IU investing $7 million for new complexity institute

Indiana University Network Science Institute logo

Indiana University Network Science Institute logo

IU has announced the establishment of the Indiana University Network Science Institute, or IUNI. The $7 million initiative will bring together many of the university’s top minds to explore and embrace the challenge of understanding complex networks that underlie large-scale systems, including the environment, economics, technology and human health.

“Today, more than ever before, exploring the connections and relationships among our most complex networks — from the biological to the economic, political and social — is paramount to solving humankind’s most critical and challenging questions,” IU Vice President for Research Jorge José said. “Through the formation of this new interdisciplinary, university-wide institute, which will reflect all of the major sectors of scientific research and will be supported by the university’s robust technological infrastructure, Indiana University has positioned itself to become the leading global center for understanding the complicated structure and evolving dynamics of the systems that drive our society.”

Complex networks are at the core of an ever more interconnected social, economic and technological planet, and their connectivity and dynamics underpin nearly all aspects of how these systems function. Networks can be associated with topics as diverse as cancer, schizophrenia, even the spreading of rumors, innovations or social unrest.

Echoing the late IU Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom, who said, “When the world we are trying to explain and improve … is not well-described by a simple model, we must continue to improve our frameworks and theories so as to be able to understand complexity and not simply reject it,” José said that focusing on the interactions between huge numbers of system components — be it in the brain or the global economy — places the university at the forefront of shaping new paths for research and innovation.

Three faculty members named as founding co-directors helped lead the effort to create the institute: Distinguished Professor Bernice Pescosolido, Department of Sociology; Distinguished Professor Olaf Sporns, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences; and Andrew Saykin, professor of radiology and imaging sciences and director of the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center at the IU School of Medicine.

The institute will be unique in a number of ways: Affiliated researchers will represent multiple IU campuses and will come from medicine, the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities; in addition to being focused on networks, every project supported by the institute is required to be a collaboration, a reflection of the institute itself. Four research hubs currently form the core of IUNI — Health and Health Care, Network Neuroscience, Science of Science and Social Network Science — each with the capacity to engage and share data and other resources with one another. Outreach activities, workshops and conferences and efforts toward online network science education will add to the scope of IUNI activities.

The three-year initiative — with an opportunity to renew for another three years — will be supported by IU President Michael A. McRobbie’s office, the offices of Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel and Vice President for Research José, the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Informatics and Computing, and the School of Medicine.

“This new institute recognizes that we are all part of networks, and that these networks, ever evolving and changing, are inherently complex systems that present challenges to scientists across all fields,” Robel said. “With a contingent of over 100 scientists spanning all disciplines, the ties among network science researchers that already exist in the IU system are ripe for encouragement, with many new ones inevitable through support of IUNI.”

To date, affiliated faculty from 26 different schools, departments and centers have either participated in development of IUNI or expressed an interest in participating in collaborative research through the institute. Faculty participating in the institute represent one of the broadest and deepest cadres of researchers studying networks, including the College of Arts and Sciences departments of physics, psychological and brain sciences, statistics, sociology and geography; the School of Informatics and Computing at IU Bloomington; the School of Medicine; the School of Public Health-Bloomington; the Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI; and centers already focused on different aspects of complex networks, such as the Indiana Center for Systems Biology and Personalized Medicine at IUPUI and the Digital Science Center at IU Bloomington.

The three co-directors applauded the announcement.

“IUNI will provide novel concepts, tools and training to address tomorrow’s challenges,” Saykin said. “We appreciate the university’s vision in supporting team science to elucidate the complex networks that comprise the human genome, brain interconnectivity, health care systems and society — creating a truly exciting and unprecedented opportunity.”

Pescosolido described the nature of the institute as a reflection of the very work that will be conducted there, an exercise in synergy.

“We live in a world where society and the problems we face represent a web of interconnections,” Pescosolido said. “When we think we have fixed one part of it, unforeseen complications arise elsewhere as unintended consequences. These are complex, connected interactions that demand a transdisciplinary approach that brings the expertise across the landscape of science to the table.”

Sporns added that the new institute recognizes the natural strengths already present at IU.

“By design, when it comes to our expertise in complex systems, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts,” he said. “With the new synergies that will be created through IUNI, we have the unique opportunity to break the mold and approach the many challenges we face in science and society from a fresh and broad perspective.”

 

by Steve Chaplin

Pamela Z’s free concert is part of IUPUI performing artist mini-residencies

Photo © Mark Estes

Pamela Z                Photo © Mark Estes

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has announced that the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology’s Department of Music and Arts Technology will host three mini-residencies with performing artists during the 2014-15 school year. Pamela Z, a pioneer in live performance of vocal music with advanced electronics and multimedia, will be the first featured performing artist.

As part of the mini-residency, Pamela Z will perform a concert — co-sponsored by the department and the Indianapolis Opera — that is free to the IUPUI community and the public. It will take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, at Basile Opera Center, 4011 N. Pennsylvania St., in Indianapolis. Parking is free.

She also will be on the IUPUI campus for a lecture and demonstrations with music and arts technology majors. In a community outreach effort, Pamela Z will participate in a special workshop involving Girls Rock, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building positive self-esteem in girls and encouraging creative expression through music.

Pamela Z is a San Francisco-based composer/performer and media artist who works primarily with voice, live electronic processing, sampled sound and video. A pioneer of live digital looping techniques, she processes her voice in real time to create dense, complex sonic layers. Her solo works combine experimental extended vocal techniques, operatic bel canto, found objects, text and sampled concrète sounds.

She uses MAX MSP and Isadora software on a MacBook Pro along with custom MIDI controllers that allow her to manipulate sound and image with physical gestures. Her performances range in scale from small concerts in galleries to large-scale multimedia works in flexible black-box venues and proscenium halls. In addition to her performance work, she has a growing body of intermedia gallery works including multichannel sound and video installations. She has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Japan.

 About the Department of Music and Arts Technology

The Department of Music and Arts Technology develops musicians seeking to become tomorrow’s technology and cultural leaders, those who will shape the course of music in Indiana and the world. The department is committed to delivering quality music instruction to undergraduates and graduates at the nation’s premier urban research university. The department is the first in the nation to offer both bachelor of science and master of science degrees in music technology. All of IUPUI’s music faculty members employ technology in their teaching, production, performance and research. In 2006, the department also launched an innovative, research-based Master of Science degree in music therapy.

 About the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI:
The mission of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI is to be one of the best urban university leaders in the disciplines of engineering and technology recognized locally, nationally and internationally. The school’s goal is to provide students an education that will give them the leverage to be leaders in their communities, industry and society.

Poet to direct ‘Cadaver, Speak’ reading in collaboration between schools of liberal arts, medicine

"Cadaver, Speak" cover

“Cadaver, Speak” cover

Poet Marianne Boruch will direct a readers’ theater performance of her latest poetry collection, “Cadaver, Speak,” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, in the Emerson Hall Anatomy Lecture Hall, 545 Barnhill Drive.

“Cadaver, Speak” is Boruch’s eighth collection of poetry. The collection is centered on a sequence of 30 poems — narrated by a 99-year-old woman who is dissected as part of an anatomy class — that explore issues of life and death, knowledge and bodies. Six students from the IU School of Medicine and five students from the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI will read segments of “Cadaver, Speak” with Boruch.

“Marianne Boruch gets us to confront the most intimate details of our lives in a language that is both talky and imagistically rich,” says Karen Kovacik, professor of English at IUPUI and former Indiana Poet Laureate. “Thanks to the wily narrator of this poem, the human body becomes a site of wonder.”

The reading, free and open to the public, is part of the 2014 Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series at IUPUI.

Boruch will also talk about the poem on WFYI’s “Sound Medicine” at 2 p.m. Oct. 26.

Boruch, who teaches creative writing at Purdue University, has published in The New Yorker magazine and was anthologized in the 1997 and 2009 editions of “The Best American Poetry.” She has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and she was a Fulbright/visiting professor at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2012. In 2013, she received the prestigious Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for her previous collection, “The Book of Hours.” She also completed a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center.

Emily Beckman, assistant clinical professor in the medical humanities and health studies program and adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, said the reading will be especially beneficial to first-year medical students.

“Students need to realize that the body on which they are working used to belong to a living, breathing human being with a story,” she said. “Boruch’s poem aims to not only tell that story, but encourages us to consider the individual, unique stories of all who are seeking healing.”

The Rufus & Louise Reiberg Series is sponsored by the Department of English in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Founded in 1997 in honor of former IUPUI Department of English chair and Professor Emeritus Rufus Reiberg and his wife, Louise, the annual Reiberg Reading Series brings nationally and regionally known writers to the IUPUI campus to present their work. The Rufus & Louise Reiberg Series is also made possible by the generous support of the Reiberg Family; the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research; the Office of Academic Affairs; University College; and University Library.

The Oct. 30 reading is co-sponsored by the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology in the IU School of Medicine and the Medical Humanities and Health Studies Program in the School of Liberal Arts IUPUI as well as the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute. The event was made possible by a grant from Indiana Humanities in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Visitor parking is available for a fee in the Riley Hospital outpatient parking garage, 575 Riley Hospital Drive; the University Hospital garage, 600 University Blvd.; and the Vermont Street garage, 1004 W. Vermont St.

RSVPs are requested to medhum@iupui.edu or 317-278-1669.

 

Work from IU students, alumni featured at Heartland Film Festival

IUPUI alumni Matt Spear and Selena Hubbard

IUPUI alumni Matt Spear and Selena Hubbard

Two of the three “Indiana Spotlight” movies at the Heartland Film Festival feature works by IU alumni and students.

“Three Months,” by alumni filmmakers from the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI, and “We’ll Be All Right,” by IU Bloomington undergraduates, will be shown during Indiana’s largest and longest-running independent film festival. The festival is showcasing more than 130 independent films from filmmakers around the world from Oct. 16 to 25.

Three Months” is a 20-minute film created by Matt Spear of Martinsville and Selena Hubbard of Greenwood. Both Spear and Hubbard studied media arts and science at IUPUI, with an emphasis in video production, and graduated this year. Hubbard and Spear co-wrote the film. Spear also directed and served as executive producer. Hubbard is a cast member and served as film producer.

“Three Months” tells the story of a man who puts off his dream. Now, after a cancer diagnosis, it may be too late. This film follows the themes of pursuing dreams and not pushing them off for another day.

The pair created the film for their senior year capstone project. With a few minor changes, they then submitted the film to be shown in the Heartland Film Festival, one of more 1,600 films submitted for consideration.

As they began working on the film, Hubbard and Spear decided they wanted the film to be about something that was personal and something to which they could relate.

One of the big themes in the films is about not being afraid to pursue your goals, because the time everyone has to do that is limited, Spear said. “We hope our film can be an inspiration to those students to take the risks needed to reach their biggest goals.”

“The cancer diagnosis is a way for the main character to realize you don’t have forever,” Spear said. “It is about life being short and you shouldn’t hold back on anything,” Hubbard said.

We’ll Be All Right” is an 11-minute documentary by seniors Barton Girdwood of Lebanon, Ohio, and Carissa Barrett of South Bend. They completed the project as part of Susanne Schwibs’ documentary filmmaking class last spring in the Department of Communication and Culture, now in The Media School, at IU Bloomington.

“We’ll Be All Right” shares the story of Frankie Presslaff, his unique family and his extraordinary mother, Mimsie.

When Girdwood first pitched Mimsie to his film class, Barrett was hooked. “I knew immediately I wanted to be a part of it. It’s just not something you hear about every day, and I wanted a chance to help tell this family’s remarkable story.”

This particular family is what Girdwood describes as “thicker than blood.” Together, Presslaff and his longtime partner Kelly Compton are dads to eight adopted children.

“We really wanted to capture the emotions we felt while making the film and share with audiences the life, love, and wisdom Mimsie offered her family and the Bloomington community,” Barrett said. “This is a small slice of Bloomington culture that needed to be told for many reasons, but mainly to preserve the memory of Mimsie through the lives of her children and grandchildren.”

The Heartland Film Festival will screen “Three Months” and “We’ll Be All Right” as part of its “Indiana Spotlight” program at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at AMC Traders Point Theater 7.

Read more about “Three Months” and filmmakers Hubbard and Spears on the School of Informatics and Computing website.

Read more about “We’ll Be All Right” and filmmakers Girdwood and Barrett on the Viewpoints blog.

Ebola: “Over There”…Now “Over Here” An Urgent Conversation About Ethics, Law, Public Health, and Practice

Ebola Virus

Ebola Virus

The initial outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EBV) in West Africa presented many ethical, legal, logistical and clinical challenges for first responders, clinicians, politicians and researchers. These challenges have been magnified now that EBV has crossed the Atlantic transforming the public conversation from a worrisome public health challenge over there, to one we need to address over here. A group of experts in the ethical, legal, public health and clinical care implications will discuss several key issues facing patients, practitioners and the public. Following short presentations, an open dialogue will allow for exchange of perspectives.

Discussants:

·         Eric M. Meslin, PhD

Director, Indiana University Center for Bioethics

Associate Dean and Professor of Bioethics, Indiana University School of Medicine

Professor of Law and Bioethics, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Chad Priest, JD, MSN, RN

Assistant Dean for Operations & Community Partnerships, Indiana University School of Nursing

Co-Director, Disaster Medicine Fellowship

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine

Ross D. Silverman, JD, MPH

Professor and Acting Chair, Department of Health Policy & Management Indiana University

Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health Professor of Public Health & Law, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Nicolas P. Terry, LL.M.

Hall Render Professor of Law & Director, Hall Center for Law and Health, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

 

When: October 24, 2014, 1:30-3:30pm

Where: IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Room 375

Co-sponsored by the Indiana University Center for Bioethics, Fairbanks School of Public Health, School of Nursing, and Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Dr. Kristina Horn Sheeler, Woman President: Confronting Postfeminist Political Culture

Dr. Kristina Horn Sheeler

Dr. Kristina Horn Sheeler

The Office of Academic Affairs and the Faculty Club invite you to attend the Reading at the Table presentation scheduled for Wednesday, November 12, 2014, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., when Dr. Kristina Horn Sheeler discusses her book Woman President: Confronting Postfeminist Political Culture, winner of the James A. Winans and Herbert A. Wichelns Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address from the National Communication Association as well as the 2014 Outstanding Book Award from the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender.

In Woman President: Confronting Postfeminist Political Culture, Kristina Horn Sheeler and Karrin Vasby Anderson provide a discussion of US presidentiality as a unique rhetorical role. Within that framework, they review women’s historical and contemporary presidential bids, placing special emphasis on the 2008 campaign. They also consider how presidentiality is framed in candidate oratory, campaign journalism, film and television, digital media, and political parody.

Her reading will look at what elements of American political and rhetorical culture block the imagining—and thus, the electing—of a woman as president. Examining both major-party and third-party campaigns by women, including the 2008 campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, the authors of Woman President: Confronting Postfeminist Political Culture identify the factors that limit electoral possibilities for women. Pundits have been predicting women’s political ascendency for years. And yet, although the 2008 presidential campaign featured Hillary Clinton as an early frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination and Sarah Palin as the first female Republican vice-presidential nominee, no woman has yet held either of the top two offices. The reasons for this are complex and varied, but the authors assert that the question certainly encompasses more than the shortcomings of women candidates or the demands of the particular political moment. Instead, the authors identify a pernicious backlash against women presidential candidates—one that is expressed in both political and popular culture.

Please register in advance for this event.

Blomquist stepping down as dean to pursue passion for water resource management, policy

Bill Blomquist, Dean IUPUI School of Liberal Arts

Bill Blomquist, Dean
IUPUI School of Liberal Arts

Bill Blomquist, dean of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, has announced he’s stepping down effective summer 2015 to return to regular faculty duties and pursue projects at IUPUI that align with his research interests concerning water resources management and policy.

An internationally recognized expert in water institutions and policies, Blomquist wants to contribute to the research-informed development of state water policy and planning for Indiana. According to a six-month study recently released by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, there is a critical need for a state-driven water plan to identify resources and develop ways to deliver water to underserved areas.

“Bill Blomquist led the School of Liberal Arts through a transformational period –launching its two Ph.D. programs; welcoming the Department of Journalism and Public Relations; facilitating the creation of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy; improving support of part-time faculty; and enhancing the scholarly strength of the school,” IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz said. “He now has the opportunity to focus his established expertise and leadership to a vital issue for Indiana: water.”

Blomquist earned his Bachelor of Science in economics and Master of Arts in political science from Ohio University and his Ph.D. in political science from Indiana University.

Bantz will soon form a committee charged with conducting a national search for Blomquist’s successor.

Triangulating Data: Using Linguistic Analysis of Interview Data to Better Understand Nurse-Patient Interaction

Shelley Staples  Assistant Professor English/HEAV

Shelley Staples
Purdue University

Shelley Staples, Assistant Professor of Second Language Studies/ESL at Purdue University, will be presenting a brown bag presentation for The International Center for Intercultural Communication on Thursday October 30th, 2014. Dr. Staples’ research examines differences in the language used by international and U.S. nurses in their interactions with patients using techniques that, taken together, offer a rich understanding of nurse-patient interaction:
• Specialized quantitative and qualitative linguistic analysis
• Assessments of interactional effectiveness
• Interviews with nurses
This presentation will be of particular interest to those who wish to learn more about Corpus Linguistics, a new quantitative linguistic methodology.
Open to the public
No RSVP required

Herron art professor earns unprecedented $300,000 in prizes at sixth annual ArtPrize competition

Anila Quayyum Agha

Anila Quayyum Agha

Herron School of Art and Design professor Anila Quayyum Agha has won the two top prizes at ArtPrize 2014, earning a record $300,000 in the international art competition held in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Her entry, titled “Intersections,” earned the ArtPrize 2014 Public Vote Grand Prize of $200,000 and split the Juried Grand Prize of $200,000 in a tie with “The Haircraft Project,” by artist Sonya Clark of Richmond, Va.

Agha’s wins mark the first time one entry has won both the ArtPrize grand prize awarded by popular vote and the grand prize awarded by a jury of international art experts. Her total prize is also the highest amount given to one individual in the competition, which awards the world’s largest art prize.

The professor’s unprecedented success was no surprise to Susan Scarafia, a 1983 IU Kelley School of Business graduate who traveled to Grand Rapids to join the thousands of visitors — including Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder — who viewed the entries on display at venues within the three-mile square art district in downtown Grand Rapids.

“I thought Anila would win from my first look at ‘Intersections,’” Scarafia, who has attended the past four ArtPrize competitions, said Sunday in an email interview. “There was buzz about it online. … once I got to the city, ‘Intersections’ was the piece others recommended most when I asked what I should see.

“But the way I knew, really knew, that ‘Intersections’ would win was that I could see that everyone who saw it was so involved with it. They weren’t just passing by or taking a quick picture. They walked into the room, stopped talking, looked up, looked around and kept looking from different angles. It seemed to me that this art really hooked into people.”

The “hooked” included one man who, while viewing “Intersections,” dropped to his knees and surprised his girlfriend with a marriage proposal, according to a news report.

Agha is associate professor of drawing and foundation studies at Herron, the art school on the IUPUI campus.

The professor’s “Intersections,” completed under a 2012-13 New Frontiers Research Grant from Indiana University, is composed of a 6.5-foot laser-cut wooden cube created using Herron’s new computer numeric control router.

When illuminated by the single bulb installed inside, the wooden frieze casts patterns of light and shadows inspired by the geometric patterning of Islamic sacred places as found in the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. During the 19-day ArtPrize exhibit, which ended Sunday, the entry was on display at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

“This is a wonderful and well-deserved award for Herron professor Anila Agha,” Herron Dean Valerie A. Eickmeier said. “Her prize-winning installation presents a perfect example of how our new digital technology equipment has assisted the creative work of our faculty. Anila teaches drawing, and her artwork is usually made on paper or fabric. This is the first work that she has created with Herron’s new computer numeric control router. Anila’s achievement provides an excellent example for Herron students as well.”

A smaller version of Agha’s winning entry was on view in the Frank and Katrina Basile Gallery at Herron last fall.

ArtPrize 2014, an independent competition open to anyone 18 or older, included 1,536 entries representing 51 countries and 42 U.S. states and territories. Entries were submitted in 2-D, 3-D, time-based and installation categories.

The contest, which drew 400,000 visitors last year, awarded two grand prizes totaling $400,000 and eight awards in the four categories worth a total of $160,000. ArtPrize has a parallel awards structure, with half of the awards decided by public vote cast by mobile devices or online and half by a jury of international art experts.

“Intersections” was chosen for the popular grand prize by the 41,109 registered voters who cast 398,714 votes.

After three days of deliberation over the 20 finalists selected by category jurors, the grand prize jury of Susan Sollins, Leonardo Drew and Katharina Grosse decided to split the $200,000 prize between “Intersections” and “The Haircraft Project.”

“By the end of our adventure here and after much, much discussion, we came to the conclusion that there were two artists of equal caliber and talent who had risen to the top of our list,” Sollins said. “We felt strongly that both artists had to be recognized equally. In short, there was nothing for it but to declare a tie.”

The winners were announced in Hollywood fashion during an ArtPrize Awards ceremony Oct. 10 at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre. A town hall recap of this year’s competition takes place Wednesday, Oct.15.

Agha’s acceptance speech is included in awards ceremony television coverage posted online.

An after-show interview on Grand Rapids television is also available online.