Villanova University Hosts Conference on Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence

Dr. Pritpal Singh, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, served as local chair of the international conference, which was held in the U.S. for the first time.
Dr. Pritpal Singh, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, served as local chair of the international conference, which was held in the U.S. for the first time.

In November, Villanova University College of Engineering hosted the 11th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing & Ambient Intelligence (AmI). Dr. Pritpal Singh, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, served as local chair and coordinated the event. More than 70 engineers and computer scientists from academia and research came together from 16 countries, including Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Spain, France, Germany, China, Iran and India, to discuss a new generation of user-centered computing environments and systems that offers better integration of information technology in everyday devices and activities.

The conference offered three days of interdisciplinary sessions on topics in AmI Systems and Machine Learning, Socio-Cognitive and Affective Computing, Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Cities, AmIHEALTH, Ambient Assisted Living, Human Computer Interface and Sustainability. Keynote speakers presented on the next generation of computing, the quest for realizing smart environments, and UNICEF’s work in quantifying development through data and science. The event also provided an opportunity for attendees to discuss potential research collaboration across universities. 

Dr. Jose Bravo from the Universidad de Castilla in La Mancha, Spain, established the conference in 2003.
Dr. Jose Bravo from the Universidad de Castilla in La Mancha, Spain, established the conference in 2003.

The event chair, Dr. Jose Bravo from the Universidad de Castilla in La Mancha, Spain, established the conference in 2003. He explains that much of the research in AmI is about improving the quality of life for individuals. “We are trying to establish intelligent environments that enhance life without interrupting it. Much of this work will benefit the areas of preventive health, elder care and support for those with cognitive disabilities.”

This was the first time the conference has been held in the United States. Dr. Singh explains how Villanova came to host the event: “I met Jose Bravo at a conference in Panama in January 2016 and he mentioned that he had held the conference in Europe and Central and South America, but never in North America. I offered to host it at Villanova since he was looking to expand to the U.S. to get more international recognition. I was delighted to host given the relevant work that various College of Engineering faculty and students are conducting in the Center for Advanced Communications and Villanova Center for Analytics of Dynamic Systems.”

The proceedings from the conference are published in Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science and include papers by Villanova College of Engineering faculty and students. Among them are “Multi-layer Security Mechanism for Networked Embedded Devices” by doctoral student Christopher Mansour ’14 MSCpE and Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Dr. Danai Chasaki, and “Temperature and Humidity Dependence for Household- and City-Wide Electricity Demand Prediction in Managua, Nicaragua” by doctoral student Stephen Suffian '13 MSSE, Dr. Diego Ponce de Leon Barido of the University of California Berkeley and Dr. Pritpal Singh.