News

Increasing linguistic diversity to advance human-technology interaction

Increasing linguistic diversity to advance human-technology interaction

People are becoming increasingly dependent on human technologies such as smart voice assistants and computer-based tutoring for access to governmental, community, health, and educational services. However, the technology is largely based on standard American English. A nearly $3 million NSF grant will fund a graduate training program to address these key challenges.

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IST intern updates military wargame for National Strategic Research Institute

IST intern updates military wargame for National Strategic Research Institute

Not many college students have the opportunity to directly impact national security. But this past summer, Army ROTC and College of Information Sciences and Technology junior Hayden Maxwell traveled to Omaha, Nebraska, to take on a job that works to ensure the United States’ safety and preparedness against increasingly sophisticated threats.

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Alumna-led nonprofit aims to empower female emergency dispatchers

Alumna-led nonprofit aims to empower female emergency dispatchers

Nearly a quarter of emergency dispatch personnel experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and the national turnover rate of 911 dispatchers is more than 17%. Penn State College of IST alumna Sara Weston is committed to serving those individuals through a new nonprofit to provide mental health resources, training, outreach and other programming to emergency dispatchers.

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Institute sponsors four co-funded faculty positions in AI and data science

Institute sponsors four co-funded faculty positions in AI and data science

The Institute for Computational and Data Sciences (ICDS), in partnership with four academic colleges will sponsor four co-funded faculty positions focused on the development of novel methods or advanced applications in data science.

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Data Science Community announces fall 2021 talk series

The talks, which are open to the Penn State community, will cover topics including art history, big data and the U.S. Constitution, architectural knitted textiles, cryosphere studies, imaging genomics, radio telescope images, and more.

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IST Alumni Identity Talks series Sept. 15, 'Celebrating Hispanic Heritage'

Members of the Penn State community are invited to join alumni of the College of Information Sciences and Technology for IST Alumni Identity Talks — Celebrating Hispanic Heritage, to be held virtually from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15.

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IST alumnus and Latinx workers in tech advocate lands dream job at Twitter

IST alumnus and Latinx workers in tech advocate lands dream job at Twitter

Growing up in Philadelphia, Noel Claudio never thought that it was possible to work for a big social media tech company unless he lived in California or New York. But thanks to his experiences at the College of Information Sciences and Technology and remote work opportunities that arose during the pandemic, he landed his dream job working virtually in Strategy and Operations for Twitter’s Platform Engineering Team.

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Overcoming homelessness and hardships to earn a Penn State degree

Overcoming homelessness and hardships to earn a Penn State degree

On his 18th birthday, Joel Seidel became emancipated from his parents and, in turn, homeless. He said Penn State equipped him with the tools and resources he needed to succeed, including support from scholarships. “I’m so thankful to scholarship donors for giving me the opportunity not only to be able to be here and survive, but to be able to thrive. I showed up at Penn State with nothing, and I’ve gotten to do so many things because of their generosity.”

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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

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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IST intern conducts analytical research, informs public for U.S. Air Force

IST intern conducts analytical research, informs public for U.S. Air Force

Given the security around many military and government organizations, students and graduates of the College of Information Sciences and Technology's security and risk analysis program often can't share much about the work they do. But for senior Alexia Calnon, informing the public about the work of her organization is literally her job.

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On the Bridge - August 2021

On the Bridge - August 2021

A compilation of recent news, highlights and achievements from the College of Information Sciences and Technology community.

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Alumni sisters experience IST 10 years apart, advocate for diversity in tech

Alumni sisters experience IST 10 years apart, advocate for diversity in tech

Many alumni can say that the Penn State legacy runs in their family, but few can say that they graduated from the same college as their sibling. Sisters Diana Lopez Long and Maria Umana Cody graduated from the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology with future careers in mind.

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Surprisingly popular voting algorithm developed to recover ranked choices

Surprisingly popular voting algorithm developed to recover ranked choices

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. An algorithm developed by a team of researchers led by Hadi Hosseini, assistant professor at the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology, can reach the true answer to this and similar questions by combining a respondent’s own vote or opinion with their prediction about how others will answer.

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

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

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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Honor code established at College of IST

Honor code established at College of IST

The College of Information Sciences and Technology, in collaboration with IST student government, announced the launch of the IST Honor Code. Signing serves as a symbolic commitment that individuals will uphold the expectations of the IST community and affirms their commitment to the Penn State Values and the University’s emphasis on academic integrity.

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IST intern provides end-user IT support for USDA Agricultural Research Service

IST intern provides end-user IT support for USDA Agricultural Research Service

Thanks to established capabilities with IT from personal experiences, previous internships, and things learned in the classroom at the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology, rising senior Bailey Rumford landed a summer internship providing end-user IT support at the Agricultural Research Service, the chief scientific in-house research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Penn State Berks takes first place in the Anthem AI hackathon

Penn State Berks takes first place in the Anthem AI hackathon

The Penn State Berks Data Lions team recently took first place in the Anthem AI ‘Substance Use Disorder and Whole Health of the Person’ Hackathon, a competition to identify risk factors related to substance use, and conditions indicative of underlying substance abuse.

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New framework could help teachers personalize their professional learning

New framework could help teachers personalize their professional learning

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. But what about independent or self-guided learners who may wish to study certain topics or complete learning at their own pace?

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College of IST welcomes eight new faculty for fall 2021

College of IST welcomes eight new faculty for fall 2021

Eight new faculty members will join the College of Information Sciences and Technology this fall, strengthening the college’s research portfolio and enhancing IST’s growing number of academic programs — including a residential master’s degree in cybersecurity analytics and operations and bachelor’s degree in enterprise technology and integration, both launched in fall 2020.

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Block by block: Researchers use Minecraft to advance artificial intelligence

Block by block: Researchers use Minecraft to advance artificial intelligence

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

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. In a recent study, researchers from the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology developed a new method for assessing public compliance with local mask mandates by analyzing publicly available video feeds.

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IST intern analyzes data to help inform operations at Bank of America

IST intern analyzes data to help inform operations at Bank of America

After starting a company whose proceeds benefited Venezuelans living in poverty and working in a number of startups in various industries, College of Information Sciences and Technology student Izaak Lustgarten landed a summer position with Bank of America as a global quantitative analytics intern. In his role, he analyzes data to help the bank make informed decisions for its digital banking.

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IST intern coordinates network infrastructure installation at U.S. hospitals

IST intern coordinates network infrastructure installation at U.S. hospitals

Like many interns over the past 16 months, Penn State senior Katie Byrd expected her internship with Universal Health Services Inc. to be entirely virtual. But after her first week, she gave up her quiet, virtual workspace in exchange for a fast-paced hospital environment when public health guidelines allowed for a switch to an in-person experience.

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Alayna Spriggle selected as IST college marshal for summer commencement

Alayna Spriggle selected as IST college marshal for summer commencement

The College of Information Sciences and Technology will honor Alayna Spriggle as student marshal for its summer 2021 commencement, which will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14, at the Bryce Jordan Center.

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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

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 feed or spam reaching your email inbox.

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Intern interprets big data and builds entrepreneurial skills

Intern interprets big data and builds entrepreneurial skills

Shubham Mishra, a rising sophomore studying data sciences in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, believed that if he was hardworking and willing to find an internship, he could be hired even though he had only just completed his first year at Penn State. As a summer data analyst intern in the information technology department at Intelligent Direct, Inc., he’s getting a fast start on building experience for his future career.

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On the Bridge – July 2021

On the Bridge – July 2021

A compilation of recent news, highlights and achievements from the College of Information Sciences and Technology community.

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Six elected to Graduate School Alumni Society Board of Directors

The Graduate School announces the Penn State alumni who have been elected to serve a three-year term on the Graduate School Alumni Society Board of Directors beginning July 1.

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Students use AI to support mental health, address unanswered calls for help

Students use AI to support mental health, address unanswered calls for help

Penn State students Bill Chen and Howard Hong are working with a team of fellow students to make sure that during a crisis no one else feels alone by developing an active listening application called PsySpace while competing in the Nittany AI Challenge.

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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

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. And because of those collaborations and mentors, in part, Jo and her co-authors earned the Best Paper Award at the Communications and Technologies 2021 conference for the first paper she’s published since she began her doctoral program at Penn State.

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IST instructor keeps students engaged remotely with interpretive discussions

IST instructor keeps students engaged remotely with interpretive discussions

How does modern digital technology shape our world and our perceptions? That is a question investigated by students in an emerging issues and technologies course this spring in the College of Information Sciences and Technology. Structured around a text by Martin Heidegger titled The Question Concerning Technology, students were given opportunities throughout the semester to post thought-provoking discussion questions and present their viewpoints.

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Penn State Security Center announces Fall 2021 Grant Program

Penn State Security Center announces Fall 2021 Grant Program

The Penn State Center for Security Research and Education is announcing its Fall 2021 Grant Program to support security-related scholarship and educational programs at Penn State. University faculty and researchers are eligible to apply by Sept. 30.

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World Campus IST graduate heads security engineering for Disney+

Jacob Meissner never imagined he’d work in technology after obtaining his bachelor’s degree in English from Penn State. But a side job working for computer support at the University quickly opened his eyes to the countless opportunities available within the field — and led him to his current role as director of security engineering for Disney Streaming.

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Busy student's patience leads to another valuable opportunity

Busy student's patience leads to another valuable opportunity

Erica Mi, a rising junior at Penn State, is working for IBM this summer as part of a project management internship — the latest endeavor she’s exploring during an ambitious college career.

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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

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 Information Sciences and Technology.

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IST intern leverages computer vision to inform PepsiCo manufacturing operations

IST intern leverages computer vision to inform PepsiCo manufacturing operations

When Nia Anderson started thinking of career paths as she nears graduation, she saw herself as a business analyst. Through the support and knowledge of her virtual summer IT Innovation internship with PepsiCo, and a growing interest in artificial intelligence, she now wants to take a path within data science.

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IST alumnus creates scholarship to honor family legacy

IST alumnus creates scholarship to honor family legacy

As a member of the College of Information Sciences and Technology’s first graduating class and a long-time alumni volunteer, Steve Pipino has established the Pipino Family Annually Funded Scholarship in the college to benefit first-generation students and students with demonstrated need.

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Student creates software solutions to help users be more efficient

Penn State senior Jason Nucciarone is using the skills he gained through the human centered design and development program at the College of Information Sciences and Technology to make technology more efficient for users.

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Presidential Leadership Academy announces new class

The Presidential Leadership Academy at Penn State recently announced its Class of 2021.

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Susser awarded Haile Family Early Career Professorship at IST

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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 to the natural world as designers of technologies.

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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

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 Age: The Design and Delivery of Learning in Snippet by Routledge.

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Essential workers' tweets show surprising positivity during pandemic

Essential workers' tweets show surprising positivity during pandemic

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. Additionally, essential workers’ overall tweets were more positive compared to general users, the researchers found.

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Talk to explore power of taxonomy and embedding in text mining

Jiawei Han, Michael Aiken Chair Professor in the Department of Computer Science at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will present a talk as part of the Penn State Center for Socially Responsible Artificial Intelligence Distinguished Lecture Series at 11:30 a.m. on June 14 via Zoom. In the talk, Han will discuss his work to explore the power of taxonomy and embedding in text mining.

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