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Exploring the dark side of Bitcoin
Bitcoin, a peer-to peer online payment system that was conceived in 2008, has experienced considerable growth in popularity and has increasingly been adopted as a viable payment scheme in mainstream electronic commerce. However, according to researchers — including Jens Grossklags, an assistant professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology — the decentralized and quasi-anonymous nature of Bitcoin renders it vulnerable to self-interested parties that seek to exploit the system.
How can parents help keep teens safe online?
IST research shows the ideal parental mediation strategy may be a combination of taking some preventative measures and taking reactive measures.
Springtime night lights: Finding the aurora
Aurorasaurus project allows aurora-viewers around the world to compare sightings
Teens' approach to social media risk is different from adults'
For every parent who ever wondered what the heck their teens were thinking when they posted risky information or pictures on social media, a team of Penn State researchers suggests that they were not really thinking at all, or at least were not thinking like most adults do. In a study, the researchers report that the way teens learn how to manage privacy risk online is much different than how adults approach privacy management. While most adults think first and then ask questions, teens tend to take the risk and then seek help, said Haiyan Jia, post-doctoral scholar in information sciences and technology.
Maitland explores technology use in Syrian refugee camp
The Syrian Civil War has caused millions of citizens to flee their homeland, but many refugees have persevered and are seeking to rebuild their lives. Researchers at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) recently traveled to a thriving Syrian refugee camp in Jordan, where they surveyed people as part of a study they are conducting on how the refugees are appropriating technology into their daily lives.
Modeling data: Using technology to predict fashion trends
In fashion, combining contrasting fabrics, colors and textures is what brings an outfit to life. In Heng Xu’s career, combining science and art has brought a new way of interpreting data to life — an innovation that might help consumers understand, follow and afford tomorrow’s fashion trends. Xu, an associate professor of information sciences and technology at Penn State, is collecting and analyzing data to gain insight into the needs, motivations and behaviors of the fashion industry, retailers and consumers. Her ultimate goal is to help the average person follow the often fickle twists and turns of the fashion world.
Interdisciplinary center seeks to leverage power of big data analytics
The explosive growth in big data has enabled researchers and scientists in many fields to harness information that has the potential to change the way governments, organizations, and academic institutions conduct business and make discoveries. The massive amounts of data that are being generated, however, require sophisticated algorithms, techniques and software tools to make that information useful. A new interdisciplinary center at Penn State seeks to leverage the talents of researchers across the University as part of a joint effort to maximize the potential of big data.
Gaming for a healthier future
A project funded by Penn State’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute and helmed by Erika Poole, assistant professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), is exploring how digital games can teach children the skills they need to prevent childhood obesity.
Shopping through the lens of IT
To help make shopping easier for the visually impaired, Jack Carroll -- a distinguished professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) at Penn State -- has completed a study that explored how smart cameras could eventually guide visually impaired shoppers to find the items they need. Carroll worked on the study with Mary Beth Rosson, interim dean of the College of IST, as well as graduate student Jake Weidman as part of a $10 million National Science Foundation-funded project that’s seeking to replicate the human vision system using information technology (IT).
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.
Big data may be fashion industry's next must-have accessory
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Big data may be the next new thing to hit the fashion industry's runways, according to a team of researchers. By analyzing relevant words and phrases from fashion reviews, researchers were able to identify a network of influence among major designers and track how those style trends moved through the industry, said Heng Xu, associate professor of information sciences and technology, Penn State.
Penn State, AccuWeather researchers collaborate on storm prediction system
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, tornadoes and ice storms, cause billions of dollars of damage every year worldwide. While meteorologists use advanced technologies and the power of big data to make weather forecasts, advanced graphical techniques can be used to improve the accuracy of the current systems. Researchers at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), in partnership with the weather forecasting company AccuWeather, are developing a system that leverages satellite images and historical storm reports to more accurately predict severe storms.
Lee's new app plan tackles online ‘privacy paradox’
Online social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ have become popular vehicles for sharing information and socializing. However, there is often a discrepancy between what social network users intend to share and the information that is actually being disclosed. A group of researchers at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), in partnership with two professors at the University of Kansas, are working to develop a theory and system that would help social network users reduce the gap between perceived and actual privacy. “People don’t clearly understand the boundaries of personal information versus sharing boundaries,” said Dongwon Lee, the principal investigator (PI) of the project.
3-D printing brings biomedical, Penn State research projects to fruition
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- 3-D printing -- a process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file -- is leading the way in biotechnology, making open-heart surgery a bit less frightening for patients and surgeons. In the Center of Network-Centric Cognition and Information Fusion’s (NC2IF) Extreme Events Laboratory (EEL) at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), home of the Center’s MakerBot Replicator 2 3-D printer, research may not be of life and death importance, but it still carries significance. The researchers work to connect the technology of 3-D printing with organizations and departments across Penn State that can utilize printers to make research projects more feasible and cost effective.
Liu aims to develop system to detect app clones on Android markets
Carroll awarded $279K grant to develop community engagement app
Timebanking -- a new paradigm that fuses community engagement with technology -- is gradually gaining ground, according to Jack Carroll, a Distinguished Professor at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology. With the aid of a new grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), he is developing an app that would help bring timebanking further into the mainstream.
Squicciarini awarded grant to help social network users control image privacy
In recent years, the online sharing of images has played a key role in enhancing connections among social network users. People can learn a lot about a user’s interests and experiences through the images he or she posts on the website. However, the widespread sharing of images also increases privacy concerns, since images may go anywhere once shared and are vulnerable to exploitation by malicious attackers. Anna Squicciarini, an assistant professor at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), is in the process of developing methods to help social network users appropriately control access to their shared images.
How many scholarly papers are on the Web? At least 114 million, professor finds
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Lee Giles, a professor at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), has devoted a large portion of his career to developing search engines and digital libraries that make it easier for researchers to access scholarly articles. While numerous databases and search engines track scholarly documents and thus facilitate research, many researchers and academics are concerned about the extent to which academic and scientific documents are available on the Web as well as their ability to access them. As part of an effort to make the process of accessing documents more efficient, Giles recently conducted a study of two major academic search engines to estimate the number of scholarly documents available on the Web.
IST helps to design a camera to aid the visually impaired
Vijaykrishnan Narayanan and his research team, including John Carroll, professor of information sciences and technology, are pushing the boundaries of science by making a seemingly impossible task, possible — creating a complex cognitive camera that performs beyond the capacity of the normal human visual cortex.
People in leadership positions may sacrifice privacy for security
People with higher job status may be more willing to compromise privacy for security reasons and also be more determined to carry out those decisions, according to researchers. This preoccupation with security may shape policy and decision-making in areas ranging from terrorism to investing, and perhaps cloud other options, said Jens Grossklags, assistant professor of information sciences and technology, Penn State.
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