Tag Archives: culture

Digital Islamic studies

By | April 24, 2017

Pauline Jones, director of the U-M International Institute, is passionate about the need for education around some of the most complex topics in the world, like Islam. “Islam is much more than a religion. It’s also a civilization, a variety of cultural traditions and sometimes a basis for political ideologies,” said Jones. “Its diversity, complexity, and geographical expansiveness makes it… Read More »

Digital dependencies

By | March 24, 2017

Do you find yourself incapable of controlling an incessant urge to look at your smart phone or other electronic device? You’ve got company. Nearly nine out of 10 Americans report being so tethered to their digital gadgets that they constantly or often check their email, texts, and social media accounts, a new poll shows. The problem may stem from… Read More »

Can Siri replace your friends?

By | March 23, 2017

By now, we’re all familiar with the storyline in which a person replaces relationships with a digital device. A recent study co-authored by Carolyn Yoon, professor of marketing at U-M, sought to see exactly how much a humanlike digital device might replace humans. Yoon and her colleagues hoped to find out how devices that replicate human characteristics — such… Read More »

Saving the truth

By | March 4, 2017

Recently, BBC Future Now launched a series about the grand challenges we face in the 21st Century. Many on their panel of experts named the breakdown of trusted sources of information as one of the most pressing problems today. Among them was Paul Resnick, professor of information at U-M. Working out who to trust and what to believe has always been… Read More »

What’s in a meme?

By | March 3, 2017

Around 2010, the meme began to take off as a pervasive mode of digital communication and soon became a source of merchandising and commercialization. Some of it even benefited the meme creators. But however egalitarian the internet was supposed to be, creatives’ ability to profit off their viral content seems to depend on their race. André Brock, who teaches race,… Read More »

Recreating Black Bottom

By | March 2, 2017

From World War I through the 1940s, the Black Bottom neighborhood was the heart and soul of Detroit’s African-American community. Then, in the early 1950s, the area was bulldozed in the name of “slum clearance” and eventually replaced with the Chrysler Freeway and Lafayette Park. Emily Kutil, a Detroit architect with a master’s degree in architecture from U-M, hopes to help… Read More »

Encouraging today’s “Hidden Figures”

By | February 27, 2017

The film Hidden Figures has taken not only the box office by storm, but the education world as well. Studies show that female and male students actually perform equally well in mathematics and science on standardized tests, but larger gaps exist between students of different racial and ethnic backgrounds or family income. Research by U-M professor emerita Jacquelynne S. Eccles points… Read More »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Phantom phone alerts

By | February 2, 2017

If you’ve fallen victim to “phantom phone alerts,” the mysterious phenomenon where you think your phone is buzzing but it isn’t, it may be time to take a tech break. Experiencing the nonexistent vibrations could be an indicator that you are too reliant on your cell phone. According to a new study headed by Daniel Kruger, a scientist at U-M’s… Read More »