Highlights from the 2020 Fall Technology Innovation Forum

(BeArS@Home(link sends e-mail))


The first day featured recipients of the Berkeley Changemaker Technology Innovation grants.

Photo of campus building with augmented reality images floating in front of it

Ethnic Studies Podcast/AR

The grants, distributed earlier this year(link is external), provided financial incentives to bring together transformative ideas from across Berkeley’s decentralized campus, fostering connections and developing institutional awareness of peoples’ innovation efforts and community support for our innovators. The inspiration behind these grants came from the Berkeley Changemaker™ program(link is external) which codifies an essential part of what UC Berkeley has always stood for, helping students develop a sharper sense of who they want to be and how to make that happen.

Lucid Learning

Lucid Learning

We saw results from groups who were strengthening instructional resilience in the face of Coronavirus (BeArs@Home choose your own adventure chemistry labs, PEARL Project, remote control of physics lab experiments via the web and Taking Remote Learning Outside field study).

In addition, we saw demos of fantastic technologies from the new Extended Reality Community of Practice (Scaffolding Stores/Building CommunitiesInsightXRLucid LearningVRTutor). All of these teams made amazing contributions to the Berkeley campus, and we are excited to see what they will do next!

smartphones showing InsightXR


On the second day of the forum, the focus was on the Berkeley Connected Campus. Several groups presented their work integrating smart device technologies & facilities around campus to improve infrastructure and make processes more efficient. We viewed presentations about facilities sensors around campus(link is external)air sensors for air quality management(link is external)smart campus sewer covers(link is external), and intelligent curb management(link is external). While connected campus initiatives can immensely improve the campus experience and resilience, there are concerns around safety and privacy, especially with the increasing data collection. CITRIS Policy Director Brandie Nonnecke, Campus Privacy Officer Scott Seaborn, UC Berkeley Chief Sustainability Officer Kara Stoll discussed the promise and pitfalls of a connected campus with Berkeley CTO Bill Allison, bringing context and perspective from unique backgrounds and programs.



Read more about the Technology Innovation Forum here, and visit the CTO website for more information about each of the different groups who presented at the forum, as well as see a sneak peak of projects still in progress.

Stay In Touch With Discord! During the Fall Innovation Forum, students piloted a program for engagement between audience members and presenters on Discord. Discord is an online platform, similar to Slack, that provides individualized online spaces for different organizations. We utilized this Discord server to chat during and after the forum to ask any questions, provide feedback, and connect with individuals across campus. It was a big success during the forum, and we hope to see people continue to stay engaged even after the forum has finished. We envision a forum for discussion on innovation practices, a place to ask and receive help, and a general environment for chitchat about project happenings and progress. Please see here(link is external) for more information on how to join the discord.

This article originally appeared in Berkeley CTO Resource Center, December 14, 2020, and is re-posted with permission in the UC IT Blog.

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