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Gallo chosen for Gates Grand Challenges Grant  

Posted: July 5, 2017

Maria Gallo, associate professor of epidemiology at the College of Public Health, recently received a boost to her research with the news that she was selected for a $100,000 Bill and Melinda Gates Grand Challenges Explorations Award. The funding will support Gallo’s research to adapt a validated computer-based psychological test — the Implicit Association Test — to measure the implicit opinions of women in Vietnam on hormonal contraceptives to encourage use.
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Category : General

The Gender Pay Gap is So Much Worse Than We Thought

Posted: June 16, 2017

The gender pay gap is so much worse than we thought.

Gabriela Montell, The Chronicle of Higher Education 

The wage gap between college-educated men and women starts small, but it snowballs significantly over time, the economists Erling Barth, Claudia Goldin, Sari Pekkala Kerr, and Claudia Olivetti write in an article in the Harvard Business Review. By his early 40s, the average male grad takes home a whopping 55 percent more than the average female grad, the researchers found.

The reason? (Hint: if you think it’s primarily because women “choose” low-paying careers, guess again.) Marriage and motherhood — or, more precisely, the traditional gender roles women tend to adopt after tying the knot and having kids — are the pivotal factors, the researchers say. A woman’s earning power falls after she marries, thanks to a catch-22, Claire Cain Miller explains in a related article in The New York Times. Because she already earns less, it might seem sensible for a wife to put her husband’s career before her own, at least temporarily, Ms. Miller notes. But that’s where things cascade.

More often than not, it’s the wife who moves for her husband’s job (often hurting her career prospects in the process) and shoulders the bulk of the household and child-care duties, writes Ms. Miller, who is a Times correspondent. (The lack of parental leave and child-care policies in the U.S. doesn’t help any.) That in turn makes her more likely to scale back her hours (though even when she doesn’t, heremployer will pay her less on the presumption that she might), she writes. All of which undermines her long-term earnings potential (and any hope of recouping her losses) and fosters more gender bias. It’s enough to make a woman’s head spin.

The gap is widest for college-educated women in high-paying jobs, the economists say, since those positions pay more and put a premium on face time and fixed hours. (The pay gap for less-educated women expands with age, too, but less so only because men without college degrees lack the higher pay prospects of their more-educated male peers, the researchers note.) Their findings suggest that short of women staying single and childless, the keys to greater pay parity might lie in more flexible work hours, opportunities to work remotely, and a fairer labor division at home, Ms. Miller concludes.

Sally Hubbard, a legal journalist at Slate, would agree. Her biggest career break wasn’t a promotion or a job offer, but when her spouse took the lead at home, she writes in a recent column: “My husband left his law firm job to start his own firm from home. I knew the change would be good for him, but I had no idea how good it would be for me,” she explains.

Of course, to fight gender pay discrimination a woman needs to know when it’s happening in the first place. That’s where ending taboos on sharing pay information (prohibitions on doing so have long been illegal, as NPR notes) and promoting transparency come in, Kristin Wong suggests in a New Yorkmagazine article. She notes that shady employment practices — including gender bias — tend to thrive on secrecy. (Witness the recent Labor Department suit against Google, she adds.) Disclosing pay data, meanwhile, looks increasingly like a win-win scenario for employees and employers, she notes, pointing to studies showing that employees work harder and collaborate better when salaries are public.

The good news is more cities and states are introducing legislation that bars employers from penalizing workers who discuss pay and prohibits hirers from asking for salary histories.

Another study circulating online suggests that if men had more daughters, there might be greater parity, since fathers of girls tend to treat women better in the workplace, The Washington Post reports. Harvard University researchers compared venture capitalists with and without daughters and found that the former were 24 percent more likely to hire a female investment partner, the Post notes. What’s more, those who did fared better financially, the newspaper adds. While this isn’t the first study to suggest that dads of girls are more pro-equality, it does show that diversity is the reason these firms are more profitable. What seems like positive news on the surface, though, may seem less so on further reflection, Lucia Peters says in an article on Bustle: “Men shouldn’t need to have daughters in order to want to promote gender equality in the workplace and at home. It’s yet another reminder that our culture so frequently values women only insofar as they have relationships to men.”

The workplace is even less equitable for black women.

A new report from the Institute of Women’s Policy Research confirms that African-American women, hit by the double whammy of sexism and racism, really do get shafted in the workplace, an article on Slate notes. What’s more, unlike many of their white counterparts, black women are more likely to work full time and less likely to have high-earning husbands or partners to help carry the financial load, the article says.

Category : General

New Faculty Spotlight: Vanessa Chen

Posted: June 16, 2017

Vanessa ChenWhether through her research in humanizing machine systems, or connecting to students in the classroom, Vanessa Chen remains dedicated to finding the humanity in engineering.

After gaining her doctorate in electrical and computer engineering (ECE) at Carnegie Mellon University, Chen said goodbye to Pennsylvania and eventually took an Assistant Professor position at The Ohio State University.

Working in the department of ECE, she just wrapped up her first semester as an assistant professor teaching Advanced Topics in Analog VLSI Design, or ECE 7027.

“[It] provides a good understanding how performance specifications and process technology limitations lead to implementation decisions,” Chen said.

The class covered a comprehensive overview of systems like time-interleaved, delta-sigma, flash and folding, pipeline and SAR analog-to-digital-converters (ADCs). This fall semester, Chen teaches ECE 3020, or Introduction to Electronics.

No matter the class, students remain her top priority.

“[I enjoy] working with bright students on interesting projects,” Chen said. “And helping students become successful researchers and engineers.”

Lately, Chen is very engaged with her research program on world-to-information interfaces.

“My research interest include low-power circuit designs and self-healing algorithms,” said Chen. “The ultimate goal is to integrate sensing, computing and communication in a single platform.”

She hopes to use the single platform to create a more advanced interaction between humans and machines, and even machines with other machines.

“This research is expected to enable the possibilities of personal biomedicine, for better quality of life, through ubiquitous sensing and cloud computing,” Chen said.

Plus, the department has taken quite a liking to her fact-findings. In the spring of 2018, Chen will teach a new course she developed based on her research. Integrated Circuit Design of Data Converters and Phase-Locked Loops, or ECE 7020, overviews the most recent system architectures and provides real life case studies for further understanding of the content.

Apart from her new course and research, Chen has even more goals. She hopes to collaborate more with other faculty members on projects or research.

“In the circuit area there are faculty who work on power management and RF/sensor front-ends,” said Chen. “It would be great to team up with them and work on a project that has a bigger impact on the society.”

For more information on Chen, her research and teachings visit: https://u.osu.edu/vchen/

Article by ECE Student PR Writer, Lydia Freudenberg

Category : General

Grejner-Brzezinska named Associate Dean for Research

Posted: June 2, 2017

Dorota A. Grejner-Brzezinska, professor and chair of the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering, has been named associate dean for research in the College of Engineering. Effective September 1, she will lead the research endeavors of over 950 faculty and staff, oversee the college’s research operations—totaling more than $128 million in annual research expenditures—and grow strategic industry partnerships with companies such as Battelle, Honda and GE Aviation. She also will lead the IP and commercialization strategy for the college.

Grejner-Brzezinska has earned an international reputation in the areas of global positioning system and multi-sensor integration for assured navigation. She is a Fellow of The Institute of Navigation and The Royal Institute of Navigation, concluding her two-year term as president of the Institute of Navigation in February 2017. She also has extensive experience with major state and federal funding opportunities, including the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, Department of Defense, NASA and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

“Dorota’s combination of extraordinary scholarly activity and political acumen makes her ideally suited to lead the college’s research operations,” said Dean David B. Williams. “I look forward to working with her to grow our scholarly reputation, broaden the influence of our research in regional, national and international economic development, and increase our research expenditures and the number of, and support available to, our graduate students.”

Grejner-Brzezinska has served as chair of the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering since 2013 and has deep experience in research leadership, having directed the Satellite Position and Inertial Navigation (SPIN) Lab for several years. She has been PI or co-PI on multiple grants generating $20 million of research expenditures and authored or co-authored 320 papers and given 130 invited talks and keynote lectures in more than 20 countries. Within the college, she has won the Lumley Interdisciplinary Research Award along with the Harrison Award for Excellence in Engineering Education. She earned her Ph.D. and master’s degree at Ohio State.

Regarding her upcoming appointment, Grejner-Brzezinska said, “Serving as associate dean for research is a responsibility I do not take lightly. I am eager to work with college leadership, faculty and staff to continue growing our signature research programs, seek strategic hires and leaders in these areas, identify new strengths we can build on and utilize research to attract the best, brightest and most diverse talent to our labs and classrooms.”

Category : General

Kris Gremillion Appointed Chair of the Department of Anthropology

Posted: June 2, 2017

Kris Gremillion has been appointed to serve as chair of the Department of Anthropology. Her appointment begins on June 1, 2017. Gremillion earned her PhD in anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989 and served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution before joining the faculty in the Department of Anthropology at Ohio State in 1991.

Gremillion is an archaeologist and paleoethnobotanist who studies the evolution of human diet and subsistence practices in ecological context. Her research applies evolutionary theory to explain long-term changes in the ecological relationships between people and their plant resources. She is particularly interested in how and why systems of agriculture and other forms of food production developed in ancient North America.

Gremillion pioneered the application of human behavioral ecology to the explanation of agricultural origins, using optimization models to examine the economic logic of food choice and land use. Her other major area of research is the transmission of botanical knowledge, dietary innovation and the emergence of novel cuisines in the context of colonialism. Her fieldwork has taken her to the cliffs of the Cumblerland Plateau in eastern Kentucky, where protected sandstone overhangs have preserved organic material for thousands of years. She analyzes plant remains from these archaeological sites in order to document the subsistence ecology of the human groups that occupied them.

Gremillion has published many articles on human dietary variability in journals including American Antiquity, Current Anthropology and the Journal of Archaeological Science as well as several edited volumes. In her book, Ancestral Appetites (Cambridge University Press, 2011), Gremillion demonstrates how evolutionary processes have shaped the diversification of human diet over several million years of prehistory. She is working on her second book about indigenous systems of food production in pre-Columbian North America.

Category : General

Congratulations to the REACH for Commercialization 2017 Cohort

Posted: May 24, 2017

On April 21, 2017, twenty-three cohort members made up of faculty, postdoctoral scholars and one PhD candidate completed the 2017 REACH for Commercialization workshop series. REACH inspires women to commercialize their research through interactive workshops over four months.  The 2017 cohort includes:

Jennifer Ahn-Jarvis, Postdoctoral Research, College of Dentistry

Amal Amer, Associate Professor, College of Medicine

Ginny L. Bumgardner, Professor, College of Medicine

Vanessa Chen, Assistant Professor, College of Engineering

Estelle Cormet-Boyaka, Associate Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine

Ozlem Dogan Ekici, Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences

Irem Eryilmaz, Assistant Professor, College of Engineering

Joelle Fenger, Assistant Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine

Lisa Fiorentini, Clinical Assistant Professor, College of Engineering

Bridget Freisthler, Professor, College of Social Work

Shannon Gillespie, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing

Nina R. Kieves, Assistant Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine

Asimina Kiourti, Assistant Professor, College of Engineering

Ashanti Matlock, PhD Candidate, College of Arts and Sciences

Maria Isabel Menendez, Research Scientist, The Wright Center of Innovation

Lisa K. Militello, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing

Amanda Robinson Panfil, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, College of Veterinary Medicine

Amanda Quisenberry, Postdoctoral Associate, College of Public Health

Emily Rosenthal-Kim, Commercialization Program Director, Fisher College of Business

Kyoung Lee Swearingen, Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences

Katelyn E. Swindle-Reilly, Assistant Professor, College of Engineering

Hua Wang, Professor, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Amy Youngs, Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences


Category : Featured Articles / General

$1 Million for Tech Investment via Accelerator Awards

Posted: May 8, 2017

The Accelerator Awards program provides Ohio State researchers up to $100,000 to advance and further develop promising technologies and bring them closer to market. Concept development, prototyping, coding, market studies and customer validation efforts are eligible uses for this award. The awards are available to all Ohio State researchers who have disclosed their inventions to the Technology Commercialization Office. Applications for this round of funding are due Monday (6/19).
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Contact or 614-688-2753

Category : General