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IST researchers examine role of 'white hat' hackers in cyber warfare

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- From the Heartbleed bug that infected many popular websites and services, to the Target security breach that compromised 40 million credit cards, malicious hackers have proved to be detrimental to companies’ financial assets and reputations. To combat these malevolent attackers, or “black hats,” a community of benign hackers, i.e., “white hats,” has been making significant contributions to cybersecurity by detecting vulnerabilities in companies’ software systems and websites and communicating their findings. Researchers at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) are studying white hat behaviors and how the talents of the white hat community can be most effectively used.

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IST presents seminar on 1/17 to spotlight human trafficking

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Human trafficking is an insidious crime that lacks clear legal definition and severe penalties, according to a group of researchers at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST). In recognition of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the group is organizing a seminar Jan. 17 to raise awareness of the growing human trafficking problem in Pennsylvania and launch a dialogue on issues related to sex and labor trafficking. The Human Trafficking Awareness Seminar, sponsored by the College of IST and IST Student Research Group, will be held from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Cybertorium, Room 113 IST Building. The conference is open to law enforcement, researchers, social service workers, activists, students, health care workers and the general population.

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Tapia aims to promote use of technology by sociologists

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Andrea Tapia, an associate professor at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), was recently elected president of the American Sociological Association (ASA) Section on Communication and Information Technologies. As president, she said, she will promote the use of new technologies in the field.

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Instructions not included: What the disappearance of the common manual says about us

If the era of minimalist manual design in which we live could be traced back to one person, it would be John Carroll. In 1976, Carroll, a linguistic psychologist, was finishing his Ph.D. at Columbia University and took a job at IBM’s Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York. His job was to help make computer programmers more efficient, but that quickly changed to a new focus—making computers more usable for average people. That was a big shift in thinking. “You have to remember,” Carroll says, “IBM was probably the richest computer research facility in the world, but at the time, the idea of focusing on the average everyday user was sort of off the radar.”

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Penn State online bachelor's programs ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report

Penn State online bachelor's programs ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report

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IST students' D.C. trip piques interest in policy making

This November, for the 12th time since the course was created, students in Andrea Tapia’s Global Trends and World Issues class (IST445H) at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) traveled to Washington, D.C., to participate in a simulated think tank at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and catch a glimpse of how policy is formed.

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Meidinger awarded December Alumni Spotlight for IST

Eugene Meidinger, Class of 2010, has been named to the IST Alumni Spotlight for December for his career achievements and philanthropic efforts in the Pittsburgh area. Meidinger, who graduated from Penn State Beaver's information sciences and technology program, was recently named the third annual Pittsburgh Volunteer Citizen of the Year by Direct Energy. The annual award program, currently operating in 11 U.S. cities, has received more than 1,000 total nominations, which showcase the extraordinary efforts and stories of everyday heroes.

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College of IST interim dean to speak at Graduate School commencement

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Mary Beth Rosson, the interim dean of Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), will serve as the keynote speaker at the Graduate School’s fall commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 20 at 4:30 p.m. in the Bryce Jordan Center.

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IST, BBH students compete in mHealth Challenge to foster innovation

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Engaged scholarship at Penn State isn’t just an abstract idea. Last month, the initiative -- defined as out-of-classroom academic experiences that complement in-classroom learning -- brought students from two colleges together to nurture entrepreneurial innovation and teamwork in the form of the mHealth Challenge. On Nov. 17, students from the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and the Department of Biobehavioral Health (BBH) in the College of Health and Human Development (HHD) joined forces to compete in the fourth mHealth Challenge, a cross-college idea pitch competition to encourage engaged scholarship. The challenge, designed to bring students from different disciplines together to translate technology needs from fruition to effect, had innovative results.

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Associate Dean Forster presented awards to IST World Campus students for GOMC 2014

In recognition of their performance in the Google Online Marketing Challenge 2014, four IST World Campus students received Nexus 7 tablets from Google. They were awarded by Dr. Pete Forster, associate dean for online and professional education and information technology in the College of Information Sciences and Technology.

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Penn State digital badge research team lands article in prestigious ed tech journal

Digital badges have gained a lot of attention over the last several years. Despite this, there is very little published about them in peer-reviewed journals. However, that recently has changed thanks to two Penn State doctoral students and two Penn State faculty members.

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Santoro to receive award for contributions to online master’s program

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the professional science masters degree (PSM) learning community, Gerald Santoro, senior lecturer at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and assistant professor of communication arts and sciences in the College of the Liberal Arts, has been awarded the President’s Award for Excellence from the National Professional Science Master’s Association (NPSMA). Santoro will be presented with the award at the NPSMA annual conference, “Expanding Paths to Professional 21st Century STEM Careers,” in Atlanta on Nov. 14.

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Do you want to track auroras, also known as the northern lights?

Starting today, the public is invited to collaborate with the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) at Penn State University, NASA-Goddard and the New Mexico Consortium (NMC) in an important research project to help space scientists understand the mechanics behind auroras, the beautiful green and red light phenomenon in the sky. Through a new citizen science platform launched today called Aurorasaurus, anyone with a smartphone or access to the internet can track auroras in real-time and provide crucial data to this scientific collaborative.

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Researchers to highlight new visual technologies Nov. 10 at IST

Penn State researchers are hosting an event Nov. 10 to showcase innovative technologies developed as part of a project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The program is part of a one-year NSF review of Visual Cortex on Silicon, an NSF Expeditions in Computing program.

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Dept of Homeland Security Chief of Staff visits IST

Department of Homeland Security Chief of Staff Christian Marrone shared insights into his work with security and risk analysis students in the College of Information Sciences and Technology.

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Students in IST, BBH team up for this semester's mHealth Challenge

Drawing on personal experiences with real-world problems, students in the Department of Biobehavioral Health (BBH) and the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) are putting their heads together to create mobile technologies that advance health and well-being. As part of Penn State’s Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) this semester, students in BBH and IST will participate in mHealth, a challenge that allows undergraduate students to work in cross-discipline teams to mock-up a mobile health application that addresses a societal health need associated with a specific targeted audience. The event is scheduled for Nov. 17.

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How Tuft & Needle disrupted a tired marketplace

It's one thing to stand in a grocery store aisle choosing from dozens of cereal or shampoo brands, but standing amid a sea of mattresses, trying to distinguish one from another, is a different proposition altogether. IST Start-up Week speakers and alumni Daehee Park (IST '09) and J.T. Marino (Computer Science '10) met this problem with a novel approach to the mattress industry and founded a company that is now well over the million-dollar mark in sales.

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IST's Forster leads international effort to combat terrorism

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The recent videotaped beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, as well as British aid worker David Haines, have raised international awareness of the brutal and sophisticated techniques of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. According to Peter Forster, associate dean for online and professional education and information technology, and a senior lecturer in security and risk analysis (SRA) at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), combating ISIS requires a focused, multifaceted international effort to destroy the infrastructure that the Islamist extremist group has created.

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COIL, TLT to build digital badges for NASA

A group in Penn State's Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) — including Chris Gamrat, a doctoral student and instructional designer in the College of Information Sciences and Technology — has been working with TLT for the past 18 months on a Penn State digital badging system called the Lifelong Learning Landscape. The experience has given them the background and software base necessary to take on a digital badging project for NASA, in collaboration with Penn State's Center for Online Innovation in Learning (COIL).

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Penn State among top national public schools in 2015 U.S. News' 'Best Colleges'

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- U.S. News & World Report released its 2015 "Best Colleges" rankings today (Sept. 9), with Penn State ranking No. 14 among national public universities. In addition, the University ranked No. 2 nationally among "Best Colleges for Veterans," schools that participate in federal initiatives helping veterans and active service members apply, pay for and complete their degrees.

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