The fields of arts and sciences will connect on the streets of State College and Penn State’s University Park campus this week to help visitors get the best of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.
The College of IST’s Center for Human-Computer Interaction is again working with the Arts Festival to develop a mobile application. Over the years, each version of the app retained its core features, such as a schedule and program of events, location data, and profiles of the visiting artists and performers. The researchers have experimented with various types of social features and interactions in previous versions. In 2014, for example, the app was used to play a “selfie” game among attendees, and last year’s app included a set of profile-style interest categories and a series of social media inspired interactions, such as the ability to create custom events for the festival program.
Continue reading Apps and art: New version of app ready for festival
By Jungwoo Ryoo
Big data is increasingly becoming part of everyday life. Network security companies use it to improve the accuracy of their intrusion detection services. Dating services use it to help clients find soulmates. It can enhance the efficiency and accuracy of fraud detection, in turn helping protect your personal finances.
“Big data” is a catchall term for any data set of exceedingly large volume. It could be transaction information at a credit card company, invoice data at an online retailer, meteorological measurements from a weather station. All these data sets have unique characteristics that make it extremely difficult to use conventional computing technologies and techniques to store and process them for analysis. Their variety is daunting, and high velocity is required to handle them in a timely manner.
Organizations in any field can use big data to enhance their effectiveness, which is why there are seemingly unlimited career opportunities in big data these days. The big data industry is growing fast, with the market predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 23.1 percent over the 2014-2019 period.
Continue reading Focus on research: Big data jobs are out there — are you ready?
In the video above, Penn State geoscientist Peter Wilf describes a computer program he and colleagues developed that learns, and can classify modern and fossil leaves over 70 percent of the time and place them in the appropriate biological family. By comparison, he says, it can take a carefully trained human two hours to classify just one leaf.
The software actually taught itself botany, learning from a large number of already classified leaves, but developed its own methods for classifying a leaf. It creates heat maps that place a red marked square onto the image grid to signify features of the leaf that are critical for identification. The problem is, often trained humans can’t figure out exactly why that particular feature is important.
Wilf and collaborators spent nine years refining the program. He hopes eventually to use it to create a more accurate picture of plant evolution.
Members of the news media interested in talking to Wilf should contact Patty Craig at 814-863-4663 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Adventures in Genomics video series — produced by Illumina, a life sciences technology company — highlights the many discoveries and benefits of “next-generation” DNA sequencing. This recent episode tells the story of how, with the help of this powerful tool, forensic scientist Mitch Holland helped to solve the nearly century-old mystery of where exactly the last member of the Russian royal family ended up. Continue reading How DNA testing ID’ed the last of the Romanovs
By Jack Langelaan
Over the past 15 years, drones have progressed from laboratory demonstrations to widely available toys. Technological improvements have brought ever-smaller components required for flight stabilization and control, as well as significant improvements in battery technology. Capabilities once restricted to military vehicles are now found on toys that can be purchased at Wal-Mart.
Small cameras and transmitters mounted on a drone even allow real-time video to be sent back to the pilot. For a few hundred dollars, anyone can buy a “first person view” (FPV) system that puts the pilot of a small drone in a virtual cockpit. The result is an immersive experience: Flying an FPV drone is like Luke Skywalker or Princess Leia flying a speeder bike through the forests of Endor.
Continue reading Focus on research: How might drone racing drive innovation?