Read about our Spring 2022 updates!
Read about our Spring 2022 updates!
Rhodes Information Initiative Spring 2022 Newsletter
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 Rhodes Information Initiative
Rhodes Information Intiative
2022 Spring Newsletter Bear

Spring 2022 Newsletter

Director's Memo:
As Duke returned to normal operations in summer 2021, we transformed Data+ into a hybrid experience and served just as many students as in previous years. Thanks to the dedication of our staff, and lots and lots of help from our university partners, we were able to make the summer a success, and we could not have done it without their help.

This summer we are excited to be planning an in-person program, and I am enormously grateful to university leadership for supporting The Data+ student community by providing on-campus housing.  

Last year the Plus Programs hosted online and in person social activities throughout the summer including a popsicle party, online game night, a visit to an escape room, a walk through Duke Gardens, and more.  We are looking forward to more in-person fun this summer.

Stay tuned for updates about our project teams and their progress this summer.

Robert Calderbank (Director), Lisa Kiester and Jim Moody (Deputy Directors)

Data+ 2022 Applications Now Open!

Data+ is a full-time ten week summer research experience that welcomes Duke undergraduate and masters students interested in exploring new data-driven approaches to interdisciplinary challenges. It is suitable for students from all class years and from all majors.

Students join small project teams (at most 3 undergrads and 1 masters per team), working alongside other teams in a communal environment. They learn how to marshal, analyze, and visualize data, while gaining broad exposure to the modern world of data science. The projects (see below) come from an extremely diverse set of subject areas.i It is our hope that students will be able to both work deeply into their specific project and get a very broad picture of most of the skills needed for modern data science.

Participants will receive a $5,000 stipend, out of which they must arrange their own housing and travel . Funding and infrastructure support are provided by a wide range of departments, schools, and initiatives from across Duke University, as well as by outside industry and community partners.

Data+ is typically a program where students have dedicated workspace within Gross Hall at Duke University. For the last two summers (2020 and 2021), Data+ ran entirely remotely due to the pandemic, and was quite successful. We plan to run a completely in-person program for the summer of 2022. Due to the rising housing costs in the Durham area, and increased student interest in on-campus housing options, all three Plus Programs are also offering an on-campus housing option this summer for program participants. Students choosing to stay on campus for the summer will have their room and board (3 meals/day) covered by the program, in addition to a $1,000 stipend payment. Additionally, Plus Program participants will be housed together on campus to foster a research community of students working together. We encourage students to consider the on-campus option, but if they choose to live off campus they will receive a $5,000 stipend for living expenses during the program. 
Applications for Summer 2022 are open! Click here to review projects and apply.

Climate+ Joins Plus Programs this Summer

Climate+ is a new vertical offered within Duke University’s Data+ program, a full-time, ten-week summer research experience that welcomes Duke undergraduate and masters students interested in exploring new data-driven approaches to interdisciplinary challenges.
Climate+ is aligned with Duke University’s commitment to advancing interdisciplinary understanding of the causes and societal impacts of climate change as well as potential solutions for long-term sustainability, including climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.
In addition to experiencing all the general educational benefits of the Data+ program, Climate+ students will form a subcohort that engages regularly with climate, environment, and energy researchers and practitioners. Like the broader Data+ program, each Climate+ project team will consist of at most three undergraduates and one graduate student, who will work in a communal environment to learn how to marshal, analyze, and visualize data. Graduate students (including master’s and PhD students) typically serve as project managers, helping their teams stay on track with deliverables and timeline; their compensation may vary.
Climate + is offered by the Rhodes Information Initiative at Duke in partnership with the newly merged Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and Duke University Energy Initiative.

Faculty Awards

We would like to congratulate Dr. Cynthia Rudin for winning the $1 million Squirrel AI award for her "pioneering scientific work in the area of interpretable and transparent AI systems in real-world deployments, the advocacy for these features in highly sensitive areas such as social justice and medical diagnosis, and serving as a role model for researchers and practitioners.”
Guillermo Sapiro

Guillermo Sapiro Elected to National Academy of Engineering

A hearty congratulations to Guillermo Sapiro, 2022 Fellow in the National Academy of Engineering! The James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University has been named a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE)—among the highest professional distinctions for an engineer. 
Sapiro was cited “for contributions to the theory and practice of imaging,” which have had significant effects on fields as diverse as image recognition and stock market prediction."
Alina Barnett img

Computer Science Student Goes to Future Leaders Summit

Congratulations to Alina Barnett, Ph.D. candidate in computer science researching interpretable machine learning and computer vision with applications in the healthcare field.
She has been accepted to share her research at the Future Leaders Summit, which will take place on April 6-7, 2022 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on the campus of the University of Michigan. "I created an interpretable deep learning model that not only accurately predicts biopsy outcome, but also empowers radiologists to understand and adopt the model’s recommendations. The next stage of this research is to conduct user studies to best communicate the model’s explanations to the radiologist. We have obtained funding for a user study for my technolog. Concurrently with that work, we are advancing the underlying models to include other medical features present in the mammogram, such as mass shape."
Alina is looking forward to connecting with other researchers, discussing the future direction of AI research, hearing other perspectives on issues of fairness in AI, and participating in career mentoring sessions.
Chris Richmond, PhD

Rhodes iiD Welcomes Chris Richmond

The Rhodes Information Initiative welcomes Christ Richmond, who joined the faculty of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University on January 1, 2022. With decades of experience designing and testing new technologies and algorithms to improve wireless applications such as radar and communications, Richmond will join longtime colleagues at Duke in applying emerging techniques such as machine learning to the field.
Along with Robert Calderbank, the Charles S. Sydnor Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and director of the Information Initiative at Duke, and Vahid Tarokh, the Rhodes Family Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Richmond is working on a proposal that would let users of spectrum share the same frequency band, or perhaps even coexist simultaneously within the same band.
Richmond’s other primary line of research, which is also a collaboration with Calderbank and Tarokh, involves applying evolving machine learning techniques to wireless communications. In October 2020, the team landed a five-year, $5 million grant from the Air Force to develop AI-informed communication and networking protocols fast and reliable enough to handle Air Force requirements. We look forward to having Christ and his lab join us in iiD!

Mathemalchemy Project Heads to Washington, D.C.

The Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC is the first stop for the Mathemalchemy tour, where the installation is on view now through June 13, 2022. The exhibit is accompanied by panels telling the inspiration and collaboration which brought Mathemalchemy to life. QR codes lead guests to learn more about the math, media, and narratives behind the piece. Registration is available via our website 

Mathemalchemy is a collaborative art installation conceived as the brainchild of mathematician and iID member Ingrid Daubechies and fiber artist Dominique Ehrmann, and driven by the energy and enthusiasm of 24 mathematical artists and artistic mathematicians. The installation celebrates the creativity and beauty of mathematics.

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Contact: Shanon Jacobs,
Mathemalchemy1 Mathemalchemy2 Mathemalchemy3
Ethical Consumption Data+ 2021 Team

 Bass Connections and Data+ Teams to Present at NeMLA (North East MLA Conference) Undergraduate Research Forum

The 2021 Bass Connections team for the Ethical Consumption Before Capitalism Project and representatives from the Data+ 2021 teams for the Constructing Utopias in Restoration London and Ethical Consumption Before Capitalism Summer Projects have been accepted to present their work at the NeMLA (North East MLA conference) Undergraduate Research Forum in March 2022. This will be the second year Duke students have participated, and last year's group won first prize for interdisciplinary research.
Students from the Data+ 2021 teams worked for ten weeks to produce public-facing visualizations based on compiled data, that which was drawn by conducting word processing methods on large-scale collections of early modern texts.
Nicholas Smolenski, PhD Candidate in musicology and Project Lead for the Constructing Utopias team, found the collaborative environment of Data+ both rewarding and instructive: “mentoring the team of undergraduate students was an inspiring enterprise, not only because of their willingness to dive headfirst into ground-breaking and interdisciplinary digital humanities scholarship, but also because of their ability to build synergy and comradery in order to produce a truly collaborative project. This experience has changed the way I approach teaching and pedagogy for the better, with increased focus on project-based learning and building intellectual communities with students.”
A Folger Seminar on the theme "Out of the Archives: Digital Projects as Early Modern Research Objects" will be sponsored by the Folger and NC State University in March 2022This exhibition, occurring during the week of March 7, is intended to showcase innovative digital work in Early Modern studies being done at State and at partner institutions and will be housed in a new space in NC State University’s D.H. Hill LibraryThe Innovation StudioThe work coming from the past two years of Medieval and Renaissance Data+ and this year's Bass Connections projects will also be a part of this exhibit; topic modeling, hapax richness, and sentiment analysis are some of the computational techniques employed in these projects in order to demonstrate the cultural and political connections between texts, languages, and images circulated throughout the early modern period. We look forward to hearing more later this Spring!
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