Scalable City, 2008, screen shot, by professor of visual arts and Calit2 artist-in-residence Sheldon Brown.

Exploring New Ways
to Look and Listen

UC SAN DEIGO IS REDEFINING THE INTERPLAY of science and technology with the arts and culture. At the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), visual artists, sound designers, and composers are challenging the conventional experience of art lovers and concertgoers.

Visual artist Sheldon Brown, director of the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA) at UC San Diego and head of New Media Arts at Calit2, used computer algorithms to create a landscape, to carve roads, and to distribute houses for his interactive art installation Scalable City. The project, which explores how our world is reimagined and transformed by the use of computers, is displayed across media, including game installations, sculptures, and digital prints. Versions of the critically acclaimed work have traveled as far as China, Brazil, and the Czech Republic. Some of the pieces went on display in 2010 in La Jolla at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

Composer Rand Steiger, outgoing chair of the Department of Music, succeeded Pulitzer Prize winner Roger Reynolds as Calit2’s composer in residence in July 2010. Steiger draws inspiration from technology for his musical compositions, which feature real-time digital signal processing to modify the sounds made by traditional instruments. First up: a series of electro-acoustic works for solo instruments, and a large ensemble work with the International Contemporary Ensemble.

Rand Steiger, Kevin Patrick, and CalIT2's StarCAVE

Top left: Calit2 composer-in-residence Rand Steiger. Middle: cancer researcher Kevin Patrick, M.D.
Right: A StarCAVE simulation at Calit2.

Streamlining the Data for Evaluating Cancer Care

Despite the U.S. government’s annual investment of $5 billion in cancer research, cancer still claims the lives of some 560,000 Americans annually. Vast amounts of data make it increasingly difficult to evaluate the relative benefits, risks, and costs of new drug discoveries and interventions, but the Cyberinfrastructure for Comparative Effectiveness Research (CYCORE) project—a collaborative effort between the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) and the UC San Diego School of Medicine—will streamline the process.

A two-year, $2.6 million award from the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute will enable the UC San Diego research team to create a prototype of a cyberinfrastructure for data collection and comparison. CYCORE will gather data from clinical trials, patient medical records, self-reported and objectively monitored social and behavioral data, data on cancer outcomes from regional cancer registries, and cost-benefit analyses.

The head of the UC San Diego research team is Kevin Patrick, M.D., professor of family and preventive medicine. The work is based in Calit2’s Center for Wireless and Population Health Systems.

A two-year, $2.6 million award from the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute will enable the UC San Diego research team to create a prototype of a cyberinfrastructure for data collection and comparison.

The UC San Diego team is partnering with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center on a $3.86 million Grand Opportunity grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) federal stimulus funding program to create the prototype infrastructure and to test it in clinical trials. As the CYCORE system expands in size and scope, the oncology community will be able to upload data from a vast number of clinical trials. By having more data points, scientists will be in a better position to create effective models for prevention, treatment, and recovery.

The CYCORE project will utilize visualization technologies based at Calit2. In StarCAVE, a virtual-reality environment, researchers wearing stereoscopic glasses “walk into” digital models of hypermagnified biological structures. Calit2’s HIPerSpace display wall, with more than 287 million pixels of screen resolution, enables researchers to look at large databases on a massive scale while telecollaborating with other institutions in real time.