Update for Tufts on Jeopardy!

Last week, Tufts senior Jed Silver competed in the Jeopardy! College Tournament. Although Silver did not win his quarterfinal battle, he still was able to move on to the semi-finals due to the wild card system.

The winners from the quarterfinal rounds and the wild card participants (the four highest-scoring non-winners during the quarterfinal) compete in the semi-finals. On Tuesday, May 14, Silver will compete against Kristen Jolley from Georgia Institute of Technology and Cindy Cammarn from Bowdoin College.

Click here to watch a short video about the upcoming semi-finals and be sure to tune in to see Jed!


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Tufts on Jeopardy!

Tufts senior Jed Silver was on Jeopardy! last night! Although he did not move forward in the round, he still has a chance to come back in the tournament later as a wildcard player.

The Jeopardy! College Tournament was started as an annual tournament on Jeopardy! in 1989. Interested students take an online test and based on their results are invited to a second round of testing. From there, 15 undergraduate students from colleges and universities all over the country are chosen to participate. The competition works like every other tournament on Jeopardy! – the participants are broken into groups of three for the first round and then advance and play other winners until the final round. The first place winner receives a minimum of $100,000.

This year Jed Silver, A13, competed in the tournament, which began airing last night. Silver is not the first Tufts student to participate in this competition – in 2008 Katherine Winter, A08, competed in the tournament and in 2009 Andrew Ceppos, A09, participated.

Jed Silver was interviewed by Jeopardy! here about being a contestant – check it out!


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ScratchJr is a new, innovative software program to support integrated STEM learning in early childhood education. The program is designed specifically for K-2. ScratchJr will work to teach children through three main strategies: discipline-specific knowledge, foundational knowledge structures and complex problem-solving skills.

ScratchJr is a project led by Professor Marina Umaschi Bers and her DevTech Research Group at Tufts University and by Professor Mitch Resnick from the Lifelong Kindergarten at the MIT Media Lab. The project is being funded by the National Science Foundation.

Watch the video below for more information on this ongoing project:

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Major: Undecided on a Winning Streak!

This year was the Third Annual Boston Funderdome, a sketch comedy competition at Boston University. Five sketch comedy teams from various Boston based colleges and universities competed to see which group would rise above the rest. For the third year in a row, Tufts’ very own Major: Undecided were crowned the champions.

Major: Undecided, Tufts only sketch comedy group, was founded in 2004,when  a small group of freshman were looking to bring laughs to their peers at Tufts. The group creates and performs all originally written sketches. They hold two shows a year at Tufts and have more performances in the Boston and New England areas. Their YouTube channel is full of sketch promos and clips from old shows, if you want to see just how hard they can make you laugh.

Check out what was tweeted about the Funderdome and Major: Undecided’s winning performance:




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TuftsLife, New and Improved

The TuftsLife Team recently released a statement on their blog excitingly announcing the secret makeover and the upcoming release of an all-new TuftsLife site.

The new site will be equipped with responsive design, a technology that automatically fits the size of the site to the size of whatever screen it’s being viewed on, allowing readers to enjoy TuftsLife on their laptops, phones, and tablets. The site will also include a new apps section to highlight Tufts apps like JoeyTracker and BookSwap as well as a more organized structure for viewers to “get the stuff you want at a glance and be able to dig deeper for more useful stuff.”

If you’re interested in being involved in the exciting re-launching of the beloved Tufts site, contact officers@tuftslife.com and check out the TuftsLife blog.


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App Your Way to Healthy Eating

Photo: iTunes

Taylor Salinardi, N12, has launched Bon’App, an app for Android and iPhone and on a website, that provides simple but necessary nutrition guidance.

It is a health app, that unlike many of the existing apps, goes far beyond just bringing up a nutrition label. Bon’App gives extremely detailed information on every food possible but does so in straightforward and easily understandable language. Furthermore, it allows users to personalize the information they receive based on individual health goals, restrictions and preferences.

The app works by using a strong visual: a battery that depletes as an individual consumes less-healthy items and also changes color from green to yellow to red. For protein and fiber, the battery starts empty and fills up as the individual eats towards the recommended amount of these items.

For more information about Salinardi and her app, check out this Friedman School blog post.


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The AT Fellows, a group dedicated to helping students through educational technology, are offering a new service.

JumboStudy is a new and easy way for students to form study groups for any class and even helps with setting up a time, location and study topic. Students login with their Tufts username and password and JumboStudy matches that username with the class and project sites that the student is a member of in Trunk.  

For more information on the AT Fellows and the other useful programs they offer, check out their website.

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Tufts Study Aids to the Rescue!

Finals are without a doubt the most stressful time of the year on the Hill. With papers, exams, and the frigid weather, what’s a Jumbo to do!? Thankfully Mark Samaan and Spencer Schoeben, both A16, have the answer for stressed out Jumbos in need of supplies.

Samaan began the initiative after realizing he had few exams but would be around until the last day of finals. In order to make the most of his time, he came up with Tufts Study Aids, a cash-only delivery service that proves Jumbos with study essentials: from pens and paper to easy mac. He enlisted his roommate, Schoeben, to bring his idea to life on the Internet while Samaan handles the deliveries. Check out their entrepreneurial efforts here!

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Alum Creates New Words With Friends

It’s been about two weeks since Loren Brichter, E06, launched his first-ever mobile game, Letterpress, and it has already reached the ranks of #14 most popular app and #1 most popular Word Game in App Store charts. Before launching Letterpress, Brichter created the Twitter iPhone app we know and love today before it was officially Twitter’s.

His new game revolves around taking turns with a friend spelling words on a 5×5 grid of letters. Each time you use a letter, you claim its tile, but if your friend uses the letter in his or her word, he or she can steal the tile back. The game has been called “the next Words with Friends” and was recently featured in the New York Times’s Business of Technology, BITS, blog.  The game has been so well-received it has inspired a new form of poetry and off-line game for those addicted but without power during Hurricane Sandy.

Brichter has also found a way to give back to his loyal customers: he is donating all sales of his Letterpress t-shirt to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief. To follow his work, check out his website.


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Online Food Fight

In honor of National Food Day on October 24, Tufts Food for Thought hosted an “Online Food Fight.” Students and community members were encouraged to log onto Food For Thought’s website around 10:30 AM to join in an interactive discussion about food-related issues. Participants were asked to ponder questions about organic and free-range foods, as well as issues surrounding world hunger and food security. More than 170 people observed part of the “fight,” and several joined the “fray” to pose questions or provide answers to questions from their peers. Thanks, Food for Thought, for making food fun and encouraging dialogue among Tufts students!

Here are a few guiding questions from the “food fight”:


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