ECE research among finalists in 'Coolest Ohio State science stories of 2018' poll

Posted: December 14, 2018

This past year, Ohio State News featured stories about 110 new studies by university researchers. But only one study can be the coolest.

Among the top five stories selected is the cognitive science research of Electrical and Computer Engineering professor Aleix Martinez. The story, "At first blush, you look happy—or sad, or angry," delves into his team's groundbreaking study into human expressions of emotion, which found people are able to correctly identify other's feelings up to 75 percent of the time—based solely on subtle shifts in blood flow color appearing around the nose, eyebrows, cheeks or chin.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, demonstrates a never-before-documented connection between the central nervous system and emotional expression in the face. It also enabled researchers to construct computer algorithms that correctly recognize human emotion via face color up to 90 percent of the time.

Engineers, vote here to make Ohio State ECE research a top focus in this year's collection of the university's scientific accolades.


In 2018, The Ohio State University spent $864.3 million on research and development across its 15 colleges, leading to thousands of published studies. Throughout the year, Ohio State News science writers sifted through these studies, interviewed the faculty and students behind them and wrote about the research they thought was most engaging and representative of the great work done here.

Now, at year’s end, Ohio State News writers chose five stories that had the most impact on readers, which also spanned the breadth of the university’s research pool.

Read the finalists below and cast your vote in the column on the right by midnight eastern time on Monday, Dec. 31. Stay tuned for the announcement of the winner.


Nov. 2, 2018 - How one tough shrub could help fight hunger in Africa

Oct. 9, 2018 - Trapping toxic compounds with 'molecular baskets'

Aug. 15, 2018 - How ugly marital spats might open the door to disease

June 26, 2018 - Why popcorn tastes better when you eat it with chopsticks

March 19, 2018 - At first blush, you look happy - or sad, or angry