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As informatics grows, Indiana University helps set 'research agenda'

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- As an academic field, it's still very young. But informatics -- the study of information technology and its use -- has already had a palpable effect on people's lives.

"In recent decades, technology has so enhanced our ability to gather data that the sheer volume of data now outstrips our capacity to deal with it," said Indiana University School of Informatics Dean J. Michael Dunn. "Informatics is taking this seemingly unmanageable flood of data and transforming it into information that helps solve key problems in fields like medicine, genetics, chemistry, Internet security and engineering."

Already, Dunn said, informaticians have sped up the analysis of terabytes of Human Genome Project data and have written software that correctly predicts the chemical structures of effective pharmaceutical drugs.

Leading informaticians from the United States, Sweden and the United Kingdom will come to the IU Bloomington campus next week to decide where their field should be going as part of a conference, "Informatics: Defining the Research Agenda," Sept. 10-12.

Daniel Reed, director of the Institute for Renaissance Computing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a member of President Bush's Information Technology Advisory Committee, will deliver the meeting's keynote address, "Computing: An Intellectual Lever for Multidisciplinary Discovery."

Other experts will give talks on the latest developments in cybersecurity, medical informatics, bioinformatics, chemical informatics, human-computer interaction, information technology in developing countries, international communication networks, and the use of computers in analyzing the aesthetic qualities of music.

A complete schedule of speakers and presentation titles can be found on the Web at http://www.informatics.indiana.edu/ra/program.asp.

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Contact: David Bricker
brickerd@indiana.edu
812-856-9035
Indiana University
3-Sep-2004


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