Robo-girls Take On the World

A lone all-girl team makes the semifinals of the FIRST Robotics World Championships

8 min read

More than 10 000 teenagers from 344 teams traveled from 23 countries to the Georgia Dome this month, bringing with them teachers, parents, and mentors. Joining them were representatives of parts suppliers, manufacturers, DARPA, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The draw? The 2007 FIRST Robotics World Championship.

Seven all-girl teams made the run through the gauntlet of regional championships to be part of the Atlanta group. All-girl robotics teams are a new and growing phenomenon.Some of them earned their spots by winning regional competitions outright. Others got their tickets by capturing a Rookie All Star award--for exemplifying a young but strong partnership effort--or by garnering a Chairman's Award--for creating the best partnership among all participating teams.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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