Editor's note

It’s World Password Day, time for us all to lament how bad our passwords are and how little we’re inclined to make them better. Elon University’s Megan Squire explains why passwords are so bad, and discusses how easy they are to improve. Can we replace passwords with something better? Rutgers University’s Janne Lindqvist is exploring how we might doodle on our smartphones’ touchscreens to unlock them. The University of Michigan’s Florian Schaub has helped build a system that would use emojis instead of letters and numbers. And Penn State’s Brian Lennon discusses the long history of passwords, dating back to the Bible, but notes they may not have much more of a future.

May 4 also marks the anniversary of the tragic shootings at Kent State in 1970. To commemorate the events, we’ve been looking at the state of campus protests – past and present. Philosophy professor Steven Fesmire examines the black-and-white, “us vs. them” mentality that marks much of student activism today. How does this kind of moral fundamentalism occur? And what can our colleges and universities do to combat it?

Jeff Inglis

Editor, Science + Technology

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How secure are you? Rawpixel.com via shutterstock.com

Why we choose terrible passwords, and how to fix them

Megan Squire, Elon University

The first line of cyberdefense is having a good password. What does research say about what that actually means?


  • Helping student activists move past 'us vs. them'

    Steven Fesmire, Green Mountain College

    When it comes to politics these days, it feels like everything is 'my way or the highway.' What can colleges do to end this moral fundamentalism and get students listening to each other?

Politics + Society

  • Macron and LePen are battling for France’s heart and soul in election runoff

    Richard Fogarty, University at Albany, State University of New York

    What does it mean to be French? The two standing presidential candidates hope voters will agree with their version of the answer.

  • Heroes and American politics

    Bruce Peabody, Fairleigh Dickinson University

    The authors of a new book have data that show politicians and the media love talking about heroes, but ordinary people are much more reluctant. That difference could have political consequences.

Environment + Energy

Economy + Business

  • Anti-terror rules are blocking aid to conflict zones

    Sabith Khan, Georgetown University

    Rules imposed after 9/11 and still on the books are getting in the way of delivering aid to conflict zones. In countries like Yemen and Syria, it could mean the difference between life and death.

Health + Medicine

Science + Technology

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