Researchers to help Yahoo! users overcome Internet information overload

September 19, 2011

Two Arizona State University computer scientists will work with the leading online media company Yahoo! to make its interactive Internet news and reader-commentary services more user-friendly.

Huan Liu and Xia “Ben” Hu will collaborate with Yahoo! Labs on a web science research project through the company’s Faculty Research and Engagement Program. Liu is a professor in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decisions Systems Engineering, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Hu is pursuing a doctoral degree through the engineering schools’ computer science program. ASU computer scientists Download Full Image

The project with Yahoo! will also lead to future internship opportunities with the company for ASU computer science and engineering students, Liu says.

Liu and Hu will focus on finding ways to help Yahoo! news readers navigate the system’s large volume of news content and reader commentary in a more organized and coherent fashion. An increasingly large number of Yahoo! readers are posting comments about news articles and sharing them with their online social circles.

That’s creating multiple threads of commentary, making it difficult for readers to follow conversations as reader responses veer further off course from the context of the original news article, Hu explains.

The company wants Liu and Hu to provide readers a solution for making sense of it all in the midst of the flash floods of dialog posted in reaction to news stories.

The Yahoo! web portal is one of the most trafficked Internet destinations, drawing hundreds of millions of users monthly to content that includes news, entertainment and sports information, as well as access to messaging services.

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering


Gammage donors, volunteers honored by Broadway League

September 19, 2011

Longtime ASU Gammage donors and volunteers, Bill and Susan Ahearn have been honored by The Broadway League with a Star of Touring Broadway Award that will be presented at ASU Gammage, Sept. 29 before that evening’s performance of "West Side Story."

Annually The Broadway League honors excellence and achievement for Touring Broadway, to individuals whose contributions have displayed exemplary service to the Broadway industry and are considered innovators of their craft. Download Full Image

Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League, commented, "The League Award winners are representative of the outstanding members of The Broadway League in about 200 cities across the USA. This notable group helps the League to accomplish numerous goals on behalf of the commercial theatre on a national basis, and their exemplary leadership has helped launch the careers of many of today's most active members!"

Phoenix residents Bill and Susan Ahearn made a Gammage subscription their first purchase as a married couple more than 30 years ago and have been subscribers ever since. Over the past 30 years, the Ahearns have become some of ASU Gammage’s most involved and ardent supporters. Bill has been a long-time advocate of Camp Broadway. For the past five years, Bill has volunteered as the official Camp Broadway photographer, attending the entire week with the young campers taking photos which he turns into a photo CD for each of the participants to have as treasured souvenirs.

In addition to being volunteers, the Ahearns fund scholarships annually to Camp Broadway and give annual gifts to support Cultural Participation programs such as Kaleidoscope and School to Work which work directly with the Broadway series. Bill and Susan also support the Military Family Ticket Fund. As a veteran himself, they found it important to support this program which provides Broadway tickets to families of Arizona’s deployed military personnel. 

The Ahearns are so passionate about the theater and its programs that they have made ASU Gammage a beneficiary of their entire estate. Their life gift will support the maintenance of the historic building and programs that continue to connect the community to Broadway and beyond.

“ASU Gammage is so lucky to have supporters like the Ahearns, they have always been a star to ASU Gammage and we are so proud that their volunteer work and generous donations have been acknowledged nationally,” says Colleen Jennings-Roggensack ASU Gammage executive director.

About The Broadway League
The Broadway League, founded in 1930, is the national trade association for the Broadway industry.  The League’s 700-plus members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers in over 200 North American cities, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the theatre industry.  Each year, League members bring Broadway to nearly 30 million people in New York and on tour across the U.S. and Canada.

About ASU Gammage
Located on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University, ASU Gammage is among the largest university-based presenters of performing arts in the world.  ASU Gammage is the home theater of the PROGRESSIVE® Broadway Across America – Arizona and Beyond seriesIts mission is connecting communities by providing artistic excellence and educational outreach to the public.  ASU Gammage is an historic hall designed by internationally-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.