In this talk, we will discuss the multiple seed grant initiatives in the Materials Research Institute (MRI), that aim at seeding new and multi-unit collaborations. In particular, the special focus of these opportunities is to expand productive research collaborations across OSVPR, by promoting partnerships across the Institutes. A second focus is to advance Penn State’s strategic goal in stimulating and enhancing international research collaborations by seeding joint research opportunities with international partnering institutions.  Finally, this year’s announcement also includes support for seed projects in Humanitarian Materials.

Virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR) influences the way people interact, communicate, and collaborate, and holds great potential to enhance learning and training, strengthen social connections, and improve our health. The critical step is to establish an immersive networking and computing platform that delivers unparalleled user experiences. In this presentation, I will introduce basic VR/AR concepts and various collaborative VR/AR applications. Moreover, I will discuss the main technical challenges that need to be addressed in collaborative VR/AR.

Speaker: Bin Li  |  Electrical Engineering

The United States and many other countries have been regulating the emissions of airborne particulates from power plants, vehicles and industry for decades. These policies have yielded drastic improvements in health and well-being through cleaner air. Recent interdisciplinary work at Penn State has highlighted mechanisms through which climate policy can make the air even cleaner.  Well-designed climate policy can improve not only the health of future generations but can also save lives and reduce sickness today.  In some cases, the immediate benefits of cleaner air can dwarf the benefits of climate mitigation. Achieving these benefits requires well designed climate policy that is coordinated over many different jurisdictions and is an active area of interdisciplinary research and engagement.

Atmospheric particles are everywhere in the atmosphere, but they are not evenly distributed. Atmospheric transport interacts with the sources and sinks of atmospheric trace constituents to create complex spatial and temporal patterns. I will describe how we measure and simulate the atmospheric distributions of trace compounds and how we can use this information: 1) to learn more about sources and sinks of these compounds and 2) to develop hyperlocal air quality and environmental health assessments.

Speaker: Kenneth Davis  |  Meteorology & Atmospheric Science

Funding agencies are placing greater emphasis on the application of basic science to create impact, resulting in moving innovations to commercialization and/or to benefit society.  To help faculty at all levels, this discussion will be the first in a series of presentation on engaging with industry to increase funding opportunities, open new avenues for application of your discoveries, attracting and retaining corporate members to your centers and consortium, and other relevant topics.  This initial discussion will briefly touch on upon resources available to connect you to industry and conclude with a query to identify industry engagement topics that would be of interest and support your work. 

Speaker: Geanie Umberger  |  Office of Industrial Partnerships

Sustainable (or environment-conscious) computing concerns the consumption of compute resources in a way that leads to a net zero impact on the environment. It is a very broad concept that includes not just power/energy but also ecosystems,  pollution (e.g., discarded hardware), and natural resources (e.g., water).  While reducing power/energy consumption of computing certainly contributes to sustainability, it is only one part of a very complex problem. Specifically, to achieve sustainability, one needs a multipronged strategy, which spans green sourcing, e-waste, regulations, and AI. In this talk, I will introduce the problem as well as its different aspects, and present some promising research directions.

Presenter: Mahmut Kandemir  |  Computer Science & Engineering