Maryland Moments, December 2009
Washington Post: "Robert H. Smith, a real estate mogul and philanthropist who created the sprawling government and commercial center of Crystal City in Arlington County, and who built his family's company into the single largest property owner in the Washington region, died Dec. 29 at Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, Va. He was 81 and had a stroke. ... Having amassed a fortune in real estate, Mr. Smith devoted increased attention in recent years to philanthropy, giving hundreds of millions of dollars to universities, museums and historic landmarks. He was the single largest donor to his alma mater, the University of Maryland, which named its business school after him in 1998. Another bequest led to the university's naming its performing arts center for his wife, Clarice Smith. ... 'Bob Smith and the Charles E. Smith Companies -- along with Oliver Carr, the Cafritz family, the Gewirtz families -- set the framework of modern Washington. If you go back in time to the '60s and '70s, they began the investing in what we now know as the modern downtown Washington,' said Rich Bradley, executive director of D.C.'s Downtown Business Improvement District. ... 'The person who is afraid to take risks and make mistakes will never achieve everything of which he or she is capable,' Mr. Smith said during a 2008 commencement address at UM 'That is because failure is the marker that tells us when we have reached our limits. One of the five greatest mistakes you can make in life is to be continually afraid you will make one.' ... Mr. Smith gave nearly $100 million to UM, including $30 million each to the performing arts center and the business school. 'Bob Smith is the greatest philanthropic supporter of public education in the history of the state of Maryland,' UM President C.D. Mote Jr. said. Mr. Smith often visited the campus to speak to business students and to keep an eye on the buildings that bore his name."
Washington Post: "Developer and philanthropist Robert H. Smith was a dreamer, and proud of it. "It isn't a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled," he observed in a 2008 commencement speech at his beloved alma mater, the University of Maryland. "But it is a calamity not to dream." Mr. Smith, who died Dec. 29 at the age of 81, saw early on the opportunities for lucrative real estate investments in downtown Washington and across the Potomac River. Just as important, he envisioned the lasting impact that philanthropy could have on the fabric of the region. He made this his mission, giving hundreds of millions of dollars to universities, the arts, historic sites and civic activities. ... Picking up on his father's interest in charity work, Mr. Smith stepped up his own focus and contributions. He gave nearly $100 million to UM, including $30 million each to the performing arts center and the business school. In 2004, he contributed $15 million to establish the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello and donated to numerous other historical organizations. Bob Smith's remarkable generosity and vision for development are lasting achievements, to be savored for generations."
WUSA-TV, Washington: In the end, commencement is canceled. "Lots of folks love a White Christmas, but many of us are wishing all that snow headed our way could have waited until Thursday or something. A huge dump could dash a whole lot of plans. Shopping, Christmas parties, even some college graduations are all potentially threatened. ... Office parties, bar and bat mitzvahs, Christmas parties -- Ridgewells is going ahead even if the guests can't. Customers have to cancel 24 hours in advance to get their money back. Ridgewells has contingency plans and snowplows standing by. 'We're going to deliver. We're no different than the post office. We will be there!' Same thing at the University of Maryland. 'We shall be here. If I have to put on skis on, I will be here,' says John Townshend, dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. Workers are prepping Comcast for a winter commencement ceremony for a graduating class of 26-hundred. 'I've worked too hard to get to this point. If have to get a shovel and do it myself, I will. So I'll be here,' says Nathaniel Cole, who's graduating and is the student speaker for the college. It's one thing for the students who live close by. It's something else for the parents who are coming in for a winter commencement on Saturday that could be buried under 24 inches of snow. 'If it was your son or daughter? -- 'I'm coming,' says Larry Jefferson, who was setting up the arena. 'I paid all that money, I'm coming.' "
Associated Press: "The University of Maryland, College Park says the threat of heavy snow has prompted cancellation of Saturday's final exams and campus-wide commencement ceremony. The University System of Maryland's flagship school said Friday that arrangements for makeup exams are up to faculty members. Individual college graduation ceremonies at the College Park campus are still scheduled for Sunday. Frostburg State University says it has postponed Saturday commencement ceremonies until Monday." The Sunday individual college graduations were also canceled.
Gazette Newspapers: "Maryland projects will receive about $5.3 million from the federal government -- with the bulk of the funds going to the Purple Line light rail project -- as part of an omnibus appropriations bill Congress passed Sunday (Dec. 13). ... After a Prince George's County boy died in February 2007 from a brain infection caused by a tooth abscess, the Dental Action Committee formed, and is now partnering with the University of Maryland School of Public Health on a statewide oral health campaign. The federal funding will pay for that campaign, said Keith Roberts, chief operating officer the Office of Oral Health."
Baltimore Sun: "Star Development Group of Columbia broke ground Monday for Starview Plaza, a $33 million student housing project at 8700 Baltimore Ave. in College Park. When complete in August 2011, the project will contain 172 residences providing housing for 669 undergraduate students at the University of Maryland, College Park plus 351 parking spaces, 9,500 square feet of retail space, 7,000 square feet for student amenities and a 10,000-square-foot green roof. A 94-unit, 369-bed first phase is slated to open by the end of 2010. Hord Coplan Macht of Baltimore is the architect. Financing comes from a consortium of credit unions led by the State Employees Credit Union of Maryland."
Baltimore Sun: "Persistent budget cuts have created turmoil at the University of Maryland, College Park this past fall, prompting a student demonstration over the removal of one administrator, complaints about a lack of clear explanations from the provost and a sense of dread among faculty who say they're asked to do more with less. The state university system has cut more than $100 million from its 2010 budget in response to shortfalls in the state budget. As the system's largest campus, College Park has taken the biggest hits and will have to cut about $48 million by the end of the fiscal year in June. Cuts have led to furloughs, shrinking budgets for adjunct faculty, key positions left unfilled, discussions of merging departments and a few layoffs. 'It's natural for everyone to be nervous,' said Provost Nariman Farvardin. 'Some are nervous about losing their jobs. Some are nervous about not being able to graduate. But if we get no additional budget cuts, we will be able to manage the situation so that there are no discernible impacts on the core operations of the university.' Not all faculty and students agree."
Washington Examiner: "Tuition will rise and perks will continue to vanish at local public colleges and universities walloped by state budget cuts, which are far from over. The cuts have come as enrollments have reached record highs, bolstered by affordable tuition compared with private schools and a push by school systems to create 'college-bound' students -- some ready, some not. The extent of further cuts this spring and next year will begin to emerge this month when Virginia and Maryland lawmakers tackle massive budget shortfalls as their legislatures convene. Lawmakers' eyes will be on 2012, too, when federal stimulus funds run out. In his proposed two-year budget, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine recommended a jaw-dropping 26 percent cut to public higher education beginning in fiscal 2012. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is expected to release his fiscal 2011 budget by midmonth, which will try to close next year's $2 billion budget gap and likely will include more cuts to the current budget. Tuition increases are likely to hit everywhere from the University of Virginia to Montgomery College, though amounts have not been determined. Even O'Malley's highly touted three-year-old tuition freeze at the University of Maryland 'was never meant to last forever,' spokesman Shaun Adamec said."
Baltimore Sun: "It survived Hitler, Stalin, the decision to make Hebrew the official language of the State of Israel and the adoption of English by immigrants to the United States. Now Yiddish, for 1,000 years the everyday language of European Jews, is facing another threat: budget cuts. At the University of Maryland, which has stood alongside Harvard and Columbia as one of the nation's few schools to consistently offer instruction in the Germanic tongue, the recent announcement that the Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies would be dropping it in the fall shocked area enthusiasts. 'U-Maryland has had the biggest commitment to Yiddish as a language anywhere in a hundred-mile radius,' says Harvey Spiro, president of Yiddish of Greater Washington, which organized a letter-writing campaign. 'We're not a particularly political organization, but this kicked us in the gut.' The center now has cobbled together the money to pay its longtime instructor through the next academic year. But after that, director Hayim Lapin says, it is unlikely to continue funding a full-time faculty member dedicated to the language."
Gazette Newspapers: "The University of Maryland, College Park's plan to remove nine acres of on-campus forest to make room for its East Campus project received more opposition Dec. 10, when the school's University Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of preserving the land. The University Senate -- which directly advises school President C. Dan Mote Jr. and is made up of about 190 students, staff and faculty members -- passed a resolution advising Mote to leave the 22-acre Wooded Hillock untouched. The resolution passed 61-12, with five senators abstaining."
Maryland Daily Record: "Until it was disbanded, a small handful of people, members of Maryland's State Board of Censors, decided what films Marylanders could and could not view. Every movie had to be prescreened and licensed before it could be publicly shown. Three people, the Board's members, determined if a film was 'moral and proper.' If it was not, it was banned. As oddly inapposite to constitutional values as this Board's dictates were, it held court for a long time. Apparently one state senator wants the return of state censorship. This time around he wants to stop state colleges and universities from showing pornographic films on their campuses. Last spring, the senator threatened to cut $424 million of state funding for the University of Maryland if it allowed a student group to screen a porno movie. Following the senator's threat, the screening was quickly canceled by University President C. D. Mote, Jr. The Maryland legislature declined to cut funding but did pass a non-binding resolution requiring each University System college, by Sept. 1, 2009, to submit to the Board of Regents a policy that would govern the sponsored or sanctioned screening of pornography on state owned college campuses. After months of review, the guidance of a consultant hired by the University, and a deadline extension to Dec. 1, 2009, the System's Chancellor declined to provide such a policy to the Board of Regents. The Regents also determined not to adopt or impose a policy. No other public United States university has such a policy; the decisions of the Chancellor and the Board of Regents, although long in coming, are absolutely correct for a number of reasons."
TAP: College Park Company Incubates New Solutions in Solar Technology
Business Gazette: "As the solar energy industry enters the new decade, a College Park company looks to revolutionize one of the emerging technologies. AccuStrata, a member of the Technology Advancement Program at the University of Maryland, is developing a system for optical monitoring of the process used to manufacture thin-film solar panels, which are more flexible and less costly than their crystalline silicon alternates. The company received a $150,000 Phase One Department of Energy Small Business Innovation Research grant through the federal stimulus package this month, its third grant in six months. Launched in 2003, with operations beginning in 2007, AccuStrata has six employees and has landed more than $1 million in funding from various sources. The company was selected as the Maryland Incubator Company of the Year for 2008 and was a finalist for 2009. 'They're at the sweet spot for a lot of different things going on in the industry right now,' said Dean Chang, director of the Ventures & Education programs at the university's Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute."
Gazette Newspapers: UM student collects bears for children on donor waiting list ... "Odunola Ojewumi of Beltsville was 11 when she had her heart and kidney transplant in 2002, after a heart condition had badly deteriorated the organ and medicine for the ailment had damaged her kidneys. The transplants were successful, but a lengthy recovery period left her in a hospital room for much of December that year. 'I remember being in the hospital Christmas Eve,' said Ojewumi, now an 18-year-old sophomore at the University of Maryland, College Park. 'It makes a child into an adult at such a young age.' This year, Ojewumi reached out to children in similar predicaments by founding the Sacred Hearts Children's Transplant Organization. The organization supports children waiting for organ transplants, and its first project was a teddy bear and book drive that delivered items today to Children's Hospitals in Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh."
Frederick Post: "The International Association of Fairs and Expositions, which boasts a membership of 3,200 fairs, selected The Great Frederick Fair's Focus Forward on Green program for its top green recognition. The 2009 Award of Excellence for fairs with an attendance of 100,000 to 250,000 was presented to The Great Frederick Fair at the IAFE's recent convention in Las Vegas. More than 5,000 people attended. The IAFE award is the 42nd international award the fair has won in the last 14 years, said Becky Brashear, The Great Frederick Fair's executive assistant. ... Themes for the fair are developed by a volunteer effort made up of the Agriculture Education and Public Relations Committee, people who specialize in agriculture communications, graphics experts, University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Frederick County Public Schools and the Frederick County Office of Economic Development."
American Chemical Society: "Fredrick Khachik, Ph.D., a senior research scientist in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Maryland, College Park, has been chosen to receive a 2009 Astellas USA Foundation Award. The award, administered by the American Chemical Society, is given to individuals who have made significant scientific research contributions that improve public health through their work in the chemical and related sciences. The award includes a $30,000 grant to support his continuing research efforts. Khachik's research focused on dietary compounds called carotenoids found in fruits and vegetables."
DOE: "US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced today the winners of the 2009 E.O. Lawrence Award for their outstanding contributions in research and development supporting the Department of Energy and its missions. The six winners named today will receive a gold medal, a citation and $50,000. Winners will be honored at a ceremony in Washington, DC early next year. ... The Lawrence Award was established in 1959 to honor the memory of Dr. Ernest Orlando Lawrence who invented the cyclotron (a particle accelerator), and after whom two major Energy Department laboratories in Berkeley and Livermore, California are named. The 2009 E.O. Lawrence Award winners are ...
William Dorland, University of Maryland -- Nuclear Technology
William Dorland will be honored for his scientific leadership in the development of comprehensive computer simulations of plasma turbulence, and his specific predictions, insights, and improved understanding of turbulent transport in magnetically-confined plasma experiments."
UM Newsdesk: "Jacques S. Gansler, a professor at the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy and former high-level Pentagon official, has been appointed to serve on a key Department of Defense (DoD) advisory board focusing on research and development strategies for the 21st century. As a member of the Defense Science Board, Gansler will provide independent advice on acquisition, scientific, technological and manufacturing issues. 'DoD has recognized the need to transform our armed forces to meet the emerging challenges of this century, and that shifts the balance in acquisition priorities,' says Maryland's Gansler, who served as undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics from 1997 to 2001. 'Our military now needs to be nimble enough to meet a wider range of missions, such as fighting irregular forces in urban canyons, countering cyberwarfare, mastering foreign languages and cultures and using unmanned systems,' he adds."
Innovation America: "Changes in federal policy can increase the effectiveness of a key national asset in job creation: university-based research parks and technology incubators, according to U.S. Senate testimony today by Brian Darmody, president of the Association of University Research Parks and a University of Maryland associate vice president. 'We can harness our existing research and development infrastructure to create new jobs, new opportunities, and new companies with administrative reforms and relatively modest federal direct investments,' Darmody told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. In prepared testimony, Darmody recommended a series of actions, including loans, tax-free financing and more flexible government procedures for commercializing technology developed with federal support. A complete transcript of his prepared remarks follows below."
CRA: "The Computing Research Association (CRA) is an association of more than 200 North American academic departments of computer science, computer engineering, and related fields; laboratories and centers in industry, government, and academia engaging in basic computing research; and affiliated professional societies. The CRA annually honors undergraduate students in North American universities who show outstanding research potential in an area of computing research. Microsoft Research and Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs are sponsors in alternate years. The recipients of the CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Awards for 2010, sponsored this year by Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs, are ... Matt McCutchen, University of Maryland, who worked on streaming algorithms for clustering and developed a new algorithm for handling outliers. Matt also has worked on various projects in the area of programming languages. Aside from research, he has qualified for the International Olympiad of Informatics three times, winning two gold medals and one silver medal."
Prince George's Sentinel: "Maryland Senate president and University of Maryland, College Park alumnus Mike Miller visited the university ... to encourage students to vote in the gubernatorial elections next November. Younger voters entered polling places in packs last year to vote for President Barack Obama, why can't the strong voter turnout seen during the presidential election from the younger population be present in all political elections? Miller focused his talk on the importance of young voters and the effect they can have on politics. With almost two-and-a-half times more registered Democrats than Republicans in the state within the ages of 18 to 24, he stressed that with the support and help from young voters, the Democrats should be able to regain control of the state legislature and the position of governor. 'It's easy to get someone to register, but to get them to vote is something else,' Miller explained. Caroline Cabe, a junior sociology major at the university, who attended the session, felt Miller's speech accomplished all of his main goals. 'I think it was successful in that it did encourage everyone to vote next year; I never realized how important the off-year elections are.' "
Society & Culture
Business Journals: "Maryland would benefit economically and environmentally if it helped homeowners cut down on natural gas consumption, according to a new University of Maryland study. If the state assisted in buying energy-efficient natural gas furnaces and water heaters, as well as upgrading insulation, over a 10-year period there would be 80,000 new jobs and $11 billion in economic activity, as well as a 9-percent slash in carbon emissions. Nearly half of Maryland homes are heated with natural gas. 'You might call this 'cash-for-clunkers' home-style,' said Matthias Ruth, director of the school's Center for Integrative Environmental Research and principal investigator of the study. 'Trading in your clunker of a furnace or heater can make good economic and environmental sense for everyone concerned.' The Maryland Department of the Environment commissioned the study in 2007, and CIER worked in partnership with The Johns Hopkins University, the University of California, Merced, and Towson University to complete it."
Quincy Whig (Ill.): New Philadelphia recognition in 2009 -- "New Philadelphia earned national recognition for its archaeological resources and historical significance. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne designated the site near Barry as a National Historic Landmark, the second-highest honor given by the federal government next to becoming a national park. Charlotte King of the University of Maryland -- with help from Paul Shackel, director of the Center for Heritage Resource Studies (at UM) -- coordinated and drafted the nomination for the first community platted by an African American, former slave Free Frank McWorter, in 1836. McWorter family members, academic and museum officials and state and federal legislators, including then-senator and now President-elect Barack Obama, supported the nomination for the designation given to less than 2,500 sites across the nation. The designation recognizes properties determined to be of exceptional value in representing or illustrating an important theme, event or person in the history of the nation."
USA Today: "Financial folly, economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff show in this groundbreaking book, knows no boundaries and has no expiration date. Reinhart, of the University of Maryland, and Rogoff, of Harvard and previously of the International Monetary Fund, tapped a massive database of financial crises, going back eight centuries and covering 66 countries. They recount banking meltdowns, episodes of hyperinflation and sovereign debt defaults. The conclusion is humbling: Humans, blinded by the prospect of easy money, just can't learn the lessons of the past. For a book built around numbers, 'This Time is Different' makes for surprisingly good reading. The authors are well aware that human nature is at the heart of the disasters they document, and they enliven the text with brief and amusing accounts of charlatans and cheats such as the mountebank MacGregor."
Wall Street Journal: "To all the reasons to worry about the rapid rise in government debt in the wake of the financial crisis, add another: It'll stunt our growth. In a new paper presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association, Carmen Reinhart of the University of Maryland and Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard study the link between different levels of debt and countries' economic growth over the last two centuries. One finding: Countries with a gross public debt debt exceeding about 90% of annual economic output tended to grow a lot more slowly. For advanced countries above the 90% threshold, average annual growth was about two percentage points lower than for countries with public debt of less than 30% of GDP. The results are particularly relevant at a time when debt levels in the U.S. and other countries at the center of the financial crisis are rapidly approaching the 90% threshold. Gross government debt in the U.S., for example, stood at 85% of GDP in 2009 and will reach 108% of GDP by 2014, according to IMF projections. The U.K.'s gross government debt stood at 69% of GDP in 2009 and is expected to reach 98% of GDP by 2013. 'If history is any guide,' the rising government debt 'is very troubling for the U.S. and other advanced economies,' says Ms. Reinhart."
Baltimore Sun: "In this season of good cheer and glad tidings, Congress has become one of the meanest places on Earth. Angering Democrats, Republicans recently invoked a rarely used rule that required reading legislation aloud on the Senate floor for nearly three hours. Democrats infuriated Republicans by denying the customary courtesy of allowing a senator to speak on her amendment before it came up for a vote. ... 'There is no Christmas spirit on Capitol Hill,' said Donald F. Kettl, dean of the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. 'The effort to give everyone health insurance has created an army of congressional Grinches.'' So toxic is the atmosphere that the chamber's No. 2 Democrat, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, appealed to colleagues this week to set aside political differences 'in the spirit of the holiday' season. He drew upon an example set during World War I, when Allied and Axis troops called a Christmas truce and played a game of soccer. Usually, the Senate's rules of decorum mask the underlying partisan passions. Members refer to each other as 'my good friend.' "
Washington Post: "The economic crisis has exacerbated the already precarious fiscal situation at the state level. The notion that a drug policy might generate huge additional costs has led some state governments to opt for a less expensive alternative. 'For different reasons, some states are coming to the same conclusions,' said Dooley-Sammuli of the California Drug Policy Alliance. 'We have to spend money differently.' The effects of the economic crisis on state budgets, coupled with discomfort about high incarceration rates and the attendant economic and social consequences, is spurring a change that, while often silent, appears to be gaining momentum. 'There is an increasing unease in this country about the rates of incarceration, and this could be capturing the zeitgeist and succeed. It is hard to think of any other indicator in which we do so badly,' said Peter Reuter, a criminology professor at the University of Maryland, in the Washington suburbs. This is not to say that the obstacles have been surmounted. The U.S. government continues to use various means to pressure states into reversing innovative or more balanced policies."
Boston Globe: "The decline of the anti-fur stigma shows just how complex the rules have become. Jo Paoletti, an American studies professor at the University of Maryland, recalls that she once gave away a vintage fur cape because too many people glared at her at parties. But over the last decade, many fashion houses have begun to embrace fur again. Onetime PETA models Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford have fronted ad campaigns for high-end furriers. Bravo's Rachel Zoe wears luscious fur vests in public with no apparent guilt. ... PETA has devolved into self-parody of late, chastising the president for swatting a fly, putting too many naked models in lettuce bikinis, acting overzealous with red paint. When it comes to fashion, it seems, everyone has to decide how and when to be cruel, where to stake her own spot on the fur-to-leather-to-meat-to-clean-air continuum. Paoletti points out that, however 'natural' fur may be, the fur-production process still takes a big environmental toll. But then 'greenwashing' is rampant in the fashion world today, she says: Fabric made from bamboo is marketed as earth-friendly, but it's chemically identical to rayon, and manufactured in a way that's decidedly bad for the planet. Besides, Paoletti notes, you can make a bigger impact with your laundry habits than with any piece of clothing you buy -- and you can also help the Earth by buying fewer clothes in general. In that context, vintage fur could either be the world's biggest cop-out or a brilliant solution, a way to embrace recycling and luxury at once. Paoletti isn't passing judgment, though she wishes my friend could wear a button on her rabbit coat that says, 'It's vintage!' "
Science & Technology
Baltimore Sun: "Army Capt. Paulo Shakarian took a crash course in the tactics of Iraqi insurgents during his second deployment to Iraq in 2006 and 2007. Now he's using that hard-won knowledge to develop a technology that might help fellow soldiers locate enemy bomb supplies before they can be used. The West Point graduate worked with U.S. Special Forces and Iraqi security trainees near the city of Balad, north of Baghdad, to suppress waves of roadside bomb attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces. In one instance, he said, soldiers were trying to protect a road that was 'constantly' experiencing attacks with improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. 'We knew the ... triggermen had to be able to see the vehicles,' Shakarian said. 'If you're waiting to blow up a guy, you've got to be hiding out, sitting there quietly for a long period of time.' But where? Patrols soon found evidence of the insurgents' overnight camps, he said, 'so we focused on those areas for patrols, and we cut off the enemy from using those places for attacks.' Shakarian, 29, is now a doctoral candidate in computer science at the University of Maryland, College Park, relying on his combat experience to help UM computer scientist V.S. Subrahmanian develop a technology (SCARE: Spatio-Cultural Abductive Reasoning Engine) to help soldiers figure out where insurgents are hiding their bomb supplies "
New York Times: "Benjamin is one of 83 children, ages 7, 9 and 11, who participated in a study on children and keyword searching. Sponsored by Google and developed by the University of Maryland and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, the research was aimed at discerning the differences between how children and adults search and identify the barriers children face when trying to retrieve information. Like other children, Benjamin was frustrated by his lack of search skills or, depending on your view, the limits of search engines. ... Search engines are typically developed to be easy for everyone to use. Google, for example, uses the Arial typeface because it considers it more legible than other typefaces. But advocates for children and researchers say that more can be done technologically to make it easier for young people to retrieve information. What is at stake, they say, are the means to succeed in a new digital age. 'We're giving them a tool that was made for adults,' said Michael H. Levine, executive director of the Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, a nonprofit research center in New York focused on digital education for children. Allison Druin, director of the human-computer interaction lab at the University of Maryland, suggested expanding the concept of keywords. Instead of typing a word into a search box, children could click on an image or video, which would turn up results. Ms. Druin said that parents played a big role in helping children search. She proposed that search engines imitate that role by adding technology aids, like prominent suggestions for related content or an automated chat system, to help children when they get stuck."
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