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5/3/16

In an opinion piece featured on the front page of CNN.com, Associate Professor Dr. Arun Vishwanath argues that amid the heated debate about a physical wall that occupies a great deal of the 2016 Presidential primary election, what is lost is the wall the United States really needs: a cyberwall to securely identify users in the same way they are identified in the real world.

5/2/16

Erin Peterson of AtBuffalo magazine asked eight UB faculty members to think big for her latest piece, asking them, "If they had unlimited time, money and persuasion techniques, what audacious idea from their fields would they want to implement today?"  One of those who stepped up the intellectual challenge was Dr. Arun Vishwanath, Associate Professor in the Communcation department.

Arun Vishwanath explaining
4/12/16

Erin Peterson of AtBuffalo magazine asked eight UB faculty members to think big for her latest piece, asking them, "If they had unlimited time, money and persuasion techniques, what audacious idea from their fields would they want to implement today?"  One of those who stepped up the intellectual challenge was Dr. Arun Vishwanath, Associate Professor in the Communcation department.

4/4/16

In yet another piece for CNN.com, internet security expert Dr. Arun Vishwanath takes on the security of apps. Apps present a myriad of security risks, says Vishwanath, from collecting information without the knowledge of the user, poor programming that leaves the user's information open to hackers, and screen optimization that often visually eliminates crucial data such as the sender of an email, or the SSL padlock symbol - or lack thereof. The responsibility for remedying these weaknesses, Vishwanath argues, lies with the owners of the mobile platforms, the custodians of app stores such as Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft.

3/28/16

In Dr. Arun Vishwanath's latest opinion piece for CNN.com, he tackles the issue of "ransomware," software that encrypts files on a computer until a ransome is paid. Current attacks on hospitals, law firms, small businesses and individuals have already led to significant ransoms paid to attackers, and could easily escalate to attacks on computer-based technology including vehicles, demanding immediate ransoms for safety. As a result, 2016 has been dubbed the Year of Online Extortion. 

3/25/16

Clinical Assistant Professor Dr. Kelly Tenzek recently teamed with Abigail Unger, Director of Expressive Therapies at Hospice Buffalo, to provide a unique service learning experience for her End of Life Communication class.

Abstract Illustration
3/10/16

Dr. Melanie Green's research on the persuasive power of narrative is featured in New York Time's Best Selling Auhtor Maria Konnikova's newest book, "The Confidence Game." 

3/8/16

Dr. Helen Wang and her research team have had a proposal accepted for Stage One of the highly competitive Innovation Next Awards. Innovation Next is a program of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy, and aims to apply unique technology solutions to affect the behavior of teens so that pregnancy is avoided.

3/4/16

In his latest opinion piece for CNN.com, Dr. Arun Vishwanath argues that beyond the current controversy over whether or not Apple should unlock iPhones involved in terrorist activities lies a much more insidious problem: if a user downloads an app infected with malware, Apple (but also Google and Android) offers no protection to hacked users. Vishwanath discusses the likelihood of security breaches as situationally aware technology becomes more and more popular, and offers potential solutions to make interacting on our devices more secure. 

Andrew Sachs in his office.
2/15/16

Dr. Andrew Sachs was recently featured in UB's independent student publication, the UB Spectrum. In the interview, Sachs reflects on the experiences that have made him such a popular lecturer in the department, including a non-traditional educational path, work in stage acting, and growing up Jewish in Alabama during the Civil Rights era. 

2/12/16

Dr. Arun Vishwanath was asked by CNN to contribute to the discussion on hacking and "spear-phishing" - targeted attacks in which a hacker hides a malware payload in the attachment of an email, which when clicked opens a back door into computer networks that are then used to hijack system controllers or extract data. These attacks have started to have concrete impacts on real world infrastructure. 

Dr. Arun Vishwanath and his daughter accept the award for Coach of the Game.
1/25/16

Dr. Arun Vishwanath was recently honored by the UB Men's Basketball team with the distinction of Coach of the Game for his distinguished service, excellent teaching and contributions to the university community.

1/14/16

Dr. Janet Yang was recently awarded a Rapid Research Grant by the National Science Foundation to study risk communication as it relates to altruistic behavior by examining responses to the recent outbreak of Ebola. Her research addressed why some people react altruistically to news about an Ebola outbreak while others do not. The results of her work have now been published by the Society for Risk Analysis and featured on Science Daily

1/11/16

Dr. Helen Wang's work on a popular Hulu web series, "East Los High," was featured on National Public Radio's Code Switch. The teen drama aims to not only entertain, but also educate, and Dr. Wang's work has been instrumental in determining whether or not the series and its companion website are an effective tool in helping to educate viewers on important topics like teen sexual health.

11/20/15

UB's recently released "The List", a progress report highlighting the best research and accomplishements from The University at Buffalo academic community in the 2014-2015 year, features the Communication department's own Associate Professor Dr. Arun Vishwanath, Associate Professor Dr. Janet Yang and Assistant Professor Dr. Helen Wang.

11/17/15

When UB's GroW Home Team needed help with a crowdfunding campaign to fund their work on their ultra-efficient, solar-powered architectural masterpiece for the Department of Energy's Solar Decathalon, they turned to Dr. Lance Rintamaki, Associate Professor of Communication. Dr. Rintamaki, in turn, looked to the students in the COM department to determine how to get the message out, and the funding in.

6/29/15

A recent USA today article cites Associate Professor Arun Vishwanath, who once again provides expert commentary on the data breach phenomenon. In the article, Vishwanath advocates for a senate bill that would allow data on hacks to be disseminated to the public much more quickly, allowing time for businesses and government entities to protect themselves and their information. 

6/15/15

In an article published in the UB Reporter, associate professor Arun Vishwanath discusses the latest breach of cybersecurity which compromised the data of federal employees. He asserts that this latest data breach is merely the tip of the iceberg, and that the weakness in the system is the users, not the technology, making the problem nearly impossible to fix. He suggests better internet safety training for individuals, but notes that bigger attacks may very well be on the way. 

6/10/15

Associate Professor Arun Vishwanath was published on CNN's website for the second time in six months, in a followup to his article "Where's the Outrage Over the Sony Hack?" (December 17, 2014). This latest article examines the factors contributing to the relative ease users offer hackers in phishing for information, and solutions to increase cybersecurity. 

5/13/15

Assistant Professor Matthew Grizzard and his research team were featured on the Science Channel's Emmy-nominated series Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, in the April 29 episode that investigated whether human beings are naturally prejudiced. The episode, titled "Are We All Bigots?," highlights Grizzard's work with violence in video game play. Grizzard and his team contend that ulta-violent video game play can be used to fight bigotry. 

12/17/14
In a CNN article, Associate Professor of Communication Arun Vishwanath question why the increasing rate of cyber attacks, hacks, and leaks hasn't lead to a greater amount of public outrage. The internet, he argues, is a virtual extension of our neighborhoods, and yet when there are neighborhood intruders, the public is largely silent. This is in part because of the way news sources choose to report on hacking events and the lack of direct cost to consumers. It is also because the public is in large part responsible for the attacks because of the way in which the internet is accessed, and the dearth of reporting on hacking attempts and successes. Vishwanath suggests the development of a national reporting gateway for cyberthreats, similar to the 911 system, as one way to protect cyberinfrastructures. 
6/4/14
Charitable fundraising once depended primarily upon a charity’s size, efficiency and longstanding reputation. That was before Razoo, Kickstarter, Facebook and Twitter came to town. In the first academic study to look at what determines charitable giving on social-media sites, Gregory Saxton, associate professor in the Department of Communication, and co-author Lili Wang from Arizona State, found that those media have created a more level playing field in the nonprofit world, one in which successful use of technology can make up for limited organizational size. Technology and social media, it turns out, can not only raise the online profile of even small organizations, but increase their support bases and their ability to generate donations online and off. That is among the findings of their recent article, “The Social Network Effect: Determinants of Giving Through Social Media."
6/3/14
New evidence suggests heinous behavior played out in a virtual environment can lead to players’ increased sensitivity toward the moral codes they violated. That is the surprising finding of a study led by Matthew Grizzard, assistant professor in the Department of Communication, and co-authored by researchers at Michigan State University and the University of Texas, Austin.
11/8/13
Armed with a one-year, $56,265 grant from the Population Media Center,  Hua (Helen) Wang, UB assistant professor of communication,  is about to dive into Hulu’s popular teen Latino webnovela “East Los High.”
5/21/13
Because information about climate change is ubiquitous in the media, researchers Janet Yang from the University at Buffalo and Lee Ann Kahlor from UT - Austin looked at why many Americans know so little about its causes and why many are not interested in finding out more. Their study found that people with negative feelings toward climate change seek out more information. The researchers say the study results present several ways to improve the communication of risk information related to climate change.
5/8/13
Listen to a podcast of Dr. Janet Yang discussing her article, co-authored with LeeAnn Kahlor, "What, Me Worry? The Role of Affect in Information Seeking and Avoidance" from the April 2013 issue of Science Communication.
12/4/12
A new study in the Journal of Communication links verbal aggression to prenatal testosterone exposure. The lead researcher, Allison Shaw, at University at Buffalo -- used the 2D:4D measure to predict verbal aggression. This study is the first to use this method to examine prenatal testosterone exposure as a determinant of a communication trait.
12/1/12
A new study by Thomas Feeley, Ashley Anker, and Ariel Aloe has found that, while the well known 'door-in-the-face' strategy has a significant effect on verbal compliance, its effect on behavioral compliance is statistically insignificant. In other words, it may get people to agree to a donation, for instance, but it is not effective in getting them to follow through with their verbal commitment.
10/25/12
In their project, "Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies: Developing Information Communication Strategies for Reducing Infant and Maternal Mortality Rates in Buffalo," UB's Dr. Helen Wang and Ophelia Morey will conduct research with Buffalo Prenatal-Perinatal Network Inc. (BPPN) aimed at encouraging safer pregnancies.
10/23/12
Research by Dr. Mark Frank explores whether machines can read the visual cues that give away human deceit.
10/1/12
According to research by Dr. Janet Yang, we might expect that when offered an effective—and often free—flu vaccine, college students would get one. But the vast majority do not, and it poses a serious threat to their own health and that of those around them.
5/14/12
The Internet is considered primarily a "visual" medium, as opposed to an aural one, and is thought by many to pose little barrier to non-hearing users. So hearing persons may be surprised to learn how difficult and dangerous the Internet can be for culturally Deaf persons seeking medical or health information.
7/13/11
Mark Frank has spent two decades studying the faces of people lying when in high-stakes situations and has good news for security experts.
4/11/11
Two UB professors were among the authors of a study that explores who tends to be more susceptible to email phishing.
3/7/11
In a study published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, UB researcher Michael A. Stefanone, PhD, and colleagues found that females who base their self worth on their appearance tend to share more photos online and maintain larger networks on online social networking sites.