[Update] Stanford researchers were on campus today running a trial experiment in anticipation of a full scale study in January. This is their second visit to the campus; there was an earlier trial run in November. Harker is the only school participating in the study, said Kate Schafer, biology teacher, who is working with the Stanford researchers to effect the data collection.
Today, researchers hung motes around the necks of 100 students and teachers to help plan for the full-scale data collection in mid-January. Prior to the final event, letters will be sent to parents explaining the process, and the lead investigator, along with others involved in the experiment, will address the students in assembly. The day before the event, students will be briefed on the next day’s activity. The actual data collection for the study will be made on January 14.
Nov. 16, 2009
Come January, the upper school will be participating in a groundbreaking Stanford study on the way viruses are spread by human interaction. By outfitting all members of the Saratoga campus with motes, a device measuring human interaction, researchers hope to gain insight into the way viruses are spread among individuals. The National Science Foundation provided funding for new technology developed for the study.
Recently, a trial run was done on campus with the motes on a small number of students. However, there were some inconsistencies with the technology and as a result several of the researchers have been back to work out the kinks. Another test is scheduled to run around mid-December.
Prior to the final experiment, the Stanford professors will explain the nature of the research in an assembly. One interesting aspect is that the research is being conducted by professors of sociology, biology, computer science and statistics, giving our students insight into the interdisciplinary nature of much major research. Ultimately, the professors will submit results for publishing in major publications.