Category Archives: Campus News

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Health apps #fail

By | December 15, 2016

A study published this month in the journal Health Affairs found problems with many smartphone health apps. Most concerning was what happened (or didn’t happen) with information that should have drawn warnings from the app—like selecting “yes” when the app asked if the user was feeling suicidal, or entering extremely abnormal levels for blood sugar levels. Only 28… Read More »

IQ to host data conference

By | December 15, 2016

The Higher Education Data Warehouse (HEDW) selected Information Quest (IQ) to host their April 2019 Conference in Ann Arbor. “This is a huge honor and will allow us to showcase the University of Michigan and our work here in IQ,” said Shelly Turner, application developer lead for IQ who will also serve on the HEDW board from 2017… Read More »

Rise of the fembots

By | December 15, 2016

Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana are some of today’s most well-known virtual assistants. All are female, and all elicit an image of an assistant who is not just a woman, but a woman people can boss around, flirt with, and act inappropriately toward. Compound that with portrayals in the media and it all starts to feel… Read More »

New VR Community of Practice

By | December 15, 2016

A new Michigan IT Community of Practice is taking shape around augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) systems. Areas of interest include the use of these systems for visualization, teaching, content development, and performance. Meetings will begin in January (specific date TBA). Join the MCommunity group, AR and VR CoP, and the new Google+ community for more… Read More »

New year, new IT news

By | December 15, 2016

The New Year will bring more than just snow and fitness resolutions. In the first part of 2017, you can expect improvements to how the Michigan Newsletter is published and distributed. Take our reader survey to weigh in. Your feedback will inform the direction of Michigan IT news to better serve the community. We’ve already made some changes:… Read More »

Shumaker moves to UM-Dearborn

By | December 15, 2016

Carrie Shumaker, formerly ITS assistant director for human capital management and student administration systems, accepted a position as the interim director of information technology, strategy, and operations at UM-Dearborn. Effective December 1, Shumaker will lead all Dearborn IT efforts, including applications, network, storage, architecture, and cybersecurity.

Exploiting vehicle electronics

By | December 15, 2016

The networked electronics found in modern vehicles provide many useful and cool benefits, such as fuel savings, parking assist, and collision avoidance. Most of these features involve passing data among vehicle systems and human drivers. This connectivity also offers hackers new potential exploits. According to research presented last month by U-M researchers Kyong-Tak Cho and Kang Shin at… Read More »

Photonic chips skirt physics

By | December 15, 2016

In the tech world, one of the biggest questions of the 21st century is: How small can we make transistors? Today’s transistors, at about 70 silicon atoms wide, are getting very close to the limits of current technology. Arnab Hazari, doctoral student in electrical engineering, explains how “photonic chips” that use light, made up of photons, could solve… Read More »

Tweet no more

By | December 15, 2016

Twitter suspended the accounts of several high-profile leaders of the so-called alternative right last month, raising new questions about the largely online movement’s potential for influencing national debate. While the suspensions could damage the movement by limiting its ability to spread its ideology, others believe it could make the alt-right stronger by feeding into its narrative of liberal… Read More »

Fighting fake news

By | December 15, 2016

Experts say Facebook’s recent move to ban phony news sites from its advertising network will do little to stop the spread of such articles on its platform. That’s because fake news sites rely heavily on Facebook to steer traffic to their stories to generate ad revenue through other ad services, like Google AdSense. Gautam Hans, a clinical fellow… Read More »

Smart homes vulnerable

By | December 15, 2016

An interview exploring the technology underlying home device security and the Internet of Things (IoT) was recently broadcasted by CBC Radio. Atul Prakash, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, spoke about why many IoT devices are vulnerable. “The technology is relatively new,” said Prakash. “Hardware is probably a little bit ahead of the software at this point,… Read More »

Packing a punch

By | November 1, 2016

John Heron, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, and colleagues have engineered a material that could lead to a new generation of computing devices—packing in more computing power while consuming nearly 100 times less energy than today’s electronics require. Known as magnetoelectric multiferroic material, it combines electrical and magnetic properties at room temperature and relies on a… Read More »

UMICH represents!

By | November 1, 2016

Twenty Michigan IT staff presented at the 2016 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California on Wednesday, October 26. The EDUCAUSE Annual Conference is the premier convening of IT professionals and technology providers in higher education. The conference programming is derived from member-driven content organized across overarching IT tracks and hosts one of… Read More »

Election audits

By | November 1, 2016

Since hackers targeted the election systems of more than 20 states, cyber security experts say Michigan should routinely audit a sample of its paper ballots to protect against election fraud. The Michigan Secretary of State’s office said the state’s voter registration lists have not been targeted or affected. “[Audits] should be done routinely in order to provide a… Read More »

Gaming for good

By | November 1, 2016

Computer gaming is now a regular part of life for many people. Beyond just being entertaining, though, it can be a very useful tool in education and in science. If people spent just a fraction of their play time solving real-life scientific puzzles—by playing science-based computer games—what new knowledge might we uncover? Professor James Bardwell and Scott Horowitz,… Read More »

Injectable computers

By | November 1, 2016

With a radio specifically designed to communicate through tissue, U-M researchers are adding another level to a computer platform small enough to fit inside a medical grade syringe. In the video below, David Blaauw, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and David Wentzloff, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, discuss how the technology will allow… Read More »

Twitter TV

By | November 1, 2016

Last month, millions of viewers used Twitter to watch live streams of NFL football and the presidential debates. If you weren’t one, here’s how it works: After opening the Twitter app and selecting Moments, you click “watch live” to join the live stream, which also integrates a Twitter feed of hashtags related to the event. Amanda Lotz, professor… Read More »

WiFi working wonders

By | November 1, 2016

How important is WiFi on the Ann Arbor campus? Based on usage statistics for the first day of the fall term, WiFi has become a must-have for U-M faculty, staff and students. On September 6, more than 55,000 people connected to MWireless and eduroam, using almost 96,000 unique devices and exceeding 54 terabytes of traffic. To meet growing… Read More »

ECoach

By | November 1, 2016

ECoach, a personalized education tool developed at U-M, has been expanded this fall to serve all first-year students. “The goal is to ease the transition to college for all students,” said principal investigator Tim McKay, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Physics, Astronomy and Education, and director of U-M’s Digital Innovation Greenhouse in the Office of Academic Innovation. “By… Read More »

Smartphone stress

By | November 1, 2016

Parents searching for work-life balance may see smartphones and tablets as a way to escape the office in time to be home for dinner each night. But, a recent study suggests these gadgets can also be a huge distraction and source of stress. When researchers asked a group of parents to slow down and answer detailed questions about… Read More »