LEWISBURG, Pa. — These are Bucknell University story ideas that may interest you for April.
MAKING SENSE OF CHATGPT — ChatGPT — a language-learning model (LLM) chatbot which can produce essays, poems, prompts, contracts, lecture notes, and computer code, among other things — has received great attention in higher education, as college and universities try to comprehend its likely impact on teaching and how best to respond. Freeman College of Management professors Daniel Street and James Lawson, accounting; and Professor of Practice Joe Wilck, analytics & operations management, have been conducting research on the accuracy of ChatGPT and how to best use it. Street and Wilck recently published an article on the most effective way for accountants to use ChatGPT in the Journal of Forensic and Investigative Accounting. They proposed five principles to effectively and safely leverage LLMs in accounting. “ChatGPT has general knowledge about the accounting domain and can suggest some techniques to mitigate fraud risks, but it lacks the nuance and expertise of a forensic accounting professional,” Street says. “ChatGPT’s knowledge is an inch deep and a mile wide. It looks promising the first few times you use it, but you can discover the limits of its expertise if you try,” adds Wilck. In their opinion, Pandora’s box has been opened and will not be shut – LLMs like ChatGPT are here to stay. “Since there is no ignoring these tools, accountants should learn to harness the capabilities and strengths of these tools while being aware of their pervasive weaknesses,” says Street. Street and Lawson are also among a group of professors worldwide publishing a future paper on just how well ChatGPT performed when compared with human students. “ChatGPT did provide answers, but it did not perform as well as our students,” Lawson says. “People overestimate its capabilities.” The professors will continue to explore ChatGPT in future papers. CONTACTS: Street, 570-577-3972, email@example.com; 570-577-3569, firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-577-1426, email@example.com
RURAL RESILIENCY — While the full economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be assessed, Professor Christine Ngo, economics, has conducted research to explore how businesses in rural America experienced and adapted to economic shocks caused by the pandemic using the Central Susquehanna Valley as a case study. Ngo collected data from 60 interviews with local business owners, executives, managers, community organizers, and experts from the region — representing one of the largest qualitative datasets about the rural business community during the pandemic. Her analysis showed rural businesses’ resiliency and adaptive responses, bolstered by embedded rural capitals and the unique characteristics of rural businesses themselves. While the pandemic brought tremendous loss and challenges to rural economies and communities and forced drastic changes upon businesses and the rural landscape, she concluded that rural businesses in this region have persevered better than more urban businesses, largely thanks to rural capitals created by the land, people, community, and their unique characteristics. A paper summarizing her findings was published in the Journal of Rural Studies last December. CONTACT: Ngo, 570-577-3444, firstname.lastname@example.org
HONORING EARTH DAY — Saturday, April 22 is Earth Day and Bucknell is celebrating with two weeks of impactful events beginning on April 10, including the 10th Annual Sustainability Symposium April 14-15. Highlighting those events will be the commission of the Bucknell Greenway 4-mile multiuse walking path on Friday, April 21 at 11 a.m. on Bucknell West campus near Depew Field. The Bucknell Greenway is an initiative of the Human-Ecology Connections subgroup in the Ecological Conservation and Restoration Working Group (ECRWG) of Bucknell’s President’s Sustainability Council. Professor Paul Siewers, English, co-sponsor of ECRWG, has worked with the subgroup led by Technology Desk Manager Bud Hiller and Professor Claire Campbell, history, and University Facilities Department to coordinate the project. President John Bravman, Alana Jajko ’15 of the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, and Sid Jamieson of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Bucknell’s former men’s lacrosse head coach, will provide remarks at the commissioning ceremony. Additionally, Bucknell students working with grants on Greenway projects will be focused on “Bucknell in the Civil War and the Underground Railroad” and “Native American Heritage of the Bucknell region,” in conjunction with a group of Native American Bucknellians called the Bucknell Working Group. CONTACT: Victor Udo, director of sustainability, 570-577-1914, email@example.com
CONTACT: Mike Ferlazzo, 570-577-3212, 570-238-6266 (c), firstname.lastname@example.org