Amazon, Google staff Speak at Tulane Tech Day

Courtesy of Tulane University

Courtesy of Tulane University

Thomas Parrott, Contributing Reporter

Tulane celebrated its 12th Tech Day on Oct. 3. The event serves as an opportunity for the Downtown Information Technology Department to join with the Uptown campus to share information and knowledge regarding technological improvements to the university as a whole. 

The event featured keynote panelists from major companies in the tech industry such as Lukman Ramsey from Google, Kellyn Pot’Vin-Gorman from Microsoft and Tara Madhyastha from Amazon. These key figures in the industry each had a chance to speak at the event and provide insight from their respective fields.

The event also featured Kristin Johnson from the Tulane School of Law, who focused on “financial risk management as it relates to emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning.” 

Lukman Ramsey, the machine learning/artificial intelligence solution lead for Google Cloud, briefly discussed the issues he hopes to address when attending conferences. Most notably, Ramsey talked about how big tech companies such as Google struggle with combating hate speech online on systems which house millions of users.

The event also featured Tulane faculty member Noel Wong, vice president for information technology and chief information officer, with an introduction from Tulane Chief Operating Officer Patrick Norton.

Wong’s panel focused on the expansion of IT at Tulane with a special focus on how new technologies can be incorporated into university research programs using a multi-tiered secure system. Wong added that a key focus for his department moving forward will be assisting tech-blind people to the digital age through a point-click service catalog. 

Michael Griffith and Bobbie Garner-Coffie, director and lead instructional technologist for the Innovative Learning Center, respectively, also attended the conference. These leaders within the ILC provided feedback and insight into the history of Tech Day, its impact on the community, as well as information on the ILC itself.

Tech day began as a public face for the Innovative Learning Center to connect the IT department of the Downtown Campus with Uptown faculty and students in an attempt to share knowledge and resources between the two campuses. The ILC has used this opportunity to reach out to faculty groups and build individual faculty skill sets. This approach allows a more free-form approach to faculty collaboration and addressing individual needs. 

Through the recent keynote speakers, the ILC hopes to spread cooperation not only between the two campuses, but also between Tulane University as a whole and private companies. Through cooperation future tech days may provide insight into the technology of the future with an emphasis on AI and VR. The hope is that students will be better prepared for what employers expect of them in an ever changing landscape. 

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