ASU ranked No. 2 in nation among up-and-coming schools

September 9, 2014

Arizona State University is ranked No. 2 in the nation among up-and-coming schools in the 2015 U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges Rankings. The ranking looks at universities most often cited by college administrators asked to nominate schools that have made the most promising and innovative changes in academics, faculty and student life.

ASU is a leader in student entrepreneurship, community partnerships and student support services, and continually offers new degrees in emerging fields. ASU students walking up stairs near Hayden Library Download Full Image

The W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU was recognized among the nation's top 30 for undergraduate business schools – the ninth time in 10 years the school has made the top 30 list.

In addition to the No. 29 ranking overall, the undergraduate business program is among the top 10 in the West. The school’s acclaimed supply chain management program ranks No. 3 nationwide in the specialty category for its field. The school also has several other programs in the top 30 – entrepreneurship at No. 19, management at No. 20, management information systems at No. 15 and marketing at No. 23.

ASU also is ranked 34th among the best colleges for veterans and No. 63 for the country’s top public schools. Among national universities overall, ASU moved up to 129 from last year’s ranking of 142 in the nation.

Rankings compiled for the Best Colleges report includes data on nearly 1,800 colleges and universities.

The ASU Ira. A. Fulton Schools of Engineering is also advancing among the best undergraduate engineering programs in the nation, at number 41 in the rankings, moving up from 43 last year.

Other notable milestones that ASU programs have earned through previously released U.S. News and World Report rankings include the W. P. Carey School of Business that ranked No. 2 in the nation for the best online graduate business program. U.S. News and World Report cites the school’s graduate business programs that are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the gold standard of business school accreditation.

Online bachelor’s programs at ASU also have scored among the top 10 in the nation, at the No. 9 position. ASU is the only school in the Pac-12 to make the top 10 among best online bachelor’s programs.

In addition, ASU's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law is ranked 31st nationwide among public and private law schools, according to the 2015 "Best Law Schools" list released by U.S. News & World Report. The College of Law's legal writing program also ranked No. 8.

Other recent top rankings recognizing excellence at ASU include:

• The Princeton Review ranked ASU one of the country’s top universities for undergraduate education in its 2015 edition of “The Best 379 Colleges.” The ranking puts ASU in the top 15 percent of all four-year colleges in America.

• ASU is ranked 88th in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities and 48th among all universities in the United States. Compiled by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the rankings compare more than 1,000 higher education institutions worldwide and are considered one of the most prominent world university rankings.

• Arizona State University was named a “Military Friendly School for 2014” by G.I. Jobs magazine for five consecutive years. The list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are leaders in providing educational support benefits and paths to success for military veterans. The university also ranked No. 14 on Military Times Edge magazine’s “Best for Vets” list.

New research finds that smartphone apps are a useful tool for diet monitoring

September 10, 2014

The ability and consistency in monitoring one’s diet improves with the use of smartphone applications, according to new research by Arizona State University health scientists published in the latest issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Researchers Christopher Wharton, Carol Johnston, Barbara Cunningham and Danielle Sterner at ASU’s School of Nutrition and Health Promotion authored the study. hands holding cell phones Download Full Image

The study compared the effectiveness of a popular smartphone application called “Lose It” for dietary self-monitoring and quality to methods such as entering dietary data on the memo feature on a smartphone and traditional paper and pencil entry during an eight-week weight-loss trial. Forty-seven participants were semi-randomly assigned to the three groups.

The use of smartphones has transformed life as we once knew it. According to the Pew Internet Project, more than half of American adults own a smartphone and almost a third of them “can’t imagine living” without the device. The rapidly evolving landscape of applications has changed the way we socialize, conduct bank transactions, find our way to a friend’s house, and track diet and exercise.

To mimic real-life use of the app, the group using “Lose It” received no dietary quality advice. Groups using the smartphone memo and traditional paper and pencil methods received one-on-one nutrition counseling sessions and weekly reminders to eat healthy. A personalized diet plan was developed for these participants, supplemented by a suggested exercise plan.

“While no difference in weight loss was noted between the three groups, we found that participants who monitored their diet with either the smartphone app or the memo function were more likely to persist in the study and missed fewer days of entering dietary data, compared to those monitoring via paper and pencil,” said Wharton, associate professor of nutrition at ASU’s School of Nutrition and Health Promotion. “This may be due to ease of use.”

“At the individual level, dietary self-monitoring has been identified as one of the most successful tools for managing body weight, so this is an interesting finding,” said Johnston, professor of nutrition at the school.

Little research exists on the benefits of health-focused applications from the user’s perspective and whether smartphone technology offers a superior platform for tracking and collecting health-related data. Much of past research has focused on the use of personal digital assistants (PDAs) as mobile devices for diet monitoring.

“This study will hopefully lead to a number of future studies that can improve the types of diet-based apps available to smartphone users, such as how using smartphones for diet tracking can influence diet choices over time, or whether apps that include feedback – not only in terms of calories, but also in terms of overall quality – could influence health outcomes.”

Media projects manager, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development