UMD Researcher Develops Software to Track Real-Time Reactions to Presidential Debates

UMD Researcher Develops Software to Track Real-Time Reactions to Presidential Debates

Professor Philip Resnik, a computer scientist at the University of Maryland, has developed internet-based software that instantly records users’ reactions to the Presidential debates. During the University of Maryland's Presidential Debate Watch event on October 3, 2012, Resnik showcased React Labs, a new software platform for real-time reactions and polling responses. React Labs runs on popular mobile devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, and Android, as well as laptops running Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. During the debate, React Labs users were able to register real-time, instantaneous reactions to responses from President Obama and Governor Romney by either clicking agree, disagree, spin or dodge on their smart phones. About 500 students in College Park, as well about ten thousand students around the country, participated in the software test.

Attendees were able to watch the reactions unfold in real time. At the end of the debate, Professor Resnik and Dean Don Kettl of the School of Public Policy analyzed the results. Obama was received much better than Romney was, especially on issues of lowering education costs. Students also gave the moderator, Jim Lehrer, good reviews.

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October 3, 2012

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