All posts by Avi Wolfman-Arent


QuickWire: Another Higher-Ed Data Breach, This Time at a University Press

Duke University Press alerted users on Tuesday that its website had suffered a “security incident.” In an email blast to people with site accounts, the publisher said that usernames and encrypted passwords had been exposed as a result of the breach but that no financial information had been compromised.

According to a spokeswoman, the press learned of the breach on May 29 and had been working with the university’s Office of Information Technology in the weeks since then to gauge the extent of …


Academics Continue Flirting With a Former Foe: Wikipedia

Google “straight turkey,” and you will find references to the Dardanelles (a Turkish strait), Wild Turkey brand whiskey, and a recent soccer match between the United States and, you guessed it, Turkey.

You will not encounter the defunct Los Angeles-based art magazine by the same name—at least not yet.

Next weekend East of Borneo, an art magazine founded and funded by the California Institute of the Arts, will host the fourth in a series of Wikipedia edit-a-thons intended to enhance Los Angeles…


Your Cybertutor Wants to Confuse You—for Your Own Good

Picture this: You’re seated across the table from your organic-chemistry tutor. She presents you with a particularly tough problem. Exasperated, you force a thin half-smile. The tutor reads your facial cues, senses your frustration, and offers reassurance.

Now imagine this: Your tutor is a camera-equipped computer capable of reading, analyzing, and reacting to your emotions.

The concept is called affect-aware cyberlearning, and it isn’t entirely new. Sidney D’Mello, an assistant professor of…


‘Dubliners’ Comes to Life in Boston College’s Annotated E-Book

Sara Doyle, a rising senior at Boston College, first read Dubliners in high school—most of it, at least. Her teacher told her to skip “After the Race,” one of 15 short stories in James Joyce’s portrait of early-20th-century Dublin. When Ms. Doyle finally tackled the tale during her sophomore year at Boston College, she understood why. “It’s very transparent,” Ms. Doyle says. “It lacks something the other stories have. The other stories are complex, and this one is not.”

This image serves as the cover for "After the Race" in the Boston College students' e-book.

This image serves as the …


Frustrated Scholar Creates New Way to Fund and Publish Academic Work

In 2011, Tim Peterson was your archetypal frustrated academic. He’d just landed a paper in the journal Cell but had grown disillusioned with the publishing process after nine months of back-and-forth among his team, the reviewers, and the editors.

“I was just totally disgusted by the whole process,” says Mr. Peterson, now 37 and working as a postdoctoral fellow in biology at Harvard University. “I remember when I stood up and said I don’t want to be a part of this anymore.”

So Mr. Peterson began…