UNIVERSITY RANKS IN LIST OF TOP 10 BEST VALUES IN PUBLIC COLLEGES

The university recently was awarded a spot on Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine’s annual list of the top 10 “Best Values in Public Colleges” for in-state students for the sixth year in a row. The university ranked seventh for students paying in-state tuition and 14th for out-of-state tuition.

Kiplinger’s rankings take into account students’ SAT or ACT scores, the university’s admission and retention rates, student-to-faculty ratios, four-year graduation rates, financial aid opportunities, cost and students’ average debt at graduation.

“The college landscape today is very different — tuition increases and student debt dominate the national conversation surrounding higher education,” said Janet Bodnar, Kiplinger’s editor, in a news release. “This year’s top 100 schools have made admirable strides to maintain academic integrity and standards while meeting the financial needs of their students.”

ENGINEERING SCHOOL OFFERS NEW ONLINE COURSE FOR VETERANS

A new online course for veterans and military service members transitioning back into civilian life will give students the chance to develop real-world solutions to energy problems.

The engineering school will offer the four-credit undergraduate course, called “Designing Quantitative Solutions for Energy.” The course is supported by the Defense Department’s Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative, which aims to tailor education to individual needs.

“This course has the potential to be transformational in helping transitioning active-duty and veterans to develop design process skills and adopt a different approach to problem solving,” said research professor Leigh Abts, who helped design the course. “Design is the best context for students to learn about energy and work toward addressing real-world challenges.”

UNIVERSITY STUDY LOOKS AT THIRD-PARTY REPORTING OF CRIME

In a study that analyzed the likelihood that someone will report witnessing a crime such as theft, researchers at this university found that in close communities where people reside for long periods, citizens who are “uninvolved third parties” to a crime are more likely to punish the offender.

The group of researchers, which included a psychology professor, a computer science professor and two doctoral candidates, used a mathematical model to find that in the long term, “third party punishment” — doled out by an individual, rather than law enforcement or courts — can benefit the whole community. 

“Because we now have a collection of intuitions about how third-party punishment works, we believe further research could contribute to a better understanding of why conflicts escalate, or why some societies become steeped in revenge,” said Dana Nau, a computer science professor involved with the study, in a release.