Spring 2019 IPaT Thursday Think Tank Schedule

Spring 2019 IPaT Thursday Think Tank Schedule

January 14, 2019
The IPaT Thursday Think Tank is a weekly gathering of the IPaT community to brainstorm about research and stay informed about the work that everyone is doing. It's an informal gathering where the moderator kicks off the weekly topic but everyone is encouraged to join the discussion.

Networking begins at 3:30 pm and the discussion starts at 3:45 pm at IPaT, Centergy Building, Suite 600, 75 5th Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30308. Here's a look at the topics and schedule for Spring 2019:

January 17
Beth's Trend Report

Beth Mynatt, Executive Director, Institute for People and Technology

We'll kick off the new year with Beth's trend report, a discussion of what is on the horizon for research initiatives and funding for 2019. Beth will share updates from Washington briefings (conveniently gathered before the partial government shutdown) and from recent conversations with partners. We encourage updates and thoughts from the IPaT community as we talk together about the path forward for our research community.

January 24
Bringing Innovation to Mild Cognitive Impairment for Aging Adults

Jennifer DuBose, Associate Director, SimTigrate Design Lab and Principal Research Associate, College of Design

Up to 20-percent of people over 65 will experience mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in their lifetime. The $23.4 million MCI project funded by the Cox Foundation will empower people with MCI through technology, built environment and therapeutic programs. It’s an opportunity and an example of how collaborative work within Georgia Tech and with Emory clinicians can make life better for people with MCI. We will provide a brief update on the project progress and particularly focus on emerging plans for the Innovation Accelerator. This is a key resource to fuel the MCI Empowerment Program and catalyze new innovations and research in this overall space. Please come prepared to discuss research ideas and how we can grow the capacity of our research in this critical area.

January 31
(There will not be a Think Tank discussion this week; please join us instead for the IPaT Town Hall and Networking Reception

February 7
Wearable Technology and Society

Clint Zeagler, Research Scientist, Interactive Media Technology Center

We'll discuss the complex cultural forces surrounding wearable technology, beginning with the origins and motives of dressing the body. Focusing our conversation on how we think about clothing today, including functional, technical and smart garments. We'll also consider the social acceptability of using wearable technology and the challenges that face designers especially the concepts of privacy and security. Let’s think about the best ways to bring together technologists and artists to tackle these cultural and societal issues. What kinds of projects should we propose? Who are the stakeholders who would care about these projects?

February 14
Virtual Reality Manufacturing Workplace

Christopher Le Dantec, Associate Professor, School of Literature, Media, and Communication
Alyssa Rumsey, PhD student, Digital Media Program

Manufacturing facilities present an opportunity to explore the future of work as technologies like IoT and augmented and virtual reality make inroads into how complex products are engineered and produced. Join Christopher Le Dantec and Alyssa Rumsey as they share an overview of their research, studying the implementation of VR at GE Aviation, to provide context for a larger discussion identifying areas of focus that align with the NSF Future of Work at the Human Technology Frontier. They will document research questions surrounding the future of work and orient interests around the NSF call for proposals due March 6.

February 21 
Shape Machine: A Rule-Based Modeling and Programming System Developed at Tech

Thanos Economou, Professor, School of Architecture 

What does it mean to have a new modeling software for design that allows scientists, engineers, and designers to specify their actions by drawing shapes rather than by writing scripts? What is the difference between a shape you see and the way it is currently recorded in the database of your computer? What does it mean to program with shapes?

The Shape Machine is a new computational technology that fundamentally redefines the way shapes are represented, indexed, queried and operated upon. Its foregrounding of visual rules (shape rules drawn in a 2D or 3D modeling system) over symbolic rules (instructions defined in some programming language) provides a robust and disruptive technology for engineers, computer scientists, designers, students and educators, and in general academics and professionals who use drawings and visual models to develop and communicate their ideas.

The Shape Machine is currently developed at the Shape Computation Lab at the School of Architecture, College of Design, in collaboration with the Schools of Mathematics and Interactive Computing at the Colleges of Science and Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology.

February 28
K12 STEM: How Georgia Tech's Outreach Programs Can Impact Our Next Generation of STEM Professionals

Lizanne DeStefano, Director, Center for Education Integrating Science, Math, and Computer (CEISMC)
Sean Mulvanity, Curriculum Lead, STEM@GTRI

The need for science, technology, education, and math (STEM) education is more evident than ever. According to Code.org, there are 500,000 computer science job openings in the U.S., more than 10 times the number of students who graduated with computer science degrees in 2017. According to the Education Commission of the States, between 2017 and 2027 STEM jobs will grow 13-percent, while all other jobs will grow 9-percent. The U.S. unemployment rate for STEM workers is 2.2-percent, while for all other works is 5.5-percent. However, the Business-Higher Education Forum reports, in 2011, that only 44-percent of 12th graders are proficient in math. And of those, 61-percent are not interested in pursuing careers in STEM. That leaves 17-percent of 12th graders who are both proficient and interested in STEM.

The gap is widening between the call and need for STEM professionals and the number of students going into STEM fields.  What is the role that an institute like Georgia Tech can play in decreasing that gap? Lizanne DeStefano, Director of the Center for Education Integrating Science, Math, and Computer (CEISMC) and Sean Mulvanity, Curriculum Lead for STEM@GTRI, will provide overviews of the state of STEM education, give examples of a sample of successful STEM outreach programs and partnerships, and discuss how Georgia Tech can partner with our state and local school systems to address the growing needs for teacher preparation and student education.

March 7
Recent Work in Using Design Thinking Methods for Research and Design

Wayne Li, Professor of the Practice, School of Industrial Design

This Think Tank talk will provide a fast introduction on design thinking and it’s role currently in the campus research initiatives of Wayne Li, Oliver Professor of Practice in the School of Industrial Design and School of Mechanical Engineering. Starting from the foundation of design thinking (graduate work), we will move to ideas on innovation, design thinking application, design behaviors, and examine case studies in several research areas: 1) Online Learning platforms (Sketchtivity) from a recently concluded NSF Cyberlearning grant, 2) design research in the automotive space through the HMI Transportation Design Lab, and 3) multi-disciplinary education through the Design Bloc, which uses design thinking to reframe how we engage students.

March 14
What Connected Transportation Tech Means for Our Future

Driverless cars and connected technology are making headlines across the country. What does this really mean for our future?

At this IPaT Thursday Think Tank, we’ll learn which metro Atlanta communities and companies are, at this moment, testing vehicles that drive themselves and installing “smart” infrastructure. Plus, we’ll look at the potential impact on the ways our communities are mapped, vehicle ownership, ethics, and equity. When tech advances, who benefits?

We’ll listen to an episode of the What’s Next ATL podcast from the Atlanta Regional Commission focusing on connected tech, and then host Kate Sweeney will lead an informal Q&A/open discussion with Debra Lam, Jason Borenstein, and David Haynes.

Debra Lam, Managing Director for Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation, Georgia Tech
Jason Borenstein, Director of Graduate Research Ethics Programs, Associate Director of the Center for Ethics and Technology
David Haynes, Long Range Transportation Plan Manager, Transportation Access and Mobility Group, Atlanta Regional Commission 
Kate Sweeney, Host, What's Next ATL podcast 

March 21 - April 4
(There will not be a Think Tank discussion)

April 11
Data Visualization and Visual Analytics

Alex Endert, Assistant Professor, School of Interactive Computing
John Stasko, Professor, School of Interactive Computing

The discussion will focus on methods for visually representing information for presentation and analysis to help people make sense of data. We will discuss popular visualization techniques, and motivate their effectiveness through case studies. We’ll also consider the growing demand for people to understand data, ranging from situations critical to national security, to sports, to everyday decision-making. Going forward, let’s think about how to connect data scientists, domain experts, and other researchers around Georgia Tech to advance the field and help domain experts gain insights.

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