The Sixth Research Computing Symposium will take place February 5, 2020, in the Penn Pavilion on Duke’s West Campus. The symposium will highlight research initiatives that use information technologies and digital (sometimes even “big”) data to forge new directions in research. In order to encourage interactions among Triangle-area researchers, students, staff, and faculty from the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University are also invited to take part. And we hope they come to add even more richness to the event!

The program will include a recounting of progress made in the past year and plans and a vision for future work in research computing. Of course, the symposium will also have its poster session that is open to the entire Duke community. (Refreshments, too, will accompany the usual collegial exchanges.)


Pre-Symposium Activities:

11:30-1:30        Poster setup, submission details

12:00-1:30        Lunch and pre-symposium workshops, separate registration is required 

Symposium Activities

1:30-2:00          Event check-in

2:00-3:25          Welcome and Symposium Speakers

3:25-4:45          Reception, Poster Session, and Research Services Displays

4:45-5:00          Poster awards

This year’s speakers

The three talks this year cover a very broad range of research computing, including ground-breaking work in medicine, biochemistry and computer science and in art and machine learning. They will be sharing their research in a scintillating and very understandable manner.

Robert Califf

Robert Califf, now Head of Strategy and Policy for Verily Life Sciences and Google Health, has deep roots at Duke. A graduate of Duke University and Duke Medical School, he returned to the university for a cardiology fellowship after completing a residency in internal medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. As a Duke faculty cardiologist and clinical investigator, he helped create the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI), which would grow into the nation’s largest academic clinical research organization under Califf’s leadership. He is the Donald F. Fortin, M.D. Distinguished Professor of Cardiology and continues to serve as Adjunct Professor of Medicine in the Duke School of Medicine. He served as FDA Commisioner during the Obama administration. His deep experience in data- and computationally intensive medical research in academics, industry, and government grants him insight into medical application of big data.

Matthew Kenney
Matthew Kenney

Matthew Kenney has explored the relationship of art and machine learning in Duke’s Department of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies. His work extensively uses Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning tools such as Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) to manipulate and create images. Of course, his work has made him consider the borders of artistic work and how AI and art come together meaningfully. He has also explored “deep fakes” and the embedding of bias in AI, topics that are related to his work in creation of artistic imagery. He is a team leader in the Bass Connection’s “Artificial Intelligence Bias in an Age of a Technical Elite” project, and he regularly speaks at conferences and teaches in Duke +DS program and in his department. He is also involved in Duke Computational Media Arts and Cultures (CMAC) program and is a Research Assistant Professor.

Alberto Bartesaghi works at the cutting edge of a break-through technology called “cryogenic electron microscopy” — cryo-EM, in short.

Alberto Bartesaghi

Cryo-EM is playing an increasingly important role in biomedical research, and Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, and NIEHS have teamed together to generate large quantities of cryo-EM data that can be used to view molecular structures. Bartesaghi’s research makes the mountains of data useful by increasing the efficiency and improving results of the computational analysis of the cryo-EM data. His work promises to dramatically extend the reach of biomedical scientists and make impossibly small objects like molecules, particles, and proteins visible to human eyes.

He is a member of the faculty in the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Biochemistry at Duke.

Of course, no symposium would be complete without the talk from Duke’s Vice President for Information Technology and CIO Tracy Futhey. She will review the past year, and look forward to the next in research computing.

Poster session 

The symposium is a friendly and accessible gathering of scholars and scientists, who can exchange information about their work and build connections. And the annual poster session is a big part of that. More information is available on prizes and how to take part. If you’re familiar with the process of submitting a poster last year, you’ll be a pro this year.