Artificial Intelligence Summit


Join us on April 11

With its mission to support the public good, the University of Denver has the opportunity to occupy a unique space that few others are capable of fulfilling. Further, it is apparent from preliminary gatherings on AI at DU that there is extreme interest in a university-wide initiative. Our aspiration for the AI Summit is that University faculty, students, and staff come together to take the first steps toward delineating an initiative that defines the contributions that DU can make in the areas of AI, automation, big data, and the future of work.


The AI Summit will take an “un-conference” approach to encourage all attendees to roll up their sleeves and share ideas across disciplines to take full advantage of the wide array of expertise, research, and application of AI at DU.


We know that the big, hairy problems of our world are rarely solved in silos. The AI Summit is designed to break down those silos, and through an interactive program, begin to form cross-disciplinary teams explore new paradigms for advancing, coordinating, and supporting AI work at DU.


The Summit will be framed around a singular challenge question to help spur creativity and guide the experience: What interdisciplinary, University-wide structures and systems will unlock collaboration around artificial intelligence to serve the public good?

AI Summit Schedule

The AI Summit will be held at the Tuscan Ballroom at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management. 

Full day summit – April 11
7 : 30 – 9 AM
Breakfast & Welcome
9 : 00 – 10 : 15 AM
Workshop / Drill #1
10 : 30 – 12 PM
Workshop / Drill #2
12 : 15 – 1 PM
Working Lunch & Keynote
1 : 15 – 2 : 30 PM
Workshop / Drill #3
2 : 45 – 4 PM
Workshop / Drill #4
4 : 00 – 5 PM
Wrap Up & Reflections
5 : 00 – 6 : 30 PM

Past Events

12-1:00 pm
Deep Neural Networks for Lifelong Learning and Goal-Driven Computer Vision
Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science, Room 410 

Today’s best deep convolutional neural networks now rival humans at image recognition. This is a great achievement, but artificial intelligence still has a long way to go toward achieving the versatility of humans. Join us for Dr. Christopher Kanan’s talk as he describes two efforts by his lab to create deep learning algorithms that are more flexible and learn more like people through the development of Visual Question Answering (VQA) systems. He argues that lifelong machine learning has many applications, including robotics and learning on resource constrained embedded platforms.

12-1:00 pm
Pop-up Meeting

Pop-up meeting to discuss survey results and decide on the contents/speakers/format of the three roundtable Lunch-&-Learn meetings leading up to the April Un-Conference. 

12-1:00 pm
Lunch-&-Learn: AI 101 with Cindi Fukami, Mohammad Mahoor & Nancy Reichman

SIE Building, Room 5025 
This interactive lunch dives into the definition and applications of Artificial Intelligence. Hear from DU faculty about what AI is, what is happening with AI at DU, and what opportunities there are to get involved. Professors Mohammad Mahoor (RSECS), Cindi Fukami (DCB), and Nancy Reichman (CAHSS) will give short overviews of the basics of AI technology, and how DU professors are studying its uses and policy implications, followed by roundtable discussions to learn more about each of these topics.  If you missed the event, you can view the video footage hereThe presentation is available here

12-1:00 pm
Lunch-&-Learn: Research & Scholarship Overview 

Anderson Academic Commons, Room 290 
This discussion features Corinne Lengsfeld covering AI-related research and projects currently underway at DU. Dr. Lengsfeld is the Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Education and Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. Colleagues have the opportunity to discuss  potential ways to collaborate on these projects. If you missed the event, you can view the video footage hereThe presentation is available here

12-1:00 pm
Lunch-&-Learn: Faculty Lightning Talks 

Craig Hall, Room 120 
This event featured Lighting Talks from Faculty Working on Artificial Intelligence Research and Projects Across Humanities, Science and Business. 

12-1:00 pm
Networking Lunch

Katherine A. Ruffato Hall, Room 105
Please join us for our last Artificial Intelligence lunch event leading up to the AI Summit on April 11th. Network with others who share a passion for AI and are interested in getting involved with AI-related projects and research across the University of Denver campus. This networking lunch is a great opportunity to share your ideas and learn from one another. You’ll also learn more about the AI Summit, including a short Q&A session. Register here.


Meet Our Speakers & Organizers

Anamika Barman-Adhikari
Anamika Barman-Adhikari

Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Social Work


Anamika Barman-Adhikari, PhD, is an assistant professor of social work at the University of Denver. Her experiences in research, policy and clinical services have coalesced in her current scholarly goals and agenda. These experiences have collectively helped her to formulate an academic agenda, which is devoted to the prevention of HIV and substance use among high-risk youth and other vulnerable populations. Barman-Adhikari’s research interests are broadly centered on understanding the social-contextual determinants of risk and protective behaviors among vulnerable populations, such as homeless and minority youth.

Her research broadly has four core foci:

  1. Survey-based research examining how face-to-face social networks and norms shape the risk and protective behaviors of marginalized populations such as homeless youth
  2. Understanding digital practices among homeless and other minority youth and young adult populations
  3. Developing and disseminating programs that utilize innovative technology to increase social connectedness and preventive behaviors in these populations
  4. Using innovative observational and computational methods to evaluate interactions in both face-to-face and online social networks

The goal of this research is to inform prevention interventions that acknowledge these contextual environments and utilize social network methodology to determine how these new ideas can be disseminated and sustained using a community-based participatory research approach.

Anthony Fulginiti
Anthony Fulginiti

Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Social Work


Assistant Professor Anthony Fulginiti is broadly interested in understanding and developing ways to leverage social connections to prevent and relieve the suffering associated with experiences of suicidal thinking and behavior among vulnerable populations. His work is built upon the core belief that a strong practice and research partnership is invaluable to effective, innovative and sustained suicide prevention efforts.

The major purpose of Fulginiti’s current research is to shed light on the process of disclosure decision-making around suicidal thoughts and behavior, as well as other stigmatized statuses. He relies upon a number of methodological strategies, including the use of social network analysis, to determine how characteristics of individuals, their relationships and larger social networks interact to affect disclosure processes. Other current areas of interest include identity development around suicide survivorship, testing the viability of network-informed prevention approaches, and follow-up care post crisis-line engagement.

Fulginiti is a clinical social worker who has nearly a decade of professional experience with adults and young adults in psychiatric care (inpatient and emergency room settings) and oncology care (inpatient and outpatient settings). His teaching interests primarily focus on mental health assessment and diagnosis, research development and evaluation and statistical analysis.

JB Holston
JB Holston

Dean, Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science


JB Holston has been dean of the University of Denver’s Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science since July 2015. JB was the founding Executive Director for the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network and founding CEO for NewsGator/Sitrion. Past positions include President of Ziff Davis International and senior executive positions at NBC and GE after starting his career with the Boston Consulting Group. JB has a BA and MBA from Stanford University. In 2014, the Colorado Technology Association awarded JB the Bob Newman Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the technology industry in Colorado.

Marty Katz
Marty Katz

Executive Director, Project X-ITE & Chief Innovation Officer


Marty Katz is the Chief Innovation Officer for the University of Denver, where he catalyzes and accelerates cross-disciplinary experiential education and community engagement, breaking down silos and barriers to collaboration in higher education. He is also the Executive Director of Project X-ITE, a cross-disciplinary platform to ignite the innovator’s mindset among students and faculty, and connect DU to Denver’s innovation ecosystem.

Prior to that, he served as Dean at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, where he is also a faculty member.  As Dean for 7 years, he led Denver Law in the development and implementation of a major strategic plan focused on experiential learning, building core areas of specialization, and connecting with Denver’s legal community.  As a result, Denver Law became a national leader in experiential education and doubled its faculty’s scholarly productivity.  Under Dean Katz’s leadership, Denver Law moved up 21 places in US News’ law school rankings, had five specialty programs ranked in the Top 15 by US News, and received recognition as one of America’s 20 Most Innovative Law Schools.

He has published extensively on the future of legal education, as well as in the fields of constitutional law and employment law.  He has lectured extensively on these topics, and has made numerous media appearances in both local and national outlets. 

The National Jurist selected him as #4 on their “Most Influential People in Legal Education” list.

Prior to teaching full time, Professor Katz was a partner in the employment law group at Davis, Graham & Stubbs in Denver, Colorado and a law clerk to the Honorable David M. Ebel of the U.S. Court of Appeals.  In his spare time, Professor Katz flies search and rescue missions for the Civil Air Patrol.

Christopher Kanan
Christopher Kanan

Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology


Christopher Kanan is an assistant professor in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Dr. Kanan’s lab uses deep learning to solve problems in AI, with an emphasis on lifelong machine learning and task-driven algorithms for understanding scenes. He was also the recipient of the 2016 Rising Star award in RIT’s College of Science and is an IEEE Senior Member.

Amanda Moore McBride
Amanda Moore McBride

Morris Endowed Dean, Graduate School of Social Work


Amanda Moore McBride, PhD, is the Morris Endowed Dean and professor of the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver. McBride is an internationally recognized expert in civic and community engagement. Her scholarship focuses on ways to promote engagement through education, programs and policy, addressing issues of inclusion. Prior research has focused on national service, service learning and international volunteering across nearly 100 publications.

McBride is a leader in the field of community engagement in higher education specifically, convening conferences and writing on the topic for the Chronicle of Higher Education and The Huffington Post. Prior consultancies include the United States Corporation for National and Community Service, the United Nations Volunteer Program and the Social Science Research Council. She has organized more than 20 conferences, including recent think tanks on the rise of social innovation in higher education.

McBride joined DU in 2016 after being affiliated with Washington University in St. Louis for 23 years, where she was the Bettie Bofinger Brown associate professor at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work and executive director of the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement.

Haluk Ogmen
Haluk Ogmen

Associate Dean, Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science


Haluk Ogmen joined the electrical and computer engineering faculty at the University of Houston in 1988. From 2002-2016, he served as the Executive Director for the Center of Neuro-Engineering and Cognitive Science and received a joint appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in 2006. From 2004-2009, he chaired the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Ogmen joined the University of Denver in 2016. He currently serves as Associate Dean at the Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science.

Nina Sharma
Nina Sharma

Managing Director, Project X-ITE, University of Denver


Nina Sharma has dedicated her career empowering others. She is currently the Managing Director of Project X-ITE, the innovation, tech, and entrepreneurship initiative at the University of Denver, where she also a guest lecturer and is working toward her Executive MBA. At Project X-ITE, she launched the Colorado Solutions Summit to accelerate social entrepreneurs working on the SDGs, as well as Pioneering Summer, an accelerator for student-led ventures.

Nina spent 15 years working in institutional fundraising and partnership development, at the New York Public Library, Carnegie Hall, Yale University, and the Ad Council. After getting her MPA from the NYU Wagner School of Public Service, she worked for Millennium Villages Project. In 2012, moved to Denver where she worked for various nonprofits including First Descents and Global Education Fund, launched her own consultancy, and worked for a boutique reputational consulting firm building collaborative partnerships between companies and international nonprofits.

Nina is a co-founder of +Acumen, serves on the board of directors of Global Dental Relief, and is on the Hamilton College Alumni Council. She was nominated for the Denver Business Journal 40 under 40 in 2018, and is an active alumni of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation. She was selected as a mentor for the German Marshall Fund’s Young Transatlantic Innovative Leaders Initiative, and is an acceleration partner of the United Nations Solutions Summit.

Check out our past Lunch & Learns!

AI Articles & Resources

Artificial Intelligence for Social Good
McKinsey & Company unpacks how artificial intelligence can be used to tackle global social issues. Read it here.
Artificial Intelligence, Demystified
The MIT Technology Review demystifies AI. Read it here.
Don't Fear the AI
The Quartz guide to artificial intelligence: What is it, why is it important, and should we be afraid? Read it here.
Take a Deep Dive
A deep dive into AI from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Read it here.
What is Machine Learning?
The MIT Technology Review unpacks machine learning. Read it here.

Check out this awesome flowchart developed by the MIT Technology Review that demystifies what is AI and what isn’t.

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