Led by CELEST Co-PI Heather Ames
CELEST recognizes the important impact that this research can have on technology designs as well as the application of its research to real-world problems. The CELEST Catalyst facilitates many of these activities including, but not limited to, educating the CELEST community through workshop opportunities, building industrial partnerships, marketing CELEST models and technologies on the internet, securing intellectual property rights, and promoting internships for students in partner companies. Given its academic foundation, CELEST technology development primarily focuses on developing new algorithms and techniques rather than building full prototypes or products. CELEST seeks partnerships outside of academic research labs (current partnerships include those with HP Labs, iRobot, and NASA) to take these ideas to the next stage of development. The Catalyst focuses on translation of ideas and is developing a translational readiness scale in order to better understand which activities are mature enough for translation into industrial applications.
In recent years CELEST has increasingly found that high-performance computing is key to solving problems in complex data analysis or in creating biological-scale models of intelligent learning processes. Because this need became evident after CELEST's founding, CELEST leadership sought additional resources. One result has been the recent awarding of an instrumentation grant: an AFOSR Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) for fiscal year 2011 to support purchase of a state-of- the-art computer cluster whose architecture is tailored to CELEST’s research needs.
CELEST’s scientific research will have a significant impact on the design and development of tomorrow’s learning technologies, even after CELEST graduates from NSF center funding. Three key areas of technology development, namely data analytics, autonomous robotics, and neural prostheses, have been identified as being most likely to be affected in the future by CELEST’s present efforts within the Capstone Projects. These areas are not only relevant to and can benefit from CELEST research, but have been identified as “grand challenges” by governmental agencies and key sectors of industry.