IPaT Names New Research Initiative Leads

Pictured left-to-right: Rudy Gleason, Danielle Willkens, Allen Hyde, Lisa Marks

New IPaT Research Initiative Leads as of July 1, 2024.

The Institute for People and Technology (IPaT) at Georgia Tech has named Rudy Gleason, Danielle Willkens, Allen Hyde, and Lisa Marks to lead four new research concentrations within IPaT starting July 1, 2024.

These Georgia Tech faculty members will lead one of the following research areas for IPaT: global health equity and wellbeing; just, resilient, and informed communities; responsible and ethical technologies; and arts, expression, and creative technologies. They hold positions in colleges and centers across campus, and will be instrumental in promoting transdisciplinary collaborative research and engagements.

BACKGROUND: In the fall of 2023, the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT) went through a strategic planning exercise and redefined its research concentrations to better align with its values. These new concentrations are also aspirational, encouraging IPaT researchers and academics to engage in new research domains that IPaT is uniquely equipped for generating new innovation. IPaT is one of Georgia Tech’s ten interdisciplinary research institutes (IRIs) that bring together researchers from different disciplines to address topics of strategic importance to Georgia Tech. 
1. “Global Health Equity and Wellbeing” research will be led by Rudy Gleason.
Research concentration: From pediatrics to aging, we are protecting health both locally and worldwide. IPaT's continuum of healthcare research is working to promote and enable vibrant and lifelong physical and mental health. Accomplished scholars and clinicians work together to transform healthcare delivery systems by creating novel and easily accessible health and wellness technologies. IPaT has led breakthroughs in health information technology, approaches for increasing patient engagement and treatment adherence, clinical process improvements, and new healthcare delivery knowledge.
Bio: Rudolph (Rudy) L. Gleason is a professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering and the School of Biomedical Engineering in the College of Engineering. Gleason’s research program has two key and distinct research aims. The first research aim is to quantify the link between biomechanics, mechanobiology, and tissue growth and remodeling in diseases of the vasculature and other soft tissues. The second research aim is to translate engineering innovation to combat global health disparities and foster sustainable development in low-resource settings around the world.

2. “Just, Resilient, and Informed Communities” research will be led by Danielle Willkens.
Research concentration: Discovering strategies that benefit and inform communities from all walks of life. IPaT’s work in this area focuses on the daily lives of communities – how they live, work, and play. We are finding innovative approaches to shaping sustainable cities with research that thinks globally while acting locally. We're examining the transformative role of technology in transportation, civic engagement, and disaster recovery focusing on novel communication and information technologies to aid communities.
Bio: Danielle Willkens is an associate professor in the School of Architecture in the College of Design. Willkens, Assoc. AIA, FRSA, LEED AP BD+C, is a practicing designer, researcher, and FAA Certified Remote Pilot who is particularly interested in bringing architectural engagement to diverse audiences through interactive projects. Her experiences in practice and research include design/build projects, public installations, and on-site investigations as well as extensive archival work in several countries. She was an inaugural Mellon History Teaching Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks, exploring the project “From Plantation to Protest: Visualizing Cultural Landscapes of Conflict in the American South.” She currently has several research, documentation, and visualization projects in Selma, AL and Atlanta, GA supported by National Park Service’s African American Civil Rights Grants. She is also leading efforts on heritage documentation and sustainable tourism, alongside a number of collaborators, at the Penn Center, SC, Valencia, Spain, and Petra, Jordan.

3. “Responsible and Ethical Technologies” research will be led by Allen Hyde.
Research concentration: Evaluating potential consequences to mitigate negative effects. IPaT is shaping the human-technology frontier by growing human capabilities at every level. We're exploring new ideas in user experiences that foster creativity, stimulate learning and enable productive collaboration. Through this initiative, we're researching a variety of wearable computing, assistive, augmented reality, and gaming technologies. In addition, to insuring the alignment of these and other future technologies with responsible and ethical practices.
Bio: Allen T. Hyde is an associate professor in the School of History and Sociology in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. Hyde is a quantitative scholar whose main research areas are stratification and inequality, urban sociology, work and occupations, climate and disaster resilience, and immigration. He is currently conducting research on the effects of race/ethnicity and immigration status on homeownership, social and demographic change in Clarkston, GA (known as the most diverse square mile in America), and Principal Investigator for the Youth Advocacy for Resilience to Disasters Program research project funded by the National Science Foundation's Civic Innovation Challenge. He has also been Principal Investigator for a National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps) grant. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology at the University of Connecticut and has published research articles in journals like Social Science Research, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Social Currents, Environmental Sociology, Social Indicators Research, City & Community, and Sociological Perspectives.

4. “Arts, Expression, and Creative Technologies” research will be led by Lisa Marks.
Research concentration: Using advanced technology to enhance creative processes, artistic expression, and innovation. Through our research, IPaT is merging physical and digital worlds with innovative creative ideas. The creative uses of technology are endless. We seek to identify, nurture, and grow creative and artistic ideas which may unlock new processes, inspire practical solutions with outside the box thinking, or simply lead to new forms of art expression.
Bio: Lisa Marks is an assistant professor in the School of Industrial Design in the College of Design. Marks is a designer and educator teaching studio courses in the undergraduate and graduate programs at Georgia Tech. Her current research focuses on methods of combining endangered and traditional handcraft with algorithmic modeling in order to produce new modes of production. She has a Master of Industrial Design from Parsons School of Design and worked in New York for clients including Google, Nike, and Swarovski.

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