Highlights from BYU colleges: Research team wins $100,000, English department updates major tracks

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College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, School of Communications

BYU computer science associate professor Xinru Page headed the research team that recently won $100,000 from Facebook. (Xinru Page)
BYU communications professor Brian Smith was on the research team that recently won $100,000 from Facebook. (Brian Smith)

A BYU computer science professor’s research team recently won $100,000. Facebook recognized Xinru Page’s team as the winner of the People’s Expectations and Experiences with Digital Privacy research award. Page, the principal investigator and project leader, also worked with BYU communications professor Brian Smith, IIT Kharagpur professor Mainack Mondal, and Indiana University professor Norman Makoto Su. Their award-winning research project is titled, “Deploying visual interventions for users of varying digital literacy levels.” The team will use the prize money to continue their research, including running experiments testing Facebook users’ understanding of privacy settings.


College of Humanities

The Joseph Fielding Smith Building is home of the College of Humanities. The BYU English Department in this college announced an updated track for English and English teaching majors. (Ty Mullen)

The BYU English Department announced an updated track for English and English teaching majors and associated minors. The new requirements will start Fall Semester. The new English major allows students to focus on emphases including literary media and cultures, creative writing, literary studies, and professional writing and communication. The updated English teaching major will no longer require foreign language courses and will make other cosmetic changes. Minimal alterations have also been made to related minors including creative writing, English and professional writing and rhetoric.

“These changes build on the strengths of our legacy program,” the department said in an announcement Jan. 8. “The new major allows students to benefit from our strong foundations while also specializing according to personal and professional interests.”


Marriott School of Business

BYU men’s basketball coach Mark Pope was the keynote speaker for the BYU Marriott School of Business global supply chain management program’s first-ever virtual alumni conference. (Screenshot)

Alumni of the BYU Marriott School of Business global supply chain management program held their first-ever virtual alumni conference. A record-breaking number of alumni, students and faculty were able to learn from and connect with each other from across the United States. The event included faculty and club president presentations. BYU men’s basketball coach Mark Pope was the keynote speaker, encouraging participants to relentlessly work on creating a better version of themselves. Graduates gave counsel to current students, and each class of graduates reconnected during breakout sessions. 

“I was actually glad the event went online because more alumni could participate,” BYU senior Max Anderson said. “The event was easy to attend, allowed participants to reconnect and helped students learn from alumni.”


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