Information Technology in Service to Society:
Opportunities and Challenges
Director of CITRIS
(Center for Information Technology Research
in the Interest of Society)
In this presentation we shall first explain the concept of this Institute, its organization and its goals. CITRIS is an Institute in which we use applications such as Energy Conservation, Environmental Monitoring, Seismographic Monitoring of Critical Infrastructures to test our driving technologies. All the above mentioned applications require some sensing, signal processing, communication and data interpretation.
The difference for CITRIS from other similar efforts is that it aims to study these technologies on a large, societal scale. This is, of course, the challenge in academic environments because of more individualistic traditions. Furthermore, these studies are by their very nature interdisciplinary, which puts another dimension of complexity on this activity.
CITRIS is also addressing several IT applications for economists and humanists. These are, typically, using large data sets such as one finds either on the web or in digital libraries. This new media, i.e., digital data sets – as opposed to books, pictures or sculptures, poses a very new challenge, which is how to use this information for humanists in their teaching and research. Authentication of data is only one example of such challenges. We shall show some concrete examples for all the issue mentioned above.
Ruzena Bajcsy (“buy chee”)
was appointed Director of CITRIS at the
Bajcsy is a pioneering researcher in machine
perception, robotics and artificial intelligence. She is a professor both in the Computer and
Information Science Department and in the Mechanical Engineering and Applied
Mechanics Department at
Bajcsy has done seminal research in the areas of
human-centered computer control, cognitive science, robotics, computerized
radiological/medical image processing and artificial vision. She is highly regarded, not only for her
significant research contributions, but also for her leadership in the creation
of a world-class robotics laboratory, recognized world wide as a premiere
research center. She is a member of the
National Academy of Engineering, as well as the
Dr. Bajcsy received her master’s and Ph.D.
degrees in electrical engineering from
In 2001 she became a recipient of the ACM A. Newell award.