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The top 10 BYU news stories of 2014

The year 2014 brought more than 1.4 million page views to news.byu.edu. Here are the 10 most popular stories. 

10. Student-designed helmets are head and shoulders above others

Trek’s Bontrager line challenged an industrial design class to come up with helmets that are more stylish but don’t sacrifice safety. In other words, they designed helmets people would actually want to wear. Check out their creations.

 

9. BYU wins Student Academy Award to go with Student Emmy for Owned

For more than 10 years now you could say that the BYU Center for Animation has “owned” the animation category at the College Television Awards, commonly called the “student Emmys.” The tradition continued this year with BYU winning its 13th and 14th student Emmys in 11 years. Fittingly, this year’s big winner is titled Owned.

 

8. Tree rings reveal nightmare droughts in the West

If you think the weather in Utah has been bad in your lifetime, think again. A BYU scientist reconstructed climate records from tree rings dating back to 1429. One freaky drought lasted for 16 years. Another saw the rivers flow at just 13 percent of normal. Yikes!

 

7. BYU's smart object recognition algorithm doesn't need humans

Professor D. J. Lee created an algorithm that teaches itself how to identify objects in images or video sequences without human intervention. As reported in Gizmodo, “the algorithm performs better than most top object recognition algorithms developed by other universities and private companies, proving to be 95-98 accurate on data sets including everything from fish to airplanes.” Who needs humans? 

 

 

6. Study shows why breastfed babies are so smart

Breastfed babies score higher on IQ tests. Is it how they're fed? Something in the milk? Nope, say BYU professors; the brain boost stems from something else that moms who breastfeed tend to do well: They respond to their baby's emotional cues. 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Kevin J Worthen appointed as Brigham Young University’s 13th president

On March 11, President Henry B. Eyring came to the BYU devotional to thank and release President Cecil O. Samuelson after his 11 years of service to BYU and to appoint Kevin J Worthen as his successor. The news release that followed was the 5th most-read story of the year on the university's news site. 

 

4. Oh brother! Having a sibling makes boys selfless

While girls generally place more importance on relationships, boys depend upon sibling affection just as much as girls do. If you’ve got a brother, tell him you’re welcome for making him a better person. Read more about the sibling research. 

 

3. Kids teased in P.E. class will exercise less later in life

Making fun of people doesn’t just hurt feelings, it can put the victim on a poorer health trajectory. BYU’s Chad Jensen found that kids who get teased during P.E. class spend less time exercising one year later. Share this story with the P.E. teacher at your local school. 

 

2. Neuroscientists find cause of withdrawal symptoms in addicts 

Sure, we’re the #1 Stone Cold Sober school in the country. But did you know that the National Institutes of Health funds millions of dollars of research on drug and alcohol addiction at BYU? This story got more than 70,000 page views in 2014.

 

1. Superhydrophobic material developed that makes water bounce like a ball

Watching a drop of water bounce like a bouncy ball captivated audiences this year. The video below has more than 150,000 views. And this story about the research of engineers Julie Crockett and Dan Maynes was the most popular article of the year. 

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