Tag Archives: COVID-19

We have temporarily added a new section so readers can more easily find IT news related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are also maintaining a list of unit-level updates re: IT operations and resources. Have a story or kudo about how IT staff has helped transition the university to working remotely? Contact us or use our submission form to tell us about it.

Amid restricted visitor policies, Zoom and FaceTime are a lifeline

It goes without saying that COVID-19 changed many things at Michigan Medicine. One major change has been the restricted hospital visitor policy, significantly limiting the number of people and time visitors can spend with a patient. For clinicians, this has upended patient-family communications, typically conducted face-to-face.  “Not being able to share information with families in-person has been a… Read More »

Wireless sensors for N95 masks could enable easier, more accurate decontamination

By | June 30, 2020

Tiny wireless sensors for recycled N95 masks could verify, in real time, whether the respirators are being exposed to proper decontamination conditions.  These batteryless sensors are being developed and tested at the University of Michigan through a new National Science Foundation RAPID COVID-19 grant. They are designed to provide more accurate and less cumbersome monitoring during the decontamination… Read More »

Students lead the way on State of Michigan web application to curb the spread of COVID-19

By | June 30, 2020

A team of students at the College of Engineering have developed an online tool called “MI Symptoms” to help Michigan residents track potential COVID-19 symptoms, enabling state officials and employers to make the right call about reopening workplaces during the pandemic.  Among the web application’s key audiences are employers who will need to make sure they’re correctly following… Read More »

Success with ServiceNow: HITS manages spike in incidents during pandemic

Facing a surge in requests for help, HITS used new tools, streamlined processes, and called on volunteers to keep Michigan Medicine working. Because of the shift to remote work due to COVID-19, HITS experienced a significant surge in requests for help. Help Me Now locations were closed to ensure worker safety, phone wait times increased substantially, and there… Read More »

An autonomous HVAC system could provide more comfort with less energy

By | June 29, 2020

As lockdown restrictions lift, COVID-19 is changing how we use indoor spaces, challenging those who manage these spaces, from homes to offices to factories. One of the biggest challenges concerns heating and cooling. In response to the need for smart, more flexible climate control to keep people comfortable without heating and cooling entire empty buildings, researchers from the… Read More »

K-12 online learning platform from U-M sees dramatic rise in use

By | June 29, 2020

Wendy Skinner, like thousands of K-12 Michigan teachers, wasn’t sure where to turn when the Michigan Department of Education released its “Learning at a Distance” guidelines in early April which required teachers to continue student learning at home during the pandemic. Looking for guidance, Skinner attended a webinar on the Collabrify Roadmap Platform. Roadmaps, developed by the Center… Read More »

Engineering course challenges students to create tech solutions for COVID-19

By | June 29, 2020

Students in a Michigan Engineering spring/summer course called “Software against COVID-19,” taught by David Chesney, are working on six projects to help people during the COVID-19 pandemic. The course is usually called “Software for Accessibility,” but Chesney, the Toby Teorey Collegiate Lecturer in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, decided to offer this special session from May through August. … Read More »

Tracking COVID-19 spread faster, more accurately

By | June 29, 2020

Lei Ying, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science, is developing algorithms to quickly and accurately identify COVID-19 “patient zero” and reconstruct the virus’s path with limited information.  Ying’s approach combines big data, network science, and stochastic systems, using information such as human mobility data, social network data, and genetic network analysis to track the spread of… Read More »

Innovative monitoring technology predicts patient emergencies before they happen

From the fight against the novel coronavirus to ICU transfer and patient rehabilitation, the Michigan Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care (MCIRCC) is developing intelligent prediction software to support health systems. Technology is transforming every corner of the health care industry, including the way clinicians monitor patients. Current systems have demonstrated that early detection of patient deterioration… Read More »

U-M students have free access to entire Coursera catalog

By | June 22, 2020

University of Michigan students from the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses have free access for a limited time to more than 4,000 learning experiences from top universities and industries through the new Coursera for Campus initiative.  With more than 70% of the world’s students impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, Coursera worked with its partners, including U-M, to provide free… Read More »

Step one to prepare for hybrid teaching

By | June 22, 2020

The first step of preparation for hybrid teaching, with some in-person time and some remote time, is to plan what activities will have the strongest impact done synchronously (live, at the same time). Synchronous time, whether in-person or via videoconference, is a precious resource in hybrid courses. Do not use your synchronous time for extended lectures, demonstrations, or… Read More »

AI-powered interviewer provides guided reflection exercises during COVID-19 pandemic

By | June 22, 2020

The virtual interviewer uses therapeutic writing techniques to help users cope with difficult situations. A virtual interviewer powered by natural language processing offers socially-distanced support for people facing trying times. The dialogue system, designed by a collaborative team from the University of Michigan and the University of Texas at Austin, takes inspiration from counseling strategies like motivational interviewing… Read More »

UM-Dearborn ‘Maker Lab’ staff are making 3D-printed PPE from home

By | June 22, 2020

ECE Senior Electronics Technician Jesse Cross and MSEL Assistant Director Shawn Simone both have their assigned 50-pound MakerBot Replicator 3D printers running on their kitchen tables. Senior engineering technician Matt Brown figured out the basement was the best place to muffle the printer’s regular “beeps and boops.” And Engineering Technician Josh Postell tucked his in a spare bedroom… Read More »

How simple video editing can improve recorded lectures

By | June 19, 2020

Transitioning to online lecturing may seem daunting at first, but LSA Learning and Teaching Technology Consultants have shared some tricks and tips for making it easier.  According to the consultants, recording an hour-long lecture with slides to mimic a typical, in-person meeting reduces information retention and effectiveness of the instruction. Instead, lecturers should consider making shorter video lectures… Read More »

COVID-19 can’t stop community engaged learning

By | June 19, 2020

High-touch, hands-on engagement programs are continuing to connect students with community organizations by finding more creative ways to serve and offer programming. Although COVID-19 has paused and scrambled many engagement activities and programs, Leaders of Project Community in the Department of Sociology; Citizen Interaction Design out of the School of Information; the College of Literature, Science, and the… Read More »

optiMize funds COVID-19 Community Aid Efforts

By | June 19, 2020

optiMize, a student-led incubator at the University of Michigan, launched a $25,000 Community Aid Relief Fund in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The relief fund aims to provide mutual aid and community-based projects in Washtenaw county. Students at U-M, Eastern Michigan University, and Washtenaw Community College were eligible to apply for up to $5,000 in funding. optiMize received… Read More »

UMSI researchers awarded COVID-19 data science grant to study student mobility patterns

By | June 19, 2020

The Michigan Institute of Data Science (MIDAS) recently awarded three University of Michigan School of Information (UMSI) researchers COVID-19 data science grants. Research fellow Quan Nguyen, assistant professor Christopher Brooks and assistant professor Daniel Romero will receive funding for “Students’ mobility patterns on campus and the implications for the recovery of campus activities post-pandemic.”  This project will examine… Read More »

New app analyzes how social distancing affects biological clocks

By | June 15, 2020

Almost overnight, the sleep and wake patterns of nearly four billion people may have changed because of COVID-19-spurred lockdowns. A free app built by University of Michigan researchers will help users understand their own sleep rhythms, shedding light on how their biological clock is responding to lockdowns, and give tips about how to shift their potentially disrupted rhythms… Read More »

New online platform for mental health resources amid pandemic

By | June 15, 2020

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) recently announced SilverCloud, an online tool that provides access to mental health resources to students and faculty. The program features a series of modules individuals can work through at their own pace. Although the program is not intended to replace in-person mental health help, SilverCloud is designed to help students and faculty with… Read More »