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AAAS 2019: TACC Hosts IS-GEO Session, Announces Fellows Program

Published on February 13, 2019 by Faith Singer-Villalobos



As part of the 2019 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference February 14-17 in Washington D.C., the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is hosting a session on Intelligent Systems and the Geosciences (IS-GEO).

Suzanne Pierce is a research scientist at TACC and the principal investigator for the IS-GEO Research Coordination Network.
The session is organized by a community of researchers, funded by the National Science Foundation, who use intelligent systems, or artificial intelligence (AI), to understand Earth. Suzanne Pierce, a research scientist at TACC and the principal investigator for the IS-GEO Research Coordination Network, will lead the session titled: How AI and Knowledge-Centers are Changing our View of Critical Earth Resources in Society, which will take place on February 15 from 8:00am-9:30am.

"Insight is best achieved when we combine knowledge from across areas of expertise," Pierce said. "It requires digging deeper into conversations that cross disciplinary barriers and delve into the realities of messy data. IS-GEO collaborates on the most challenging problems at the interfaces between knowledge domains."

During the session, Pierce will introduce the IS-GEO Fellows Program and Anuj Karpatne as the 2019 IS-GEO inaugural Fellow. Karpatne is an assistant professor of Computer Science at Virginia Tech and a faculty member at the Discovery Analytics Center, which brings together computer scientists, engineers, and statisticians to meet the researcher and workforce needs of today's data-driven society.

"I'm pleased to announce the IS-GEO Fellows Program," Pierce said. "The program is designed to support researchers as they commit to in-depth projects to accelerate discoveries. Dr. Karpatne was selected because of his expertise in scientific theory (or physics)-guided machine learning. Throughout his fellowship year, he will evaluate applied machine learning approaches to Earth datasets for the energy industry."

Anuj Karpatne is the inaugural 2019 IS-GEO Fellow. He is also an assistant professor of Computer Science at Virginia Tech and a faculty member at the Discovery Analytics Center.
Karpatne said: "We're at a crossroads of data-driven discovery in a number of scientific disciplines, such as Earth sciences that are witnessing a deluge of data, and increased acceptance of data-driven, AI methodologies. However, to fully capitalize the promise of AI in accelerating scientific discovery, what is a needed is a paradigm shift that goes beyond current standards of "black-box" AI research and embraces a deep synergy between scientific theories and AI, termed as theory-guided machine learning."

"Through the IS-GEO Fellows Program, I aim to expand the horizons of theory-guided machine learning, build new collaborations in the IS-GEO community, and solve impactful problems in the energy industry by using physics and data," he said.

IS-GEO Fellow awardees are selected from the active membership of the IS-GEO community and receive an honorarium to explore new research areas with direct domain and real-world applications. Selected fellows are encouraged to combine theoretical and scientific knowledge with applications to data problems from earth and environmental topics.

The AAAS Annual Meeting is the most widely reported global science gathering and the premier event to network with future collaborators across disciplines.

The 2019 AAAS theme, Science Transcending Boundaries, considers how science can bring together people, ideas, and solutions from across real and artificial borders, disciplines, sectors, ideologies, and traditions. This theme will be explored through interdisciplinary scientific sessions, renowned speakers, and in-depth discussions.

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