Eighteen School of Information faculty on twelve teams have been granted $60,000 start-up awards by the ground-breaking MCubed initiative, which is designed to jump-start interdisciplinary research programs on campus.
To qualify for the grants, three researchers from at least two different disciplines need to generate an idea and agree to “cube” together. Five UMSI faculty on three teams received funds in the first round of awards, determined by lottery on November 28.
Those receiving awards in the second round of funding are
• Predrag Klasnja and Paul Resnick for “Using Mobile Technology to Manage Bipolar Disorder.” Bipolar disorder affects over 5.7 million Americans. Recent advances in signal processing and machine learning have made it possible to detect mood changes in bipolar individuals. This project aims to develop a mobile phone app that leverages passive mood tracking to support self-management of bipolar disorder. Emily Mower Provost, School of Engineering, is the third partner of this MCubed project.
• Margaret Hedstrom for “Electronic Lab Notebook for Physical, Chemical & Engineering Sciences.” Scientists will develop an automated information management system for optimizing workflow in research that focuses on materials synthesis, characterization and modeling. Central to the project is the design of electronic lab notebook software to collect, integrate and process information that can then be searched, reused and/or distributed. Her partners on this MCube project are John Kieffer and Hosagrahar V. Jagadish, both of the College of Engineering.
•Dragomir Radev for “Building Translation Networks at Michigan.” With Christi Merrill and Sidonie Smith, both of the LS&A humanities division, Drago will work on developing innovative applications to make inquiries taking place through Translation at Michigan more fun and engaging. The goal is to have working prototypes available within a year, at which point the group plans to apply for public funding in translation and the digital humanities.
• Mark Ackerman and Mark Newman for “Infrastructure for Context-Aware Computing,” a project that will focus on creating an infrastructure to facilitate research into context-aware systems and applications. Their partner in this project is Atul Prakash from the College of Computer Science and Engineering.
• Eytan Adar for “Addressing Individual and Group Biases with Data Visualization.” This project will show ways in which data can be visualized and how social factors can influence how data is interpreted. His partners are Colleen Seifert and Priti Shah, both members of the LS &A psychology department faculty.
• Paul Conway and David Wallace for “Community, Memory, and Ethical Access to Music from The Ark and the African Field.” This project will create an innovative system for digitizing and preserving sound recordings made between 1969 and 1985 at Ann Arbor’s folk music venue, The Ark, and recordings made for the Voice of America program “Music Time in Africa” between 1965 and 1980. They are partnered with Kelly Askew of the LS&A anthropology department
• Kai Zheng and Qiaozhu Mei for “Mining Social Media Data to Understand the Patterns of Spatiotemporal Dissemination of Health-related Information and Concerns during Public Health Crises.” The goal of this project is to help public health workers monitor as well as understand the nature and dissemination patterns of health-related information and concerns conveyed via social media among the general public. Their partner in this cube is Dr. David Hanauer of the U-M Medical School.
• Joyojeet Pal for “Unintended Consequences of Technology in Development: A Cross-Sectional Analysis.” With his partners, he will study the social and economic impact of new technologies such as cell phones on the developing world. Bilal Butt of the College of Natural Sciences and Environment and Omolade Adunbi of LS&A’s department of Afroamerican and African Studies are teammates.
• Lionel Robert for “Virtual Prototyping of Human-Robot Collaboration in Unstructured Construction Environments.” By visually simulating construction tasks, the team plans to study human, robot, and human/robot motion in the performance of repetitive tasks. This cube was proposed by Vineet Kamata of the College of Engineering, with fellow faculty member SangHyun Lee.
• Barry Fishman and Stephanie Teasley for “An Examination of Curricular and Extra-Curricular Social Networks and their Relationship to Student Engagement and Learning.” The researchers will use surveys and data to study how various factors in a student’s life affect their motivation, academic success, and satisfaction. Stuart Karabenick of the department of education is the third member of the cube.
• Nicole Ellison and Sarita Yardi for “Adolescent social connection in online environments: perspectives from computer-mediated communication, social neuroscience + YOU!” The team will explore how adolescents connect with one another on Facebook, and how different online experiences affect and are affected by individual differences in the brain's response to social, cognitive and emotional tasks. The project was proposed by Emily Falk, LS&A department of social sciences.
• Cliff Lampe for “Linking Social Media and Surveys: Processes and Tools.” This project assesses how the behavior of posting on social network sites relates to attitude measures acquired by surveys, in order to reveal biases that could potentially undermine results garnered from big data analytics. Partners on the project at Joshua Pasek of LS&A social sciences and Frederick Conrad of the Institute for Social Research.
Each winning team will receive $60,000 with which to hire a student or postdoctoral researcher to jump-start their projects. They will also showcase the results of their groundbreaking research at a high-profile, campus-wide symposia.
MCubed is part of the U-M's Third Century Initiative, a five-year $50 million plan to develop innovative, multidisciplinary teaching and scholarship. The MCubed venture expects to launch 250 projects over the next two years.
To read more about these projects, visit the MCubed website.