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Prof. Lee Jackson, University of Calgary; Scientific Director, Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets

Prof. Lee Jackson, University of Calgary; Scientific Director, Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets

By Lee Jackson

As water travels through and across a watershed, its quantity and quality changes dramatically based on human activities and the things – usually chemicals – that we add to it.

Understanding the increasing pressures on watersheds has been the work of the Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets (ACWA) and IBM Alberta Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS). The partnership, which just celebrated its 10 anniversary, brings together the latest data tools to tackle one of the biggest challenges in managing water – ensuring that people across the watershed have a fuller understanding of what is taking place. Continue Reading »

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Rick Relyea, left, director of the Jefferson Project at Lake George; and Harry Kolar, IBM Distinguished Engineer and associate director.

Rick Relyea, left, director of the Jefferson Project at Lake George; and Harry Kolar, IBM Distinguished Engineer and associate director.

By Harry Kolar

New York’s Lake George is a pristine, 32-mile-long lake in the Adirondack Mountains that is noted for its water quality and clarity. While the lake is very clean, it faces multiple anthropogenic threats, including road salt incursion and several invasive species.

The Jefferson Project at Lake George, a joint research collaboration involving Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, IBM Research, and the FUND for Lake George, is focused on protecting the lake and helping address the world’s looming freshwater supply challenges.

The project involves more than 60 scientists around the world (four IBM Research labs are involved), including biologists, computer scientists, physicists, engineers and chemists. Working as a virtual team, we’re pushing the boundaries in Internet-of-Things sensors, data analytics, and modeling of complex natural systems. Continue Reading »

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Robert Griffin, General Manager, IBM Safer Planet

Robert Griffin, General Manager, IBM Safer Planet

By Robert Griffin

We live in a dangerous world. You know the threats as well as I do. But we don’t have to live in fear. I’m convinced that technology can help police, corporate security officers, national security agencies and emergency management officials do their jobs better–making people, companies, cities and countries safer.

Situational intelligence is the key to making the world less dangerous. The more we know, the better prepared we are when the worst happens–and the more likely we are to be able to prevent it. To know more, we need to be able to sift through all the evidence to understand what’s happening now, and why, and what’s likely to happen next. Continue Reading »

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June 17th, 2015
6:38
 

Ron Ambrosio, CTO, Smarter Energy Research, IBM

Ron Ambrosio, CTO, Smarter Energy Research, IBM

By Ron Ambrosio

You walk into a room at night and flip the light switch on the wall. The lights come on. You didn’t think twice about that …you were certain it would work. While we’re not at that point everywhere in the world yet, it is true of most industrialized regions that electricity is a highly reliable resource. But the reality behind that simple action of turning on a light switch is a constantly evolving list of uncertainties that utilities deal with 24/7.

Uncertainty takes many forms in the utility industry, from the health of individual devices as they age, to volatility of fuel prices, to the behavior of you, the consumer, and your use of electricity or natural gas. And uncertainty can be equated to risk — the risk of failing to achieve both operational and business objectives. That’s not a risk any business wants to take. Continue Reading »

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Bob Picciano, Sr.VP, IBM Analytics

Bob Picciano, Sr. VP, IBM Analytics

By Bob Picciano

Over the weekend, a room full of top developers competed in a hackathon in San Francisco–vying for bragging rights to coding on top of the Spark data-processing engine. The winners will be announced later, but, based on the results of an internal IBM hackathon a few weeks ago, I can give you the bottom line: these competitions show that Spark could shake up data analytics just like the Linux operating system blew the lid off the Internet a decade ago.

Today, large-scale data processing is available mainly to corporations, government agencies and universities. Spark, an open source software project under the Apache Software Foundation umbrella, has the potential to place these capabilities at the fingertips of all types of people and organizations all over the world. The goal: deeper and faster insights. Continue Reading »

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June 12th, 2015
21:51
 

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Owlet Baby Care's smart sock baby monitor.

Owlet Baby Care’s smart sock baby monitor.

By Jordan Monroe

I can still remember the first time tears blurred the view of my computer screen after receiving an email from a customer.

I had been working at Owlet for over a year at this point, and I had heard many tragic stories of parents losing a child due to suffocation or health conditions. However, this time was different. It was the first email I received after my son James was born. I struggled to even finish this message from a fellow parent.

SP newwaytostartup1Something very primal happens to your brain when you have a child. It’s like your heart is pulled apart and put back together again. You feel so much deeper than you even realized you were capable of. Now when I read emails or do presentations, getting all choked up is a common occurrence.  Continue Reading »

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Waynes World

(Image: Wayne Watrach, Visual Media, IBM)

By Suman Mukherjee and Forsyth Alexander

As the world waits anxiously for the fourth installment of the popular Jurassic Park movie series to be released Friday, we thought it would be fun to look into the social buzz for the upcoming summer blockbuster.

As fans, we were curious about things like, where the most Twitter chatter was happening, how tweets were breaking down by gender, overall sentiment, peak times for chatter, and more.

So we uploaded some Twitter data about Jurassic World into Watson Analytics, IBM’s natural-language cloud-based analytics service, and within minutes began unearthing pretty interesting insights, such as: the country with the most tweets so far is Chile; on the whole, women are tweeting more than men; and Portugal has the highest number of positive tweets, but also the most negative. Continue Reading »

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Dr. Daniel Oehme, Postdoctoral Researcher, IBM Research - Australia

Dr. Daniel Oehme, Postdoctoral Researcher, IBM Research – Australia

By Dr. Daniel Oehme

Over the millennia our ability to utilise plants in many different ways has allowed us to flourish as a species. Most importantly, they turn our waste carbon dioxide into oxygen.

But we have also used plants to provide shelter, to publish and transmit information on paper and as a food source. In fact, developing new ways to utilise plants has even led to population explosions throughout time, such as when we first developed granaries to store grain thousands of years ago. In these modern times of climate change, global warming, ever-increasing populations and fossil fuels, plants have never been more important. Continue Reading »

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Arvind Krishna, Dir., IBM Research

Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice President, IBM Research

By Arvind Krishna

Chemists at Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch consumer products giant, used to spend up to three months in their laboratories creating new formulations for liquid cleaning products. Now, they can perform the same work in 45 minutes or less–thanks to a collaboration between Unilever, one of the United Kingdom’s national laboratories and IBM.

Unilever product developers use iPads to set up tests and experiments, run simulations on an IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputer at the UK’s Hartree Centre lab, and see their results in 3D visualizations that help them explore the data and make discoveries that otherwise might elude them.

This is an example of what’s possible when government, businesses and tech companies combine forces to bring the power of supercomputing and sophisticated data analytics to bear on business problems. It’s also an example of the kind of collaboration I expect to see flourish as a result of an agreement IBM is announcing today with Britain’s Science & Technology Facility Council.

Continue Reading »

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Artist Stephen Holding paints a mural for recent World of Watson event.

Artist Stephen Holding paints a mural for recent World of Watson event.

By Ying Li

In the same way ingredients connote flavors, colors and images can indicate moods and send messages.

This concept is driving new research here at IBM to better understand color relationships and their potential impact on everything from product design to classroom layouts.

Machines have been able to render different colors since the first color monitors. With a mix of code numbers for red, green, and blue, a computer knows that “0, 0, 0” equals black, that “255, 255, 0” is yellow, and so on. Other codes represent hue, saturation, and brightness of a color as well. Continue Reading »

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