Nebraska in the national news: September 2016

Nebraska in the national news: September 2016

The publishing field buzzed in September over a new book by Matthew Jockers, English, and his co-author and former student Jodie Archer detailing their supercomputing efforts to break the “code” behind bestselling novels. The two used the Tusker cluster at the Holland Computing Center to analyze 4,500 novels, developing algorithms to predict bestsellers with more than 80 percent accuracy.

Their book, “The Bestseller Code,” was released Sept. 20 to worldwide reviews and news articles, including The New York Times on Sept. 2, the Guardian on Sept. 10 and Sept. 25, The Times of London on Sept. 10, The Weekly Standard on Sept. 12, The Atlantic on Sept. 13, Wired on Sept. 16, and The New Yorker on Sept. 23.

Other University of Nebraska-Lincoln people and topics mentioned in nearly 50 national news articles in September included:

KCUR, a National Public Radio affiliate in Kansas City, quoted Stacy Adams, agronomy and horticulture, for a Sept. 6 report on Midwest farmers' growing interest in raising hops for beer.

After President Obama nominated a Muslim man for a federal judgeship, apparently for the first time, Brian Bornstein, psychology and law, was among the experts discussing how religious faith might influence judges for a Sept. 28 article.

Justin Chase Brown, scholarships and financial aid; Collette McCurdy, student accounts; and Megan Scherling, student affairs; were quoted by GoodCall for a Sept. 23 story advising students not to use credit cards to pay tuition, considering their high interest rates and fees. GoodCall is a personal finance website with a focus on college expenses.

PBS NewsHour featured a video essay by Jennine Capó Crucet, English, on what it's like to be a first-generation college student.

The fire-starting drones under development by Carrick Detweiler and Sebastian Elbaum, computer science and engineering; and Dirac Twidwell, agronomy and horticulture; were featured Sept. 2 on BTN's LiveBig program.

Wheeler Winston Dixon, film studies, was quoted in a Sept. 30 Los Angeles Times article about Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin's aggressive moves in Hollywood. Jianlin's media conglomerate owns the nation's second-largest theater chain and a major U.S. film producer. He is in talks to buy Dick Clark Productions and has pursued Paramount Pictures. The report appeared in several California papers, such as the Burbank Leader, the Glendale News Press, LaCanada Valley Sun and Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot.

Frans von der Dunk, space law, was interviewed for a Sept. 27 Popular Science article about the laws that might govern the Mars colony proposed by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

A time-lapse video of corn growing, created in part by Roger Elmore, agronomy and horticulture, and Justin McMechan, entomology, was featured Sept. 19 by Farm Journal.

Chancellor Ronnie Green's inaugural State of the University address, which outlined ambitious plans to distinguish the university from its Big Ten peers, was picked up by the Associated Press and widely carried.

The Washington Post interviewed David Harwood, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, for a Sept. 20 report on a new study about diatom fossils found atop Antarctic mountain ranges. The story appeared in other outlets as well, including the Standard-Examiner in Ogden, Utah; and the Albuquerque Journal in New Mexico.

Work by Carrie Heitman, anthropology, and others at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to build a geographic information system mapping Chaco archeological sites in New Mexico was highlighted in a Sept. 26 article in Colorado's Durango Herald.

John Hibbing, political science, was quoted in a Sept. 15 report in The Christian Science Monitor about why some Donald Trump supporters actually like being described as "deplorable." Hillary Clinton apologized for using the term to describe Trump backers.

A photographic exhibit exploring the American marching band experience, by Walker Pickering, art, art history and design, was featured on the Refinery 29 website Sept. 21.

Stacie Ray, special education and communication disorders, was interviewed for a Sept. 17 BTN LiveBig story about her August HearU Nebraska trip to Nicaragua to provide hearing aids and other services to 140 patients in three communities. Ray, who started HearU Nebraska almost 10 years ago to provide hearing aids to Nebraska children who couldn't afford them, was accompanied by four audiology doctoral students on the trip.

Reuters interviewed Steve Taylor, Food Allergy Research and Resource Program, for a widely published Sept. 30 story on how some foods might contain gluten, even though their labels list no gluten-containing ingredients.

In a Sept. 19 Variety article about Brian William's return to a news show on NBCUniversal, Joseph Weber, journalism, said the disgraced news anchor may have a long journey to recover his journalistic credibility. The story was covered by several outlets, including the Philadelphia Inquirer.

A new drone operations manual for newsrooms, authored by Matthew Waite, journalism, was featured Sept. 1 on World News Network. The story originated on the Knightblog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Timothy Wei, engineering, was among the experts interviewed in a Sept. 1 Washington Post article on why some swimmers clocked odd times -- significant differences swimming one direction than the other -- during the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

A collection of photographs of the Kansas City baseball scene, by James Wooldridge, journalism student, was published in the Kansas City Star Sept. 20.

Gizmodo featured a new study by Judy Wu-Smart, entomology, that found nicotine-based insecticides can cause queen bees to lay substantially fewer eggs than normal. The study offers a partial explanation why honeybee populations have declined in recent years. Wu-Smart's study also was featured by Science Daily Sept. 9; ZME Science on Sept. 12; and the Fence Post on Sept. 23.

Faculty, administration, student and staff appearances in the national media are logged here.
 If you have additions to this list or suggestions for national news stories, contact Leslie Reed, the university's national news editor, at or 402-472-2059.