UCSD Hosts First Division Council Meeting

Rao and Smarr
Ramesh Rao and Larry Smarr

10.5.05 – The UCSD division of Calit2, led by Ramesh Rao, held its first division council meeting today, attended by 17 members.

Rao covered some of the history and governance of the institute to date and introduced key staff, including Steve Ross (planning and budget), Doug Ramsey (media relations and video production), Kate Tull (operations management), and Erica Negretti (special events).

Then he was joined by Calit2 director Larry Smarr who reviewed the institute’s philosophy as a one-institute, two-campus virtual organization. “My role,” said Smarr with a smile, “is stirring up trouble, trying to fuse activity across the two partner campuses and beyond.” He introduced his core staff: Ron Graham (chief scientist), Stephanie Sides (director of communications), Beth Cerny (Webmaster), and Kristen Johnson (key assistant).

Smarr recalled some history when he reminded everyone that the division council was the creation of the Calit2 Advisory Board. “You, with your counterparts at UCI, represent the life of our two buildings and the living labs within,” he said. “You span the intellectual ‘space’ of Calit2 in advising Ramesh.” He said plans call for the two councils to meet virtually “over high definition” once the capabilities are implemented over the next year.

Council members
Council members
UCSD division council members attending their first meeting.

In emphasizing the scope and ambition of Calit2, Smarr said no state other than California could have undertaken this experiment to create a persistent collaborative framework that cuts across departments, divisions, schools, and campuses linking academics, industry, and the government. “This is especially true when you take into account the matching requirement: The four institutes together now account for something like $1.1B in matching the capital funds of $400M,” he said.

Rao then turned to a floor-by-floor outline of the building (to be illustrated in a UCSD division brochure Ramsey is working on for the building dedication event October 28). “Our organizing principle for the building is by project,” he said. “We received more than 50 requests for space, which we grouped into programmatic areas.” Occupants will be moving in over the course of the fall quarter.

Sawrey and Hodgkiss
Council members Barbara Sawrey,
Jan Talbot, and Adriene Jenik with Calit2 associate director
Bill Hodgkiss.

The first floor consists of specialized spaces like the clean room, new media arts facilities and the joint SDSC/Calit2 Synthesis Center. The second floor is dedicated to data-intensive science. The third houses computer science, bioengineering, SDSC, life science informatics, and School of Medicine personnel. The fourth is devoted to electrical engineering, specifically circuit design, information theory, and networked systems. The fifth and sixth floors, unlike the ones below, don’t have the inner pod of offices but instead have lab space. The fifth will house circuits labs, the sixth labs supporting optical communications, systems on chip, and wireless projects.

A council chair will be appointed for a one-year term by October 17. Rao also solicited recommendations for a co-chair.