The magazine for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at
Iowa State University
(Photo courtesy of Jingang Wang, professor of physics and astronomy)
(Photo courtesy of Jingang Wang, professor of physics and astronomy)

LAS News

News and information from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Keep up with the college on our news site:

Students’ self-checkout fraud detection model wins international data mining competition

A team of 12 ISU graduate students won the 20th annual international Data Mining Cup after besting 150 teams from 114 universities and 28 countries. Their effective and stable mathematical model was designed to expose fraud at grocery store self-checkout stations without causing unnecessary hassles for innocent customers. Team members hailed from the following departments: Statistics, industrial and manufacturing systems engineering, and bioinformatics and computational biology.

Supercurrent acceleration discovery could boost ultrafast computing

Jigang Wang, professor of physics and astronomy, and a team of collaborators have discovered that terahertz light—light at trillions of cycles per second—can act as a control knob to accelerate supercurrents. This finding could help to enable many practical applications of quantum mechanics, such as computing, sensing and communicating.

Iowa Poet Laureate Deb Marquart details her "crooked, accidental" path through life

Deb Marquart, Iowa State University Distinguished professor of English, steps into her new role as Iowa's Poet Laureate and shares the story of her colorful journey. From a childhood filled with books to her experiences as a traveling musician, Marquart reveals the transitions and encounters that have shaped her life.

Want to get your creative juices flowing? Play some Minecraft!

Video games that foster creative freedom, such as Minecraft, can increase creativity according to Douglas Gentile, professor of psychology. Gentile and his colleagues detailed their findings in a paper, “Video Games Can Increase Creativity, but with Caveats.” The study was published by Creativity Research Journal.

Four LAS assistant professors earn prestigious CAREER award from the National Science Foundation

Mohan Gupta, Jacqueline Reber, Robbyn Anand, and Brett VanVeller recently received a 2019 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Read about their promising and innovative research that garnered the NSF’s top award for up-and-coming researchers.

LAS students showcase entrepreneurship and innovation at the Iowa State Fair

Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences flexed their innovative and entrepreneurial muscles during Iowa State University’s Standing Innovation Pitch Competition at the Iowa State Fair. These clever entrepreneurs competed for an opportunity to ultimately win a $5,000 prize.

What’s driving more women to drink? Iowa State researchers dig into the data

More women are drinking alcohol and an Iowa State University research team is working to understand why. Susan Steward, Gloria Jones Johnson and Cassandra Dorius conducted the study and presented their preliminary findings at the American Sociological Association’s Annual Meeting.

LAS students receive Dean’s High Impact Undergraduate Awards and seize summer research opportunities

From examining ancient burial rites in Mexico and sequencing genes—to exploring computational chemistry—a select group of students from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences spent the summer as funded LAS undergraduate researchers. Thirty-four LAS students received the Dean’s High Impact Undergraduate Research Awards to support their summer undergraduate research projects.