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

Q&A: Miners got game

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Honoring new academy members

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Boosting cyber-physical security

A wide array of complex systems that rely on computers — from public water supply systems and electric grids to chemical plants and self-driving vehicles — increasingly come under not just digital but physical attacks. Bruce McMillin, professor and interim chair of computer science at Missouri S&T, is looking to change that by developing stronger safeguards […]

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MXene discovery could improve energy storage

In spite of their diminutive size, 2-D titanium carbide materials known as MXenes are “quite reactive” to water, a discovery S&T researchers say could have implications for energy storage and harvesting applications such as batteries, supercapacitors and beyond. Their findings were published in 2018 in the American Chemical Society journal Inorganic Chemistry.

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A faster charge for electric vehicles

One drawback of electric vehicles (EVs) is the time it takes to charge them. But what if you could plug in your EV and fully charge it as quickly as it takes to fill up a conventional car with gasoline? Missouri S&T researchers, in collaboration with three private companies, are working to make speedy charging […]

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