University faculty, Industry members, and students met at the University of Texas at Dallas last May for the 8thSemi-Annual Industrial Advisory Board Meeting of iPerform Center for Assistive Technologies (AT) to Enhance Human Performance, a National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC). The mission of iPerform is to bring together university and industry researchers to advance basic and applied research in Assistive Technologies in order to enhance human performance. Researchers at the I/UCRC iPerform Center currently are working on computer-based tools and methods to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of people with disabilities and to enhance the productivity of well-bodied people. With over 75 NSF I/UCRCs across the US, the iPerform Center is currently the only center bringing together university and industry researchers to advance fundamental and applied research in Assistive Technologies.
Assistive technologies have a wide variety of applications, from facilitating dialogs between persons that speak different languages to improving workplace safety and training to enhancing sensory and cognitive capabilities. Apples’ s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa are good examples of assistive technologies. In healthcare environments, Assistive Technologies tools can enhance sensory and cognitive capabilities, improve training & delivery, enable remote monitoring, delay physical and cognitive decline in chronic conditions, and personalize rehabilitation. They can predict risks for the elderly who live alone, monitor sleep disorders, design better prosthetics, robotic assistants, therapy games and tools to monitor mental/physiological conditions, such as depression, epilepsy, or heart problems.
The iPerform Center is an NSF-supported Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) that represents collaborations of professors and scientists at the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Texas at Dallas. The iPerform Center will soon expand to a national scale, with the addition of upcoming planned sites including Northeastern University and the University of South Florida.Dr. Ovidiu Daescu, a UT Dallas professor in Computer Science and principal investigator, leads the UT Dallas site, and Dr. Fillia Makedon, a UT Arlington Computer Science and Engineering professor and principal investigator, is the director of the UT Arlington site.
The iPerform Center Industry Advisory Board (IAB) meeting brought in researchers and members of both academia and Industry who either were interested in joining or currently associated with the Center. During the meeting, Principal Investigators (PIs) were in attendance to present ongoing research and to discuss research ideas. The meeting included a panel discussion titled “Secrets to Enhance Collaboration,” which allowed members from both Industry and academia to discuss how they have been successful in their research collaborations. Panel members included Scott Smith (AT&T), Marijana Celent (Swift Pace Solutions), Dr. Gopal Gupta (UT Dallas), Carole Coleman (UT Arlington), Dr. Taskin Padir (Northeastern University), Prakash Shrivastava (Atos), John Ellis (NEC), and Jim McDowell (Oracle).
At the meeting, the following ongoing projects were presented:
- Brain Activity Monitoring Systems and Applications – Dr. Shouyi Wang, UT Arlington
- Acoustic Systems to Enhance Human Computer Interaction – Dr. John Hansen, UT Dallas
- Automatic Human Communication Assessment: Under-Determined Systems– Dr. John Hansen, UT Dallas
- Highly Efficient Storage Systems – Dr. Hong Jiangand Dr. Zhichao Yan, UT Arlington
- Database Techniques for Network Traffic Analytics– Dr. Gautam Dasand Jees Augustine, UT Arlington
- Intelligent Software Analysis Systems– Dr. Eric Wong, UT Dallas
Attendees also were able to participate in a poster session which included new research proposals. The following posters were presented at the meeting:
- ASPEN: Pre-Screening Tool for Sleep Apnea in a Home Environment
- Nurse Burnout: A Wearable Solution
- Optimal Electrode Placement for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation
- Deep Learning for Health: A Common Framework
- An Interactive Vocational Assessment Based on Attention and Visual Working Memory Using Humanoid Robot
For every project that is funded, the majority of the funds will go toward supporting PhD students. The I/UCRC program provides high-quality interdisciplinary education. Nationwide, the Centers have produced several thousand MS and PhD graduates.
iPerform Center Industry members (past and present) include AT&T, Bosch North America, Texas Instruments Inc., Raytheon Co., National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), National Centre for Scientific Research – DEMOKRITOS, Dallas Veteran Affairs Research Corp. (DVARC), NetApp, FoxConn, SPEETRA, and the Veteran Affairs North Texas Health Care System (VANTHCS).
UT Dallas investigators involved in the center include Dr. Ovidiu Daescu, UT Dallas Site Director, lead investigator, and an expert in algorithm design and optimization for biomedical computing, Dr. Gopal Gupta, co-investigator, head of the UT Dallas Computer Science Department, and an expert in programming languages and applied logic, Dr. Balakrishnan Prabhakaran, co-investigator, professor of computer science, and an expert in multimedia systems and telemedicine, and Dr. Dinesh Bhatia, co-investigator, professor of Electrical Engineering, and an expert in electrical circuits and design. Many more faculty members from the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, across all departments, also are involved in the center, including Drs. Eric Wong (CS), Ryan McMahan (CS), Murat Kantarcioglu (CS), Carlos Busso (EE), Lakshman Tamil (EE), Yonas Tadesse (ME), Ann Majewicz (ME), Danieli Rodrigues (BE), and Robert Gregg (BE).
“Collaboration with industry through the iPerform Center has been instrumental in creating new problems for research, as well as applying research results developed in University labs to solve problems presented by our industry partners,” said Dr. Ovidiu Daescu, UT Dallas principal investigator. “The NSF I/UCRC program is a perfect example of academia, industry, and government collaborating for the betterment of society,” he added.
ABOUT THE UT DALLAS COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENT
The UT Dallas Computer Science program is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 2,400 bachelors-degree students, more than 1,000 master’s students, 150 Ph.D. students, 53 tenure-track faculty members and 38 full-time senior lecturers, as of Fall 2017. With The University of Texas at Dallas’ unique history of starting as a graduate institution first, the CS Department is built on a legacy of valuing innovative research and providing advanced training for software engineers and computer scientists.