The Year Ahead: Ten to Watch in 2016

By Micah Siegel

San Diego, Calif., Jan. 11, 2016 — The new year is well underway at the Qualcomm Institute, and with it comes a full program of events: research reviews, lectures, performances and workshops of all kinds. We’ve selected a few to preview here, and hope you’ll consider joining us for them. For more updates, check back with us regularly at and


Monthly Mixer

Monthly Mixers: The Qualcomm Institute will continue its popular Monthly Mixer series throughout the year, offering QI faculty-affiliates, students and staff a relaxed, casual setting in which to share their work. Each mixer features brief presentations from two to four QI community members, followed by an informal Q&A session—and, of course, a variety of drinks and snacks are provided. The year’s first Monthly Mixer will take place in the Calit2 Theater on Tuesday, Jan. 12, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Guest speakers will include Nano3 Director Yu-Hwa Lo, Psychiatry and Family Medicine and Public Health Prof. Cinnamon Bloss and QI Research Scientist Mehrdad Yazdani. Future mixers will be held Feb. 3, Mar. 3, Apr. 5, May 4 and June 8.

Winter Exhibition in gallery@calit2: gallery@calit2 will begin 2016 with a new installation: a satellite exhibition from the Guantanamo Bay Museum of Art and History, dedicated both to memorializing the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp’s human rights abuses and to discussing systemic violence in the modern world. The exhibition, curated by Ian Alan Paul, will feature work from Adam Harms, Jon Kuzmich, Carling McManus and Jen Susman, Fiamma Montezemolo and Jenny Odell. To introduce this collection, gallery@calit2 will host a gallery opening on Thursday, Jan. 14, at 5 p.m., with exhibition curator Ian Alan Paul and UC San Diego Visual Arts Prof. Ricardo Dominguez. The exhibition will run Jan. 14 through Mar. 11 in Atkinson Hall.


Design Lab Events—18F, Vivienne Ming, and Design@ Large: The Design Lab will kick off the new year with a panel discussion in Atkinson Hall on Monday, Jan. 11: “Transforming Government,” featuring guest panelists from 18F, which describes itself as “a civic consultancy for the government—inside the government—enabling agencies to rapidly deploy tools and services that are easy to operate, cost-efficient and reusable.” For more details, visit the event’s website. On Tuesday, Feb. 2, the Lab is scheduled to host a talk by theoretical neuroscientist Vivienne Ming, co-founder of Socos and a vice president at ShiftGig, who recently was named one of Inc. magazine’s “10 Women to Watch in Tech.” Details and an RSVP form can be found on the event’s Eventbrite page. The ongoing Design@Large talk series also will continue to take place on a weekly basis throughout the quarter.


IDEAS Events: The Qualcomm Institute’s Initiative for Digital Exploration of Arts and Sciences (IDEAS) will continue its 2015-2016 season of high-tech performances with three final events: StilHouette, by Ryan Welsh, date TBA; Head Over Heels, by Grady Kestler, Anne Gehman and Justin Humphres, on Mar. 31; and Past Teton Gap, by Kyle Johnson, on June 9. For artists planning to submit proposals for the 2016-2017 series, IDEAS Director Shahrokh Yadegari will host a proposal workshop on Thursday, Jan. 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. in Atkinson Hall. Proposals for the upcoming season will be due Feb. 15, 2016, by 12 p.m. PST, and the selected projects will be announced in the spring. More details on future IDEAS programming can be found at


Information Theory and Applications (ITA) Workshop 2016: Now in its 11th year, the annual ITA Workshop, sponsored by the Information Theory and Applications center and Qualcomm, Inc., will draw hundreds of information theory researchers and industry professionals to the Scripps Seaside Forum between Sunday, Jan. 31 and Friday, Feb. 5. The workshop program will feature plenaries by Jeffrey Dean (Google), Matthew Grob (Qualcomm), Arvind Krishna (IBM), Christos Papadimitriou (UC Berkeley) and Larry Wasserman (Carnegie Mellon University), as well as six concurrent presentation sessions in which attendees will share their work in a wide range of fields (ITA cites “information theory and communications, networking, computer science, machine learning, bioinformatics, signal processing…[and] statistics” as only a partial list). In keeping with tradition, the workshop’s organizers have also created ample opportunity for visitors to enjoy what San Diego has to offer. On top of the annual workshop banquet at The Marine Room, this year’s program includes a beach bonfire and—for an additional fee—a gourmet cooking class with Marine Room chefs Bernard Guillas and Ron Oliver, where attendees will have the chance to prepare three courses of dishes like thyme- and fleur de sel-scented diver scallops and Barolo-braised lamb osso bucco, paired with sommelier-selected wines.


Non-Volatile Memories Workshop 2016: Data storage researchers from academia and industry will gather at UC San Diego for the seventh annual Non-Volatile Memories Workshop from Sunday, Mar. 6 through Tuesday, Mar. 8. Organized jointly by the Qualcomm Institute, the Center for Memory and Recording Research (CMRR) and the Non-Volatile Systems Laboratory, the workshop aims to promote and facilitate work on non-volatile, solid state memories—data storage technology that can accommodate greater quantities of information at faster speeds and lower price points. For more information about the workshop, visit their website at

Swanson and students

Food & Fuel for the 21st Century (FF21) Symposium: Atkinson Hall will host the 2016 Food & Fuel for the 21st Century Symposium (FF21) on Friday, Mar. 11, 2016. The symposium, an annual event organized by the FF21 organized research unit at UC San Diego, draws students, faculty, postdoctoral scholars and industry leaders to discuss the use of algae and plant biotechnology for biofuel and food production. The symposium also aims to address these issues in the broader contexts of economics, policy and climate change. More details will be posted to FF21’s website,, as they become available.


Filmatic Festival: The Filmatic Festival offers a movie-going experience totally unlike an ordinary theater’s: using Atkinson Hall’s visualization and virtual reality equipment, the ArtPower- and QI-organized festival will give attendees a taste of how film and filmmaking will change in the years to come. By promoting experimental, cutting-edge filmmakers who create “active and immersive experiences” for their viewers, Filmatic showcases the astonishing artistic possibilities of science and technology. Program details will be announced in January 2016, and tickets will go on sale at on Feb. 29, 2016.

CWC 5G Research Forum 2016: The Center for Wireless Communication’s third annual 5G Research Forum, an academic and industry summit on the future of next-generation wireless technology, will take place in Atkinson Hall on May 12 and 13, 2016. According to the forum’s organizers, the 2016 forum will address the “new applications and user experiences that can be enabled by 5G, what requirements need to be met by 5G networks and devices, and how innovations in 5G radio architectures, circuits, and application and application analytics can satisfy these requirements.” More details will be posted on the forum’s website,, in the weeks to come.

Media Contacts

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Related Links



ITA Workshop

Food & Fuel for the 21st Century

Non-Volatile Memories Workshop

Filmatic Festival