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

Energy Working Group at Penn Hosts Mini-Symposium on Sustainable Energy

WHO: Energy Working Group at Penn, a multi-disciplinary group of University of Pennsylvania scientists and engineersGeorge Crabtree, senior scientist and director of the materials science division of the Argonne National Laboratory Joanne Milliken, director of the U.S. Energy Department hydrogen program

Jacquie Posey

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


NPR

Facebook keeps data secret, letting conservative bias claims persist

PIK Professor Duncan Watts is working with Facebook to analyze its content for bias. "Mostly it's mainstream content," he said. "If anything, there is a bias in favor of conservative content."

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NBC News

Your dog may love you, but doesn't love the sight of your face, study finds

Carlo Siracusa of the School of Veterinary Medicine commented on a study that found dogs were more stimulated by seeing other dogs than people. “Mother Nature will not invest in something that is not relevant to survival, either in dog-to-dog or even wolf-to-wolf interactions,” he said. “They use other ways of communicating such as ear position—which can be seen from the front and from behind. The ear position will tell about the mood of the dog. We humans don’t move our ears.”

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CBS Philadelphia

University of Pennsylvania program training dogs to sniff out spotted lanternfly eggs

Jennifer Essler, a postdoc in the School of Veterinary Medicine, spoke about a new program that trains dogs to detect the presence of spotted lanternfly eggs. “For the dogs, it’s a game, it’s like anything else. They don’t know that they are saving the planet in any way,” she said.

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The Washington Post

Drone maker hurt by US-China rift, opening door to US rivals

Dean Vijay Kumar of the School of Engineering and Applied Science spoke about the challenges of using drones for commercial purposes and about American perceptions of DJI, a China-based drone manufacturer.

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The Hill

Pandemic exposes broadband divide

Christopher Yoo of the Law School spoke about the importance of expanding broadband infrastructure in the U.S. “Investing in infrastructure would be a terrific way to support the economy. It not only spends money but also lays the foundation for future growth and future jobs,” he said.

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CNN

What you need to know about coronavirus on Wednesday, September 2

Kenneth Foster of the School of Engineering and Applied Science debunked conspiracy theories that link 5G networks and radio frequencies to the spread of COVID-19. "There's nothing different in terms of exposure," he said.

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BBC News

Elon Musk to show off working brain-hacking device

Ari Benjamin, a doctoral student in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, said the biggest stumbling block for brain-to-machine interface technology is the complexity of the human brain. "Once they have the recordings, Neuralink will need to decode them and will someday hit the barrier that is our lack of basic understanding of how the brain works, no matter how many neurons they record from,” he said. "Decoding goals and movement plans is hard when you don't understand the neural code in which those things are communicated."

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Gizmodo

Does your cat actually hate you?

Carlo Siracusa of the School of Veterinary Medicine spoke about how cats interact with their owners. “Humans are very physical in their relationships—they want to hold their cat, hug their cat, etc. This can be terrible for any animal that doesn’t enjoy your presence, but it’s even worse for cats, because the way in which cats express their preferences is through proximity,” he said.

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Forbes

National Science Foundation invests $104 million to launch four new engineering research centers

Cherie Kagan of the School of Engineering and Applied Science spoke about the Penn-led IoT4Ag center’s work: “We need new technology to meet the challenges of a world with a growing population and changing climate. We simply need to produce more crops for every drop of water or Joule of energy we’re currently using to realize a food, energy and water-secure future.”

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STAT News

Boosting the promise—and reining in the peril—of COVID-19 preprints

PIK Professor Jonathan Moreno and an AAAS colleague wrote about scientific preprints, web-based publications of yet-to-be-peer-reviewed research findings. “Let’s revel in the knowledge that preprints today are helping researchers share—especially with each other—their latest advances with great ease and speed. At the same time, let’s impose some discipline on our own proclivities to celebrate prematurely or sink into despair,” they wrote.

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