September 18, 2023 Newsletter

The Ken Kennedy Institute Community Newsletter

September 18, 2023 Newsletter

Take a look at our September 18, 2023 Newsletter with updates from the Ken Kennedy Institute.

Meet the the Ken Kennedy Institute's September Member of the Month: Kirsten Ostherr, Ph.D., MPH! Dr. Ostherr is the Gladys Louise Fox Professor of English, Director of the Medical Humanities Program, and Director of the Medical Humanities Research Institute at Rice University.

How would you describe your research?
"My research looks at the ways that digital health technologies intersect with human culture to shape our experience and interpretation of illness, and I focus especially on the unequal distribution of benefits and harms across society."

How has the Ken Kennedy Institute helped you and/or your research?
"The Ken Kennedy Institute has brought me into a network of people who are interested in crossing the boundaries between the work they do in computer and data science and the work that I do in Medical Humanities. I gave a talk at the AI in Health Conference last year about racial health disparities and AI, and that was a great opportunity to be in dialogue with people who have shared interests, but use different methods and backgrounds for addressing problems. I hope to further develop my connections with members of the Institute through collaborative research projects. As the founding Director of the newly created Medical Humanities Research Institute at Rice, I look to the Ken Kennedy Institute for guidance and partnership and I am excited to strengthen those bonds."

Learn more about Dr. Ostherr at the link below!

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K2I Fellowship Recipient Keren Zhou Wins SIGHPC Doctoral Dissertation Award

Rice CS Alumnus | Assistant Professor of Computer Science, George Mason University

Keren Zhou, Ph.D., a Ken Kennedy Institute graduate fellowship recipient, was announced as the winner of the 2023 ACM SIGHPC Doctoral Dissertation Award!

The ACM’s Special Interest Group on HPC (SIGHPC) evaluates dissertation nominations based on the novelty of the work, quality of scholarship, significance of the research contributions, and potential impact on theory and practice. Zhou's dissertation topic, “Performance Measurement, Analysis, and Optimization of GPU-accelerated Applications,” reflects his interest in the use of graphics processing units (GPUs) to speed up applications used in HPC environments.

Dr. Zhou received the Ken Kennedy Institute's ExxonMobil Graduate Fellowship in 2019 and Andrew Ladd Memorial Excellence in Computer Science Graduate Fellowship in 2017. He is a Rice University Computer Science alumnus, former OpenAI technical staff, and newly appointed Assistant Professor of Computer Science at George Mason University.

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Tomorrow: CS Colloquium with Julia Stoyanovich

September 19, 2023 | Lecture & Reception in Duncan Hall

The Rice University Department of Computer Science is hosting a colloquium with NYU's Julia Stoyanovich on Responsible Data Management.

What: Responsible Data Management

Who: Julia Stoyanovich, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Associate Professor of Data Science, and Director of the Center for Responsible AI at New York University

When: September 19, 2023 | Reception 3:30-4pm | Talk 4-5pm

Where: Martel Atrium | Duncan Hall 1070

Julia's bio and abstract can be found at the link below. Registration not required.

Event Details

Distinguished Lecture with Scott Huffman

October 24, 2023 | 4:00 PM CT | Lecture & Reception in Duncan Hall

The Ken Kennedy Institute will welcome Scott Huffman, Vice President of Engineering at Google and Founder of Google Assistant, to Rice University in October for a Distinguished Lecture on "What to Make of Large Language Models?"

Abstract: Large Language Models — machine learned AI models that can understand and generate language — have emerged as the hottest new technology in a decade, allowing computers to exhibit capabilities they’ve never shown before. In this talk, we’ll start with a high level overview of what makes these models work. Next, we’ll explore three significant challenges that arise when trying to use LLMs to build real products (grounding, tuning, and complex reasoning), and how people are tackling them. Finally, we’ll look at some exciting applications of LLMs being built at Google Labs.

When: October 24, 2023 | 4:00 PM CT | Reception to Follow

Where: McMurtry Auditorium, Duncan Hall

RSVP to stay updated on event details.


QuantIPS 2023 at Rice University

October 26-27, 2023 | New Ralph O'Connor Building for Engineering & Science

Registration, sponsorship, and applications for spotlight talks and posters are open for the Quantum Information Processing Systems (QuantIPS 2023) Workshop on October 26-27, 2023.

This workshop will shed light on rising quantum algorithmic design and applications. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, new variational quantum methods, understanding the complexity of quantum objectives through classical and quantum complexity theory, applications of quantum algorithms, as well as experimental insights using existing quantum-based technologies/hardware.

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