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Parking Stays Un-Privatized at Indiana University

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Indiana University Treasurer Mary Frances McCourt has estimated that parking operations on campus could generate a $43 million profit over the next twenty years. She presented her findings to the IU Board of Trustees on Friday.

McCourt recommended in October that the university should control its own revenue stream, and the board accepted. McCourt said parking prices will be determined by market peer-rate settings and suggests the funds go to building and repairing facilities on campus.

Parking revenue and expenses currently balance out, but McCourt said sometimes expenses can exceed revenue when facility upgrades are required. The university is considering putting automated parking equipment in garages on some campuses, which would be a one-point-nine million dollar investment.

IU Trustee Patrick Shoulders approved of the board’s decision to control revenue, but disagreed about where the funds should go.

“First of all, I’m glad that the decision has been made NOT to privatize parking operations and that parking will remain a function of the university,” Shoulders says, “We retain the flexibility and ability to maintain those lots to the standards we demand. To the extent that parking rates are increased, I hope nay excess revenue is invested in our people. I think that some of our employees start at hourly wages that simply don’t pay a living wage.”

Details about the reformed parking rate structure will be released by IU officials in the spring.

Dean of IU’s SPEA Testified In Support of EPA ‘Secret Science’ Bill

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John D. Graham, dean of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University and former senior official in President George W. Bush’s Office of Management and Budget, testified on Tuesday in support of a bill that prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, from using what backers of the legislation call ‘secret science.’

The bill, introduced by U.S. House Republicans, would prohibit the EPA from proposing new regulations based on science that is not transparent or reproducible.

“Most of the EPA-related studies that may not satisfy the reproducibility standard are in the air quality area,” Graham said, “The environmental epidemiology field does not yet have a strong position in favor of public access to data, which is necessary for reproducibility. The transparency standard is more widely accepted.”

The measure is sponsored by Subcommittee Chairman David Schweikert, a Republican from Arizona. In discussing the bill’s future, Graham said, “There is a mid-March meeting at the National Academy of Sciences where the reproducibility issue will be discussed in more detail by multiple stakeholders. Once that meeting occurs, it will become apparent whether the scientific community will support or oppose the bill.”

The Strike Mic – February 11, 2014

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This week on The Strike Mic, an anonymous source offers speculation on the recent news that Indiana University will no longer offer a summer tuition discount for its Bloomington campus.

IU Researchers Receive Grant to Prove Advantages of Data Mining for Healthcare

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Artificial intelligence in hospitals working with doctors to prescribe treatment sounds like something straight out of the movies. Researchers at the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University are working to make this a reality.

The process, which uses data mining and a method called machine learning, could lead the way to a cheaper, better healthcare system. The research being done now is a collaboration of separate research started in 2010. Assistant Professor at IU Kris Hauser is one of the Principal Investigators.

“This was started a few years ago by one of my students who is now a part of this project and he had access to some good data with Centerstone research,” Hauser says, “We got together in my artificial intelligence class and we designed a system to try to recommend when and how much to treat people with mental health disorders. This new project is an attempt to expand that into new clinical domains. That includes cardiology, E.R. readmissions, and to improve the existing application.”

Hauser received his PhD. In Computer Science at Stanford University and won the CAREER award last year from the National Science Foundation.

The research centers mostly around a mathematical framework that can mine existing data to detect patterns. What this means for healthcare is that computers could access a patients complete medical records and suggest a treatment plan that wouldn’t conflict with any past conditions.

One of the obstacles in getting this framework to be effective is the lack of uniformity in hospitals nationwide with their electronic record keeping. Hauser says that until the historical quirks get worked out, they have to work very closely with their data providers to be able to use the data. Once it becomes easier to access the data, the machine learning framework will be able to access more and more data to make more complex treatment plans.

“You can’t really see a pattern unless you have enough data,” Hauser says, “So that’s what the A.I. is trying to do, look at patterns in the data to try and predict how new patients will behave. The more data you get, the more of a complete picture you get of a new patient. While every person is, to some extent, unique, there are some patterns as well in how your disease is progressing and how you might respond to a treatment. The more people we have like you as a patient, the better our predictions will be.

The other Principal Investigator of the research, Sriraam Natarajan, has worked closely with data in the fields of artificial intelligence and its application to bio-medical problems. He explains how this data mining and learning is something we see in our daily lives and that it could easily be harnessed to use in healthcare.

“I think that many people do not clearly see the impact data can have on their day-to-day lives,” Natarajan says, “Of course they see it when Google uses their data to better provide a service, like giving better search results for a movie to watch or a product to buy. I feel that the impact could be similar in terms of healthcare where data can aid in improving the quality of life and treatments, and hopefully lower the costs.”

The goal of the research is not to replace doctors but rather help them in their decision-making. Hauser says the reason this would be so helpful is because doctors don’t always have the time to look at all the data a computer could. In this instance, time is certainly money and Hauser says this research would not only improve the quality of healthcare but also bring down the cost for the patient.

“Our medical system is filled with billions and billions of dollars of wasted opportunities for treating people in a cost-effective way,” Hauser says, “Doctors over-prescribe medicines, they over-prescribe treatments, and they may not be doing the most effect treatments because they may have missed something about a person’s medical history. The information here is to let the doctor make the most informed choice. Doctors already don’t have a lot of time to spend with a patient and the medical history. This has the opportunity to digest the information for them and present it in a user-friendly way, then we have to see a better outcome.”

The research just received a $686,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant will help the researchers work towards trying out the intelligent computer frameworks on real patients in a real hospital setting.

“This provides the opportunity to save money, even in a single-disease scenario,” Hauser says, “Clinical depression, for example, is a multi-billion dollar industry. If we even save one percent of costs, this is paying back the investment many, many times over.”

New Art Exhibit Opening At Art Museum Features IU Faculty

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A new art exhibit, featuring work from faculty artists from the Hope School of Fine Arts, opens Jan. 25 at the Indiana University Art Museum. Featuring nearly 40 current and former faculty members, the exhibit will showcase works of a wide variety, including ceramics, digital art, graphic design, paintings, sculpture, photography, and textile.

Katherine Paschal, manager of communication and public relations for the IU Art Museum, says their aim is to highlight the work of Hope School faculty.

“Visitors will gain insight into the creativity, the technical skills and the conceptual and cross-disciplinary issues that concern many of todays artists,” Paschal says.

The exhibit is open to the public, and will be held in the special exhibitions gallery until March 9, 2014.

 

The Strike Mic – December 3, 2013

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This week on The Strike Mic, a student talks about the unfair hiring and firing practices of Indiana University maintenance faculty.

The Strike Mic – November 19, 2013

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On today’s Strike Mic, Morgan tells us about the Trad Youth student organization and what it is doing to the community.

The Strike Mic – November 5, 2013

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This week on The Strike Mic, Ph.D candidate Christopher Miles speaks about the student input that went into the proposal of a merged Media School at Indiana University, and how it compares to the plan adopted by IU trustees last month.

Tune in every Tuesday for a new edition of The Strike Mic, a weekly update from your friends and neighbors working to strengthen the voice of IU students and staff.

Daily Local News – November 4, 2013

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Union and management at the local General Electric plant have reached an agreement around the personnel layoffs that the company announced in September; The City of Bloomington Housing and Neighborhood Development Department will host a workshop next Thursday, November 14th; The Richland Bean Blossom School Board didn’t get enough votes October 21st to approve a teacher handbook that was supported by the teacher union and the administration; Indiana University is part of a five-year research program that focuses on detecting and defending against cyber-attacks.

FEATURE
Additional I69 Pollution Complaints Filed
This morning a landowner in Southern Monroe County filed his 11th formal complaint since March, about pollution in the waterways near his home. Much like his previous complaints, as well as those of his neighbors, Thomas Tokarski provided photos that show the creeks and streams filled with brown, sediment-filled water. The cause is erosion from the Interstate 69 right-of-way, where crews have been clearing vegetation for months. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has cited contractors working on the project with failure to control the erosion, and some contractors have been forced to stop construction altogether while they deal with the issue. But Tokarski says they haven’t fixed the problem, and the rain storms late last week led to even more contamination. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford spoke with Tokarski, and we bring you that conversation for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

ACTIVATE
Molly O’Donnell, Bloomington’s “Be More” Volunteer award winner, and Ben Brabson, Indiana University Climate Scientist, talk about Earth Care Bloomington and its mission to promote sustainability, on Activate, our weekly segment spotlighting people working for positive change in our community.

CREDITS
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy, Yin Yuan, and Allison Schroeder,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Joe Crawford.
Activate was produced by Jennifer Whitaker,
Our engineers were Lauren Glapa and Chris Martin,
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

The Strike Mic – October 15, 2013

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This week on The Strike Mic, a musical and informational event will address the recent layoffs of Indiana University staff, as well as the decision to dismantle the Indiana School of Journalism.

Tune in every Tuesday for a new edition of The Strike Mic, a weekly update from your friends and neighbors working to strengthen the voice of IU students and staff.

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