Category Archives: Software


UMUC Plans to Create a Company to Help Colleges Harness Big Data

The Maryland Board of Regents on Friday approved the University of Maryland University College’s request to create a for-profit business-intelligence company. The new company will offer data-analysis technology and services to universities across the country, and the revenue will go toward the university’s endowment.

The company, called HelioCampus, will provide two main services: the technology to combine and analyze a university’s data, as well as analysts to help administrators understand w…


New Social Network Is All College, All the Time

Once upon a time, Facebook was reserved for college students only. A new social network is trying to reboot that idea, with a college-only service called Friendsy.

The service is the creation of two Princeton University undergraduates, Michael Pinsky and Vaidhy Murti, who hope to help facilitate connections among college students who might otherwise never meet.

“It’s kind of nice and reassuring to know that there’s a network of people just like you out there who are trying to meet other pe…


In STEM Courses, a Gender Gap in Online Class Discussions

Women and men behave differently in online class discussions, at least in science, engineering, and computer-science courses, according to a new study conducted by Piazza Technologies, a company that makes a digital class-participation tool.

The company found that women use its program, called Piazza, to ask more questions than do their male peers, but that they answer fewer questions. When women do answer, they are more likely to answer anonymously.

The findings come in the midst of an online d…


Call for Nominations: Who Are the Top Tech Innovators in Higher Education?

We’re reviving our annual feature profiling influential technology innovators and the ideas they’re advocating, and we’d like your suggestions.

Our hope is to cover a wide range of areas within the college world—teaching, scholarship, administration, libraries, student life, and more. So this is not just about decisions made in the top tech offices of colleges. And we hope to hear about a wide range of institutions—we’re just as interested in a scrappy project on a shoestring budget as we are a…


The 10 Most-Popular Wired Campus Articles of 2014

Technology continues to change colleges, and our coverage of digitally driven change won the most attention from readers over the past year.

We crunched the numbers to find the most popular coverage of 2014. The list—which includes predictions of big changes in classroom teaching, in academic publishing, in communicating with parents, and in the mission of libraries—highlights the range of aspects of campus life affected by technology. And it reminds us how mainstream technology coverage is thes…


Do ‘Brain Training’ Games Work? It Depends on Which Scientists You Ask

Just two months after a group of neuroscientists criticized commercially available brain games, a different group of scientists released an open letter on Wednesday saying the products do show promise.

In October the Stanford Center on Longevity and nearly 70 scientists issued a statement objecting to claims that such games “offer consumers a scientifically grounded avenue to reduce or reverse cognitive decline.”

In response, more than 120 scientists have now signed an open letter to the Stanfor…


An App to Make Career Counseling More Like a Video Game

Diana Cobbe believes she has a way to help students communicate their skills to potential employers: Make filling out an online résumé feel more like a video game than like paperwork, and use it to connect students looking for jobs with businesses looking for talent. In short, she’s created an app that she describes as a mix of Candy Crush and LinkedIn.

“In college, kids leave the job-search process for the last minute,” Ms. Cobbe says. “They’re in a situation where they don’t find o…


Collaborative That Once Criticized Software Companies Becomes One

Ten years ago, a group of universities started a collaborative software project touted as an alternative to commercial software companies, which were criticized as too costly. On Friday the project’s leaders made a surprising announcement: that it would essentially become a commercial entity.

The software at issue, called Kuali, does the boring but important work of managing accounting, billing, e-commerce, budgeting, and other campus functions. Colleges can pay software companies tens of millio…


3 Universities Earn Accolades for Tech Innovation

Boundary-pushing projects involving mobile computing and in-memory analytics have landed three universities on the 2014 CIO 100 list, which recognizes organizations that leverage information technology in innovative ways.

Georgetown University, Lynn University, and the University of Kentucky were the higher-education institutions among the awardees, made public this week by IDG Enterprise, a media company that produces publications including CIO and Computerworld magazines.

Georgetown was recogn…


Cornell U. Researchers Put Robots in Conversation, and the Result Is Surprisingly Human

When the machines take over, much will change. But perhaps not the exquisite frustrations of a halting philosophical debate.

Researchers at Cornell University’s Creative Machines Lab have demonstrated this by putting two artificially intelligent avatars in conversation with one another. The avatars, called Cleverbots, are sophisticated versions of the classic Eliza program, developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1960s. The Cornell researchers—two doctoral students and an…