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 A team of Penn State faculty, librarians, and undergraduate students was recently selected for Phase One of the $100,000 Nittany AI Challenge for their prototype that uses artificial intelligence to automate parts of the University Libraries’ digital badge program. The group will demonstrate their prototype during Penn State Startup Week on March 27 in hopes of receiving an additional $5,000 to create a minimum viable product.

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Calvin Mende’s high school volleyball coach would open the gym long before school started to give his players time for extra practice. Some of them relished the opportunity more than others.

“Most kids didn’t want to

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The University Park campus will once again play host to dozens of entrepreneurs and innovative thought leaders during Penn State Startup Week from March 26-30. The campus-wide initiative is an expansion of the College of Information Sciences and Technology’s IST Startup Week, which the college created in 2012.

A new "Community Informatics" course will use service learning and project-based experiences to help students understand their roles as citizens and the context of our modern communities.
Image: Andy Colwell


Over the past 25 years, Jack Carroll has focused on enhancing civic engagement through the use of information technologies and applications. Now, as one of the inaugural fellows in Penn State’s Faculty Academy for Engaged Scholarship, Carroll is continuing to reimagine how we think about our local communities and reflecting on our role as citizens through new research and a new undergraduate course focused on community informatics.

Image: Jordan Ford


From March 26-30 across the University Park campus, entrepreneurially minded students will have several opportunities to pitch their business ideas and develop innovative solutions to common problems through a series of challenges during Penn State Startup Week.

Throughout the week, four “3-Day IDEA Challenges” will encourage students to connect with students and industry professionals to solve real-world problems and compete for various prizes. Interested undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to register by Sunday, March 25, on the Startup Week IDEAS Challenge website.

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The Women in Information Sciences and Technology (WIST) student organization will host its annual “Lean In” leadership panel and networking reception from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Monday, March 19, in Alumni Lounge at the Nittany Lion Inn.The Women in Information Sciences and Technology (WIST) student organization will host its annual “Lean In” leadership panel and networking reception from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Monday, March 19, in Alumni Lounge at the Nittany Lion Inn.

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Thanks to participation from 59 students across several colleges, Penn State recently finished fourth in the National Security Agency’s 2017 Codebreaker Challenge. After several years of competing and placing in the top 20 of last year’s competition, Penn State’s fourth-place finish is the University’s highest.

Image: © iStock Photo / kodda


Computers may better predict taxi and ride sharing service demand, paving the way toward smarter, safer and more sustainable cities, according to an international team of researchers.

In a study, the researchers used two types of neural networks — computational systems modeled on the human brain — that analyzed patterns of taxi demand. This deep learning approach, which lets computers learn on their own, was then able to predict the demand patterns significantly better than current technology.

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Expanding use of information and communication technology (ICT) together with the humanitarian reform agenda are changing both the experience of being a refugee as well as humanitarian response. These forces are giving rise to the digital refugee and a new form of humanitarian operations, digital humanitarian brokerage. In this talk, Carleen Maitland presents these two concepts, evidence of their emergence and differences in the role information plays in each. The concepts emerge from a synthesis of scholarship from international law, information and organization science, GIS, computer and data science as presented in her upcoming edited volume Digital Lifeline? ICTs for Refugees and Displaced Persons. The talk culminates in an analysis of the implications of these trends for information policy as well as the research necessary to insure both technologies and policies evolve to mitigate potential harms and amplify potential benefits for refugees.

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Michael Morelli, a State College native and 2016 Information Sciences and Technology (IST) graduate, took advantage of several experiences as an undergraduate student to satisfy his diverse interests. Now, as a professional living in Seattle, he is not slowing down.