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Pittsburgh Innovates

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Your ticket to hours of watching people visiting Andy Warhol's gravesite. Happy 85th Andy!

The world is celebrating Andy Warhol’s 85th birthday in an unusual way this week, through the lens of a webcam pointed at his grave.

Warhol would certainly have approved, said his nephew Donald Warhola who was on hand for the cake-cutting at the grave on Tuesday, Warhol's actual birthday. Had Andy thought of it, he added, he would have certainly filmed Marilyn Monroe's or Elvis Presley’s gravesites.  
 
New York City-based EarthCam began streaming high definition, 16-megapixal images of the gravestone just after midnight on Aug. 6. The cameras are mounted high on a telephone pole about 20 feet away.

The video updates every 15 minutes, a nod to Warhol's belief that, in the future, everybody will be world famous for about that long.     

By mid-afternoon on Warhol's birthday, the hillside cemetery, which overlooks the intersection of Connor and Library roads in Castle Shannon, buzzed with well-wishers including New Yorkers, a priest and staff members from the Andy Warhol Museum. 

The Figment project is a partnership of The Andy Warhol Museum and EarthCam. It pulled its name from a quote in which Warhol said, "I always thought I'd like my own tombstone to be blank. No epitaph and no name. Well, actually, I'd like it to say, 'Figment.'"

The museum's website was slammed with a record number of hits on Tuesday, said Joshua Jeffrey, information technologist for the museum. EarthCam's Warhol website is expected to go viral as well, he added.

The interactive multimedia project hopes to capture Warhol's life from a Pittsburgh perspective. In addition to the gravesite, another webcam is streaming services from St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church in Greenfield, the Warhola family church where Warhol was baptized.

New Yorker Brian Cury, a lifelong fan of Andy Warhol fan, founded EarthCam in part through an enlightening conversation he once had with the artist. Cury met Warhol at a dinner party and they spoke of the strangeness of world-wide fame. 

“Years later when I was looking for business ideas, I always went back to the conversation I had with Andy,” says Cury. “In a way, this is an extension of what Andy was doing with video and film, letting the video run constantly until he had no more tape.”

Figment will continue indefinitely for now, he says.

The Earthcam network has captured footage from far flung places like Instanbul and Abby Road and receives upward of 35 million views a year.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Brian Cury, Donald Warhola
 

LaunchPGH, a comprehensive online guide to the city's startup scene

Navigating the groundswell of entrepreneurial activity in Pittsburgh is easier with the arrival of LaunchPGH, an online resource that has streamlined a wide range of information for the startup community.  
 
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Powerup Pittsburgh created an easy to navigate, visually appealing portal for entrepreneurs, investors and developers looking for information on startups, incubators, accelerators and networking opportunities in Pittsburgh.  
 
“Our hope is to make it easier and more dynamic for entrepreneurs in the city to gain access to not only organizations but also people,” says Tom Link, director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the URA. “Our goal as an economic development organization is to help small businesses grow, all the co-working spaces, accelerators and meetup groups.”
 
The mobile-friendly website is divided into three circles—Biz, Buzz and Burgh—providing users with event and company listings, fun facts and a photo gallery. One of the most dynamic features is the Startup Genome, a map that puts the entrepreneurial activity on a city map and includes sliders for details like company size and money raised.  
 
Over time, the information will grow and become more comprehensive as more startups and entrepreneurs sign on, notes Link. So far 118 companies are listed along with the names 236 rising entrepreneurs.
 
The website was designed by Wall-to-Wall studios with the help of an advisory panel including entrepreneurs and business leaders with a vested interest in creating a more robost environment for entrepreneurs.

It was intentionally designed to work best on an iPad or on a mobile phone, giving anyone a quick read of where to go and find investment opportunities, says Link.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Tom Link, LaunchPGH

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? MAYA, Reed Smith, The Design Center and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest company expansion and hiring news. 
 
Cardinal Resources, a manufacturer of solar-powered water purification systems, has closed on a $65 million deal to supply its system to Nigeria and two others to build systems in Senegal and the Republic of Cameroon. As a result, the company is hiring and doubling in size, adding 12 people to its staff of 14. Hires will be in the areas of technical and financial support, engineers and scientists.
 
MAYA Design downtown is hiring five. The firm has a unique opportunity for an entry-level motion designer and filmmaker to be a part of a team within MAYA Design that will help clients tell compelling stories about the future of their products and services. Other positions include: IT support, a senior visual designer, software design engineer and lead researcher.
 
Industry Weapon, now in Greentree, has seven openings: web developer, technical support engineer, sales administrator, inside account executive, software engineer, quality assurance agent and an in-house Windows developer.
 
Reed Smith is looking for a document and application specialist, someone to assist with administrative support with a range of duties firmwide.
 
Lucas Systems, provider of voice-directed logistics solutions for retailers, wholesale distributors, and manufacturers, is hiring six and looking for two interns:  software and product engineers, technical support analysts, project manager, software test engineer and a software support intern and software engineer intern.
 
PPG Industries is looking for a corporate marketing manager to manage all aspect of PPG’s global corporate brand and reputation.
 
The Design Center, a community planning and urban reinvestment nonprofit, is looking for a community programs manager to provide project management and technical support to consultants with the program.
 
Axiom Health Intellect Systems, a startup company focused on hospital analytics and business analytics software products, is hiring two sales account executives.
 
Aquion Energy, a Pittsburgh-based manufacturer of aqueous hybrid ion batteries, is looking for a strong writer with a marketing or related degree to assist the marketing director in moving out the message of this sustainable industrial battery.
 
Deeplocal in the Strip District is hiring a treatment writer and designer, a part-time contract position.
 
Flying Cork Media, a strategic marketing communications firm, seeks a full-time creative writing to assist in client campaign writing.
 
Have hiring news? Email Pop City and include the job links.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

$1.6 million boosts local scientific research, thanks to Charles Kaufman

Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh are among five institutions to share almost $1.6 million in grants supporting some of the most promising scientific research across the state.
 
The grants are the first round of funding from the Charles E. Kaufman Foundation, a part of The Pittsburgh Foundation, an endowment of $40 million that is designated to advancing scientific research in Pennsylvania.
 
“Any one of these grants has the potential to expand the frontiers of knowledge,” said Grant Olifant, president and CEO of the foundation. “This makes it that much easier for scientists to do groundbreaking research in Pennsylvania.”
 
Born in Clarion, Pa., in 1913, Kaufman was a longtime resident of the South Hills. He attended Carnegie Tech, now CMU, and was a chemical engineer for the Hagan Corp., which later became the Calgon Corp. Always ahead of his time, he was an active entrepreneur and an early member of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
 
A total of eight grants were awarded to researchers at five universities: CMU, University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University and Drexel and Temple universities in Philadelphia.
 
More than 170 applicants applied for the first round of funding; researchers were selected using a model similar to Robert A. Welch Foundation, a Houston-based organization that supports scientific research in Texas.  
 
It was Mr. Kaufman’s intention to stimulate research in the state much the same way the Welch Foundation has for the state of Texas, said Graham Hatfull, chair the of Kaufaman Foundation’s scientific advisory board.

The on-going research seeks to encourage breakthroughs in chemistry, biology and physics, including cancer, autism, radiation, pharmaceuticals and bioengineering. Read a complete list of the research grants.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Grant Olifant, The Pittsburgh Foundation

Cameleon, a rich and textured app for the artistically serious iPhotographer

A photography app that offers wild color and wants a long-term relationship?
 
Pittsburgh professional photographer Tom Persinger of F295 has developed a serious yet simple app that is generating a buzz for its saturation of color, hue and grainy contrast.
 
Cameleon is for the mobile photographer who wants each picture to achieve a self-generated, highly original effect, he explains. Unlike other apps that use prefab filters, toy lenses or film packs, each Cameleon photo creates a look as distinct as the photographer who snapped it.
 
“In the age of snap and share, I think it's important that photographers are able to make something unique,” he says.
 
A full-time freelance photographer and writer, the Franklin Park officially launched the app last Friday at B&H Photo in New York City. Cameleon 1.1 is available for $2.99 through iTunes and works with iPhones 4 and 5, iPads 2,3,4 and the mini and all iPods with cameras. It does not work on an iPhone 4S.
 
Cameleon allows users to manipulate the look of a picture before it is snapped. Sliders control brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness and hue, turning up the color up and down from rich hues to a more granular sepia and black and white.
 
And it works exceptionally well with high resolution images. 

Multiple copies of single shots can be saved for comparison purposes. It also offers privacy, doesn’t harvest user information like many apps and has a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr interface.
 
“This gives you a lot more possibilities and less headaches than having some filter packs sold to you constantly as IAP,” says one reviewer.
 
This is only just the beginning, says Persinger.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Tom Persinger, Cameleon

c-leveled opens a new startup incubator in Bloomfield for serious entrepreneurs

C-leveled came into being in 2009 during the economic downturn, a time when businesses were looking to resolve issues to survive, says Denise DeSimone, founder and CEO.
 
A seasoned entrepreneur, DeSimone had had successes. She had helped to build Unicorp., a speech recognition tech company, from the ground up as CEO; within two years it reached a global market with revenues exceeding $74 million.  She was also the CEO of Advanticom. 

She received a regional Ernest & Young 2008 Entrepreneur of the Year  and was on Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business for 2009. She wanted her eighth company to give back in some way, a sort of entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs. 
 
The company started out by offering financial consulting tools and executives as a service to high-end companies that couldn’t afford to hire a CFO. For example, when Oakland Raiders’ Shawntae Spencer, a Woodland Hills High School grad, suggested an idea for a personal concierge app, c-leveled helped to develop and launch MetroMe, a one-stop shop for concert tickets, dinner reservations and more.

“It became really apparent that we needed not only a space where we could be more efficient, but one that would foster collaboration and creative thought,” says DeSimone.

This month the firm, which employs 16, opened a private incubator for startups in its Bloomfield office, a space that offers a wide range of services to both budding and established entrepreneurs, from business strategy to brand designs, logos and social media consulting.

It's a launch pad for serious entrepreneurs who have at least two companies under their belt, she says.

“We’re not just assisting with ideas, but doing the work. We’re writing the business plans.  Telling someone they need a pricing strategy to someone who has never done it before is like telling them to write ‘War and Peace,’” she says.

C-level also has a $1 million seed fund to get companies off the ground. 

“It has to be a great idea, a good market and a good entrepreneur,” she says. “There’s a lot of entrepreneurial spirit here, a lot of great ideas coming out of Pittsburgh from people of all ages,” she adds. “If we could figure out how to make it all work together more efficiently, we could do something really cool.”

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Denise DeSimone, c-leveled

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? H.J. Heinz, Alcoa, Lunametrics, USC School District and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest company hiring news.
 
Lunametrics on the South Side, a growing boutique firm with a fun work ethic, has three full-time positions in search engine optimization (SEO) for an online media strategist, SEO project manager, technical SEO as well as a digital marketing Intern.
 
H.J. Heinz Company in Pittsburgh is hiring an associate director of government affairs, crisis & reputation management, a senior position that requires 12 years of experience as a senior level public relations and government affairs professional.

Alcoa is hiring a senior payroll analyst responsible for working with the payroll outsourcer to ensure accurate payroll for the U.S. employee population. 
 
K&L Gates is looking for a junior graphic designer responsible for performing production design, information design, layout, stock photo research and creative design for lawyers and administrative departments throughout the firm. 

Upper St. Clair School District is hiring a director of advancement, a part-time position (25-30 hours per week) created to compliment the charitable giving effort of the school district with an emphasis on individual giving, major giving, grant seeking and corporate partnerships. 

Pittsburgh Green Innovators, a nonprofit focused on growing a vibrant green economy in the region, is hiring a program development director responsible for leading the organization forward and advancing key programs and activities. 
 
Skyword, based in Boston, has an opportunity for a technical writer to join the product management team in its Pittsburgh office. The technical writer will work collaboratively with our product managers, user interface designers, web designers, developers and support team.
 
The University of Pittsburgh, a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, seeks a highly motivated individual with strong communications skills for the full-time position of asistant director of media relations. 
 
The Center for Women in Pittsburgh is hiring a part-time mentor and internship manager is responsible for the development, management and evaluation of the Mentoring and Internship and Job Shadowing programs for the Center for Women program participants. The center serves women throughout the region with issues relating to economic independence.
 
The Technology Development Center at UPMC is hiring regular, full-time intermediate designers to work regular business hours, Monday through Friday, at its Bakery Square location.
 
Have hiring news? Email Pop City and include the links to the jobs.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Style Truck, a mobile boutique for designer fashion, pulls up in Pittsburgh

Style Truck hit the road running this month, a boutique on wheels outfitted in adorable shades of lavender and pink. 
 
Just what is it? In my wildest dreams, Style Truck rescues me from my worst wardrobe malfunctions; unfortunately for me, that’s not the point. 
 
“It’s a good idea,” says Jackee Ging, owner and driver, pondering the idea. “If I knew that I could get a parking spot every Wednesday near Market Square, that would be great.”
 
An entrepreneur at heart, Ging started her business in response to a trend that puts mobile boutiques alongside food trucks as among the coolest up and coming businesses. Having worked in business and retail, it seemed a perfect fit, she says. Mobile boutiques are very popular in California, Minneapolis and Boston.
 
Style Truck offers designer fashion at affordable prices for professional women on the go, she explains. Ging is working with several small clothing designers and two local jewelry designers to convey a wide range of looks and an array of fabrics, including organic threads, bamboo and cotton.
 
Not all of it is professional wear, she admits. She couldn’t resist some funky tees.
 
Style Truck also carries accessories and handmade pieces by Honey In the Wood in Uniontown and Design by Samantha in Mt. Lebanon.
 
The boutique plans regular stops at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille in Warrendale, especially for their manicure martini ladies' nights, as well as Urban Cottage in Lawrenceville, a home décor boutique. She's also on tap as a judge for "Project Runway Unconventional Materials Challenge" and pulling in for the Yoga Fest in Point State Park.
 
Not everyone understands what she’s up to when she shows up, she admits.
 
“People look at me like I have 10 heads when I tell them it’s a food truck with clothes,” she says. “I don’t have my elevator pitch down yet.”
 
Ging is planning on teaming up with local boutiques and private individuals to offer wine and cheese parties, ladies’ nights and charity events.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Jackee Ging, Style Truck
 

Can I afford this? BudgetSimple teaches us to strategically chip away debt

With so many online tools to make budgeting household expenses easier, can it get any simpler?
 
BudgetSimple thinks so. The AlphaLab startup, which started as an Excel spreadsheet for friends, proved so popular—growing from 60,000 to 114,000 users in no time—co-founder Phil Anderson decided to try turning it into a business. He joined the South Side startup incubator and began tweaking the platform and developing a mobile app.
 
While there are many financial products on the market, most are complicated and cluttered, he says. The key to BudgetSimple is the simple act of logging transactions and acknowledging expenses and spending patterns; it works much the same way a weight loss app identifies the small ways we cheat ourselves every day. 
 
“Just the act of thinking about it is helpful,” he says. “You’re forced to think about everything.”
 
While the tool is free, an upgrade ($29 to $39 a year) provides a mobile app and reminders and scheduling tools. A new version will be rolled out in several months, allowing users to automatically track and categorize all transaction through a read-only, third party provider. The reporting feature, which creates a pie graph of your monthly spending, is cool and free. 
 
“It's the simplicity that seems to be the thing that gets people to stick with us,” says Anderson. “While other programs are telling you where your money went after it's too late, we're trying to give people actionable advice based on financial planning best practices.”  
 
Anderson, originally from Baltimore, is joined by co-founder Dimitry Bentsionov of Pittsburgh. Anderson formerly worked for Vivisimo, Lunametrics and the Pittsburgh startup Levlr.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Phil Anderson, BudgetSimple

CMU's DrawAFriend makes magical artists of us all, pushes gaming forward

Those who struggle to sketch anything with a pencil will agree that drawing with a finger on a smartphone is useless. But research is changing that.
 
CMU researchers have resolved what they call, the “fat finger” problem with a crowdsourced solution that subtly corrects the digital strokes and improves picture quality. To accomplish this, they first created a mobile game, DrawAFriend, and began collecting thousands of smartphone generated images.
 
Creating a mobile game app allowed us to generate a massive database for large-scale analysis of human drawings, says Adrien Treuille, associate professor of computer science and robotics at Carnegie Mellon. 
 
DrawAFriend requires players to sketch and guess friends and celebrity profiles like Ben Affleck and Angelina Jolie. In its first week, the game generated 1,500 sketches a day, subsequently collecting more than 17,000 images.
 
The images contained important, stroke-by-stroke information about how each was created. The scientific goal was to automatically correct a person’s drawing strokes while preserving their artistic integrity, making it “invisible to the user, so people wouldn’t even be aware the correction is taking place,” says Alex Limpaecher, a doctorate student in CMU’s Computer Science Department.
 
“The point is you feel like it is your drawing, just slightly corrected. Every time you put your finger on the screen, there’s a slight ambiguity in what you want to do. We chose to resolve that ambiguity in the most beautiful way,” says Treuille. “It’s a magical thing.”
 
While the solution has obvious implications for gaming, the bigger picture is even more intriguing. For one, scientists are learning how to better and more creatively collect massive data sets. Everything in life comes down to nudging ourselves toward greater perfection, says Treuille. Imagine parking a car that makes minute corrections to perfectly guide it into a space.
 
Limpaecher presented the team’s findings this week at SIGGRAPH 2013, the International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, in Anaheim, Calif. a preliminary exhibition of some of the world’s greatest emerging innovations.
 
In addition to Treuille and Limpaecher, the other team members were Nicholas Feltman, a Ph.D. student in computer science, and Michael Cohen, principal researcher in Microsoft Research’s Interactive Visual Media Group.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Adrien Treuille, Alex Limpaecher, CMU

In case you're wondering, the DrawAFriend sketch is Angelina Jolie

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Branding Brand poised for major expansion and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest company and hiring news.

Branding Brand, the Pittsburgh-based creator of mobile sites and apps for some of the largest brands in the world, is expanding and hiring more than 13 people in a variety of positions: director of engineering, account manager, front-end developer, iOS developer, lead engineer, lead software engineer, production support engineer, systems analyst and junior feasibility engineer, vice president of finance and vice president of mobile commerce project management.

Oh, and for recent grads, an entry-level integration tester and quality assurance engineer.

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review is hiring an assistant metro editor to manage the metro desk.

Pittsburgh economic development nonprofit Urban Innovation21 is hiring a vice president, a person responsible for overseeing programs and services and assisting with day-to-day operations. The position requires an effective leader with excellent organization and management skills, an ability to be culturally competent and equipped with excellent communication skills.

Innovation Works is seeking a Program Manager for its AlphaLab accelerator program, a position responsible for many of the day-to-day operations of the program including managing key partner relationships, programming of educational talks and networking events, application process management, internal systems and processes, and facility logistics.
 
Pittsburgh marketing agency Brunner is looking for a social community manager and trend spotter, a position that will be responsible for helping brands manage their social media presence and engage their followers.
 
Songwhale in Lawrenceville is looking software engineers, product managers and developers.

PPG Industries is looking for someone with corporate communication and relationship building skills to be its next corporate communications manager.
 
Carnegie Speech is looking to hire a software engineer to help develop and maintain its language teaching products.

The Pittsburgh Jewish Film Forum--JFilm--is looking for a dedicated, detail-oriented, experienced administrator to help coordinate all phases of this big-thinking, small arts organization including a successful and critically acclaimed annual film festival and numerous other year-round activities. The position is part-time averaging 20 hours per week (except for peak times) and includes evenings and weekends as needed. 
 
SCA Technologies, a leading provider of category sourcing and cost management solutions, has openings for three including a office manager, sales account executive and customer service rep. Those applying should have enterprise level software sales experience and experience in selling supply chain solutions to the food industry.

USA TODAY Sports Media Group is seeking a reporter for its high schools division in Pittsburgh to cover the field  24/7 and has a proven background of producing industry-leading coverage.

Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board (3RWIB) has rolled out a new online tool that connects job seekers to free or low-cost training programs designed to prepare people for quick entry into well-paying jobs in health care, energy, and manufacturing.  Called Quick Train for Jobs, the site is a  clearing house for free or low-cost, high-quality, brief training programs with some of the region’s most recognized institutions.

Is your company growing and expanding? Have hiring news? Email Pop City and include the links!

Writer: Deb Smit

OpenCurriculum. Bringing educational content to developing countries...and Pittsburgh.

When it comes to assisting with the education of children in developing countries, programs like One Laptop Per Child only go so far, says Varun Arora.
 
Arora is founder and executive director of OpenCurriculum, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit startup that is developing an open source platform for education designed for countries where textbooks are scarce and quality teaching curriculums are nearly nonexistent.
 
“You can give every child a laptop, but teachers don’t know how to teach using the laptop,” says Arora. “There is no content that is locally relevant, no access to higher quality learning materials.”
 
OpenCurriculum hopes to change this through its open source, searchable platform for teachers that allows them to upload lesson plans and share materials they’ve created to make a profit.
 
The monetized aspect of the program is a work in progress, says Arora.
 
The textbook industry is a tightly controlled industry in many countries, he explains. Open content is coming out of the need to democratize educational curriculums and make them available to the millions of people who have no access to this information.
 
OpenCurriculum got its start in 2011 with a team of six people, mostly graduates from CMU and University of Pittsburgh. Arora grew up in the Middle East and studied in CMU’s campus in Qatar before moving to Pittsburgh and receiving his master’s degree at Pitt. The team is working out of Thrill Mill in East Liberty.
 
The plan is to target two countries initially, South Africa and Nepal, both of which have a thriving system of affordable private schools. Building relationships with educators in these countries is key, helping them to realize the benefits of sharing and selling educational programs they’ve developed.
 
Obtaining and providing access to educational programs developed locally is important because of their established success. Once OpenCurriculum gains traction in a country, a satellite office will be established.
 
“The platform works very much like Wikipedia,” says Anup Aryal, the startup’s self-proclaimed chief evangelist. "The collaborative aspect is key. The time has come for content to be decentralized so more people can purchase and benefit from it financially and professionally.”
 
OpenCurriculum will offer the same opportunities to public schools in the U.S., especially school districts with limited educational resources. The startup will launch its platform on August 1, 2013 in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, allowing teachers to collaboratively create and share materials with one another.
 
“This is the land of innovation, technology and education,” says Arora of Pittsburgh. “This has tremendous potential here. Our (greater) hope is to localize and partner with local organizations and grass roots communities.”
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Varun Arora and Anup Aryal, OpenCurriculum

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center lifts the veil on unreported "odd lot" stock market trading

Back in the day—15 years ago, that is—the New York Stock Exchange was an enterprise largely managed by humans. Then super computers took over.

With the help of complex computer algorithms, stock market transactions today turn in nanoseconds, a phenomenon known as high speed trading (HST). The problem with this is HST is redefining how stock market transactions work,  giving the largest and most sophisticated investors with high-speed systems an unfair advantage.

To analyze HST trading practices, researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign leveraged computations on Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center’s Blacklight and San Diego Supercomputer Center’s Gordon.   

The researchers found that “odd-lot” trading—the trading of 100 or fewer shares at a time—was indeed impacting market volatility, allowing traders to hide the activity from other traders since “odd lot” trades were not reported.

Research showed that “odd lot” trading accounts for up to 20% of total trading volume. Market authorities took action. Starting in October 2013, all trades--down to a single share—must be reported.

“It takes a supercomputer today to unveil what another supercomputer is doing,” explains Ralph Roskies, scientific director of the PSC. “The beauty of Blacklight is its very large shared memory, which allows it to watch over what other computers are doing.”
 
Issues associated with HST first surfaced during the “flash crash” in May of 2010 when the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped almost 1,000 points in about 20 minutes, the biggest one day drop in history. Analysis later revealed that HST-related glitches, and the associated algorithms, caused the problem.

The research involving PSU’s Blacklight will appear in an upcoming issue of The Journal of Finance.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Ralph Roskies, PSC
 

UPMC among the "most wired" healthcare providers in country. HealthTrak goes mobile.

Pittsburgh's largest health care provider, UPMC, was ranked among the “Most Wired” health systems in the country for a 15th consecutive year, ranking it among 289 health care organizations—and one of only two in western Pa.—to be recognized as a pioneer in electronic medical record keeping.

St. Clair Hospital in the South Hills also received the designation.

UPMC has long been considered an early adopter of digital technologies. For the last five years, the healthcare provider has invested more than $1.3 billion to enhance clinical and administrative records and develop a medical communication platform for patients.

In 2007, UPMC launched UPMC HealthTrak, a 24-hour online service that offers patients fast access to a wide range of healthcare services and their own personal records. The system provides access to doctor’s offices, medical diagnoses, lab results and history as well as renew and track prescriptions, request appointments and seek billing help.

The online system is a major improvement over the UPMC phone system, by all accounts.

Several months ago UPMC began offering HealthTrak-enrolled patients access to the same information by smartphone and iPad. To gain access, patients must be enrolled on HealthTrak before they can use the app, MyChart, which is free on iTunes.

Implementing the system was a gradual process as doctors and staff were given time to buy into online record-keeping, explains Dr. G. Daniel Martich, chief medical information officer for UPMC. The first year, about 4,000 patients signed up.

UPMC has since stepped up its effort to enlist more patients. More than 180,000 patients are currently enrolled in HealthTraK, a number that continues to grow by 1,500 new patients a week.
 
“We believe in empowering the patient,” says Martich. “It’s a quality initiative that is improving patient care and safety. These are things patients need to be responsible for their own health.”
 
The 289 “Most Wired” health care organizations were chosen based on four areas: infrastructure, business and administrative management, clinical quality and safety, and clinical integration. The designation was made by Hospitals & Health Networks, the journal of the American Hospital Association (AHA).

UPMC was also ranked 10th in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals this week.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Dr. G. Daniel Martich, UPMC

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? NetHealth, Panopto and City of Asylum

Each week Pop City reports on the latest company expansion and hiring news.
 
Panopto, a growing company working to bring people together in industry and education through software for webcasts and video presentations, is looking to expand its team of developers, marketers, sales and support. The company recently raised $2.4 million for further product development and international expansion.
 
Two positions are currently posted for application engineers.
 
City of Asylum/Pittsburgh, the writers' residence that is building an international community of writer’s, artists and readers, is hiring three: account manager, administrative assistant and program-project manager.
 
Strip District-based Net Health, developers of health record systems for specialty outpatient clinics, has announced major expansion plans. The firm plans to double its workforce of 110 by next year, a company spokesperson confirmed. Positions will be announced soon, says a company spokesperson.

Industry Weapon, a digital media and communications firm, has seven openings: technical support engineer, web developer, sales administration, inside account executive, software engineer, quality assurance agent and windows-contractor.
 
Thermo Fisher Scientific is hiring a digital designer, a position that requires a bachelor’s degree and five years experience working in a corporate environment. The position requires the ability to provide brand guidance for all digital projects. 
 
Dick's Sporting Goods in Findlay is getting ready to recruit staff for its new Field & Stream store opening in August in Cranberry Township. Dick’s has announced the hiring of outdoor enthusiasts, especially hunters and anglers able to offer professional assistance in selling a wide range of outdoor gear.
 
West Penn Allegheny Health System is hiring for many medical positions: medical technologist, echocardiography technologist, respiratory therapist, phlebotomist as well as nurses and nursing assistants and administrators.
 
Quantum Theatre is looking for a part-time social media consultant to raise brand awareness and deliver traffic to the theatre company's website, social media destinations, live productions, and special events.
 
Chemistry Communications is looking for a Fall Intern to begin in September working with the public relations and social media department.  Responsibilities will include building media lists, daily media monitoring, drafting press releases, and social media work. Candidates must be able to receive credit and should e-mail Darice Case at darice@visitthelab.com.  
 
Writer: Deb Smit
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