News and Events

ICDS Events

ICDS hosts a wide range of events, from training sessions on using our high-performance computing system to seminars about the latest topics in computational research. Here, you will find a list of upcoming ICDS events, as well as other events that may be of interest to the computational and data sciences community. Sign up for our mailing list to receive alerts about our events.

Want to learn what ICDS researchers are working on? Check out our Seminar series.

Faculty Informational Meeting on Industry AI/ML Research Center

Date: Monday, November 23

Time: 10:30 a.m.

Location: Online (Registration Required)

Seeking Faculty Members to Join a New AI, ML Industry Research Center

The Institute for Computational and Data Sciences is spearheading a new initiative designed to connect faculty members working in artificial intelligence and machine learning with industry partners interested in sponsoring new research. The mission of the Institute of Computational and Data Sciences (ICDS) is to empower science and society through digital innovation. One way that ICDS is furthering this mission is through a new collaboration with several industry partners to establish a University-wide research center on Applications of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. This is a Penn State center that is being modeled after the NSF’s Industry-University Cooperative Research Center structure. Center members will contribute funds for research of interest to those companies. Faculty will be able to submit proposals that will be reviewed by a panel of Penn State faculty members and industry partners. A small number of projects are anticipated to be funded in spring 2021, but brief quad chart proposals will be due in early December. Anyone interested in submitting proposals for consideration is invited to attend an informational meeting at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, November 23 (advance registration required). Faculty who are interested in the research center but unable to attend are encouraged to register so that they receive a link to the meeting recording, which will include information on next steps. Questions about the AIMI research center should be directed to Todd Price, ICDS industry relations director for research, at About the Research Center: The Center for Applications of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to Industry is being designed to support interdisciplinary collaboration among Penn State faculty and affiliated researchers pursuing specific and significant external industry funding opportunities. Grants will be set up to facilitate the development of innovative and interdisciplinary research, with the intention of exploring subsequent external funding opportunities. Grants are intended to promote research on Artificial Intelligence and its effect on pressing societal challenges on both a regional and national scale. The ICDS AI-Industry Research Center connect companies seeking the AI and ML interdisciplinary experts who may be best suited to help solve industry challenges, to connect with those experts, and to facilitate current and future projects. The center will also serve as a gateway to the University’s expertise in world class AI and ML for companies and organizations that want to use AI and ML to power their products and services, leveraging these transforming technologies to enhance their own businesses processes. Once again, if you are interested in exploring this opportunity further, please register now for the informational meeting at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, November 23, or contact Todd Price ( for more information.

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iASK Helpdesk Virtual Office Hours

Date: Tuesday, December 1

Time: 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

The iASK Center will be holding virtual office hours via Zoom on Tuesday, December 1, 1:00p.m. -3:00p.m. Users can “pop” on line during our online office hours, ask a quick question, and go back to work. Use this Zoom link to stop by:

Data Science Research Talks

Date: Thursday, December 3

Time: 11:00 a.m.

Location: Online (Registration Required)

Writing assessment, disease mobility tracking focus of Dec. 3 Data Science talks

hree researchers from two Penn State campuses will give brief talks about their work at the next Penn State Data Science Community meeting scheduled at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday December 3. The virtual event is open to members of the Penn State community and advance registration is required. Rebecca Passonneau, professor of computer science and engineering, will present a talk titled “Pitting Machines against Humans for Assessments of Student Writing? Not Really.” The talk will touch on research to address deficiencies in writing skills that have been identified in secondary school students in the U.S. According to the  National Assessment of Educational Progress, only 27 percent of students in grade 8 and 12 are “proficient” in writing skills. Passonneau will discuss work being conducted in her Natural Language Processing Lab to better equip educators with tools for improved writing assessment. Researchers in the lab are investigating writing rubrics across content areas, their reliability within and outside the context of actual classroom use, and the potential for human-machine collaboration to lead to more timely and consistent feedback on student writing. Two Penn State Great Valley researchers — Ashkan Negahban, assistant professor of engineering management, and Mohamad Darayi, assistant professor of systems engineering — will present on their work related to how movement and interaction of public transportation users can play an important role in spreading an infectious disease. By integrating mobility network data with regional demographics and health data, the researchers are developing network-based vulnerability indices that can help prioritize resource allocation across communities and the underlying transportation network during an epidemic or pandemic. This information can help improve decision making on where resources such as testing sites could be of greatest benefit. The researchers noted that they were seeking future collaborators with expertise in disaster science and community resilience. The Data Science Community is a grassroots initiative supported by Penn State's Teaching and Learning with TechnologyInstitute for Computational and Data Sciences and University Libraries. To learn more about Data Science Community events or to join the community mailing list, visit

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iASK Helpdesk Virtual Office Hours

Date: Friday, December 11

Time: 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

The iASK Center will be holding virtual office hours via Zoom on Friday, December 11th, 10:00a.m. -12:00p.m. Users can “pop” on line during our online office hours, ask a quick question, and go back to work. Use this Zoom link to stop by:

Workshop on Mathematical Machine Learning and Application

Date: Monday, December 14–Wednesday, December 16

Location: Online (Registration Required)

Today, machine learning is a hot topic with important practical applications. Notable successes are the classification problems for identifying pictures and the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Go-player, AlphaGo Zero, which beat the best human player in the world. While these successes indicate that we are making progress toward applying AI to various important tasks, there are many emerging scientific questions. For instance, how can we understand these empirical successes in a mathematically rigorous way, using approximation theory and probability theory? Can we develop a theory which can guarantee the success of machine learning models in certain situations? How can we apply ideas from machine learning to existing problems in numerical analysis, such as Bayesian inference, operator estimation, solving PDE’s, density estimation, sampling methodology, and uncertainty quantification. Can machine learning be applied to the mathematical modeling of dynamical systems that historically relies on first principle calculations? This workshop aims to bring together leading experts across scientific disciplines to discuss recent efforts in addressing these questions. Our hope is that the activity will inspire and attract participants to work on related mathematical problems in this emerging field and hopefully contribute to the development of the modern data-driven scientific computational methods to address these questions. In addition to the live ZOOM invited talks, we encourage the registered participants to present relevant work via ZOOM poster sessions (see the poster contribution below for registration and the detailed format of the poster session).

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AIM Workshop: Analysis on the hypercube with applications to quantum computing

Date: Monday, June 7–Friday, June 11

Location: San Jose, California

This workshop, sponsored by American Institute of Mathematics and the National Science Foundation, will be devoted to analysis on the hypercube. The set of vertices of a unit cube is called the hypercube. It consists of vectors with coordinates zeros and ones. Series of open questions in computer science, especially in quantum computing such as Aaronson-Ambainis conjecture, can be formulated as mathematical problems on the hypercube which do not require any a priori knowledge of computer science to start solving them. It turns out that these questions have certain Fourier-analytic nature if one considers the hypercube as a Cantor group equipped with uniform measure. Unlike the classical case of the unit circle, many fundamental results in classical Fourier analysis and approximation theory, including Markov-Bernstein type inequalities, are not yet developed well enough to solve the problems raised in computer science. The goal of the workshop is to bring researchers with different backgrounds, including analysis, probability, combinatorics, and computer science, in order to introduce them to open problems on the hypercube, give lectures on the subject, strengthen the bridges between fields that overlap with the hypercube, and describe the recent results in this area This event will be run as an AIM-style workshop. Participants will be invited to suggest open problems and questions before the workshop begins, and these will be posted on the workshop website. These include specific problems on which there is hope of making some progress during the workshop, as well as more ambitious problems which may influence the future activity of the field. Lectures at the workshop will be focused on familiarizing the participants with the background material leading up to specific problems, and the schedule will include discussion and parallel working sessions. Space and funding is available for a few more participants. If you would like to participate, please apply by filling out the on-line form no later than December 7, 2020. Applications are open to all, and we especially encourage women, underrepresented minorities, junior mathematicians, and researchers from primarily undergraduate institutions to apply. Before submitting an application, please read the description of the AIM style of workshop. For more information email

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