IPaT 2016: The Year in Review


Alyson Powell

Institute for People and Technology

Sidebar Content
No sidebar content submitted.

Summary Sentence:

As 2016 comes to a close, we're taking a look back at our many accomplishments over the past year, and the talented and inspiring people who contributed to IPaT's success.

Full Summary:

As 2016 comes to a close, we're taking a look back at our many accomplishments over the past year, and the talented and inspiring people who contributed to IPaT's success.

As 2016 comes to a close, we're taking a look back at our many accomplishments over the past year, and the talented and inspiring people who contributed to IPaT's success. Thank you to our colleagues and partners for a productive year, and we look forward to collaborating with you in 2017 and for many more years to come.


  • IPaT's Beth Mynatt, Sherry Farrugia and Leanne West represented Georgia Tech at the Pediatrics 2040 conference. The event brought together thought leaders, industry pioneers and hundreds of peers to advance pediatric innovation.


  • Georgia Tech announced the designation of seven research centers on campus as Interdisciplinary Research Centers (IRCs), including three strongly tied to IPaT: The Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems (HHS), the Center for Urban Innovation (CUI), and the GVU Center. IRCs bring together researchers from different disciplines to address topics of strategic importance to Georgia Tech, and promote collaborative research and coordinate activities aimed at large external funding opportunities.



  • Researchers Mark Riedl and Brent Harrison from the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology unveiled Quixote at the AAAI-16 Conference in February. Quixote teaches “value alignment” to robots by training them to read stories, learn acceptable sequences of events and understand successful ways to behave in human societies.



  • IPaT returned to the annual HIMSS conference in 2016. Sherry Farrugia, Caroline Wood, Leanne West, Richard Starr, Jimeng Sun, Margarita Gonzalez, Shane Owen, Alyson Powell, and many others from Georgia Tech attended the conference in Las Vegas. HIMSS brings together more than 38,000 healthcare IT professionals, clinicians, executives and vendors from around the world.


  •  A Georgia Tech study, presented at the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing in March, finds that Instagram’s decision to ban certain words commonly used by pro-eating disorder (pro-ED) communities has produced an unintended effect. Assistant Professor Munmun De Choudhury and doctoral student Stevie Chancellor found that these communities are still very active and thriving despite Instagram’s efforts to moderate discussion of the dangerous lifestyle.



  • “Smart and Connected Communities” was the focus of IPaT’s first Industry Innovation Day on April 13th in Tech Square. Guests enjoyed thought-provoking talks and panel discussions from Georgia Tech faculty, business leaders, city officials, and entrepreneurs. We also announced a new partnership with the Atlanta Braves to develop curriculum for STEM Day and collaborate on future projects.


  • A report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) examining independence, technology and connection in older age included research from Georgia Tech. The report mentioned home assistance robotics research from Charlie Kemp, associate professor in the Georgia Tech Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, and a report developed by Georgia Tech and Arthritis Australia, which outlines the difficulty packaging designers face when developing solutions for older adults. Research from Georgia Tech Psychology Professor Wendy Rogers, Aware Home Director Brian Jones, and CATEA Director Jon Sanford was also included, while IPaT Executive Director Beth Mynatt was a member of the PCAST working group that wrote the report. IPaT Executive Director Beth Mynatt was a member of the PCAST working group that wrote the report.


  • IPaT and the Georgia Tech Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems (CHHS) hosted the 2016 Disaster Response and Mitigation Forum in April. The event brought together governmental experts, policy makers, researchers, and decision makers from the public and private sector to share current efforts, research, and new problems identified in the space of disaster and humanitarian response.


  • A record-breaking 36 teams and 180 students participated in the Spring 2016 Convergence Innovation Competition, sponsored by Verizon Wireless and RERC TechSAge. Students created products and services in the categories of Connected Home, Connected Car and Connected Communities.



  • Atlanta was named as a member city of the 100 Resilient Cities project, as pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. The Center for Urban Innovation and IPaT worked with the City to prepare its successful bid, and a CUI representative attended the announcement of the grant at City Hall.


  • The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) named IPaT Executive Director Beth Mynatt as its Chair for a two-year term beginning July 1, 2016. The prestigious group based in Washington, DC catalyzes the computing research community in the pursuit of innovative, impactful research.



  • Last summer, the Atlanta Streetcar began using a new real-time dispatching method developed at Georgia Tech that eliminates the need for schedules and cuts down on passenger wait times. School of Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Kari Watkins and Ph.D. student Simon Berrebi developed an algorithm that uses real-time information to ensure each vehicle is spaced evenly along the 2.7 mile route in downtown Atlanta, maximizing the frequency of service.


  • The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) named IPaT Executive Director Beth Mynatt a new Fellow for her work in human-centered computing and the development of health information technologies, and formally recognized her at its annual awards banquet on June 11th in San Francisco. Mynatt showed off a wearable tech wrap at the awards banquet designed and built by Ceara Byrne, Jessica Pater, and Clint Zeagler of the Georgia Tech Wearable Computing Center that highlighted the Institute's work in human-centered and wearable computing.



  • Starting in July, the Georgia Tech Wearable Computing Center, in partnership with the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA), hosted a series of panel discussions on the future of wearable technology. The discussions complemented the exhibit On You: Wearing Technology, on display at MODA.


  • Georgia Tech and the City of Atlanta deployed the first of several sensors along the North Avenue smart city corridor as part of the MAPPD project. MAPPD, or Multi-Array Phased Participatory Deployment, designs and deploys groups of sensors in smart city testbeds designated by the City of Atlanta in its SmartATL strategy. The project addresses the technical challenges and other aspects of scaling up a smart city sensor network.



  • 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’s Research and Engagement Grant projects include an exploratory workshop that brings together artists and technologists to learn about each other’s fields, an art installation that investigates the physiology of empathy, and computerized gloves that allow stroke patients to get rehab on the go.


  • The Conference on Health & Humanitarian Logistics (HHL) offers a unique platform for participants from a variety of organizations and sectors to discuss challenges, share best practices, and explore potential collaborations in the health and humanitarian sectors, with the goal of improving efficiency and effectiveness, and leading to positive change. The 8th annual conference took place August 29-31st at Georgia Tech and drew over 200 participants from 27 different countries around the world, representing 115 different organizations across the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academia, and government.



  • IPaT, along with the Atlanta Braves, STEM@GTRI and the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) are sponsoring the Braves STEM Competition, which will span the 2016-17 school year. Students from five Cobb County middle schools and five Atlanta public schools will use their science and engineering skills to build baseball launching devices, and participate in supporting activities developed by GTRI and CEISMC.


  • IPaT held its yearly Fall Town Hall on September 1st, where IPaT Executive Director Beth Mynatt announced four new research priorities for the next five years. The research priorities are: Lifelong Health and Wellbeing and Smart Cities and Healthy Communities, which focus on national priorities and societal needs, plus Platforms and Services for Socio-Technical Systems and Shaping the Human Technology Frontier, which emphasize enabling technologies and design approaches.


  • On September 15, Georgia Tech recognized IPaT’s Beth Mynatt and Sherry Farrugia as recipients of the 2016 Leadership Excellence Award. The awards were created to honor women faculty, staff, and alumnae who are excelling in leadership, collaboration, and innovation, and to mark the 60th anniversary of the graduation of Georgia Tech’s first two female graduates, Diane Michel and Shirley Clements Mewborn.



  • On October 13th, President Obama hosted a day-long conference that brought together researchers, business leaders, technologists, philanthropists, local innovators, and students to discuss building U.S. capacity in science and technology. Also in attendance at the invitation-only White House Frontiers Conference in Pittsburgh were IPaT Executive Director Beth Mynatt and Georgia Tech Center for Urban Innovation Director Jennifer Clark.


  • Now in its ninth year, The Foley Scholars program is the GVU Center’s highest award for student excellence in research contributions to computing. The 2016-2017 Foley Scholars are: Mariam Asad, Maia Jacobs and Clint Zeagler, and the GVU Distinguished Masters Student Award winner is Samyukta Sherugar. 


  • The GVU Center welcomed visitors to experience Georgia Tech research at its Fall Research Showcase. The showcase featured more than 60 interactive projects in people-centered technology that enhance our communities and impact how we live day-to-day.



  • Products and applications to make us healthier, more connected, and even more fun were all big winners at the Fall 2016 Convergence Innovation Competition. More than 150 students on 36 teams participated in the competition in categories aligned with three of IPaT’s research priorities: Smart Cities and Healthy Communities, Socio-Technical Systems & Human-Technology Frontier, and Lifelong Health and Wellbeing.


  •  The Georgia Tech community was invited to attend the Georgia Tech Smart Cities Faculty Summit to discuss innovative and far reaching plans for grand challenges that tackle many of the systemic issues facing our cities and communities. Faculty from across campus described multidisciplinary approaches focused on making Atlanta the most livable, equitable, sustainable and innovative city in the US.


  • In their 2016 report to President Barack Obama, the President’s Cancer Panel included research from IPaT Executive Director Beth Mynatt, and 2016 Foley Scholar and Ph.D. student in Human-Centered Computing Maia Jacobs. The report, Improving Cancer-Related Outcomes with Connected Health, which aims to help patients manage their health information and participate in their own care, highlighted mobile applications MyJourney Compass and MyPath.



  • IPaT announced the call for proposals for Data Pilot Grants for 2017 in Smart and Connected Communities (SCC). These pilot grants will provide funding up to $10,000 for one semester to further interdisciplinary research within the area of Smart & Connected Communities.


  • Construction has begun on the new Coda building, located in Georgia Tech’s Technology Square. The nearly 750,000-square-foot mixed-use project will create new opportunities in interdisciplinary research, commercialization and sustainability, and enhance the area’s innovation ecosystem.

Additional Information



No categories were selected.
Related Core Research Areas
People and Technology
Newsroom Topics
No newsroom topics were selected.
No keywords were submitted.
  • Created By: Alyson Key
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Jul 15, 2019 - 3:01pm
  • Last Updated: Jul 15, 2019 - 3:01pm