Changing course

Computer science, historically, has not been a welcoming place for women and people of color. This inequity persists to this day, even as industries scramble to fill available positions in the field. Recognizing the benefits of a larger and more diverse workforce, Oregon tech companies, including Intel, signed a tech diversity pledge in 2015.

Putting robots to work down on the farm

When you think of robots, chances are you picture them in an industrial setting, such as an automotive assembly plant. But one field where robots are poised to make a big impact over the next couple of decades is literally out on the field — in farms and orchards, harvesting food crops.

Mechanization in agriculture began in earnest with the advent of the tractor, which had become standard farm equipment by the 1930s. Today, only about 2% of the U.S. workforce works on farms, compared to about one-third around the time of World War II.

Sewers provide COVID-19 data

Courtesy of Kevin Miller, Oregon Stater

OSU researchers are looking in sewer systems for genetic evidence of the virus that causes COVID-19, in an effort to help determine the virus’ prevalence in an area.

Starting in Bend, researchers analyzed samples from multiple sewer line locations, looking for genetic material from the novel coronavirus that traveled from infected people into the city’s wastewater system. Researchers will also look at water samples from the city’s treatment plant.

Making products work for people

By Meriden Vitale

For Kyle McGann, figuring out the details of a project is fun. During one of his deployments to Afghanistan, he built a climbing wall in his room.

“I found the two best pieces of plywood then scrounged some two by fours,” McGann said. “My brackets were other pieces of plywood that I just cut out to put everything together.”

Advisors help students find stability in a landscape rocked by COVID-19

In the days following March 18, the date Oregon State University announced that all courses would be conducted remotely during the spring term in response to the COVID-19 health emergency, students flooded Cassie Pitkin with emails:

Should I stay in Corvallis? Will residence halls stay open? Will international students be able to go home? Will labs be done on Zoom? Can I get financial aid if I lose my job? Will my internship be canceled?

Beavers Care Initiative helping engineering students in need

College of Engineering students at Oregon State University who are beset by financial woes caused by the COVID-19 health emergency are getting fast and crucial relief from the college’s Student Emergency Fund.

The fund is part of the Beavers Care Initiative, which was created in partnership by the OSU Foundation and the university to raise money to help students meet their basic needs and stay on track to graduate.