News

IST professor receives award from internationally known organization

Alan Peslak, professor of information sciences and technology at Penn State Scranton, has been recognized by his fellow members of the information systems community with the International Association for Computer Information Systems’ 2020 Ben Bauman Award for Excellence.

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Nittany AI Inspire virtual event explores how AI can benefit nonprofits

Penn State students, faculty and staff, along with nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations, are invited to learn more about how artificial intelligence can be used to address challenges facing organizations during the next Nittany AI Inspire virtual event, “Nonprofits, AI and the Greater Good,” from 4-5:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13.

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

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

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. Researchers at the College of Information Sciences and Technology are aiming to eliminate some of this noise — or unnecessary data — through a new machine learning model.

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2020 McMurtry Lecture to focus on empathy in teaching and design

2020 McMurtry Lecture to focus on empathy in teaching and design

In the College of Information Sciences and Technology's annual George McMurtry Award Lecture next week, Alison Murphy, assistant professor, will talk about how her experience of using empathy to design systems when she worked in industry an information technology project manager, and how it drives her lessons as a teacher.

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IST alumna aims to impact social justice issues through video game design

IST alumna aims to impact social justice issues through video game design

With the video game industry expected to near $200 billion in revenue by 2022, game designers have expanded their reach to interest different types of players. And while genres now range from science fiction to fantasy to military, there are few game designers focused on using the medium as a platform to encourage social change. That’s where College of Information Sciences and Technology alumna Ashlyn Sparrow comes in.

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Tricking fake news detectors with malicious user comments

Tricking fake news detectors with malicious user comments

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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New app aims to help bring community to underrepresented students

New app aims to help bring community to underrepresented students

Penn State students now have an easier way to connect with campus organizations that match their backgrounds and interests through a new app designed by a team of students, Vybrnt, which was launched to help students from underrepresented backgrounds to build community on campus.

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Users don’t understand computer explanations for image labeling errors

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. Providing explanations to users to interpret these mistakes can be helpful, or sometimes even necessary.

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IST students and faculty 'build together' at Grace Hopper Celebration

IST students and faculty 'build together' at Grace Hopper Celebration

Held virtually this year from Sept. 26-29, the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing connected 30,000 attendees from more around the world to learn, network and be inspired in working together to achieve intersectional gender and pay parity in tech — and female students from the College of Information Sciences and Technology had the opportunity to be a part of it.

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Carroll named Fellow of the International Federation for Information Processing

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

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

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

New tool can diagnose strokes with a smartphone

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

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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'Staturdays': Brothers analyze data behind college football in weekly podcast

'Staturdays': Brothers analyze data behind college football in weekly podcast

With the return of Penn State football this weekend, brothers and Penn Staters Drew and Kyle Bennison are poised and ready to help fans learn more about the science behind the game through a weekly podcast.

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Eight Penn State faculty teams awarded seed grants for AI research

The Multi-Disciplinary Research Grants were recently awarded to eight research groups from across Penn State’s colleges and campuses conducting research related to artificial intelligence and machine learning.

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Bachelor's degree program, finance instructor receive regional awards from UPCEA

Bachelor's degree program, finance instructor receive regional awards from UPCEA

A new Penn State online bachelor’s degree program and a Penn State finance professor have been recognized with awards from the Mid-Atlantic Region of UPCEA, a leading higher education association.

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Student makes his mark through emcee duties during Homecoming

Student makes his mark through emcee duties during Homecoming

While this year’s Homecoming events are different from past years, one thing hasn’t changed: the positivity and excitement that Homecoming emcee Brett Randby has for the event.

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

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

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. Instructors can utilize some tools and concepts that became common during remote learning to further advance learner engagement in this new normal when students return to the traditional classroom.

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University of Chicago Press publishes book by Stuart Selber

Stuart Selber, associate professor of English at Penn State, has published a book titled “Institutional Literacies: Engaging Academic IT Contexts for Writing and Communication” (University of Chicago Press).

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

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

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. Penn State is one of only two institutions, along with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to receive multiple fellowships this year.

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Data Science Community discussion to focus on machine learning in education

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 students honor diversity in computing at virtual TAPIA conference

In mid-September, 17 College of Information Sciences and Technology students attended the annual ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference, an event celebrating diversity in the technology field.

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IST cybersecurity program helps meet a global security demand

IST cybersecurity program helps meet a global security demand

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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Students use AI to unlock factors that may predict success in remote learning

Students use AI to unlock factors that may predict success in remote learning

Penn State students involved in the Nittany AI Associates program, working alongside TEAMology — a startup exploring emotional health as a way to enhance a child’s ability to succeed in school — explored best pathways in the use of artificial intelligence to test resilience in students learning remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Six educational equity scholarships established at the College of IST

Six educational equity scholarships established at the College of IST

Six educational equity scholarships have recently been established to benefit students in the College of Information Sciences and Technology. Matched 1:1 by the University's Educational Equity Matching Program, the scholarship funds will support the financial needs of underrepresented students and contribute to the diversity of the student body at the college and at Penn State.

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Panel to discuss using artificial intelligence to promote scientific discovery

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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NASA Pa. Space Grant accepting undergraduate research internship applications

NASA Pa. Space Grant accepting undergraduate research internship applications

The NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium is currently accepting applications to its undergraduate research internship programs. The programs offer first-year and minority students a two-semester, faculty-mentored internship in a research laboratory at University Park. The deadline to apply is Nov. 1.

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Researchers aim to motivate family conversations about health

Researchers aim to motivate family conversations about health

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.

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Four student teams use AI for good to win 2020 Nittany AI Challenge

Nyansapo, OpenVessel, AI Guide and Cyclone are the winners of the 2020 Nittany AI Challenge. Each of the student teams created a minimum viable product using artificial intelligence for good and were selected by a panel of judges to share a pool of $25,000 to continue to move their solutions forward.

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Oct. 5 researcher panel to discuss AI for predictive science

The Institute for Computational and Data Sciences is hosting a panel discussion with researchers from four Penn State colleges who will be discussing their work and experience using artificial intelligence, as well as some ethical considerations.

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Dean Andrew Sears establishes educational equity scholarship at College of IST

Dean Andrew Sears establishes educational equity scholarship at College of IST

In response to financial challenges students face when pursuing a college degree, and motivated in part by the significant social justice issues across the country, Andrew Sears, dean of the College of Information Sciences and Technology, and his wife, Beth, have made a gift to establish the Andrew and Beth Sears Educational Equity Scholarship in the College of IST.

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Summer internship aids small businesses struggling during pandemic

Summer internship aids small businesses struggling during pandemic

As the daughter of small-business owners, College of IST student Erica Mi knew the challenges these companies were facing firsthand. When she learned about Novaris, an IT consulting organization started by a group of undergraduate students from across the country, and the students’ plans to help small businesses with their technical needs during the pandemic, she wanted to get involved to help those who were struggling.

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IST researchers exploit vulnerabilities of AI-powered game bots

IST researchers exploit vulnerabilities of AI-powered game bots

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.

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

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

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. The initiative — part of Penn State’s multilayered approach to test, monitor and mitigate for COVID-19 — could enable leaders to take swift actions to minimize the virus’s spread with the goal of helping to protect the health and safety of the community.

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IST alumnus helps drive a major city's data during COVID-19

IST alumnus helps drive a major city's data during COVID-19

As chief data officer for the City and County of San Francisco, Jason Lally carries the daily responsibility to help each of the city’s approximately 50 departments make the best use of its data. And that responsibility becomes especially critical in the middle of a global pandemic.

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IST research aims to understand a global pandemic

IST research aims to understand a global pandemic

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 more online interactions put our privacy at risk.

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

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

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?

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Artificial intelligence takes center stage at Nittany AI Challenge Celebration

Artificial intelligence takes center stage at Nittany AI Challenge Celebration

The Penn State community is invited to virtually attend the Nittany AI Challenge Celebration, where nine student teams will present their minimum viable product for a chance to share in the remaining pool of $25,000 in funding. Saqib Shaikh, software engineering manager and project lead for the Seeing AI project at Microsoft, will be the keynote speaker. The event will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. Sept. 25 via Zoom.

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

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

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 (HPI).

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IST alumna Isabella Webster named 2020-21 Young Alumni Ambassador

IST alumna Isabella Webster named 2020-21 Young Alumni Ambassador

Isabella Webster, a 2020 graduate of the College of Information Sciences and Technology, was heavily engaged on campus during her time at Penn State — with leadership roles in Homecoming, Movin’ On, and the University Park Undergraduate Association. And now, as an alumna, Webster’s strong involvement will continue, as she was recently named a Penn State Alumni Association 2020-21 Young Alumni Ambassador.

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Space Grant accepting grant applications for education, research and outreach

Space Grant accepting grant applications for education, research and outreach

The NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium (PSGC) is accepting applications for its 2020-21 competitive mini-grant program. The program supports and enhances science and engineering education, research and outreach. PSGC will consider proposals from institutions across Pennsylvania for new or enhanced projects.

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Summer Founders program showcases record number of teams

Invent Penn State’s 2020 Summer Founders program, a 13-week student startup accelerator, wrapped up Aug. 12 in a virtual showcase after funding seven student-startup teams with $15,000 each to work on their startup, nonprofit, or social good full time over the summer. The program also matched teams with resources and entrepreneurial experts who provided mentorship.

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Internationally recognized human-computer interaction expert joins IST faculty

Shaowen Bardzell, professor of information sciences and technology, has joined the College of Information Sciences and Technology faculty this fall. Bardzell is an internationally recognized scholar in feminism and human-computer interaction (HCI), critical and humanistic computing, and design research, strengthening the college’s expertise and research focus in the area of HCI.

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Alumna works behind the scenes at fast-food company on third-party integration

The last few months of pandemic-stricken quarantine have been anything but monotonous for 2013 Penn State alumna Lindsay Langley, as she has been staying busy with two new roles: working virtually in a new position at a new company and becoming a first-time mother.

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

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

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 paintings of John Constable, a 19th-century European artist noted for his pictorial realism.

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IST research well-represented at Knowledge Discovery in Databases conference

IST research well-represented at Knowledge Discovery in Databases conference

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

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Security center announces Fall 2020 Grant Program

The Penn State Center for Security Research and Education is announcing its Fall 2020 Grant Program to support security-related scholarship and educational programs at Penn State. University faculty and researchers are eligible to apply by Nov. 2.

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The symbol of our best: Penn State Nittany Lion mascot revealed

For three years, Class of 2020 graduate Zach Sowa lived a double life: He was a College of Information Sciences and Technology student and the face of Penn State — the Nittany Lion mascot. How did he balance his time and manage to keep one of the University's best-kept secrets?

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Siblings pursue parallel doctoral degrees

Many students follow in their siblings’ footsteps when attending Penn State, but few share their graduate experience simultaneously. This fall, siblings Adaku Uchendu and Uchendu Uchendu will both be pursuing their doctoral degrees at the College of Information Sciences and Technology when Uchendu begins his studies at University Park.

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