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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.
Time is of the essence for new banking system developed at IST
Time banking -- a system that lets people swap time and skill instead of money -- has been gaining popularity in recent years among people who want to build supportive networks and strong, self-sustaining communities. At the Center for Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), researchers are trying to build on this momentum by refining the time-banking model and expanding the time-banking network in the community of State College.
Understanding users key to system design, according to IST professor
Technology has become an integral part of people’s lives, be it in the form of personal computers, mobile devices, household gadgets or automotive controls. According to Frank Ritter, a professor at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), it is essential for system designers to fully understand their users to develop effective interactive systems. A book that Ritter co-wrote, “Foundations for Designing User-Centered Systems,” was recently published by Springer. The book describes the basic physiological, psychological and social factors that underpin why users do what they do. In addition, it explains how those factors can affect system design.
COIL works with TLT and other ed tech groups to advance online learning
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- There’s no denying that online learning is sweeping across higher education. To keep Penn State up to date with the latest technologies, the Center for Online Innovation in Learning (COIL) is leveraging the University’s extensive research efforts with publications, grants, events and research and development initiatives. The growing community has been working hard to push online learning into exciting new frontiers at Penn State. “COIL is designed to bring together people — like those from Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) — who are interested in innovating the teaching and learning process,” said Kyle Peck, co-director of COIL. “We work hard to connect faculty, staff and students from across Penn State and beyond to create a community that will move the University and online learning forward.”
Doctoral student receives grant to develop technology for diagnosing dyslexia
Elizabeth Eikey, a doctoral candidate at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), is interested in how technology can be used to improve health outcomes. Eikey’s research goal, which is now being supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is to advance diagnostic technology that will help struggling children learn to read.
Social media users need help to adjust to interface changes
TORONTO -- Social media companies that give users a greater sense of control can ease them into interface changes, as well as curb defections to competitors, according to researchers. "Several studies have looked into how social media companies have failed," said Pamela Wisniewski, a post-doctoral scholar in information sciences and technology, Penn State. "What we need to think about is how social media companies can be more adaptive and how they can improve the longevity of their sites. In a study of the reaction to the introduction of Facebook's Timeline interface between 2011 and 2012, researchers found that users considered the mandatory transition to the new interface highly stressful. They also found evidence that suggests that giving users a voice can give them a sense of control to better adapt to new online environments.
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.
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