U.S. Department of Commerce Communications: Advancing Measurement Science with NIST

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U.S. Department of Commerce
Innovation (1/19/16)
Weekly updates on what we’re doing to foster a more innovative U.S. economy—one that is better at inventing, improving, and commercializing products and technologies.
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(by Dr. Brandi Toliver, Physical Scientist and Academic Affairs Program Manager, NIST) In today’s job market, competition is fierce. Good grades are not enough to land a job or even pursue a graduate degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, commonly known as STEM. Before you graduate, you’ll need real-world experience to help you stand out from the crowd. A summer internship can give you that experience.
(by Howard Yoon, Physicist, Optical Radiation Group, Sensor Science Division) As a physicist who explores ways to measure light more accurately, it should come as no surprise that I’m fascinated by even common optical phenomena that we see all around us. For instance, rainbows occur because light travels through water and air at different speeds and because different colors of light travel at different speeds through water. Oil slicks on water, opal and butterfly wings look the way they do because of the way light waves bouncing off of different surfaces or facets interfere with one another.
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have simulated a new concept for rapid, accurate gene sequencing by pulling a DNA molecule through a tiny, chemically activated hole in graphene—an ultrathin sheet of carbon atoms—and detecting changes in electrical current.
FirstNet has released a number of documents through its newly deployed Reading Room.  It contains documents and data files which may provide users an increased understanding of FirstNet and its objectives. These files are publicly available to any interested party and are for informational purposes only.
(by Willie E. May, Director of NIST and Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology) Welcome to the brand new NIST blog, Taking Measure. Taking measure is what we do at NIST, both figuratively and literally. We are constantly looking ahead to where science and technology are going so that we can figure out how to best serve our country. Our researchers are experts in measurement science, which is key to—among other things—making sure that you get the right dose of medicine, that car and computer parts built around the world fit together, and that we have the foundational knowledge we need to create new technologies.
(by Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee) After much excitement in the last few months of 2015 with the opening of our final two regional offices—the West Coast Regional Office in Silicon Valley in October and our Texas Regional Office in Dallas in November—I’m happy to announce that Molly Kocialski will be the Director of the Rocky Mountain Regional United States Patent and Trademark Office in Denver, Colorado. With Molly’s addition, all four of our regional offices now have directors, making us well-positioned to fully advance the mission of the USPTO as America’s Innovation Agency.
The Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) initiative announced today that NASA will become the fifth interagency member to the join the growing partnership. NASA will work closely with PAGE members who focus their efforts towards supporting entrepreneurship in the science and technology sectors.
In July 2015, NTIA commissioned the Census Bureau to conduct the latest Computer and Internet Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS). NTIA uses this survey to help understand why, where, and how Americans use the Internet, as well as what barriers stand in the way of effective Internet use. We are awaiting the results of the latest survey, which has been significantly redesigned to fit the changing technological landscape.
As FirstNet has noted on several occasions, meeting with state and local groups is critical to us fulfilling our mission to ensure the building of an interoperable nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN). To be successful, we must gather and incorporate feedback from public safety experts who will be using the network.
In Part One of this series, we discussed the importance of providing formal skills training and having open communication. Without further ado, here are two more workforce tips on how to implement cross-training initiatives and a formal employee engagement program.
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NIST National Institute of Standards and Technology
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MBDA Minority Business Development Agency
EDA Economic Development Administration

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Robert Williams

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