In collaboration with UF BEBR/CTSI Network Science Lab, and One Health research, Kevin Tang has been awarded a seed grant from the UF Informatics Institute’s COVID-19 Response Seed Funding initiative.

The project, “The emergence of COVID-19 team science: tracking topics, networks and expertise in global COVID-19 research”, will analyze a unique combination of big bibliographic data to track evolving topics, growing networks, and hidden expertise in global and local COVID-19 research. The COVID-19 pandemic is having a transformative impact on science, accelerating the convergence of a highly interdisciplinary and dynamic “team science” field of coronavirus/COVID-19 research. The project will use CORD-19, a growing dataset of over 63,000 coronavirus/COVID-19 scientific articles, and Dimensions, a global database of approximately 100 million publications, grants, and patents with detailed author information. It will draw on theories and methods from computational social science, Natural Language Processing, and network science to examine the growth and diversification of topics and networks in global COVID-19 research, their temporal and geographic distribution, and the emergence of scientific consensus on specific COVID-19 topics.

Congratulations to Aleks Tomic, PhD student in Linguistics working under the supervision of Edith Kaan and Jorge Valdés Kroff, whose NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, “Effects of code-switching on emotional processing”, has been recommended for funding. The project examines the effect of code switching on the emotional reactivity to taboo words.

Dr. Eleonora Rossi will give a flash talk at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Seattle, Washington, February 13-16.

Let’s talk! Bilingualism as One-Health approach to understand neurocognitive and social plasticity

The ability to communicate is a ubiquitous experience for humans, from childhood to older age. Societies are increasingly multilingual and mobile, with most of the world’s population speaking more than one language and migrating/living in different countries. At the same time, most societies are aging. In the US, by 2035, there will be 78.0 million people 65 years and older compared to 76.7 million under the age of 18. While bilingualism, and second language learning have been shown to promote neural protection across the life-span and have been demonstrated to positively increase personal social networks, and decrease indexes of social isolation, a new understanding of multilingualism and multiculturalism is still lacking. In this Flash Talk, I will bring forward the transformative idea that bilingualism should be considered as an integral aspect of the human health capital. I propose that bilingualism and biculturalism should be considered as neural and social modulators under the One-Health framework which promotes cross-disciplinary views for human health. This new understanding will likely transform social norms of living in aging multilingual/multicultural societies, and will foster cross-disciplinary conversation among scientists, education professionals, industry, and policy makers towards a vision of tomorrow’s earth in which everyone can benefit from lifelong cross-linguistic and cross-cultural communication.

The department will celebrate its 50th anniversary at the Austin Cary Forest Campus, Saturday, November 9, 2019, from 5-9pm. Please join us for food, music, and half a century’s worth of memories and people.