Research News

Amazon Alexa skill offers supportive care to breast cancer patients

April 27, 2021

Penn State researchers have developed an Amazon Alexa skill to remotely deliver validated interventions to metastatic breast cancer patients in the comfort of their own homes.


Explanations in online symptom checkers could improve user trust

April 15, 2021

Have you recently turned to your mobile device or computer to find out if your cough, sniffle or fever could be caused by COVID-19? The online symptom checker you used may have advised you to stay home and call your medical provider if symptoms worsen, or perhaps told you that you may be eligible for COVID-19 testing.


Shaowen Bardzell presents keynote at New Materialist Informatics 2021

March 29, 2021

Shaowen Bardzell, professor of information sciences and technology, presented a keynote address on March 23 at the virtual New Materialist Informatics 2021 conference.


New tool could help lessen bias in live television broadcasts

March 18, 2021

From Sunday morning news shows to on-air pregame commentary in sports, live telecasts draw viewers into real-time content on televisions around the world.


Pandemic survey points to design improvements for future remote learning

January 27, 2021

Last March, the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted university operations around the world. Students and instructors quickly transitioned to remote education, demonstrating reliance on new technologies that may have otherwise never been used.


Rosson named Association for Computing Machinery fellow

January 22, 2021

Mary Beth Rosson, professor of information sciences and technology, has been named a 2020 Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery for her contributions to human-computer interaction, including scenario-based design.


Penn State researchers co-author book teaching 'Skills to Obstruct Pandemics'

January 15, 2021

A team led by Penn State faculty and students, along with expert collaborators, has co-authored a guide that teaches the essential knowledge and skills to help interrupt the transmission of COVID-19 and other infections.


Study suggests smart assistant design improvements for deaf users

January 7, 2021

Despite the inherent challenges that voice-interaction may create, researchers recently found that deaf and hard-of-hearing users regularly use smart assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri in homes, workplaces and mobile devices — highlighting a clear need for more inclusive design.


Users don’t understand computer explanations for image labeling errors

October 26, 2020

When images are uploaded to online platforms, they are often tagged with automatically generated labels that indicate what is shown, such as a dog, tree or car. While these labeling systems are often accurate, sometimes the computer makes a mistake.


Carroll named Fellow of the International Federation for Information Processing

October 22, 2020

Jack Carroll, distinguished professor in Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology, has been named a Fellow of the  International Federation for Information Processing for his contributions to the information and communications technologies and sciences.


Nittany AI Inspire examines the use of AI in smart cities during virtual event

October 21, 2020

Artificial intelligence is being used to aid cities in an effort for its residents to live in a more sustainable way. This topic will be examined during the next Nittany AI Inspire virtual event “Smart Cities, AI and the Greater Good” from 6-8 p.m. on Oct. 23.


Researchers aim to motivate family conversations about health

September 29, 2020

If you haven’t recently talked with your family about health topics like sleep or medication, you’re not alone, according to a study by researchers in Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology.


IST research aims to understand a global pandemic

September 16, 2020

Since the novel coronavirus began its spread earlier this year, College of Information Sciences and Technology faculty and students have been innovative in addressing a variety of challenges related to COVID-19, including how to equip researchers with the most up-to-date information, how to educate the public about mitigation tactics, and how mo


Study reveals design flaws of chatbot-based symptom-checker apps

September 16, 2020

Millions of people turn to their mobile devices when seeking medical advice. They’re able to share their symptoms and receive potential diagnoses through chatbot-based symptom-checker (CSC) apps. But how do these apps compare to a trip to the doctor’s office?


NSF-funded study to examine human-punishment interaction in online communities

September 9, 2020

With a new grant, Yubo Kou, assistant professor of information sciences and technology, will examine how users of online community platforms experience punishments in various forms, such as chat restriction and account suspension, and what can be done to help those punished users, through his aim to better understand human-punishment interaction


Internationally recognized human-computer interaction expert joins IST faculty

August 31, 2020

Shaowen Bardzell, professor of information sciences and technology, has joined the College of Information Sciences and Technology faculty this fall.


Program introduces students to machine learning and security research

August 10, 2020

This summer, three undergraduate students from three higher education institutions got an exclusive, in-depth introduction to research topics focused on machine learning in cybersecurity through the Research Experiences for Undergraduates site program sponsored by National Science of Foundation and hosted by Penn State’s College of Information S


Associate dean for undergraduate and graduate studies hired in College of IST

August 4, 2020

Jeffrey Bardzell has been named associate dean for undergraduate and graduate studies in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, effective Aug. 1.


IST seed grants support tech projects related to COVID-19

May 14, 2020

The College of Information Sciences and Technology recently announced six projects that will receive funding from the college’s seed grant program. Each project will take different approaches to tackle various challenges and needs related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.


Online tutor helps general public turn COVID-19 prevention efforts into action

May 6, 2020

Penn State researchers have developed a comprehensive online tutor to educate the general public about the science behind COVID-19 and appropriate steps anyone can take to help reduce its transmission.


Do privacy controls lead to more trust in Alexa? Not necessarily, research finds

April 23, 2020

Giving users of smart assistants the option to adjust settings for privacy or content delivery, or both, doesn’t necessarily increase their trust in the platform, according to a team of Penn State researchers. In fact, for some users, it could have an unfavorable effect.


Human and AI annotations aim to improve scholarly results in COVID-19 searches

April 17, 2020

Seed funding provided by the Huck Institute of the Life Sciences and the Institute for Computational and Data Science is supporting two research teams from the College of Information Sciences and Technology in their efforts to provide faster and more efficient search results to COVID-19 research queries.


Virtual tutors help train nursing students for trauma care

April 9, 2020

A new web-based tutor developed by researchers in the College of Information Sciences and Technology is helping nursing students earn clinically relevant exposure to trauma care concepts, training that can't occur in a clinical setting because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.


Research aims to help online workers build skills to advance their career paths

April 8, 2020

A new research project led by Benjamin Hanrahan, assistant professor of information sciences and technology, aims to enrich online platform workers and improve the marketplace for online work.


NSF CAREER Award work aims to reimagine algorithmic managers driving gig economy

March 30, 2020

Benjamin Hanrahan, assistant professor of information sciences and technology at Penn State, will explore how digital tools to automate and remotely manage workers may negatively impact those workers and their rights.


Crowdsourcing plot lines to help the creative process

March 13, 2020

Creative authors could soon have a new option to help overcome writer’s block, thanks to a system launched by researchers in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State.


Citizen scientists may be an untapped resource for water quality improvement

February 10, 2020

Raising awareness and offering technological tools to the thousands of citizens groups in the U.S. that monitor water quality might help community leaders tap these volunteers as a way to improve access to plentiful, clean water and possibly avoid water-related crises.