Using Sport to Inspire Careers in Science and Technology

Reading this press release from IBM (full article) I do enjoy being part of an inspiring company.

IBM Hursley hosted one hundred Year eight girls, from ten different schools around Hampshire and the surrounding counties, for a two day camp known as think.IT. The aim of the camp, which was repeated twice over the week, is to encourage girls to continue studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and eventually consider careers within the IT industry.

Split into teams so that no two girls from the same school worked together, the girls were tasked with designing and marketing a brand new product, this year in the field of Technology in Sport, before presenting their idea to a team of judges in the form of IBM executives and  Master Inventors.

The camps began with a brainstorming session during which the girls explored ideas and selected one to take to market. The girls were then taught the basics of marketing and the importance of branding and applied this knowledge to their product by developing a business plan and creating a brand logo, slogan and designing a web site. Team building exercises and mentoring on presentation skills helped them prepare for their final presentation to the judges.

Local MP for Romsey and Southampton North, Caroline Nokes, who returned again this year to watch the girls commented: “I was very impressed with the inspirational speakers and the enthusiasm shown for IT during my visit. A thoroughly enjoyable morning.”

The two winning ideas were:
–    Training Buddy. “Working out how to work out” – A smartphone application designed to offer injury prevention, treatment and nutrition advice to athletes.
–    Leaf. “The personal best trainer” – A silicone ear piece that moulds to the ear of the user, and allows an athlete to communicate wirelessly with their coach whilst training.

The runners up were:
–    Morfs – An innovative sports shoe that uses interchangeable soles, so that the same pair of shoes can be used for a variety of sports.
–    My Grip – A multi-functional grip constructed from a combination of memory foam and a non-slip rubber surface, that moulds to the shape of an athlete’s hands.

I think these are fantastic ideas they came up with, what do you think?

IBM Watson to add Citi Bank to its CV

So here I am watching I,Robot and doing my banking, which I do online because lets be honest, banking customer service is often lacking.

I then recall a colleague mentioning Watson, the IBM SuperComputer, was entering into the financial industry. It’s first job looks like it will be with Citi Bank, one of the largest institutions. With Watsons huge data crunching capabilities, you should be able to ask question such as: “How much money do I need to retire?” or “Should I reshuffle my investments given the volatility of the world markets?” And then imagine getting an expert, personalized response in just a few seconds time.

Citigroup, is the first to tap Watson’s enormous data-crunching capabilities and is planning on using the supercomputer to “analyze customer needs and process financial, economic and client data to advance and personalize digital banking.”

(I am are not sure what it says about the state of banking that it takes a robot to make it personal.)

‘Watson’ already has started working in health care. IBM formed a board on Friday that will explore how ‘Watson’ can help the health care industry. ‘Watson’ started working for WellPoint, one of the largest health insurers, in September.

 

Smarter Planet Blog – Financial Services