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We live in a world where digital data is almost as pervasive and unnoticed as the air we breathe. We have become an integral part of the Internet of Things; our personal smart items that we carry with us are sensing the world around us and sharing it with other smart things in our environment including our TV, refrigerator, thermostat, car, bridges — the list is ever growing. The amount of data that is being gathered and exchanged is staggering and growing fast. A billion tweets every 72 hours is one example. Collectively, the amount of data in our digital universe — approximately 5 trillion gigabytes — is doubling every two years.

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At 6 p.m. Thursday, the Native American Student Association will host a screening of Rising Voices/Hótȟaŋiŋpi in W401 Pappajohn Business Building. Rising Voices is a documentary on language loss with Native American groups and modern revitalization efforts to give back a part of their fading culture. It focuses on the Lakota people, part of the Sioux tribes that live on the Great Planes.

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In light of recent terrorist attacks in Brussels which targeted the Brussels International Airport and metro system, the Study Abroad office has confirmed that there are no UI students studying in Belgium at this time. The Study Abroad office has reached out to all UI students currently studying Europe to offer support and to ask them to confirm their well-being. UI students in Europe are advised to suspend any independent travel to Brussels and to confirm their registry with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for timely security updates about all locations in any travel itinerary. Additionally, UI students are encouraged to check all travel plans and transportation availability if traveling in Europe. Students should allow extra time to clear security at airports, railway stations, and border crossings.

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Part of the Vietnamese community in Iowa City joined to celebrate their culture and share it with others. The University of Iowa Vietnamese Student Association took time to celebrate the culture with an annual Lunar New Year celebration in the IMU on Feb. 27. “The Lunar New Year is celebrating spring coming, and it’s a time for family to get together,” group member Amy Luong said.

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As a University of Iowa senior studying political science and psychology, Jake Murphy long has been intrigued by Cuba. The island nation’s political and economic isolation from the United States since the 1960s has made it a sort of “forbidden fruit” for Americans, Murphy said. “So when (President Barack) Obama announced the relationship would be renewed, and they were relaxing some embargoes, I was in shock,” he said. “It was finally happening, and I thought it was so cool.” So cool, in fact, that Murphy wanted to go and experience the country and its culture during this transition, and before America’s influence affects substantial change.

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On the morning of Jan. 11, I woke early, poured myself a cup of coffee and sat down to reflect. It was an important day, one that had the potential to significantly impact my scholarship and teaching. I wanted to get it right. I was about to join the ranks of nearly 200 other graduate students who, over the last ten years, had participated in the Obermann Graduate Institute on Engagement and the Academy. Their engagement work — which ranges from collaborating with incarcerated Iowans to creating public art to coordinating disaster relief — both excited and intimidated me as I thought about my own project.

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Ben Mauk is a 2012 graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop who earned a Fulbright Study/Research Grant to Germany. In this article, Mauk reflects upon on the work of fellow UI alum, Patrick Reed, who graduated with a Master in Fine Arts in papermaking and bookbinding from the UI Center for the Book in 2013 and also earned a Fulbright Research/Study Grant to Germany.

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The University of Iowa will host 25 young business and government leaders from several African countries this summer as part of the U.S. State Department’s Mandela Washington Fellowship for African Leaders. The fellows will spend six weeks in Iowa, participating in entrepreneurial education programs on the UI campus in Iowa City and also touring the state, visiting businesses in Des Moines, Muscatine, the Quad Cities, Cedar Rapids, and other cities.

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Bijou and FilmScene offer a trip around the world, both literally and figuratively, with the Bijou Horizons Film Series. Watch five movies, win $1,500 and free airfare. That’s the draw of the Bijou Horizons series, beginning 6 p.m. Tuesday at FilmScene, 118 E. College St. University of Iowa students who attend all five foreign films between now and the end of the semester (free for UI Students, $5 for the general public) will be eligible to win a $1,500 study-abroad scholarship.

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Some believe new technologies are powerful forces that dictate social, cultural and political relations. These “technological determinists” focus on the technology itself, questioning whether it produces positive or negative outcomes in society. Others believe people use technologies in ways that suit existing goals and interests. These “social constructionists” think about new technologies as tools that can be seized, adapted and appropriated by the public. While there is plenty of middle ground between these two perspectives, this dichotomy draws attention to a key question in the study of new technologies. Who has the most power: technology or people? This question, and how it has been answered throughout history and around the world, will be central to an upcoming WorldCanvass discussion, featuring University of Iowa faculty from Communication Studies, Journalism & Mass Communication, and Computer Science. The program, “Encountering New Technology,” will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Iowa City’s nonprofit cinema arts organization FilmScene on 118 E. College St. The program is free and open to the public.

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