Research News

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Machine learning algorithm may be the key to timely, inexpensive cyber-defense

February 3, 2021

Attacks on vulnerable computer networks and cyber-infrastructure — often called zero-day attacks — can quickly overwhelm traditional defenses. A Penn State-led team of researchers has used a machine learning approach, based on a technique known as reinforcement learning, to create an adaptive cyber-defense against these attacks.

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Facebook posts could identify substance use risk in homeless youth

February 1, 2021

What a person posts on Facebook could predict their risk for substance use, according to new research led by the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology.

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Pandemic survey points to design improvements for future remote learning

January 27, 2021

Last March, the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted university operations around the world. Students and instructors quickly transitioned to remote education, demonstrating reliance on new technologies that may have otherwise never been used.

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$500,000 grant funds creation of institute to advance AI for materials science

January 27, 2021

A National Science Foundation grant will help lay the foundation for an interdisciplinary institute that encourages the use of artificial intelligence-enabled materials discovery, design and synthesis, according to a team of researchers.

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Rosson named Association for Computing Machinery fellow

January 22, 2021

Mary Beth Rosson, professor of information sciences and technology, has been named a 2020 Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery for her contributions to human-computer interaction, including scenario-based design.

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AI-defined COVID-19 testing strategy could lead to fewer infections

January 21, 2021

A new algorithm developed by researchers at the College of Information Sciences and Technology could help leaders of governments and organizations make better informed decisions on how many symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals to test for COVID-19 with a limited supply of daily tests, and at what stage of the pandemic.

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Penn State researchers co-author book teaching 'Skills to Obstruct Pandemics'

January 15, 2021

A team led by Penn State faculty and students, along with expert collaborators, has co-authored a guide that teaches the essential knowledge and skills to help interrupt the transmission of COVID-19 and other infections.

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What if opting out of data collection were easy?

January 14, 2021

A new multi-institution study shows a dearth of privacy opt-out choices and offers a solution to empower users to readily identify choices often buried deep in the text of privacy policies.

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Study suggests smart assistant design improvements for deaf users

January 7, 2021

Despite the inherent challenges that voice-interaction may create, researchers recently found that deaf and hard-of-hearing users regularly use smart assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri in homes, workplaces and mobile devices — highlighting a clear need for more inclusive design.

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Canevez named 2020 Computing Innovation Fellow

December 8, 2020

Richard Canevez, a doctoral student in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State, has been named to the 2020 Class of Computing Innovation Fellows by the Computing Research Association (CRA) and its Computing Community Consortium (CCC).

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AI model could help patients predict disease risk with electronic health records

November 5, 2020

Electronic health records contain critical information for both medical providers and patients. But these records also contain information that could interfere with an artificial intelligence algorithm’s ability to predict patients’ risk for future disease.

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Tricking fake news detectors with malicious user comments

October 30, 2020

New research from a team at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology shows how fake news detectors can be manipulated through user comments to flag true news as false and false news as true, even if the adversary is not the story’s original author.

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Users don’t understand computer explanations for image labeling errors

October 26, 2020

When images are uploaded to online platforms, they are often tagged with automatically generated labels that indicate what is shown, such as a dog, tree or car. While these labeling systems are often accurate, sometimes the computer makes a mistake.

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Carroll named Fellow of the International Federation for Information Processing

October 22, 2020

Jack Carroll, distinguished professor in Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology, has been named a Fellow of the  International Federation for Information Processing for his contributions to the information and communications technologies and sciences.

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Nittany AI Inspire examines the use of AI in smart cities during virtual event

October 21, 2020

Artificial intelligence is being used to aid cities in an effort for its residents to live in a more sustainable way. This topic will be examined during the next Nittany AI Inspire virtual event “Smart Cities, AI and the Greater Good” from 6-8 p.m. on Oct. 23.

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New tool can diagnose strokes with a smartphone

October 20, 2020

A new tool created by researchers at Penn State and Houston Methodist Hospital could diagnose a stroke based on abnormalities in a patient’s speech ability and facial muscular movements, and with the accuracy of an emergency room physician — all within minutes from an interaction with a smartphone.

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Amulya Yadav honored with PNC Career Development Professorship

October 19, 2020

Amulya Yadav, assistant professor at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology, has been awarded the college’s PNC Technologies Career Development Professorship.

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Adapted teaching should continue in new post-pandemic normal, researchers say

October 12, 2020

According to researchers at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology, a new, post-pandemic normal is likely to emerge in higher education.

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Penn State SBDC program to help businesses protect their data, privacy and tech

October 9, 2020

In recognition of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the Penn State Small Business Development Center is partnering with the Harrisburg LaunchBox to host a free, virtual event, “Cybersecurity: Safeguarding Your Small Business," on Oct. 15.

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IST doctoral students receive IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Award

October 8, 2020

Graduate students Yueqi Chen and Wenbo Guo, both doctoral candidates in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, have earned the IBM Ph.D. Fellowship award in recognition and support of their work in cybersecurity.

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Data Science Community discussion to focus on machine learning in education

October 7, 2020

Penn State community members interested in data science are invited to the next Data Science Community meeting — scheduled for 1:30 to 2:30 on Monday, Oct. 12 — which will be a group discussion on the use of machine learning to improve learning analytics.

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IST cybersecurity program helps meet a global security demand

October 7, 2020

The College of IST is helping to fill a global demand through the cybersecurity analytics and operations bachelor’s degree program, launched in 2017. Its first class of graduates, having earned their degrees in May, are ready to tackle cybersecurity challenges that individuals and organizations around the world face.

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Panel to discuss using artificial intelligence to promote scientific discovery

October 5, 2020

A panel of Penn State researchers will offer insights into how researchers can tap artificial intelligence — AI — to be a powerful tool for scientific discovery.

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