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Northeastern University’s TIER Awards programs provide support for interdisciplinary research, seeking to stimulate exciting and innovative directions and increase the competitiveness of external proposals. This year, five projects involving CAMD faculty – spanning across a variety of disciplines, including Music, Architecture, Theatre, Journalism, and Art + Design – received TIER 1 Awards. These awards are competitive and provide funds to support and encourage faculty members to form multidisciplinary teams to secure proof of concept, with a goal of successfully competing for future sponsored research opportunities.

For the 2020-2021 cycle of funding, Northeastern was particularly interested in proposals that position the university to compete in emerging areas of significant research funding. Of the five CAMD projects awarded, three feature CAMD faculty members as Contact Principal Investigators, exploring relevant topics such as the relationship between racial and health equity and the arts, the influence of today’s new media ecosystems, and the effects of a sensory stimulation intervention, delivered via music and lights, on brain and cognitive function.

Advancing Racial and Health Equity through the Arts: A Community-Engaged Research Study in the City of Boston is a community-engaged exploratory project to investigate inclusive arts participation as an effective strategy to advance racial and health equity by building community identity, solidarity, and empowerment. The CAMD faculty members on the project are Rebekah Moore (Music, Contact Principal Investigator), Amanda Reeser Lawrence (Architecture), and Antonio Ocampo-Guzman (Theatre). They are working in collaboration with faculty members from the College of Social Sciences and Humanities (CSSH) and Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Alisa Lincoln (Sociology and Anthropology/Health Sciences), Laura Senier (Sociology and Anthropology/Health Sciences), and Shan Mohammed (Health Sciences), as well as the School of Law’s Jessica Silbey.

Information Filtering in Social Media and Formation of Misbeliefs addresses an overarching question of how information filtering systems in social media operate, and how they affect the formation of misbeliefs or misperception. The project makes use of mathematical modeling, surveys, and experiments. The CAMD faculty include Myo Chung (Journalism, Contact Principal Investigator), John Wihbey (Journalism), and Sara Colombo (Center for Design), who are working in collaboration with New College of the Humanities (NCH)’s Mike Peacey (Economics).

Multimodal Brain Stimulation for Healthy Neurocognitive Aging will test the effects of a sensory stimulation intervention, delivered via music and lights, that are frequency-tuned to individual brain network dynamics, on brain and cognitive function among older adults. The project lead is CAMD’s Psyche Loui (Music, Contact Principal Investigator), working with College of Science’s Arthur Kramer (Psychology). This project was designated a “Mentored Award” – with Professor Kramer mentoring Professor Loui – which is a subcategory of TIER 1 Awards that pairs junior faculty with senior faculty in a different discipline.

In addition to these three CAMD-led projects, CAMD faculty are also working on two projects alongside Contact Principal Investigators from other Northeastern colleges.

Understanding Compliance with AI Advice for the Design of Better Human-Machine Hybrids will leverage laboratory and game-based research environments to study AI advice in order to better understand and design for AI advice in the future. This project is led by D’Amore McKim’s Yael Karlinsky Shichor (Marketing, Contact Principal Investigator), along with Casper Harteveld (Art + Design). This project was also designated a “Mentored Award” – with Professor Harteveld mentoring Professor Karlinsky Shichor.

Community Resilience in Extreme Temperatures aims to explore scalable extreme-temperature vulnerability maps and affinity of individual, government, and utility resiliency interventions. Combining big data & modeling, design for human experience, community participatory research, and more, the project aims to collect data from 5,000 homes and a community workshop. The project is led by the College of Engineering’s Michael Kane (Civil and Environmental Engineering, Contact Principal Investigator), alongside CAMD’s Michelle Laboy (Architecture) and David Fannon (Architecture/Civil and Environmental Engineering).

Congratulations to all of these Northeastern University faculty members! We look forward to seeing your research begin to unfold.