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Expanding use of information and communication technology (ICT) together with the humanitarian reform agenda are changing both the experience of being a refugee as well as humanitarian response. These forces are giving rise to the digital refugee and a new form of humanitarian operations, digital humanitarian brokerage. In this talk, Carleen Maitland presents these two concepts, evidence of their emergence and differences in the role information plays in each. The concepts emerge from a synthesis of scholarship from international law, information and organization science, GIS, computer and data science as presented in her upcoming edited volume Digital Lifeline? ICTs for Refugees and Displaced Persons. The talk culminates in an analysis of the implications of these trends for information policy as well as the research necessary to insure both technologies and policies evolve to mitigate potential harms and amplify potential benefits for refugees.

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Michael Morelli, a State College native and 2016 Information Sciences and Technology (IST) graduate, took advantage of several experiences as an undergraduate student to satisfy his diverse interests. Now, as a professional living in Seattle, he is not slowing down.

Prasenjit Mitra's current research explores big data analytics, applied machine learning, artificial intelligence, and visual analytics.
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Prasenjit Mitra, professor of information sciences and technology (IST), has been named associate dean for research in the College of IST. Mitra accepted the position effective Jan. 1.

In his role, Mitra is responsible for driving the college’s strategic research priorities; fostering collaboration with institutional, federal, and industry partners; and representing IST in research-related activities.

Four students and a professor from the College of Information Sciences and Technology recently participated in a tabletop exercise with the U.S. Army Engineer Research Development Center, which had them working alongside industry and government experts to conduct virtual simulations around the reconstruction of a third world country.
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Four students and a professor from the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) recently took part in a tabletop exercise hosted by the U.S. Army Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Arlington, Virginia.

The students, all members of IST’s Red Cell Analytics Lab, were invited to participate by Red Six Solutions, a strategic advisory consulting firm that uses adversarial thinking to provide insights into imminent threats facing organizations. Red Six Solutions recognized the similarities between the college’s security and risk analysis (SRA) major and the work the company conducts.

Image: Penn State


Penn State Altoona has a long history of offering students many professional opportunities in and out of the classroom to better prepare them for the work force upon graduation. One way professors and instructors do that is to create cross-discipline collaborations and projects.

This academic year, what began as an activity for the Security and Risk Analysis (SRA) Club, grew to include entrepreneurs from the Sheetz Fellows Program. The two groups of students teamed up with the national security firm GRIMM for HAX challenges. HAX challenges are presented by GRIMM to the students, who then try to "solve" them.

Penn State men’s volleyball player Cal Mende could take his volleyball career to the next level after college, but he has his sights set on pursuing a career in security risks and analysis
Image: Abbey Drey


When Penn State athletic teams hold alumni get-togethers, the days are fun and festive, with former Nittany Lions trading plenty of stories about the good old days and what is new in their lives, personally and professionally.

Men’s volleyball coach Mark Pavlik, however, is pretty sure years from now when he asks current player Calvin Mende about his work life, the answers will be brief — and vague.

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“It would significantly lower the barrier that the researchers face in integrating the data being collected by health care providers with other data, such as environmental exposures, to understand the complex interactions between genetic, environmental and behavioral factors that influence specific health outcomes.”

Image: © iStock Photo weerapatkiatdumrong


Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) recently announced nine projects that will receive funding from the college’s Seed Grant Program.

The program provides preliminary funding for IST faculty to initiate new research projects. The college solicited research proposals throughout the fall 2017 semester, and an ad hoc faculty committee reviewed and provided recommendations to the College of IST dean for final selection.

Image: Jianbo Ye


Emboldened by his education, Jianbo Ye, a doctoral student in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), will soon help Amazon use technology to revolutionize the way we live.

After he graduates in the spring, he will begin working as a researcher at Amazon Lab126, the secretive research and development unit located in the Silicon Valley. Among its many innovations, the lab is responsible for the Alexa and other intelligent consumer products.

Image: TEDxPSU


As a child raised in Jaipur, India, Shreyash Manak Bohara knew firsthand how prevalent sexual assaults could be.

“Growing up as a male there, my life was easier than a woman’s,” he said. “One reason is because rape is really common.”

“I knew since I was in high school that I wanted to do something about it.”

Now a senior majoring in Information Sciences and Technology (IST), Bohara is ready to make that impact. After a successful audition in November, he has been invited to deliver a TEDxPSU talk in February about how males can help combat rape culture.