Two Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty members participated in a Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI) Innovation Lab residential workshop July 20-24 on "Interdisciiplinary Approaches to Biomedical Data Science Challenges" in Research Triangle Park, NC.

They are Mathews Jacob, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and a researcher at the UI Center for Computer-Aided

Design and the Iowa Institute for Biomedical Imaging, and Guadalupe Canahuate, assistant professor of electrical and
computer engineering.

The Innovations Lab process entails participation in an intensive five-day residential workshop, the development of multidisciplinary collaborative proposals through a real-time and iterative review process, and the opportunity to submit proposals for small, 1-year awards to further build the collaborations. The lab is organized along similar lines to the NSF-organized Ideas Labs, which are modeled on the "IDEAs Factory" program developed by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) of the United Kingdom.

The concept of the IDEAs Factory program is to organize intensive interactive multidisciplinary workshops ("Sandpits") involving around 30 participants, with the aim of developing new and bold approaches to address grand challenge questions for topics that could benefit from a new dimension in thinking. The participants are assisted by a team of professional facilitators and by a team of scientists with relevant expertise.