CIS Lecturer and MCIT Alumnus Brandon Krakowsky speaks to how MCIT changed his life

A still from the MCIT Online Admissions Webinar (featured on the Penn Engineering Online Learning YouTube channel.)

In their latest installment of informative presentations, Penn Engineering Online Learning invited musician and CIS community member Brandon Krakowsky to discuss how the MCIT program led him to various opportunities within the world of Penn.

Watch the full webinar HERE to learn more about Brandon (and his adorable dog), as well as what to expect in the first course of the MCIT program.


CIS community members’ latest platform uses language to help cut through COVID misinfo

Member of Penn’s Information Pollution Project team (from left), professor Dan Roth, Ph.D. student Sihao Chen, and undergraduate research assistant Xander Uyttendaele. (Image: “Navigating ‘information pollution’ with the help of artificial intelligence”

Putting in the work to sort reliable info on the internet from the not so reliable requires an amount of time that most of us just don’t have available. With the subsequent pressures of COVID-19 weighing on society, that time is a more valuable resource than ever.

That’s why CIS’ own Dan Roth, together with his team at the Cognitive Computation Group, have created the Penn Information Pollution Project.

In a Penn Today article, Science News Officer Erica K. Brockmeier described the Penn Information Pollution Project as “an online platform to help users find relevant and trustworthy information about the novel coronavirus.” The platform relies on natural language processing to not only analyze a source’s amount of credibility, but also identify the multiple perspectives that could serve as viable answers.

But the intricacy of language itself presents difficulties.

‘Language is ambiguous. Every word, depending on context, could mean completely different things,’ says Roth in the article. ‘And language is variable. Everything you want to say, you can say in different ways. To automate this process, we have to get around these two key difficulties, and this is where the challenge is coming from.’

Read the full article HERE

Additional information and resources on COVID-19 are available at


Penn Engineering’s “Summer Reading” program encourages Penn community to share its stories

from Penn Engineering Medium Site

Penn’s School of Engineering has issued a call for submissions from the Penn community’s staff, students and faculty alike. In the midst of a global pandemic, heightened tensions due to police brutality and systemic injustice, and looming economic crisis, Penn Engineering wants to provide opportunities for staff and students to share how they are coping, how they are thriving and what the summer may bring for them.

Below is a more detailed snippet of the School’s inspiration behind the project:

“In difficult times, we often turn to our communities to seek comfort, grow in our understanding of the world around us and to figure out the best way forward.

Penn Engineering’s “Summer Reading” project is our way of learning about what members of the School’s community are doing to engage and challenge themselves both as academics and human beings.

And summer reading can be about more than just books. We want to know: How will you be developing yourself as an individual and as an engineer this summer? What types of conversations are you having (or would you like to have) with your friends and family members about race? Are you completing a remote internship in your field? Making time for self-care is important, too. What fantasy worlds are you adventuring to this summer, and what souvenirs are you bringing back with you?”

Click HERE to submit a story of your own!