The Download
The Download: Maia Majumder sees herself as a data point
(Photo: Aram Boghosian/Boston Globe)
MIT graduate student Maia Majumder applies mathematics to infectious disease data. In the past year, she has tracked the spread of Ebola and Middle East respiratory syndrome. Majumder, 25, uses Twitter as a professional tool to discuss her research and to interact with colleagues around the world. That has gotten her noticed, leading to a fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital and a contract for an academic book she will co-edit. Majumder shared her digital habits with The Download. Read More
here a bot there a bot
Robots on the loose! Cambridge Science Week scavenger hunt begins Monday
These three robots -- spray painted water bottles sold at the MIT Museum -- will be hidden all around Cambridge. (Photo: Tina McCarthy/MIT Museum)
The Cambridge Science Festival begins next Friday, and visitors to the geek carnival can visit a "robot zoo," solve a CSI-style mystery, and meet astronaut Chris Cassidy. To add to the fun this year is a scavenger hunt: Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find one of three golden robot figurines hidden away in the city.  Read More
Kids these days
Pew study finds teens' social media use varies by gender, economic background
It looks like a few stereotypes about "teenagers these days" might have some basis in fact. According to a new report from the Pew Research Center, 92 percent of teens (defined as ages 13 to 17) report going online every single day — and of these, almost one in four say that they are online "almost constantly." Read More
Fresh approach to selling underwear
Waltham startup Peach building a new lingerie brand around better fit
Peach co-founders Derek Ohly and Janet Kraus.
A lingerie startup in Waltham has been keeping a low profile, even after raising more than $3 million in venture capital. Peach is quietly assembling a network of commissioned sales agents around the country — the company calls them "stylists" — who will help market the company's line of bras, underwear, and hosiery. Peach's emphasis is on better-fitting lingerie, and the stylists will do measurements in customers' homes and their own, CEO Janet Kraus said. Read More
Big Data
UMass Amherst launches new Center for Data Science
The UMass Amherst campus. Photo: JONATHAN WIGGS/GLOBE STAFF
The University of Massachusetts Amherst is doubling down its effort to become a top-tier university for “Big Data” research. On Thursday, the flagship school in the commonwealth’s university system will announce the launch of a new center for data science. Over the next decade, the school plans to hire 40 new faculty positions and raise $100 million through industry investments to expand the school’s presence in the burgeoning field. Read More
Capital W
Boston women's venture summit spotlights gender balance, bias in entrepreneurship
Former State Treasurer Shannon O'Brien made a pitch for her company during the Boston Women's Venture Summit in South Boston. (Globe Staff/Wendy Maeda)
The inaugural meeting of Capital W: The Boston Women's Venture Summit wasn't just another conference, it was a Silicon Seneca Falls. And if you don't get my reference, go read about Susan B. Anthony's conference in 1848 where women met to talk about their freedom (or lack thereof). Read More
The Download
Fidelity Lab's Sean Belka is a 2-device guy with an eye on young investors
Sean Belka, who runs Fidelity’s innovation center, is intrigued by bitcoin and is slow to read all of his e-mails, he confesses. SUZANNE KREITER/GLOBE STAFF
Sean Belka directs Fidelity Labs, Fidelity Investments’ innovation center. Fidelity Labs is responsible for bringing new technology to the Boston company’s online investment services, making them more interactive and appealing, especially to younger customers. In recent years, Fidelity Labs has introduced Stock City, which allows investors to visualize a portfolio as a city center, and Beat the Benchmark, an investing game. This month, the Fidelity app will be available on the new Apple smartwatch. Belka shared his digital habits with The Download. Read More
Pixability banks $18.2 million to help big brands connect with online video viewers
Don't fear the pivot, says Pixability chief executive Bettina Hein. When she started the company in 2008, in the thick of the recession, the mission was to help small businesses make marketing videos cheaply. Pixability would even mail out a Flip video camera — remember those? — that business owners could shoot with. Pixability would edit the footage, adding logos, titles, and a soundtrack. Read More
It's Electric
With $23m investment, FirstFuel eyes European expansion for its energy efficiency software
Electric power pole
The last big wave of venture investment in clean-tech startups has long since crashed and rolled back. But if you’re making software instead of something produced by a factory, private investors are still willing to open up the checkbook. That’s certainly the case for FirstFuel Software, a developer of data analysis software for electric utilities. The Lexington, Mass.-based company says today that it’s raised another $23 million in venture capital, in part to help bankroll an expansion in Europe. Read More