Office of the VP for Communications – Keeping alumni and friends connected to U-M

Innovation

  1. ‘PrivacyMic’: For a smart speaker that doesn’t eavesdrop

    U-M researchers have developed a system that can inform a smart home – or listen for the signal that would turn on a smart speaker – without eavesdropping on audible sound. Phew! We can finally stop whispering all the time.

  2. Data is life: Amazon holds clues about climate

    Follow Michigan researchers deep into (and above) the Amazon as they collect data, day by day and tree by tree, that could drive a better understanding of the Earth’s climate future.

  3. Snails help solve mystery with world’s smallest computer

    U-M scientists using a computing system so tiny it can stick to a snail’s shell recently collected data ‘that nobody had been able to obtain’ before. Evolutionary biologists are using the miniaturized sensing computers to understand how to preserve and protect endemic species.

  4. Good science changes: That’s a good thing

    Throughout history, the process of discovery has always involved correcting mistakes, clarifying our understanding, and adding deeper shades of nuance. These changes in our knowledge are features of science, not bugs.

  5. Trapping ocean microplastics

    Some 8 million tons of plastic trash enter the ocean each year, most of which is battered into microplastics. U-M researchers can now spot these harmful flecks, tracking where they enter the water, how they move, and where they tend to collect around the world.

  6. ‘A student I knew well was getting skinnier before my eyes’

    Transplant surgeon Michael Englesbe assumed anxiety was causing his research associate’s weight loss. But it was poverty. So he enlisted a crew to create the Shield Fund to support struggling medical students.

  7. Toddler with spina bifida meets paralympian: “She has crutches like me”

    A young patient’s reaction to a commercial featuring gold medalist and double amputee Jessica Long goes viral, leads to a Zoom introduction.

  8. Patient rounds get a technical upgrade

    Out of crisis comes opportunity — and with COVID-19 derailing traditional hospital rounds, U-M researchers have found a way to bring caregivers safely to the bedside.

  9. Choose your own adventure

    Experience an earthquake, frolic on Mars, and chase a robot up the stairs. It’s just another dazzling day at U-M’s Ford Motor Company Robotics Building, now open for mind-bending business.