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Electric UW-Madison

Four electric cars like this one will be puttering around the UW-Madison campus this summer. The Innova Dash cars will connect to UW-Madison’s wireless network.

Photo: Innova UEV

Four mini-cars will be tooling around UW-Madison for the next year, fueled by electricity and available for short-term checkout by anyone with a university ID, including faculty, staff and students. The university is one of four campuses nationally and the only one in the Midwest to host the cars.

Called “new urban electric vehicles,” the Innova Dash cars will include tablet-sized computers that will be connected to the university’s wireless network. They’ll feed data about position, speed and battery charge directly to the network. A number of research projects will then use the data.

The cars have a top speed of about 35 mph and a range of about 100-miles, according to its manufacturer, Illinois-based Innova UEV.

An online reservation system will provide information about availability, battery charge and availability of charging stations near the desired location. The vehicles will be used like others in the local transportation fleet.

“This project aligns with the UW-Madison’s efforts to address sustainability issues by the university’s research enterprise and outreach efforts,” said Suman Banerjee, a computer sciences professor who’s leading the project, in a news release.

Colorado State University, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Washington were also chosen to receive the cars in a contest sponsored by the nonprofit organization Internet2 and Innova UEV. Eleven schools applied.

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“I Am Malala” on tap for Go Big Read

A book about a young Pakistani girl’s harrowing efforts to get an education in the age of the Taliban has been chosen for UW-Madison’s Go Big Read program next school year. The author’s friend and business partner will come to campus in October for a public talk about the book.

“I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban,” was written by Malala Yousafzai.

It tells her story of being a young girl who wanted to go to school in defiance of the Taliban. In October 2012, a gunman shot the then 15-year-old in the head while she was on a school bus in the Swat Valley region of northern Pakistan, causing significant injuries. She recovered in England.

Shiza Shahid, 25, is the CEO and co-founder of the Malala Fund, which supports local entrepreneurs who have developed programs to increase educational access for women. She will be on campus Oct. 27-28 to give a public talk about the book at Union South and meet with smaller groups of students.

Shahid grew up in Islamabad, three hours from the Swat Valley, where Yousafzai lived. More information about the Go Big Read program, now in its sixth year, can be found at gobigread.wisc.edu.

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