Keynote Talk

2023 Keynote Talk:

The Future of Dallas: Innovative Pathways to Technology for All

Taylor Shead

Taylor Shead, CEO and founder of Stemuli, will be joined by Stephanie Knight, dean of the SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development, to discuss how the education system drove Shead to found Stemuli, an EdTech startup on a mission to use AI and video games to ensure students of all socioeconomic backgrounds are prepared for the workforce and are on a path to build generational wealth. Shead will address the problems our education system faces and the long-term negative impacts for students and for the economy if the leaky tech pipeline is not fixed. Introducing her solution, Shead will detail her plans to build upon the success of the Dallas Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program by expanding accessibility to all North Texas students, speak to the pathways they are creating for all students to have access to intellectually and financially fulfilling careers, and share her vision for the future of Dallas and how Stemuli is using video games to change the way the world learns.

Shead is the 94th Black woman in history to raise over $1 million in venture capital. She is best known for making school as fun as your favorite video game by creating a 3D immersive game-based learning platform. Last year, Dallas Business Journal ranked Shead one of the top 25 women in business and D Magazine selected her as a cover model to represent the most influential business leaders in Dallas Fort Worth. Shead has spent the last 10 years supporting students from underserved communities in P-TECH programs across the country. This gives her ground level data and experience in preparing underrepresented young Black and Brown men and women for the workforce and partnering with industry leaders to increase engagement between the company and these learners.

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2022 Keynote Talk:

Impact and Promise of AI, Simulations and High-performance Computing

Anima Anandkumar, Ph.D.

Director of Machine Learning, NVIDIA, and Bren Professor, Caltech Computer & Mathematical Sciences Department

Many scientific applications heavily rely on the use of brute-force numerical methods performed on high-performance computing (HPC) infrastructure. Can artificial intelligence (AI) methods augment or even entirely replace these brute-force calculations to obtain significant speed-ups? Can we make groundbreaking new discoveries because of such speed-ups? I will present exciting recent advances that build new foundations in AI that are applicable to a wide range of problems such as fluid dynamics and quantum chemistry. On the other side of the coin, the use of simulations to train AI models can be very effective in applications such as robotics and autonomous driving. Thus, we see a growing convergence of AI, Simulations and HPC.

Animashree (Anima) Anandkumar's research spans both theoretical and practical aspects of machine learning. In particular, she has spearheaded research in tensor-algebraic methods, large-scale learning, deep learning, probabilistic models, and non-convex optimization. She is the recipient of several awards such as the Alfred. P. Sloan Fellowship, NSF Career Award, Young investigator awards from the Air Force and Army research offices, Faculty fellowships from Microsoft, Google and Adobe, and several best paper awards. She is the youngest named professor at Caltech, the highest honor bestowed to an individual faculty. She is part of the World Economic Forum's Expert Network consisting of leading experts from academia, business, government, and the media. She has been featured in documentaries by PBS, KPCC, wired magazine, and in articles by MIT Technology review, Forbes, Yourstory, O’Reilly media, and so on. Anima received her B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT Madras in 2004 and her PhD from Cornell University in 2009. She was a postdoctoral researcher at MIT from 2009 to 2010, visiting researcher at Microsoft Research New England in 2012 and 2014, assistant professor at U.C. Irvine between 2010 and 2016, associate professor at U.C. Irvine between 2016 and 2017, and principal scientist at Amazon Web Services between 2016 and 2018.