Egerstedt Elected to Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences

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Magnus Egerstedt

Magnus Egerstedt has been elected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. Egerstedt is being honored for his work on multi-robot systems and for his previous role as the executive director for the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM) at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He and his fellow honorees will be recognized at an official ceremony on October 25, 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden. 

The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) is an independent academy whose mission is “…to promote the engineering and economic sciences and the advancement of business and industry for the benefit of society.” IVA has 1,300 elected Swedish and international members. They are decision-makers, experts, and researchers from the private sector, academia, and public administration. King Carl XVI Gustaf is the patron of the organization and participates in IVA’s activities.

Egerstedt is the Steve W. Chaddick School Chair of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Georgia Tech, and he has been a member of the ECE faculty since 2001. He holds secondary appointments in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, the School of Interactive Computing, and the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering.

Egerstedt is a Fellow of the IEEE, and has received numerous teaching and research awards, including the Ragazzini Award from the American Automatic Control Council, the Outstanding Doctoral Advisor Award and the Eta Kappa Nu Outstanding Teacher Award from Georgia Tech, and the Alumni of the Year Award from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

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Atlanta, GA

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jackie.nemeth@ece.gatech.edu

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Jackie Nemeth

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

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South Big Data Hub Recognized for Expanding Georgia Tech Research Portfolio and Platform

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South Big Data Hub recieved the Outstanding Research Award from the Institute and are shown holding the award alongside Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson.

Georgia Tech’s Office of the Executive Vice President for Research (EVPR) awarded the South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub (SBDH) the Outstanding Achievement in Research Program Development Award for 2019. The annual award is presented to a research team for efforts that create a new thought leadership platform that significantly expands Georgia Tech’s research portfolio. 

“We were proud to honor the leadership of the South Big Data Regional Hub this year,” said Chaouki T. Abdallah, Georgia Tech’s executive vice president for Research. “The SBDH provides national visibility for Georgia Tech as a thought leader in big data and further positions the Institute as a regional center of excellence.” 

The Georgia Tech team members recognized for their leadership in this program include:

"It is extremely gratifying to launch the South Big Data Hub and nurture it to grow into a national asset,” said Aluru, primary investigator of SBDH. “The Hub community is broad, undertaking regionally and nationally important challenges in diverse areas including health disparities, environmental sustainability, energy infrastructure, coastal hazard management, and data science education and workforce training.”

The SBDH was launched in 2015 as part of the National Science Foundation’s Big Data Research and Development Initiative. The SBDH is jointly coordinated with the University of North Carolina and includes broad membership from academia, industry, government, and nonprofit organizations across 16 southern states and Washington, D.C.

The award was presented to the SBDH leadership team at the Institute Faculty and Staff Honors Luncheon last week, shortly after the South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub hosted the annual All-hands Meeting.

[Related Links:  Faculty, Staff Honored at 2019 Luncheon]

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kristen.perez@cc.gatech.edu

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Kristen Perez
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Ougazzaden Awarded with the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor

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Distinction Is Highest Accolade Given in France

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Abdallah Ougazzaden (right) with Metz Mayor Dominique Gros
Abdallah Ougazzaden (center) with Georgia Tech-Lorraine colleagues

Abdallah Ougazzaden was awarded with the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor on June 28 at the Metz City Hall in Metz, France. This award–established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802–is France’s highest order of merit for military and civil activities and is presented on behalf of the French president to recognize its most deserving citizens.

Ougazzaden is the director of Georgia Tech-Lorraine (GTL) and a professor at the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). He was specifically recognized for his achievements in semiconductor science and technology during his 29-year-long career. 

Metz mayor, Dominique Gros, pinned the medal on behalf of French President Emmanuel Macron, while Ougazzaden was surrounded by family and friends; eminent colleagues in science, research, and innovation; students; and dignitaries from around the world. An important delegation came from his native Morocco to join in celebrating this well-deserved honor.

Never satisfied with the status quo, Ougazzaden shared memories of a childhood in Casablanca, Morocco that instilled in him a lifelong curiosity and love of science. With a trajectory that has taken him all over the world, from Morocco to France, to the United States and then back to France again, Ougazzaden has long been a sought-after researcher and academic.

Ougazzaden’s specific areas of expertise cover the fields of materials, photonics, and optoelectronics, and he has published over 450 papers and has generated 26 patents in these areas. He began his career with CNET (Centre National d’Etudes de Télécommunications) and France Télécom, where he worked on the development of fiber optics. Ougazzaden then came to the United States, where he spent four years working at Lucent, Agere Systems, and Triquint Semiconductor. In 2003, he returned to France and became a professor at the University of Metz.

In 2005, Ougazzaden joined the Georgia Tech School of ECE as a professor based at the GTL campus in Metz, France. He worked with the CNRS (the French National Center for Science) and Georgia Tech to establish France’s first International Joint Research Laboratory, GT-CNRS UMI 2958. The lab is located at GTL, and he served as its director from 2006-2018.

Ougazzaden currently serves as the director of GTL and is the co-founder and co-president of Institut Lafayette, an innovation platform that provides access to world-class facilities and expertise in advanced semiconductor materials/devices research and prototyping for innovations in optoelectronics. Institut Lafayette also offers technology transfer services that accelerate and increase the efficiency of commercialization of these innovations.

Mayor Gros thanked Ougazzaden for his cross-cultural contributions amongst Morocco, France, and the United States and for maintaining an international dialogue in academics, research, and innovation. “For every speech, there needs to be a spark or conductive wire, especially when we are honoring a semiconductor specialist,” quipped Mayor Gros in an article published by La Semaine de Metz. “That spark is that you [Ougazzaden] have never stopped contributing to the dialogue. This dialogue between professional worlds must be unraveled between the world of research and the needs of industry.”

Additional credits: Andrea Gappell, assistance with French to English translations with portions of the article; Arnaud Hussenot, photography.

Alumni Association Honors Three Sciences Grads in Inaugural 40 Under 40 List

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Kathryn Lanier (PhD Chem 17), Maria Soto-Giron (PhD BI 18), and Nseabasi Ufot (Psy 02) are included in a new program designed to recognize the achievements of young Georgia Institute of Technology alumni who are improving the human condition.

See the full 40 Under 40 list on the Georgia Tech Alumni Association website.

The Georgia Tech Alumni Association has announced 40 distinguished honorees who have innovated industries and positively impacted communities across the globe. More than 250 individuals were nominated by colleagues, peers, and Georgia Tech faculty this April.

The inaugural list includes a trio College of Sciences alumni: Kathryn Lanier, Director of STEM Education Outreach at Southern Research (PhD Chem 17); Maria Soto-Giron, Translational Bioinformatics Lead at Solarea Bio (PhD BI 18); and Nseabasi Ufot, CEO of the New Georgia Project (Psy 02).

“I am amazed and humbled by the accomplishments of these innovators and trendsetters. They epitomize the focus that our Georgia Tech alumni have to make the world a better place,” shares Dene Sheheane, president of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association.

Those nominated must have completed at least one semester at Georgia Tech, be under the age of 40 as of June 30, 2020, and have made an impact in their profession or community, spanning all industries and sectors. A committee of 26 faculty, staff, and volunteer leaders, who collectively represented all Georgia Tech colleges, scored each nominee using a 25-point rubric.

Selection Committee member Bert Reeves, MGT 2000, State Representative in the Georgia House of Representatives, expressed that, “I was blown away at the nearly impossible task of scoring the applicants. These are folks who are not just impacting their community and state, but in some cases, their country and the entire world. It is truly inspiring to see the innovation and passion that our alumni are contributing to many of the greatest issues our world faces today.”

 

40 Under 40: College of Sciences 2020 Honorees


Kathryn Lanier (PhD Chem 17)

Director of STEM Education Outreach at Southern Research

Kathryn Lanier is a problem-solver, a doer, and a builder of things never before imagined. She’s also pioneering the first-ever position of director of statewide STEM education outreach programs for Southern Research. Without a playbook of operations, she’s enjoyed the freedom of building a “STEMpire,” that includes everything from deep policy discussions with representatives at the state level to hosting students and teachers in the Southern Research STEM lab in Alabama. At the same time, she can sometimes be found dressed like a cat performing as her alter-ego, The Chemistry Kat, and traveling the state to host STEM pep rallies for hundreds of students. “Middle schoolers inspire me,” Kathryn says. Of course, they can be awkward and smell sometimes, she says, but their resilience is stronger than titanium. And no matter what’s going on in their private lives, they allow themselves to dream. “To live in such a way that you wear your hopes so clearly for the world to see is brave, and it's inspiring.”

Fun Fact: She has a reoccurring dream of getting stuck in the tunnels beneath the Biotech Quad. While it changes each time, her favorite version has been one where she meets and mingles with the legendary George P. Burdell.
 

Maria Soto-Giron (PhD BI 18)

Translational Bioinformatics Lead at Solarea Bio

In the U.S., about 10 million Americans are currently living with osteoporosis or osteopenia and the majority are women. For Maria Soto-Giron, that statistic is personal. Her motivation for working in biotech looking for treatments to reduce chronic inflammation is her mother who has rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. “For more than 30 years she has suffered the serious side effects of the current drugs,” Maria says. In her pursuit at Solarea Bio, a biotech startup, she’s searching for a preventative approach using probiotics and plant fibers from fruits and vegetables as a treatment to reduce chronic inflammation without the negative side effects from drugs currently on the market. In her role leading the bioinformatics team, she created a computational platform to analyze hundreds of microbial genomic components to identify microbial candidates that could result in human health applications. As a Colombian, female scientist, she’s also passionate about increasing access and building STEM opportunities for young girls in Colombia.

Fun fact: She used to play underwater hockey (yes, you can play hockey underwater) back in Colombia.
 

Nseabasi Ufot (Psy 02)

CEO of the New Georgia Project

From corporate lawyer to labor lawyer to lobbyist to community organizer and now nonprofit executive, Nseabasi Ufot has taken an unconventional path. No matter the endeavor though, she never forgot what she learned at Tech—notably, how to apply the scientific method to solve any challenge she faced. “While my formal GT education prepared me to understand cognition and how the human brain works, it also forged my habit of Questioning, Researching, Hypothesizing, Experimenting, Observing, and Communicating Results,” she says. She uses it to answer the smaller questions in life like what haircare products to use, and to answer the larger ones, like what messaging and engagement tactics are most likely to turn a first-time voter into a super voter? At New Georgia Project, Nseabasi leads a team of more than 125 to build campaigns and technology to register, educate, and mobilize citizens from underserved and underrepresented communities. The organization has helped nearly 450,000 Georgians register to vote through face-to-face conversations, mobile apps, and video games.

Fun fact: She’s an avid gamer and speaks four languages.
 

A list of all 40 inaugural honorees is available here.
Check out data visualization of the 40 Under 40 list here
.

About the Georgia Tech Alumni Association
The Georgia Tech Alumni Association, chartered in 1908, is an exclusive network of more than 172,000 worldwide tied together by their experience at Georgia Tech. Through the Association, Tech alumni gain immediate access to its extensive, global alumni network, as well as numerous alumni programs and services designed to enrich both careers and lives. The Georgia Tech Alumni Association is a participation-driven non-profit corporation governed by a board of alumni volunteers. Since 1947, the Association’s Roll Call program has raised money to financially support Tech’s academic mission, a tradition that has transformed the Institute into the place it is today. Learn more at gtalumni.org.

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Lindsay.Vaughn@alumni.gatech.edu

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Lindsay Vaughn
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Lindsay.Vaughn@alumni.gatech.edu

Bonnie Ferri to Receive Regents’ Teaching and Learning Award

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Each year, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia recognizes two faculty members for outstanding contributions to the scholarship of teaching and learning. This year, Bonnie Ferri was unanimously selected for the 2016 Regents’ Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Award. This award will be presented to Ferri at the annual Regents’ Scholarship Gala on April 29, 2016 at the St. Regis Hotel Atlanta.

Ferri is being recognized for her longstanding commitment to engineering education and innovative use of technology, her prolific publication record, and her influence on other faculty at Georgia Tech. A faculty member in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) since 1988, Ferri was the first female Ph.D. graduate in electrical engineering at Georgia Tech and was ECE’s first female faculty member. She has served as the School’s associate chair for undergraduate affairs since 2013 and was its associate chair for graduate affairs from 2006-2012.

Ferri has introduced inexpensive, portable hands-on experiments into ECE courses, including core lecture-based courses that traditionally had no laboratory component. She has also redesigned the core circuits courses, taken by both ECE and non-ECE majors, to use innovative flipped and blended classroom techniques driven by course analytics. By implementing these tools and responding to student feedback, student engagement and performance has dramatically improved, as well as consistency in coverage and quality across multiple sections of the courses.

“I love the ‘aha moment’,” said Ferri. “I see it all the time with the hands-on experiments in class, when students’ eyes light up because an abstract concept comes to life and suddenly makes sense. You would be surprised at how many just break out laughing because they get such a kick out of it. That reaction is the best part of teaching.”

Through a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, Ferri created the Teaching Enhancement through Small-Scale Affordable Labs Center to develop and integrate these portable experiments across the ECE curriculum. Approximately 3,000 students per year use these devices in ECE courses, taught by over 25 instructors. Over 700 K-12 students have also been exposed via camps, workshops, and tours of ECE facilities. Ferri has also been awarded an NSF grant with researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Virginia Tech, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Howard University, and Morgan State University. Their goal is to build a community of developers and users of these experiments that are not only centered on ECE topics, but can be expanded to other STEM fields.

Ferri has been consistently involved in educational issues within the Georgia Tech community. She currently co-chairs the “Commission on Creating the Next in Education,” charged with making recommendations for the Institute to become a leader in innovative and effective education and co-curricular programs. During 2013-2014, she led the GT1000 Review Task Force, which reviewed the status of this freshman seminar course and made recommendations on how to enhance its effectiveness in providing resources and advice to promote student success in college.

Ferri has also had an international impact on engineering education. She has conducted NSF-sponsored workshops at premier engineering education conferences, devised and shared best practices at numerous cross-disciplinary events, and published her work on student learning, strategies, and results in the top conferences and journals in the field of engineering education. She was an invited speaker at a National Academy of Engineering symposium on education.

“Bonnie’s reputation among students and colleagues consistently upholds not only the tremendous impact that she has had on our students, but also the caring and compassionate heart she has for them, her clear vision of their potential, and her ardent desire for their success,” said Steven W. McLaughlin, Steve W. Chaddick School Chair and ECE professor. “We sincerely appreciate her many years of hard work and dedication to our students and to improving our instructional programs.”

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jackie.nemeth@ece.gatech.edu

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Jackie Nemeth

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

404-894-2906

 

Georgia Tech Announces New Educational Collaboration with Shenzhen and Tianjin University

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ECE among Majors Offered at New Institute

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Georgia Tech’s President G. P. “Bud” Peterson, seated left, signed an agreement in a ceremony in Shenzhen, China, on Dec. 2 to create a new collaboration with the city of Shenzhen and Tianjin University. Co-signers with Peterson are Vice Mayor Yihuan Wu of Shenzhen Municipal People's Government, center, and Tianjin University President Denghua Zhong, right.

A new educational collaboration among Georgia Tech, the city of Shenzhen and Tianjin University in China will expand global opportunities in science, technology and engineering education. Georgia Tech’s President G. P. “Bud” Peterson signed the agreement in a ceremony in Shenzhen on Dec. 2.

The Georgia Tech Tianjin University Shenzhen Institute will offer majors in electrical and computer engineering, computer science, industrial design, environmental engineering and analytics. Georgia Tech will coordinate the graduate programs at the specialized institute, and Tianjin University, China’s oldest university, will coordinate the undergraduate programs.

The Shenzhen government provided land, startup funding and operational subsidies. The vision is that the specialized institute will enroll 800 undergraduate and graduate students from throughout the world by 2020, and 3,000 students by 2030. It will present new opportunities for U.S.-based students, including study abroad programs and internships, and will expand Georgia Tech’s China Summer Program.

“This historical agreement is in alignment with Georgia Tech’s focus on internationalization, as outlined in our 25-year Strategic Plan, called Designing the Future,” said Peterson. "It will serve as a great vehicle to engage our strong alumni base in China and increase Georgia Tech’s global reputation as a leading technological research institution.” 

Georgia Tech students study or intern in 70 countries, with 54 percent of undergraduates participating in an international work or study experience before they graduate. Georgia Tech faculty members are engaged in research collaborations in more than 100 countries. The Institute also has global centers in China, Costa Rica, Panama and Singapore. For 25 years, Georgia Tech has had a campus in Lorraine, France.

“Having a full international campus is unusual, and we only do that when there is a compelling reason to benefit the institutions involved, as well as to provide a unique educational experience for students,” said Rafael L. Bras, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. “Today’s agreement marks such an opportunity,” he said.

The Shenzhen campus is designed to be self-sustaining, similar to Georgia Tech-Lorraine.

Shenzhen is China’s high-tech capital and is often referred to as the “Silicon Valley of China.” Georgia Tech is a global leader in engineering and related fields, including leadership, interdisciplinary education, innovation and entrepreneurial education.

“The initiative was spearheaded by Professor G. Tong Zhou, associate vice provost for International Initiatives, and represents an exciting opportunity for Georgia Tech to be present in one of the fastest-growing technological centers of China,” said Yves Berthelot, vice provost for International Initiatives. “Educational and research programs, combined with internships, will be tremendously beneficial to our students.”

Ten years ago, Georgia Tech launched the Georgia Tech-Shanghai Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (MS ECE) program in Shanghai. In 2013, Georgia Tech became a member of Shenzhen Virtual University Park — and was the first university from the U.S. to do so. The MS ECE program moved to Shenzhen in 2014, with philanthropic support from the Coulter Foundation. It became the first degree program offered in Shenzhen by an American university. Several other U.S.-based universities have similar agreements in other cities in China.

“The School of Electrical and Computer Engineering has been involved in offering our MS degree in China for more than eight years now with great success," said Steven W. McLaughlin, Steve W. Chaddick School Chair and ECE Professor. "This next step in our engagement, and programs that will follow not only in education but now in research, are exciting and innovative and will allow us to work together at an even higher level than before.”

Future plans for the Georgia Tech Tianjin University Shenzhen Institute include developing major research centers led by Georgia Tech’s world-renowned professors in green buildings and sponge cities, and distinguished by signal processing and data analytics, and wearable, printed electronics and advanced telecommunications.

Georgia Tech Joins New Alliance Aimed at Making College More Accessible for Low-Income Students

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Georgia Institute of Technology is among 30 universities across the country to join new American Talent Initiative. The founding members seek to attract, enroll and graduate the most qualified students, regardless of family income. 
Georgia Tech is among the 30 founding members of the new American Talent Initiative. ATI allows the country’s most respected public and private higher education institutions to share strategies to substantially increase the number of talented students from low- and moderate-income families who successfully complete college.

The Georgia Institute of Technology is collaborating with 29 other universities across the country to help more students from lower-income families earn a college degree.

The new American Talent Initiative (ATI), which was announced today, allows the country’s most respected public and private higher education institutions to share strategies to substantially increase the number of talented students from low- and moderate-income families who successfully complete college. The founding members seek to attract, enroll and graduate the most qualified students, regardless of family income. They will also contribute to research that will help other colleges graduate more high-achieving, lower-income students.

The initiative is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and was created with a national goal of educating 50,000 additional high-achieving, lower-income students at the 270 colleges and universities with the highest graduation rates by 2025.

For Georgia Tech, the new alliance builds on other initiatives improving college graduation rates, especially among underrepresented students. The Institute is the only public college in Georgia currently participating in this collaborative effort.

“Georgia Tech is proud to partner with the American Talent Initiative and looks forward to participating in this nationwide collaboration addressing access and affordability for some of the country’s best and brightest students,” President G.P. “Bud” Peterson said. “This initiative is entirely consistent with the state of Georgia’s efforts to increase the number of college graduates through the Complete College Georgia initiative. Through a sharing of ideas, both of these initiatives provide a great opportunity to impact the lives of many students across the state and maximize their potential.”

As a member of ATI, Georgia Tech committed to improvements in several areas. Goals include accomplishing the following by 2022:

  • Engage in outreach and recruitment of low- and moderate-income students to STEM fields. Georgia Tech will work to increase the number of applicants from school districts and counties with a greater proportion of low- and moderate-income high school graduates. The Institute has seen success through a scholarship program with Atlanta Public Schools.
  • Enroll more Pell eligible students. Some of these students would be eligible for scholarship programs to help them pay for college. For example, the G. Wayne Clough Georgia Tech Promise Program allows eligible Georgians to graduate from Georgia Tech debt free. It is for in-state students whose families have an annual income of less than $33,300.
  • Increase Institute allocation to need-based aid by 30 percent from 2012 levels. In 2012, Georgia Tech awarded $11.5 million in need-based institutional aid.
  • Decrease the gap found in retention and graduate rates between low-income students and the average student body. The goal is for retention rates and six-year graduate rates to be within three percentage points of the student body average.

“At Georgia Tech we seek to recruit the nation’s most talented students and an initiative like ATI helps improve college access,” said Director of Undergraduate Admission Rick Clark. “Improving socioeconomic diversity starts with outreach. For example, this spring we’ll mail a planning for college booklet to low-income sophomores and juniors that helps them think through their college choices, as well as other critical information on admission and financial aid resources.”

ATI expects to add more top-performing colleges every year to join Tech and the other founding members.

The Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program and Ithaka S+R, two not-for-profit organizations coordinating the initiative, will study the practices that lead to measureable progress and share those through regular publications.

“If we're serious about promoting social mobility in America, we need to ensure that every qualified high school student in the US has an opportunity to attend college,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and former mayor of New York City. “I'm so glad that so many great colleges and universities have stepped up today and committed themselves toward that goal. This is a vital first step toward creating a more meritocratic society." 

Sidebar

<p><strong>American Talent Initiative Members</strong></p>

<p>Colleges participating in the <a href="http://americantalentinitiative.org">American Talent Initiative</a> will further the national goal of developing more talent from every American neighborhood by:</p>

<ul><li>Recruiting students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds through robust outreach;</li>
<li>Ensuring that admitted lower-income students enroll and are retained through practices that have been shown to be effective;</li>
<li>Prioritizing need-based financial aid; and</li>
<li>Minimizing or eliminating gaps in progression and graduation rates between and among students from low-, moderate- and high-income families.</li>
</ul><p>Here are the 30 founding members:</p>

<p>Amherst College</p>

<p>Bates College</p>

<p>Dartmouth College</p>

<p>Davidson College</p>

<p>Duke University</p>

<p>Franklin &amp; Marshall College</p>

<p>Georgetown University</p>

<p>Georgia Institute of Technology</p>

<p>Harvard University</p>

<p>Johns Hopkins University</p>

<p>Lehigh University</p>

<p>The Ohio State University</p>

<p>Pomona College</p>

<p>Princeton University</p>

<p>Rice University</p>

<p>Spelman College</p>

<p>Stanford University</p>

<p>University of California, Berkeley</p>

<p>University of California, Los Angeles</p>

<p>University of Maryland, College Park</p>

<p>University of Michigan – Ann Arbor</p>

<p>University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill</p>

<p>University of Richmond</p>

<p>University of Texas at Austin</p>

<p>University of Washington</p>

<p>Vanderbilt University</p>

<p>Vassar College</p>

<p>Washington University in St. Louis</p>

<p>Williams College</p>

<p>Yale University</p>

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laura.diamond@gatech.edu

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Laura Diamond 
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A New Way to ‘Engage’ Startups

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Georgia Tech's Tech Square will be home to a new accelerator and venture fund called Engage.
G.P. "Bud" Peterson is the eleventh president of Georgia Tech.

A new mentorship-driven accelerator and venture fund targeting high-tech startups is coming to Atlanta. The national program, called Engage, launched today through a joint announcement from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, and the CEOs of 10 leading global corporations.

The Engage accelerator is open to startups across the country, with a focus placed on mentoring and market access strategies. Applications will be available in early 2017, with programming scheduled to begin in the spring. Up to 48 startups could go through the program in the first three years.

The program will be supported through a venture fund, and 10 corporations have committed $15 million to date. In addition, the corporations will actively support the accelerator through mentoring, education, and collaboration.

Engage will offer programming and other services through a contract with the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), which was established at Georgia Tech by Georgia lawmakers in 1980 to launch and build technology companies.

The primary objective of the mentoring is to help startups with their go-to-market strategy. Engage will also help the startups connect with the resources and right people in the large companies.

“Georgia Tech is committed to continue working with both large corporations and startups to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast,” said Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson. “By engaging the business community to maximize our collective strengths, we can attract and grow new companies, foster economic development, and retain talent in Georgia.”

Georgia Tech is recognized as a national leader in promoting entrepreneurial opportunities and economic development. Tech Square, for example, is home to more than a dozen corporate innovation centers. Engage will provide additional commercialization opportunities for Georgia Tech students, faculty, and research.

Engage is a key initiative of the Atlanta Committee for Progress (ACP), a coalition that includes the mayor of Atlanta, leading CEOs, and university presidents. The ACP focuses on critical issues facing the city; one of its key priorities is furthering Atlanta’s development as a leading technology hub with increased access to funding for startups. In addition to getting direct support from the founding companies, Engage entrepreneurs will be connected to more than 30 companies that are ACP members.

“Atlanta is the Southeast’s technology, innovation and entrepreneurship capital, with the third-largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the country,” Reed said.  “We must take advantage of these unique assets to further stimulate our growing ecosystem of start-ups and growth-stage companies, connecting them to capital, talent and mentorship. This new venture fund and accelerator program will offer an unmatched opportunity for entrepreneurs in Atlanta and the region, and I am confident its success will lead to greater interest and investment in our emerging technology companies.”

The 10 founding companies contributing capital, expertise, time, and resources in support of Engage include AT&T, Chick-fil-A, Cox Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Power Foundation Inc., Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Invesco Ltd., The Home Depot, and UPS. Executives from these firms – many of which are Fortune 500 companies – will serve as mentors to the companies receiving financial support from Engage.

What makes Engage unique is the interaction of these global companies with the startup ecosystem to help entrepreneurs build companies that will transform their markets. Rather than filling the specific needs of a single large company, Engage startups will benefit from the combined perspective of the founding companies.

“The robust level of participation from the city’s leading corporations will help ensure Engage’s success by providing a world-class incubation program for high-potential start-ups,” said Martin L. Flanagan, president and CEO of Invesco and a member of the Atlanta Committee for Progress.

Each of the founding companies committed $1.5 million to a venture fund that has been formed to make equity and equity-related investments into companies admitted to Engage. The fund will be managed by Tech Square Ventures.

“By combining mentoring from executives of Atlanta’s top companies and experienced entrepreneurs with programming from ATDC, Engage will give entrepreneurs unparalleled market access and connectivity to help them bring their ideas to market,” said Blake Patton, managing partner of Tech Square Ventures.

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laura.diamond@gatech.edu

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Laura Diamond 

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Imagining the University of the Future

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A Georgia Tech-led discussion in Washington, D.C., looked at how colleges can meet students’ needs throughout their entire lives.

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Some of the nation's leading thinkers in higher education gathered with Georgia Tech in Washington, D.C. to talk about what the future holds for colleges and universities across the country.

As the needs of students and employers continue to change rapidly, higher education must adapt. What those changes will look like was discussed during a Georgia Tech-led panel held Thursday in Washington, D.C.

The audience of more than 50 people included reporters and representatives from foundations, think tanks and congressional staffers.

The event opened with a fireside chat focused on Georgia Tech’s “Deliberate Innovation, Lifetime Education” report. Wall Street Journal reporter Melissa Korn talked with Provost Rafael L. Bras about how the university of the future might look.

“A lot of things are changing quickly. Demographics are changing. The way students are learning is changing,” Bras said. “So many things are moving that any institution, in my opinion, that wants to remain relevant to a good audience and continue its duty to educate has to keep up with these changes.”

Georgia Tech’s roadmap for that change is a report released last spring. Using the year 2040 as a vantage point, it envisions a university that provides an educational experience that can be personalized as professional interests and needs shift throughout a person’s life. The report looks at ways to improve advising, how to use artificial intelligence to personalize education, and what new products and services will make it possible to meet demand as learners’ professional and personal needs change.

“We will strive to make Georgia Tech a place to be for life,” Bras said. “We want people to say I’m in forever.”

Following the fireside chat, Bras was joined by four other panelists for a discussion about reimagining higher education to engage learning for life. The other panelists were:

  • Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX
  • Mary Sue Coleman, president of the Association of American Universities
  • Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education
  • Peter Stokes, managing director in Huron’s higher education Strategy & Operations group

Adam Harris, a reporter with The Atlantic, moderated the discussion which touched multiple topics including the need to educate the whole person and evolving in response to students’ demands and the shifting labor market. They highlighted the importance of affordability, access and excellence. They explained how modular offerings through certificates and minimesters will benefit more students. And they talked about how to overcome impediments to innovation.

“Any institution that wants to remain on the forefront must make it affordable and accessible,” Bras said. “And it better be exciting.”

Location

Washington, D.C.

Email

laura.diamond@gatech.edu

Contact

For media inquiries: laura.diamond@gatech.edu

For more information about the Deliberate Innovation, Lifetime Education report: ed-innovation@gatech.edu

International Initiatives Launches Online Guide for Responsible Global Activities

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Tech Tower

The Office of International Initiatives announces the launch of the Georgia Tech Guide for Responsible International Activities, a new online resource regarding guidelines, policies, and procedures around the Institute’s global activities and partnerships.

This summer, the Office of International Initiatives convened a working group of members of the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and the Office of the Provost to develop a resource to guide educational and research activities that happen abroad. The major deliverables of the working group were designed to help Georgia Tech make decisions and ensure proper planning, compliance, and transparency around all international activities.

“Georgia Tech is proud to engage with researchers, scholars, and institutions all over the world as an expression of the Institute’s motto of Progress and Service,” said Chaouki T. Abdallah, Georgia Tech’s executive vice president for Research. “We remain wholeheartedly committed to those important global collaborations, but we must safeguard the Institute, and ensure all activities are fully transparent and in compliance with Georgia Tech policies, as well as applicable government laws and regulations.”

Site users can find direct links to Georgia Tech resources, policies, and relevant campus contacts for offices and units that manage a variety of issues, including export control; managing conflicts of interest; appointments at other institutions; intellectual property; materials, data, and confidential information; the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA); international agreements; disclosing foreign relationships; lab tours; hosting foreign visitors; and international travel.

“Georgia Tech promotes a culture of global engagement and believes that our community is enriched through opportunities to study, work, serve, or do research abroad,” said Rafael L. Bras, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. “Thanks to the working group, the guide now provides access to Tech’s standing policies and procedures governing international activities in one centralized location.”

The guide will be maintained by the Office of International Initiatives and will be available on faculty and staff resource pages at several touchpoints, including global.gatech.edu, research.gatech.edu, and provost.gatech.edu, among others.

The working group also refined Georgia Tech’s Guiding Principles for International Activities, a standard set of objective criteria used by the Office of International Initiatives for measuring each international activity’s impact on academic activities, value to the Institute, compliance with applicable policies, sustainability and viability, and risk assessment and mitigation concerns.

Georgia Tech is also in the process of creating an International Advisory Committee comprised of representatives of the administration, faculty, and staff. The committee will be chaired by Yves Berthelot, vice provost for International Initiatives, and will provide guidance and advice regarding how Georgia Tech engages internationally (e.g. research, MOUs, master research agreements, etc.).

“Our success in international activities must be assessed in full consideration of geopolitical factors, as well as current and potential state and federal regulations and legislation,” said Berthelot. “With those considerations in mind, the work of the committee will prove vital for Georgia Tech as we continue to grow our relationships across the world and explore new opportunities to engage globally.”

Nominations for the committee are currently being accepted through Oct. 7. Faculty and staff are encouraged to submit self-nominations or nominations for a colleague. Details on the final committee roster will be made available via the online tool, once finalized. To self-nominate or nominate a colleague for the committee, or for more information on the working group’s activities, contact Monique Tavares, director of Global Operations at mtavares@gatech.edu.

Location

Atlanta, GA

Email

mtavares@gatech.edu

Contact

Monique Tavares
Director of Global Operations
Office of International Initiatives

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