(Updated: Aug. 1, 2014) Research examining facial expression of emotion and research examining the social complexity of Argentine ants — both projects of NIMBioS’ Summer Research Experiences program, were featured in the news recently, and the undergrads working on the projects had the full media experience.
Marina Massaro (Mathematics, SUNY Geneseo); Kelly Moran (Mathematics, Clemson Univ.); and Ben Roberson (Computer Science, UT-Knoxville) were each interviewed on camera, as were their project mentors, psychology professor Jeff Larsen and math professor Chuck Collins, for the facial expressions project.
All three local television news stations as well as the Knoxville News Sentinel attended the event held at Larsen’s pscyhology lab where reporters were able to view how computer software interprets someone’s facial expression while watching different films.
The goal of the project is to better understand how positive and negative emotions, and particularly mixed emotions, are expressed on the face. Understanding how emotions work helps us better understand the nature of human experience. In addition,
answering questions about how people without psychiatric illness experience emotion can help us better understand emotional dysfunction associated with psychiatric illnesses including depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
The project was covered widely in local media. The print and broadcast stories included the following:
The Argentine ant project was also featured in local media. Nicole Rooks (Mathematics, Univ. of Tennessee, Chattanooga), John Marken (Mathematics, College of William & Mary), Brian Whyte (Ecology, SUNY Plattsburgh) along with their mentors, Keenan Mack and Matt Zefferman, were interviewed.
The research seeks to develop an agent-based model to explore how, where and over what timeframe large-scale cooperation within an Argentine ant supercolony could break down.
The following link takes you to media coverage on the local CBS affiliate, WBIR: