Ray's team has just won the 2018 CSULB Climathon Hackathon. Ray proposed a personal carbon footprint app like a FitBit but for carbon footprint (rather than exercise). The diverse team took off and ran with it and the CSULB judges awarded us the first prize atthe conclusion of the 24 hour hackathon. The event was a simultaneous global event occurring in more than 100 cities across the world.
Ray was just notified that he will be sponsored to participate in a gerrymandering project to take place on San Francisco, California in the middle of March. The event brings together mathematicians to study the application of geometry and computing to redistricting efforts in the United States.
Ray recently attended the Long Beach Civic Innovation Summit meeting. There was a keynote speaker from Virgin Galactic as well as a diverse panel discussion on innovation trends and needs in Long Beach. Ray made some new contacts to try and work with.
Ray is participating in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Women in Tech hackathon in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday. Why participate in a Women in Tech hackathon? Because I was asked to participate and spread the word about the fun jobs that can be had in tech and possibly to get involved in some coding also.
Ray particpated in the Google/Manos hackathon for foster care. We spent Friday from 9 am until Saturday at 3 pm continuously coding away at finding resources for children/youth in foster care. (I did manage a 90 minute nap sometime near 4 am on Saturday morning. The final presentation and video was well received and we turned a few heads with what we managed to accomplish over the 40 odd hours.
Ray participated in a largely-attended community forum on the homeless issue at the Bay Shore Congregational Church in Long Beach. Ray had fruitfull discussions with the Long Beach Police Department, the Long Beach Outreach Officers, the Long Beach Fire Department and other organizations that are trying to provide a better life for homeless individuals and families. Ray's solutions were well received and there will be pilot programs and ongoing discussions beginning soon.
Ray recently finished a short term assignment at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Pasadena. He was called in to duplicate a vibration test of the cryocooler that will go on the James Webb Space Telescope. Ray had performed this test in a previous life and was called in by JPL for continuity of testing on the second unit. It was a good diversion for Ray and a chance to see his friends up at JPL.
Ray has been quietly working away on various non-profits websites and processes as well as this website. Ray finally updated the sports statistics pages to update automatically and display user-selected sets of team statistics. Both the National Hockey League page and the national Football League page update daily to provide the latest mid-season statistics.
In addition to attending the Long Beach Innovation Team civic summit at the Long Beach Convention center, Ray received word that he has been asked to sit on the California State University at Los Angeles Industrial Advisory Board. This board maps out the direction that the college of engineering will take in generating curriculum and other activities for students. The goal is to make sure that students are prepared to enter industry upon graduation and hit the ground running in their new careers.
Ray recently passed birthday number 59. According to his tradition, Ray rode 59 miles on the road bicycle to celebrate his 59th birthday. Ray has also been regularly participating in Habitat for Humanity builds as well as working on web programming and outreach for non-profits to provide shelter/resources to victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, and homelessness. Ray attended a silent art auction in Long Beach to benefit the End Child Prostituion in Asian Tourism (ecpat.org) intern program in Thailand. Ray is hoping to meet up with the ECPAT people on a future trip.
Ray has had a busy few weeks. He participated in collaborations to help the homeless in Long Beach, to implement new child abuse prevention/tracking tools in hospitals, and to release data to the public via Long Beach's Innovation Team (iTeam). He continues to develop new technology tools and processes for web and mobile devices to help those in need. Along the way there was also a Habitat for Humanity build day, though Ray is a bit disappointed that he is almost one month into his retirement and has only participated in one Habitat for Humanity build thus far. (And has not even used the new safety boots that he bought with an Amazon gift card from co-workers.)
Ray is retiring from his aerospace job on 31 May 2016. Ray feels that the time has come to work hard at other issues, such as helping victims of human trafficking and domestic violence and mis-placed adoptions, as well as spending more time on bicycles and more time traveling the world. Ray already has a number of activites lined up with the Long Beach Human Rights Commission, The Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force, and Habitat for Humanity. And Ray is looking forward to a trip to Ecuador sometime late in the summer.
Ray will be attending the Basic Income Create-A-Thon being held in the Wilshire district of Los Angeles sponsored by GOOD magazine. Writers, artists, developers, researchers, and geeks will come together to create projects around the theme of a Universal Basic Income in the United States. The idea is to help those lower down the economic ladder to create opportunity and better income equity in the United States.
Ray attended the Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force meeting. In subcommittee, Ray provided an outline of the Social Services Technology Solutions (SSTS) technology that can benefit the victims of human trafficking and domestic violence. Ray pointed out that a number of organizations had tried to make the technology work before, but the SSTS discriminator is the real-time bed/facility availability feature. Many people instantly saw the impact this could have and will be in negotiations soon.
The Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force was the sight of another meeting that Ray attended to pitch the use of technology to help those in need.
Ray recently pitched at Work Evolution Labs (aka WE Labs) for web and mobile based technology to address the homeless issue. The technology provides geolocated, realtime shelter and resource availability.
Ray just returned from a five week trip to Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia. It was a fun trip of bicycle riding, meeting up with friends, and seeing sights.