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It is a part of the University System of Georgia and has satellite campuses in Savannah, Georgia; Metz, France; Athlone, Ireland; Shanghai, China; and Singapore.
The educational institution was founded in 1885 as the Georgia School of Technology as part of Reconstruction plans to build an industrial economy in the post-Civil War Southern United States. Initially, it offered only a degree in mechanical engineering. By 1901, its curriculum had expanded to include electrical, civil, and chemical engineering. In 1948, the school changed its name to reflect its evolution from a trade school to a larger and more capable technical institute and research university.
Today, Georgia Tech is organized into six colleges and contains about 31 departments/units, with emphasis on science and technology. It is well recognized for its degree programs in engineering, computing, business administration, the sciences, architecture, and liberal arts.
Georgia Institute of Technology research articles from Innovation Toronto
- 3D Nanobridges Formed Using Electron Beam Writing with Tiny Jets of Liquid Precursor – December 20, 2015
- Georgia Tech trains Watson AI to ‘chat,’ spark more creativity in humans – November 14, 2015
- Liquid Cooling Moves onto the Chip for Denser Electronics – October 8, 2015
- First Optical Rectenna – Combined Rectifier and Antenna – Converts Light to DC Current – September 30, 2015
- 4-D Technology Allows Self-folding of Complex Objects – September 27, 2015
- Georgia Tech Uses Artificial Intelligence to Crowdsource Interactive Fiction – September 7, 2015
- New nanomaterial maintains conductivity in three dimensions – September 5, 2015
- UGA’s Regenerative Bioscience Center collaborates in development of brain-friendly interfaces – August 10, 2015
- Sol-gel Capacitor Dielectric Offers Record-high Energy Storage – August 3, 2015
- Controlling swarms of robots with a finger – May 13, 2015
- New Chip Architecture May Provide Foundation for Quantum Computer – May 7, 2015
- Georgia Tech Professor Proposes Alternative to ‘Turing Test – November 20, 2014’
- Researchers Develop World’s Thinnest Electric Generator – October 18, 2014
- Discovery of a New Way to Make Foams Could Lead to Lightweight, Sustainable Materials – October 8, 2014
- Censorship? Researchers develop ‘Encore’ to monitor Web access – July 6, 2014
- Is tribo-electric the new clean energy solution? – April 14, 2014
- Killer Robots: Natural Evolution, or Abomination?
- Human Arm Sensors Make Robot Smarter | robots
- New Patent Mapping System Helps Find Innovation Pathways
- Graphene-Based Nano-Antennas May Enable Networks of Tiny Machines
- Georgia Tech Develops Inkjet-Based Circuits at Fraction of Time and Cost
- Swarm robots perform classical ‘scores’ inside Georgia Tech’s GritsLab
- A Cautionary Tale: Reaching for Silicon Valley
- Fantastic Phonons: Blocking Sound, Channeling Heat With “Unprecedented Precision”
- Breakthrough for Solar Cell Efficiency
- Power from the Sea?
- Tiny Bottles and Melting Corks: Temperature Regulates a New Delivery System for Drugs and Fragrances
- Downloadable Soil Sensors Can Be Printed by Local Farmers
- Master’s Degree Is New Frontier of Study Online
- Questions rise about seeding for ocean C02 sequestration
- Polymer Nanoreactors Create Uniform Nanocrystals
- Advanced Paper Could Be the Foundation For Inexpensive Biomedical and Diagnostic Devices
- Helper Robots Are Steered, Tentatively, to Care for the Aging
- Dawn of the bot? New era nears, experts say
- Piezoelectric “Taxels” Convert Motion to Electronic Signals for Tactile Imaging
- A Text Message a Day Keeps the Asthma Attack Away
- How Would You Like Your Assistant – Human or Robotic?
- Wireless “Smart Skin” Sensors Could Provide Remote Monitoring of Infrastructure
- Trees Used to Create Recyclable, Efficient Solar Cells
- Talking, Walking Objects
- Robot Makers Spread Global Gospel of Automation
- Squirrels and Birds Inspire Researchers to Create Deceptive Robots
- Teaching robots new tricks without programming
- MIT Game Lab explores the potential of games and play
- Hopping Robots Conserve Energy
- Robots Using Tools: Researchers Aim to Create ‘MacGyver’ Robot
- Home-Based Assessment Tool for Dementia Screening
- Battery Breakthrough: New Power Cell Converts Mechanical Energy
- David Laser Scanner offers DIY, low-cost 3D recording solution
- Musical Glove Improves Sensation, Mobility for People with Spinal Cord Injury
- Plastic Power
- U.S. Army Recruiting an Array of Animal-Inspired Robots to Assist Battlefield Troops
- Roboethics: Three Ways To Make Sure That Future Robots Have Morals
- Brailletouch app to bring eyes-free texting to iPhone and iPad
- New tech allows quadriplegics to discreetly control wheelchairs using their tongues
- Nano-Coating Doubles Rate of Heat Transfer
- You’ve Won a Badge (and Now We Know All About You)
- Researchers reverse the aging process for human adult stem cells
- Teaching robots to think like people
- Powered by Seaweed
- Closing the Gaping Hole in the Nuclear-fuel Cycle
- Invention turns energy in the air into electricity
- Glove with vibrating fingertip enhances user’s sense of touch
- Scavenging ambient electromagnetic energy to power small electronic devices
- New process allows fuel cells to run on coal
- Autonomous Robots Made to Explore and Map Buildings
- Squeeze power: First ‘practical nanogenerator’ developed
- First Practical Nanogenerator Produces Electricity With Pinch of the Fingers
- Getting robots to move like people for better interaction
- Robots Become Self-Aware
- LCD projector used to control tiny organisms
- No Elder Left Behind: Researchers Say Designers Can Help Close Tech Gap
- Is My Robot Happy To See Me?
- 2011: The Year of the Personal Robot
- Healthcare robot gives sponge baths
- A new way of beating the web’s censors
- Smart home sensors use electrical wiring as an antenna
- Localized heating could be the key to mass-producing graphene nanocircuits
- Million-dollar problem cracked?
- Bye-Bye Batteries: Radio Waves as a Low-Power Source
- Energy-efficiency measures could save consumers $41 billion
- Light down a wire for solar power
- Could Battery Advances Mean a Better Robot?
- Handle With Care
- Steering stem cells with magnets
- Pandora’s Promise: The Triumph of Hope over Fear in Nuclear Power?
- UGA discovery may allow scientists to make fuel from CO2 in the atmosphere
- More Companies Bypassing Electric Grid Inefficiencies With Fuel Cells
Students didn’t know their TA was a computer
College of Computing Professor Ashok Goel teaches Knowledge Based Artificial Intelligence (KBAI) every semester. It’s a core requirement of Georgia Tech’s online master’s of science in computer science program. And every time he offers it, Goel estimates, his 300 or so students post roughly 10,000 messages in the online forums — far too many inquiries for him and his eight teaching assistants (TA) to handle.
That’s why Goel added a ninth TA this semester. Her name is Jill Watson, and she’s unlike any other TA in the world. In fact, she’s not even a “she.” Jill is a computer — a virtual TA —implemented on IBM’s Watson platform.
“The world is full of online classes, and they’re plagued with low retention rates,” Goel said. “One of the main reasons many students drop out is because they don’t receive enough teaching support. We created Jill as a way to provide faster answers and feedback.”
Goel and his team of Georgia Tech graduate students started to build her last year. They contacted Piazza, the course’s online discussion forum, to track down all the questions that had ever been asked in KBAI since the class was launched in fall 2014 (about 40,000 postings in all). Then they started to feed Jill the questions and answers.
“One of the secrets of online classes is that the number of questions increases if you have more students, but the number of different questions doesn’t really go up,” Goel said. “Students tend to ask the same questions over and over again.”
That’s an ideal situation for the Watson platform, which specializes in answering questions with distinct, clear solutions. The team wrote code that allows Jill to field routine questions that are asked every semester. For example, students consistently ask where they can find particular assignments and readings.
Jill wasn’t very good for the first few weeks after she started in January, often giving odd and irrelevant answers. Her responses were posted in a forum that wasn’t visible to students.
“Initially her answers weren’t good enough because she would get stuck on keywords,” said Lalith Polepeddi, one of the graduate students who co-developed the virtual TA. “For example, a student asked about organizing a meet-up to go over video lessons with others, and Jill gave an answer referencing a textbook that could supplement the video lessons — same keywords — but different context. So we learned from mistakes like this one, and gradually made Jill smarter.”
After some tinkering by the research team, Jill found her groove and soon was answering questions with 97 percent certainty. When she did, the human TAs would upload her responses to the students. By the end of March, Jill didn’t need any assistance: She wrote the class directly if she was 97 percent positive her answer was correct.
The students, who were studying artificial intelligence, were unknowingly interacting with it. Goel didn’t inform them about Jill’s true identity until April 26. The student response was uniformly positive. One admitted her mind was blown. Another asked if Jill could “come out and play.” Since then some students have organized a KBAI alumni forum to learn about new developments with Jill after the class ends, and another group of students has launched an open source project to replicate her.
Back in February, student Tyson Bailey began to wonder if Jill was a computer and posted his suspicions on Piazza.
“We were taking an AI course, so I had to imagine that it was possible there might be an AI lurking around,” said Bailey, who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Then again, I asked Dr. Goel if he was a computer in one of my first email interactions with him. I think it’s a great idea and hope that they continue to improve it.”
Jill ended the semester able to answer many routine questions asked. She’ll return —with a different name — next semester. The goal is to have the virtual teaching assistant answer 40 percent of all questions by the end of year.
Human voices are individually recognizable because they’re generated by the unique components of each person’s voice box, pharynx, esophagus and other physical structures.
Researchers are using the same principle to identify devices on electrical grid control networks, using their unique electronic “voices” – fingerprints produced by the devices’ individual physical characteristics – to determine which signals are legitimate and which signals might be from attackers. A similar approach could also be used to protect networked industrial control systems in oil and gas refineries, manufacturing facilities, wastewater treatment plants and other critical industrial systems.
The research, reported February 23 at the Network and Distributed System Security Symposium in San Diego, was supported in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF). While device fingerprinting isn’t a complete solution in itself, the technique could help address the unique security challenges of the electrical grid and other cyber-physical systems. The approach has been successfully tested in two electrical substations.
“We have developed fingerprinting techniques that work together to protect various operations of the power grid to prevent or minimize spoofing of packets that could be injected to produce false data or false control commands into the system,” said Raheem Beyah, an associate professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “This is the first technique that can passively fingerprint different devices that are part of critical infrastructure networks. We believe it can be used to significantly improve the security of the grid and other networks.”
The networked systems controlling the U.S. electrical grid and other industrial systems often lack the ability to run modern encryption and authentication systems, and the legacy systems connected to them were never designed for networked security. Because they are distributed around the country, often in remote areas, the systems are also difficult to update using the “patching” techniques common in computer networks. And on the electric grid, keeping the power on is a priority, so security can’t cause delays or shutdowns.
“The stakes are extremely high, but the systems are very different from home or office computer networks,” said Beyah. “It is critical that we secure these systems against attackers who may introduce false data or issue malicious commands.”
Beyah, his students, and colleagues in Georgia Tech’s George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering set out to develop security techniques that take advantage of the unique physical properties of the grid and the consistent type of operations that take place there.
For instance, control devices used in the power grid produce signals that are distinctive because of their unique physical configurations and compositions. Security devices listening to signals traversing the grid’s control systems can differentiate between these legitimate devices and signals produced by equipment that’s not part of the system.
Another aspect of the work takes advantage of simple physics. Devices such as circuit breakers and electrical protection systems can be told to open or close remotely, and they then report on the actions they’ve taken. The time required to open a breaker or a valve is determined by the physical properties of the device. If an acknowledgement arrives too soon after the command is issued – less time than it would take for a breaker or valve to open, for instance – the security system could suspect spoofing, Beyah explained.
To develop the device fingerprints, the researchers, including mechanical engineering assistant professor Jonathan Rogers, have built computer models of utility grid devices to understand how they operate. Information to build the models came from “black box” techniques – watching the information that goes into and out of the system – and “white box” techniques that utilize schematics or physical access to the systems.
“Device fingerprinting is a unique signature that indicates the identity of a specific device, or device type, or an action associated with that device type,” Beyah explained. “We can use physics and mathematics to analyze and build a model using first principles based on the devices themselves. Schematics and specifications allow us to determine how the devices are actually operating.”
The researchers have demonstrated the technique on two electrical substations, and plan to continue refining it until it becomes close to 100 percent accurate. Their current technique addresses the protocol used for more than half of the devices on the electrical grid, and future work will include examining application of the method to other protocols.
Because they also include devices with measurable physical properties, Beyah believes the approach could have broad application to securing industrial control systems used in manufacturing, oil and gas refining, wastewater treatment and other industries. Beyond industrial controls, the principle could also apply to the Internet of Things (IoT), where the devices being controlled have specific signatures related to switching them on and off.
“All of these IoT devices will be doing physical things, such as turning your air-conditioning on or off,” Beyah said. “There will be a physical action occurring, which is similar to what we have studied with valves and actuators.”
The rapid pace of artificial intelligence (AI) has raised fears about whether robots could act unethically or soon choose to harm humans. Some are calling for bans on robotics research; others are calling for more research to understand how AI might be constrained. But how can robots learn ethical behavior if there is no “user manual” for being human?
Researchers Mark Riedl and Brent Harrison from the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology believe the answer lies in “Quixote” – to be unveiled at the AAAI-16 Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. (Feb. 12 – 17). Quixote teaches “value alignment” to robots by training them to read stories, learn acceptable sequences of events and understand successful ways to behave in human societies.
“The collected stories of different cultures teach children how to behave in socially acceptable ways with examples of proper and improper behavior in fables, novels and other literature,” says Riedl, associate professor and director of the Entertainment Intelligence Lab. “We believe story comprehension in robots can eliminate psychotic-appearing behavior and reinforce choices that won’t harm humans and still achieve the intended purpose.”
Quixote is a technique for aligning an AI’s goals with human values by placing rewards on socially appropriate behavior. It builds upon Riedl’s prior research – the Scheherazade system – which demonstrated how artificial intelligence can gather a correct sequence of actions by crowdsourcing story plots from the Internet.
Scheherazade learns what is a normal or “correct” plot graph. It then passes that data structure along to Quixote, which converts it into a “reward signal” that reinforces certain behaviors and punishes other behaviors during trial-and-error learning. In essence, Quixote learns that it will be rewarded whenever it acts like the protagonist in a story instead of randomly or like the antagonist.