Remember Angus MacGyver? He was the super-secret spy who rocked a mullet and used a ream of duct tape to save the world on a weekly basis in the 80’s and early 90’s. To this day, popular culture calls it “MacGyvering” when someone saves the day under less-than-optimal circumstances, especially in an engineering context.
MacGyver inspired many in a generation of engineers to enter the field. Now it’s time to do it again—but this time, with a woman at the lead.
Does that snout say “hangover cure” to you? It does to thousands of people in Asia who rely on traditional medicines made from endangered animals to cure everything from headaches to infertility. In 2014 alone, 1,214 rhinos were killed by poachers in South Africa, mostly for the Asian market. The practice is unsustainable at best; at worst, it’s catastrophic for the species and their ecosystems alike. Students at the University of Maryland’s Institute for Advanced Computer Studies are devising mathematical methods to crack down on hunters.
Everyone schmoozes—or, at least, they ought to. Many scientists feel uncomfortable about reaching out to strangers for help and advice, not to mention pitching themselves as exceptional candidates for funding, positions, and advancement. This is becoming increasingly important, however, especially in engineering circles.