Breakthroughs: HU research predicts the unpredictable

Harrisburg University of Science and Technology’s culture of inquiry has transformed the University into one of Pennsylvania’s premier Science and Technology research institutions.

Our professors have teamed with students on research that is poised to save animals, clean up polluted waterways, transform skin-graft surgeries, and revolutionize the capability of internet data.

But that’s just four Harrisburg University Breakthroughs.

An insatiable desire to Breakthrough barriers has helped make Harrisburg University the educational, economic development and research engine that it is today.

And we’re just getting started.

We aren’t simply lecturing and transferring information to our students at Harrisburg University. We’re discovering a dazzling array of knowledge that is changing the world.

HU’s Predicting Analytical Knowledge Acquisition using an Attentional Distribution Metric research project is a ground-breaking effort that is set to predict the unpredictable.

Given the value of data analytics to the economy, the ability to effectively process and make objectively good decisions based on data is key for data-driven organizations. However, assessing the analytical abilities of potential employees is challenging for conventional human resource offices.

With help from undergraduate and graduate students, Nathaniel Ashby, Stephen Penn, and Kevin Purcell have set out to minimize this challenge by using what is known as an Attentional Dispersion Metric capable of determining an individual’s decision-making abilities.

A pilot study will be used to develop the metric. And a validation study will be used to test and refine it. This research is a critical area for the advancement of the field of data science. It also helps establish the University as a resource for empirically based, data-driven decision science.

About Harrisburg University

Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Harrisburg University is a private nonprofit university offering bachelor and graduate degree programs in science, technology, and math fields. For more information on the University’s affordable demand-driven undergraduate and graduate programs, call 717-901-5146 or email,