In Madison 365: “DreamUp Wisconsin” initiative looks to bolster middle class

From May until July of this year, the UW Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) will conduct a series of community meetings, forums and other means of engaging everyday people as part of an initiative called the Alliance for the American Dream, funded with a $1.5 million grant from Schmidt Futures. 

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In the Cap Times: UW-Madison will partner with community to raise incomes of 10,000 Dane County families by 2020

On Wednesday afternoon, the University of Wisconsin-Madison announced that it was chosen as one of four universities across the nation tasked to achieve that goal, in partnership with the community, by 2020. They’re looking for creative ideas from throughout the community to build up the county’s middle class and hopefully narrow racial inequities.

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In WPR: UW-Madison plans to increase families' incomes

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Institute for Research on Poverty will spend the summer collecting data and trying to identify community members’ needs in an effort to raise 10,000 Dane County families’ incomes by 10 percent in two years.

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L&S student named Newman Civic Fellow, recognized for high school outreach program

Anthropology and political science major Wendy Hoang was honored into the Newman Civic Fellowship cohort and was recognized for her leadership of a high school outreach program. 

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Morton Ann Gernsbacher named a Phi Kappa Phi Scholar

Morton Ann Gernsbacher, Vilas Research Professor and Sir Frederic C. Bartlett Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been selected by the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi as the 2018-2020 Phi Kappa Phi Scholar. Gernsbacher received the award for her achievements in research, teaching, service and leadership.

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Homo naledi had a tiny brain but it looked a lot like ours

Scientists and nonscientists alike have often associated larger brains with greater intelligence, but a new study may challenge that notion. “Maybe brain size isn’t all it’s cracked up to be,” says John Hawks, one of the study’s corresponding authors.

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Young Mie Kim in Vox: Most Russian Facebook ads sought to divide Americans on race

A recent study out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that more than half of the sponsors of Facebook ads that featured divisive political messages ahead of the 2016 election were from “suspicious” groups with little or no paper trail to identify them. One in six turned out to be linked to the IRA.“I expected that we would find some unknown actors in the digital media political campaign landscape, because there are some regulatory loopholes,” Young Mie Kim, the study’s lead author, recently told me. “The findings are a lot worse than I thought. It is shocking and surprising.”

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Young Mie Kim in USA Today: We read every one of the 3,517 Facebook ads bought by Russians. Here's what we found

Young Mie Kim, a University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher who published some of the first scientific analysis of social media influence campaigns during the election, said the ads show that the Russians are attempting to destabilize Western Democracy by targeting extreme identity groups.

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In the New York Times: Tiny brains of extinct human relative had complex features

Based on the regions of the brain that Homo naledi shared with modern humans, the authors suggested that it may have exhibited complex behavior. But what they did not say was what those behaviors may have been, said John Hawks, an paleoanthropologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an author on the paper.

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