Fidel Castro’s death, his legacy, and what is next for US-​​Cuban relations

Fidel Castro, the Cuban rev­o­lu­tionary and con­tro­ver­sial global figure who defied the U.S. for decades, died Friday. “Castro is one of the tow­ering fig­ures of the Modern Era,” said pro­fessor José Buscaglia, a pio­neer in study abroad pro­grams by Amer­ican insti­tu­tions to Cuba. Here, Buscaglia and polit­ical sci­ence expert William Crotty reflect on Castro’s life and legacy.

A guide to the 2016 Massachusetts ballot questions

This year, besides choosing a pres­i­dent, Mass­a­chu­setts voters will have the chance to weigh in on statewide ballot ques­tions on four topics: slot machines, charter schools, live­stock, and mar­i­juana. Here’s what you should know about each of them.

Researchers link Facebook activity to living longer

Northeastern’s William R. Hobbs and col­leagues sug­gest that Face­book use is asso­ci­ated with longer life, par­tic­u­larly if the time spent online is mod­erate and the user’s online activ­i­ties reflect strong social inter­ac­tions in the offline world.

Millennials, shaped by ‘a nation in distress,’ pose a unique challenge to presidential candidates

Millennials—the gen­er­a­tion born between 1981 and 2001—have largely grown up in a post-​​9/​11, Great Recession-​​battered America: a cli­mate that has left them with stag­gering debt and a dis­trust of estab­lished sys­tems, argued Boston Globe jour­nalist Evan Horowitz at this week’s Open Class­room. These voters, he said, could be a major influ­ence in the pres­i­den­tial election.

Study: Using Big Data to monitor societal events shows promise, but the coding tech needs work

Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor David Lazer and his col­leagues ana­lyzed global-​​scale data­bases of news events and found them wanting. Their rec­om­men­da­tions for improve­ments would enable researchers to build models antic­i­pating every­thing from the esca­la­tion of con­flicts to the pro­gres­sion of epidemics.

Who are we? And who belongs here?’ Panel tackles pertinent immigration questions

A team of fac­ulty experts exam­ined Amer­ican atti­tudes about immi­gra­tion during a panel dis­cus­sion on Wednesday. Sen­ti­ments of accepting then rebuking immi­grants has long been a pat­tern throughout Amer­ican his­tory, they said, though the tone of the rhetoric during this pres­i­den­tial race is new.

Want the most telling presidential polling data? Professor says turn to Twitter

Knowing society’s con­stant demand for imme­diate, real-​​time infor­ma­tion, assis­tant pro­fessor of polit­ical sci­ence Nick Beauchamp devel­oped a model that uses tweets to gauge public opinion of can­di­dates more quickly than tra­di­tional polls.

Russian athlete ban, not Rio prep, to be 2016 Olympics’ legacy

The 2016 Summer Olympics are finally here, opening this week in Rio de Janeiro amid a plethora of con­cerns, including the Zika virus, water con­t­a­m­i­na­tion, and civil unrest. Here, Olympics expert and asso­ciate teaching pro­fessor Philip D’Agati explains what we can expect and says of the city, “Their plan­ning hasn’t been that bad.”

3Qs: The strategy of selecting a vice presidential candidate

After weeks of intense public spec­u­la­tion, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton intro­duced their vice pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates. That got us won­dering how pres­i­den­tial hope­fuls select their run­ning mates and whether those selec­tions typ­i­cally impact elec­tions. Here, Bill Crotty, pro­fessor emer­itus and an expert on pres­i­den­tial pol­i­tics, exam­ines those questions.