Karen A. Frenkel

Science and Technology Writer

Robots in myth, sci-fi, film, and factories

Conspicuously Invisible: Memoirs of a Jewish Boy From Wilno

Author and Editor

Early in my career I became an author, co-authoring with Isaac Asimov Robots: Machines in Man’s Image (Harmony Books, 1985), which was translated into German, Hungarian, Japanese, and Spanish. The United States Information Agency selected is as one of 1,000 books to represent the diversity of American culture in a traveling book exhibit that toured the Soviet Union in 1987. Beginning at the Moscow Book Fair, the exhibit was called “Many Booked America: the People, Politics, and Government of the United States.”

A few years ago I wrote three physics books for fourth graders: Looking at Light, Listening to Sound, and Sound and Light Technology published by the Benchmark Education Company in 2006.

Memoir Editor
I moved outside of realm of the science writing when I was asked to edit two memoirs: one a Holocaust survivor's tale, the other about a young woman in post-war Europe. Conspicuously Invisible: Wartime Memories of a Jewish Boy from Wilno, is by William Begell. Famous for its Jewish population in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Wilno was known as the "Jerusalem of Lithuania," became part of Poland in the 1920s, was occupied by the Russians, Lithuanians, and Germans during World War II, and is now Vilnius in Lithuania. The 80,400-word book details Begell's pre-war boyhood among his 14 family members, his cunning as a young boy and pranks he pulled with friends. He traces the hardships during the Russian and German occupations and life in the Jewish ghetto. His cleverness developed in order to survive and eventually he eluded the Nazis by escaping from a labor camp. He is the sole survivor of his family. The memoir was published posthumously by Begell House.

The Longed-For Hour, by Miriam Rosin, takes its name from a song Jewish partisans sang. The author, a Jewish woman from South Africa, left her country to work with Jewish children in a Displaced Persons Camp after World War II. The experience spawned her desire to live in Palestine and fight for the founding of the Jewish State. In her 60,400-word memoir, Rosin documents the struggle between her and the man she loved, who wanted to marry her and remain in South Africa. She was forced to choose between her political ideals and having a safe, secure life and children.

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