Highlights from research recently published by Stevens faculty.

On Dust Dynamics:

“When a helicopter lands in the desert, its downdraft can stir up enough dust to cause a zero-visibility ‘brownout’ — and Mars is effectively one big desert.” 

Jason Rabinovitch, an assistant professor in Stevens’ School of Engineering and Science, describing the first real-world study of dust dynamics on Mars based on Ingenuity’s historic first flights on the Red Planet, paving the way for future extraterrestrial rotorcraft missions. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, December 2022. 

Star icon with 1 insideOn Biased Bosses:

“Favoritism is a double-edged sword — it can be harmful to team dynamics, but in the right circumstances it can also help organizations to succeed.” 

Howie Xu, an assistant professor in the Stevens School of Business, reporting, for the first time, that in some cases biased bosses who play favorites get better results — and not just from the workers they treat best. Personnel Psychology, December 2022. 

Icon with 2 arrows pointing in opposite directionOn Information Exchange:

“These kinds of partnerships aren’t easy, but if you can’t figure out how to work together using a digital simulation, you’ll never be able to collaborate on real-world space missions.” 

Paul Grogan, associate professor in Stevens’ School of Systems and Enterprises, describing his team’s creation of a digital platform, the New Observing Strategies Testbed (NOS-T), which enables dozens of different organizations to model information exchanges between fleets of satellites and land-based antennae to better monitor and track earth-bound events, such as landslides and wildfires. Systems Engineering, March 2023. 

Icon indicating problem solvingOn Problem-Solving:

“Brain imaging is useful, but we can also learn a great deal simply by asking people to say whatever they’re thinking.” 

Nick Byrd, an assistant professor in Stevens’ School of Humanities, Arts and Social Science, describing an online protocol for recording audio as people narrate all of their thoughts while answering a series of trick questions. The work may help scientists reveal how people solve reasoning problems and thereby help optimize analysts’ briefings that inform high-level decisions. Journal of Intelligence, April 2023.