10 stories
Gender Disparity
Northeastern professor’s work shows gendered language in teacher reviews
Would you say that a female college professor is more likely to be annoying, bossy, or unfair? Or that a male professor has a better chance of being wise, intelligent, or awesome? An interactive chart gaining attention on social media this week suggests just that. By using 14 million teacher reviews from, Northeastern history professor Ben Schmidt created a data visualization that allows users to explore words used to describe male and female teachers. By typing any word into the box, the chart rearranges to display how often the word is used and in which subject areas. Many of the results illustrate gendered language. Read More
Beta Testing
Test ride: The prototype electric skateboard from Dash Electric
It would be hard to come up with a shakier scenario for testing a prototype electric skateboard: slick sidewalks from recent rain, journalist who has never been on a longboard before, snow starting to blow, and a test course shared with bikers. The skateboard was designed by Dash Electric, a Boston startup founded by Northeastern University student Ian Carlson. Last month, Dash raised $15,000 in initial funding from Rough Draft Ventures, a student-run venture team that invests money on behalf of General Catalyst Partners, a Cambridge firm. Read More
To track a killer
Boston researchers trying to forecast Ebola’s spread, but more data would help
(Reuters photo)
As the biggest Ebola outbreak in history continues to claim lives, a handful of researchers are using mathematical models and knowledge about the virus to predict the reach of the disease before it strikes. Among them is Northeastern University researcher Alessandro Vespignani, but he and others are stymied by a lack of data about the outbreak and the disease itself, according to a news report in Science. Read More
Legal graffiti
Scribble on this white van, then go get a master's degree
whiteboard challenge
If you were at TechJam last week, or frequent the Kendall Square Farmers' Market, or plan to attend this weekend’s Star Trek Convention (don’t admit that last one), you’ll probably notice a large white van. It’s not a kidnapper. It’s actually a creative marketing strategy designed to drum up interest in Northeastern University’s new master of science in innovation program. Read More
Size matters
Nanomedicine promises better implants for Gronk and the rest of us
Tom Webster is working on surgical implants that speed healing and reduce infection at his nanomedicine lab.

When New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski missed the first six games of last season because of a forearm injury, what kept him off the field was not the broken bone he suffered months earlier but rather a persistent infection where he received a metal plate to help repair his arm.

Tom Webster, a chemical engineer at Northeastern University, believes Gronkowski might have avoided infection and returned to action faster if the plate had been made of a new kind of material in development at his nanomedicine laboratory.

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Kendall Square Formula
Who invited them? Innovation party crashers keep coming as Northeastern launches new journalism program
Professor Jeff Howe will direct a new graduate program in media innovation at Northeastern (Brooks Canaday/Courtesy of Northeastern University)
First the musicians, now the reporters. Sorry, tech types. There’s another crasher at your innovation party. Northeastern University’s School of Journalism has received a $250,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to help launch a new graduate program focused on media innovation. Read More