Carnegie Mellon University
December 07, 2022

Fall 2022 Seed Grant Recipients Tackle Communication

Seed grant program aims to bring faculty and students together from different departments to address real-world problems

By Stacy Kish

The Dietrich College Seed Grant program announces the funding of two projects during its inaugural fall cycle to support inter-departmental and collaborative research across the college. Both projects focus on finding new approaches to communicate effectively.

“Dietrich College stands at the intersection of humanity, social sciences and technology, opening new opportunities to tackle some of the thorniest issues in our modern landscape,” said Richard Scheines, the Bess Family Dean for the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and professor of Philosophy. “Our Seed Grant program aims to catalyze new and ambitious research collaborations across different units in the college and support existing interdisciplinary research projects seeking larger scale funding.”

Faculty and students from the Department of Statistics & Data Science and the Department of English are collaborating on a project to pilot the DocuScope Write & Audit system. This program was designed to provide task-specific responses to drafts of student papers. The goal is to guide students through the revision process without direct intervention by a teacher. The projects brings together Gordon Weinberg, Alex Reinhart, Philipp Burckhardt in Statistics & Data Science with David West Brown and Ph.D. candidate Michael Laudenbach in English.

The second project builds on a collaboration among the Philosophy, Psychology and Social and Decision Sciences departments. To reduce a heightened sense of polarization, the project team will develop an intervention to help people comprehend differing viewpoints using visualizations. The project brings together Simon Cullen in the Department of Philosophy and Danny Oppenheimer in the Social and Decision Sciences and Psychology departments.

“The two projects funded during this cycle exemplify the outstanding quality, breadth and potential for impact of the interdisciplinary research that takes place in the college,” said Alessandro Rinaldo, associate dean of Research for Dietrich College and professor in Statistics & Data Science.  “We Look forward to funding many more cutting-edge projects.”

The Seed Grant program funds the projects from the Bess Family Chair held by the dean for up to $25,000. The program will call for proposals twice a year, and letters of intent for the next application cycle are due Jan. 31, 2023.