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Accelerating Imagination initiative opens door to IU’s AI, high-performance computing resources

For Immediate Release Mar 21, 2023

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A new Indiana University initiative, Accelerating Imagination, will bring together some of the university’s top researchers and resources in artificial intelligence, high-performance computing and data science to make IU the leading partner for human-centered artificial intelligence research, education and workforce development efforts that improve Indiana and the world.

An IU trident in the middle of a circle above the words Accelerating imagination Accelerating Imagination unites researchers in artificial intelligence, high-performance computing and data science. Graphic by Steph Slone, Indiana University

The initiative will be supported by an IU executive committee focused on the ethical application of human-centered AI, high-performance computing and technology research in Indiana and beyond. It will draw upon the university’s multidisciplinary research expertise, including IU’s pioneering large-scale data digitization efforts used by researchers all over the world and nationwide leadership in high-performance computing.

“Our goal with this initiative is to deploy AI-based solutions for a wide range of applications that can support the work of faculty, industry and governmental agencies, among others,” IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Rahul Shrivastav said. “Accelerating Imagination will leverage these strengths while amplifying related efforts toward projects that serve the common good.”

In addition to providing a streamlined entry point to the university for external partners, Accelerating Imagination will elevate and combine IU’s strengths in areas that are crucial to the economic vitality of Indiana. Of the 29 faculty hires recently approved as part of the Faculty 100 initiative at IU Bloomington, Shrivastav said 11 are directly connected to AI and technology.

Members of the Accelerating Imagination executive committee are:

  • David Crandall, Luddy Professor of Computer Science in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering; and director of the Luddy Artificial Intelligence Center.
  • Michael Huber, vice president for university relations.
  • Joanna Millunchick, dean of the Luddy School.
  • Kosali Simon, Herman B Wells Endowed Professor and Paul O’Neill Chair in the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs; and associate vice provost for health sciences.
  • Ash Soni, interim dean of the Kelley School of Business.

“Artificial Intelligence holds such promise to accelerate research and education across the university and to solve important problems across the state and beyond,” Crandall said. “A key goal of the Luddy AI Center is to nurture and connect IU faculty, staff and students with expertise in AI to help identify and solve these real-world problems.”

The initiative will catalyze collaboration among IU’s AI researchers and those from partner institutions; enhance the external visibility and impact of IU research and inspire new collaborations; and advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion in AI through education and outreach.

In addition to educating IU students about AI through courses in areas as varied as the arts, education, privacy and machine learning, multidisciplinary teams of IU researchers are already using AI to enhance K-12 education. Through the AI Goes Rural project, IU is developing AI curricula with middle school STEM teachers for implementation in rural areas, while IU’s involvement in the NSF AI Institute for Engaged Learning is developing technologies that can be used for more effective teaching in grade school classrooms.

Accelerating Imagination unites expertise and resources from the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering and the new Luddy Artificial Intelligence Center; IU Libraries; IU Research; IU Information Technology; and dozens more interconnected, interdisciplinary areas that can offer IU partners a suite of applicable AI services that can be translated from one context to another.

The AI initiative will also expand partnerships with a wide range of industries throughout the state, including NSWC Crane; scale up strengths in social and behavioral sciences, business, and arts and humanities on the Bloomington campus; and accelerate IU’s entrepreneurship and commercialization efforts.

External partners and IU faculty are encouraged to contact Crandall about potential collaborations at luddyai@indiana.edu.

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Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President

Jennifer Piurek

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