Science & Technology

Penn Physicists Develop Force Law for Granular Impacts: Sand, Other Granular Matter's Behavior Is Better Defined

PHILADELPHIA -- Sand.  A single grain is tiny, but solid, and shares the physical properties of other solid matter.  But pack or transport millions of grains together - as modern society does with coffee grounds, flour and industrial chemicals - and granular materials act differently, baffling engineers.  They take the shape of their containers and flow freely, like liquids.

Jordan Reese

Penn's Weiss Tech House Announces Student Inventors Headed to PennVention Competition Finals

PHILADELPHIA -- Ten teams of student inventors have been selected to present their prototypes of innovative technologies at the University of Pennsylvania's third annual PennVention competition on April 6 at Penn's Weiss Tech House. Finalists will compete for more than $60,000 in cash and prizes and a chance to launch their products to market.

Jenny Brennan

MAGPI Hub at University of Pennsylvania Connects to New Internet2 Network

PHILADELPHIA -- The MAGPI advanced networking hub at the University of Pennsylvania has connected to the new Internet2 Network, providing the research and education community in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware with more than 10 times the capacity of its current network and with new on-demand bandwidth capabilities.

Julie McWilliams, Lauren Rotman



In the News


The Washington Post

Testosterone boost feeds U.S. men’s hunger for luxury products, study indicates

Researchers at the Wharton School found that men who were given doses of testosterone expressed more interest in high-status goods. However, the study authors also noted that “status signals are not universal” and that results may vary between cultures.

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Technical.ly Philly

The Drone From This Penn Spinout Can Fly Inside Mines Without Maps or GPS

Exyn Technologies will be sending out a drone to explore a Latin American mine using only its own onboard sensors. The startup, which originated in Penn’s GRASP lab, was cofounded by Dean Vijay Kumar of the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Penn Makes Third Big Biotech Bet, Helping to Raise $53M for Carisma

Cancer-fighting biotech company Carisma Therapeutics Inc. is the latest addition to Penn’s recently-announced investment plan. Roy Rosin, CIO at Penn Medicine, said, “Penn’s commitment is pretty exciting for this region.”

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Penn Invests $50 million in Biotech in a Bold Bid to Build Philly’s Innovation Cluster

Kevin B. Mahoney of the Perelman School of Medicine and UPHS confirmed Penn’s plans to invest in biotech companies, with long-range goals “to create jobs, synergy and an innovation cluster around Penn technology and spin outs.”

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Philly’s First Maker Faire: A Summer Carnival of Innovation

The School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Dean Vijay Kumar, Dan Koditschek, and Mark Yim were participants in Sunday’s Maker Faire, hosted at Pennovation.

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Nature

Microsoft’s Purchase of GitHub Leaves Some Scientists Uneasy

Post-doc Daniel Himmelstein of the Perelman School of Medicine discussed problematic elements of GitHub’s model. “Regardless of the Microsoft acquisition, GitHub, as a centralized and closed company, possesses a dangerous level of control over the open-source ecosystem,” said Himmelstein.

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The Washington Post

The Cybersecurity 202: We Surveyed 100 Experts. A Majority Rejected the FBI's Push for Encryption Back Doors

Matt Blaze of the School of Engineering and Applied Science spoke out against the FBI’s call to weaken encryption. “Strong encryption is absolutely critical for keeping our data safe from criminals. This is especially important for mobile devices such as cellphones, which are easily lost or stolen,” said Blaze.

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The Guardian

Tesla Fatal Crash: 'Autopilot' Mode Sped Up Car Before Driver Killed, Report Finds

The School of Design’s Erick Guerra said a Tesla crash was “clearly a technology failure.” Commenting on Tesla’s autopilot feature, Guerra said that “the technology is just not up to doing as much as people hope it can do.”

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Reuters

RPT-INSIGHT-Software and Stealth: How Carmakers Hike Spare Parts Prices

Aaron Roth of the School of Engineering and Applied Science discussed the continued use of software to establish the highest prices consumers are willing to pay, a common practice in retail and manufacturing.

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The Bees of Bandelier, Snail Memories, and the State of Science

Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center was interviewed for a podcast about media coverage of the “so-called crisis in science.” (Audio)

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