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Student Spotlight: Yilan Zhang

“U.S. bridges were designed to serve for 50 years. Most of them were built 50-60 years ago.”

Uh oh.

Since many of the bridges are passing their useable service time, Yilan’s research on how we can effectively monitor the structural health of bridges is particularly important. “Our department studies a variety of issues around this subject, but my project features long-term instrumentation, using wireless nodes with sensors to collect bridge data and extracting information from collected data using cyber-infrastructure.

Student Spotlight: Lauren Reed

Lauren’s dissertation focuses on “digital dating abuse,” which is repeated patterns of abusive dating behaviors using the Internet or cell phones. She is looking specifically at the gender dynamics of behaviors, motivations, experiences and consequences of digital dating abuse for both boys and girls. She collaborates with a local high school system for her research. For the project, she surveyed about 1000 students regarding their cell phone and social media use, bullying, and physical, sexual, and psychological dating violence both online and offline. The focus of this project is to use the research to inform sustainable school programming to prevent digital dating abuse and other forms of gendered violence.

Student Spotlight: Brett Baker

Brett is a non-traditional student, returning for a Ph.D. after working as a microbiology lab manager at UC Berkeley for almost 10 years. “Re-entry into the classroom was a challenge, to say the least. There are great resources and technology close at hand at U-M that made it easier. Michigan has a beautiful campus, and there is a lot of great research going on.” While he enjoys highlights like the Ann Arbor Art Fair in the summer, Brett finds himself more often exploring the woods with his son, Silas, when he’s not in the lab.

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