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Elena Akins

Elena Akins

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Sarah Barnes

Sarah Barnes

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Salah Bazzi

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News

Cross-COS Colloquium: Developing Connections between COS and COE on the Internet of Materials

“If we trace how computers have evolved over the past 8 or so decades, we can certainly see the impact of increasingly sophisticated manufacturing techniques. Computers now come in many different shapes and sizes. And applications, of course, have driven the widespread adoption, so much so that it appears we have an insatiable appetite for computing and the power that is needed to feed it. That’s a problem. We must take more seriously some of the past assumptions of how we manufacture computers and what properties the constituent materials impose. In this talk, I will introduce the notion of the Internet of Materials, whereby the power, form factor, and manufacturing costs of a computational object take precedence over other functional features of that object. I will show some simple examples that highlight how we can create self-sustaining computational materials. The purpose of the talk is to motivate researchers to think creatively about the convergence of materials, manufacturing, and computing. I hope these initial, and somewhat simple, examples prompt deeper discussions on how Northeastern can become a leader in defining a complementary computing industry.”

— Gregory Abowd, Dean of the College of Engineering as he discusses Developing Further Connections between COS and COE on the Internet of Materials. This event was recorded on January 18, 2022.

January 21, 2022

What has changed in the way we talk about COVID-19? Revisiting pandemic terminology and Omicron.

As the SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, evolves, so too do the ways we talk about it.

That’s why it’s important to revisit some frequently used pandemic terms, not just to get a clearer sense of the situation at hand, but to better assess the potential dangers posed by the highly transmissible—but less deadly—omicron variant currently spreading across the country.

We asked Northeastern experts to flesh out some important distinctions in how we describe the data, what it means to be “exposed” to the coronavirus, and how widespread infections actually are at this stage of the pandemic. Here’s what they say.

Cases vs. infections: What are we missing?

The sheer scale of the omicron outbreak has underscored some of the longstanding problems in the available data and reporting methods upon which officials rely. One such problem is the underdetection of actual infections in official case counts.

“The number of actual infections is likely amplified by a factor of five to ten, at least,” says Alessandro Vespignani, director of the Network Science Institute and Sternberg Family Distinguished Professor at Northeastern.

Read more on [email protected]

Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University.

January 21, 2022

COS Connects: Solving Antibiotic Resistance

Hear from biology professors Kim Lewis and Eddie Geisinger to learn about the research being done to combat antibiotic resistance. Our researchers share novel solutions to this widespread issue, including the research strategies and sophisticated advancements in drug development that have made it all possible.

January 19, 2022

COVID-19 is evolving. So is Northeastern’s approach to managing it.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved, so too has Northeastern University’s management of it. Most recently, faced with a variant of the coronavirus that is highly transmissible but causes less severe illness—especially in vaccinated, boosted populations—the university has evolved its response, putting protocols in place that will enable students, faculty, and staff to live, learn, and work in a manner that is safe, and as close to normal as possible.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, when there were no vaccinations, the tactics we used to identify as quickly as possible anyone who tested positive and isolate them were designed to reduce the transmission of the virus,” says Ken Henderson, Northeastern’s chancellor and senior vice president for learning, and former dean of the College of Science.

Now, the goal is to learn to live with the virus—at Northeastern and around the world. Earlier this month, the World Health Organization predicted that more than half of the population of Europe would be infected with the omicron variant in the next couple months.

Even before the WHO report was released, in a message to the university community, Northeastern leaders wrote, “It is now clear that COVID-19, in various forms, will be with us for the foreseeable future. As we move into this endemic phase of the pandemic, our job is to continue to control COVID effectively, not let COVID control us.”

Read more on [email protected]

Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University.

January 19, 2022

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