A Rising Distrust of Science and Technology

Science and technology are essential tools that help us answer questions, solve problems, improve productivity, and enhance quality of life. Look no further than the COVID-19 vaccines — developed by scientists in record time — that have immunized nearly a billion people around the globe, stemming the infection rate and death toll of the pandemic. … Continue reading A Rising Distrust of Science and Technology

Words Matter

A few years ago, I was asked to give a talk about the future of technology to some senior executives. The presentation was a beautiful, polished set of charts, all ready to go. I began practicing the pitch. Printed in big, bold letters on a page was: “Man + Machine.” I read from the accompanying … Continue reading Words Matter

A Family Tree With Deep Roots

My ancestors hail from Eastern Europe – largely what today is Poland, Belarus, and Lithuania. Most came to America in the latter-half of the 1800s, fleeing the violent attacks against Jews and in search of a better life where they could earn a decent living and practice their religion without fear. Different branches of my … Continue reading A Family Tree With Deep Roots

My Husband Does the Laundry

Yes, my husband does the laundry. Not just his own laundry, but all of it: towels and sheets, the kids’ clothes and mine, placemats and reusable masks. Every weekend, he collects dirty clothes from hampers, runs load after load, hangs the delicate items on a rack, and folds the rest into neat dryer-fresh piles that … Continue reading My Husband Does the Laundry

You Get What You Measure (So Be Careful What You Measure)

Remember the story about the genie who was freed from the magic lamp? “You get three wishes – any three wishes! – but choose carefully!” The greedy soul who rubs the lamp always wastes a wish or two. “I want to be ruler of the universe!” And poof! he’s transformed into a giant yardstick. He … Continue reading You Get What You Measure (So Be Careful What You Measure)

Hackers Gonna Hack

I remember sitting next to my mother in the waiting room of numerous doctors’ offices – all outfitted nearly the same: brown chairs with wooden armrests, scuffed industrial carpet, receptionist behind a sliding glass window. My mom would hunch over a clipboard thick with paperwork, huffing with indignation. Why is it necessary for a dermatologist … Continue reading Hackers Gonna Hack

Touching the Future

My grandfather – we called him “Pops” – taught math in the New Haven public schools for 32 years. When I was with Pops at a store or restaurant in New Haven, even long after he retired from teaching, we’d invariably run into a former student. I picture my small hand engulfed in his large … Continue reading Touching the Future

Building Fault Tolerance

Last week my ten-year-old son got a question wrong on his math test. No big deal, right? But I saw his face fall as he realized it was the end of his perfect streak. However, I'm actually glad for the small slipup because I know it’s important that he become adept at learning from mistakes. … Continue reading Building Fault Tolerance

Expressions of Gratitude

Right now, I feel profound gratitude for vaccines and the scientists who created them, for a fulfilling career that allows me to learn and contribute in meaningful ways, and for the health and happiness of my husband and children. Each and every day, I’m thankful for colleagues who I consider friends and for friends who … Continue reading Expressions of Gratitude

AI is Already Everywhere (But Not in the Way That You Fear)

Do you use Waze for navigation? Customer support chatbots? Apple voice memos? Facebook photo auto-tagging? Electronic check deposits? Amazon purchase recommendations? Grammarly writing tips? LinkedIn language translation? Google search? If so, then you already use artificial intelligence (AI) nearly every day. AI systems have the capacity to reason and learn — attributes typically associated with … Continue reading AI is Already Everywhere (But Not in the Way That You Fear)