In the Media Archive - Page 880 of 887 - News @ Northeastern

  • Criminologist Advises Boston Carjacking Victim: Keep a Low Profile

    The Chronicle of Higher Education -- 05/06/2013

    Criminologists and other social scientists should use their expertise to help the subjects of their research, including crime victims, says James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology, law, and public policy at Northeastern University. Mr. Fox recently helped a 2012 master’s-degree graduate from Northeastern who was drawn into the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing. “Danny”—the pseudonym he adopted to protect himself from media hounding—became a hostage of the suspected bombers, the brothers Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, who drove him around Cambridge, Mass., for 90 minutes, late at night, three days after the deadly attack. Danny, a 26-year-old Chinese national who came to the United States in 2009 for graduate engineering studies, had just set up his own company. He had leased a new Mercedes. When he pulled over to reply to a text message, the brothers carjacked the vehicle, with him inside, at gunpoint.  …

  • Boston Globe: Northeastern team puts patients first in health tech

    The Boston Globe -- 05/06/2013

    Sometimes without warning, one of the autistic students in a classroom at the Center for Discovery will lose control. He will scream and cry. Throw things. Bang his head against the wall. The six adolescent boys in this Monticello, N.Y., classroom, some of the hardest-to-handle students in New York State, cannot explain what is upsetting them. Unable to talk, they seem to live in their own world. Matthew Goodwin, an assistant professor at Northeastern University, is trying to better understand their world by carefully tracking the boys’ movements and their environment. He has the boys wear sensors on their ankles and wrists that measure arousal levels, while cameras mounted on the walls record activities in the classroom, with the goal of finding what triggers episodes in the boys. This is one of the early projects in a new program at Northeastern University to develop personal health informatics: devices and apps to improve health. “The goal is really to be observing what happens from a patient’s point of view,” said Stephen Intille, one of the program’s founding faculty members. “Where can we insert technology to make their experience better?”  …

  • The Hijacking of MOOCs

    Inside Higher Ed -- 05/06/2013

    The recent announcement from the California State University System regarding its embrace of edX massive open online courses (MOOCs) is interesting and depressing at the same time. As with many aspects of the MOOC phenomenon, it comes packaged with good and bad aspects bundled up together. Instructors will offer a “special ‘flipped’ version of an electrical engineering course … where students watch online lectures from Harvard and MIT at home.” So the good is the flipped part because it’s more interactive and dynamic and there’s less lecture-based didacticism in the classroom due to watching videos at home? Really? The 1970s just called: they want their Open University courses back. This model perhaps moves the Cal State system forward as it offers more accessibility to content for working adults in a hybrid format. I wish they would just step away from the MOOC terminology, which is, let’s be honest, copying and lending out a videotape in another name. MOOCs have been so beaten up and stolen for self-serving means that the original premise has been lost. As Stephen Downes, one of the forefathers of original MOOCs, stated in a recent blog, “These arguments miss the point of the MOOC, and that point is, precisely, to make education available to people who cannot afford to pay the cost to travel to and attend these small in-person events. Having one instructor for 20-50 people is expensive, and most of the world cannot afford that cost.” … Kevin Bell is the executive director for online curriculum development and deployment at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies. This essay is adopted from a posting at the blog Aspire.

  • Autism Studies and Wearable Technology

    Inside Higher Ed -- 05/06/2013

    In today’s Academic Minute, Northeastern University’s Matthew Goodwin describes how wearable technology is improving the quality of autism studies. Goodwin is an assistant professor of health informatics at Northeastern. Find out more about him here. A transcript of this podcast can be found here.

  • Let family bury Tsarnaev’s body: Column

    USA Today -- 05/06/2013

    Ever since the dreadful bombing at the Boston Marathon, I’ve been proud to call myself a native Bostonian. The slogan “Boston Strong” has spoken volumes about the character of the people and public officials of this great city. But the latest controversy surrounding where to bury — or whether to bury — the deceased Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of two brothers suspected of masterminding the fatal bombings, has placed us in a not so favorable light. What some folks here have said should become of Tsarnaev’s remains saddens me and disgraces our city. In the midst of the controversy, readers of the website of my local newspaper, The Boston Globe,posted comments of what they thought should be done with Tsarnaev’s corpse.  …

  • Boston bombing suspect’s body in limbo

    In the Media -- 05/06/2013

    Tsarnaev’s uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, has said his nephew should be buried in Massachusetts, where he lived for the past decade. The situation is particularly heated because Tsarnaev is not thought of as sick or mentally ill like some killers, said James Alan Fox, a criminology professor at Northeastern University in Boston. People think he’s “evil,” Fox said, and society “doesn’t forgive or forget.” Families of people who committed very public crimes often keep a grave site unmarked to prevent desecration as well as have private ceremonies, he said.  …

  • Dr. Matthew Goodwin, Northeastern University – Autism Studies and Wearable Technology

    WAMC Northeast Public Radio -- 05/06/2013

    In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Matthew Goodwin of Northeastern University reveals how wearable technology is improving the quality of autism studies. Matthew Goodwin is an assistant professor of health informatics at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. His current research project seeks to improve the understanding of minimally verbal children with autism spectrum disorder. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island.

  • After Catastrophe

    The Chronicle of Higher Education -- 05/06/2013

    There are surely more disruptions to come. Stephen E. Flynn, a security expert and former military officer who is co-director of the George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security at Northeastern University, ticks off the most likely threats: a breakdown in the power grid; interruption of global supply chains, including those that provide our food; an accident at one of the many chemical factories in urban areas; or damage to the dams, locks, and waterways that shuttle agricultural products and other goods out to sea. The No. 1 threat, he says, is a terrorist attack that prompts lawmakers and a frightened public to shred the Bill of Rights or overreact in another way. The tendency in government has been to focus intensely on these threats—or other problems, considering the wars on cancer, poverty, drugs, crime, and so on—and to try to eliminate them. “If you look at the post-World War II area,” Flynn says, “there is almost an overarching focus on reducing risk and bringing risk down to zero,” the idea that this could be done “if you brought enough science and enough resources and you applied enough muscle.” Since 9/11, that policy has meant spending vast sums to go after terrorists out there, but perhaps we aren’t safer. “Why do we have all this money to go after man-made terrorist attacks, and then we let our bridges fall down?” Flynn wonders. He advocates a different approach. We should make American society more robust so that it can absorb shocks and carry on. Part of that shift includes reorienting people’s attitudes so that they are more willing to deal with these uncertainties. The generation before World War II accepted risk as a matter of life, he says. “They had less ambition or hubris to believe that you would contain all of these things,” he says, “and a measure of character was how you would deal with adversity, how you overcame it.”…

  • Employers lack confidence, not skilled labor

    The Washington Post -- 05/05/2013

    The chief victims of this shift in business behavior seem to be the long-term unemployed (more than six months), as some fascinating research by economists William Dickens and Rand Ghayad of Northeastern University suggests. By their estimates, virtually all the reduction in hiring falls on this group, regardless of their other characteristics (age, education, industry experience). Many firms seem to have concluded that the long-term jobless are damaged goods. To test this, Ghayad e-mailed fake resumes to hundreds of firms in response to job postings. All the fictional candidates were 2005 college graduates with identical skills; they differed only in their length of unemployment (0-12 months) and experience in the hiring industry. The long-term unemployed received few responses. In many cases, software filters apparently eliminated their applications automatically. Similarly, six months of joblessness erased the value of industry experience. Employers preferred candidates with less joblessness over those who had worked in their industry.

  • Researchers try to map social contacts after bombings

    The Boston Globe -- 05/04/2013

    In the minutes after the Marathon bombings, phones began to ring and buzz as people checked on family members, friends, and distant relations in Boston. R U OK?, they texted. What happened, they asked. Researchers at Northeastern University are asking residents and visitors who used their cellphones to keep in touch with their social network after the bombings to download a smartphone app to help them understand how, exactly, we communicated in the aftermath of the tragedy. Did we call the people we are in touch with most frequently, or were we flooded with voicemails and messages from people we haven’t spoken to in weeks or years? When people open the app, they will be asked to answer a survey and provide information from their cellphones’ text and call logs. Researchers also plan to look at how information rippled outward on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. “From an emergency response point of view, you want to know how information disseminates among the population,” said David Lazer, a Northeastern political science professor who is heading up the research. From a more sociological perspective, communication patterns may reveal something about the texture of human life.