Making ‘smart’ decisions

By studying a combination of physical actions, social behavior analysis and data analytics, Missouri S&T researchers hope to better understand how people make decisions when interacting with technology in “smart” environments.

S.N. Balakrishnan, Curators’ Distinguished Professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Devin Burns, assistant professor of psychological science, say the outcomes of the study could be applied to consumer energy use, purchasing behavior, governmental regulations and even medical diagnoses.

“Studies have shown that when people are presented with two pieces of information, their decisions show differences depending on which piece is presented first,” says Burns. “We are hoping to move a step beyond describing these cognitive quirks and will test if simple behavioral interventions can help decision makers avoid being unduly influenced by the chance timing of information.”

Using decision-making situations capable of producing results that consider the “smart” environment they are made in, the researchers hope to gather data about how individuals made their choices.

Around the Puck

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2018

8,607 Students enrolled for the fall semester at Missouri S&T. Classes started Aug. 20. 91 Percentage of first-year freshmen who receive scholarships and financial aid.

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Making tornado alley safer

Growing up in northeast China, Guirong “Grace” Yan didn’t see many tornados in a country where the number of documented twisters is a fraction of those that hit the United States. But as her academic career took Yan to several postdoctoral fellowships and then faculty positions in Indiana, Missouri and Texas, the assistant professor of […]

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Living laboratory houses lead battery research

This past November, Missouri S&T installed two new advanced lead battery microgrid systems at the EcoVillage, a “living laboratory” that is home to S&T’s solar-powered homes.

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Partners for progress

An expansion of the partnership between Missouri S&T and Missouri State University will allow students to pursue a mechanical engineering degree on the Missouri State campus with courses taught by faculty from both institutions. Students began applying this fall. The program will begin in fall 2019.

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Chancellor search is underway

This past August, University of Missouri President Mun Choi announced the formation of a 23-member committee to lead a nationwide search for a chancellor at Missouri S&T.

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