University of Texas at Austin

Archive for the ‘Communications’ Category


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Batty love songs

George Pollak

George Pollak

The experiment began in a backyard barn. Instruments used included sophisticated recording equipment. A strong regimen of statistical analysis capped it off.

The result: evidence that suggests that male bats sing songs with distinguishable syllables and phrases to attract females, and in some cases, to warn other males to stay away. The paper written about the study was published in PLOS One.

The research was a collaboration of the owner of the barn, Barbara Schmidt-French of Bat Conservation International; George Pollak, a
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Monday, July 20, 2009

Going mobile in meetings

Jenn Davis and Keri Stephens

Jenn Davis and Keri Stephens

Keri Stephens, an assistant professor of communications studies, is in the midst of a research project investigating how people in organizations—businesses, nonprofits, schools and others—use cell phones, smart phones, pagers and similar devices.

Her first results show that when people use their devices in meetings they do so because they see other people doing it. Or if others aren’t using the devices, they won’t either.

Going in, Stephens and her co-author Jenn Davis thought that people were texting and
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Friday, March 6, 2009

Clarifying a climate debate

LeeAnn Kahlor

LeeAnn Kahlor

Those tracking the Earth’s temperatures might want to make a notation of a heat spike in February 2009.

That’s when newspaper columnist George Will wrote about his skepticism on global warming and the role of humans. He cited scientific data that he said supported his conclusions. Others said that Will misread, misinterpreted and mischaracterized the data, not least of all the scientists who compiled that data. More about the ruckus can be found at http://ksjtracker.mit.edu/?p=8707.

Argument, some of it heated, ensued in newspapers
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