies. Dr. Ram defined the current state of affairs at  universities whereby universities and colleges with low endowment and low ranking may not survive the current crisis of low or no enrollment due to COVID-19 pandemic. This crisis now provides us with an opportunity for disruptive innovation in the academic field. New technologies will be used for educating students such as AR/VR immersive learning, using AI and adaptive learning to tailor education to specific students. With several universities going online, we may also see partnership’s with big tech companies and educational institutions.

Next we had Rohit Chhabra who is Vice President of educational technology operations at Zovio which runs an online-only university called Ashford University. Ashford University offers associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in more than 50 areas. Rohit’s view from an already established online university which is already supporting 20,000 plus students. Rohit talked about the challenges in running an online university from a student as well as schools’ point of view. From students’ viewpoint some challenges were: adapting to online learning, keeping motivated, finding the right school, etc. From the school's point of view, it is challenging to convert a regular course to an online course, train faculty, technology help desk for teacher and class and define the value proposition for online education. Given all this there are opportunities available for providing better online education. Some areas were providing better learning and collaboration tools, assessment automation, target course work for individual needs, etc. Finally, Rohit talked about increase in online  enrollment numbers as students look for university’s having online presence as it provides them the flexibility.
 
Our third panelist, Narendra Shankar is currently the global head of business at Udacity - an educational startup ‘unicorn” providing focused education and skill training for students. Narendra talked about how there will be increased loss of jobs due to automation and still companies are saying that talent shortage is their number one risk. Narendra talked about how they have built a new type of degree, called NanoDegree, which provides practical and specific skill training for less cost than the Universities program. All education is done online. Udacity delivers their educational material by providing an immersive curriculum with support from mentors and real-world projects. Narendra mentioned that traditional universities are working with Udacity to provide more of a blended experience for students.
.  
Key Take Aways:
Some key takeaways from the panel discussion and audience questions that ensued :


Current educational system is ripe for disruption and COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the process


Low ranking and low endowment universities will have to adapt to new technology or become defunct


Future of education is more and more online with traditional universities partnering with technology companies to provide education. Google-Stanford University anyone?


Traditional University may be replaced or supplemented with online degrees (such as NanoDegree.)


There are a number of opportunities for technologists and engineers to take the education Industry  to the next level . Some areas are Augmented Reality, Blockchain, Assessment of exams, etc.


 
Overall this session was full of  ideas and thoughts on current and future of educational technology and opportunities for  engineers. The future of EdTech in a Post COVID word seems  promising. Some PreCovid era  projections placed the US Ed Tech market at nearly $50 Billion by the end of 2020 growing at 9% year over year but now it will grow much  rapidly.  Schools, businesses, parents and individuals, everyone wants to be part of the EdTech evolution- why would anyone not want to capitalize? If you would like to know further, watch the video and get in touch for more info.The Video for this session is being posted for the ASEI members here.

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05/16
Role of Technology in Education in a post COVID era

Chapter: Silicon Valley

Education is a great equalizer and thanks to internet and advanced technologies, we now have the ability to get educated from anywhere in the world especially in the current #covid19 era.The EdTech market size has been expanding at rates ranging from 8.3% to 9.28%. Earlier projections placed the US market at nearly $50 Billion by end of 2020 as compared to $43 billion in 2019 and $39.33 billion in 2018.There are learning solutions for literally everyone. Schools, businesses, parents and individuals, everyone wants to be part of the EdTech evolution!Coursera and Khan Academy were early trailblazers but where is the EdTech industry now headed?ASEI Silicon Valley Chapter is Looking forward to hosting and moderating  perspectives and debate amongst three #edtech experts on future trends in a Post COVID Era: Dr Preetha Ram (Formerly an Edtech CEO, Academic, Dean of Emory University and a current VC) Rohit Chhabra Ed Tech Executive and Narendar Shankar an Executive from Udacity. #edtechchat ASEI Tech Talks hosted by Amrish Chopra ASEI Silicon Valley 

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04/24
HealthTech innovations and Impact on Society

Chapter: Silicon Valley

Learnings and KTAs
Hope each of you reading this is staying healthy and safe. In case you missed our live session with Healthcare Innovators, here is a brief summary of our recent event.
Facilitated by Santosh Ankola, Head of Product at Techcrunch and Piyush Malik, President of ASEI Silicon Valley chapter, we opened up the discussion stating the obvious - The current COVID-19 pandemic is not the first one and certainly not the last one to hit us. Beset with high costs and convoluted workflows, it takes many years to find a cure and drug approvals for humans can take upto a decade. Last few decades has given all the necessary platforms in the form of Internet, Mobile, Big Data and Cloud. With technology advancement, more and more investors are investing into Health tech. But still, the majority population feels that Healthcare in the US is broken and given we had an expert from UK as well as US, we got to hear from both their points of view.
Our medical expert, Dr Sriram Iyer is a senior Respiratory & Sleep Physician based in Liverpool, UK. He works in one of the largest sleep disorder centers in England. He is currently providing expertise at the forefront of the National Health Service COVID-19 response in Northwest England. He has previously held senior management and education roles in the NHS and was a visiting sleep consultant at the Univ of British Columbia Hospital in Vancouver.He has a sub-specialist interest in lung cancer, pleural disease and sleep disorders and is published extensively in these fields. He is also the Director/Founder of a private sleep health company, Sleep Vitality, which provides expertise in management of sleep disorders. He is a sleep expert for the Welsh Rugby Union.He qualified as a doctor in Bangalore and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London. He holds a creative writing certificate from Simon Fraser University (Vancouver). During our discussion, Dr Iyer described how he is spending long hours at his hospital in serving COVID patients and emphasized how technology companies are coming up with ventilators and also how Personal Protective equipment (PPE) are important. Given the current situation, the demand of PPE is huge.
Our other panelist Dilip Goswami is an engineer - inventor - entrepreneur cum CEO who shared the story behind his own challenges with respiratory problems as a young child that inspired his father Dr Yogi Goswami to develop the PECA technology behind Molekule , the company that he runs along with his Co-CEO dad. Together with Dr. Goswami and his sister, Jaya, Dilip co-founded Molekule to commercialize this life-changing technology. Dilip previously served as VP of Technology at Advanced Technologies & Testing Laboratories where he led research & development. He holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Florida. Dileep shared how his startup has recently raised money ($38M Series C ) from venture capitalists to expand and then dived into the funding aspects for healthcare industry in general. Future of funding for healthcare looks really promising. Big plus point with US is the funding available from various pools. However, there are challenges with the venture funding due to limited partners pulling back. Also there are several challenges with the matching funding for the people that really need it. Smaller hospitals find it hard to find funding to even get the PPEs and ventilators. Dr Iyer emphasized on the major economic recession that will follow this pandemic. It remains to be seen how the funding will flow into research and development activities. The healthcare systems are so different globally. Scary as it sounds, Corona iterations are going to repeat over next several months and we need to be prepared to handle it. But with smart healthcare systems, things should be easier to learn and emerge to face such outbursts will be handled better. Best example is South Korea where the Corona outbreak was handled very well (proximity checking) due to their previous experience. Taking questions from the audience, moderator and facilitator steered the conversation away from the current situation to life sciences and healthcare industry trends and future direction. The discussion then moved on to care and prevention of diseases in general. Telehealth options have been in US for a while now, however it is picking up well as no one wants to go to hospital in person for obvious reasons. However, monitoring patients at home can have its own challenges considering the safety and also to monitor the deteriorating patients closely. Healthcare startups are seeing lot of benefits both ways and this is another area which can expand and benefit everyone in the future. Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality (VR/AR) and Artificial Intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) will drive the future of health care which will help with more advance treatments as well as preventative measures such as more accurate cancer screening etc. With these technologies, screening can be easily accelerated and early detection can become a reality.
In conclusion, the key take aways were :
1)Ensure not to get affected by inaccurate news on social media. Focus should not be on how many people died. Very important not to panic based on what is out there on social media.
2) Majority of the people who get infected by Corona will have mild symptoms.
3) Focus for everyone should be on the basic things that are already known: Hand hygiene, social distancing, personal protective equipment (PPE). Also this is evolving space and we are all learning together. Keep current on the information from the valid authorities!! Be vigilant on where you are sourcing the information from
4) How this pandemic shapes the future of Healthtech and its advancement will be an interesting topic to pay attention to and many opportunities for innovation will emerge. This could be the catalyst that is required to catapult healthtech.
Smart inhalers, robotic surgery, wireless brain sensors, artificial organs, 3-D printing, telehealth are just a few of the major advancements in the recent years. However, we are still in the early innings in the advancement and utilizing technology in the Health industry. We thank the army of doctors and nurses along with healthcare innovators at the forefront of dealing with the existential crisis and firmly believe we will emerge from the current crisis much stronger.
 
The video recording of the event is available for ASEI members here.

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04/16
ASEI amps up STEM support for 5th year in a row in Silicon Valley

Chapter: Silicon Valley

ASEI Silicon Valley continues its STEM program for fifth year in a row by sponsoring top three awards for each high school grade 9th through 12th at the 2020 Santa Clara county science fair (aka Synopsys Championship).This year due to the COVID-19 social distancing advisory and for abundance of caution towards the health and safety of all, this event was adapted from a traditional in-person interaction to a digital format. Selecting twelve promising projects from over 1000 entries was not easy but thanks to ASEI silicon valley board members and volunteers the excellent work of students was recognized. We saw an abundance of application of emerging technologies like IoT, BioMedical Engineering and Software incorporating Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning techniques to human problems. Special thanks to 3rd time repeat judge Rakesh Guliani and our new volunteer Lakshmi Patil for lending a helping hand with this program this year.

Here's the list of winning projects:

9th Grade Winners

Divya Venkataraman “Picture Perfect Diet: An app to classify food products, with OCR, for recommending substitutes based on a chosen diet “

Nidhi Mathihalli “An Application to help the Visually Impaired read Money using AI/Machine Learning”

Isha Jagadish “ Improving Awareness of the Visually Impaired with a Wearable Device Using Computer Vision, AI, and a Voice-Driven App”

Grade 10 winners

Adarsh Ambati “Contactless, Vital Signs Monitor using PhotoPlethysmographic Imaging, InfraredSensing Techniques, & Computer Vision“

Ria Sinha “Machine Learning Based Digital Assistant for the Deaf “

Ojas Karnavat “Designing a public alert system that provides available exit routes when fire is detected in an enterprise facility”


Grade 11 winners

Samarth Girish “Chill Pill: An AI Based Mobile Application to Detect Counterfeit Medication “

Dhruv Jatkar & Achintya Sanjay & Sachin Iyer “ Determining the Viability of Cell-Compatible Organic Stents Using Bio-Printing”

Dinesh Thirumavalavan “Using a convolution LSTM-based deep neural network to accurately identify and
classify hate speech on Twitter”

12th Grade Winners

Pranav Kakhandiki “Determining Organ Degeneration using Bio-Terminal Polarity “

Anusha Ghosh “Translation of American Sign Language Through the Use of Computer Vision “

Aryia Dattamajumdar “Fires from Space: A robust synthetic control method and robotic system for wildfire management “


On behalf of the ASEI BOD, we congratulate and wish each of these bright young minds a very successful career in science and technology and look forward to their contributions to industry and society in the future.

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04/14
HealthTech Trends and Future in a post COVID world - ASEI Webinar 04/20/2020

Chapter: ASEI National


Healthcare in the US is broken. The current COVID-19 Pandemic is not the first one and certainly not the last one to hit us. Beset with high costs and convoluted workflows, it takes many years to find a cure and drug approvals for humans can take upto a decade. Last few decades has given all the necessary platforms in the form of Internet, Mobile, Big Data and Cloud. With technology advancement, more and more investors are investing into Health tech.

Smart inhalers, robotic surgery, wireless brain sensors, artificial organs, 3-D printing, telehealth are just a few of the major advancements in the recent years. However, we are still in the early innings in the advancement and utilizing technology in the Health industry.

As we were hopeful to see the next version of Healthtech and benefits to society, the world economy has come to a standstill because of a pandemic. How will this pandemic shape the future of healthtech and its advancement? Will this be the catalyst that is required to catapult healthtech or will the slowdown in the economy stop the healthtech juggernaut in its stride?


ASEI Silicon Valley Chapter will be hosting a panel discussion next week (April 20th, 2020) with HLS experts and innovators in conversation moderated by Santosh Ankola, Head of Product at TechCrunch

Our distinguished speakers of this online session are
1) Dilip Goswami (Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Molekule)
Dilip’s chronic struggle with allergies and asthma issues from a young age inspired his father, Dr. Yogi Goswami, to develop the technology behind Molekule. Together with Dr. Goswami and his sister, Jaya, Dilip co-founded Molekule to commercialize this life-changing technology.

Dilip previously served as VP of Technology at Advanced Technologies & Testing Laboratories where he led research & development. He holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Florida.

2) Dr Sriram Iyer

Dr Sriram Iyer is a senior Respiratory & Sleep Physician based in Liverpool, UK. He works in one of the largest sleep disorder centers in England. He is currently providing expertise at the forefront of the National Health Service Covid-19 response in Northwest England.
He has previously held senior management and education roles in the NHS and was a visiting sleep consultant at the Univ of British Columbia Hospital in Vancouver.
He has a sub-specialist interest in lung cancer, pleural disease and sleep disorders and is published extensively in these fields.
He is also the Director/Founder of a private sleep health company, Sleep Vitality, which provides expertise in management of sleep disorders. He is a sleep expert for the Welsh Rugby Union.
He qualified as a doctor in Bangalore and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London. He holds a creative writing certificate from Simon Fraser University (Vancouver).

In this session, we will focus on few major aspects of Health Tech:

Effect of Pandemic like Coronavirus
-More focus on Telehealth
-Better predictive models; Using Data effectively; IoT
-Economic impact and the effect on funding in future
-ML/AI - Large advancements in NLP, is this the time for computational chemistry

Challenges of using technology
-Training physicians with use of new technology
-Data privacy and security for patients and physicians affordability

Looking beyond the pandemic:
-Innovation Avenues in HLS
-Latest trends

more
04/10
Health Alert: U.S. Mission to India

Chapter: ASEI National

This updates our message of April 5, 2020 with new instructions for U.S. citizens who are seeking assistance in returning to the United States. Please read it carefully.

Now is the time to act if you want to return to the United States. The U.S. Mission India is facilitating a series of flights to the United States this week, including:

· Delhi to San Francisco – April 6

· Delhi to San Francisco – April 7

· Delhi to San Francisco – April 8

· Mumbai to Atlanta – April 7

· Mumbai to Atlanta – April 10

We do not know for how long U.S. government-organized flights returning to the United States will continue after this week. We urge U.S. citizens who want to return to the United States to take advantage of the current opportunities.

Please see below for specifics depending on your location in India. U.S. citizens interested in a seat on a flight must do two things:

· Complete the form at https://tinyurl.com/uscit-india so that the U.S. embassy has your specific information and location, and

· Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at https://step.state.gov/to receive critical information from the embassy concerning flight opportunities.

All passengers MUST have a valid U.S. passport or other U.S. travel document (e.g. green card, visa) to board the flight. If any member of your party does not have a currently valid U.S. travel document, please note this in the form.

For U.S. citizens in northern and eastern India: The Embassy is facilitating transportation to Delhi from some cities in northern and eastern India and will make those details available to U.S. citizens via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)once the arrangements are finalized. Currently, we are planning flights from Dehradun (April 6), Amritsar (April 7), and Chandigarh (April 7) to Delhi for onward flights to San Francisco. We are also planning for bus transportation to Delhi from Ludhiana (April 6) and Dharamshala (April 7). Given the situation on the ground, even these plans are subject to change. We urge U.S. citizens to be ready to depart on short notice.

Travelers may wish to make arrangements to stay at hotels near the Indira Gandhi International Airport, the following Delhi hotels are currently accepting reservations from U.S. citizens: Andaz Aerocity, JW Marriott Aerocity, Leela Ambience Gurgaon, Pullman Aerocity, Leela Palace, Hyatt Regency, Taj Palace, and ITC Maurya. In addition, OYO Hotels has offered rooms to U.S. citizens in the Delhi/NCR region. OYO hotels near the Airport include OYO 19046 Hotel Airport Suites and OYO 9030 Hotel Delhi Airport Plaza.

For U.S. citizens in southern and western India: We are arranging domestic charter flights from Chennai (April 7 and April 10), and Hyderabad (April 7and April 10) to allow U.S. citizens from those areas to reach Mumbai in time for onward flights to the United States. We are also working to arrange transportation for U.S. citizens in Bangalore to Chennai for the April 10 Chennai-Mumbai flight, and will make those details available via STEP once the arrangements are finalized.

Passengers with confirmed flights who are based outside Mumbai and using ground transportation should arrive the day before the flight and are responsible for finding accommodations. The consulate negotiated a special rate for hotel reservations at the Sofitel BKC and the Trident BKC. To make a reservation and for pricing information, contact the hotel directly and ask to speak with a manager. These hotels are within walking distance of the U.S. consulate, though passengers may choose to arrange their own accommodations and transportation to and from the consulate.

Flights from New Delhi and Mumbai are chartered by the U.S. government and the final cost per ticket has not yet been determined. Confirmed passengers must sign an evacuation loan repayment agreement; no payment is required up front. Passengers will be billed by the U.S. Department of State after the completion of the trip. Tickets are available through this billing mechanism only and may not be purchased directly or in advance. In addition to the cost of the flight, you will be billed for any U.S. government-chartered ground transportation. You are responsible for arranging and paying for any other expenses, such as hotel stays, meals, and onward domestic travel in the United States.

Seats on U.S. government repatriation flights are allocated based on established evacuation guidelines that prioritize passengers using a variety of criteria, including age and certain medical conditions. Some passengers who meet priority criteria have already received invitations to submit additional information. Confirmed passengers must sign an evacuation loan repayment agreement. If you have filled out the form at https://tinyurl.com/uscit-india, but have not received an invitation, please continue to monitor your email, including in your spam and junk folders. Note that those who have received invitations should follow the reply instructions within the time frame specified in the email, or their seat may be offered to another passenger.

We recommend you monitor our social media (https://twitter.com/USAndIndia and https://www.facebook.com/India.usembassy/) in addition to our website, and for U.S. citizens to consider using private group messaging apps to facilitate travel to Delhi or Mumbai for repatriation flights to the United States.

We urge all U.S. citizens seeking to depart India on charter flights to be vigilant about scammers. There are several individuals claiming to be organizing charter flights to the United States and soliciting personal data and money. The Indian government will only authorize flights in conjunction with the U.S. government. Only flights being organized directly by the U.S. Embassy or consulates have been approved by the Government of India. Please do not provide any information to entities not directly affiliated with the U.S. government. We urge you to continue to monitor the official information being pushed out through STEP notifications, on the embassy’s website, and on our Facebook (U.S. Embassy India) and Twitter (@USandIndia) accounts.

We encourage all U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents who wish to return to the United States to evaluate their options and risks. Current Government of India and Center for Disease Control guidelines advise sheltering in place where possible to do so.

Actions to Take:

· Check your email regularly for messages from the U.S. Mission to India and consider carefully whether to take advantage of the flights being offered now. There are no guarantees there will be additional flights.

· Have your travel documents ready. A valid U.S. passport and Indian visa will be required for travel.

· Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

· Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19.

· For information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.

· Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information regarding U.S. and foreign countries’ quarantine requirements and other global impacts. Please also refer to the state.gov FAQs.

· Check with your airlines or cruise lines regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.

· Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in India.

· Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website for the latest travel restrictions affecting travel to the United States.

· Review the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website for information on COVID-19 and Indian travel advisories.

Assistance:

· U.S. Embassy New Delhi
Shanti Path, Chanakyapuri 110021
telephone: +91-11-2419-8000
https://in.usembassy.gov

· U.S. Consulate General Mumbai (Bombay)
C-49, G-Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai 400051
telephone: +91-22-2672-4000

· U.S. Consulate General Chennai (Madras)
220 Anna Salai, Gemini Circle, 600006
telephone: +91-44-2857-4000

· U.S. Consulate General Kolkata (Calcutta)
5/1 Ho Chi Minh Sarani, 700071
telephone: +91-33-3984-2400.

· U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad
Paigah Palace, 1-8-323, Chiran Fort Lane, Begumpet, Secunderabad 500003
telephone: +91-40-4033-8300.

· State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

· India Travel Advisory and Country Page

· Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive security updates

· Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

END:

This News article is a courtesy of Health Alert. Please visit appropriate website or contact listed in this news. ASEI has not verified or responsible for any information.

more
04/10
New Registration Procedure for Repatriation Flights

Chapter: ASEI National