Karen A. Frenkel

Science and Technology Writer


Documentary Director/​Producer
In the late 1980s through my reporting on the computer industry, I saw that we would be communicating more and more through multimedia (as we called it back then), so I decided to move into video production.

Minerva's Machine: Women in Computing
My first documentary is the award-winning Minerva’s Machine: Women and Computing. I created, wrote, and executive produced it for the one-hour film, which aired on Public Television during the 1995 - 1996 and fall 1998 seasons. Minerva’s Machine received the 1997 Exceptional Media Merit Award (EMMA) for Best Television Documentary (Small Market), which is co-sponsored by the National Women’s Political Caucus and Radcliffe College. Minerva’s Machine also was awarded First Place, Documentary by BACA, the Brooklyn Arts Council, for its 30th Annual Film and Video Festival. It was also Runner Up, Best Television Series for 1995 by The Computer Press Association. Minerva’s Machine premiered in fall 1995 on San Jose’s PBS station, KTEH - Channel 54 and on over 60 other local PBS stations nationwide. It was rebroadcast in fall 1998.

• Best Documentary in a Small Market, 1997 EMMA (Exceptional Merit Media Award), given by National Women’s Political Caucus and Radcliffe College
• Best Documentary, Brooklyn Arts Council’s 30th Annual International Film and Video Festival
• Best Television Series, Runner Up, Eleventh Annual Computer Press Award

I directed, co-wrote, and co-produced net.LEARNING, winner of the 1998 National Education Reporting Award, Best Television Documentary and Feature. This two-hour documentary explores the trade-offs students and faculty are willing to make in online classrooms. It profiles a student of library science in Alaska, for example, who collaborates in cyberspace with cohorts in Chicago and Urbana-Champaign. Also portrays is a professor of literature in San Luis Obisbo and many others pioneering this medium. I was also co-executive producer and originated the project with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Net.LEARNING aired on Public Television stations nationwide during the 1998 - 1999 season. It was rebroadcast during the 1999-2000 season.

• 1998 National Education Reporting First Prize, Television Documentary and Feature

Selected Works

Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg Businessweek, Businessweek.com
A company tackles the wasteful data center industry with a new business model.
The fashion industry goes tech in order to step up efficiency when it comes to ordering threads.
Hudl's software lets coaches edit athletes' plays and use them for training. But the company must psych out coaches from different cultures to learn how they train to win.
New-fangled milk crates designed for college students, with the incite of the crowd and made in the U.S.A.
Blue Microphones has expanded its reach, making mics for iPhones, iPods, and iPADs and any other USB device.
The University of Illinois engineering professor creates self-healing materials, and has successfully applied the idea to electronic circuits
Automating recruiting with anonymous job references
A textile company aims for sustainability.
Saving power for supercomputers, laptops, and now data centers.
A new smartphone app that suggests routes to drivers, saving them time and fuel.
"Our fundamental advance allows us to deliver devices that can provide cooling for refrigeration or waste heat recovery and efficiently convert it into power," says Phononic Devices Chief Executive Officer Anthony Atti.
Pressed for time, doctors are less and less amenable to face-to-face meetings with pharma reps. Viscira's biomedical computer animation reach tech-savvy MDs.
Tech from Plextronics Could Replace Lightbulbs, ’Do Away With iPads’
Essence Magazine
Influential Black women in tech and an entrepreneurial mother-daughter pair.
Creative Non-Fiction
An unusual gift, an unusual heritage
Memories, triggered by Hurricane Sandy, of storms of the past.
A true short story from and to Manhattan's Upper West Side.
Is the Web a Threat to Creativity and Cultural values? One Cyber Pioneer Thinks So.
Troubled teens benefit from role-play in virtual worlds with their therapists.
Special imaging technology shows the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy.
Posthumous emails, videos, and animations.
KNO goes up against TOMS, asking to buy more, give more.
Kids use the kit, called Hummingbird, to build whatever they imagine.
Engineer and entrepreneur Karen Purcell highlights some of strategies for women in STEM in her book, Unlock Your Brilliance.
Email reminders help people keep track of their spending.
At-risk students thrive with a new style of learning.
An Interview with Encyclopaedia Britannica President Jorge Cauz.
The Murray/Jackson trial showcases iPhone forensics, experts comment on the state of the art.
Researchers find privacy breeches possible.
A 1989 interview with the late, titanic visionary while he was CEO of NeXT,Inc., in which he discusses the Mach OS, robotic manufacturing, mentoring employees, digital Shakespeare and Webster's...
U. S. News and World Report and InsideScience.org
Robotic camera technology inspires virtual exploration by students around the world.
Science Magazine and Science NOW
Scientists shoot gigapixel panoramas to make discoveries
The First Conference on Computational Sustainability
Scientific American MIND
Scientists debate how synapses work
Scientific American
A New Algorithim Could Soon Vanquish Go Pros
The Village Voice
Three neurological studies reveal that traumatic memories of those near the site and bereaved children affect functioning of parts of their brains.
The New York Times
The making of the first fully computer-generated cartoon feature film.
Why online shoppers abandon their shopping carts.
Book Reviews
Two books look for answers in the lives of a few who succeeded.
Other Magazines
Technology Review
Communications of the ACM