Science & Technology

Penn Engineering to Receive Multi-Million-Dollar Design Technology Package from PACE Consortium

PHILADELPHIA - The School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania will receive an in-kind hardware and software contribution totaling approximately $70 million in commercial value from Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education, or PACE, a consortium comprised of General Motors, EDS, Hewlett Packard, Siemens PLM Software, Sun Microsystems a

Jordan Reese

Robert W. Carpick Named Director of Penn's Nanotechnology Institute

Robert W. Carpick has been appointed Penn Director of the Nanotechnology Institute. Carpick is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Jordan Reese

In the News

National Geographic

This tiny fish can recognize itself in a mirror. Is it self-aware?

PIK Professor Michael Platt commented on an animal sentience study. While he found the research “fascinating and well-executed,” he pointed out that the study doesn’t necessarily confirm that animals have a human-like sense of self.


Quartz India

Google sees gold in Indian languages

The Wharton School’s Kartik Hosanagar weighed in on Nevlekha, a new platform from Google that uses AI to render PDFs in Indian languages editable, making them easier to share online. “It’s only one of a series [of moves] Google will need if it hopes to penetrate the hundreds of millions of Indians,” said Hosanagar.


Philadelphia Inquirer

Should Philly join New York City in capping Uber and Lyft?

Erick Guerra of the School of Design weighed in on the effects of ride-sharing apps on cities, saying, “I’m confident Uber and Lyft have contributed in some small way to the increase in congestion but not nearly as much as the economic growth and increase in population.”



Radio: Incredible dignity in the face of a terrible tragedy

Lauren Sallan of the School of Arts and Sciences discussed “mass extinction events,” defined as “an event that wipes out biodiversity at orders of magnitude far above what we call ‘background extinction’—wiping out, say, 60 percent of species or species that wouldn't be expected to die off.”


“PBS NewsHour”

An 11-year-old changed election results on a replica Florida state website in under 10 minutes

The School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Matt Blaze discussed a hacking experiment, saying it was “not surprising that these precocious, bright kids would be able to do it because the websites that are on the internet are vulnerable…. What was interesting is just how utterly quickly they were able to do it.”


Why people can't resist the viral lure of the Kiki Challenge

Damon Centola of the Annenberg School for Communication explained the phenomenon of dangerous viral challenges: “Slightly dangerous or slightly risky challenges may have the best combination of high-enough riskiness to make it easy to create emotional excitement about participating, but low-enough risk that they can spread with only moderate levels of social reinforcement.”



Viral content-vaccine scandal test Beijing’s grip on information control

The Annenberg School for Communication’s Kecheng Fang discussed the Chinese government’s failed attempts to suppress discourse about current events on WeChat, a popular messaging platform. “This is a guerrilla war. The government cannot tackle it just like it does traditional media,” said Fang.


The New York Times

Worker ants: You could have been queens

The Perelman School’s Roberto Bonasio discussed the difficulties of studying insulin signaling in ants. The relevant genes, said Bonasio, are involved in numerous bodily functions, making it tough to isolate their role in differentiating queens from workers.


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.


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.