Research News

Fostering community across geographically dispersed university campuses

Fostering community across geographically dispersed university campuses

October 21, 2021

Many U.S. universities comprise a main campus and several branch campuses distributed throughout the state. Researchers in the College of Information Sciences and Technology investigated whether students at these various campuses feel that they belong to a unified university community.

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IST research represented in 11 papers at 2021 CSCW

IST research represented in 11 papers at 2021 CSCW

October 21, 2021

Eleven papers that involve researchers at the College of IST were accepted to this year’s Association for Computing Machinery’s 2021 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, a top venue for human-computer interaction research that will be held virtually Oct. 23-27.

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Interactions with unreliable infrastructures could be key to smart city design

Interactions with unreliable infrastructures could be key to smart city design

October 20, 2021

Research from the College of Information Sciences and Technology found that smart city designs should consider the daily experiences of citizens or allow them to adapt their own solutions, particularly in areas with historically unreliable infrastructures.

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New game can help users identify, avoid online echo chambers

New game can help users identify, avoid online echo chambers

October 15, 2021

Researchers at the College of Information Sciences and Technology have developed a theory-based game that enables a player to test their own awareness of content that could result in an echo chamber and to observe how echo chambers are accelerated by the spread of misinformation.

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Search engine could help researchers scour internet for privacy documents

Search engine could help researchers scour internet for privacy documents

October 13, 2021

Researchers say a search engine, which uses an artificial intelligence called natural language processing, could be an important tool for researchers trying to find ways to design a safer internet.

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What was really the secret behind Van Gogh's success?

What was really the secret behind Van Gogh's success?

October 4, 2021

Before developing his famed “drip technique,” abstract artist Jackson Pollock dabbled in drawing, print making and surrealist paintings of humans, animals and nature.

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Vasant Honavar named Huck Chair in Biomedical Data Sciences and AI

October 4, 2021

Vasant Honavar, professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, has been named the Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Chair in Biomedical Data Sciences and Artificial Intelligence by the University’s Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.

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New tool fuses expert knowledge and deep learning features to detect sleep apnea

New tool fuses expert knowledge and deep learning features to detect sleep apnea

September 30, 2021

Individuals who suspect they have sleep apnea — and the doctors who diagnose them — could soon have more effective way to automatically detect the condition at home, thanks to a new method developed by researchers at the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology.

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College of IST announces six seed grant recipients

College of IST announces six seed grant recipients

September 27, 2021

The Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology recently announced six projects that will receive funding from the college’s seed grant program. The program provides preliminary funding for IST researchers and collaborators to initiate new projects.

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COVID-19 study aims to make local policy announcements more culturally dependent

COVID-19 study aims to make local policy announcements more culturally dependent

September 8, 2021

Researchers from the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology recently studied a new form of crisis information exchange that has emerged between geographically dispersed areas to facilitate local crisis responses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Surprisingly popular voting algorithm developed to recover ranked choices

Surprisingly popular voting algorithm developed to recover ranked choices

August 25, 2021

Imagine you are asked to rank the counties in Pennsylvania in terms of number of COVID-19 infections. Or you may be asked to rank cities in Pennsylvania based on their populations.

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Andrea Tapia named associate dean for research in the College of IST

August 25, 2021

Andrea Tapia, professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), has been named IST’s associate dean for research, effective Sept. 1.

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New tool could help authors bust writer's block in novel-length works

New tool could help authors bust writer's block in novel-length works

August 24, 2021

Authors experiencing writer’s block could soon have a new way to help develop the next section of their story. Researchers at the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology recently introduced a new technology that forecasts the future development of an ongoing written story.

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New framework could help teachers personalize their professional learning

New framework could help teachers personalize their professional learning

August 18, 2021

Digital badges used as emblems to indicate an accomplishment or skill is a concept familiar to online learners seeking advanced knowledge in their profession. For many learners, digital badges have been used as a motivation to continue along a prescribed path — often through workshop attendance or completion of required online learning modules.

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Block by block: Researchers use Minecraft to advance artificial intelligence

Block by block: Researchers use Minecraft to advance artificial intelligence

August 10, 2021

Researchers received a $900,000 grant to create artificial intelligence that can plan for and solve future problems. They will test the new software on the video game Minecraft.

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Counting pandemic behaviors to inform public health decisions

Counting pandemic behaviors to inform public health decisions

August 10, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many significant changes to people's lives, but one of the most visible signals of this has been the proliferation of masks and other face-coverings in public spaces.

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Honeypot security technique can also stop attacks in natural language processing

Honeypot security technique can also stop attacks in natural language processing

July 28, 2021

As online fake news detectors and spam filters become more sophisticated, so do attackers’ methods to trick them — including attacks through the “universal trigger.” In this learning-based method, an attacker uses a phrase or set of words to fool an indefinite number of inputs, which could lead to more fake news appearing in your social media fe

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Networking and collaboration lead to best paper award for IST doctoral student

Networking and collaboration lead to best paper award for IST doctoral student

July 15, 2021

At the College of Information Sciences and Technology, doctoral student Jeongwon Jo has benefited from having access to an interdisciplinary network of experts and scholars to help advance her research.

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Women and lower-education users more likely to tweet personal information

Women and lower-education users more likely to tweet personal information

July 7, 2021

When it comes to what users share on Twitter, women and users who never attended college voluntarily disclose more personal information than users from other socioeconomic and demographic backgrounds — potentially making these populations more susceptible to online privacy threats, according to a recent study led by the Penn State College of Inf

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Susser awarded Haile Family Early Career Professorship at IST

June 25, 2021

Assistant Professor Daniel Susser has been awarded the Haile Family Early Career Professorship in Information Sciences and Technology. The endowed position supports standout faculty members to foster a commitment to teaching, provide funds for emerging research, and offer recognition for their accomplishments.

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IST faculty named executive VP of society on computer-human interaction

June 24, 2021

Shaowen Bardzell, professor of information sciences and technology, has been elected as executive vice-president for the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (ACM SIGCHI), the premier international society for all professionals, academics and students interested in human-computer interaction.

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$1.2 million NSF grant to create search engine for online privacy research

$1.2 million NSF grant to create search engine for online privacy research

June 23, 2021

A $1.2 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant will help researchers build a search engine and create other resources for scientists who need to scour billions of online documents to improve online privacy.

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IST research well-represented at top Communities and Technologies conference

IST research well-represented at top Communities and Technologies conference

June 22, 2021

A research group from the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology is well-represented at the virtual 10th International Conference on Communities and Technology, which began June 21. Five papers from the Center for Human-Computer Interaction were accepted to the conference, representing 20% of the papers program.

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Clickbait headlines might not lure readers as much, may confuse AI

Clickbait headlines might not lure readers as much, may confuse AI

June 18, 2021

A Penn State team of researchers found that clickbait often did not perform any better and, in some cases, performed worse than traditional headlines. They also found that artificial intelligence systems designed to spot clickbait struggled with the task.

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Parenting teens: Is there an app for that?

Parenting teens: Is there an app for that?

June 17, 2021

Penn State researchers, with funding from the Mental Research Institute, are developing a smartphone app to promote positive, engaged family relationships that support healthy development for adolescents.

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Treating non-humans as stakeholders key to sustainable technologies

Treating non-humans as stakeholders key to sustainable technologies

June 11, 2021

Researchers from the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology made a methodological contribution toward a potential answer to the challenging problem of how to operationalize posthuman concepts into practice for human-computer interaction through the art of noticing — specifically, observing birds to reimagine their relationship

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Gamrat co-authors book chapter on state of microlearning in higher ed

Gamrat co-authors book chapter on state of microlearning in higher ed

June 11, 2021

Chris Gamrat, instructional designer at the College of Information Sciences and Technology, is co-author on a chapter in the new book Microlearning in the Digital

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Essential workers' tweets show surprising positivity during pandemic

Essential workers' tweets show surprising positivity during pandemic

June 9, 2021

During the COVID-19 pandemic, essential workers tweeted less often than general users about COVID-19 but more about overall mental health issues, according to researchers at the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology.

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Study of police language aims to find patterns that may lead to tragic outcomes

Study of police language aims to find patterns that may lead to tragic outcomes

May 25, 2021

With a new grant from the National Institutes of Health, an interdisciplinary team of researchers aims to examine police radio communications to observe what happens during adverse encounters between police officers and male minority youth and study any patterns of interaction that may lead to unfortunate or tragic outcomes.

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Two faculty members receive Amazon Research Awards

May 19, 2021

Penn State faculty members James Wang, professor of information sciences and technology, and Rui Zhang, assistant professor of computer science and engineering, each received a 2020 Amazon Research Award, which was announced publicly in April of this year.

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2021 Guentter Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award finalists, winner named

May 14, 2021

Penn State University Libraries and the Schreyer Honors College recognized the 10th annual finalist presentations and winner of the recently endowed Robert F. Guentter Jr. Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award on May 6, immediately following the three finalists’ remote presentations.

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Observing eco farmers could guide sustainable information technology innovation

Observing eco farmers could guide sustainable information technology innovation

May 14, 2021

Cutting-edge agricultural technology has advanced in recent years, introducing innovations from self-driving tractors and laser scarecrows to robotic bees that aid in pollination.

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Virtual conference explores artificial intelligence in a post-COVID world

Virtual conference explores artificial intelligence in a post-COVID world

May 11, 2021

On May 13, the Penn State Center for Socially Responsible Artificial Intelligence hosted "AI in a Post-COVID World," a virtual conference that will brought together experts from a variety of disciplines to discuss how artificial intelligence has aided in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Twitter data unveils issues nursing mothers face, informs proposed interventions

Twitter data unveils issues nursing mothers face, informs proposed interventions

May 5, 2021

Social media has become a platform for new mothers to openly share their experiences of the joys and challenges of parenthood.

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Amazon Alexa skill offers supportive care to breast cancer patients

April 27, 2021

Penn State researchers have developed an Amazon Alexa skill to remotely deliver validated interventions to metastatic breast cancer patients in the comfort of their own homes.

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AI Hub to help enhance Penn State's global leadership in artificial intelligence

AI Hub to help enhance Penn State's global leadership in artificial intelligence

April 23, 2021

Penn State has launched an expanded initiative in Artificial Intelligence (AI), termed the AI Hub, which will bring together the University’s considerable resources and talent in AI to further advance its position as a global leader developing fundamental innovations in AI, in using AI and machine learning (ML) to solve the hardest challenges, a

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Penn State center to advance AI tools to accelerate scientific progress

Penn State center to advance AI tools to accelerate scientific progress

April 23, 2021

A new research center, the Center for Artificial Intelligence Foundations and Scientific Applications, or CENSAI, will unite Penn State researchers to explore the use of artificial intelligence as a tool to dramatically accelerate the scientific process, an initiative that the center’s organizers say could rapidly accelerate scientific progress.

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Penn State launches new artificial intelligence center for engineered systems

Penn State launches new artificial intelligence center for engineered systems

April 23, 2021

A newly founded, interdisciplinary research center established to further foundational and applied artificial intelligence in engineered systems will be housed in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the Penn State College of Engineering.

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Dual degrees shape research interests for IST assistant professor

April 21, 2021

Justin Silverman, who joined the College of Information Sciences and Technology last year as an assistant professor with a focus in biomedical statistics, made global headlines last summer for his study suggesting that 80% of U.S. COVID-19 cases went undetected in March 2020.

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Explanations in online symptom checkers could improve user trust

Explanations in online symptom checkers could improve user trust

April 15, 2021

Have you recently turned to your mobile device or computer to find out if your cough, sniffle or fever could be caused by COVID-19? The online symptom checker you used may have advised you to stay home and call your medical provider if symptoms worsen, or perhaps told you that you may be eligible for COVID-19 testing.

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New AI framework introduced for cutting a 'multi-layered cake'

New AI framework introduced for cutting a 'multi-layered cake'

April 14, 2021

Expanding on an established problem in mathematics and computer science known as fair cake-cutting — a metaphor for cutting a cake in a way that each participant receives a slice that they believes to be fair — Hadi Hosseini, assistant professor at the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology, and his team have introduced a nove

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IST faculty tips for post-pandemic instruction appear in EDUCAUSE Review

IST faculty tips for post-pandemic instruction appear in EDUCAUSE Review

April 6, 2021

When remote teaching and learning abruptly replaced traditional classroom instruction at the start of the pandemic, innovations and adaptations were introduced that could be considered to continue in post-pandemic education, according to experts from the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology.

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Shaowen Bardzell presents keynote at New Materialist Informatics 2021

Shaowen Bardzell presents keynote at New Materialist Informatics 2021

March 29, 2021

Shaowen Bardzell, professor of information sciences and technology, presented a keynote address on March 23 at the virtual New Materialist Informatics 2021 conference.

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IST researchers' book teaches how to build better complex systems interfaces

IST researchers' book teaches how to build better complex systems interfaces

March 24, 2021

In a new book, "Building Better Interfaces for Remote Autonomous Systems: An Introduction for Systems Engineers," authors from the College of Information Sciences and Technology present a broad review of important design frameworks and concepts of human-computer interaction so that systems engineers can make better decisions and better

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New tool could help lessen bias in live television broadcasts

New tool could help lessen bias in live television broadcasts

March 18, 2021

From Sunday morning news shows to on-air pregame commentary in sports, live telecasts draw viewers into real-time content on televisions around the world.

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New machine learning model could remove bias from social network connections

New machine learning model could remove bias from social network connections

March 10, 2021

Did you ever wonder how social networking applications like Facebook and LinkedIn make recommendations on the people you should friend or pages you should follow?

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AI can help reduce risk of HIV in high-risk communities

AI can help reduce risk of HIV in high-risk communities

February 25, 2021

For nearly two decades, computer scientists have been exploring how a limited number of nodes in a social network can be used to maximize information dissemination.

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IST professor named IFIP Pioneer in Human-Computer Interaction

February 17, 2021

John M. “Jack” Carroll, distinguished professor of information sciences and technology, is one of six recipients of the 2020/2021 Pioneer in Human-Computer Interaction Award of the International Federation for Information Processing Technical Committee on Human-Computer Interaction.

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Summer program to offer research experience on machine learning in cybersecurity

Summer program to offer research experience on machine learning in cybersecurity

February 5, 2021

Undergraduate students interested in research surrounding the topic of machine learning in cybersecurity are invited to apply for the 2021 NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates Site Program, funded by the National Science Foundation.

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Researchers test detection methods for AI-generated content

Researchers test detection methods for AI-generated content

February 5, 2021

In an effort to combat malicious use of artificial intelligence text generators—for example, an adversary generating fake news to share on social media—researchers at the College of Information Sciences and Technology analyzed eight different state-of-the-art natural language generators to identify whether each had a distinct writing style that

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