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Parents should try to find middle ground to keep teens safe online
Parents might take a lesson from Goldilocks and find a balanced approach to guide their teens in making moral, safe online decisions, according to Penn State researchers. In a study on parenting strategies and online adolescent safety, researchers Pamela Wisniewski, a postdoctoral scholar in information sciences and technology; Mary Beth Rosson, professor; John M. Carroll, Distinguished Professor and Heng Xu, associate professor, all of information sciences and technology, found evidence that suggests that parents should try to establish a middle ground between keeping their teens completely away from the internet not monitoring their online activities at all.
IST lab receives software designed to mirror how humans think and act
Cognitive modeling -- an area of computer science that deals with simulating human problem solving and mental task processes in a computerized model -- has been applied in a variety of areas such as military simulations, computer game and user interface design, and artificial intelligence (AI) applications. Such models, which often act as agents (self-contained computational systems) in synthetic environments, can be used to simulate or predict human behavior or performance on tasks similar to the ones modeled. The Applied Cognitive Science Lab at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) recently was gifted copies of a commercial agent development software product that is designed to create more realistic models that reflect how emotion and physical factors affect human decision making and behavior.
IST professor, CSE grad develop tools to access "scholarly big data"
Academic researchers and corporate managers often seek experts or collaborators in a particular field to enhance their knowledge or maximize the talents of their workforce. Harnessing that data, however, can be a challenge. Researchers at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) have devised recommendation systems for expert and collaborator discovery that enable users to access “scholarly big data.”
Health-related mobile technologies can help consumers make smarter choices
Erika Poole recalls that her dad had his first heart attack in his 30s when he was walking on the beach. The second one happened when she was 9 or 10 years old. "I basically grew up watching him go into the hospital every single year," she says. "I remember visiting him in the cardiac ward. I particularly remember all the fruit baskets," she notes with a wry chuckle. The young girl who watched her father's health crises is now a Penn State researcher who wants to do something to help others like him. "He was basically a two-pack a day smoker, and every bad thing he could possibly do, he did. It's heartbreaking to see that, and to see how preventable it all could be by making slightly smarter choices." Poole, an assistant professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, has dedicated her career to helping people make those smarter choices.
Liu launches effort to defeat cyber attackers at their own game
Researchers awarded more than $6 million to work on solutions to fight threats One fundamental reason why today’s computer networks and security systems are facing an increasing number of cyber attacks, according to Peng Liu, a professor at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), is a matter of information asymmetry-the attackers know much more about their targets than vice versa. With the aid of a major grant from the Army Research Office (ARO), Liu and his fellow researchers are undertaking an initiative to outsmart cyber attackers at their own game by developing technologies that will level out the playing field.
Tapia strives to educate citizen scientists through beauty of auroras
Professional astronomers and amateur stargazers alike are fascinated by the majestic beauty of the aurora borealis (Northern Lights) and aurora australis (Southern Lights), with many of them traveling thousands of miles to see the brilliant light shows in the Earth’s atmosphere. Andrea Tapia, an associate professor at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), is involved in a project that would not only allow people to more easily track the northern and southern lights, but would also encourage everyday citizens to play a role in space weather prediction.
IST researchers aim to increase community engagement through local news app
In recent years, Twitter and other social media sites have played an increasingly important role in reporting local news through personal perspectives. Formal news articles that are published by media organizations may be more objective and authoritative but lack social context. Researchers at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) have devised a smartphone app that integrates local news articles and socially generated tweets, with a goal of increasing community awareness and engagement by enabling users to access more dynamic community news information.
Honavar honored by NSF for leading big data program
The massive amount of data that is now available in many domains, according to Vasant Honavar, a professor and the new Edward Frymoyer Chair at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), has created new possibilities for scientific and social advancement. However, current research tools are not equipped to harness those vast pools of information. Honovar was recently honored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for leading a program that aims to foster scientific breakthroughs by maximizing the potential of big data.
Carroll, Rosson assist Microsoft with Xbox user experience testing
When developing entertainment and multimedia products, companies must ensure that users will enjoy a positive experience by interacting with their services. Jack Carroll, a distinguished professor at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), and Mary Beth Rosson, a professor and associate dean for undergraduate studies at IST, have teamed up with Microsoft for a project that applies their research on self-efficacy — a measure of the belief in one's own ability to complete tasks and reach goals — to develop better evaluation techniques for Xbox, an entertainment and gaming system.
Borge explores student online collaboration
At Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and many other institutions of learning, an increasing number of classes are being conducted in a blended learning format. Blended courses are classes where a portion of the traditional face-to-face instruction is replaced by Web-based online learning. Marcela Borge, a senior research associate/instructor at the College of IST, recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that will enable her to explore the nuances of student online collaboration and develop learning models that can be adapted to different educational settings.
Bagby examines challenges of cloud forensics in litigation
Cloud computing — an emerging model that enables convenient, on-demand access to computing resources, applications, storage, and services — has become increasingly widespread in recent years. According to John Bagby, a professor at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), while the cloud offers information technology (IT) savings and offers numerous advantages to organizations and individuals, the increasing adoption of cloud services imposes vast new challenges to criminal law enforcement, regulatory enforcement and civil litigation.
Trauth investigates experiences of lesbian and bisexual women in IT fields
Most of the existing research on underrepresented groups in the information systems (IS) field has focused on the topic of the low numbers of women in the field, which doesn’t really address the distinguishing characteristics among those women. Eileen Trauth, a professor at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) has embarked on a new stream of research that investigates the experiences of lesbian and bisexual women in the IS field.
Penn State-led team receives $10 million NSF Expeditions in Computing award
A Penn State-led team, including Dr. Jack Carroll, Dr. Lee Giles, and Dr. Mary Beth Rosson, faculty members of the College of Information Sciences and Technology, has received a $10 million Expeditions in Computing award from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE).
Maitland explores how geographic information systems can help in the West Bank
Businesses, governments and educators are increasingly turning to geographic information systems (GIS) to solve problems and improve processes. GIS integrates hardware, software and data for capturing, managing, analyzing and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information. Carleen Maitland, an associate professor at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), recently made a trip to Jerusalem and the West Bank, where she conducted preliminary research that examined the impact of GIS on humanitarian aid and economic development in the region. “In the West Bank, land is extremely political and very important,” Maitland said. “It naturally lends itself to the use of GIS.” Maitland, along with Anthony Robinson, a research associate in the GeoVISTA Center and Dutton e-Education Institute in the Penn State Department of Geography, received a grant from the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) at Penn State. The July trip to Jerusalem and the West Bank was part of a project that Maitland and Robinson are conducting on geographic information use by international development organizations. While in the Middle East, Maitland collaborated with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), a federal agency primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid. Maitland said that she asked USAID leaders about what particular mission was heavily reliant on GIS, and they advised them to look at the mission for the West Bank, which has been using GIS since 2002.
Yen, McNeese granted patent for system that fuses human and computer intelligence
In complex crisis situations involving military situation awareness, homeland security and other time-sensitive scenarios, teams of experts must often make difficult decisions within a narrow time frame. However, voluminous amounts of information and the complexity of distributed cognition can hamper the quality and timeliness of decision-making by human teams and lead to catastrophic consequences. Two professors from Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), John Yen and Michael McNeese, along with Xiacong Fan, an associate professor of computer science and engineering at Penn State Behrend, and Shuang Sun, who received a doctorate from the College of IST in 2006 and is now a project manager at Attune Cytometric Software, have devised a system that merges human and computer intelligence to support decision-making in crisis situations. They were recently awarded a U.S. patent for a collaborative intelligent agent framework that, according to Yen, “finds the sweet spot that combines machine intelligence working in tandem with human intelligence.”
Sim lab gives students lifelike experience in fighting terrorism
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- There's no shortage of information in our connected, computerized world. But more information does not necessarily lead to better intelligence and smarter decisions. Penn State's Red Cell Analytics Lab trains the next generation of analysts to turn data and information into intelligence through real-world training scenarios and cutting-edge technology. The lab, part of the College of Information Sciences and Technology, gives students hands-on experience in intelligence operations ranging from deciphering the next movements of an insurgent group to responding effectively to a natural disaster.
How are MOOCs changing the nature of education?
The rise of online and distance education in recent years has brought quality learning to the masses but also presents challenges for educators and system designers. The shift from face-to-face interaction between instructors and students to computer-mediated forms of communication, according to Michael Marcinkowski , a doctoral candidate at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), highlights the importance of understanding how such interactions are affected by the way educational systems are designed.
Red Cell Lab offers realistic terrorism lessons for future intelligence analysts
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Whether intelligence analysts are trying to predict the next moves of an insurgent group or determining how to best deliver aid after a hurricane, an excess of information can often cause just as many problems as a lack of it. Red Cell Analytics Lab, a laboratory in Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology, uses cutting-edge technology and the latest analysis to turn information into intelligence during fluid, complex situations that are as timely as today's headlines.
Trauth researches: Do veterans with disabilities have interest in IT careers?
Dr. Eileen Trauth, a professor at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) has focused her research on the role of diversity and social inclusion in information technology (IT) and the IT professions throughout her career. She is now expanding her research into an area that has previously received little attention—the perceptions about careers in the IT field held by military veterans with disability.
IST researchers examine the implications of online networks used to recruit potential terrorists
“Lone wolf” terrorists—individuals with no apparent ties to known extremist networks or conspiracies—have inflicted casualties in recent years and have drawn increasing attention from the law enforcement community. According to Dr. Peter Forster, senior lecturer at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), the revolution in information technologies has empowered individuals to become “networked participants” that are ultimately incited to actual violence through virtual interactions with terrorist groups and their facilitators.
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