NEREN Seminar: “Bridging the Gap: AI and Machine Learning”


The Northeast Research and Education Network, NEREN’s, Fall 2019 seminar was held on October 4, 2019, at the Gateway City Arts Center, Holyoke, MA.

In collaboration with UMass Amherst and the Massachusetts Green High-Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC), NEREN presented the seventh in a series of day-long seminars devoted to proposing and advancing ideas for regional collaboration in research computing and networking this time on the theme of AI and Machine Learning.

The seminar began with a presentation by Erik G. Learned-Miller, Professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who spoke about what can be learned from FDA processes for regulating the drug and medical device industries when seeking to build a roadmap for developing regulatory structures, processes, definitions, and rules to manage the complex implications of facial recognition technology.

The second speaker was Adrian Del Maestro, Associate Professor of Physics, University of Vermont, who spoke about the deployment of a new GPU based supercomputer at the University of Vermont and the associated experience of engaging with a new class of users that are interested in employing machine learning in their research, but who may have minimal previous experience with high performance computing.

The third presentation was given by MIT Lincoln Laboratory Fellow Jeremy Kepner and concerned his team’s research performing hypersparce neural network analysis on the massive internet traffic dataset his team collects and curates using the MIT SuperCloud.

Finally, after lunch, Jim Hendler, Tetherless World Chair of Computer, Web and Cognitive Sciences, and Director RPI/IBM AI Research Collaboration, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) reflected on “Knowledge Representation in the Era of Deep Learning, Watson and the Semantic Web” arguing that while these technologies have been developing fast and are individually extremely powerful, they remain a long way from human intelligence.

Christopher Misra, Vice-Chancellor and CIO, University of Massachusetts Amherst shared closing remarks.

To access a recording of the meeting or to be added to the NEREN mailing list contact NEREN Program Administrator,

Story image: Erik G. Learned-Miller, Professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences, the University of Massachusetts Amherst – image credit: J. Page


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NEREN Seminar: “Bridging the Gap: Advancing regional collaboration and research IT collaboration” MGHPCC News


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