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Why We Need Diverse Perspectives in IoT – Experience from the University of Wisconsin-Madison IoT Lab

We need to create more effective mechanisms for attracting and engaging a diverse group of students in technology.  In my work as an educator and collaborator with leading companies in a variety of industries, I have noticed a trend: that including women, minorities, and those pursuing non-STEM disciplines in Internet of Things (IoT) technology-related learning is a critical issue that needs to be addressed to yield the greatest benefit from IoT.  I am personally very passionate about this topic.

IoT-800x800-ImgWhen we launched the University of Wisconsin-Madison, our Internet of Things (IoT) Lab in February 2014, one of our primary objectives was to provide students unique interdisciplinary learning and innovation experiences with IoT technologies. The IoT Lab is not associated with any course – the students who are participating in the IoT Lab are doing so because they are intrigued by and excited about IoT technologies and potential applications. This hub also serves as a campus technology sand-box and innovation community where students from diverse disciplines come together and engage in fun, social, collaborative learning and hands-on experimentation.

The IoT Lab has adopted a novel approach for successfully engaging students.  It has fostered participation by dozens of undergraduate and graduate students (a large fraction being women) representing a range of disciplines including not only engineering and computer science, but also other “non-technical” disciplines such as business, human ecology (retailing and consumer sciences), nursing, economics, journalism and mass communications, mathematics, physics, statistics, and philosophy.

There are several key insights that we have gained through our experience in engaging students with IoT.  Here are two: Read More »

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Announcing Finalists for the IoT Innovation Grand Challenge!

IoT Innovation GC Finalist IconsWhen the IoT Innovation Grand Challenge was announced in April 2014, I was a little concerned and apprehensive about the number and quality of submissions the contest would attract.  But looking back now at the overwhelming response and the fantastic submissions, I can honestly say the IoT Challenge was a tremendous success.  And it is not over yet!

The journey started in April, 2014 with only a few contest members, but it grew to a community of over 8,400 people. More than 800 submissions were received from startups all over the world and nineteen semi-finalists were announced August 1st.  The nineteen semi-finalists were given an assignment to complete.  The requirement was for each semi-finalist to submit a business plan along with a short video pitching their idea or solution.  The judging was even more difficult this round, but our six finalists have been selected!

Announcing the IoT Innovation Grand Challenge Finalists!

I am pleased to announce the six IoT Innovation Grand Challenge Finalists: Read More »

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Calling All Internet of Things Entrepreneurs!

With less than 1% of things in the physical world connected to the Internet, there is an incredible opportunity to connect the unconnected. In keeping Cisco’s commitment to drive Internet of Things innovations, Cisco announces a new initiative to recognize and support up-and-coming innovators, entrepreneurs and early-stage startup businesses that contribute to the growth and evolution of the Internet of Things – an IoT Innovation Grand Challenge!

Internet of Things Innovation Grand Challenge

Today, Cisco is announcing the Internet of Things Innovation Grand Challenge. This global open competition aims to  recognize, promote and accelerate the adoption of breakthrough technologies and products created by startup businesses that will contribute to the growth and evolution of the Internet of Things.   Read More »

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