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Our next Research IT Reading Group topic will be: CITRIS and the Pacific Research Platform, Th 19 November / noon / 200C Warren Hall.

When: Thursday, November 19th from noon - 1pm
Where: 200C Warren Hall, 2195 Hearst St (see building access instructions on parent page).
Event format: The reading group is a brown bag lunch (bring your own) with a short <20 min talk followed by ~40 min group discussion.

Presenter: Camille Crittenden, Deputy Director of CITRIS at the UC Berkeley campus.  

Facilitator: David Greenbaum, Research IT

Camille will present a brief overview of CITRIS. CITRIS is the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS).  CITRIS is a UC-wide science center that includes UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Merced, and UC Santa Cruz. She will also present the newly funded Pacific Research Platform and the inaugural workshop that took place last month. This reading group will focus on questions of how to support multi-campus research at UC and how to engage and reach out to faculty.


Please browse the following prior to our 11/19 meeting:

Presenting: Camille Crittenden, CITRIS
Facilitating: David Greenbaum, Research IT


Aron Roberts, Research IT
Bill Allison, IST-API
Chris Hoffman, Research IT
Greg Hamilton, IST-EDW
Jack Shnell, IST-Storage
Jamie Wittenberg, Research IT and Library
Jason Christopher, Research IT
John Lowe, Research IT
Mark Chiang, IST-EDW
Quinn Dombrowski, Research IT
Rick Jaffe, Research IT
Scott Peterson, Doe Library
Steve Masover, Research IT
Steven Carrier, School of Education


CITRIS and Pacific Research Platform
Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society
Grant from state of California, Governor Gray Davis, supporting science and innovation across the state
Four multi-campus institutes for science and innovation, CITRIS is one (QB3 has a presence here), 2 in southern California
Multidisciplinary approach; near comp science and engineering, but bring in people from art practice, public policy, humanities, etc.
IT and social impact two-fold mandate
Affiliated with BBerkeley, Medical, Merced, Santa Cruz; work closely with medical cener
$4M from university funds, funds core operations
Help affiliated faculty raise outside funds ($90M; 1/3 - 1/2 federal grant funds, work with state for energy research)
80 core faculty members; larger group of more loosely affiliated faculty; 300 across campuses work in some capacity
Positive impact on economy of California, fostering 50+ startups
The Foundry incubator
Costas Panos as lead faculty member, evaluated impact and range of work
Tried to look externally at challenges, how to harness resources in faculty expertise and research infrastructure
Internet of Things: challenge / opportunity
Twice number of people on planet is number of connected devices, expect it to keep growing
Impact on a number of areas of research, including energy and health and resiliency of infrastructure and people
Exponential increase in amount of data; how can we bring researchers and faculty members to use this in a smart way
“Gigacities” - increasing urbanization, how can we have all these people in close physical proximity in comfortable and healthy way (energy, transportation, social circles
Challenge of aging population, especially in developed country
In less developed countries, youth population has been the issue, but will gradually catch up
Implications for health and civic engagement
How to take care of older generations
Climate change — lots of implications for work
Population growth largely projected to be in tropical areas; 40% lived in tropics in 2008, by 2060 projected to be 60%
Building efficiency, occupant comfort, etc.
Globalization; how to work with peer universities to make a contribution on global landscape
Mobility, data
Four core initiatives:
1) Health
Connection with UC Davis medical center
Improving health outcomes and access to cost-effective  care through development of innovative tech in telehealth, sensors, analytics and mobile devices
Focusing on precision medicine — also looking at it from population health perspective
Using wearable fitness devices, how to analyze and visualize data coming from these various sources
Health at home — how to use telehealth, video recognition to help people stay healthy at home, interested in innovations on putting chips on prescription medicine to monitor adherence to medication protocols
People kept in hospital just to make sure they’re taking medicine on time
Accurate remote monitoring of people could bring the cost curve down for expenses of keeping people in hospital
Raises privacy considerations
Aging and technology is another speciality of director of health initiative
Interested in helping older adults use technology
CITRIS can facilitate partnerships among faculty, not necessarily w/in a discipline but across disciplines
At UC Davis, have bioinformatics people at medical center looking at EHRs, but if we can bring them together with data scientists and statisticians, it can yield more results than you’d get individually
Seed grant program; CITRIS uses some central funding to ask faculty members to write joint proposals, PI from at least two CITRIS campuses go in together to write proposal
Would use that proof of concept to raise larger  grants
Bridging campuses helps justify consortium to UCOP
UCOP also has programs like multi-campus research programs; orgs like CITRIS can help facilitate even that program, provide faculty introductions to one another
2) Sustainable infrastructure
Lots of crossover with work on bringing together energy, transportation, water systems
Looking at cyberinfrastructure that everything is built on
Expertise in energy, in water area have project with UC Merced to build wireless sensor network in Sierras for hydrology forecasting for the state
Bringing those systems together, effect on electric grid as we have more electric vehicles
Lots of interesting research angles related to drought, water informatics
Sensors / internet of things — what’s the growing demand and interest for that? Do you have people with expertise in sensor area by domain who might provide consulting?
Work with CED and groups there in built environment; Sutardja Dai has a lot of sensors, use that as a living lab
3) People and robots
Numerous active faculty members in this area, but this is a new initiative for CITRIS to bring those faculty together
Not just industrial environment, but thinking of it in agricultural applications, drones, precision irrigation, monitoring agriculture; sensor networks for post-harvest
Artificial intelligence and machine learning
Surgical robotics as well
4) Connected communities
Developed out of “Data and Democracy” initiative
Most overtly connected to end-user/consumer
Building platforms to facilitate collaboration among communities working on particular  topics in civic tech space
How to express priorities and experiences to elected officials
Using interactive device design work in invention lab, citizen science, community building around science activities
Convened conferences on policy issues, public open data, privacy and security with video applications
California Report Card — worked with office of lieutenant governor, people could grade state on performance in various policy areas that were timely
Key innovation was that not only could you get quantitative data, but also make suggestions for what state should be pay attention to
Can rate suggestions of others
Community-building / crowdsourcing ideas around bubbling up best ideas
Engine behind it is called cafe — collective assessment and feedback engine
Also being used in other contexts; can do it with voice-based responses and icons, can use it in low-literacy settings
Don’t need intermediary, can get direct input from beneficiaries of service
Other labs and programs and projects — the “invention ecosystem"
Invention labs: classes, workshops, hackathons, 3D printers
Marvell Nanolab: academic cleanroom, moved into Sutardja Dai Hall in 2009
Foundry: start-up incubator
Social app lab: mostly student-run group, example of where faculty directors are from anthropology, art practice; run mobile app challenge, students come together to create apps in CITRIS topic areas
Started at UC Merced, came to Berkeley, Davis, trying to expand across all CITRIS orgs
UCOP wants to see this program at all UC campuses
The CITRIS foundry, 2.5 yrs ago as incubator
Offer intersection of hardware and software
Invention Lab facilities and expertise, look for hardware component to ideas
Graduated 16 companies; admitted 6 new companies
Energy companies, health are biggest ones
Model is we give them 6 months of very close hands-on mentoring and coaching, introducing to VCs, legal council, marketing who they need to set up business and raise funding outside university
Given $5k for misc expenses, small pool of money, and in exchange take 2% equity in companies
2/3 undergrad, 1/3 grad students
Work with engineers, also Haas business school
2 application periods a year, had 50 teams apply and took 6
“Gaining on Stanford” on all sorts of metrics; doing better than many incubators in gender parity; something like 40% are women
Some go on to participate in other incubators; some start in mobile app challenge, then go to foundry, then Skydeck
Skydeck — joint program of engineering and business school
Another incubator, host young teams, provide mostly space and introductions to mentors, VCs, etc.
Not quite as hands-on as the foundry
Foundry is for pre-seed level companies; Skyjack is for companies that are a little further along
Foundry has some space in UC invention lab, invention studio (next door), work benches for meeting and working, also collaboration space
No dedicated desk like at Skydeck
UAVs have FAA license for flying autonomous drones — environmental monitoring, developing quad-copter that can land autonomously in water that isn’t easily accessible to do sampling
Visited them at Castle Air Force Base, near UC Merced
Pacific Research Platform — spearheaded by Larry Smarr at UCSD, faculty director of CalIT2
A statewide, region wide science DMZ, high-speed data transfers among participating institutions
Partnering with CENIC, Pacific Wave (worldwide collaboration)
Campuses received grants from NSF to improve infrastructure
CITRIS role: connect network engineers with science drivers (domain areas to focus on over 5-year  grant)
Connect scientists with network engineers to make collaboration easier
PRP near-term goals: working with campus organizations to make “last mile” connections between researchers and science DMZ
Recent NSF grant for west coast big data hub; Michael Franklin is PI here, will be interesting to see how we can work with them on data applications along with network applications
Can hire a person, or part of people to support researchers directly
Interested in finding people with spare capacity, expand team with joint funding — looking for data wrangler / network engineer type person to work with research staff to make this happen
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