The Bottom Line: Women In Technology

Oct 16, 2015

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment, The Bottom Line.

This week Mark and Dave discuss the barriers to women in the sciences with Johnson & Wales Dean of Engineering and Design Frank Tweedie, and Department of Engineering and Computer Science Chair Kathryn Parchesco.


Newport's Cliff Walk Gets High Tech Upgrades

Apr 29, 2015

Newport’s famous Cliff Walk is now smart-phone friendly. The tourist attraction has added 16 trail markers with quick response codes. Visitors can get historic and geological information with a quick smartphone scan.

Salve Regina University Professor Jon Marcoux worked with students to create the app.

“This is a great example of something that was doable for an undergraduate, and they did it, but hopefully it will have a big payoff for folks who are visiting.”

Marcoux said using technology increases the breadth of information available to tourists.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Women make up nearly 60 percent of the U-S workforce, but Federal Labor Department Statistics show they account for less than a quarter of all software designers. So how do you change that? One national program thinks it has the answer. It’s called Girls Who Code. Rhode Island Public Radio’s education reporter Elisabeth Harrison visited a chapter at Lincoln School in Providence.

Jay Dickson / Brown University/University of Texas/National Science Foundation

Monitoring how the climate is changing in Antarctica’s most stable environments, the desert valleys, is very difficult. But that’s what Jay Dickson, a staff scientist at Brown University’s Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, is trying to do, using time-lapse photography.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence tech startup Swipely, which has grown significantly since it was launched in 2009, says a new infusion of $20 million in venture capital funding will enable it to continue expanding a small spark of Silicon Valley in Rhode Island.

"The intent is to use those funds to continue to aggressively growing the team in all our areas, including our engineering team, our marketing and sales team, and other departments within the company," Swipely founder Angus Davis said during a news conference Thursday morning.

In a sign of the growing battle between app-based transportation services, Lyft -- which lets consumers decide how much they want to pay for a ride -- is launching in the Providence market on Friday.

While Lyft bears a few strong similarities to Uber, which came to Providence last September, Lyft spokeswoman Paige Thelen says the company emphasizes an "in-person experience" and is about "building a community."

  The Newport Police Department is trying something new for tomorrow’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade-- they're giving citizens with smart phones another way to help keep the city safe.


Cranston has become the first public library in the state to offer its patrons the use of a 3D printer.  The printer turns digital images into objects made of plastic. The machine cost about three thousand dollars but will be free to the public to use.

Cranston library director Ed Garcia says training sessions are filling up fast.

Uber, the on-demand car service that lets users summon a ride via a smart phone app, is set to formally launch in Providence on September 12 (5:30 pm at Tazza, on Westminster Street).

As I recently tweeted in reporting the company's arrival in RI, Uber is a favorite of techies and its origin points to the creative power of the Internet:

School Highlights Tech-Based Learning

Apr 1, 2013

Online learning is a tool in many Rhode Island classrooms. But a charter school opening next fall in Providence takes high tech to a whole new level.

The Village Green Charter School bills itself as Rhode Island’s first virtual learning school.  The high school will be located in Providence, near Classical High. Students will spend 60 percent of their time online or in small groups; 40 percent in traditional classroom time. School superintendent Robert Pilkington says applications for the 9th and 10th grade are pouring in.

The General Assembly Web site is adding live video streaming that will allow viewers to watch up to four committee meetings at the same time, as well as House and Senate sessions.

The content will be archived for viewing through the Web site, according to a news release:

Currently, Capitol TV airs a live House session and taped the Senate session to broadcast after. Without web-streaming, the channel could only broadcast one live committee meeting at a time.

Cyber-security -- a topic long championed by Congressman Jim Langevin -- has finally emerged as a bona fide hot topic.

Tech writer Arik Hesseldahl offers this overview Tuesday, in a piece ominously headlined, "Cyberwar with China is here, like it or not":

Lovegov, a Providence startup with three employees, is looking to link would-be political supporters with actual candidates and causes. As reports:

While schools around the state look for ways to increase their use of technology, some parents are paying thousands of dollars to send their children to a private school with no computers in the classroom at all.