Calit2 Celebrates 15 Years

By Micah Siegel and Tiffany Fox

San Diego, Calif., Dec. 1, 2015 – The past and future of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) will converge on Monday, Dec. 7, as the institute commemorates 15 years of innovation and world-class research in fields such as telecommunications, digital health and virtual reality.

Ramesh Rao, Gray Davis and Larry Smarr
QI Director Ramesh Rao, former California Gov. Gray Davis and Calit2 Director Larry Smarr celebrate Calit2's 10th anniversary in 2010.

A joint endeavor of UC Irvine and UC San Diego, Calit2 was founded in 2000 as one of four California Institutes for Science and Innovation, collectively renamed the Governor Gray Davis Institutes for Science and Innovation in 2010. The UC San Diego division of Calit2 officially became known as the Qualcomm Institute (QI) in 2013.

Gov. Davis, who was pivotal in securing funding for Calit2, will attend the institute’s 15th anniversary celebration, which begins at 2 p.m. and will be held at QI’s headquarters in UC San Diego’s Atkinson Hall.

A live video linkup between Calit2’s UC Irvine Division Director G.P. Li and QI Director Ramesh Rao will kick off the celebration. Rao will then introduce the recipients of the 2014-2015 Calit2 Strategic Research Opportunities (CSRO) grants, who will present their work on a wide array of topics central to Calit2’s research mission. Three floors of Atkinson Hall will be subsequently opened to the public for an Open Labs and Demos session, featuring performances, presentations and demos from nearly a dozen QI labs and research groups.

Among the participants in this session are the StarCAVE and NexCAVE visualization spaces, which will feature demos from the Virtual Reality Initiative and Virtual Environment Human Navigation Task team, as well as the Machine Perception Lab, which will share RUBI, a “social robot” that interacts with small children. Other participating groups include:

  • Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture and Archaeology (CISA3)
  • Design Lab
  • Exercise and Physical Activity Resource Center (EPARC)
  • Nano3 cleanroom facility
  • Performance Computing Lab
  • Qualcomm Institute Innovation Space (QIIS)
  • Training, Research, and Education for Driving Safety (TREDS) open space.
Visitors at Calit2's 10th anniversary
Visitors are invited to attend a research open house held in Atkinson Hall on Dec. 7 in honor of Calit2's 15th anniversary.

Concurrently, the VRoom Theater will host a performance organized by the Initiative for Digital Exploration of Arts and Sciences (IDEAS).

Following the demos, Davis and Calit2 Director Larry Smarr will discuss the past and future of the Qualcomm Institute, with particular emphasis on the groundbreaking potential of the Pacific Research Platform – a new National Science Foundation grant that uses fiber-optic networks to connect researchers at universities throughout the West Coast, enabling them to share “big data” at an unprecedented speed.

“I believe the Pacific Research Platform – a joint effort of two of the Gray Davis Institutes, CITRIS and Calit2 – is a perfect expression of the vision that Governor Davis had 15 years ago for how these multi-campus institutes could help keep California at the cutting edge of technology,” said Smarr.

QI composer-in-residence Lei Liang will then present “Hearing Landscapes,” a multimedia audio and visual performance work, in the VRoom Theater. The festivities will conclude with a reception at 5:30 p.m. in Atkinson Hall.

For a full agenda or to RSVP to Calit2's 15th anniversary, visit

Media Contacts

Tiffany Fox
(858) 246-0353

Related Links

Calit2 15th Anniversary Celebration