<![CDATA[12 Georgia Tech Faculty Members Receive Regents Recognition]]> 27713 The University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents (BOR) appointed 12 Georgia Tech faculty members to Regents Professors and Regents Researchers.

 

Reappointments to the title of Regents Professor are:

 

Appointments to the title of Regents Professor are:

 

Appointments to the title of Regents Researcher are:

 

And one reappointment to the title of Regents Researcher:

 

“It was a pleasure to nominate these outstanding faculty members for recognition by the Board of Regents,” said Steven W. McLaughlin, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. “I'd like to congratulate and thank each of them for their exemplary leadership and service, commitment to excellence in research and scholarship, and dedication to the education, growth, and well-being of our students.”  

Each year, the college deans may nominate two academic faculty members for the Regents Professor title and one research faculty member for the Regents Researcher title. GTRI may nominate two research faculty members for Regents Researcher. The titles are awarded upon approval of the USG chancellor and its Committee on Academic Affairs only with unanimous recommendation of the Institute Regents Professor and Researcher Selection Committee, the Institute’s president, the executive vice president for Research, and the provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs.

The BOR approved the nominations on Aug. 10.

]]> Victor Rogers 1 1629205663 2021-08-17 13:07:43 1629474349 2021-08-20 15:45:49 0 0 news BOR bestows highest academic recognition.

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2021-08-17T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-17T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-17 00:00:00 Victor Rogers

Institute Communications

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649764 649764 image <![CDATA[2021 Regents Professors and Regents Researchers]]> image/jpeg 1629209548 2021-08-17 14:12:28 1629489387 2021-08-20 19:56:27
<![CDATA[Georgia Tech Helps to Lead Global Effort to Reinvent the Toilet]]> 35798 A reinvented toilet without inlet water or output sewer lines may seem like an obscure concept; however, the need for such modernization is overwhelming. Billions of people globally — close to half of the world’s population — lack access to improved sanitation. But a global research team, led by Georgia Tech Associate Professor Shannon Yee, Ph.D., has been developing a portfolio of reinvented toilets that bring together the best concepts from the last decade of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-led Reinvent the Toilet Challenge

In the most recent phase of this effort, the Gates Foundation selected Yee to assemble the best of the ideas from the challenge and develop a new, affordable toilet — the Generation 2 Reinvented Toilet (G2RT) — as a solution to the world’s sanitation problem. The G2RT team includes 70 engineers, scientists, and industrial designers from universities and corporations around the world.
Global inequity in access to toilets has led to the death of more than 500,000 children by preventable diarrheal disease each year. While it is primarily the world’s poorest communities that are most affected by the lack of safe sanitation, the crisis in areas of developed countries shouldn’t be overlooked. In rural parts of America, there are currently hundreds of thousands of people without steady access to clean water and proper sanitation. 

The G2RT aims to drastically shift human waste away from traditional sewage treatment infrastructure to a system that processes waste onsite in household bathrooms. 

“It’s no longer about running pipes to a central treatment plant,” explains Yee. “It’s about using new technology to reinvent a product that can be mass produced and accessible to the entire world.”

How will this project affect the way people use the bathroom? While using the G2RT won’t differ from current toilet designs, how the toilet processes waste will be drastically different. Instead of relying on a network of pipes and millions of gallons of water, G2RT will treat human waste within the toilet appliance itself. Urine will go through a filtration process that produces clean water, and fecal matter will be reduced to pathogen-free solids and clean water.

Currently, Yee and his team are nearing the end of the development phase and will begin field testing it in South Africa, India, and China as well as at laboratory sites on Georgia Tech’s campus and in laboratories in Switzerland starting in 2022. The G2RT is now ready for demonstration, and the team will continue to the next phase in their journey to showcase the technology to potential commercial manufacturers. 

The G2RT is about the size of a washing machine but can be refined to be smaller, more durable, and easier to maintain. The target price for an individual reinvented toilet is $450. 

“It needs to be affordable to be accessible to the entire world,” Yee says. “Collaboration with government agencies and the private sector is going to be critical in moving toward the adoption of this new sanitation solution.”

Yee is passionate and confident that the G2RT has the potential to make a positive impact on the billions of people in need of improved sanitation. 

More information on this project can be found here:

]]> Ayana Isles 1 1629379432 2021-08-19 13:23:52 1632401069 2021-09-23 12:44:29 0 0 news 2021-08-19T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-19T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-19 00:00:00 Shannon Yee featured in Fortune Magazine for leading the global effort to redesign the toilet.

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Ayana Isles
Institute Communications
aisles3@gatech.edu

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28192 TheGeorgia Instituteof Technology is one of the world's premier research universities.Rankedseventh among U.S. News & World Report's top publicuniversities and the eighth best engineering and information technologyuniversity in the world by ShanghaiJiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, GeorgiaTech’s morethan 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture,Computing,Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among thenation'stop producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offersresearch opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students andis hometo more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech ResearchInstitute.

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649869 649869 image <![CDATA[Generation 2 Reinvented Toilet (G2RT)]]> image/jpeg 1629380063 2021-08-19 13:34:23 1629380063 2021-08-19 13:34:23
<![CDATA[CIGars - Center for Integrative Genomics Advanced Research Seminar]]> 35486 The Center for Integrative Genomics (CIG) holds a monthly advanced research seminar (CIGars) with two presentations given by graduate students and post-docs. Each presentation is approximately 25 minutes with five minutes for questions. These talks are directed to graduate students and post-docs but are open to anyone who is interested in the topics. 

Gene-Environment Interactions in the Personalized Environment and Genes Study (PEGS)"

Alison Motsinger-Reif, Ph.D., Chief, Biostatistics & Computational Biology Branch and Principal Investigator, NIH / NIEHS  

Our special guest speaker, Alison Motsinger-Reif from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is Chief of and a principal investigator in the Biostatistics and Computational Biology Branch. Overall, her group focuses on the development and application of modern statistical approaches for understanding the etiology of common, complex diseases. Read more

This is a great opportunity to: 

]]> Christina Wessels 1 1680095572 2023-03-29 13:12:52 1680272399 2023-03-31 14:19:59 0 0 event The Center for Integrative Genomics (CIG) holds a monthly advanced research seminar (CIGars) with two presentations given by graduate students and post-docs.

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2023-04-19T12:00:00-04:00 2023-04-19T13:00:00-04:00 2023-04-19T13:00:00-04:00 2023-04-19 16:00:00 2023-04-19 17:00:00 2023-04-19 17:00:00 2023-04-19T12:00:00-04:00 2023-04-19T13:00:00-04:00 America/New_York America/New_York datetime 2023-04-19 12:00:00 2023-04-19 01:00:00 America/New_York America/New_York datetime <![CDATA[]]> Stefanie Boettle - event inquiries 

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<![CDATA[Thinning Ice Sheets May Drive Sharp Rise in Subglacial Waters]]> 34528 Two Georgia Tech researchers, Alex Robel and Shi Joyce Sim, have collaborated on a new model for how water moves under glaciers. The new theory shows that up to twice the amount of subglacial water that was originally predicted might be draining into the ocean – potentially increasing glacial melt, sea level rise, and biological disturbances.

The paper, published in Science Advances, “Contemporary Ice Sheet Thinning Drives Subglacial Groundwater Exfiltration with Potential Feedbacks on Glacier Flow,” is co-authored by Colin Meyer (Dartmouth), Matthew Siegfried (Colorado School of Mines), and Chloe Gustafson (USGS).

While there are pre-existing methods to understand subglacial flow, these techniques involve time-consuming computations. In contrast, Robel and Sim developed a simple equation, which can predict how fast exfiltration, the discharge of groundwater from aquifers under ice sheets, using satellite measurements of Antarctica from the last two decades.

“In mathematical parlance, you would say we have a closed form solution,” explains Robel, an assistant professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. “Previously, people would run a hydromechanical model, which would have to be applied at every point under Antarctica, and then run forward over a long time period.” Since the researchers’ new theory is a mathematically simple equation, rather than a model, “the entirety of our prediction can be done in a fraction of a second on a laptop,” Robel says.

Robel adds that while there is precedence for developing these kinds of theories for similar kinds of models, this theory is specific in that it is for the particular boundary conditions and other conditions that exist underneath ice sheets. “This is, to our knowledge, the first mathematically simple theory which describes the exfiltration and infiltration underneath ice sheets.”

“It's really nice whenever you can get a very simple model to describe a process — and then be able to predict what might happen, especially using the rich data that we have today. It’s incredible” adds Sim, a research scientist in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. “Seeing the results was pretty surprising.”

One of the main arguments in the paper underscores the potentially large source of subglacial water — possibly up to double the amount previously thought — that could be affecting how quickly glacial ice flows and how quickly the ice melts at its base. Robel and Sim hope that the predictions made possible by this theory can be incorporated into ice sheet models that scientists use to predict future ice sheet change and sea level rise.

A dangerous feedback cycle

Aquifers are underground areas of porous rock or sediment rich in groundwater. “If you take weight off aquifers like there are under large parts of Antarctica, water will start flowing out of the sediment,” Robel explains, referencing a diagram Sim created. While this process, known as exfiltration, has been studied previously, focus has been on the long time scales of interglacial cycles, which cover tens of thousands of years.

There has been less work on modern ice sheets, especially on how quickly exfiltration might be occurring under the thinning parts of the current-day Antarctic ice sheet. However, using recent satellite data and their new theory, the team has been able to predict what exfiltration might look like under those modern ice sheets.

“There's a wide range of possible predictions,” Robel explains. “But within that range of predictions there is the very real possibility that groundwater may be flowing out of the aquifer at a speed that would make it a majority, or close to a majority of the water that is underneath the ice sheet.”

If those parameters are correct, that would mean there's twice as much water coming into the subglacial interface than previous estimates assumed.

Ice sheets act like a blanket, sitting over the warm earth and trapping heat on the bottom, away from Antarctica’s cold atmosphere — and this means that the warmest place in the Antarctic ice sheet is at the bottom of a sheet, not on the surface. As an ice sheet thins, the warmer underground water can exfiltrate more readily, and this heat gradient can accelerate the melting that an ice sheet experiences.

“When the atmosphere warms up, it takes tens of thousands of years for that signal to diffuse through an ice sheet of the size, of the thickness, of the Antarctic ice sheet,” Robel explains. “But this process of exfiltration is a response to the already-ongoing thinning of the ice sheet, and it's an immediate response right now.”

Broad implications

Beyond sea level rise, this additional exfiltration and melt has other implications. Some of the places of richest marine productivity in the world occur off the coast of Antarctica, and being able to better predict exfiltration and melt could help marine biologists better understand where marine productivity is occurring, and how it might change in the future.

Robel also hopes this work will open the doorway to more collaborations with groundwater hydrologists who may be able to apply their expertise to ice sheet dynamics, while Sim underscores the need for more fieldwork.

“Getting the experimentalists and observationalists interested in trying to help us better constrain some of the properties of these water-laden sediments — that would be very helpful,” Sim says. “That's our largest unknown at this point, and it heavily influences the results.”

“It's really interesting how there's a potential to draw heat from deeper in the system,” she adds. “There's quite a lot of water that could be drawing more heat out, and I think that there's a heat budget there that could be interesting to look at.”

Moving forward, collaboration will continue to be key. “I really enjoyed talking to Joyce (Sim) about these problems,” Rober says, “because Joyce is an expert on heat flow and porous flow in the Earth's interior, and those are problems that I had not worked on before. That was kind of a nice aspect of this collaboration. We were able to bridge these two areas that she works on and that I work on.”

DOI: doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.adh3693

Funding: This work was supported by startup funds from the Georgia Tech Research Corporation (A.A.R. and S.J.S.) and NASA grant 80NSSC21K0912 (M.R.S.). Alex Robel (A.A.R.) is also the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER grant.

]]> jhunt7 1 1692626332 2023-08-21 13:58:52 1707144338 2024-02-05 14:45:38 0 0 news Alex Robel and Shi Joyce Sim have a new model for how water moves under glaciers. Their theory shows that up to twice the amount of subglacial water that was originally predicted might be draining into the ocean – potentially increasing glacial melt, sea level rise, and biological disturbances.

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2023-08-21T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-21T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-21 00:00:00 By: Selena Langner

Media Contact:
Jess Hunt-Ralston

About the photos: Images of Change
Glaciers are shrinking along western Antarctica, and NASA is documenting the melt. Explore and toggle satellite images with the NASA Earth Observatory.

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671437 671438 658812 671440 671439 671436 671437 image <![CDATA[March 2, 2015: Image taken by the Operational Land Imager onboard Landsat 8. (NASA Earth Observatory) ]]> image/jpeg 1692626968 2023-08-21 14:09:28 1692626968 2023-08-21 14:09:28 671438 image <![CDATA[February 18, 1975: Image taken by the Multispectral Scanner onboard Landsat 2. (NASA Earth Observatory)]]> image/jpeg 1692626968 2023-08-21 14:09:28 1692626968 2023-08-21 14:09:28 658812 image <![CDATA[Alex Robel (Credit: Allison Carter)]]> image/jpeg 1654895880 2022-06-10 21:18:00 1687974677 2023-06-28 17:51:17 671440 image <![CDATA[Shi Joyce Sim]]> Shi Joyce Sim]]> image/jpeg 1692627598 2023-08-21 14:19:58 1701454040 2023-12-01 18:07:20 671439 image <![CDATA[Exfiltration or infiltration of groundwater occurs due to unloading or loading of ice sheets over saturated subglacial sediment half-space. At the ice-sediment interface, z = 0 and z increases down into sediment. (Robel et al)]]> image/jpeg 1692626968 2023-08-21 14:09:28 1692626968 2023-08-21 14:09:28 671436 image <![CDATA[Before and After: Satellite images of shrinking glaciers along western Antarctica. At left, February 18, 1975 — and right, March 2, 2015. (NASA Earth Observatory) ]]> image/jpeg 1692626968 2023-08-21 14:09:28 1692626968 2023-08-21 14:09:28 <![CDATA[Robel Awarded NSF CAREER Grant for New Ice Melt Modeling Tool ]]> <![CDATA[Turning the Tide on Climate Change]]> <![CDATA[ Seawater Seep May Be Speeding Glacier Melt, Sea Level Rise ]]> <![CDATA[Coastal Glacier Retreat Linked to Climate Change]]> <![CDATA[Exploring a Greenland Glacier Reservoir, Plumbing Sea Level Rise Uncertainties]]>
<![CDATA[Nanotechnology Could Treat Lymphedema]]> 27255 The human body is made up of thousands of tiny lymphatic vessels that ferry white blood cells and proteins around the body, like a superhighway of the immune system. It’s remarkably efficient, but if damaged from injury or cancer treatment, the whole system starts to fail. The resulting fluid retention and swelling, called lymphedema, isn’t just uncomfortable — it’s also irreversible.

When lymphatic vessels fail, typically their ability to pump out the fluid is compromised. Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have developed a new treatment using nanoparticles that can repair lymphatic vessel pumping. Traditionally, researchers in the field have tried to regrow lymphatic vessels, but repairing the pumping action is a unique approach.

“With many patients, the challenge is that the lymphatic vessels that still exist in the patient aren't working. So, it's not that you need to grow new vessels that you can think of as tubes, it’s that you need to get the tubes to work, which for lymphatic vessels means to pump,” said Brandon Dixon, a professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. “That’s where our approach is really different. It delivers a drug to help lymphatic vessels pump using a nanoparticle that can drain into the diseased vessels themselves.”

The researchers published their findings in “Lymphatic-Draining Nanoparticles Deliver Bay K8644 Payload to Lymphatic Vessels and Enhance Their Pumping Function” in Science Advances in February.

The Benefit of Nanotechnology for Drug Delivery

The drug the researchers used, S-(-)-Bay K8644 or BayK, normally targets L-type calcium channels that enable the skeletal, cardiac, and endocrine muscles to contract. In effect, the application of BayK throughout the body would lead to convulsions and spasms.

Using nanoparticles designed to drain into lymphatic vessels after injection focuses the drug solely into the lymphatic vessels, draining the injection site. As a result, the drug is available within lymphatic vessels at a locally high dose. When lymph is eventually returned into the circulation, it’s diluted in the blood so much that it doesn’t affect other systems in the body, making the drug for lymphedema applications both targeted and safe.

“Lymphatic tissues work like river basins — regionally you have vessels that drain the fluid out of your tissues,” said Susan Thomas, Woodruff Professor and Associate Professor in the Woodruff School and faculty member in the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience. “This method is like putting nanoparticles in the river to help the river flow better.”

The research is the perfect blend of Dixon’s and Thomas’ respective expertise. Dixon’s lab has been studying how lymphatics function in animal models for years. Thomas engineers nanoparticle drug delivery technologies that deploy in the lymphatic system.

“He develops analysis tools and disease models related to the lymphatic system, and I develop lymphatic-targeting drug delivery technologies,” Thomas said. “Tackling lymphedema as a widely prevalent condition for which there are no efficacious therapies was the perfect opportunity to leverage our strengths to hopefully move the needle on developing new strategies to serve this underserved patient population.”

Testing the Therapy

The Dixon and Thomas lab teams tested the formulation using rodent models. They first mapped the model’s lymph node system by injecting a fluorescent substance to see how it traveled. Then they applied a pressure cuff to measure how the lymphatic system fails to function when compromised. From there, they evaluated how formulating BayK in a lymph-draining nanoparticle influenced the drug’s effects. The delivery system allowed the drug to act within the lymphatic vessel, as demonstrated by increased vessel pumping and restored pumping pressure, and drastically reduced the concentration of BayK in the blood, which is typically associated with unwanted side effects.

The researchers are expanding the formulation to more advanced disease models to move it closer to human application. They will also explore how it can be used to prevent or treat lymphedema in combination with other existing or new therapies now being developed.

CITATION: Sestito, L.F., To, K., Cribb, M., Archer, P.A., Thomas, S.N.§, Dixon, J.B.§, 2023. Lymphatic-draining nanoparticles deliver Bay K8644 payload to lymphatic vessels and enhance their pumping functionScience Advances. 6: eabd7134.

DOI: DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abq0435

]]> Josie Giles 1 1695648733 2023-09-25 13:32:13 1695649440 2023-09-25 13:44:00 0 0 news The human body is made up of thousands of tiny lymphatic vessels that ferry white blood cells and proteins around the body, like a superhighway of the immune system. It’s remarkably efficient, but if damaged from injury or cancer treatment, the whole system starts to fail. The resulting fluid retention and swelling, called lymphedema, isn’t just uncomfortable — it’s also irreversible.

When lymphatic vessels fail, typically their ability to pump out the fluid is compromised. Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have developed a new treatment using nanoparticles that can repair lymphatic vessel pumping. Traditionally, researchers in the field have tried to regrow lymphatic vessels, but repairing the pumping action is a unique approach.

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2023-03-16T00:00:00-04:00 2023-03-16T00:00:00-04:00 2023-03-16 00:00:00 News Contact: Tess Malone, Senior Research Writer/Editor
tess.malone@gatech.edu

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671804 671805 671806 671804 image <![CDATA[Brandon and Susan_0.jpg]]> image/jpeg 1695648748 2023-09-25 13:32:28 1695648748 2023-09-25 13:32:28 671805 image <![CDATA[BayK_NP_Pumping_AdobeExpress.gif]]> image/gif 1695648831 2023-09-25 13:33:51 1695648831 2023-09-25 13:33:51 671806 image <![CDATA[Blank_NP_Pumping_AdobeExpress (1).gif]]> image/gif 1695649057 2023-09-25 13:37:37 1695649057 2023-09-25 13:37:37
<![CDATA[Gosden Named Executive Chief of Staff for the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research]]> 27165 Kathleen T. Gosden, Georgia Tech’s chief counsel for Student Life and Academic Affairs, has been named the executive chief of staff for the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research (EVPR), effective Dec. 1.

Gosden joined Georgia Tech in 2011 and has served in varying roles, including as interim general counsel and vice president for Ethics and Compliance and acting deputy general counsel, roles she held concurrently during 2022. Prior to that, she served as assistant chief counsel and senior attorney in employment and litigation for 10 years. She has practiced law in both private practice and public service roles. Notably, before joining Tech, she served for 12 years at the State of Georgia Attorney General’s Office, where she represented and advised state agencies, including the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

In the new role, Gosden will advise Chaouki Abdallah, EVPR and the overall EVPR office on administrative and institutional matters and develop actions plans on policies and procedures, operational effectiveness, and communications on issues that advance the Institute’s priorities, goals, and outcomes set forth in the Institute strategic plan. She will serve as a key campus collaborator on executive initiatives, promote research-related matters and objectives, serve as a liaison and representative on campus committees, and provide strategic oversight to administrative staff within the Office of the EVPR.  

“Kathleen’s time at Tech and her mix of private and public experience position her well to serve in this new capacity,” said Abdallah. “She has been a great partner, collaborator, and trusted expert to the Georgia Tech research enterprise, and I look forward to working with her in her new role as we continue to safely grow our research and improve our services to our research personnel.”

During her tenure at Georgia Tech, Gosden has counseled on a range of institutional issues, including Free Speech and the First Amendment, Title IX, research administration and security, compliance, and scholarly misconduct. She has also served on various committees and negotiations and provided advising and training on issues related to Human Resources, Athletics, and Faculty Affairs, among others. 

“In my time at Georgia Tech, I have been extremely impressed by the research enterprise, its leadership, and the tremendous growth and innovation,” said Gosden. “I am thrilled to be joining the EVPR’s Office and to be serving in this new role.”    

Gosden holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in English and a Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia.

]]> Susie Ivy 1 1701268970 2023-11-29 14:42:50 1701271639 2023-11-29 15:27:19 0 0 news Kathleen T. Gosden, Georgia Tech’s chief counsel for Student Life and Academic Affairs, has been named the executive chief of staff for the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, effective Dec. 1.

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2023-11-29T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-29T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-29 00:00:00 Office of the Executive Vice President for Research

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672466 672466 image <![CDATA[Kathleen T. Gosden]]> Kathleen T. Gosden

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<![CDATA[Charlotte Alexander Uses NSF Grants to Create an AI-Powered, Publicly Accessible Court Data Platform - Cloned]]> 36123

Imagine accessing court documents and data, both civil and criminal, in the state of Georgia through a free central repository. Now imagine this access across the entire U.S. court system.

Charlotte Alexander, professor of Law and Ethics at the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business, is working on a project that uses AI to mine the text of court records. Her work includes pulling key pieces of information out of court documents and making it freely available to attorneys, judges, prosecutors, criminal defendants, civil litigants, journalists, policymakers, researchers, and any member of the public. 

Currently, court records are stored in systems that are expensive, fragmented, outdated, and hard to navigate. Alexander sees a lack of good data as a key problem impeding court reform efforts. Better data, she says, "would shed light on questions around efficiency and time of action, how long things take, and why there are delays. But it also raises big, heavy, substantive questions about bias and who wins and who loses. Does our legal system actually deliver justice, and if so, to whom?" said Alexander.

Her work, funded primarily through National Science Foundation (NSF) grants, is multi-faceted. She and a team of researchers received an initial grant from the NSF’s Convergence Accelerator Project, which was designed to fund efforts to create new sources of data and then make that data publicly available.

Working on the Federal Level

This initial work with colleagues at Georgia State University, Northwestern University, University of Richmond, and the University of Texas - Austin focused on the federal courts.

"When we started all of this on the federal level, we assembled court records from two full years of all federal cases filed, so everything filed in 2016 and 2017, we downloaded four years later. So, by 2020 and 2021, most of those cases had concluded. Now, we have this big snapshot of federal litigation, including comprehensive data on the progress, pathways, and outcomes of cases that we built using machine and deep learning tools on all those documents," said Alexander.

For example, Alexander provided a small glimpse into how this system might improve court operations. When plaintiffs file a civil case in federal court, they are responsible for a filing fee of $400. The fee can be waived, but individual judges make fee waiver decisions, developing their own separate sets of rules.

The research team's data extracted from court records showed that some judges granted more than eighty percent of waiver requests, whereas others granted fewer than twenty percent. (https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.aba6914).

In other words, whether a litigant received a fee waiver depended on the luck of the draw – on the judge to whom the case was randomly assigned. This analysis has prompted courts to reconsider their fee waiver procedures to ensure greater consistency.

"We found in our conversations with judges that there's a lot of appetite for this type of system-level knowledge. And by that, I mean, 'I know how I manage the cases in my courtroom, but I don't really have a good way to know how other judges handle similar cases,'" she said.

Working on the State Level

Fast forward a few years, and Alexander is currently working to extend her work beyond the federal courts with funding from the NSF’s Prototype Open Knowledge Network (Proto-OKN) program, which supports the development of "an interconnected network of knowledge graphs supporting a very broad range of application domains."

"We've got all this data that we generated, and now we want to flesh it out further, and then feed it into this larger technical apparatus that the NSF is helping fund, which is the knowledge graph infrastructure," she said. "The NSF wants to map different pockets of knowledge so we might connect, for example, census tract level poverty data to different measures of economic development and economic activity to court data using the concept of a knowledge graph to organize all of these nodes."

Alexander and her collaborators received a $1.5 million grant to continue their work on court data access, but this time, on the state level. They are particularly interested in criminal case data from the state courts because, as she puts it, "most criminal prosecutions in the U.S. happen at the state level, not the federal level."

They're focusing on two initial sites: Georgia, beginning with Fulton and Clayton Counties, and Washington State. Using their experience in these two states, they hope to add data from other states and eventually build out a full picture of both criminal and civil litigation on both the state and federal levels.

AI and Machine Learning

With AI and machine learning, Alexander and her colleagues can identify and create results from their data more quickly than they would have even five years ago.

"In any case, civil or criminal, in either state or federal court, the court generates a docket sheet, which is a chronological list of events in the case. Descriptions can be very different using very different language, even if they're talking about the same underlying event,” she explained. “This variation in how court events are recorded makes it difficult to get a system-level view. So, we've used AI, particularly deep learning using large language models to train a model or a set of models to recognize all the different ways litigation events show up.”

Because her research reaches many disciplines, she plans to work with collaborators across Tech. She sees value in bringing in students from the Scheller College of Business and other schools including the College of Computing, Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, and Vertically Integrated Projects.

"If we solve the data problem, we're better equipped to attack the procedural and substantive problems around how the courts actually operate. What's exciting is the methodological advances in computer science and natural language processing that have cracked wide open the types of questions that are now answerable, which then allows us to change society for the better," said Alexander.

During the Fall 2023 semester, Alexander is on a Fulbright scholarship in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic until December to study their digital transformation efforts within the court system and to explore using data to focus on diagnosing problems and creating more efficiency and transparency.

"A court is an organization and systems-level, organizational thinking about courts is not confined to the U.S. We can start to draw connections and collaborations across international boundaries, which I think is pretty exciting," she said.

]]> Catherine Barzler 1 1702495420 2023-12-13 19:23:40 1702495420 2023-12-13 19:23:40 0 0 news Charlotte Alexander, professor of Law and Ethics at the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business, is working on a project funded by the National Science Foundation, to make federal and state court records available to attorneys, judges, prosecutors, criminal defendants, civil litigants, journalists, policymakers, researchers, and the public using AI and machine learning. The project is part of a larger NSF project called the Prototype Open Knowledge Network (Proto-OKN).

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2023-12-07T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-07T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-07 00:00:00 Lorrie Burroughs

 

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672570 672570 image <![CDATA[Charlotte Alexander]]> image/jpeg 1702481055 2023-12-13 15:24:15 1702481123 2023-12-13 15:25:23 <![CDATA[Prototype Open Knowledge Network (Proto-OKN) program]]>
<![CDATA[Remembering Research Scientist Paul Manuel Aviles Baker]]> 34600 Like those of many senior scholars, Paul M.A. Baker’s CV runs more than 30 pages, detailing a career’s worth of research, service, and accomplishments. It’s on page two, however, where you may get the strongest sense of Baker’s intellect. He accumulated an eclectic and impressive collection of degrees, five in all, ranging from zoology to theology and bookending his Ph.D. in public policy.

That kind of dedication to learning was quintessential Baker, as was his commitment to helping lift up those around him, especially junior researchers, said Victoria Razin, a senior research engineer at the Georgia Tech Research Institute. She became a friend and mentee of Baker’s after working with him for a year on voting machine accessibility.

“Paul was an incredibly thoughtful researcher, a kind friend, and an incredible mentor who built up the people around him,” Razin said.

Baker, the senior director for research and strategic innovation at the Center for Advanced Communications Policy, passed away suddenly last week after a brief medical emergency, leaving behind an enormous void for his family, friends, and coworkers, as well as a tremendous legacy.

“Paul was like no one else I have met,” said Regent’s Researcher W. Bradley Fain, CACP’s executive director and Baker’s boss since 2019. “To be able to describe Paul succinctly is impossible.”

From Zoology to Technology Policy

After graduating from college with a degree in zoology, Baker worked as an environmental scientist, in real estate, and as a publisher, in addition to later academic roles at George Mason University and Saint Mary’s College. He joined Georgia Tech in 1999 as a visiting assistant professor, where he taught Research Design for the Policy Sciences, American Government, and more.

Two years later, he joined CACP as associate director for policy research and became director of research four years later. In 2011, he was named associate director of the Center for 21st Century Universities, where he oversaw strategic policy initiatives and managed the Center’s policy-focused sponsored research projects. After three years, he returned full-time to CACP, where he was appointed senior director for research and strategic innovation.

In 2020, he took on a new role when the Center for the Development and Application of Internet of Things Technologies moved from GTRI to CACP. Paul became the organization’s chief operations officer, where he worked to further the Center’s mission to spur technology and policy innovation in the internet of things sphere.

“Paul was a wonderful advisor, helping me work through really complicated issues,” Fain said. “Every conversation was an opportunity for him to share knowledge.”

Kaye Husbands Fealing, dean and Ivan Allen Jr. Chair in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, said Baker was an accomplished researcher who was deeply committed to expanding technology and workforce accessibility for everyone.

“We worked together a few years ago on a project with my research assistant, Andrew Hanus, and Connie McNeely of George Mason University to broaden participation in STEM employment for people with disabilities, and he took the initiative to lead a workshop on how veterans could gain STEM skills. I will miss his keen insight, his passion for his scholarship, and his generosity.”

Regents’ Researcher Emeritus Helena Mitchell, former executive director of CACP, said Baker was the Center’s most published employee whose contributions at Georgia Tech and around the world will continue to be felt.

“He was an excellent researcher, a great networker, a man of passion, integrity, and knowledge,” she said.

She and Baker were close friends for over 20 years, frequently hanging out together before Baker moved to Canada to be with his husband. She said she will miss their wide-ranging discussions over cosmopolitans. 

“He’s like a brother to me,” she said. 

Promoting Equal Access

In each of his roles, Baker approached his work with enormous curiosity, rigor, and a genuine desire to leave the world a better place, said Nathan Moon, director of research at CACP, who worked with Baker for nearly two decades.

“Paul was committed to doing research that would promote equal access for all people,” Moon said.

It shows in his publishing record, where you’ll find papers such as “Wireless Technologies and Accessibility for People with Disabilities: Findings from a Policy Research Instrument,”; “E-Accessibility and Municipal Wifi: Exploring a Model for Inclusivity and Implementation,” and “Digital Tech for Inclusive Aging: Usability, Design and Policy.”

In the last few years, he worked with Moon to develop a new seminar course, Policy Innovation for Inclusive Technologies, as part of a grant to develop a new postdoctoral training program for scholars interested in disability and accessible technology policy.

They taught the course together in the recently concluded Fall semester.

“In addition to being an excellent researcher, Paul was a wonderful educator,” Moon said. “He loved teaching and had high hopes and expectations for students, just as he did for junior researchers.”

But Baker’s personality and approach to other people especially set him apart, Razin said.

He had a way of connecting with people that made them feel special. For instance, Baker was a Quaker who also practiced Buddhism. But he always took time to send holiday greetings in correct Hebrew to Razin, who is Jewish.

“That was so special,” she said.

Moon said Baker’s legacy will continue to motivate him and other research scientists at CACP and across Georgia Tech who were touched by Baker’s intellect, curiosity, and drive.

“I can say confidently that as both a research scientist and person, Paul left the world a better place than he found it. He was a good friend, and he’ll be missed.”

]]> mpearson34 1 1703095115 2023-12-20 17:58:35 1703101588 2023-12-20 19:46:28 0 0 news Colleagues and friends recall Baker as a passionate scholar dedicated to accessibility for all.

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2023-12-20T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-20T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-20 00:00:00 Michael Pearson
Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts

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672630 672630 image <![CDATA[paul baker 169.jpg]]> Portrait of Paul Manuel Aviles Baker.

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<![CDATA[Georgia Tech Award Equips Coda’s Data Center with New Supercomputer]]> 27343 A team from the Georgia Institute of Technology has received an award for $3.7 million from the National Science Foundation to help cover the cost of a new high performance computing (HPC) resource for the upcoming Coda building’s data center.

The new HPC system, valued at $5.3 million, will support data-driven research in astrophysics, computational biology, health sciences, computational chemistry, materials and manufacturing, and numerous other projects. It will also be used for research that improves the energy efficiency and performance of the HPC systems themselves.

The effort was led by Srinivas Aluru, co-executive director of the Institute for Data Engineering and Science (IDEaS) and professor in the School of Computational Science and Engineering.

“This project is exciting from many perspectives, but especially how it is pushing forward data and high performance computing research infrastructure at Georgia Tech,” said Aluru. “It reflects the teamwork of dozens of faculty, and also supports the work of over 50 research scientists and 200 graduate students.”

Also central to the award are Surya Kalidindi, professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering; Charles David Sherrill, professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Deirdre Shoemaker, professor in the School of Physics, Rich Vuduc, associate professor in the School of Computational Science and Engineering, and Marilyn Wolf, professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Rhesa "Ray" S. Farmer, Jr. Distinguished Chair in Embedded Computing Systems.

The system is anticipated to begin operations in 2019, and will surpass the current campus capabilities. It will be used for applications that require large memories or local storage, provide modern GPU accelerators, and large storage capacity for data and simulation results.

HPC simulations—one of several uses of the new system—are important for solving large-scale problems in hours or days, rather than months or years. Applications of these include detection of gravitational waves, climate models, performance of materials used in manufacturing or healthcare, and drug discovery.

The new HPC acquisition will coincide with the unveiling of an 80,000 sq.ft. data center in the new Coda building. Coda, the 21-story, 650,000 sq.ft. new addition to Technology Square, lies adjacent to the Georgia Tech campus and major fiber pathways connecting the Southeast.

“We worked to ensure the acquisition is well-timed to be the pivotal supercomputer in the Coda data center,” said Aluru.

 “This award is a major boon for interdisciplinary research at Georgia Tech, one that will also be a valuable addition to the HPC-based research community nationally. With Coda opening its doors soon, this supercomputer will become the premier computing resource at Georgia Tech,” said Executive Vice President for Reseach Chaouki Abdallah.

IDEaS and many users of the new equipment will be based in Coda. System management will be handled by the Partnership for an Advanced Computing Environment, or PACE, also residing in Coda.

Research enabled by new system will aid several national initiatives in big data, including strategic computing, materials genome, manufacturing partnerships, NSF-supported observatories such as the LIGO gravitational wave observatory, and the South Pole neutrino observatory known as IceCube.

Researchers from all levels—from early career to undergraduate students—will be the target of training and outreach. Several Georgia Tech researchers and partner institutions will be awarded time on the equipment based on scientific merit and on the national significance of proposed problems.

One-fifth of the system capacity will be dedicated to the research activities of regional partners including minority serving institutions. Other users can participate through XSEDE, a national network of NSF supercomputers that scientists use to interactively share computing resources, data and expertise.

“High performance computing is a priority area for Georgia Tech. Data analysis, simulations, and computational predictive tools are essential elements of modern science, engineering and design. High performance computing is the laboratory of the 21st century,” said Rafael L. Bras, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs and K. Harrison Brown Family Chair. “It is extremely satisfying to see a multidisciplinary team successfully work together to make this acquisition a reality. That, after all, is the spirit and culture of Coda.”

]]> Jennifer Salazar 1 1536594233 2018-09-10 15:43:53 1704995387 2024-01-11 17:49:47 0 0 news A team from Georgia Tech has received an award for $3.7 million from the National Science Foundation to cover 70% of the cost of a new High Performance Computing resource for the upcoming Coda building’s data center.

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2018-09-10T00:00:00-04:00 2018-09-10T00:00:00-04:00 2018-09-10 00:00:00 Dr. JF Salazar
Institute for Data Engineering and Science
jsalazar@gatech.edu

 

Joshua Chamot
Public Affairs Specialist for Mathematical and Physical Sciences
National Science Foundation
Office of Legislative and Public Affairs
(703) 292-4489
jchamot@nsf.gov
https://twitter.com/NSF_MPS
https://www.facebook.com/US.NSF/

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611201 611201 image <![CDATA[IDEaS-led Team Receives MRI Award from NSF]]> image/jpeg 1536592885 2018-09-10 15:21:25 1537354894 2018-09-19 11:01:34
<![CDATA[Researchers Create Light-Powered Yeast, Providing Insights Into Evolution, Biofuels, Cellular Aging]]> 35575 You may be familiar with yeast as the organism content to turn carbs into products like bread and beer when left to ferment in the dark. In these cases, exposure to light can hinder or even spoil the process. 

In a new study published in Current Biology, researchers in Georgia Tech’s School of Biological Sciences have engineered one of the world’s first strains of yeast that may be happier with the lights on.

“We were frankly shocked by how simple it was to turn the yeast into phototrophs (organisms that can harness and use energy from light),” says Anthony Burnetti, a research scientist working in Associate Professor William Ratcliff’s laboratory and corresponding author of the study. “All we needed to do was move a single gene, and they grew 2% faster in the light than in the dark. Without any fine-tuning or careful coaxing, it just worked.”

Easily equipping the yeast with such an evolutionarily important trait could mean big things for our understanding of how this trait originated — and how it can be used to study things like biofuel production, evolution, and cellular aging.

Looking for an energy boost

The research was inspired by the group’s past work investigating the evolution of multicellular life. The group published their first report on their Multicellularity Long-Term Evolution Experiment (MuLTEE) in Nature last year, uncovering how their single-celled model organism, “snowflake yeast,” was able to evolve multicellularity over 3,000 generations.

Throughout these evolution experiments, one major limitation for multicellular evolution appeared: energy.

“Oxygen has a hard time diffusing deep into tissues, and you get tissues without the ability to get energy as a result,” says Burnetti. “I was looking for ways to get around this oxygen-based energy limitation.”

One way to give organisms an energy boost without using oxygen is through light. But the ability to turn light into usable energy can be complicated from an evolutionary standpoint. For example, the molecular machinery that allows plants to use light for energy involves a host of genes and proteins that are hard to synthesize and transfer to other organisms — both in the lab and naturally through evolution. 

Luckily, plants are not the only organisms that can convert light to energy.

Keeping it simple

A simpler way for organisms to use light is with rhodopsins: proteins that can convert light into energy without additional cellular machinery.

“Rhodopsins are found all over the tree of life and apparently are acquired by organisms obtaining genes from each other over evolutionary time,” says Autumn Peterson, a biology Ph.D. student working with Ratcliff and lead author of the study.

This type of genetic exchange is called horizontal gene transfer and involves sharing genetic information between organisms that aren’t closely related. Horizontal gene transfer can cause seemingly big evolutionary jumps in a short time, like how bacteria are quickly able to develop resistance to certain antibiotics. This can happen with all kinds of genetic information and is particularly common with rhodopsin proteins.

“In the process of figuring out a way to get rhodopsins into multi-celled yeast,” explains Burnetti, “we found we could learn about horizontal transfer of rhodopsins that has occurred across evolution in the past by transferring it into regular, single-celled yeast where it has never been before.”

To see if they could outfit a single-celled organism with solar-powered rhodopsin, researchers added a rhodopsin gene synthesized from a parasitic fungus to common baker’s yeast. This specific gene is coded for a form of rhodopsin that would be inserted into the cell’s vacuole, a part of the cell that, like mitochondria, can turn chemical gradients made by proteins like rhodopsin into energy. 

Equipped with vacuolar rhodopsin, the yeast grew roughly 2% faster when lit — a huge benefit in terms of evolution.

“Here we have a single gene, and we're just yanking it across contexts into a lineage that's never been a phototroph before, and it just works,” says Burnetti. “This says that it really is that easy for this kind of a system, at least sometimes, to do its job in a new organism.”

This simplicity provides key evolutionary insights and says a lot about “the ease with which rhodopsins have been able to spread across so many lineages and why that may be so,” explains Peterson, who Peterson recently received a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Gilliam Fellowship for her work. Carina Baskett, grant writer for Georgia Tech’s Center for Microbial Dynamics and Infection, also worked on the study.

Because vacuolar function may contribute to cellular aging, the group has also initiated collaborations to study how rhodopsins may be able to reduce aging effects in the yeast. Other researchers are already starting to use similar new, solar-powered yeast to study advancing bioproduction, which could mark big improvements for things like synthesizing biofuels.

Ratcliff and his group, however, are mostly keen to explore how this added benefit could impact the single-celled yeast’s journey to a multicellular organism. 

“We have this beautiful model system of simple multicellularity,” says Burnetti, referring to the long-running Multicellularity Long-Term Evolution Experiment (MuLTEE). “We want to give it phototrophy and see how it changes its evolution.”

Citation: Peterson et al., 2024, Current Biology 34, 1–7.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2023.12.044 


 

]]> adavidson38 1 1704997489 2024-01-11 18:24:49 1707410593 2024-02-08 16:43:13 0 0 news Researchers in Georgia Tech’s School of Biological Sciences have engineered one of the world's first yeast cells able to turn light into usable metabolic energy, giving a glimpse into how this trait may have been passed between organisms across evolution — and how it could be synthesized to advance our understanding of biofuel production and cellular aging.

]]>
2024-01-12T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-12T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-12 00:00:00 Audra Davidson
Communications Officer II, College of Sciences
davidson.audra@gatech.edu

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672738 672739 672751 672750 672738 image <![CDATA[Green rhodopsin proteins inside the blue cell walls help these yeast grow faster when exposed to light. Photo: Anthony Burnetti, Georgia Institute of Technology.]]> Green rhodopsin proteins inside the blue cell walls help these yeast grow faster when exposed to light. Photo: Anthony Burnetti, Georgia Institute of Technology.

]]> image/jpeg 1704997508 2024-01-11 18:25:08 1704997508 2024-01-11 18:25:08
672739 image <![CDATA[Biology researchers who worked on the study include (from left to right) Assistant Professor William Ratcliff, CMDI grant writer Carina Baskett, biology Ph.D. student Autumn Peterson, and Research Scientist Anthony Burnetti. Photo: Audra Davidson]]> Biology researchers who worked on the study include (from left to right) Assistant Professor William Ratcliff, CMDI grant writer Carina Baskett, biology Ph.D. student Autumn Peterson, and Research Scientist Anthony Burnetti. Photo: Audra Davidson

]]> image/jpeg 1704997748 2024-01-11 18:29:08 1704997748 2024-01-11 18:29:08
672751 image <![CDATA[Biology Ph.D. student Autumn Peterson, the study's lead author, looks at yeast cells with Research Scientist Anthony Burnetti, the study's corresponding author, in the lab. (Photo: Audra Davidson)]]> Biology Ph.D. student Autumn Peterson, the study's lead author, looks at yeast cells with Research Scientist Anthony Burnetti, the study's corresponding author, in the lab. (Photo: Audra Davidson)

]]> image/jpeg 1705077426 2024-01-12 16:37:06 1705077426 2024-01-12 16:37:06
672750 image <![CDATA[William Ratcliff, assistant professor in the School of Biological Sciences, chats with Carina Baskett, grant writer for Georgia Tech's Center for Microbial Dynamics and Infection. Ratcliff's group led the study. (Photo: Audra Davidson)]]> William Ratcliff, assistant professor in the School of Biological Sciences, chats with Carina Baskett, grant writer for Georgia Tech's Center for Microbial Dynamics and Infection. Ratcliff's group led the study. (Photo: Audra Davidson)

]]> image/jpeg 1705077367 2024-01-12 16:36:07 1705077367 2024-01-12 16:36:07
<![CDATA[A Journey to the Origins of Multicellular Life: Long-Term Experimental Evolution in the Lab]]> <![CDATA[Graduate Student and Advisor Pair Awarded HHMI Gilliam Fellowship]]> <![CDATA[Sciences Scholars Named University Center of Exemplary Mentoring Program Fellows]]>
<![CDATA[‘Cicada-geddon’ is about to descend upon metro Atlanta]]> 27255 If you’re fascinated by the upcoming solar eclipse, the cicadas are weirder and bigger, said Georgia Tech biophysicist Saad Bhamla.

“We’ve got trillions of these amazing living organisms come out of the Earth, climb up on trees and it’s just a unique experience, a sight to behold,” Bhamla said. “It’s like an entire alien species living underneath our feet and then some prime number years they come out to say hello.”

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Josie Giles 1 1712095319 2024-04-02 22:01:59 1712095319 2024-04-02 22:01:59 0 0 hgTechInTheNews 2024-04-01T00:00:00-04:00 2024-04-01T00:00:00-04:00 2024-04-01T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[Georgia Tech Launches Quadrant-i, a New Unit to Enhance Research Commercialization]]> 36434 Georgia Tech Launches Quadrant-i, a New Unit to Enhance Research Commercialization

Georgia Tech's Office of Commercialization introduces Quadrant-i, a new unit dedicated to helping faculty, researchers, and students translate their research into startups.

The name is inspired by Pasteur’s quadrant in the Daniel Stokes innovation-impact model and will emphasize the translation of deep scientific research into products. (See more information about Pasteur’s quadrant here.)

Quadrant-i will join the other units in commercialization — the Office of Technology Licensing, VentureLab, and CREATE-X — in making Georgia Tech the premier campus for startups and commercialization.

“As we grow our efforts toward delivering impact through commercialization, creating a unit that is solely focused on helping our faculty, students, and researchers launch startups based on their research is essential,” said Raghupathy “Siva” Sivakumar, vice president of Commercialization and chief commercialization officer.

The functions of Quadrant-i have historically been supported by VentureLab, a national leader in entrepreneurship training and research. The reorganization will also allow VentureLab to amplify its impact in making Georgia Tech a thought leader for entrepreneurship.

Quadrant-i will be a comprehensive resource for the thriving research community on campus, facilitating the journey from innovations to impact. The unit will offer programs, resources, and services tailored to expedite and enhance the commercialization process, including:

A search is currently underway for a director, who will report to Sivakumar.

The Office of Commercialization invites faculty, researchers, students, investors, mentors, industry leaders, and innovators to collaborate with Quadrant-i and learn more about its programs and services.

For more information, visit: commercialization.gatech.edu/quadrant-i

 

News Contact

Lacey Cameron, Marketing Manager

lacey.cameron@gatech.edu

]]> lcameron30 1 1711134608 2024-03-22 19:10:08 1712146743 2024-04-03 12:19:03 0 0 news Georgia Tech's Office of Commercialization is proud to announce the launch of Quadrant-i, our latest initiative dedicated to enhancing the translation of research into successful startups. This new unit joins CREATE-X, VentureLab, and the Office of Technology Licensing, reinforcing our commitment to making Georgia Tech a leading hub for innovation and commercialization.

 

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2024-04-03T00:00:00-04:00 2024-04-03T00:00:00-04:00 2024-04-03 00:00:00 Lacey Cameron

 

Marketing Communications Manager

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673578 673578 image <![CDATA[Tech Tower and Atlanta Skyline]]> image/jpeg 1712003668 2024-04-01 20:34:28 1712003668 2024-04-01 20:34:28
<![CDATA[Georgia Tech Unveils New AI Makerspace in Collaboration with NVIDIA]]> 27255 Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering has established an artificial intelligence supercomputer hub dedicated exclusively to teaching students. The initiative — the AI Makerspace — is launched in collaboration with NVIDIA. College leaders call it a digital sandbox for students to understand and use AI in the classroom

Initially focusing on undergraduate students, the AI Makerspace aims to democratize access to computing resources typically reserved for researchers or technology companies. Students will access the cluster online as part of their coursework, deepening their AI skills through hands-on experience. The Makerspace will also better position students after graduation as they work with AI professionals and help shape the technology’s future applications.

“The launch of the AI Makerspace represents another milestone in Georgia Tech’s legacy of innovation and leadership in education,” said Raheem Beyah, dean of the College and Southern Company Chair. “Thanks to NVIDIA’s advanced technology and expertise, our students at all levels have a path to make significant contributions and lead in the rapidly evolving field of AI.”

Read the full story on the College of Engineering website.

]]> Josie Giles 1 1712856902 2024-04-11 17:35:02 1713555414 2024-04-19 19:36:54 0 0 news By giving students access to powerful supercomputers, Georgia Tech will teach AI to undergraduates in a way unlike any other university in the nation.

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2024-04-11T00:00:00-04:00 2024-04-11T00:00:00-04:00 2024-04-11 00:00:00 Jason Maderer, College of Engineering

]]>
673669 673669 image <![CDATA[ai-makerspace-nvidia-8655-t.jpg]]> The Georgia Tech AI Makerspace is a supercomputer hub dedicated exclusively to teaching students. The first phase of the endeavor is powered by 20 NVIDIA HGX H100 systems, housing 160 NVIDIA H100 Tensor Core GPUs (graphics processing units), one of the most powerful computational accelerators capable of enabling and supporting advanced AI and machine learning efforts. (Photo: Candler Hobbs)

]]> image/jpeg 1712714753 2024-04-10 02:05:53 1712714753 2024-04-10 02:05:53
<![CDATA[Tansu Celikel Appointed School of Psychology Chair]]> 34528 The College of Sciences is pleased to announce the appointment of Tansu Celikel as the new chair of the School of Psychology, effective fall 2021.

“By all accounts, Dr. Celikel will be bringing an abundance of enthusiasm, creativity, and vision to his role as chair,” says Susan Lozier, dean of the College of Sciences and Betsy Middleton and John Clark Sutherland Chair. “I am looking forward to working with him to advance the teaching and research missions across the School of Psychology and the College.”

“I am overjoyed to join the College of Sciences,” Celikel says. “Serving the Georgia Tech family as the next chair of the School of Psychology is an immense privilege. With its embedding in the College in a world-class technical university, our School of Psychology is in a prime position to advance the institutional mission of improving the human condition.”

Meet Tansu Celikel

Celikel received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience at La Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA) in Italy. After conducting postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Diego and the Max-Planck Institute for Medical Research, he set up his first laboratory at the University of Southern California in 2008.

Four years later, Celikel moved to the Netherlands to establish the Department of Neurophysiology at the Radboud University, where he has since served as professor and chair. Celikel is also the director of the Donders Institute, a preeminent interdisciplinary institute in Europe devoted to the advancement of brain, cognitive, and behavioral sciences to improve health, education, and technology.

“Modern psychology is a multidisciplinary science,” Celikel explains. “It investigates mental processes and behavior to address human challenges — whilst human-made intelligent technologies increasingly shape our experiences and behavior.”

“The rapid pace of development in robotics, computing, bioengineering, and neurotechnology is on the verge of ushering us into a new era,” he points out. “In our lifetimes, we will witness the emergence of augmented humans who will use embodied and wearable technologies to improve how we sense, perceive, infer, learn, decide, act, and interact — including in aging.”

Furthermore, Celikel says that “fundamental research on the mechanisms of cognition, principles of information processing, and organization of behavior will give rise to cognitive computing for the next-generation artificial intelligence” will guide that emergence. “The teamwork between the machine and humans will redefine the workplace, transforming humans’ creativity, interactions, adaptability, and resilience,” he adds.

“With competitive research programs in cognition and brain science, cognitive aging, engineering psychology, industrial and organizational psychology, and quantitative psychology, the School of Psychology is well-positioned to take on these and many other challenges as we partner with other great Schools at Georgia Tech and beyond,” he notes.

NeurotechEU  roadmap

Celikel is already building a roadmap to tackle these challenges and will arrive at Tech this fall equipped with leadership experience in developing vision, kindling the interests of stakeholders, and creating common academic and scientific goals. Celikel conceived and led the establishment of the European University of Brain and Technology (NeurotechEU), funded by the European Union. He is also the chair of its Board of Governors.

“The European University Initiative by the European Commission aims to transform universities,” Celikel says. “By bringing together eight universities and more than 250 partners in public and private sectors, NeurotechEU creates joint education, research, and innovation programs on Brain and Technology,” he explains.

“By pooling the educational and training capacity of its partners, and via its digital university, NeurotechEU will offer new learning opportunities,” he shares. “It will increase accessibility and inclusivity of advanced education — NeurotechEU research excellence centers and the Neurotech Graduate School are designed to maximize the synergy among our partners. They are currently being established under the Neurotech Research and Innovation (NeurotechRI) program, funded in part by Horizon 2020.”

Cognitive architectures

Celikel’s own research group studies cognitive architectures “as we observe, model and control the brain and its behavior,” he explains.

“Our earlier work exclusively focused on animals to shed a mechanistic light on how sensory information is translated into action — and how experience alters this transformation and behavior throughout the lifespan.”

Celikel and his colleagues have identified fundamental mechanisms through which “self-centered and world-centered representations of the world in the brain are formed, stored and modified in an experience-dependent manner.”

To extend this research, his group has worked to develop “new technologies and computational methods that allow precise quantification of sensory input to the brain and behavior in millisecond resolution.” Using some of these methods, he notes, “we have recently established quantitative behavioral, neural and computational read-outs of perceptual learning.”

“Our experiments have shown that, within 90 milliseconds in rodents, or 230 milliseconds in humans,” he shares, “the brain collects the sensory information from the periphery, creates a percept of the stimulus, builds a memory trace and the associated expectations, generates a motor plan, and executes it while keeping track of the ‘error’ in the computation given its previous experiences. We are now developing methods to control every step of perceptual learning in rodents and humans.”

The ultimate goal of Celikel’s research is to identify the cognitive architectures of behavior to develop efficient, modular, and adaptable control solutions. “To test our algorithms,” he explains, “we create computational and in silico networks, and simulate behavior.”

From cutting edge robotics research — to excellence in core curriculum

These algorithms are also used to control robotic devices, for example by the iNavigate consortium, which is also led by Celikel and funded by the European Commission. “iNavigate is a unique training and exchange grant that brings together 50 research groups across academia and industry, to learn how we navigate our environments, in order to develop control algorithms for autonomous devices,” he shares. “We believe it provides a roadmap to translate fundamental insights on the organization of behavior and cognitive computations into actionable control solutions, including for the emerging field of cognitive robotics.”

Beyond academic leadership and research, Celikel has also taught courses in biology, physics, engineering, social sciences, and medical school programs in the Netherlands and the US. He has served on and chaired several committees that have shaped educational programs at the bachelor’s and graduate levels, and he has led several European Union training grant initiatives.

“The School of Psychology has a tradition of excellence also in education and training,” Celikel adds. “I am looking forward to working with our students, staff, faculty, administration, and alumni to build on this excellence.”

 

About the School of Psychology at Georgia Tech

The School of Psychology at Georgia Tech places strong emphasis on scientific research and discovery. Faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students alike engage in an array of wide-ranging topics related to the field of psychology, with research organized into five program areas: cognition and brain science, cognitive aging, engineering psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, and quantitative psychology.

The School fosters and maintains strong research and educational interactions across the College of Sciences and with fellow scientific and technological disciplines on campus, such as the GVU, Human-Computer Interaction Program, Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering, and Georgia Tech Research Institute​ (GTRI); as well as with collaborative partnerships with a number of institutions including Zoo Atlanta, Emory University and the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory, and the Center for Research and Education for Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE) at Georgia Tech, Florida State, and the University of Miami.

About the College of Sciences at Georgia Tech

The College of Sciences cultivates curiosity, encourages exploration, and fosters innovation to develop scientific solutions for a better world. Our connected community of scientists and mathematicians collaborates across disciplines and challenges to achieve excellence in science, teaching, and research. Working across six internationally ranked schools with the brightest young minds in our fields, we mentor future leaders to identify and push the frontiers of human knowledge, imagination, and innovation.

We nurture scientifically curious students by offering diverse educational and research experiences. As an internationally recognized, preeminent institution in the sciences and mathematics, we help students build empowering foundations in the sciences and mathematics — educating and preparing the next generation of scientists who will create the technologies of the future.

Most of the disciplines within our six schools — Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology — are ranked in the top 10%. We organize ourselves in multidisciplinary research neighborhoods to promote broad exchange of ideas. We also offer exciting opportunities for students to engage in research, and train with top professors in chosen fields.

Our internationally recognized senior faculty and an extraordinarily talented group of junior faculty are genuinely concerned about undergraduate and graduate education, and they bring the excitement of new discoveries in the research laboratory to the classroom. The quality of the faculty and the curriculum, combined with new state-of-the-art facilities and a low student to faculty ratio, ensure the excellent educational opportunities available to our students.

About Georgia Tech

The Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech, is a top 10 public research university developing leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition.

The Institute offers business, computing, design, engineering, liberal arts, and sciences degrees. Its nearly 40,000 students, representing 50 states and 149 countries, study at the main campus in Atlanta, at campuses in France and China, and through distance and online learning.

As a leading technological university, Georgia Tech is an engine of economic development for Georgia, the Southeast, and the nation, conducting more than $1 billion in research annually for government, industry, and society.

]]> jhunt7 1 1629216148 2021-08-17 16:02:28 1629216285 2021-08-17 16:04:45 0 0 news The College of Sciences is pleased to announce the appointment of Tansu Celikel as the new chair of the School of Psychology, effective fall 2021. Celikel is director of the Donders Institute, and established the Department of Neurophysiology at the Radboud University, where he has since served as professor and chair.

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2021-08-17T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-17T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-17 00:00:00 Jess Hunt-Ralston
Director of Communications
College of Sciences at Georgia Tech

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<![CDATA[Georgia Tech Names Raghupathy “Siva” Sivakumar as Vice President of Commercialization]]> 28153 Raghupathy “Siva” Sivakumar has been named Georgia Tech’s first vice president of commercialization and chief commercialization officer.

A professor who co-founded multiple technology companies, he currently is director of CREATE-X, a Georgia Tech initiative to instill entrepreneurial confidence in students and empower them to launch successful startups.

Sivakumar, who has been serving as chief commercialization officer in an interim capacity since November 2020, will now focus full-time on the goals ahead, which include bringing together commercialization and technology transfer pursuits across campus to move more intellectual property into the marketplace, expanding Georgia Tech’s global impact.

“Throughout his career and in his current interim role, Siva has already made a positive impact on our commercialization efforts at Tech, and I am so pleased to welcome him as the inaugural chief commercialization officer,” said Chaouki T. Abdallah, executive vice president for Research for Georgia Tech. “Our aim is to attract and nurture the best entrepreneurial minds, enabling Tech to become both a thought leader in redefining commercialization in academia and a leading university in impactful technology transfer. I have full confidence that Siva can get us there.”

For Sivakumar, taking on the leadership of Georgia Tech’s commercialization enterprise is a way of paying his entrepreneurial expertise forward. His own commercial mindset took root when he was a graduate student at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), and watched his advisor start a successful company.

He learned the mechanics of raising money, building product, and going to market after arriving at Georgia Tech and helping to launch a video technology startup, EG Technology, which was eventually acquired. Two more tech startups, Asankya and StarMobile followed, and both were acquired by larger firms.

“As someone who's taken advantage of the Georgia Tech commercialization ecosystem in the past as a faculty entrepreneur, it still surprises me how rich it is, and that gives me great optimism for the road ahead,” said Sivakumar, who holds the Wayne J. Holman Chair in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and will officially begin his new role as CCO on September 1.

For the past 10 months, Sivakumar has been evaluating Georgia Tech’s strengths and weaknesses, laying the groundwork for a more nimble and effective commercialization ecosystem. The goal is to clarify the path to commercialization for Georgia Tech faculty, staff, and students, connecting them with the potential consumers of technology produced by the Institute’s billion-dollar research program.

“There’s plenty of work to do and we have some challenges – we are working on a cultural shift, and that’s not an easy thing to do,” said Sivakumar. “But I’ve learned so much in this role so far, and I’m confident in what we’ve accomplished already, particularly in effecting the student perspective on entrepreneurship.”

With CREATE-X, Sivakumar helped start a program that empowers students with entrepreneurial knowledge and skills: In six years, more than 5,000 students have started 300-plus ventures with a total valuation of more than $750 million.

For the past six months, Sivakumar has been convening the commercialization visioning process, meeting with a commercialization strategy working group comprised of representatives from ATDC, Biolocity, CREATE-X, the Global Center for Medical Innovation, Georgia Research Alliance, and Venture Lab, among others.

The group has drafted a mission statement, a commercialization vision, and identified a set of goals around the broad idea of instilling enough entrepreneurial confidence in faculty, staff, and students, streamlining the process in turning innovative technologies into marketable products that improve the human condition.

“These aren’t my goals, this is coming from the major commercialization entities on campus,” said Sivakumar. “Watching these people interact, watching their willingness to collaborate across departments, gives me great confidence that we’ll reach our goals.”

 

]]> Jerry Grillo 1 1630509407 2021-09-01 15:16:47 1630691038 2021-09-03 17:43:58 0 0 news New VP will bring together commercialization and tech transfer efforts across campus, expanding Georgia Tech's global impact

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2021-09-01T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-01T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-01 00:00:00 Writer: Jerry Grillo

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<![CDATA[Rooftop Solar Increases Electricity Use, Raising Questions for Utilities and Policymakers, Georgia Tech Study Finds]]> 34600 According to a new analysis by researchers at Georgia Tech’s Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, homeowners who install solar panels wind up using more electricity than before going green, a finding that could have implications for energy planning and climate change mitigation efforts.

The study by Daniel Matisoff and Ross Beppler of the School of Public Policy and Matthew Oliver of the School of Economics found that nearly a third of the electricity generated by solar power customers of one Eastern U.S. utility went to increased energy usage. This dulls the energy savings and carbon offsets green energy advocates hope to see from solar and other renewable energies.

The findings, published online Oct. 4 in Economic Inquiry, are important for utility planners and public officials trying to gauge how best to responsibly incentivize solar adoption amid a growing call to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in the face of dire climate change warnings.

“More and more, states are effectively providing subsidies for consumers to install rooftop solar on their homes,” said Matisoff. “This study is a step toward helping policymakers understand if the investments they are making in encouraging the expansion of solar energy are worth the cost.”

The researchers found that while solar generation accounted for about 56% of what customers used before installing rooftop panels, the draw on the power grid dropped by only 40% afterward. Compare that to other customers of the same utility who didn’t install solar and whose electricity consumption remained unchanged.

The 28% difference between the two numbers is what economists call a “rebound effect.” Traditionally, such an effect occurs when expected gains from energy efficiencies are lost to increased consumption. One example: when someone buys a new fuel-efficient car, then drives more because their per-mile cost of fuel has dropped. They end up partially offsetting the gains policymakers might have expected in terms of lower fuel consumption.

“The key difference with installing solar is that it has nothing to do with energy efficiency as we usually think of it,” Oliver said. “Rather, the rebound effect occurs as a response to the availability of solar power, a substitute for grid-supplied electricity that is basically free after incurring the cost of the system installation itself.”

Other studies have found rebound effects from solar energy. What sets the Georgia Tech study apart is that it is the first to use direct billing data from the entire customer base of a utility — about 500,000 customers, including 8,000 solar customers. It also is constructed to provide better insight into what is driving the increased consumption, Matisoff said.

The Georgia Tech finding of a 28% rebound effect is also more significant than other studies, which have found an effect of between 11% and 20%.

“What these findings point to is that people were previously suppressing some of their electricity use because they felt bad about the emissions,” he said. “Because the solar energy is greener, they feel a moral license to use more.”

Another explanation, Matisoff said, could be that when consumers switch to solar power, they sometimes also switch to electric-powered vehicles, water heaters, and other appliances to take advantage of their new, cleaner energy source.

That’s not necessarily an environmental problem — at least not now, Matisoff said. But it does pose questions for utilities. A significant rebound effect tied to rooftop solar will affect overall power demand and result in complications for power generation planning, management, and reliability, according to the authors. Such issues are not insignificant when you consider that forecasters expect solar power installations to grow to 8,000GW and provide 6% of global electricity by 2050, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

“The crucial insight is that 1 gigawatt of new residential solar gets you considerably less than a 1-gigawatt reduction in demand for power provided by conventional sources,” Oliver said. “An accurate estimate of that rebound effect has to be built into forecasts of electricity demand if the power system is going to adapt efficiently to the continued proliferation of this technology.”

The results also should prompt policymakers to think about whether subsidies are properly tuned to the benefit they provide, Matisoff said.

“If we’re spending public dollars to offset coal or gas, we need to know how much of the solar generation we’re subsidizing offsets dirtier energy, and how much is new consumption,” Matisoff said.

The article, “Electricity Consumption Changes Following Solar Adoption: Testing for a Solar Rebound,” is available at https://doi.org/10.1111/ecin.13031.

]]> mpearson34 1 1633433186 2021-10-05 11:26:26 1633464390 2021-10-05 20:06:30 0 0 news Nearly a third of the electricity created from solar power may go to increased usage, according to a new study from Georgia Tech's Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.

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2021-10-05T00:00:00-04:00 2021-10-05T00:00:00-04:00 2021-10-05 00:00:00 Michael Pearson
michael.pearson@iac.gatech.edu

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