Researchers challenge federal law in attempt to prevent ‘Big Data’ discrimination

Northeastern’s Alan Mis­love and Christo Wilson have been researching whether the algo­rithms e-​​commerce and other web­sites use to ana­lyze user pro­file data, web-​​browsing choices, and other online infor­ma­tion may lead to dis­crim­i­na­tion. Now the ACLU has sued the gov­ern­ment on their and others’ behalf so they can con­tinue to do so without prosecution.

The House sit-​​in: examining the political and cultural significance

Wednesday morning House Democ­rats, led by U.S. Rep. John Lewis, began a sit-​​in on the House floor demanding votes on gun-​​control leg­is­la­tion. C-​​SPAN picked up the live feeds that mem­bers streamed from their smart­phones after Repub­li­cans shut down the chamber. Here, North­eastern fac­ulty mem­bers shed light on the sig­nif­i­cance of the protest and the role of social media in its impact.

Comfort dogs bring healing in times of tragedy

Twelve golden retrievers recently arrived in Orlando to bring com­fort to the sur­vivors and those grieving after the mass shooting at the gay night­club Pulse. Here, Northeastern’s Lisa Feldman Bar­rett, who spe­cial­izes in the psy­chology of emo­tion, explains how dogs help bring our ner­vous sys­tems back into bal­ance and, at least tem­porarily, make us feel safe.

Northeastern researchers find T-Mobile’s Binge On doesn’t live up to the hype

New research led by David Choffnes shows that what T-​​Mobile promises about free video streaming with Binge On is not what you, or con­tent providers, may actu­ally get. In many cases, sub­scribers were left with lower quality videos and unex­pected charges. More­over, because of flaws in T-Mobile’s system, the researchers found a way to make prac­ti­cally any Internet traffic free to subscribers.

Northeastern partnership provides Boston Ballet dancers a ‘once-​​in-​​a-​​lifetime chance’

In May, two dancers in the North­eastern University-​​Boston Ballet Edu­ca­tion Pro­gram walked, in caps and gowns of regal black and gold, in the Col­lege of Pro­fes­sional Studies grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony. “This pro­gram was such an incred­ible oppor­tu­nity for all of us,” says Boston Ballet prin­cipal dancer Kath­leen Breen Combes.

World’s wind engineering experts convene at Northeastern

Northeastern’s Luca Caracoglia develops numer­ical method­olo­gies to sim­u­late how tall build­ings will respond to high winds, including hur­ri­canes. Last week he brought his exper­tise to bear as chairman and co-​​host of an inter­na­tional col­lo­quium. More than 200 engi­neering experts from around the world con­vened at North­eastern to dis­cuss how to best ana­lyze and con­struct tall build­ings, bridges, and other non-​​streamlined bodies.

Researchers reveal the hidden environmental and public health impacts of the US healthcare sector

Over the past 10 years, the U.S. health­care sector’s green­house gas emis­sions grew by more than 30 per­cent, accounting for 9.8 per­cent of the national total in 2013. “If the U.S. health­care sector were itself a country, it would rank 13th in the world for green­house gas emis­sions, ahead of the entire U.K.,” states a new paper coau­thored by North­eastern researcher Matthew Eckelman.

How serious is the threat posed by new ‘superbug’?

Reports of the arrival in the U.S. of a new superbug that is resis­tant to an antibi­otic of last resort have set off alarm bells among public health offi­cials. Last year, a team led by North­eastern pro­fessor Kim Lewis dis­cov­ered teixobactin, an antibi­otic that elim­i­nates bac­teria without encoun­tering any detectable resis­tance. We asked him to explain the new superbug, how wor­ried we should be, and how it might be stopped.

Northeastern researchers find that Amazon might not always be pitching you the best prices

A team led by Northeastern’s Christo Wilson shows that Amazon is much more likely to point buyers to sellers who use an auto­mated prac­tice called algo­rithmic pricing, even though those sellers’ prices may be higher than others’.

Researchers mine Twitter to reveal Congress’ ideological divide on climate change

Senate Democ­rats are three times more likely to follow science-​​related Twitter accounts than their Repub­lican peers, according to a new study led by Northeastern’s Brian Hel­muth. The research shows the growing divide between par­ties on the issue of cli­mate change, but also pro­vides hope, says Hel­muth, pointing to indi­vid­uals who cross the aisle and bridge the gap.

Take 5: The science of doping in sports

Reports of doping by Russia’s Olympic ath­letes con­tinue to grab head­lines. Just yes­terday, offi­cials con­firmed that 14 of the country’s ath­letes from the 2008 Games had been impli­cated by the I.O.C. in a re-​​testing of sam­ples. But doping in sports is not new. As early as the 8th cen­tury B.C., Greek ath­letes found ways to boost testos­terone to enhance per­for­mance, says Northeastern’s Rui Li, an expert on exer­cise phys­i­ology. Here, she talks about the sci­ence of doping and pos­sible mea­sures to stop it.

Researchers reveal inconsistent borders in online maps

Google and Bing maps of some coun­tries show users dif­ferent bor­ders based on where the users live. It’s how gov­ern­ments claim sov­er­eignty over dis­puted bor­ders. Researchers led by Northeastern’s Christo Wilson have devel­oped a com­put­er­ized system to reveal the manip­u­la­tions: It crawls online maps con­tin­u­ously, tracking and recording every border shift over time.