New Research Institute to Connect People and Technology

To support the strategic plan’s focus on faculty-led, interdisciplinary and transformative research, Executive Vice President for Research Steve Cross has announced the launch of the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT).

Dr. Beth Mynatt
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Similar to the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, IPaT will catalyze research activities, create new economic development opportunities, and address important societal problems. It will support various college research centers that collectively pursue transformations in healthcare, education, consumer media, and other complex human enterprises by integrating advances in human-centered computing, architectural and digital design, policy, and system science and engineering.

"IPaT will create an innovation crossroads where Georgia Tech faculty, students, industry partners, government partners and other stakeholders meet to co-innovate, collaborate and pave the road for Georgia Tech research that addresses complex societal challenges,” stated Cross. “IPaT will focus on engaging the Tech community and our external partners in far-reaching leadership goals through its investment in unique research platforms, through our living laboratories and datasets, through partnership with Georgia Tech's Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), and through alignment with the many ongoing research activities on campus.”

The Institute for People and Technology will be led by Executive Director Beth Mynatt, College of Computing professor and former director of the GVU Center. Mynatt is a renowned researcher in human-computer interaction, health informatics and ubiquitous computing. She is a member of ACM's SIGCHI Academy, is a Sloan and Kavli research fellow and serves on Microsoft Research's Technical Advisory Board. She has published more than 100 scientific papers and recently chaired the CHI 2010 conference, the premier international conference in human-computer interaction. Prior to joining the faculty in 1998, she was a member of the research staff at Xerox PARC, working with the founder of ubiquitous computing, Mark Weiser. Mynatt earned both her master’s and PhD in computer science from Georgia Tech.

"I'm thrilled that Beth has agreed to lead the Institute for People and Technology," said Cross. "Her vast understanding of the complexities inherent in today's social and business institutions and the transformative role of technology in those enterprises is a critical foundation for this new institute. Moreover, her track record in bringing together diverse stakeholders to accomplish difficult interdisciplinary and translational research and to provide solutions for today’s challenges is a prized asset for leading an institute that will connect so many parts of the Georgia Tech community."

The IPaT leadership team includes Deputy Director Jeff Evans, deputy director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) Information and Communications Laboratory. In addition to being a graduate of Georgia Tech, Evans has been a research engineer for GTRI for more than 20 years, directing more than 70 successful external sponsored research programs in networked systems, performance applications and emerging wireless services. He has collaborated extensively across campus in leading and supporting research efforts in the Georgia Centers for Advanced Communications Technology (GCATT) and several interdisciplinary centers, establishing network-based platforms and test beds to support a wide range of research efforts. Evans will continue the development of technology convergence test beds for IPaT, and his leadership will promote a broad set of research opportunities for a diverse group of government and industry interactions with Georgia Tech.

Ron Hutchins (OIT), Bill Rouse (ISyE/COC), and Renu Kulkarni (GTRI/EI2) will also play important leadership roles. IPaT will be supported by EI2’s Strategic Partners Office.

IPaT will bring together many notable, cutting-edge and renowned research activities, including: 

  • the Health Systems Institute;
  • the Tennenbaum Institute;
  • the College of Computing’s GVU Center;
  • the College of Architecture’s Center for Music Technology;
  • the College of Architecture's Digital Building Laboratory;
  • the Interactive Media Technology Center;
  • the Center for 21st Century Universities;
  • GTRI’s nationally recognized expertise in applied research and systems development;
  • the Ivan Allen Institute for Advanced Studies; and
  • Future Media, a campuswide, collaborative initiative focused on transforming the way content is created, distributed and consumed.

 These existing centers represent every college at Georgia Tech as well as GTRI and EI2.

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