IPaT 2017: A Year in Review

IPaT 2017: A Year in Review

December 15, 2017

Dear IPaT Community,

The end of the year is quickly approaching, and it has been an exciting 2017 for the Institute for People and Technology. We welcomed new team members, spearheaded innovative new initiatives, and continued to support the success of our ongoing programs and events. Our accomplishments are only possible through your dedication to our vision of shaping the future of human-centered technology. As we reflect on 2017 and look forward to a new year ahead, I want to take the opportunity to thank you for your continued collaboration and wish you a happy holiday season.

Elizabeth D. Mynatt
Executive Director, Institute for People and Technology at Georgia Tech


(l) Debra Lam, managing director of Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation; (r) Christopher Le Dantec, associate professor and Smart & Connected Communities Data Pilot Grant recipient

 Debra Lam joined Georgia Tech as managing director of its newly-created Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation initiative. This year, she brought together Georgia Tech researchers and smart city leaders with workshops and a smart city speaker series where researchers presented their work for feedback at Atlanta City Hall. Lam also helped to organize the annual MetroLab Summit, hosted for the first time in Atlanta.

 IPaT announced the recipients of our first Smart & Connected Communities Data Pilot Grant program. The pilot grants provided funding for one semester to further interdisciplinary research within the area of Smart & Connected Communities.

 As part of IPaT's efforts to better understand and support Georgia Tech research activities, we hosted two days of "office hours." IPaT leadership met with faculty and research groups across campus to discuss research needs and aspirations.


(l) Le Monstre wearable tech costume; (r) research scientist Clint Zeagler and artist Katherine Helen Fisher

 Creative Collisions, a collaboration between Georgia Tech Research Scientists Laura Levy and Clint Zeagler, the Office of the Arts, and artists, explored how artists and technologists can work together. The groups hosted workshops to learn about engineering and technology creative processes, and Zeagler and artist Katherine Helen Fisher developed a wearable tech costume called Le Monstre that was featured in a dance work at the Ferst Center called Characters. IPaT and the GVU Center supported this project through our annual Research and Engagement Grants program.


MyPath application  Beth Mynatt and Maia Jacobs
(l) MyPath application; (r) IPaT Executive Director Beth Mynatt and Georgia Tech graduate Maia Jacobs

 Georgia Tech and Verizon are partnering to improve the patient experience for people diagnosed with breast cancer. Verizon donated 77 smartphones and tablets to help researchers develop a personalized and adaptive support tool for breast cancer patients called MyPath. The National Cancer Institute funds the project, led by IPaT Executive Director Beth Mynatt, and developed by recent PhD graduate Maia Jacobs.


Team Beltline Display at Spring 2017 Convergence Innovation Competition  Transformation of Cities panel at Industry Innovation Day
(l) Team Beltline Display at Spring 2017 Convergence Innovation Competition; (r) Transformation of Cities panel at 2017 IPaT Industry Innovation Day

 More than two dozen teams and 120 students participated in the Spring 2017 Convergence Innovation Competition (CIC), sponsored by IPaT and the Georgia Tech Research Network Operations Center (GT-RNOC). CIC categories were aligned with IPaT's research priorities: Lifelong Health and Wellbeing, Smart Cities and Healthy Communities, and Socio-Technical Systems and Human Frontier Innovation.

 Digital Transformation was the theme of this year's Industry Innovation Day, held for the second year in Tech Square. Panelists examined the transformative impact and value of emerging tools, platforms and technologies in healthcare and smart and connected communities. Plenary speaker Martin O'Malley, 61st Governor of Maryland and Senior Fellow of MetroLab Network, spoke to attendees about Georgia Tech's impact in shaping the future of Atlanta and beyond.


School of Interactive Computing Professor Thad Starner receives CHI Academy Award  Brown Middle School students make oral presentation before panel of judges
(l) School of Interactive Computing Professor Thad Starner inducted into CHI Academy; (r) Brown Middle School team gives presentation at Braves STEM Competition

 Georgia Tech was a Top Ten institution at CHI 2017, based on 17 research papers and notes accepted into the technical program. Among the 29-person group were faculty and students representing the College of Computing, Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, and the GVU Center. Thad Starner, professor in the School of Interactive Computing, was also inducted into the ACM CHI Academy in recognition of advancements to the field of human-computer interaction.

 Middle school students from two Atlanta Public Schools and four Cobb County Schools used their science and engineering skills to build baseball launchers as part of the Braves STEM Competition. In May, teams brought their launchers to the Campus Recreation Center to test them for accuracy, and to demonstrate their STEM literacy skills for a panel of judges. Judges chose Cobb County’s Cooper Middle School and the team’s Star Wars-themed launcher as the winners of the competition, sponsored by STEM@GTRI, CEISMC, IPaT, and the Atlanta Braves.


 In June, we held our annual, day-long IPaT Faculty Retreat. Nearly 50 faculty members from across campus joined to discuss our goals, priorities, and challenges driving the work in our four research pillars: Lifelong Health and Wellbeing, Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation, Platforms and Services for Socio-Technical Systems, and Human Technology Frontier.

Georgia Smart Communities Workshop     

(l) Georgia Smart Communities Workshop; (r) Sustainable Mobility Forum at IPaT

 The inaugural Georgia Smart Communities Workshop, hosted at the Atlanta Regional Commission in July, brought together key stakeholders from local governments, government associations, industry, and academia to discuss current smart community trends and challenges throughout Georgia. Attendees—mayors, city and county managers, council people, and specialists in planning, information technology, and community development—shared experiences and identified challenges relevant to their communities.

 Georgia Tech hosted a forum on sustainable mobility and smart cities, the first in a series of events planned as part of a three-year strategic partnership with the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S. (GACC South). The purpose of the partnership is to connect German and American organizations, companies and institutions that do work on sustainable mobility through targeted roadshow series in the Southern U.S. and delegation trips to Germany.


Mayor's Leadership Forum on Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation  Nostalgic Futures exhibit
(l) Associate Professor Carl DiSalvo discusses stakeholder engagement at Smart Cities Speaker Series; (r) GVU/IPaT Research and Engagement Grant recipient 'Nostalgic Futures'

 In August we kicked off our monthly Smart Cities Speaker Series at Atlanta City Hall. Researchers from IPaT's Smart & Connected Communities Data Pilot Grants Program presented their interdisciplinary research to the City of Atlanta to gain valuable feedback.

 Each year, the GVU Center provides seed grants, with funding support from IPaT, to research initiatives committed to building on our success in interdisciplinary research and innovation in the human experience of computing. This year, GVU and IPaT, along with GTRI have awarded five projects funding through the Research and Engagement Grants Program.


  Rahul Basole gives keynote at Mindtrek 2017
(l) Ribbon cutting at the launch of the North Avenue Smart Corridor; (r) Tennenbaum Institute Director Rahul Basole gives keynote at Mindtrek 2017

 In September, the City of Atlanta officially launched the $3-million North Avenue Smart Corridor, funded by the RENEW Atlanta bond. As the City’s official research partner on this project, Georgia Tech is helping to develop, deploy and evaluate smart technologies aimed at improving public safety, environmental health and traffic congestion along the corridor.

 IPaT Thursday Think Tank returned in the fall, with discussions on topics ranging from "Building Robust & Reusable Platforms for Mobile Health Research" to "The Future of Sports Technology." Thursday Think Tank is a weekly event where the IPaT community gathers to brainstorm about research and learn more about work currently underway.

 SimTigrate Design Lab at Georgia Tech partnered with Positive Impact Health Centers—an Atlanta-area HIV care center—to design a new, client-centered space. The space improves coordination and communication of care between departments and increases the amount of patient-provider interactions.

 Rahul Basole, director of the Tennenbaum Institute, was a keynote speaker at Mindtrek 2017, an international technology conference hosted this year in Tampere, Finland. The topic of his speech was “Structure and Strategy: Visualizing Complex Ecosystems in the Digital Age."


(l) Cynthia Moore, IPaT assistant director for Business Operations; (r) Fall 2017 GVU Research Showcase

 Cynthia Moore joined IPaT as assistant director for Business Operations, managing IPaT’s key capabilities including finance, human resources, space and facilities, and major events. She has more than a decade of experience at Georgia Tech, most recently as director of Institute Diversity’s OMED: Educational Services.

 Four Georgia Tech projects, including Creative Collisions, were selected to participate in the ACCelerate: ACC Smithsonian Creativity and Innovation Festival in Washington, D.C. The festival celebrates creativity and innovation with a focus on science, engineering, art, and design.

 The Georgia Center for Diabetes Translation Research won the “Best Collaboration" award at Health Connect South's annual conference. The center is a joint collaboration between Georgia Tech, Emory University, Georgia State University, and Morehouse College. Beth Mynatt is the Georgia Tech lead for the center; other faculty include Rosa Arriaga, Nicoleta Serban, May Wang, and Lauren Wilcox.

 On Oct. 18 and 19, the GVU Center celebrated its 25th anniversary with keynotes on the future of interactive technology, the GVU Impact Awards, and a Research Showcase. The Nostalgic Futures exhibit highlighted some of the scientific and technological milestones from GVU’s rich history.


(l) School of Interactive Computing Profs. Beth Mynatt & Keith Edwards receive ASSETS Paper Impact Award; (r) Mayors’ Leadership Forum on Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation

 School of Interactive Computing Professors Keith Edwards and Beth Mynatt were given the 2017 ASSETS Paper Impact Award for their 1994 paper Providing Access to Graphical User Interfaces – Not Graphical Screens. The award is given every other year to the authors of a paper from the ASSETS conference that was presented at least 10 years ago and has had a significant and sustained impact in the literature.

 Twenty-seven teams participated in the Fall 2017 Convergence Innovation Competition in the categories of Health & Wellness, Smart Cities & Internet of Things, and Arts & Culture. Students at Georgia Tech-Lorraine also participated in this semester's competition; judges in Atlanta viewed their project pitches via teleconference. 

 In November, Georgia Tech and the Georgia Municipal Association hosted mayors and public officials from 10 Georgia hub cities and counties at the inaugural Mayors’ Leadership Forum on Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation. Officials from Albany, Augusta-Richmond County, Brunswick, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon-Bibb County, Rome, Savannah, and Valdosta gathered at the Centergy Building in Tech Square for the day-long event. The purpose of the forum: translate innovative research and development on smart communities into collective action and deployment.


(l) Jim Foley, retired School of Interactive Computing professor and GVU Center founder; (r) "Creating a Culture of Innovation" panel at 2017 MetroLab Summit

 The Georgia Tech Office of the Arts and Arts Council selected IPaT for its Creative Curricular Initiatives program. The program encourages faculty, staff, and students to envision projects that combine arts and academics in ways that impact broader campus culture.

 After more than 25 years at Georgia Tech, professor and GVU Center founder Jim Foley retired in December. Foley came to Georgia Tech in 1991 to establish the nationally-recognized GVU Center. He created a lasting impact on the College of Computing, IPaT, and other associated centers, institutes, and labs.

 Georgia Tech hosted the annual MetroLab Network Summit, December 13 and 14 at the Historic Academy of Medicine. The summit featured keynotes, panels, breakout discussions, and showcases on smart city data, technology, citizen and student engagement, privacy, and more.

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