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  • Zhang receives NSF grant to harness magnonic nonreciprocity

    “Electrical and computer engineering assistant professor Xufeng Zhang, in collaboration with Boston University, was awarded a $420,000 NSF grant for ‘Harnessing Magnonic Nonreciprocity Through Dissipation Engineering.’ This project will investigate the principals of energy dissipation in magnonic systems and engineering approaches for manipulating dissipations.”

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  • ‘An Empirical Study of How Service Designers Use Metrics’

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    “Scholars have advocated for the importance of evaluation in service design, proposing comprehensive frameworks for such integration in design processes. This research seeks to complement existing theoretical studies by providing empirical insights into the utilization of metrics by practicing service designers. Our study presents findings derived from a global survey and in-depth interviews conducted with service designers from eleven countries.” Find the paper and full list of authors at She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation.

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  • Book chapter: ‘Sustainability: A Business Case for Adoption’

    “A central focus of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is poverty elimination. However, given that poverty is both an input and outcome of our present economic system, there appears to be a contradiction in the expectation for businesses to operationalize the SDGs. … This discussion highlights the relationship between the United Nations Global Compact as an SDG integration tool for businesses and the use of corporate social responsibility reporting and the environmental, social and governance attribution as business marketing channels to promote sustainability branding.” Find the chapter and full list of authors in “Sustainability in Business Education, Research and Practices.”

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  • ‘Modeling Benefits and Tradeoffs of Green Infrastructure: Evaluating and Extending Parsimonious Models for Neighborhood Stormwater Planning’

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    “Green infrastructure is often proposed to complement conventional urban stormwater management systems that are stressed by extreme storms and expanding impervious surfaces. Established hydrological and hydraulic models inform stormwater engineering but are time- and data-intensive or aspatial, rendering them inadequate for rapid exploration of solutions. Simple spreadsheet models support quick site plan assessments but cannot adequately represent spatial interactions beyond a site. The present study builds on the Landscape Green Infrastructure Design (L-GrID) Model, a process-based spatial model that enables rapid development and exploration of green infrastructure scenarios to mitigate neighborhood flooding.” Find the paper at Heliyon.

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  • ‘Participatory Modeling for Collaborative Landscape and Environmental Planning: From Potential to Realization’

    “Participatory modeling is a collaborative approach to formalize shared representations of a problem and, through the joint modeling process, design and test solutions. This approach is particularly well-suited to address complex socio-environmental problems like climate change and its implications on equitable and sustainable resource management and landscape planning. Despite its potential to inform landscape and environmental planning and policy, participatory modeling has yet to become a mainstream practice in our field. … I identify some of these gaps and suggest an interdisciplinary research agenda to further evolve and scale up this practice.” Find the paper at Landscape and Urban Planning.

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  • Ghoreishi receives funding to study AI in harsh environments

    “Fatemeh Ghoreishi, assistant professor of civil engineering, received a $60,000 grant from the U.S. Army for ‘BRITE: Bayesian Inference and Preference Learning for Unknown and Time-Sensitive Environments’ to further [her] research on AI systems in unpredictable environments.”

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  • ‘Hospice Satisfaction Among Patients, Family and Caregivers: A Systematic Review of the Literature’

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    “Hospice care is an underused form of intervention at the end of life. The experiences of patients, families and other caregivers are important to consider in thinking about how to encourage greater use of hospice care, through policies and advocacy that promote its benefits. … Extant research demonstrates a consistently higher level of hospice care satisfaction among patients, families and other caregivers. This satisfaction appears related to specific aspects of care delivery that involve effective care coordination and communication, pain and symptom management and emotional support.” Find the paper and full list of authors at American Journal of Hospice and Palliative…

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  • ‘Meaningful Writing Projects Among Multilingual Undergraduate Writers: Personal, Practical and Developmental’

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    “Our research explores the meaningful writing experiences of 325 undergraduate students who self-identify as multilingual. Through qualitative coding of open-ended survey data, we found that respondents considered their writing meaningful when it allowed them to make personal and relevant connections and learn new skills and strategies. Our findings are aligned with the results of The Meaningful Writing Project, suggesting that the ways all students find their writing meaningful are interwoven with their identities, histories and aspirations.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Composition Studies.

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  • Abur receives NSF grant to integrate renewable energy into power grids

    “Electrical and computer engineering professor Ali Abur was awarded a $350,000 grant from the NSF for ‘Robust Transient State Estimation for Three-Phase Power Systems.’ The project aims to facilitate the efficient integration of inverter-based renewable energy sources into future generation of power systems.”

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  • ‘Milk Exosomes Anchored With Hydrophilic and Zwitterionic Motifs Enhance Mucus Permeability for Applications in Oral Gene Delivery’

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    “Exosomes have emerged as a promising tool for the delivery of drugs and genetic materials, owing to their biocompatibility and non-immunogenic nature. However, challenges persist in achieving successful oral delivery due to their susceptibility to degradation in the harsh gastrointestinal (GI) environment and impeded transport across the mucus-epithelium barrier. To overcome these challenges, we have developed high-purity bovine milk exosomes (mExo) as a scalable and efficient oral drug delivery system, which can be customized by incorporating hydrophilic and zwitterionic motifs on their surface.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Biomaterials Science.

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  • ‘Persistent Anisotropy of the Spin Cycloid in BiFeO3 Through Ferroelectric Switching’

    “A key challenge in antiferromagnetic spintronics is the control of spin configuration on nanometer scales applicable to solid-state technologies. Bismuth ferrite (BiFeO3) is a multiferroic material that exhibits both ferroelectricity and canted antiferromagnetism at room temperature, making it a unique candidate in the development of electric-field controllable magnetic devices. … This study provides understanding of the antiferromagnetic texture in BiFeO3 and paves new avenues for designing magnetic textures and spintronic devices.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ArXiv.

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  • Dai receives patent for ‘Biodegradable Elastic Hydrogels for Bioprinting’

    From the patent’s abstract: “Disclosed herein are hydrogel compositions comprising a triblock copolymer having a formula A-B-A, wherein A is a polycaprolactone (PCL) block or a polyvalerolactone (PVL) block and B is a polyethylene glycol (PEG) block. Also disclosed are methods of making a hydrogel comprising providing a photoinitiator and a triblock copolymer having a formula A-B-A, wherein the triblock copolymer comprises one or more ethylenically unsaturated moieties; and photocrosslinking the triblock copolymer, thereby forming a hydrogel.”

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  • ‘Race Preferences at Work: How [Workplace Conditions] Shape White Americans’ Beliefs About Affirmative Action’

    “This study examines how white Americans’ beliefs about affirmative action intersect with three important workplace factors: supervisory status (supervisors vs. subordinates), employment sector (public vs. private), and workplace racial composition. … Our analyses reveal declining opposition to affirmative action over time, though a majority of whites, regardless of authority level, still hold conservative stances on race-targeted policies. Further, results for our three key predictors (supervisory status, employment sector, workplace racial composition) provide support for group position, new governance, and intergroup contact theories, respectively.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Sociological Focus.

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  • Daramola elected Scialog fellow in sustainable minerals, metals and materials initiative

    “Chemical engineering assistant professor Damilola Daramola has been named a Fellow of the Scialog initiative on Sustainable Minerals, Metals, and Materials. This interdisciplinary community of Fellows represents institutions across the United States and Canada and brings together expertise from fields including chemistry, materials science, geology, ecology, engineering, mining, computational science, physics and more. The community focuses on ensuring a sustainable future.”

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  • Venkatesan named Massachusetts USA TODAY Woman of the Year

    Madhavi Venkatesan, associate teaching professor of economics, was named one of USA TODAY’s Women of the Year. Founder of the nonprofit Sustainable Practices, Venkatesan has helped several plastic bans come into effect in Cape Cod, including municipal plastic bottle bans and commercial bans throughout the Cape’s towns. “How we treat animals and the Earth is eventually going to be the way we treat ourselves,” Venkatesan told the Cape Cod Times.

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  • Needa Brown receives Women’s Health Innovation Grant

    As part of Governor Maura Healey’s support of the Massachusetts Life Science Center’s Women’s Health Initiative, Needa Brown, assistant teaching professor of physics at Northeastern University, has received funding for her project “InCITE: A Biomaterial Platform to Overcome Barriers to Drug Delivery.”

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  • Whitford receives NIH grant to ‘enable translation’ across ribosomes

    “This award will use theoretical models and high-performance computing to study the ribosome, a massive molecular assembly composed of hundreds of thousands of atoms. The ribosome is responsible for translating our genes into proteins, making its function central to all life. In this study, we will identify the molecular factors that control protein synthesis in bacteria and higher-level organisms. Insights into bacteria will aim to identify novel antibiotics, while the study of human ribosomes can shed light on a range of diseases, including metabolic diseases and forms of cancer.”

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  • Weng receives funding to identify small molecules involved in diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s

    “The proposed research aims to develop a plant-based drug screening platform to identify small molecules that can disrupt protein and RNA aggregation associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The project will utilize the unique lyciumin peptide biosynthesis pathway in plants to generate a diverse library of cyclic peptides. These peptides will be screened in engineered tobacco BY-2 cells … to identify compounds that alleviate cellular toxicity and alter aggregation kinetics. … The established screening platform and identified compounds will be made available to the research community, potentially offering new tools and therapeutic strategies.”

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  • ‘Genome-Wide Association Identifies a BAHD Acyltransferase Activity that Assembles an Ester of Glucuronosylglycerol and Phenylacetic Acid’

    “Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are an effective approach to identify new specialized metabolites and the genes involved in their biosynthesis and regulation. In this study, GWAS of Arabidopsis thaliana soluble leaf and stem metabolites identified alleles of an uncharacterized BAHD-family acyltransferase (AT5G57840) associated with natural variation in three structurally related metabolites. … Together, this work extends our understanding of the catalytic diversity of BAHD acyltransferases and uncovers a pathway that involves contributions from both phenylalanine and lipid metabolism.” Find the paper and full list of authors at the National Library of Medicine.

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  • ‘The Evolutionary Origin of Naturally Occurring Intermolecular Diels-Alderases From Morus alba’

    “Biosynthetic enzymes evolutionarily gain novel functions, thereby expanding the structural diversity of natural products to the benefit of host organisms. Diels-Alderases (DAs), functionally unique enzymes catalysing [4 + 2] cycloaddition reactions, have received considerable research interest. However, their evolutionary mechanisms remain obscure. Here, we investigate the evolutionary origins of the intermolecular DAs in the biosynthesis of Moraceae plant-derived Diels-Alder-type secondary metabolites. Our findings suggest that these DAs have evolved from an ancestor functioning as a flavin adenine dinucleotide-dependent oxidocyclase, which catalyses the oxidative cyclisation reactions of isoprenoid-substituted phenolic compounds.” Find the paper and authors list at the National Library of…

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  • ‘Developing and Sustaining Northeastern’s Ed.D. Program During and Post Pandemic’

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    “Northeastern University’s Ed.D. faculty faced unique challenges during the pandemic and racial reckoning following George Floyd’s murder. During this period, however, we found opportunities to adapt and improve our program. We prioritized compassion and connection. We made significant strides in curriculum development through design and implementation of three new concentrations. We focused all program elements on how social justice works in a variety of educational settings. We altered our approach to data collection and doctoral supervision. In so doing, we were able to maintain consistency for our students and develop a closer bond with our faculty colleagues.”

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  • ‘Design for Emergency: How Digital Technologies Enabled an Open Design Platform to Respond to COVID-19’

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    “In the COVID-19 pandemic, digital technologies (DT) supported the design and implementation of solutions addressing new needs and living conditions. We describe Design for Emergency, a digital open design platform developed to ideate solutions for people’s fast-changing needs in the pandemic, to analyze how DT can affect human-centered design processes during emergencies. We illustrate how DT: i) helped quickly collect and analyse people’s needs…; ii) facilitated the creation of a virtual network of stakeholders and an open-innovation digital platform; iii) inspired the ideation of solutions.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Interacting With Computers.

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  • ‘Monodromy of the Casimir Connection of a Symmetrisable Kac–Moody Algebra’

    “Let g be a symmetrisable Kac–Moody algebra and V an integrable g–module in category O. We show that the monodromy of the (normally ordered) rational Casimir connection on V can be made equivariant with respect to the Weyl group W of g, and therefore defines an action of the braid group Bw on V. … This action is canonically equivalent to the quantum Weyl group action of Bw on a quantum deformation of V, that is an integrable, category O module V over the quantum group Uhg such that V/hV is isomorphic to V.” Find authors at Inventiones Mathematicae.

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  • ‘Unlocking Climate Finance for Social Protection: An Analysis of the Green Climate Fund’

    “Social protection has gained increasing attention in global climate policy due to its potential to contribute to low-carbon, just and climate-resilient development. Unlocking climate finance for social protection is critical to realize this potential. Multilateral climate funds established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change can play a particularly important role by financing social sectors where private investments are not attractive. Yet, there is a distinct policy and research gap in understanding the potential and limitations. … Taking as a case study the Green Climate Fund, … we seek to address this gap.” Find the authors list at…

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  • Engineering professor wants to revolutionize wireless communication by manipulating ‘acoustic waves in solids’

    Assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering Siddhartha Ghosh has received two prestigious early career awards for his work on radio frequency front-end devices, developing materials that convert radio signals into acoustic waves at the microchip level.

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  • ‘Black-Box Access is Insufficient for Rigorous AI Audits’

    “External audits of AI systems are increasingly recognized as a key mechanism for AI governance. The effectiveness of an audit, however, depends on the degree of system access granted to auditors. Recent audits of state-of-the-art AI systems have primarily relied on black-box access, in which auditors can only query the system and observe its outputs. However, white-box access to the system’s inner workings … allows an auditor to perform stronger attacks. … In this paper, we examine the limitations of black-box audits and the advantages of white- and outside-the-box audits.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ArXiv.

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  • ‘Deploying and Evaluating LLMs to Program Service Mobile Robots’

    “Recent advancements in large language models (LLMs) have spurred interest in using them for generating robot programs from natural language, with promising initial results. We investigate the use of LLMs to generate programs for service mobile robots leveraging mobility, perception and human interaction skills, and where accurate sequencing and ordering of actions is crucial for success. We contribute CodeBotler, an open-source robot-agnostic tool to program service mobile robots from natural language, and RoboEval , a benchmark for evaluating LLMs’ capabilities of generating programs to complete service robot tasks.” Find the paper and list of authors at IEEE Robotics and Automation…

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