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NSF grant to help researchers harness power of big data to address health issues
Image: National Science Foundation©


A $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will fund a Big Data Spoke, a consortium of researchers from Penn State, Harvard, Columbia and the University of Pittsburgh, to integrate and analyze health data from disparate sources to discover environmental, ecological, and socio-economic factors that impact the health of individuals and populations.

PSU Votes app encourages students to get out the vote
Image: Penn State


When Penn State students head to the polls for November’s presidential election, they will be more informed about their choices thanks to a new app created by researchers in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST).

The PSU Votes app, which is free and available for download in the iOS App Store, organizes election-related local events and social media feeds to inform voters on current topics and encourage participation in the election process. Led by Jack Carroll, an IST professor, and Benjamin Hanrahan, a research associate in the college, the application is a continuation of the work from PSU Votes, a network of University and community volunteers who are preparing students to vote in the upcoming election.

Calculated Moves Provide Yazujian Complete College Experience
Image:Greg Campbell


That is probably the word that best describes Tyler Yazujian. A young man that has placed his eggs in many baskets - both academically and athletically - but in his own words thinks that he's "done pretty well, so far."

Pretty well is one way to put it, but when taking a closer look at what he has been able to do while on the University Park campus, it is extraordinary. Every Penn State student deals with classes and studies, while many of them are involved in clubs and extracurricular activities, but what Yazujian has done in five years is in some ways improbable.

better method for testing algorithms
Image: Justin Vorbach


Penn State Beaver Assistant Professor Richard Lomotey and information sciences and technology student Joe Pry decided it was time to find a better method for testing algorithms.

IST student attends career fair using virtual self
Image: Penn State


Stephanie Warnock, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in information sciences and technology through Penn State World Campus, recently attended the College of Information Sciences and Technology’s Pro Expo career fair at University Park using a mobile-telepresence robot, known as a Mobile Virtual Presence Device.

Penn State student launches startup with help of Happy Valley LaunchBox
Image: Angela Kendall


Ishana Shekhawat’s startup is a one-woman show.

Shekhawat, an entrepreneur and graduate student in mechanical engineering at Penn State, is working to turn her idea for a new biohealth device — a breathing-based video game for improving lung health — into a product used in hospitals across the country. She spent the summer doing everything from learning about business plans and intellectual property to connecting with potential customers and even coding a video game.

Researchers promote STEM education through online learning and 3-D models
Image: Rachel Garman


The squeals and giggles of children’s laughter fill the middle school classroom as students sit with eyes transfixed on the small, blue objects in their hands. Eager with curiosity, the students rotate the hard pieces of plastic, running their fingers along the intricate ridges and folds.

Watson Made a Movie Trailer, Paving the Way for Police-Worn Body Cameras
Image: IBM


Dr. Dhiraj Joshi (pictured, pointing) and a team of researchers at IBM were recently tasked by producers at 20th Century Fox to use Watson, the company's artificial intelligence supercomputer, to create a trailer for the movie "Morgan." Under the guidance of Dr. James Wang, Dr. Joshi earned his doctorate in 2007 and has continued to collaborate with Dr. Wang on publications related to aesthetics and emotions in images.

Setting up a decoy network may help deflect a hacker's hits
© iStock Photo Vladimir Timofeev


Computer networks may never float like a butterfly, but Penn State information scientists suggest that creating nimble networks that can sense jabs from hackers could help deflect the stinging blows of those attacks.

"Because of the static nature of a computer network, the attacker has a time advantage," said Dinghao Wu, assistant professor of information sciences and technology. "Hackers can spend a month, two months, six months or more just studying the network and finding vulnerabilities. When they return to use that information to attack, the network typically has not changed and those vulnerabilities are still there, too."

Addressing the STEM crisis through career development
Image: Penn State


Intervention course increases student retention in STEM majors

The United States is in a STEM crisis, according to a Penn State researcher. Each year, millions of jobs centered on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) go unfilled because of a lack of skilled workers and it is predicted that by 2018, approximately 2.4 million STEM jobs will remain vacant. Now, a new study shows that career development may help address the growing crisis.