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Daily Business Report-April 26, 2016

Daily Business Report-April 26, 2016

A D-Wave Systems quantum computer. (Courtesy of the company)

 SPAWAR Testing Military

Applications of Quantum Computing

Times of San Diego

The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific in San Diego is working with one of the few quantum computers in existence to assess its applicability to military computing problems.

SPAWAR will be using a D-Wave Systems computer at the NASA Ames Research Center in SiliconValley that is owned by and shared with Google.

Quantum computers make use of quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform operations on data. D-Wave’s machine uses a lattice of 1,000 tiny superconducting circuits, known as “qubits,” chilled close to absolute zero to achieve quantum effects.

“What we’re planning to do is pick a problem which is of interest to both sides, that we can then run on their D-Wave machine, and look for external sponsors to help us fund this,” said Dr. Joanna Ptasinski, an electronics engineer at SPAWAR who spearheaded the partnership with Ames.

“Some of those problems would be cooperative communication and ad hoc networks, time division multiple access message scheduling, or algorithms for data storage and energy data retrieval with underwater autonomous robots—optimization-type problems,” she said.

SPAWAR provides the Navy and military with essential capabilities in the areas of command and control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.


San Diego Beats State

Water Savings Targets

San Diego is continuing to beat the state’s aggregate savings target for the region, reducing potable water use by 21 percent from June 2015 through March 2016, according to the San Diego County Water Authority.

Starting in March, the region’s aggregate cumulative target is 13 percent — down from 20 percent during the initial phase of the state mandates due to credits for drought-resilient water supplies from the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant. The plant produces up to 56,000 acre-feet per year, enough to serve roughly 400,000 residents.

The region used 17 percent less potable water in March compared to the same month in 2013, even though San Diego’s rainfall was below average last month and significantly lower than in the baseline month. March also marked a turnaround from February, when regional water conservation suffered due to unseasonably high temperatures and almost no precipitation.


Preuss School UCSD Ranked

Among Top 10 Schools in California

The Preuss School UCSD — a charter middle and high school for low-income students who strive to become the first in their families to graduate from college — is ranked among the top 10 high schools in California by U.S. News & World Report, which released its annual list of “Best High Schools.”

Located on the campus of the University of California San Diego, The Preuss School also received a Gold Award designation, based on performance on state assessments, graduation rates and college preparation.

The U.S. News rankings include data on more than 21,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. According to U.S. News, a comprehensive rankings methodology was used to determine the nation’s “Best High Schools,” comprising a four-step process. The first three steps looked at how well schools served all of their students, using as benchmarks performance on math and reading portions of state proficiency tests and graduation rates. For those schools that made it past the first three steps, a fourth step assessed the degree to which students were prepared for college-level work.

Ranked 9th in the state, Preuss was the only school in the top 10 that requires that all prospective students must be from a low-income family and have no parent or guardian who has graduated from a four-year college.


Girl Scouts Get New Lodge

With Latest Technnology

The Girl Scouts have a new lodge at Girl Scout headquarters in Balboa Park.

The new facility was built by DPR Construction.

Designed by Audrey Ruland of Ruland Design Group, the new lodge will be used by more than 5,000 Girl Scouts and adult volunteers each year for day camps, trainings, events and overnight camping.

The lodge features fire-resistant cement siding and metal shingles, a wraparound veranda, a great room with an indoor/outdoor fireplace and a sleeping loft with skylights and window seats. It is also outfitted with the latest technology and a commercial grade kitchen. Two of the lodge restrooms are accessible to visitors using the adjacent Adventure Zone, which includes an archery range, ADA-accessible tree house, 40-foot climbing tower, balance platform and traverse wall.

The 2,800-square-foot building replaces a much smaller 52-year-old-cabin that was closed in 2012 due to structural and electrical issues. The project was funded by donations from individuals, corporations and foundations, as well as county of San Diego Neighborhood Reinvestment funds.


General Atomics’ Electromagnetic

Rail Gun Tested in Oklahoma

General Atomics’ Blitzer electromagnetic railgun system was demonstrated this month at the U.S. Army’s Fires Center of Excellence at Ft. Still in Lawton, Okla.

“This event marks another milestone for our railgun team,” said Nick Bucci, vice president of missile defense and space systems at General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems.

“After the successful test firings of our guidance electronics units at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah one month ago, we disassembled the Blitzer railgun system and transported it to Ft. Sill where it was set-up and fired. Our goal was met in showing how our advanced weapon system can be efficiently transported from site to site. Testing our system under real world conditions at different locales enables us to gather the critical data necessary to improve the system’s efficiency to meet future customer mobility requirements.”

There were eleven firings of the Blitzer railgun during the test, all at a target with a range greater than previous Blitzer firings. At the completion of the test, the Blitzer railgun system will be transported back to Dugway Proving Ground in Utah for further testing later this year.


USD Offers  Summer Cyber Security

 Program for High School Students

Inspiring a new generation of students to consider the cyber security field is the goal of a free summer day camp at the University of San Diego.

The GenCyber Academy of Excellence, funded by a grant from the National Security Agency, takes place from July 25 to 29 and is open to incoming, college bound 10th, 11th and 12th graders. The program is also open to local STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) teachers interested in expanding their cyber security knowledge.

“It’s important that we expose the next generation of students to cyber security knowledge, skills and ethics at a critical point in their lives,” said Winnie Callahan, director of the USD Center for Cyber Security Engineering and Technology. “This is a wonderful way for high school students to explore career opportunities in the field.”

USD is one of an estimated 80 universities to receive funding for a camp nationally and the only school in San Diego. The program includes formal instruction from USD Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering faculty, hands-on experience with cyber defense tools, and field trips to cyber security organizations in the San Diego area.


San Diego Home Prices Still

Rising, But Slowing Down

Times of San Diego

San Diego home prices continue to rise faster than the national average, but the rate of increase slowed in February, according to the widely-followed Case-Shiller index.

The latest report, released Tuesday morning, showed a 6.4 percent annual rate in February, compared to the national average of 5.3 percent. However, San Diego prices rose only 0.1 percent rise in February, down from 0.5 percent in January.

“Home prices continue to rise twice as fast as inflation, but the pace is easing off in the most recent numbers,” said David M. Blitzer, managing director of S&P Dow Jones Indices.  “Six cities experienced smaller monthly gains in February compared to January…Among the six were Seattle, Portland and San Diego, all of which were very strong last time.”

Prices in some cities have grown much faster than in San Diego. Portland, Seattle, and Denver reported the highest year-over-year gains in February at 11.9 percent, 11.0 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively.

The online real estate marketplace Zillow cautioned that even with a slowing in price increases, there are challenges for first-time home buyers.

“Home prices continue to rise, although more slowly, at a largely sustainable clip. But a deeper look at recent housing trends reveals a few troubling issues set to impact first-time and move-up buyers in the critical months ahead,” said Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell.

“Heading into spring, buyers looking for the most expensive homes will find somewhat softening prices, a larger selection of homes to choose from and more limited competition,” she said. “Entry-level and mid-market buyers — typically the housing market’s bread and butter — are likely to face stiff competition, rapidly rising prices and very limited inventory.”


Personnel Announcements

Kenneth Aparri Joins WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff

Kenneth Aparri

Kenneth Aparri

Kenneth Aparri will lead traffic planning and engineering efforts as the new West region traffic lead for WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, an engineering and professional services organization.

Aparri has over 20 years of experience in project management, systems engineering, design, implementation, quality assurance/quality control, and operations and maintenance for tolling, intelligent transportation systems and traffic projects. He has managed multimillion-dollar projects from client and project tracking through successful delivery and closeout.

Aparri previously was a senior project manager with a San Diego engineering firm. He worked for WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff as a lead ITS engineer and a senior pursuit manager.

Union Bank Subsidiary Names Managing Director

 R. Morgan Busalacchi

R. Morgan Busalacchi

Union Bank’s investment advisory and Brokerage subsidiary, UnionBanc Investment Services, announced that R. Morgan Busalacchi has joined as a managing director and regional sales manager. In this role, she will oversee a team of financial advisers and provide a range of investment services to clients in the greater San Diego region.

With more than 12 years of experience, Busalacchi most recently was market director for wealth management for Chase Wealth Management and JPMorgan Securities in multiple territories in the United States. She oversaw a team of financial advisers providing investment solutions to clients. Busalacchi began her career in investment services with American Express in 2003 supporting a group of financial advisors and then becoming a financial advisor herself.

U.S. Bank Names Scott Schmid as Market Leader

Scott Schmid

Scott Schmid

U.S. Bank has named Scott Schmid as the market leader for The Private Client Reserve in San Diego.

Scott, who is currently a wealth management adviser and managing director for The Private Client Reserve’s St. Louis office, will assume the new role on May 9 and will relocate to San Diego to lead that office.

Scott, who has more than 25 years of financial services experience, joined The Private Client Reserve in 2010. He oversees approximately $3 billion in client investments, of which $300 million is in active foundation and charitable administration.

U.S. Bank manages $125 billion of assets for clients, and its wealth management business is ranked among the top 20 wealth management firms in the country.

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Voice Your Opinion

We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: