2019-20 Magic Grant Profile: Stories as Programs

Among the projects funded as 2019-20 Magic Grants is a novel technology for teaching “computational thinking.” With their grant, Griffin Dietz and Elizabeth Murnane, computer scientists based in Stanford, are producing A Voice Based Interface for Storytelling and Programming in Early Elementary Years  — a voice assistant-style application that teaches elementary school students the basics

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A 2018-19 Magic Grant Profile

By Alex Calderwood. In 2008, Noya Kohavi found herself employed as a reporter for the Israeli fashion magazine Signon. She got the job “by accident,” after signing on to write profiles for them. “It was really fun, but I didn’t know anything about fashion,” she says. When Kohavi was assigned a story — Spring trends

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A 2018-19 Magic Grant Profile

By Alex Calderwood. Sarah Stillman, director of the Global Migration Project at Columbia Journalism School, and staff writer at The New Yorker, says the project When Deportation is a Death Sentence, a 2018-19 Magic Grant, originally grew out of curiosity about the fallout from Obama-era deportations; as the number of Central American asylum-seekers at the

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A 2018-19 Magic Grant Profile

By Alex Calderwood. One hundred journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000. These journalists were mostly investigating cartel activity and corruption in the Mexican government, and they were explicitly targeted for their reporting. Yet, according to a report by The Committee to Protect Journalists, “the Mexican government has only intermittently recognized anti-press violence as

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A 2018-19 Magic Grant Profile

By Alex Calderwood. You’re browsing Instagram and you see someone wearing a winter coat that speaks to you. You comment on the post and ask “Love the jacket, what kind is it?.” A few minutes later, the poster responds “Canada Goose, obviously.” You remember something about the brand and other designer clothes being banned from

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A 2018-19 Magic Grant Profile

By Alex Calderwood. DNA evidence carries an aura of the indisputable, thought of as the “gold standard” in forensic science. Because of this power, law enforcement has asked forensic laboratories to interpret ever more challenging evidence — “touch” DNA evidence like a gun or cell phone which are often handled by a number of people. 

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