Research News

$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.


Two College of IST faculty members earn Amazon Research Awards

June 19, 2020

Professor James Wang and Assistant Professor Xinyu Xing — both from the College of Information Sciences and Technology — are among 51 computing experts representing 39 universities worldwide to receive 2019 Amazon Research Awards.


Peng Liu, co-authors earn Test-of-Time Award

June 8, 2020

A paper co-authored by Peng Liu, Raymond G.


Understanding trade-offs between connectedness and online privacy during crises

May 26, 2020

A new grant is helping researchers explore how attitudes toward privacy change during times of crises, and whether oversharing has been expedited or even encouraged during the coronavirus pandemic.


IST seed grants support tech projects related to COVID-19

May 14, 2020

The College of Information Sciences and Technology recently announced six projects that will receive funding from the college’s seed grant program. Each project will take different approaches to tackle various challenges and needs related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.


Online tutor helps general public turn COVID-19 prevention efforts into action

May 6, 2020

Penn State researchers have developed a comprehensive online tutor to educate the general public about the science behind COVID-19 and appropriate steps anyone can take to help reduce its transmission.


IST professor receives Fulbright Cyber Security Award

April 30, 2020

Anna Squicciarini, associate professor of information sciences and technology, has received a Fulbright Cyber Security Award to conduct research in London in summer 2021.


Do privacy controls lead to more trust in Alexa? Not necessarily, research finds

April 23, 2020

Giving users of smart assistants the option to adjust settings for privacy or content delivery, or both, doesn’t necessarily increase their trust in the platform, according to a team of Penn State researchers. In fact, for some users, it could have an unfavorable effect.


Human and AI annotations aim to improve scholarly results in COVID-19 searches

April 17, 2020

Seed funding provided by the Huck Institute of the Life Sciences and the Institute for Computational and Data Science is supporting two research teams from the College of Information Sciences and Technology in their efforts to provide faster and more efficient search results to COVID-19 research queries.


Seed grants jump-start 47 interdisciplinary teams to conduct COVID-19 research

April 14, 2020

With speed and ingenuity, more than 100 researchers across Penn State are shifting their research programs to address the COVID-19 crisis, thanks to funding from a seed grant initiative led by the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.


Two IST doctoral students earn IBM Ph.D. Fellowships

April 10, 2020

Yueqi Chen and Wenbo Guo, both studying in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, are among 24 doctoral students worldwide who have been awarded 2020 IBM Ph.D. Fellowships.


Virtual tutors help train nursing students for trauma care

April 9, 2020

A new web-based tutor developed by researchers in the College of Information Sciences and Technology is helping nursing students earn clinically relevant exposure to trauma care concepts, training that can't occur in a clinical setting because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.


Teams’ technology tools may give researchers a boost in quest to stop COVID-19

April 8, 2020

Teams of Penn State data scientists and students, including ones led by the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL), recently developed tools that they hope will help researchers better understand — and potentially stop — the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.