Bee census complete
The San Jose Mercury News featured the results of Associate Professor of Biology Grechen LeBuhn's Great Sunflower Project annual bee count in an Aug. 21 article. More than 100,000 "citizen scientists" made observations in 12,000 gardens across the country. "We're really interested in doing deeper comparisons of rural and urban and suburban areas, and what that means for pollinators," LeBuhn said. "We were surprised that community gardens had such high visitation rates, but that's good news because they're important sources of food production, and we want to make sure they're getting enough pollinators."
Earwig arm wrestling
An Aug. 20 article in The New York Times reported the findings of Assistant Professor of Biology Andrew Zink's research on earwig battles. "It’s basically a type of an arm wrestling, where they mostly tend to wrestle their right arm versus their left arm," Zink said. While large earwigs have the advantage, small males with asymmetrical pincers held the edge over their more symmetrical peers.
Coding for success
Professor and Chair of Computer Science Dragutin Petkovic's nascent investigation into the pitfalls of software development was the topic of an Aug. 16 Phys.org article. "Imagine if you could measure, during the class, how often teams use software tools or how often they meet, for example, and a computer would objectively tell you which teams are likely to fail," Petkovic said. "This is a dramatic and, I would say, radical solution to the problem. You could then use this 'early prediction' to adjust your teaching and help potentially failing teams. Or in a work environment, alert the management to address the issue before it is too late."
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