Daily Business Report-Nov. 18, 2013
San Diego State Launches Math Collaborative
Researchers team up with Balboa Park art and science museums to get creative with science, technology, engineering and mathematics
San Diego State’s Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education has launched a new initiative with the Balboa Park Learning Institute to bring university researchers together with staff from art and science museums to design programs to connect park visitors with math in creative ways.
The initiative, called the InforMath Collaborative, is funded by a four-year $726,733 grant from the National Science Foundation.
SDSU researchers will collaborate with staff from the Mingei International Museum, Museum of Photographic Arts, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and Natural History Museum to design and implement the new programs. that connect visitors with mathematics in creative ways.
“Between now and mid-January, we’ll be working collaboratively to design experimental public programs and activities that connect
mathematics to the collections at MOPA and Mingei,” said Molly Kelton, co-director of the InforMath Collaborative and university researcher. “This is a unique and exciting opportunity for us to work closely with art and science museum professionals to try and change the way our community perceives mathematics, to conduct periodic analysis on our progress, and to ultimately establish a research center for informal mathematics learning in the park.”
The InforMatch Collaborative is to implement a pilot project by mid-March of 2014 for the public to participate in. Researchers will then review and analyze data from the pilot through September and prepare to launch a more extensive research and development lab the following two years of the initiative.
“This is the first large-scale, multi-institution initiative of its kind giving mathematics, science and art professionals an opportunity to learn from each other and together come up with new and more expansive ways to draw the community into the park,” said Lisa Silagyi, director of the Balboa Park Learning Institute.
Ricardo Nemirovsky is the principal investigator of the initiative. Paul Siboroski of Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and Kelton are co-principal investigators.
Tech Coast Angeles Invest More than $1 Million in Two Companies
Tech Coast Angels has invested more than $1 million in San Diego-based SeniorQuote Insurance Services, a Medicare insurance supplement brokerage firm, and Rock My World, a sensor-based health and fitness platform. The funds will be used to help expand the marketing and sales engine for both companies.
Mark Dewey, senior associate at Tech Coast Angels, said SeniorQuote Insurance Services is in 28 states with 15 carriers and 20 employees. The company’s mission is to help seniors find the supplemental insurance coverage that meets their needs.
Rock My World has produced its first brand, RockMyRun, designed for the 40 million runners in the U.S. — a streaming music service available to mobile applications. “We saw Rock My World’s platform as a game changer for a surprisingly underserved market,” said Ken Truesdale, a member of Tech Coast Angels and one of the investors in the company.
Council Committee to Take Up Infrastructure Maintenance Plan
A proposal to develop a five-year plan to address San Diego’s crumbling roads and facilities will be taken up by the City Council’s Infrastructure Committee today. The plan, if adopted, would give city officials a roadmap for reducing a backlog of capital projects and maintenance that is believed to be valued at around $1 billion. It would be renewed every two years and open to amendments, according to a report by leaders of the city’s Public Works Department. The plan would be drafted through March, vetted by city officials and the public, and finalized next fall, the report says.
The guide would cover maintenance, replacements and new facilities at the city’s Civic Center complex, airports, libraries, recreation centers, storm water systems, landfills, pools, police and fire stations, lifeguard structures, streets, water treatment and distribution systems, Petco Park and Qualcomm Stadium, the report says. — (City News Service)
Rady MBA Student Wins Tech Coast Angels Competition
Giovanna Scheidler, a fulltime Rady MBA student, won the San Diego Tech Coast Angels Quick Pitch competition with her invention, OvaPal. OvaPal is a wearable wireless sensor that enables a woman to track her ovulation cycle and optimize the odds of pregnancy in way that is stress-free and easy to use. As the grand prize winner, Giovanna was awarded $20,000 for her startup from the John G. Watson Foundation. Giovanna, who has two young daughters of her own, cites her children as her inspiration. “In creating OvaPal, I wanted to be able to share the joy that children bring to people’s lives,” she said. “I also have a competitive advantage: I can end my two-minute pitch with a photo of my own children. It’s definitely a heartwarming way to show what this technology can do in terms of building families.”
USD Makes the Grade as a ‘Bicycle Friendly’ Campus
The University of San Diego now has more than 440 bike parking spaces on campus that are compatible with sturdy metal U-locks that are more secure than cable locks. There are also a bike repair stand and an air pump outside USD’s Outdoor Adventures office available to the USD community. And faculty, staff and students who bike to the campus can use shower facilities and lockers at no charge.
These are just a few of the reasons that USD was named a “Bicycle Friendly University” by the League of American Bicyclists.
Most recently, USD completed the replacement of older bike racks around campus, installing the more secure, U-Lock friendly bike racks for a total of 444 spaces. “Hopefully we’ve encouraged even more members of our campus community to help reduce our carbon footprint,” said Michael Catanzaro, director of USD’s Office of Sustainability. “The campus benefits in so many ways from having more bikes on campus. It improves the quality of life for members of our campus, reduces congestion and the need for parking, and supports our efforts to reduce pollution and address climate change.”
Supercomputer Center Researchers Honored by White House
Projects from two “centers of excellence” at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego were recognized at the recent White House Office of Science and Technology Policy meeting. Honored at the meeting were the the Center for Large-Scale Data Systems research and the Predictive Analytics Center of Excellence. The meeting focused on accelerating research, development, and collaborations in data-enabled science and engineering. The event, titled “Data to Knowledge to Action: Building New Partnerships,” was held by the Obama Administration’s Networking and Information Technology R&D program, which represents the information technology portfolios of 18 federal agencies.
Agencies to Focus on Biotech, Medical Device Landscape
The California Healthcare Institute, in partnership with the European Patent Office, is hosting an event Tuesday aimed at addressing the current biotech and medical device patent landscape in Europe. The free event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines.A panel of experts from the European Patent Office and leading European IP law firm D Young & Co LLP will explore the key issues in patenting biotech and medical device inventions in Europe. Event speakers will include the European examiner for IP, Fredrik Aslund.
Kimpton Hotel La Jolla Promotes Allison Collantes
Kimpton’s Hotel La Jolla has promoted Allison Collantes to revenue manager. She is responsible for group room coordination for the 110-room coastal boutique hotel in addition to her ongoing revenue management position with Kimpton’s Hotel Solamar, located in Downtown San Diego. Prior to working for the Kimpton brand, Collantes served as Andaz San Diego’s reservations manager.
Chilcott Heads Loan Guarantee Program
Kurt Chilcott, president and CEO of CDC Small Business Finance, has taken on additional duties as president of the California Southern Small Business Development Corp., a state-funded loan-guarantee program designed to help secure financing for small businesses and create jobs. He succeeds Mike McCraw who retired after 22 years. California Southern partners with community and regional banks and other local lending institutions to provide loan guarantees for small businesses that are unable to qualify for conventional financing.
Over the past five years, California Southern helped guarantee more than 600 loans totaling $56 million for businesses throughout San Diego and Imperial counties. These businesses are projected to create more than 590 jobs.
Procopio Selects Of Counsel
Edsell “Chip” Eady Jr. has joined the Procopio law firm as of counsel to its public agencies and charter schools team. A bond finance attorney from the Bay Area, Eady’s experience provides Procopio’s clients with public financing alternatives and guidance on publicly-funded projects, the firm said. Eady has served as lead counsel in hundreds of municipal bond issues raising tens of billions of dollars over the past 30 years, according to the firm.
City of Coronado Selects Arts Administrator
CORONADO — A local arts supporter and community volunteer has been named the new arts administrator for Coronado’s Cultural Arts Commission. Kelly Purvis has a long history of volunteer work with various Coronado organizations, including recent work with the Cultural Arts Commission and Coronado Arts Forum Committee.She has worked as director of development for the Coronado Historical Association and did event coordination for Dorsee Productions. Her volunteer experience includes stints with the USC Trojan League, the Coronado Unified School District, the city’s Residential Standards Improvement Committee and Coronado MainStreet Ltd., among others.
The Coronado City Council approved the new position of arts administrator in June to provide administrative support to the Coronado Cultural Arts Commission. The contracted, part-time position pays $36,000 per year.