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Interdisciplinary Collaboration Grants Program

The Division of Research established the Interdisciplinary Collaboration Grants (ICG) Program to provide funds to facilitate the development of collaborations at Binghamton University. This program is for investigators who seek to enhance their research opportunities through collaboration and may include projects that represent a new research agenda. Proposals from all areas of scholarship are encouraged.

Two projects received funding in the program's 2019-2020 round of awards:

"Mathematical Models of Media Bias, Polarization and Misinformation Spread Over Networks"

Principal Investigators and Departments: 

Emrah Akyol (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Daniel Magleby (Political Science), Andreas Pape (Economics) 

This project aims to analyze political polarization, media bias and misinformation spread through the lens of game, information and control theories guided by real-world data. The project comprises three parts: a signaling game between a set of selfish (and possibly biased) information and the public that is prone to confirmation bias; a network model for the spread of information in the presence of manipulative agents using tools in control developed for multi-agent consensus settings; and a data-guided parameter optimization for a realistic mathematical model that will allow us to quantify of the impact of different factors (confirmation bias, adversary, etc.) on political polarization and misinformation spread. In addition to several societal impacts, this project will provide the general principles to design a secure and resilient yet transparent public information infra-structure, e.g., mis-information and media-bias aware, robust social networks. This award will allow us to obtain preliminary results that will be used in applications to funding programs of NSF and DoD.


"Coding is Lit: Building 21-Century Literacy Skills with Underrepresented Groups"

Principal Investigators and Departments:

Nicole Fenty (Teaching, Learning and Educational Leadership), Manuel Smeu (Physics), Amber Simpson (Teaching, Learning and Educational Leadership) and Erin Washburn (Teaching Learning and Educational Leadership)

Strong skills in literacy and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are needed to be active and engaged citizens in 21st century society. Researchers have suggested that if STEM activities are integrated with literacy when children are young, they are more likely to develop an interest in STEM. Children from underrepresented groups (i.e., racial/ethnic minorities, girls, and students with or at risk for disabilities) often do not receive equitable access to STEM activities which can create a disadvantage in developing early interests. In the proposed project we plan to involve preschool age children from underrepresented groups in STEM and literacy related coding activities in an effort to engage them early in 21st century literacy skills. We also plan to include BU students and practicing preschool teachers to facilitate the STEM activities. Our interdisciplinary team includes faculty members in Teaching, Learning, Educational Leadership and Physics with expertise in literacy and STEM fields. Through this project we hope to determine if ongoing STEM related experiences impact the communication and problem solving skills of participating children and feelings of self-efficacy of participating teachers and BU students.

Last Updated: 10/22/19