Science & Technology

Researchers reach new heights with light-based levitation

Penn researchers are working to engineer nanoscale features on ultra-lightweight materials, finding the ideal combination that will allow those materials to lift themselves into the air using the energy provided by light.

Evan Lerner

Niko Simpkins: At the nexus of engineering and music

For Niko Simpkins, a musician who performs, produces, and engineers his own tracks, the most exciting processes combine structure and flexibility, creativity, and rigor. As a third-year student in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, he sees his mechanical engineering education as a framework for problem solving that might serve him across a broad set of endeavors, and for now, he’s more interested in learning than narrowing to any one particular career path.

Evan Lerner

GRASP Lab’s coolest robot yet

The Lab’s latest GRASP Lab’s latest modular robotic system is a series of units made out of blocks of ice. These robots could be deployed to research in the Antarctic, or even an extraterrestrial planet.

Evan Lerner



In the News


Psychology Today

Hyenas inherit their moms’ social connections

Erol Akçay of the School of Arts & Sciences and former postdoc Amiyaal Ilany discussed their research on hyena’s social networks. “We show that a simple process—social inheritance—is important to understanding network structure and dynamics,” said Akçay.

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NPR

More retailers are using AI. What does this mean for privacy?

Joseph Turow of the Annenberg School for Communication weighed in on how machine learning and automation are shaping the job market and consumer privacy.

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WESA Radio (Pittsburgh)

More than 1,000 cases of mysterious bird disease reported in Pennsylvania

Scott Weber of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Penn’s Wildlife Futures Program said wildlife veterinarians are concerned about the numerous reports of sick or dead songbirds in the Mid-Atlantic region. “It does seem to be spreading through the U.S. pretty quickly, and spreading to a fairly wide geographical area,” he said.

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NPR

A mysterious illness is killing Mid-Atlantic songbirds

Lisa Murphy of the School of Veterinary Medicine spoke about the Wildlife Futures Program’s research on the illness killing songbirds in the Mid-Atlantic region. "I think what's especially challenging about this is that it's not localized ... to one specific geographic area [and] it's not localized to one particular bird species,” she said.

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U.S. News & World Report

‘Transmitted down the leash:’ Anxious owners, anxious dogs

James Serpell of the School of Veterinary Medicine spoke about the reciprocal relationship between pets’ and their owners’ feelings. “You can think of many contexts in which having an animal that can anticipate your thoughts is wonderful, in terms of training or performing tasks for people,” he said. “But in the context of an owner who's experiencing a lot of anxiety, you can see the disadvantage.”

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The New York Times

The hills are alive with the flows of physics

In the lab of Douglas Jerolmack, researchers led by doctoral candidate Nakul Deshpande of the School of Arts & Sciences explored how landscapes gradually move over time.

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MIT Technology Review

These creepy fake humans herald a new age in AI

Aaron Roth of the School of Engineering and Applied Science spoke about synthetic data and privacy concerns. “Just because the data is ‘synthetic’ and does not directly correspond to real user data does not mean that it does not encode sensitive information about real people,” he said.

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6ABC.com

Cyberattack temporarily shuts down JBS meat processing plants, including one in Montgomery County

Gary Althouse of the School of Veterinary Medicine commented on a ransomware attack that targeted one of the largest suppliers of beef, pork, and chicken in the U.S. “With food production, computerized systems are used in most aspects of it. We need to identify where these vulnerabilities are," he said.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

These Penn scientists discovered how the brain engages in imagination

Joseph Kable of the School of Arts & Sciences and alumni Arthur Lee and Trishala Parthasarathi used MRI brain scans to study the neuroscience of imagination.

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Scientific American

A better way to cool ourselves

Dorit Aviv of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design and international collaborators wrote an opinion piece about their work developing a healthier and more sustainable alternative to air conditioning.

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