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Speakers discuss future of technology in sixth biennial ISTeC Symposium

“Acceleration: Keeping Up with the Speed of Innovation” was this year’s theme for the sixth biennial ISTeC FutureVisions Symposium held at the Lory Student Center Theater from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

Nine speakers gave speeches and presented their research, focusing on topics surrounding technology in the near future, such as the internet, digital security and virtual reality.

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“We have a tremendous opportunity for us as educators,” Dr. Patrick Burns, vice president for Information Technology at Colorado State University, said. “We saw where we need to go today.”

After Burns gave opening remarks, Pew Research Center director of Internet and Technology Research Lee Rainie delivered his presentation on the future of the internet.

Beth Plale, science advisor for public access at the National Science Foundation, followed Rainie by giving a presentation on how data is shared.

The next speaker was Steve Goeringer, a principal security architect at CableLabs, who talked about how technology is constantly becoming more innovative and is always changing, and how, in the future, people will need to work on protecting digital security and privacy.

“Technology is about people and giving them great experiences in their life,” Goeringer said. “It’s about using technology to help people make the most of every second. Technology is a major contributor to making your future a better place and it’s worth putting in some real effort into protecting it.”

Estee Beck, assistant professor of Professional and Technical Writing and Digital Humanities at the University of Texas at Arlington, presented on psychometrics in social media.

Beck particularly focused on the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the political data firm Cambridge Analytica directed provocative posts from fake accounts and bots, fake news stories and millions of unsolicited messages to Facebook users.

“I am going to issue a call for all of the students who are here today,” Beck said. “When faculty and business leaders and politicians say to the next generation that we look to you for the solutions, we really do mean it, but we are also looking for you to contribute novel and innovative ideas.”

Don Dulchinos, president of Smart Home and Away, gave his presentation on the interconnectivity of future devices.

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Dulchinos explained how everyday items are becoming technologically connected. For instance, Dulchinos said with companies now taking items such as watches, thermostats and even forks to make everything technologically interconnected, his house has become a smart home.

“I left the house this morning, I was in a rush, my wife had already gone back out, and to this moment, I don’t know if the garage door closed or not,” Dulchinos said. “But there’s smart garage openers now. You can actually get an app that does that.”

WISRD, LLC. Chief Geospatial Officer Shannon McElvaney spoke about how digital mapping is being used in everyday life.

McElvaney discussed the innovation of digital mapping since the early 1960s, and he explained that digital mapping can be used for smart farming and to monitor electrical lines, gas lines and sewage systems, among other systems.

“Some of this can be rather bizarre and rather invasive, and we’re already starting to see some of this happen, but it will start to happen more,” McElvaney said. “It’s been talked about for ten years, 15 years and it hasn’t really taken on, but I think that it is going to now just with all the technology that we see today.”

Following McElvaney’s presentation, vice president for Research at CSU Alan S. Rudolph, distinguished technologist in the Workstation Division at Hewlett Packard in Fort Collins Paul Martin and NVIDIA business director Will Wade gave presentations during a 30-minute ignite session.

Rudolph, Martin and Wade talked about the past, present and future of augmented and virtual reality, discussing the potential services that could come about.

“All of this together, everything we heard today, is coming together to create this connected world,” McElvaney said.

Collegian news reporter Matt Bailey can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @mattnes1999.

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