August 16, 2023 Newsletter

The Ken Kennedy Institute Community Newsletter

August 16, 2023 Newsletter

Take a look at our August 16, 2023 Newsletter with updates from the Ken Kennedy Institute.

Meet the Ken Kennedy Institute's August Member of the Month: Pratiksha Dongare, Assistant Research Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering!

How would you describe your research in 1-2 sentences?
"Water scarcity is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today, and desalination allows converting abundant unusable saline water reserves on earth to freshwater to address this issue. My research focuses on making desalination sustainable by efficiently utilizing solar energy and waste heat as input power."

What kind of collaborations are you looking for at Rice and within the community?
"I want to expand my expertise beyond desalination research and learn about how research in the lab can help influence water treatment and water management policies in place. This will help assess opportunities and challenges for incorporating new water treatment solutions in existing urban water infrastructure, enabling waste reduction, removal of specific contaminants, and disaster preparedness in case of natural calamities like Hurricane Harvey."

Read More

Abstracts Due Friday: AI in Health Conference 2023

Call for Abstracts Closes Friday, August 18 at 11:59pm CT

Submit an extended abstract that highlights algorithms, use-cases, and solutions that support data-driven discovery and decision-making in healthcare and public health for a chance to present at the upcoming AI in Health Conference!

Accepted abstracts will be asked to deliver a 20-minute in-person presentation, including Q&A, as part of the technical talk sessions in the conference program on October 10-11, 2023. Please do not submit an abstract if you are not comfortable presenting in person.

The themes for this year's technical program will be determined based on abstract submissions. Applications might include, but are not limited to: Health Monitoring, Natural Language Processing, Mental Health, Imaging, Sleep Science, Health Equity, and Genomics.

View the abstract template and submission instructions at the link below. Submissions due Friday, August 18 at 11:59pm CT.

Interested in other ways to get involved in this year's conference? More details about registration, poster submissions, and sponsorship opportunities can be found on
Submit an Abstract

Industry Sponsorship Available for TL;DR 2023

September 28-29, 2023 | New Ralph S. O'Connor Building For Engineering Science

Sponsorship opportunities are now available for the inaugural Texas Colloquium on Distributed Learning (TL;DR 2023), which will take place on September 28-29, 2023 at the new Ralph S. O’Connor Building for Engineering and Science at Rice University in Houston, TX.

  • Platinum Sponsorship: $4,000
    • Food/drink sponsorship for both days: options include (1) breakfasts + lunches or (2) evening social reception(s)
    • Company logo displayed on the conference badges, website, and advertisements
  • Sponsorship: $1,000
    • Company logo displayed on the conference website and advertisements

Contact the conference organizers at to secure your sponsorship! More details about the event, including the speaker lineup and two-day schedule, can be found at the link below.

Learn More

Registration for TL;DR 2023 is limited, so register now!

The purpose of this workshop is to gather leading researchers on Federated Learning, Distributed Computing and Large-Scale ML at Rice University; the workshop will discuss and focus on efficient distributed learning algorithms on how to train such large models using less costly/specialized computing platforms.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, systems and infrastructure, fairness, hardware for on-device distributed learning, privacy concerns, optimization advances, theoretical contributions, and applications of distributed learning.

Register Now

Generative AI in the Lab Webinar

August 23, 2023 | 12pm CT | Register for Zoom Link

The next webinar in the Generative AI Coast to Coast webinar series will feature Rice University's Arlei Silva, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Xia Ning, Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Computer Science and Engineering at Ohio State University. This discussion, titled "Generative AI in the Lab," will be moderated by the Ken Kennedy Institute's executive director Angela Wilkins.

Register at the link below to receive the Zoom link.

Each webinar in the series will include extensive audience discussion time. More details about this webinar and the upcoming discussions in the series can be found here.

Register Now

Generative Artificial Intelligence and Humanity Course

September 20 November 8, 2023 | Rice University

Interested in learning more about Generative Artificial Intelligence? Register Now!

The Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University is offering a short course in the fall to explore the possibilities and perils that Generative AI, Machine Learning, and related tools like ChatGPT hold for education, work, health, creativity, equity, justice, democracy, and what it means to be human.

The course is taught by an interdisciplinary group of Rice faculty, including Moshe Vardi, Rodrigo Ferreira, Elizabeth Petrick, Vicente Ordónez-Román, Kirsten Ostherr, Fred Oswald, Anthony Brandt, and Richard Baraniuk.

View details about the course schedule and how to register here.

NMSM Pipeline Software Release

Model-Based Personalized Treatment for Neurologic and Orthopedic Movement Impairments

A team of Rice University engineers has launched a first-of-its-kind, open-source software that constructs and uses personalized computer models of how individual patients move to optimize treatments for neurologic and orthopedic mobility impairments.

Funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, the Neuromusculoskeletal Modeling (NMSM) Pipeline software developed by B.J. Fregly and collaborators in the Rice Computational Neuromechanics Lab is now available to clinician/engineer teams that would like to utilize computer-aided engineering for clinical treatment design.

Learn more about the software release here.

View the NMSM Pipeline software website here.

Participate in Machine Learning for Health (ML4H)

December 10, 2023 | New Orleans, LA

The ML4H Call for Participation is Live!

The 2023 Machine Learning for Health Symposium (ML4H) invites submissions describing innovative research that lies in the broad purview of Machine Learning for Health. Authors are invited to submit work on relevant problems in a variety of health-related disciplines, including healthcare, biomedicine, and public health.

This year, ML4H 2023 will accept submissions for two distinct tracks: the Proceedings track for formal archival publications and the non-archival Findings track.

ML4H 2023 will feature two thematic sessions: Global Health + Equity and Generative AI for Health. While submissions relevant to this year’s themes are encouraged, any submission that falls under the purview of machine learning for health is welcome. Submissions will be considered for awards, including Best Proceedings Paper, Best Findings Paper, Best Thematic Paper, and Best Newcomer Paper. There will be a full author response period and reviewer discussion period to ensure proper feedback on the work.

Submissions are due September 7th.

For full details, refer to the online Call for Participation.

Mentorship Opportunities

ML4H is offering three mentorship programs this year. View the links below for additional details and to access the applications.

  • The Author Mentorship Program pairs less experienced authors with senior researchers to provide feedback on their paper submission, with the overall goal of improving submission quality and fostering future collaboration.
  • The Reviewer Mentorship Program aims to train junior reviewers, foster new connections and relationships in the ML4H community, and ultimately improve the quality of the review process.
  • The Career Mentorship Program focuses advice on career-related topics, from developing a research plan to work-life balance.

Additional Details

In response to the growing ML4H community, ML4H has transitioned into a standalone symposium rather than a NeurIPS-affiliated workshop. This event represents a continuation of prior ML4H workshops. This year, ML4H will remain co-located with NeurIPS, taking place in New Orleans, LA on Sunday, Dec 10, 2023.

Questions can be directed to

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Ken Kennedy Institute
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