Professor explores diplomacy nuance in new book

Pro­fessor Mary Thompson-​​Jones knows the intri­ca­cies of diplo­macy oper­a­tions, with more than two decades of expe­ri­ence in for­eign policy. In her new book, To the Sec­re­tary: Leaked Embassy Cables and America’s For­eign Policy Dis­con­nect, she explores the intri­ca­cies exposed by the 2010 Wik­iLeaks scandal.

3Qs: Trapped in social media ‘echo chambers’

Social media has become a go-​​to plat­form for people to express their opin­ions on the hot topics of the day. But in many cases, people are sharing those thoughts with those who have sim­ilar opin­ions. Here, assis­tant pro­fessor Brooke Fou­cault Welles explains how this trend cor­re­lates to offline debates.

In Slovenia, Northeastern students present research on international criminal tribunal

Inspired by an expe­ri­ence on a Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions pro­gram in 2014, a group of stu­dents exam­ined whether there is inherent bias in the Inter­na­tional Crim­inal Tri­bunal for the former Yugoslavia, which han­dles war crimes stem­ming from the con­flicts in the Balkans in the early 1990s.

Miniature flying robots automatically inspect, analyze, and assess damage to infrastructure

Northeastern’s Jerome Hajjar and col­leagues are devel­oping a sophis­ti­cated system that uses autonomous small flying robots cou­pled with 3-​​D imaging and state-​​of-​​the art plan­ning, mod­eling, and analysis to inspect struc­tures from bridges to build­ings and auto­mat­i­cally iden­tify prob­lems, track their progress, and assess the need for follow-​​up.

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.

Survey finds youth in Boston summer jobs program gain job readiness skills, higher academic aspirations

After youth par­tic­i­pated in Boston’s summer jobs pro­gram, a greater number reported having job readi­ness skills, higher aca­d­emic aspi­ra­tions, and improved con­nec­tions with their neighborhoods—with the largest gains in some areas among minority groups—according to a new report co-​​authored by Northeastern’s Alicia Sasser Modestino.

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.

What Brexit could mean for Europe

The United Kingdom will hold a ref­er­endum on Thursday on whether Britain should leave the Euro­pean Union. If there is high voter turnout, “there is no ques­tion that the ‘remain’ side will easily win,” pre­dicts Northeastern’s Mai’a K. Davis Cross, an expert on Euro­pean pol­i­tics. Cross also cau­tions that a vote to leave could also “trigger the breakup of the United Kingdom.”

3Qs: Is soda losing its fizz?

Philadel­phia recently became the first major U.S. city to pass a soft drink tax, and a new report from Bev­erage Mar­keting Corp. found that bot­tled water will soon sur­pass soda as the nation’s most pop­ular bev­erage. Here, Janice Maras, research man­ager in the Depart­ment of Health Sci­ences, who spe­cial­izes in dietary data analysis, explains how a soda tax might affect dietary habits and what kind of long-​​term impact the declining pop­u­larity of soft drinks will have on the nation’s obe­sity epidemic.

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.

Child’s play: Using virtual reality to advance physical therapy

Boston middle school stu­dents vis­ited campus last week to try out some new vir­tual reality games being designed for phys­ical therapy patients. Their game-​​playing will help researchers refine patient treat­ment and advance inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research.