Ken Mai, a senior systems scientist in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, has been awarded a Microsoft Surface Hub research grant. The Microsoft Surface Hub is a large touch- and pen-enabled screen with embedded computing. Researchers awarded the grants are striving to create academic, education-oriented, collaborative applications for the Surface Hub. Mai and his co-investigator — Dr. Shawn T. Beaman of the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Anesthesiology — won the award for proposing to use the Surface Hub to revolutionize the scheduling and management of hospital pre-operative care personnel. Currently, the system is fairly primitive and manual, with a person tracking the personnel schedules and duties on a dry-erase board, but Mai and Beaman have proposed to computerize UPMC's “board” system using the Surface Hub. Deployment of the system is planned in stages starting with simulated cases used for training anesthesiology residents at UPMC's WISER simulation center. Their proposal has received a grant of $16,000 and one Surface Hub, which retails for approximately $20,000.
Jesse Schell, distinguished professor of the Practice of Entertainment Technology, CEO of Schell Games and one of the world’s foremost game developers, will be speaking at TechFestNW, Aug. 20-21 in Portland, Ore. Called “one of the most sought after speakers in the universe of game developers” by Willamette Week, Schell will speak about “Techniques for Predicting the Future of Tech.” Founded in 2012, TechFestNW is a gathering of leading thinkers about technology, design, entrepreneurship and innovation. The two-day event includes speakers, panel discussions and networking events. Find out more.
Manuela Veloso, the Herbert A. Simon University Professor of Computer Science, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, Oct. 14-16 in Houston. “I am thrilled to be a keynote speaker at this year’s Grace Hopper Celebration, and I look forward to the opportunity to discuss the importance of recruiting, retaining and advancing more prominent women in technology,” Veloso said. “I am excited to encourage all these talented women technologists to pursue their career goals and become leaders in technical fields.” The Hopper celebration, organized by the Anita Borg Institute, is the largest gathering of women in computing in the world. The institute expects 12,000 attendees this year, a 50 percent increase from last year. Veloso will present the keynote address on Oct. 16. Find out more.
Amir Rahnamay-Azar, vice president for finance and chief financial officer, was appointed to the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) Research Universities Council (RUC) for the 2015 – 2016 term. NACUBO is a membership organization representing more than 2,500 colleges, universities, and higher education service providers around the world. NACUBO's mission is to advance the economic viability and business practices of higher education institutions in fulfillment of their academic missions. The RUC serves to ensure that issues of specific concern to research-extensive universities are represented and addressed in the development of the association’s strategic goals and plans and in the creation of programs, products and services for its members.
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Yongjie Jessica Zhang gave a semi-plenary talk on "Volumetric T-spline Construction for Isogeometric Analysis" in the 13th U.S. National Congress on Computational Mechanics in San Diego, July 26-30. She also was appointed committee chair of the USACM (United States Association for Computational Mechanics) Technical Thrust Area (TTA) on Isogeometric Analysis. The committee will help in the organization of future conferences, workshops and mini-symposia on isogeometric analysis, and attracting speakers to USACM conferences. Additionally, Zhang was invited to serve as one of the panelists in the Women’s Researchers Meeting during the USNCCM13 conference, where she discussed career strategy, career and family balance, and issues facing women in leadership. Find out more.
Kiron Skinner (left), who previously worked on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, discussed the 2016 campaign on Australia’s ABC News Breakfast program. Skinner is the director of the new Institute for Politics and Strategy in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Watch the interview.
In a podcast for the UK’s Chawton House Library, English Professor Kristina Straub (right) talks about her upcoming exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library on the celebrity of Jane Austen and William Shakespeare. Listen to Straub at 12:45.