Latest News from: Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

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Newswise: Consumers make decisions based on how and why products are recommended online
Released: 21-Apr-2021 9:40 AM EDT
Consumers make decisions based on how and why products are recommended online
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

As more people go online for shopping, understanding how they rely on e-commerce recommendation systems to make purchases is increasingly important. Penn State researchers now suggest that it’s not just what is recommended, but how and why it’s recommended, that helps to shape consumers’ opinions.

Newswise: GIS technology helps map out how America’s mafia networks were ‘connected’
Released: 14-Apr-2021 10:50 AM EDT
GIS technology helps map out how America’s mafia networks were ‘connected’
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

A team of researchers used geographic information systems — a collection of tools for geographic mapping and analysis of the Earth and society — and data from a government database on mafia ties during the 1960s, to examine how these networks were built, maintained and grown. The researchers said that this spatial social networks study offers a unique look at the mafia’s loosely affiliated criminal groups. Often called families, these groups were connected — internally and externally — to maintain a balance between security and effectiveness, referred to as the efficiency-security tradeoff.

Released: 7-Apr-2021 8:15 AM EDT
coalition s new leadership renews focus on advocating for academic scientific computation2
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Computers play an integral role in nearly every discipline of research today, giving scientists the ability to discover new drugs, develop new materials, forecast the impacts of climate change, and solve some of today’s most challenging problems.

Newswise: Health ads in users’ customized online sites may evoke negative reactions
Released: 16-Mar-2021 2:10 PM EDT
Health ads in users’ customized online sites may evoke negative reactions
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Tweaking the look of a social media profile may subtly alter a person’s reaction to the health messages that appear on that site, according to researchers. They add that these reactions could influence whether the users heed the advice of those messages.

Newswise: Deaths in the family can shape kids’ educational attainment in unexpected ways
Released: 9-Mar-2021 10:30 AM EST
Deaths in the family can shape kids’ educational attainment in unexpected ways
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Deaths of family members may trigger ripple effects across family networks, reverberating in the lives of children in complex and, sometimes, unexpected ways. In a study, the researchers found that deaths in the family can affect the educational attainment of children. That impact most often is negative, but, in certain cases, a family death can improve the chances that children will further their education.

Newswise: Deep learning may help doctors choose better lung cancer treatments
Released: 17-Feb-2021 9:30 AM EST
Deep learning may help doctors choose better lung cancer treatments
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Doctors and healthcare workers may one day use a machine learning model, called deep learning, to guide their treatment decisions for lung cancer patients, according to a team of Penn State Great Valley researchers.

Newswise: Machine learning algorithm may be the key to timely, inexpensive cyber-defense
Released: 4-Feb-2021 3:55 PM EST
Machine learning algorithm may be the key to timely, inexpensive cyber-defense
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Attacks on vulnerable computer networks and cyber-infrastructure — often called zero-day attacks — can quickly overwhelm traditional defenses, resulting in billions of dollars of damage and requiring weeks of manual patching work to shore up the systems after the intrusion. Now, a Penn State-led team of researchers used a machine learning approach, based on a technique known as reinforcement learning, to create an adaptive cyber defense against these attacks.

Newswise: $500,000 grant funds creation of institute to advance AI for materials science
Released: 27-Jan-2021 3:50 PM EST
$500,000 grant funds creation of institute to advance AI for materials science
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Funds from an NSF $500,000 grant will be used to bring together an interdisciplinary team of researchers with complementary expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) and material science to lay the groundwork for an AI-Enabled Materials Discovery, Design, and Synthesis (AIMS) Institute.

Newswise: Emotional dependency on smoking-vaping combo differs from just smoking
Released: 8-Jan-2021 10:15 AM EST
Emotional dependency on smoking-vaping combo differs from just smoking
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Researchers have known that emotions play a critical, but complex role in shaping dependency on smoking and vaping. Now, a team of researchers report that emotions that trigger dependency for people who both smoke and vape may be different from people who just smoke, a finding that may one day help scientists create more personalized programs to help people quit tobacco smoking and vaping.

Newswise: Astronomers Develop Model for the Distribution of Inner Planetary Systems
Released: 30-Nov-2020 3:30 PM EST
Astronomers Develop Model for the Distribution of Inner Planetary Systems
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Data from the Kepler space telescope, launched more than a decade ago, is still helping astronomers who study planets outside of our own solar system — exoplanets — and unravel the mysteries of planetary systems. Initially, astronomers were surprised that Kepler found so many exoplanets, including hundreds of planetary systems with multiple planets orbiting close to their host star. As astronomers developed models to explain the abundance of inner exoplanets, they encountered a new mystery: “Why did Kepler detect just one planet around so many stars, instead of planetary systems with multiple planets?"

Newswise: ‘Smart Wrap’ implant may help people better control their bladders
Released: 12-Nov-2020 1:40 PM EST
‘Smart Wrap’ implant may help people better control their bladders
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

An implantable smart wrap that fits safely and securely around the bladder may one day help people who have under-active bladders, a condition that hinders patients from urinating regularly and comfortably, according to an international team of researchers.

Newswise: Healthy skepticism: People may be wary of health articles on crowdsourced sites
Released: 15-Oct-2020 11:30 AM EDT
Healthy skepticism: People may be wary of health articles on crowdsourced sites
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

People may be skeptical about medical and health articles they encounter on crowdsourced websites, such as Wikipedia and Wikihealth, according to researchers. While that may be good news for health officials who are worried that these sites allow non-experts to easily add and edit health information, the researchers added that having medical professionals curate content on those sites may not reduce the skepticism.

Newswise: Deep Learning Artificial Intelligence Keeps an Eye on Volcano Movements
Released: 14-Oct-2020 10:05 AM EDT
Deep Learning Artificial Intelligence Keeps an Eye on Volcano Movements
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Penn State researchers have used artificial intelligence (AI) to clear up that noise, drastically facilitating and improving near real-time observation of volcanic movements and the detection of volcanic activity and unrest.

Newswise: Self-powered biosensors may open up new paths to medical tracking, treatments
Released: 11-Sep-2020 11:25 AM EDT
Self-powered biosensors may open up new paths to medical tracking, treatments
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Wearable and implantable devices are currently used for a variety of functions, including health tracking and monitoring. However, supplying energy usually requires cumbersome batteries and downtime due to recharging. Now, an international team of researchers suggests that advances in materials and electronic design may be able to convert biomechanical energy into electric energy, paving the way for devices that can be worn and implanted but do not require constant recharging.

Newswise: Virtual symposium experts offer insights on big data issues, opportunities
Released: 2-Sep-2020 10:40 AM EDT
Virtual symposium experts offer insights on big data issues, opportunities
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Registration is now open for Penn State’s Institute of Computational and Data Sciences’ (ICDS) 2020 Symposium. The two-day symposium will be held virtually Oct. 21-22 and will feature an interdisciplinary group of speakers and experts who will focus on both the challenges — and opportunities — of big data and data science.

Newswise: Algorithm aims to alert consumers before they use illicit online pharmacies
Released: 27-Aug-2020 4:05 PM EDT
Algorithm aims to alert consumers before they use illicit online pharmacies
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

In a study, a team of Penn State researchers report that an algorithm they developed may be able to spot illicit online pharmacies that could be providing customers with substandard medications without their knowledge, among other potential problems.

Newswise: Molecular stress indicator not observed in survivors of child sexual abuse
Released: 18-Aug-2020 12:25 PM EDT
Molecular stress indicator not observed in survivors of child sexual abuse
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Researchers and medical experts have long known that child sexual abuse has profoundly negative effects on the health of survivors; however, an international team of researchers was not able to find a link between the abuse and telomere length, considered an indicator of cellular aging and health.

Newswise: Application of machine learning can optimize hurricane track forecast
Released: 5-Aug-2020 11:30 AM EDT
Application of machine learning can optimize hurricane track forecast
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

When a hurricane approaches, providing a few extra hours’ notice can be the difference between life and death. Now, Penn State researchers report that applying a machine learning technique to a group of possible storm paths could help meteorologists provide more accurate medium-term forecasts and issue timely warnings to communities in the path of these potentially deadly storms.

Newswise: Climate change-influenced refugee crisis may lead to long-term settlement issues
Released: 30-Jul-2020 12:40 PM EDT
Climate change-influenced refugee crisis may lead to long-term settlement issues
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

While many models suggest that climate change will prompt a substantial number of people to leave their homes, not all research so clearly finds this is the case. Investigating cases where computer models seemed to indicate only limited impacts of climate change on people leaving rural areas, a team of researchers now suggest that the models may reveal a more nuanced circular migration pattern in areas stricken by climate change impacts.

Newswise: About nine family members to suffer grief from every COVID-19 fatality
Released: 15-Jul-2020 3:05 PM EDT
About nine family members to suffer grief from every COVID-19 fatality
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Deaths from COVID-19 will have a ripple effect causing impacts on the mental health and health of surviving family members. But the extent of that impact has been hard to assess until now. Every death from COVID-19 will impact approximately nine surviving family members, according to a study.

Newswise: Design method may boost semiconductor performance by better handling heat
Released: 23-Jun-2020 11:35 AM EDT
Design method may boost semiconductor performance by better handling heat
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Finding ways to manage the flow of heat in silicon could boost the performance of semiconductors, but, so far, discovering the right design has remained elusive. Now, a team of Penn State researchers report that a fabrication technique may offer a path toward mastering the often chaotic flow of heat carriers at the nanoscale in silicon and other semiconductors.

Newswise: Political ‘Oil Spill’: Polarization Is Growing Stronger — and Getting Stickier
Released: 10-Jun-2020 11:00 AM EDT
Political ‘Oil Spill’: Polarization Is Growing Stronger — and Getting Stickier
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Experts have documented that political polarization is intensifying in the United States. However, a Penn State sociologist now suggests that this separation isn’t just more intense, but it is also growing broader, coagulating into an ideological slick of opinions.

Newswise: Penn State's supercomputer takes on COVID-19 — and its aftermath
Released: 20-May-2020 1:45 PM EDT
Penn State's supercomputer takes on COVID-19 — and its aftermath
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Penn State researchers will need the power of supercomputers not just to investigate possible treatments and therapies for the novel coronavirus, but also to explore ways to help the world recover socially, economically and psychologically.

Newswise: Audience size and comments may affect enjoyment of social television
Released: 5-Mar-2020 8:50 AM EST
Audience size and comments may affect enjoyment of social television
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

The presence of a large audience boosts enjoyment, but it takes just a few haters to ruin a TV show or movie, according to a study of social television, the practice of simultaneously watching television programs while seeing the social media “tweets” of other viewers displayed on the same screen.

Newswise: Designing plastic to break down in the ocean is possible, but is it practical?
Released: 3-Mar-2020 8:30 AM EST
Designing plastic to break down in the ocean is possible, but is it practical?
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

In a study, the researchers used a machine learning algorithm to classify more than 110 types of plastics, including commercial and lab-made varieties, to better understand how they might degrade in the ocean.

Newswise: Computers scour satellite imagery to unveil Madagascar's mysteries
Released: 20-Feb-2020 9:40 AM EST
Computers scour satellite imagery to unveil Madagascar's mysteries
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Scientists may be a step closer to solving some of anthropology’s biggest mysteries thanks to a machine learning algorithm that can scour through remote sensing data, such as satellite imagery, looking for signs of human settlements, according to an international team of researchers.

Newswise: Citizen scientists may be an untapped resource for water quality improvement
Released: 11-Feb-2020 8:50 AM EST
Citizen scientists may be an untapped resource for water quality improvement
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

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, according to a team of researchers.

Newswise: All the feels: Feeling loved in everyday life linked with improved well-being
Released: 25-Nov-2019 11:50 AM EST
All the feels: Feeling loved in everyday life linked with improved well-being
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

In two studies, the researchers found that people who experienced higher “felt love” — brief experiences of love and connection in everyday life — also had significantly higher levels of psychological well-being, which includes feelings of purpose and optimism, compared to those who had lower felt love scores. They also found that people with higher felt love tended to have higher extraversion personality scores, while people with lower felt love scores were more likely to show signs of neuroticism.

Newswise: Researchers Identify Seven Types of Fake News, Aiding Better Detection
Released: 14-Nov-2019 11:05 AM EST
Researchers Identify Seven Types of Fake News, Aiding Better Detection
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

To help people spot fake news, or create technology that can automatically detect misleading content, scholars first need to know exactly what fake news is, according to a team of Penn State researchers. However, they add, that’s not as simple as it sounds.

Newswise: Virus may jump species through rock-and-roll motion with receptors
23-Sep-2019 11:20 AM EDT
Virus may jump species through rock-and-roll motion with receptors
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

The researchers used a sophisticated electron microscope that can take pictures of structures at the atomic level to examine the virus as it interacted with the transferrin receptor, or TfR, a protein on the surface of the cell that helps manage a body’s iron uptake.

Newswise: Clickbait Secrets Exposed! Humans and AI team up to improve clickbait detection
22-Aug-2019 2:05 PM EDT
Clickbait Secrets Exposed! Humans and AI team up to improve clickbait detection
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Humans and machines worked together to help train an artificial intelligence -- AI -- model that outperformed other clickbait detectors, according to researchers. In addition, the new AI-based solution was also able to tell the difference between clickbait headlines that were generated by machines -- or bots -- and ones written by people.

Newswise: Focusing computational power for more accurate, efficient weather forecasts
Released: 23-Aug-2019 7:05 AM EDT
Focusing computational power for more accurate, efficient weather forecasts
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Penn State researchers are using artificial intelligence to pinpoint those swift-changing weather areas to help meteorologists produce more accurate weather forecasts without wasting valuable computational power.

Newswise: SMH! Brains trained on e-devices may struggle to understand scientific info
Released: 12-Aug-2019 1:05 PM EDT
SMH! Brains trained on e-devices may struggle to understand scientific info
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Overuse of electronic devices is no “LOL” matter, according to researchers, who suggest that excessive interaction with e-devices may be related to weaker activity in areas of the brain that are key to understanding scientific texts.

Newswise: Whole genome sequencing may help officials get a handle on disease outbreaks
Released: 7-Aug-2019 7:05 AM EDT
Whole genome sequencing may help officials get a handle on disease outbreaks
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Whole genome sequencing technology may give epidemiologists and healthcare workers a powerful weapon in tracking and, possibly, controlling outbreaks of serious diseases, according to a team of researchers. In a study, researchers found that both international and domestic sources of Shigella sonnei, which is the fourth most common cause of bacterial foodborne illnesses in the U.S., were from a related group of the bacteria, called Lineage II. Experts originally proposed that the international and domestic strains of Shigella were likely from different sources, according to the researchers.

Newswise: Careful analysis of volcano’s plumbing system may give tips on pending eruptions
Released: 29-Jul-2019 1:05 AM EDT
Careful analysis of volcano’s plumbing system may give tips on pending eruptions
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

A volcano will not send out an official invitation when it’s ready to erupt, but a team of researchers suggest that scientists who listen and watch carefully may be able to pick up signs that an eruption is about to happen. In a study of Hawaii's Kīlauea volcano, the researchers reported that pressure changes in the volcano’s summit reservoirs helped explain the number of earthquakes — or seismicity — in the upper East Rift Zone. This zone is a highly active region where several eruptions have occurred over the last few decades, including a spectacular one in 2018.

Newswise: Reducing farm greenhouse gas emissions may plant the seed for a cooler planet
Released: 23-Jul-2019 8:05 AM EDT
Reducing farm greenhouse gas emissions may plant the seed for a cooler planet
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — By adopting a few beneficial management practices, farms — and particularly dairy farms — can play a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet, according to a team of researchers. Based on a series of climate-model projections, the researchers found that if farmers worldwide set a target to adopt practices to reduce their emission of greenhouse gases, particularly methane and nitrous oxide, by just 25 percent over the next 30 years, they could reduce overall warming by 0.21 degrees Celsius, or 6 percent of projected total warming.

Newswise: Four ways scholars say we can cut the chances of nasty satellite data surprises
Released: 10-Jul-2019 9:40 AM EDT
Four ways scholars say we can cut the chances of nasty satellite data surprises
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

A team of Penn State researchers are reminding policy makers, industry, and citizens that satellite data, left unchecked, can be as dangerous as it is useful and as threatening to national security and civil liberties as it is helpful to the national economy.

Newswise: Pig-Pen effect: Mixing skin oil and ozone can produce a personal pollution cloud
Released: 27-Jun-2019 7:05 AM EDT
Pig-Pen effect: Mixing skin oil and ozone can produce a personal pollution cloud
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

When ozone and skin oils meet, the resulting reaction may help remove ozone from an indoor environment, but it can also produce a personal cloud of pollutants that affects indoor air quality.

Newswise: Older adults can serve communities as engines of everyday innovation
Released: 27-Jun-2019 7:05 AM EDT
Older adults can serve communities as engines of everyday innovation
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

A team of researchers found that older adults are often leaders in innovation, coupling their knowledge and creativity to, among other things, revitalize communities, improve the environment, and pass on skills and hobbies.

Newswise: Despite dire predictions, levels of social support remain steady in the U.S.
Released: 14-Jun-2019 10:05 AM EDT
Despite dire predictions, levels of social support remain steady in the U.S.
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

Although Americans have faced waves of social, technological and economic disruption over the last few decades, a new study indicates that their perceptions of available social support have remained steady and, in some cases, may even be strengthening. In a study that examined data that spans nearly two decades, survey respondents reported that their access to help from friends and family — a key measure of social support — has increased slightly over time.

Newswise: For many, friends and family, not doctors, serve as a gateway to opioid misuse
Released: 3-Jun-2019 2:05 PM EDT
For many, friends and family, not doctors, serve as a gateway to opioid misuse
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

In a common narrative of the path to opioid misuse, people become addicted to painkillers after a doctor prescribed them pills to treat an injury and then, later, switch to harder drugs, such as heroin. However, nonmedical opioid users were more likely to say they began abusing opioids after friends and family members offered them the drugs, according to researchers.

Newswise: Scientific Evidence Boosts Action for Activists, Decreases Action for Scientists
Released: 23-May-2019 7:05 AM EDT
Scientific Evidence Boosts Action for Activists, Decreases Action for Scientists
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

When a proposed policy has the backing of scientific evidence, it may boost the likelihood that activists will get involved with the issue. However, references to scientific evidence seem to dampen the activism of scientific experts, according to researchers.

Newswise: Interactive map reveals that lynching extended far beyond the deep South
Released: 22-May-2019 8:05 AM EDT
Interactive map reveals that lynching extended far beyond the deep South
Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences

An interactive map of lynchings that occurred in the United States from 1883 to 1941 reveals not just the extent of mob violence, but also underscores how the roles of economy, topography and law enforcement infrastructure


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