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Topic

  • For a volatile world, a practical guide to ‘Business Resilience’

    As the complexity and volatility of the world increase, associate professor in project management Serhiy Kovela — writing with Islam Choudhury, David Roberts, Sheila Roberts and Jawwad Tanvir — has produced “Business Resilience,” which the publisher’s webpage calls “a practical guide to making organizations more resilient and improving current practices by building on what the organization does well.” The authors provide “new models for resilience and progress,” which focus on building a foundation of resilience into a company while still prioritizing progress.

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  • Chute pens forward to anthology of ‘140 single-page comics’ of the COVID era

    Hilary Chute, distinguished professor of english and art and design, has written the forward to “Rescue Party,” a new anthology that features “More than 140 single-page comics from artists the world over, documenting humanity’s retreat into COVID-19 lockdown and imagining our eventual, boisterous reemergence,” according to the publisher’s webpage.

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  • Engineering professor receives 2024 Excellence in Teaching Award

    “First-year engineering teaching professor Joshua Hertz received the 2024 University Excellence in Teaching Award. … Hertz has been instrumental in advancing instruction in the Cornerstone of Engineering program. He emphasizes a curriculum based on highly open-ended problems, increasing students’ self-efficacy and tolerance for ambiguity. His hands-on approach and commitment to experiential learning has students work with community and global partners, supporting Northeastern’s mission to create engaged, passionate, ethical problem solvers.”

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  • How Buddhist architecture has fostered ‘a comprehensive culture that sustains life’

    Co-edited by associate professor of architecture Shuishan Yu, with Aibin Yan of East China University, “Buddhist Architecture in East Asia” examines how Buddhism “transformed not only the intellectual and practical lives but also the built environments of East Asia” over two millennia. The editors attempt “to restore a more balanced picture of Buddhist practice and the built environment by incorporating buildings and planning from the overlooked regions and aspects of Buddhism.” The volume prioritizes “in-depth discussions of examples from regions and cultures of religious hybridity [that] … foster a comprehensive culture that sustains life and identity of a place.”

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  • National Institute of Aging supports Apfeld lifespan research

    Javier Apfeld, associate professor of biology, has received funding from the National Institute of Aging for “Genome-Wide CRISPR Activation: A Novel Strategy for Identifying Anti-Aging Targets.” Apfeld writes that, “This project will characterize and optimize a novel time and cost saving toolkit that allows simple, rapid and robust activation of gene expression in the widely used model organism C. elegans, bringing new capabilities to systematically test the effect of gene activation in a broad range of biological problems. These capabilities will be employed to search for novel genes whose activation promotes healthy aging and increases lifespan.”

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  • ‘Geometric Origin of the Intrinsic Transverse Spin Transport in a Canted-Antiferromagnet/Heavy-Metal Heterostructure’

    “We theoretically study the conditions under which an intrinsic spin Nernst effect—a transverse spin current induced by an applied temperature gradient—can occur in a canted-antiferromagnet insulator, such as LaFeO3 and other materials of the same family. … Our paper provides a general derivation of a symmetry-breaking-induced spin Nernst effect, which may open a path to engineering a finite spin Nernst effect in systems where it would otherwise not arise.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Physical Review B.

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  • How secret police reports and literature commingle

    In “Surveillance, the Cold War, and Latin American Literature,” Daniel Noemi Voionmaa, an associate professor of cultures, societies and global studies at Northeastern University, combines an examination of Cold War-era secret police reports of Latin American authors with a critical reading of those authors’ own texts, establishing “a critical dialogue between the spies’ surveillance and the writers’ novels, short stories, and poems, and presents a new take on Latin American modernity,” according to the publisher’s webpage. Authors discussed include Gabriel García Márquez, Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz and others.

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  • Leading nanomedicine researcher named Highly Ranked Scholar by ScholarGPS

    Northeastern University Distinguished Professor Vladimir Torchilin has been named a Highly Ranked Scholar by ScholarGPS for research advances in the fields of drug delivery and nanomedicine.

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  • ‘Mapping Philanthropic Support of Science’

    “While philanthropic support for science has increased in the past decade, there is limited quantitative knowledge about the patterns that characterize it and the mechanisms that drive its distribution. Here, we map philanthropic funding to universities and research institutions based on IRS tax forms from 685,397 non-profit organizations. We identify nearly one million grants supporting institutions involved in science and higher education, finding that in volume and scope, philanthropy is a significant source of funds, reaching an amount that rivals some of the key federal agencies like the NSF and NIH.” Find the paper and authors list at Nature Scientific Reports.

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  • ‘Hidden Citations Obscure True Impact in Science’

    “References, the mechanism scientists rely on to signal previous knowledge, lately have turned into widely used and misused measures of scientific impact. Yet, when a discovery becomes common knowledge, citations suffer from obliteration by incorporation. This leads to the concept of hidden citation, representing a clear textual credit to a discovery without a reference to the publication embodying it. Here, we rely on unsupervised interpretable machine learning applied to the full text of each paper to systematically identify hidden citations.” Find the paper and full list of authors at PNAS Nexus.

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  • ‘Synthesizing Tight Privacy and Accuracy Bounds via Weighted Model Counting’

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    “Programmatically generating tight differential privacy (DP) bounds is a hard problem. Two core challenges are (1) finding expressive, compact and efficient encodings of the distributions of DP algorithms and (2) state space explosion stemming from the multiple quantifiers and relational properties of the DP definition. We address the first challenge by developing a method for tight privacy and accuracy bound synthesis using weighted model counting on binary decision diagrams. … We address the second challenge by developing a framework for leveraging inherent symmetries in DP algorithms.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ArXiv.

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  • ‘The Joint Effect of Task Similarity and Overparameterization on Catastrophic Forgetting — An Analytical Model’

    “In continual learning, catastrophic forgetting is affected by multiple aspects of the tasks. Previous works have analyzed separately how forgetting is affected by either task similarity or overparameterization. In contrast, our paper examines how task similarity and overparameterization jointly affect forgetting in an analyzable model. Specifically, we focus on two-task continual linear regression, where the second task is a random orthogonal transformation of an arbitrary first task (an abstraction of random permutation tasks). We derive an exact analytical expression for the expected forgetting — and uncover a nuanced pattern.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ArXiv.

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  • ‘Project-Based Activities to Introduce Hardware in a Software-Focused Course’

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    “This workshop introduces attendees to the low-level components used in the design of computer hardware, allowing them to experiment with the hardware-software interface. Attendees explore hands-on experiments that are designed for students unlikely to encounter hardware topics in their course of study. These experiments are offered in bridge courses of a graduate program enrolling students without a Computer Science background at Northeastern University (the Align MSCS Program). The workshop consists of 3 groupings of hardware experiments. In one grouping, attendees use breadboarding to construct digital circuits.” Find the paper and full list of authors in the SIGCSE 2024 proceedings.

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  • ‘Stability of P2P Networks Under Greedy Peering (Full Version)’

    “Major cryptocurrency networks have relied on random peering choice rules for making connections in their peer-to-peer networks. Generally, these choices have good properties, particularly for open, permissionless networks. Random peering choices however do not take into account that some actors may choose to optimize who they connect to such that they are quicker to hear about information being propagated in the network. In this paper, we explore the dynamics of such greedy strategies.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ArXiv.

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  • ‘SunBlock: Cloudless Protection for IoT Systems’

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    “With an increasing number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices present in homes, there is a rise in the number of potential information leakage channels and their associated security threats and privacy risks. Despite a long history of attacks on IoT devices in unprotected home networks, the problem of accurate, rapid detection and prevention of such attacks remains open. … This paper investigates the potential for effective IoT threat detection locally, on a home router, using AI tools combined with classic rule-based traffic-filtering algorithms.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ArXiv.

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  • ‘A Survey on Hypergraph Mining: Patterns, Tools and Generators’

    “Hypergraphs are a natural and powerful choice for modeling group interactions in the real world, which are often referred to as higher-order networks. For example, when modeling collaboration networks, where collaborations can involve not just two but three or more people, employing hypergraphs allows us to explore beyond pairwise (dyadic) patterns and capture groupwise (polyadic) patterns. … We provide comprehensive taxonomies for them, and we also provide in-depth discussions to provide insights into future research on hypergraph mining.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ArXiv.

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  • Exploring the history of woodworking through gender

    Deirdre Visser, adjunct professor and visiting curator at Mills College at Northeastern, has published “Joinery, Joists and Gender: A History of Woodworking for the 21st Century.” The publisher’s webpage describes the book as “the first publication of its kind to survey the long and rich histories of women and gender non-conforming persons who work in wood.” After providing a history of women’s contributions — practical and philosophical — to woodworking in Europe and the U.S., the volume continues with “sixteen in-depth profiles of contemporary woodworkers, all of whom identify fine woodworking as their principal vocation.”

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  • ‘RichWasm: Bringing Safe, Fine-Grained, Shared-Memory Interoperability Down to WebAssembly’

    “Safe, shared-memory interoperability between languages with different type systems and memory-safety guarantees is an intricate problem as crossing language boundaries may result in memory-safety violations. In this paper, we present RichWasm, a novel richly typed intermediate language designed to serve as a compilation target for typed high-level languages with different memory-safety guarantees. RichWasm is based on WebAssembly and enables safe shared-memory interoperability by incorporating a variety of type features that support fine-grained memory ownership and sharing.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ArXiv.

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  • ‘Fine-Tuning Enhances Existing Mechanisms: A Case Study on Entity Tracking’

    “Fine-tuning on generalized tasks such as instruction following, code generation, and mathematics has been shown to enhance language models’ performance on a range of tasks. Nevertheless, explanations of how such fine-tuning influences the internal computations in these models remain elusive. We study how fine-tuning affects the internal mechanisms implemented in language models. As a case study, we explore the property of entity tracking, a crucial facet of language comprehension, where models fine-tuned on mathematics have substantial performance gains.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ArXiv.

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  • ‘Measuring and Controlling Persona Drift in Language Model Dialogs’

    “System-prompting is a standard tool for customizing language-model chatbots, enabling them to follow a specific instruction. An implicit assumption in the use of system prompts is that they will be stable, so the chatbot will continue to generate text according to the stipulated instructions for the duration of a conversation. We propose a quantitative benchmark to test this assumption, evaluating instruction stability via self-chats between two instructed chatbots. Testing popular models like LLaMA2-chat-70B and GPT-3.5, we reveal a significant instruction drift within eight rounds of conversations.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ArXiv.

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  • ‘Fully Dynamic Matching: (2-√2)-Approximation in Polylog Update Time’

    “We study maximum matchings in fully dynamic graphs, … graphs that undergo both edge insertions and deletions. Our focus is on algorithms that estimate the size of maximum matching after each update while spending a small time. … We show that for any fixed ɛ > 0, a (2 — √2— ɛ) approximation can be maintained in poly(log n) time per update even in general graphs. Our techniques also lead to the same approximation for general graphs in two passes of the semi-streaming setting, removing a similar gap.” Find the paper and authors list in the 2024 Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium…

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  • ‘A Retrospective Study of One Decade of Artifact Evaluations’

    “Reproducibility is a vital property of experimental and empirical research, without whichit is difficult to establish trust in derived conclusions. If results cannot be independently confirmed, they may be affected by observer bias or other confounding factors. As the full-scale reproduction of scientific results from a study takes significant time, which does not match well with the conference-focused publication in computer science, a lighter quality assurance mechanism for scientific work has been established. … After a decade of artifact evaluations, we analyze the impact they have had on published articles and artifacts.” Find the paper authors list at Software Engineering…

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  • ‘The Arrangement of Marks Impacts Afforded Messages: Ordering, Partitioning, Spacing and Coloring in Bar Charts’

    “Data visualizations present a massive number of potential messages to an observer. … The message that a viewer tends to notice — the message that a visualization ‘affords’ — is strongly affected by how values are arranged in a chart, e.g., how the values are colored or positioned. … We present a set of empirical evaluations of how different messages … are afforded by variations in ordering, partitioning, spacing and coloring of values, within the ubiquitous case study of bar graphs.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics.

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  • ‘Giant Mobile Coralliths From the Florida Keys, USA’

    “Coralliths are spherical, free-living (motile), scleractinian colonies inhabiting present day and ancient coral reefs. They form by the coral rolling on the seabed which can occur through biological and/or physical processes. While diving and snorkeling in nearshore environments in the upper Florida Keys, we observed hundreds of coralliths of varying sizes and species. … The largest coralliths we observed were all [Solenastrea] bournoni and ranged between 0.5 and 1.4 m in diameter. The exceptionally large colonies identified (>1 m) may be the largest and oldest spherical coralliths described to date.” Find the paper and authors list at the Bulletin of Marine…

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  • ‘Twisty-Puzzle-Inspired Approach to Clifford Synthesis’

    “The problem of decomposing an arbitrary Clifford element into a sequence of Clifford gates is known as Clifford synthesis. Drawing inspiration from similarities between this and the famous Rubik’s cube twisty puzzle, we develop a machine learning approach for Clifford synthesis based on learning an approximation to the distance to the identity. This approach is probabilistic and computationally intensive. However, when a decomposition is successfully found, it often involves fewer gates than the decomposition methods used in the Qiskit decomposition protocol, which uses a combination of several well-known Clifford decomposition schemes.” Find the paper and authors list at Physical Review A.

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  • ‘Fair Group Decisions via Non-Deterministic Proportional Consensus’

    “Are there group decision methods which (i) give everyone, including minorities, an equal share of effective decision power even when voters act strategically, (ii) promote consensus and equality, rather than polarization and inequality, and (iii) do not favour the status quo or rely too much on chance? We describe two non-deterministic group decision methods that meet these criteria, one based on automatic bargaining over lotteries, the other on conditional commitments to approve compromise options.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Social Choice and Welfare.

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  • ‘Interpretation Issues With “Genomic Vulnerability” Arise From Conceptual Issues in Local Adaptation and Maladaptation’

    “As climate change causes the environment to shift away from the local optimum that populations have adapted to, fitness declines are predicted to occur. Recently, methods known as genomic offsets (GOs) have become a popular tool to predict population responses to climate change from landscape genomic data. Populations with a high GO have been interpreted to have a high “genomic vulnerability” to climate change. … This study uses hypothetical and empirical data to explore situations in which different types of fitness offsets may or may not be correlated with each other or with a GO.”

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  • Advancing wireless with ‘Deep learning-based polymorphic platform’

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    “Electrical and computer engineering William Lincoln Smith Professor Tommaso Melodia and assistant professor Francesco Restuccia were awarded a patent for ‘Deep learning-based polymorphic platform.'”

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  • ‘In Situ Polymer Gelation in Confined Flow Controls Intermittent Dynamics’

    “Polymer flows through pores, nozzles and other small channels govern engineered and naturally occurring dynamics in many processes. … The crosslinking of polymers can change their material properties dramatically, and it is advantageous to know a priori whether or not crosslinking polymers will lead to clogged channels or cessation of flow. In this study, we investigate the flow of a common biopolymer, alginate, while it undergoes crosslinking by the addition of a crosslinker, calcium, driven through a microfluidic channel at constant flow rate.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Soft Matter.

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