Category Archives: Campus News

Got some news to share, or know someone who deserves a shout-out? Let us know! (You must be logged in with your UMICH Level-1 password to access the form.) Subscribe to the Campus News RSS feed.

Physician-rating websites

By | February 24, 2017

Consumers increasingly turn to commercial physician-rating websites, similar to those for restaurants and hotels, when searching for a new doctor, but the sites rarely have information that actually helps patients. “Consumers should still be careful about what they view on these sites,” says David Hanauer, an associate professor at the Medical School and the School of Information. A new study finds that most doctors… Read More »

Clinc raises venture capital

By | February 24, 2017

Ann Arbor-based Clinc Inc., an artificial-intelligence startup co-founded by U-M research professors Jason Mars and Lingjia Tang announced earlier this week that it has raised a funding round of $6.3 million. That follows a seed-stage round six months ago of $1.2 million for the company, which was founded in 2015. The investment followed a well-received appearance by Clinc at the Consumers Electronic… Read More »

Michigan lawmakers and social media

By | February 23, 2017

Typically, elected officials delegate social media posts to staffers, but that is changing. (President Donald Trump being the most famous example.) Michigan also has a few political social media stars, like Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and retired Rep. John Dingell, who manage their own accounts. Josh Pasek, assistant professor of communications studies, is not sure the trend bodes well for… Read More »

Just wait…trust me

By | February 23, 2017

Eytan Adar, a professor of information and computer science at U-M, explains why some apps and software packages will build in artificial wait times as a way to improve the user experience. He calls it “benevolent deception,” a term he coined in a paper he published in 2013 with a pair of Microsoft researchers. For example, TurboTax employs… Read More »

The nose knows

By | February 22, 2017

Predicting color perception is easy: specific wavelengths produce specific colors that most people see in a consistent way. But predicting how a particular molecule will smell is much tougher. So a group of researchers set up a contest and invited teams of computer scientists to come up with a set of algorithms able to predict the odor of different molecules based on their… Read More »

Cracks in the Great Firewall

By | February 22, 2017

The Great Firewall of China, the vast hardware and software system the Chinese government uses to prevent access to certain Internet content, is often depicted as monolithic and Orwellian. However, recent research by U-M’s Mary Gallagher (director of the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies) and Blake Miller (a PhD candidate in political science) found that information control in China is more… Read More »

3D archaeology

By | February 22, 2017

Biographies often explore the lives of great men and women, but how should we publish the memoir of a great building? And how might archaeologists write a narrative of that building for the public to more easily interact with? A new digital publication from the University of Michigan Press and its accompanying online archaeological object database answers these questions… Read More »

Dearborn adds PhD programs

By | February 21, 2017

U-M Dearborn recently announced that it will launch new doctoral degree programs in computer and information science, and electrical and computer engineering. “The new programs were designed in response to industry’s strong demand both for highly qualified engineers in research and development, and for the products of research undertaken by PhD students,” said Tony England, dean, of UM-Dearborn’s… Read More »

Class studies false online info

By | February 21, 2017

The U-M Library, which has a long record of improving the way students go about finding, evaluating, and using information in their academic work, is fighting back against fake news. A marked increase in the online dissemination of intentionally false information has led librarians to join with campus partners at LSA to create a class aimed at helping students develop… Read More »

Archive seeks to preserve government data

By | February 20, 2017

The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research is establishing an open-access archive, DataLumos, where the public can archive valuable government data resources, ensuring their long-term availability. ICPSR, a center within U-M’s Institute for Social Research, has joined widespread efforts to preserve valuable U.S. government data that may be hard to find or inaccessible in the future. “We… Read More »

Power to the pixel

By | February 20, 2017

Thirty years ago, the digital technology we rely on today wasn’t just unavailable; it was inconceivable. And yet at Michigan Engineering, a young PhD student named Thomas Knoll was quietly creating a piece of software that endures today as one of the world’s most popular applications. It would turn countless industries on their heads: marketing, advertising, publishing and… Read More »

First date? Data first

By | February 15, 2017

Elizabeth Bruch, a professor in the Center for the Study of Complex Systems and the Department of Sociology, has been working with colleagues in LSA to figure out exactly how people find romance online. They’ve seen some telling patterns in how people choose partners. Bruch and her colleagues examined romantic encounters in an online dating service—more than one… Read More »

Love & tech: It’s complicated

By | February 13, 2017

Only a decade ago, Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone. The mobile app boom came afterward, helping to make services like Uber, Twitter, Instagram, and Tinder household names. We’re still feeling the effects that technological change is having on our culture and relationships, says Nicole Ellison, a professor at the School of Information. We may reach a point where… Read More »

Growing pains?

By | February 12, 2017

Snapchat’s ability to court a young demographic has been one of its defining characteristics and the pillar of its success. But as the company prepares for its stock market debut, the photo and video messaging app’s reliance on users under the age of 25 could also be one of its biggest liabilities. “It’s the rocks many ships have… Read More »

Forged emails sent to CoE groups

By | February 10, 2017

On Tuesday, February 7, forged emails carrying messages of hate were sent to several College of Engineering email groups from an anonymous email server. The messages were “spoofed” so they appeared to come from an engineering faculty member and a doctoral student. They did not send the messages. The U-M Police Department and the FBI are conducting a joint… Read More »

Predicting student success

By | February 9, 2017

A growing number of colleges and universities are using what is known as predictive analytics to spot students in danger of dropping out. Crunching hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of student academic and personal records, past and present, they are coming up with courses that signal a need for intervention.  First year students at U-M began using a… Read More »

High-tech handcuffs

By | February 9, 2017

High-tech employees working in states that enforce noncompete agreements suffer for it in lower wages and reduced job mobility. Jagadeesh Sivadasan, an associate professor of business economics and public policy at the Ross School of Business, compared data for workers in states that strongly enforce noncompete clauses with those that do not. “Companies use noncompete agreements to protect… Read More »

Phones fill time

By | February 9, 2017

When queued up for an event, to buy a latte or waiting for a bus, most people whip out their phones to pass the time—most often within seconds of arriving. Daniel Kruger of the Institute for Social Research was curious about how quickly people used their phones while passing the time waiting. So he set out to determine… Read More »

Dude, who hacked my car?

By | February 9, 2017

Most Americans have some concerns that self-driving cars can be hacked to cause crashes, disable the vehicle in some way, or even be used as weapons by terrorists, according to researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle of the U-M Transportation Research Institute. And large percentages of people are at least slightly concerned that these kinds of vehicles can be… Read More »