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Talk to the Hand

voice synthesizerWhat’s in a voice? A new gesture-to-speech synthesizer developed by researchers at the University of British Columbia adds emotion to words that text-to-speech technologies now voice only in a monotone. It also translates gestures into music.

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Computer Science Rocks!

Who says science and engineering is for nerds? Not rock star will.i.am. The technology-loving Black Eyed Peas singer thinks computer coding is so cool, he’s enrolled in a programming course at the California Institute for the Arts this fall. You can take it with him: it’s a free, massive open online course known as a MOOC.

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Smart Jammies


Sudden infant death syndrome, or crib death, is responsible in the United States for around 2,225 deaths a year of children from birth to 12 months. But German researchers have developed a stretchable, printed circuit board that could be fitted into a one-piece sleeper and would signal an alarm if a baby stops breathing. Investigators at the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM in Berlin have figured out how to make the flexible, wearable circuit board from polyurethane, a plastic often used as a sealant. They fitted it with sensors that monitor breathing in the chest and stomach areas, and ironed it onto baby-size PJs.

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Student Innovation: EnableTalk


Some engineers just can’t wait until they graduate to start innovating. Here’s one recent example: After watching a man with a speech impairment struggle to make a supermarket cashier understand him, three Ukrainian computer science students, who call themselves the QuadSquad, designed gloves fitted with 15 sensors that can understand the hand and finger gestures used in sign language.

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Engineering Scholarships: A Giant List

Scholarships that target students interested in engineering provide an excellent way to help pay for the rising costs of higher education. Since engineering scholarships are plentiful and come from a variety of sources, such as corporations, non-profits, foundations, institutions, and governmental bodies, future engineers have a host of opportunities available to them.

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