Research News

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.


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.


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


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


$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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Researchers aim to motivate family conversations about health

September 29, 2020

If you haven’t recently talked with your family about health topics like sleep or medication, you’re not alone, according to a study by researchers in Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology.


IST researchers exploit vulnerabilities of AI-powered game bots

September 23, 2020

Researchers in the College of Information Sciences and Technology have designed an algorithm that was trained to defeat a world-class bot — an AI-driven program that plays on behalf of a human — in the award-winning computer game StarCraft II. Their work highlights vulnerabilities in bots that are created using deep reinforcement learning.


Wastewater sampling may give advanced warning of potential COVID-19 outbreaks

September 20, 2020

Wastewater sampling for coronavirus on campus and in the surrounding community could alert University decision makers to a potential outbreak several days before individuals exhibit symptoms of an infection.


IST research aims to understand a global pandemic

September 16, 2020

Since the novel coronavirus began its spread earlier this year, College of Information Sciences and Technology faculty and students have been innovative in addressing a variety of challenges related to COVID-19, including how to equip researchers with the most up-to-date information, how to educate the public about mitigation tactics, and how mo


Study reveals design flaws of chatbot-based symptom-checker apps

September 16, 2020

Millions of people turn to their mobile devices when seeking medical advice. They’re able to share their symptoms and receive potential diagnoses through chatbot-based symptom-checker (CSC) apps. But how do these apps compare to a trip to the doctor’s office?


NSF-funded study to examine human-punishment interaction in online communities

September 9, 2020

With a new grant, Yubo Kou, assistant professor of information sciences and technology, will examine how users of online community platforms experience punishments in various forms, such as chat restriction and account suspension, and what can be done to help those punished users, through his aim to better understand human-punishment interaction


Center for Socially Responsible AI accepting seed funding proposals

September 8, 2020

Penn State’s Center for Socially Responsible Artificial Intelligence is now accepting proposals for its inaugural seed funding program. The program will provide grants to teams working on AI-related pilot projects that have the potential to secure additional external funding.


Internationally recognized human-computer interaction expert joins IST faculty

August 31, 2020

Shaowen Bardzell, professor of information sciences and technology, has joined the College of Information Sciences and Technology faculty this fall.


Art history, IST faculty win NEH grant to use computer-aided image analysis

August 28, 2020

Elizabeth Mansfield, professor and head of the Department of Art History, and James Wang, professor of information sciences and technology, have received a Digital Humanities Advancement Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for a project that will use computer-aided image analysis to examine the depiction of clouds in the paintin


IST research well-represented at Knowledge Discovery in Databases conference

August 28, 2020

The College of Information Sciences and Technology was well-represented at the 2020 ACM Knowledge Discovery in Databases Conference, held virtually Aug. 23-27.


An AI algorithm to help identify homeless youth at risk of substance abuse

August 12, 2020

An artificial intelligence algorithm developed by researchers at the College of Information Sciences and Technology could help predict susceptibility to substance use disorder among young homeless individuals, and suggest personalized rehabilitation programs for highly susceptible homeless youth.


2019-20 Teaching and Learning with Technology Faculty Fellows project wrap-up

August 11, 2020

Last academic year, four Penn State instructors worked with teams from Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) to enhance the spaces where students learn.


Program introduces students to machine learning and security research

August 10, 2020

This summer, three undergraduate students from three higher education institutions got an exclusive, in-depth introduction to research topics focused on machine learning in cybersecurity through the Research Experiences for Undergraduates site program sponsored by National Science of Foundation and hosted by Penn State’s College of Information S


Associate dean for undergraduate and graduate studies hired in College of IST

August 4, 2020

Jeffrey Bardzell has been named associate dean for undergraduate and graduate studies in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, effective Aug. 1.


IST student awarded Erickson Discovery Grant to further Tumblr research

July 1, 2020

Courtney Smith, a rising Penn State junior studying security and risk analysis, recently received a 2020 Erickson Discovery Grant to further her research on parasocial relationships between 18- to 25-year-old Tumblr bloggers and celebrities.


Center for Security Research and Education announces seed grant awardees

June 30, 2020

The Center for Security Research and Education (CSRE) has selected 13 interdisciplinary projects through its spring 2020 seed grant program. CSRE is providing a total of $300,000 in funding for the projects, with an additional $300,000 in matching and supplemental funding from other colleges, departments, and institutes.


Initial COVID-19 infection rate may be 80 times greater than originally reported

June 22, 2020

A new study from Penn State tracked excess influenza-like illness data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to estimate that the number of early COVID-19 cases in the U.S. may have been more than 80 times greater and doubled nearly twice as fast as originally believed.


Bringing an international conference online

June 19, 2020

With the shift of the International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development to a virtual format due to COVID-19, general chair Carleen Maitland led a team effort to bring the international conference online.