Prof. Ziewitz at the Due Process Clinic

New Undergraduate Cornell Clinic Researches Automated Scoring Systems

When typing a simple Google search on the Internet, a vast array of systems have the power to decide which links or topics occupy the coveted top results page. However, automated scoring systems may contain unconscious bias due to a variety of factors — system designers may bring their personal bias when designing algorithms or the data sets used for machine learning may already contain bias. The proliferation of rating or ranking systems in everyday life often leads to complaints of online misrepresentation. Cornell’s Due Process Clinic, an undergraduate “clinical” course designed to understand automated scoring systems such as credit scores and search engine rankings, started sending student researchers to collect qualitative data and build their own case studies on these systems.

Clinic director, Prof. Malte Ziewitz, science and technology studies, founded the clinic because he wanted to use legal frameworks to research non-legal situations. The clinic tries to assess how someone who would not have access to a public relations expert could deal with online backlash or poor reviews, hoping to understand the consequences of those who have been misrepresented or ranked improperly.

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Change in Federal Policy Puts Lives of Migratory Birds at Stake

For over 100 years, industrial activities inflicting harm to various bird species were regulated by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. In recent months, President Donald Trump’s administration has taken steps to overrule this legislation so that companies would no longer be held liable for unintentionally harming birds — which could potentially have harmful implications for the environment.

The Science of Human Bonding

Whether you decide to actually meet your Perfect Match, go out with your significant other or stay in for a night of Netflix with friends, Valentine’s Day can be an opportunity to appreciate the bonds and love we have for each other as humans. But the bonds we’ve formed over the course of our lives don’t just start with us — human bonding is as old as humanity itself.

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‘An Advocate for Science’: A Reflection on Former President Frank H.T. Rhodes’ Scientific Legacy at Cornell

Although widely known for serving as Cornell’s ninth president from 1977 to 1995, the late Frank H.T. Rhodes was also a reputable paleontologist. Prof. Warren Allmon, earth and atmospheric sciences- who used to frequently host Rhodes as a guest lecturer in his paleobiology course – discussed Rhodes’ legacy in the scientific community with The Sun. Rhodes, who died on Feb. 3, was an invertebrate paleontologist, studying the fossils of species without backbones. He specialized in conodonts, extinct microfossils that have a tooth-like structure.

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Cornell Engineers Turn to Nature for Solving Machinery’s Age Old Dilemma

While machines seem to have boundless capabilities, there has been one factor limiting machines since their inception: heat. Cornell engineers, Prof. Rob Shepherd, mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Prof. Emmanuel Giannelis, material science and engineering, sought to battle heat through sweating — the same method employed by students walking up the slope on a hot summer day. Shepherd and Gianelis employed 3D-printing techniques to stimulate sweating in robots, which they are currently testing on a robotic hand. High powered robots currently require maintenance after extended use because of the heat they build up during use. One of the collaborators from Shepherd’s Organic Robotics Lab, Anand Mishra, told The Sun the initial research project was “bio-inspired” — the basic functions of living things influenced the researchers, prompting them to design this multifunctional robotic hand.