Science & Technology

Keeping rain out of the drain

From cisterns beneath Shoemaker Green to the green roof on New College House, special features of campus buildings and landscapes are helping manage stormwater to keep rain from the sewer lines, and scholars are using the infrastructure as a research opportunity.

Katherine Unger Baillie

A unique perspective on renewable energy

In a conversation with Rachel Kyte, the U.N. special representative and CEO of Sustainable Energy for All discusses how this energy sector has changed in the past decade and what happens when political will doesn’t match the science.

Michele W. Berger

Predilections of a destructive pest

The spotted lanternfly is emerging as a serious threat to agriculture and forested areas. At The Woodlands Cemetery near campus, Benjamin Rohr hopes to determine the types of trees the insect prefers to shape control strategies moving forward.

Katherine Unger Baillie



In the News


WBUR Boston

What Puerto Rico’s monkeys post-Maria teach us about survival

PIK Professor Michael Platt joined a conversation about surviving trauma and Puerto Rico’s “monkey island.”

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Nature

A DIY approach to automating your lab

Brian Chow of the School of Engineering and Applied Science led a team of Penn undergrads in developing a low-cost plate reader for teaching labs using open-source automation software. “Philosophically, I believe in supporting the open-source-hardware community,” he said.

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Axios

A contest to beat geopolitical ‘superforecasters’

PIK Professor Philip Tetlock was cited for his “gold standard” performance in a 2015 forecasting contest. Contestants in this year’s contest will have access to all the data on Tetlock’s team’s winning methodology.

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Technical.ly Philly

Leggy bots, flying bots, building bots: Here’s what Penn’s robotics hub is up to

School of Engineering and Applied Science students past and present, including Gavin Kenneally, Daniel Mellinger, Divya Ramesh, Mickey Whitzer, and Chao Liu, were highlighted for their work at the Pennovation Center. Their efforts were showcased at Philly Tech Week.

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Vice

We are not prepared for the next generation of CGI food

The School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Chenfanfu Jiang; postdoc Ming Gao; Ph.D. students Joshuah Wolper, Yu Fang, and Minchen Li; and undergrad Jiecong Lu have developed two new approaches to animating dynamic fractures, like bread tearing or cars crashing.

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The New York Times

The microbots are on their way

Marc Miskin of the School of Engineering and Applied Science spoke about his cell-sized microbots, which may one day be used for a variety of purposes ranging from measuring brain networks to cleaning cellphone batteries.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Not ‘a snowball’s chance in you-know-where’: The $1.2 billion King of Prussia rail line is a longshot

Vukan Vuchic of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences said the probability of advancing a King of Prussia train line proposal “strongly depends on who controls the U.S. House and Senate. I think elections next year will be drastically important.”

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The Wall Street Journal

How the U.S. surrendered to China on scientific research

In an op-ed, PIK Professor Ezekiel Emanuel, Amy Gadsden, and Scott Moore, all of Penn Global, said America’s “lead in science and technology fields has been significantly eroded.” The authors say the U.S. needs to “meet [China’s] strength with strength” by investing in innovation.

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The New York Times

‘Partly alive’: Scientists revive cells in brains from dead pigs

PIK Professor Jonathan Moreno weighed in on an experiment that revived tissue in the brains of dead pigs. “If ever there was an issue that merited big public deliberation on the ethics of science and medicine, this is one.”

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Associated Press

Senior’s weakness for scams may be warning sign of dementia

Jason Karlawish of the Perelman School of Medicine said a recent study on aging and scam awareness doesn’t prove a link between susceptibility and cognitive decline in seniors. However, Karlawish says, the results “should be a call to action to health care systems, the financial services industry and their regulators.”

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