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  • Wood receives NSF grant for high-energy particle physics research

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    “This grant supports the work of three faculty members at Northeastern University (Barberis, Orimoto and Wood) plus several postdoctoral researchers and students on the CMS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The program includes analysis of CMS data in carefully chosen physics topics, including searches for leptoquarks and for the production of pairs of Higgs bosons and measurements of standard model production of W+jets and ZZ pairs. It also includes support and development of the current detector for taking new data, and development of instrumentation upgrades.”

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  • Auclair receives funding to bring biotechnology to high schools

    Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) Massachusetts Jared Auclair has received the Amgen Biotech Experience Massachusetts grant, which includes multi-year funding “to bring biotechnology to the high school classrooms throughout Massachusetts. It consists of professional development for teachers and deployment of curriculum into high school classrooms.”

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  • Aramaki receives NASA funding for gamma ray and antimatter survey

    “This grant is for the prototype balloon flight of the GRAMS (Gamma-Ray and AntiMatter Survey) Project. GRAMS mission aims to deliver unprecedented sensitivities to astrophysical observations with MeV gamma rays and indirect dark matter searches with antimatter using a cost-effective, large-scale LArTPC (Liquid Argon Time Projection Chamber) detector. We will build and optimize a small-scale detector, MiniGRAMS, and demonstrate its performance in the balloon flight scheduled in late 2025 or early 2026.”

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  • Dong receives DOE grant for quantum algorithm research

    “Simulating the electronic structure of molecular systems using noisy intermediate-scale quantum devices is one of the most promising applications of quantum computing. Large-scale electronic structure and dynamics simulations, such as excited-state simulations of large molecules or a large number of molecules, are instrumental to the development of next-generation technology for energy applications. In this project, we will develop a framework that efficiently translates quantum algorithms from a gate-based quantum computing model to one that can be efficiently run on a near-term quantum annealer to enable large-scale electronic structure theory simulations across different quantum computing architectures.”

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  • Ivanov receives funding for mass spectrometry workflow research

    “Funded by an NIH P41 subaward, this project from the Biomedical Technology Development and Dissemination Center aims to translate native mass spectrometry (nMS) workflows for characterizing macromolecular complexes to biomedical research communities. The provided tools support both expert and non-expert users in integrating nMS with other structural biology techniques throughout the project. This initiative seeks to accelerate the production of models for complex protein machines and macromolecular structures, addressing challenges in standard structural biology and enhancing insights into cellular processes and human disease.”

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  • Krioukov receives NSF grant for ‘Projective Limits of Sparse Graphs’

    “This project aims to analyze and identify well-behaved graph limits for sparse random graph models, specifically focusing on influential models developed in the investigator’s previous NSF-funded research related to real-world networks. The goal is to ensure that conclusions drawn from these models are realistic by verifying that their limits are graphides.”

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  • Whitfield-Gabrieli receives funding for fMRI research for people with borderline personality disorder

    “In collaboration with McLean Hospital, this study aims to reduce the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) in young adults by using real-time mindfulness-based neurofeedback during an fMRI scan. This technique helps augment mindfulness meditation by showing participants a visual display of their brain activity in the fMRI scanner. Participants will track BPD symptoms and mindfulness skills via ecological momentary assessment (EMA), which involves brief daily, smartphone-delivered surveys.”

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  • Garcia to study ‘Adaptation in the Amazon’ with TNC funding

    “The Adaptation in the Amazon Research Technician will work with PI Gabriela Garcia (MES and SPPUA) to support The Nature Conservancy’s global team to understand climate impacts and adaptation needs of communities in the Amazon region and how nature-based approaches can support equitable adaptation goals. They will support the selection, adaptation, implementation and analysis of risk and vulnerability assessment in four countries (Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador) of the Amazon region.”

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  • Dos Santos wins award for the treatment of drug-resistant infection

    Thiago dos Santos has won the Hanna H. Gray Fellow’s Program Transition Award. “Our group will study the proteins that build the bacterial cell envelope and develop mechanism-based inhibitors of these proteins to treat multidrug-resistant infections.”

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  • Ionescu wins NIH funding to study skeletal repair after injuries

    “In this project, the investigators study the role of growth plate stem cells in hopes of gaining insights in the skeletal repair process after physical injury in children. The results of the study will help bioengineering efforts directed towards growth plate cartilage regeneration.”

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  • Apfeld receives grant to study lifespan extension in worms

    “Can a worm that normally lives 15 days live a year? How much can we extend lifespan if we combine multiple interventions that extend lifespan on their own? We are excited to find out how plastic is the lifespan of C. elegans worms.”

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  • The Ocean Census project aims to discover 100,000 species in the next 10 years

    Knowledge remains “the most important ingredient in protecting the planet,” says Dan Distel, research professor in biology and marine and environmental sciences at Northeastern University. The Ocean Census project, a collaboration between universities and environmental institutes across the globe, will accelerate the taxonomic process, adding to scientists’ understanding of how marine environments function.

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  • ‘”Why Did You Say That?”: Understanding Explainability in Conversational AI Systems for Older Adults With Mild Cognitive Impairment’

    “As Conversational AI systems evolve, their user base widens to encompass individuals with varying cognitive abilities, including older adults facing cognitive challenges like Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Current systems, like smart speakers, struggle to provide effective explanations for their decisions or responses. This paper argues that the expectations and requirements for AI explanations for older adults with MCI differ significantly from conventional Explainable AI (XAI) research goals.” Find the article and full list of authors in the Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing & Ambient Intelligence.

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  • ‘Why the Fed Should Treat Climate Change’s $150B Economic Toll Like Other National Crises’

    For The Conversation, professor of sustainability science and policy Jennie Stephens, with Martin Sokol of Trinity College Dublin, argues that “the Federal Reserve — the U.S. central bank that is charged with maintaining economic stability — is not considering the instability of climate change in its monetary policy.” This, despite the fact that climate change is increasingly a major cause of financial instability, from health-related costs due to heat exposure, rising home insurance rates and various other factors. The Fifth National Climate Assessment recently reported that climate change is now costing the U.S. 150 billion dollars per year, Stephens writes.

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  • ‘A Graphical Model of Hurricane Evacuation Behaviors’

    “Natural disasters such as hurricanes are increasing and causing widespread devastation. People’s decisions and actions regarding whether to evacuate or not are critical and have a large impact on emergency planning and response. Our interest lies in computationally modeling complex relationships among various factors influencing evacuation decisions. We conducted a study on the evacuation of Hurricane Irma. … We evaluated different graphical structures based on conditional independence tests using Irma data. The final model … shows that both risk perception (threat appraisal) and difficulties in evacuation (coping appraisal) influence evacuation decisions.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ArXiv.

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  • ‘Climate Loss-and-Damage Funding: How To Get Money to Where it’s Needed Fast’

    In response to the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference’s agreement to establish a loss-and-damage fund for climate change disasters, professor of public policy and urban affairs Laura Kuhl, writing with Istiakh Ahmed, M. Feisal Rahman, Jamie Shinn, Johan Arango-Quiroga and Saleemul Huq, proposes “four recommendations for how the loss-and-damage fund should operate,” including “speed and agility,” supporting climate justice, defining eligibility and placing “low-and middle-income countries” at the center of the conversation.

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  • ‘Central Banks Should Be Fighting the Climate Crisis – Here’s Why’

    “Climate finance was a major focus at the recent COP28 summit, but one set of game-changing institutions remains largely missing in such conversations: central banks,” writes Jennie Stephens, professor of sustainability science and policy, with Martin Sokol, of Trinity College Dublin. “Long-term stability cannot be achieved without first disrupting and transforming the existing financial system,” they argue, citing new research. “One way to do this would be for central banks to use tools already available to them to trigger a short-term intentional disruption in order to redirect financial flows and create greater stability in the long-term.”

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  • ‘The OpenMolcas Web: A Community-Driven Approach to Advancing Computational Chemistry’

    “The developments of the open-source OpenMolcas chemistry software environment since spring 2020 are described, with a focus on novel functionalities accessible in the stable branch of the package or via interfaces with other packages. These developments span a wide range of topics in computational chemistry and are presented in thematic sections. … This report offers an overview of the chemical phenomena and processes OpenMolcas can address, while showing that OpenMolcas is an attractive platform for state-of-the-art atomistic computer simulations.” Find the paper and full list of authors at the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation.

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  • To fight climate change and promote climate justice, call on the banks

    Professor of sustainability science and policy Jennie Stephens has new research highlighting the responsibility that central banks have in the fight against climate change and for climate justice.

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  • The Fed is ignoring climate risk at the economy’s — and the world’s — peril, argues Stephens

    Jennie Stephens, professor of sustainability science and policy, writes in The Hill that “there is no bigger threat to the stability of our economy than climate change.” The Federal Reserve’s continued refusal to address this instability, she says, “threatens the very stability that [Fed Chair Jerome Powell] is responsible for maintaining.”

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  • Zheng winner of Energies 2023 Young Investigator Award

    “Mechanical and industrial engineering associate professor Yi Zheng received the Energies 2023 Young Investigator award. Zheng is the first recipient from the United States to receive this award, previous recipients were from Denmark, Singapore, Australia and China.”

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  • Stephens pens chapter on ‘Gender and Climate Justice’ in Handbook on Climate Change and Technology

    Professor Jennie Stephens has written a chapter in the Handbook on Climate Change and Technology. From the abstract: “The dominance of patriarchal systems and processes must be continuously revealed to understand why efforts so far have been inadequate and to prioritize a path forward to advance investments in climate justice. This chapter demonstrates why a feminist lens is essential for climate justice by first describing how patriarchal ways are non-transformative. … With a focus on climate justice, it becomes clear why feminist priorities and principles are required to move away from climate isolationism to climate justice.”

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  • Hoff provides ‘A Survival Guide’ for physicians in times of labor upheaval

    Professor of management, healthcare systems and public policy Timothy Hoff encourages physicians to “embrac[e] their employee side,” as such an attitude would align physicians with other employees in medical facilities along common ground, seeking “adequate compensation, wellness, job security, patient and worker safety, healthcare quality, reasonable workloads and schedules and fair treatment by employers.”

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  • Zheng selected as Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineering

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    “Mechanical and industrial engineering associate professor Yi Zheng was selected as a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering for his exceptional engineering achievements and contributions to the engineering profession, particularly in the research field of micro/nanoscale heat transfer for sustainable energy harvesting, conversion and storage. Zheng was nominated by professor Hameed Metghalchi.”

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  • ‘Testing Language Model Agents Safely in the Wild’

    “A prerequisite for safe autonomy-in-the-wild is safe testing-in-the-wild. Yet real-world autonomous tests face several unique safety challenges, both due to the possibility of causing harm during a test, as well as the risk of encountering new unsafe agent behavior through interactions with real-world and potentially malicious actors. We propose a framework for conducting safe autonomous agent tests on the open internet: agent actions are audited by a context-sensitive monitor that enforces a stringent safety boundary to stop an unsafe test, with suspect behavior ranked and logged to be examined by humans.” Find the paper and full authors list at ArXiv.

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  • Grassroots journalism promotes democracy and fills the needs of ‘news deserts’

    “Local news is essential to democracy,” argue professor of journalism Dan Kennedy and former Boston Globe editor Ellen Clegg in their new book, “What Works in Community News: Media Startups, News Deserts and the Future of the Fourth Estate.” They write that, as news organizations shutter, “it is often marginalized communities of color who have been left without the day-to-day journalism they need to govern themselves in a democracy,” according to the publisher’s webpage. The book describes how “innovative journalism models are popping up across the country to fill news deserts and empower communities.”

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  • Ganguly and Melodia named Distinguished Members of Association for Computing Machinery

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    Auroop Ganguly, professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Tommaso Melodia, William Lincoln Smith Professor of electrical and computer engineering, have been named Distinguished Members by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). According to the ACM, “inductees are longstanding ACM Members and were selected by their peers for work that has advanced computing, fostered innovation across various fields and improved computer science education.” Ganguly was particularly noted “for foundational advances, sustained service, and entrepreneurial accomplishments in climate data mining and machine learning,” while Melodia was commended “for contributions to architectures and algorithms for software-defined wireless networked systems.”

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  • ‘The Verse Calculus: A Core Calculus for Deterministic Functional Logic Programming’

    “Functional logic languages have a rich literature, but it is tricky to give them a satisfying semantics. … We describe the Verse calculus, VC, a new core calculus for deterministic functional logic programming. Our main contribution is to equip VC with a small-step rewrite semantics, so that we can reason about a VC program in the same way as one does with lambda calculus; that is, by applying successive rewrites to it. We also show that the rewrite system is confluent for well-behaved terms.” Find the article and authors list in the Proceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages.

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  • ‘Fast and Expressive Gesture Recognition Using a Combination-Homomorphic Electromyogram Encoder’

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    “We study the task of gesture recognition from electromyography (EMG), with the goal of enabling expressive human-computer interaction at high accuracy, while minimizing the time required for new subjects to provide calibration data. To fulfill these goals, we define combination gestures consisting of a direction component and a modifier component. New subjects only demonstrate the single component gestures and we seek to extrapolate from these to all possible single or combination gestures. We extrapolate to unseen combination gestures by combining the feature vectors of real single gestures to produce synthetic training data.” Find the paper and authors list at ArXiv.

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  • ‘FairytaleCQA: Integrating a Commonsense Knowledge Graph Into Children’s Storybook Narratives’

    “AI models (including LLM) often rely on narrative question-answering (QA) datasets to provide customized QA functionalities to support downstream children education applications; however, existing datasets only include QA pairs that are grounded within the given storybook content, but children can learn more when teachers refer the storybook content to real-world knowledge (e.g., commonsense knowledge). We introduce the FairytaleCQA dataset, which is annotated by children education experts, to supplement 278 storybook narratives with educationally appropriate commonsense knowledge.” Find the article and full list of authors at ArXiv.

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