Preview: Upcoming tech events summer 2012

VidCon, a huge annual video conference featuring YouTube stars like Phillip DeFranco, will take place in Anaheim, CA from June 28-30. Photo credit: VidCon

As the semester wraps up here at Purdue, it’s a good time to preview all of the awesome tech events that will be taking place over the summer.

There are likely to be more events added to the summer schedule at Purdue, so be sure to check the Purdue Newsroom for updates.

A great site to check for events on the national/international level is tech enthusiast site CNET.

Here are some of the events that are happening around the Purdue/Lafayette area:

  • April 28: 3rd Annual Purdue electronic vehicle Grand Prix takes place at 1 p.m. at the Purdue Grand Prix track (Free and open to the public)
  • May 12: 2nd Purdue Collegiate evGrandPrix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

If you’re not around the Lafayette area, here are some of the large-scale events to look out for this summer:

  • April 26 – 27: TheNextWeb Conference will be taking place in Amsterdam. Events include a hack battle, speakers from prominent companies like YouTube and Reddit, and info about new tech start-ups.
  • June 28-30: 3rd Annual VidCon 2012 in the Anaheim, Calif. Convention Center. Huge video conference to meet and greet with YouTube stars like LiveLavaLive, MeekaKitty and Nanalew. Full list of guests on VidCon website.

What tech events are you looking forward to the most?


Google and Twitter executives visit Purdue to discuss social media and politics (video)

Executives from Google and Twitter held a very interesting discussion on the campus of Purdue University on March 22 about the relationships between politics and social media.

Jonathan Perelman, an Industry Relations executive from Google, and Adam Sharp, Political Lead executive from Twitter, were invited to speak on campus by Project Impact, a student organization which seeks to widen the scope of its students’ exposure to media, policy, civic engagement, and communication technology.

Prior to the start of the event, there was a pre-event where the public could meet with the executives. Here’s a video recap of the pre-event and some highlights from the discussion, which was given the name “Is Social Media Changing the 2012 Election?”.

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Discussing career fairs with a Purdue Aviation Technology student

The 2012 Aviation Technology Career Fair at Purdue took place last Thursday in Niswonger Hall. Photo credit: Purdue College of Technology website

As a follow-up to the preview blog that I wrote about the 2012 Aviation Technology (AT) career fair, which took place last Wednesday, I talked with Mark Udolph, who is a graduating senior in Aviation Technology, about the career fair.

Q: Were you happy with the turnout with regard to the companies that participated in the Aviation Tech career fair?

A: I was, but it turned out that Cummins Inc. never showed up. I wanted to talk to them, but I didn’t get a chance to do that, so that was a drag.

I talked to about 12 of the 20 companies that were there, so I was happy with the turnout overall.

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Preview: Purdue’s College of Tech to host Aviation Technology career fair Mar. 29

Photo credit: Purdue Aviation Technology website

Purdue’s College of Technology will host its annual Aviation Technology (AT) career fair this Thursday, March 29.

It looks to be a busy career fair, so be sure to plan ahead for it if you’re going to attend!

Some quick information about the career fair:

Some of the companies that will be in attendance at this year’s career fair are:

These are only a few of the companies that will be in attendance. A full list of the companies that will be in attendance can be found on the department of AT website.

There will also be representatives from the U.S. Marine Corps Officer programs, and the U.S. Navy Officer programs in attendance.

The department of Aviation Technology is urging students to register through Purdue’s Center for Career Opportunities Express website.

From the department of AT website:

First-year students through graduating seniors should register NOW to receive important information relating to internship and permanent job opportunities.

Here is a link to a PDF of the registration form, which can also be found on the department of AT website.

After you’ve filled it out, you’ll want to send it via fax, e-mail, or postal service to:

Fax (765) 494-2305
Postal Address Aviation Technology
1401 Aviation Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2015

For any additional information, contact Suzanne Coolbaugh-Walker at (765) 494-9967, or

It looks like it will be a beautiful day weather wise, but you might want to check the radar and forecast for Lafayette before you head out to the airport in your formal attire!

Good luck to everyone at the career fair!

Andriod apps could be twice as power efficent without ads

Free apps that cycle through ads are killing battery life on mobile devices, according to a group of Purdue University researchers. Photo credit:

If you’ve got an Android phone or tablet, it would get dramatically better battery life without advertisements, according to an article on tech website The Verge.

A team of researchers at Purdue University recently partnered up with Microsoft, and they discovered that a whopping 75 percent of app related battery drainage on the Android platform is due to the processes that show ads.

It’s well-known that free apps on all mobile platforms – like iOS and Android – that show ads tend to be huge battery hogs, but this is one of the first studies I’ve heard of that shows just how much juice those advertisements take out of a battery.

Lead by Purdue doctoral candidate Abhinav Pathak, the researchers developed a really cool piece of software called EProf, which is able to evaluate just how much an individual app is draining the battery.

The group tested five popular free apps on an HTC Passion (Nexus One) running Android 2.3.

Examples of the apps they tested are: Angry Birds, Free Chess, and the New York Times app.

When Angry Birds was tested, they found that less than 30 percent of the battery drainage was caused by actual game play.


After I read that, it made me wonder, where is the other 70 percent of the battery drainage coming from?

The researchers found that it comes from:

  • uploading information about the user (physical location, for example)
  • downloading advertisements
  • displaying those advertisements

A word of advice that can be taken from all this information:

Avoid free apps that contain ads.

Paying a few dollars for the app will help save battery life immensely.


Tech events to watch for over the next few weeks (including the new iPad)

Apple's latest generation iPad (unveiled today) will be available on March 16. Photo credit: The Wall Street Journal

There are a lot of exciting things going on in tech world over the next few weeks to be on the lookout for!

Purdue will be on spring break next week, so I will not be blogging, but I want to give everyone a heads up about some of those events.

Upcoming events hosted by Purdue, according to their newsroom:

  • March 22: Executives from Google and Twitter will speak about social media and democracy in Loeb Playhouse. The forum is called, “Is Social Media Changing the 2012 Election?”
  • April 16: Purdue will host an event for high school students to explore computer science. The event is targeted for high school aged girls, but ANY high school student is welcome.

Some upcoming events in the wider world of technology:

  • March 9-13: The 19th Annual SXSW Interactive festival – a giant tech festival where some of the brightest minds show off their ideas, takes place in Austin, Texas.
  • March 16: Apple’s new version of the iPad goes on sale. It has 4G LTE data speeds and a retina display. The iPad 2 will still remain on sale, with a starting price of $399.

Will this be a revolutionary change to how many iPads Apple will sell? They already sold more iPads than HP sold PCs last quarter.

Will they sell even more now?

Here’s an audio clip of Purdue professor Dr. Sorin Matei, who is a communication technology scholar, giving his opinion about the features of the new iPad.

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Purdue professor discusses how social media could be affecting us

Social media may be changing us in ways that we won't be able to explain for years, according to Dr. Sorin Matei, a Purdue University professor of communication. Photo credit: Socialmaximizer blog

Do you ever wonder how social media might be affecting our society?

I sure do.

It fascinates me every day.

To find out some answers, I recently interviewed Purdue communication professor Dr. Sorin Matei, who is a communication technology scholar, to discuss social media with me.

Dr. Matei says on his biography website that he studies, “… the motivations for and technological means by which people connect with other people, communities or institutions.”

I was interested to hear his perspectives about social media, and what effects he thinks they might be having on the way we communicate.

We’ve all heard examples of the horror stories that can occur online, but there are also benefits of connecting online that can sometimes be overshadowed by them.

In this audio clip, Dr. Matei talks about the advantages and disadvantages of living in an always connected world:

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