Research Horizons highlights day four of LuddyFest

Engineering Panel

Research is part of the lifeblood of the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, and the school’s efforts to innovate and advance technology took its turn in the spotlight during the fourth day of LuddyFest, SICE’s week-long celebration of its new home, Luddy Hall.

Research Horizons, a showcase of the work being conducted by faculty at SICE, was held in Dorsey Learning Hall, bringing together researchers for a series of lightning talks that put the full range of SICE on display. A total of 18 SICE faculty members presented their research focusing on high performance computing, security, and data science.

“Because computing touches nearly every aspect of our lives, our faculty focus on a wide span of fields,” said Raj Acharya, dean of SICE. “Still, it’s impressive to see examples of the kind of work that is being done in our school in one setting, and LuddyFest is the perfect place to celebrate the researchers who will shape the leaders of tomorrow.”

IU vice president for research Fred Cate opened Research Horizons by announcing the establishment of the Fudan-IU Joint Research Institute for Transformational High-Performance-Big-Data Computing. The partnership with Fudan University in Shanghai, China, is expected to foster collaboration between the two universities that will expand opportunities and improve research in multiple areas. Sean Wang, dean of computer science at Fudan, introduced his school’s research thrusts during a short talk.

Amr Sabry, the chair of the computer science department, and Ed Robertson, a former chair of CS and professor emeritus of computer science and informatics, celebrated the 50th anniversary of computer science at IU with a pair of presentations at Research Horizons detailing both the birth of the program and its tenure at Ernest Lindley Hall, which came to an end with the move of the department to Luddy Hall this past January.

Ian Rogers, LVMH chief digital officer, former senior director for Apple Music, and a 1994 alumnus of the computer science program at IU, provided a keynote address in Dorsey Learning Hall about his career. He detailed his years helping develop what would become some of the foundation of digital music, credited IU for its early investment in internet technology and delivering it to students on campus, told of his work developing the Winamp music player and founding, moving to Yahoo!, Beats Music, and Apple Music, and his transition out of the music business into the fashion industry. Rogers presented his vision of the future, and he closed with a Q&A session with the packed audience.

“I guarantee 100 percent of the people who knew me in 1994 wouldn’t expect me to be here,” Rogers said. “That’s what’s great about a place like (SICE). It exposes you so many things and people who can dribble information into you. That’s the environment you create at a place like this. For you to be competitive in an increasingly international market, you have to invest way, way, way ahead of the payoff. What I see now is that none of the investments I made (in myself) were obvious. They were done on instinct and passion, and the payoff actually happens many years later.”

Meanwhile, in the Community Room off the Luddy Hall lobby, Professor of Informatics Bernard Frischer hosted a presentation, “What is Virtual Heritage, and Why is it Important?” Frischer and his students showcased their work in using 3D imaging with virtual and augmented realty to preserve historic artifacts, including works of art at the Uffizi Art Gallery in Italy. Frischer and his group also create photo-realistic 3D restorations and recreations of ancient sites using imaging at ruins.

Chris Raphael, a professor of informatics and the head of the music informatics program at SICE, presented a keynote speech at Research Horizons in the afternoon demonstrating the Informatics Philharmonic, a system that allows a computer to accompany musicians by predicting and adjusting the tempo of a piece being played through machine learning. Raphael was joined in his demonstration by violinist Brenda Brenner, chair of music education at Jacobs School of Music, and clarinetist Samantha Johnson, a doctoral student at Jacobs.

The day wrapped up with the Renaissance Engineer Panel Discussion at Dorsey Learning Hall, featuring world-renowned artist Philip Beesley, who created Luddy Hall’s custom sentient art installation, Amatria, that was unveiled Wednesday, Ge Wang, associate professor of music and computer science at Stanford, Rogers, Acharya, and distinguished professor of engineering and information science Katy Börner. The group discussed what it means to be a renaissance engineer, and the panel was hosted by Brad Wheeler, IU’s vice president for information technology and CIO, and a former dean of SICE.

The final day of LuddyFest opens Friday with a second day of Research Horizons from 9 a.m.-noon. Health and bioinformatics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and more will be discussed in another round of lightning talks.

From noon-1:30 p.m. in the Shoemaker Innovation Center, student startup teams will be available during Connect in the Shoebox, providing the public and students the opportunity to discover some of the work being conducted the entrepreneur and innovation center.

Luddy Hall will officially be dedicated at 2 p.m. in Dorsey Learning Hall. Featured speakers include IU president Michael McRobbie, provost Lauren Robel, Fred Luddy, the founder and chief product officer for ServiceNow who also developed the concept of platform as a service in cloud computing, Acharya, Börner, and data science graduate student Saloni Sharma.

A picnic will be held on the east plaza of Luddy Hall at 3 p.m. featuring food and festivities, including the announcement of the winners of the SICE Scavenger Hunt. Oral histories that will archive memories of SICE also will be collected in the Luddy Hall Atrium during the picnic, and a student video game night will be held in the Luddy Hall lobby and Rooms 1019, 1104, and 1106 from 6-10 p.m. featuring an interactive arcade, home-grown Hoosier game demos, an exhibition match featuring one of the competitive Overwatch teams at IU, and video game research lightning talks.

Luddy Hall is named after Luddy, an IU alumnus who provided an $8 million gift for the construction of the building. Ground was broken on the $39.8 million facility in October 2015 and was completed on schedule.

For more information on LuddyFest, visit our website.

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