The institute is conducting robust research in areas that will keep California at the forefront: nanotechnology (including development of devices and sensors), life sciences (including bio-micro-electro-mechanical systems), information technology (especially supporting large data and visualization of that data), and telecommunications (wireless and optical).
The research is funded by large federal agencies, notably the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, as well as by private-sector sponsors. This basic research, in turn, supports development of applications that can address problems affecting the quality of life in California: traffic congestion, environmental problems (water and air pollution, shortage of water, earthquakes, rising sea level, declining snowpack), insufficient energy sources, emergency management, homeland security, health care, and the struggling entertainment industry. In the new media arts area, researchers are exploring new modes for gaming and on-demand publishing, and working with computer engineers on ways to improve visualization of large data sets.
Recent advances in computer vision are fueling research on how to use pattern recognition and other techniques to enhance driving safety, homeland security, and even the treatment of lab animals. Machine-perception researchers are developing robots that interact with young children in order to learn lessons about how to improve adult systems for human-robot interaction. Experts in software and systems