Research

Groundbreaking work and published results in peer reviewed journals across disciplines.

Title

Topic

  • ‘Fossil Fuel Interests in Puerto Rico: Perceptions of Incumbent Power and Discourses of Delay’

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    “This study explores perceptions of fossil fuel interests and the role narratives of fossil fuel obstruction play in slowing down the renewable energy transition in Puerto Rico. We analyzed interviews conducted with 56 ‘energy actors’ engaged in Puerto Rico’s energy system. … Our interviews revealed that a wide range of energy actors perceived obstruction by fossil fuel interests as shaping Puerto Rico’s energy transition and used discourses of delay to describe Puerto Rico’s energy transition, but also employed narratives that countered this obstruction and resisted fossil fuel interests.” Find the paper and list of authors in Energy Research and Social…

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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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  • ‘A Network-Based Normalized Impact Measure Reveals Successful Periods of Scientific Discovery Across Disciplines’

    “The impact of a scientific publication is often measured by the number of citations it receives from the scientific community. However, citation count is susceptible to well-documented variations in citation practices across time and discipline, limiting our ability to compare different scientific achievements. Previous efforts to account for citation variations often rely on a priori discipline labels of papers, assuming that all papers in a discipline are identical in their subject matter. Here, we propose a network-based methodology to quantify the impact of an article by comparing it with locally comparable research.” Find the paper and authors list at PNAS.

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  • ‘Inhalable Bottlebrush Polymer Bioconjugates as Vectors for Efficient Pulmonary Delivery of Oligonucleotides’

    “Antisense oligonucleotides hold therapeutic promise for various lung disorders, but their efficacy is limited by suboptimal delivery. To address this challenge, we explored the use of inhaled bottlebrush polymer–DNA conjugates, named pacDNA, as a delivery strategy. Inhaled pacDNA exhibits superior mucus penetration, achieving a uniform and sustained lung distribution in mice.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ACS Nano.

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  • ‘Unveiling the Degradation of Pt/NbOx/C Catalysts in PEMFCs via In Situ X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy’

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    “Among the class of the catalyst that is composed of metal nanoparticles supported on metal oxides (MMO), the Pt/NbOx/C system has shown promising oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activities as a cathode of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Herein, we have studied a series of Pt/NbOx/C catalysts prepared via physical vapor deposition and unraveled the nature of the metal and metal oxide interaction (MMOI) by characterizing this system under reactive conditions. … We demonstrate that Pt preferably interacts with O but not Nb in the Pt/NbOx/C system.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Journal of The Electrochemical Society.

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  • ‘The Expressive Function of Public Policy: Renewable Energy Mandates Signal Social Norms’

    “Addressing collective action problems requires individuals to engage in coordinated and cooperative behaviours. Existing research suggests that individuals’ propensity to work together depends in part on their belief that others support the cause in question. People form their expectations about prevalent beliefs and behaviours from many sources. To date, most of the literature has focussed on how social norm perceptions are inferred from peers or summary statistics. We explore an understudied source of norm information: the passage of policies by democratically elected institutions.” Find the paper and full list of authors in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

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  • ‘Local Adaptation in Trait-Mediated Trophic Cascades’

    “Predator-induced changes in prey foraging can influence community dynamics by increasing the abundance of basal resources via a trait-mediated trophic cascade. The strength of these cascades may be altered by eco-evolutionary relationships between predators and prey, but the role of basal resources has received limited attention. We hypothesized that trait-mediated trophic cascade strength may be shaped by selection from trophic levels above and below prey. … We suggest that adaptation to basal resource availability may shape geographical variation in the strength of trait-mediated trophic cascades.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

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  • ‘Does More Advice Help? The Effects of Second Opinions in AI-Assisted Decision Making’

    “AI assistance in decision-making has become popular, yet people’s inappropriate reliance on AI often leads to unsatisfactory human-AI collaboration performance. In this paper, through three pre-registered, randomized human subject experiments, we explore whether and how the provision of {second opinions} may affect decision-makers’ behavior and performance in AI-assisted decision-making. We find that if both the AI model’s decision recommendation and a second opinion are always presented together, decision-makers reduce their over-reliance on AI while increase their under-reliance on AI.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ArXiv.

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  • ‘Native Capillary Electrophoresis–Mass Spectrometry of Near 1 MDa Non-Covalent GroEL/GroES/Substrate Protein Complexes’

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    “Protein complexes are essential for proteins’ folding and biological function. Currently, native analysis of large multimeric protein complexes remains challenging. Structural biology techniques are time-consuming and often cannot monitor the proteins’ dynamics in solution. Here, a capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE–MS) method is reported to characterize, under near-physiological conditions, the conformational rearrangements of ∽1 MDa GroEL upon complexation with binding partners involved in a protein folding cycle.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Advanced Science.

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  • ‘Emotion Regulation Convoys: Individual and Age Differences in the Hierarchical Configuration of Emotion Regulation Behaviors in Everyday Life’

    “A key limitation of studying emotion regulation behavior is that there is currently no way to describe individual differences in use across a range of tactics, which could lead to investigations of intraindividual changes over time or interindividual differences as a function of personality, age, culture, or psychopathology diagnosis. We, therefore, introduce emotion regulation convoys. This research tool provides a snapshot of the hierarchy of emotion regulation tactics an individual favors across everyday life situations and how effective they are at regulating moods.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Research Gate.

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  • ‘Linear Extension and Calcification Rates in a Cold-Water, Crustose Coralline Alga are Modulated by Temperature, Light and Salinity’

    “Long-lived crustose coralline algae are important ecosystem engineers and environmental archives in regions where observations of climate variability are sparse. … Here, we present the results of the first, to-our-knowledge, controlled laboratory experiment isolating the effects of light, temperature, and salinity on calcification rates of C. compactum. Algal calcification rates were modulated by a combination of light exposure, salinity, and temperature, where temperature and salinity were positively correlated, and light level was negatively correlated with calcification rate.” Find the paper and full list of authors in Limnology and Oceanography.

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  • ‘Covalent Inhibition of Pro-Apoptotic BAX’

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    “BCL-2-associated X protein (BAX) is a promising therapeutic target for activating or restraining apoptosis in diseases of pathologic cell survival or cell death, respectively. In response to cellular stress, BAX transforms from a quiescent cytosolic monomer into a toxic oligomer. … In this study, we performed a disulfide tethering screen to discover C126-reactive molecules that modulate BAX activity. We identified covalent BAX inhibitor 1 (CBI1) as a compound that selectively derivatizes BAX at C126 and inhibits BAX activation by triggering ligands or point mutagenesis.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Nature Chemical Biology.

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  • Vision paper: ‘Towards Mobility Data Science’

    “Mobility data captures the locations of moving objects such as humans, animals and cars. With the availability of GPS-equipped mobile devices and other inexpensive location-tracking technologies, mobility data is collected ubiquitously. In recent years, the use of mobility data has demonstrated significant impact in various domains including traffic management, urban planning and health sciences. In this paper, we present the emerging domain of mobility data science. Towards a unified approach to mobility data science, we envision a pipeline having the following components: mobility data collection, cleaning, analysis, management and privacy.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ArXiv.

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  • ‘Distributed Cognition Approach to Understanding Compensatory Calendaring Cognitive Systems of Older Adults With Mild Cognitive Impairment’

    “While consumer digital calendars are widely used for appointment reminders, they do not fulfill all of the compensatory functions that are supported by calendars designed for cognitive rehabilitation therapies. … We employed a Distributed Cognition framework to elucidate how older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and their care partners manage calendaring details when supported by a traditional rehabilitation calendar. … We used a Distributed Cognition framing to articulate information flows and breakdowns in participants’ calendaring systems.” Find the paper and full list of authors in the International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence proceedings.

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  • ‘An Efficient OFDM-Based Monostatic Radar Design for Multitarget Detection’

    “In this paper, we propose a monostatic radar design for multitarget detection based on orthogonal-frequency division multiplexing, where the monostatic radar is co-located with the transmit antenna. The monostatic antenna has the perfect knowledge of the transmitted signal and listens to echoes coming from the reflection of fixed or moving targets. We estimate the target parameters, i.e., range and velocity, using a two-dimensional periodogram. By this setup we improve the periodogram estimation performance under the condition of low signal-to-noise ratio using Zadoff-Chu precoding and the discrete Fourier transform channel estimation.” Find the paper and authors list at IEEE Access.

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  • ‘DREiMac: Dimensionality Reduction With Eilenberg-MacLane Coordinates’

    “DREiMac is a library for topological data coordinatization, visualization, and dimensionality reduction. Currently, DREiMac is able to find topology-preserving representations of point clouds taking values in the circle, in higher dimensional tori, in the real and complex projective spaces, and in lens spaces. In a few words, DREiMac takes as input a point cloud together with a topological feature of the point cloud (in the form of a persistent cohomology class), and returns a map from the point cloud to a well-understood topological space.” Find the paper and full list of authors at the Journal of Open Source Software.

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  • Noveck provides guidance on using artificial intelligence in government

    Noting how governments around the world have been slow to adopt ChatGPT in their processes, Beth Noveck, professor and director of the Burnes Center for Social Change at Northeastern University, provides guidance and examples for how large language models can be leveraged by public-serving professionals. “The journey from skepticism to the beginnings of strategic implementation,” she writes, “reflects a growing recognition of the transformative potential of AI for public good.”

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  • ‘Reconnecting Economics Education with Today’s Global Realities’

    Jennie Stephens, professor of sustainability science and policy, writes that economics education in the United States is “dangerously limited.” Responding to “an interactive session designed to kick off October’s National Economics Education Month” in which Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell “shared with educators his enthusiasm and appreciation for economics education, [but also] failed to connect economics to major societal issues,” Stephens argues for a model of economics education that would explore “a wide range of economic ideas beyond neoclassical economics and beyond neoliberal policies.”

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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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  • 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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  • ‘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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  • ‘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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