Smart World: The Intersection of the Physical, Digital, and Biological Worlds

The numbers of “smart” devices and services in the world are rapidly expanding and changing how people will live and work. This pace of progress brings both opportunities and challenges, and requires the focus of experts in areas such as data science, robotics, cybersecurity, autonomous vehicles, interactive media and game development, learning sciences and technology, bioinformatics, computational biology, neuroscience/engineering, architectural engineering, and smart design. 

Led by professor Randy Paffenroth, faculty leaders in these areas are coming together with a common goal: to develop integrated solutions to some of the planet’s most pressing problems in health, energy, transportation, and smart buildings and infrastructure, all of which require a computational––or “smart world”––approach. Data seems to be a connecting factor in the current work being done by the group.

Subgroups within Smart World with expertise in various research areas:

Picture of Provost Soboyejo
We're at the start of the fourth industrial revolution and the beginning of a new era of a smart world. By organizing ourselves along the lines where we bring people together from different disciplines, we can go from ideas to projects to impact.
Wole Soboyejo
Provost

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It’s All Connected

Many of the these activities will take place in a new 100,000-square-foot academic and research building aimed at creating connections between academia and the rest of the world in ways that realize the development of smart applications and technologies, as well as policies, businesses, and positive societal outcomes. The building will also feature an integrated Student Academic Services Center, thus improving campus navigation and accessibility.

WPI faculty members interested in joining the Smart World group are encouraged to reach out to Randy Paffenroth (rcpaffenroth@wpi.edu).

Corporate representatives interested in partnering with talented WPI faculty and students to explore and develop Smart World solutions should contact Dan Weagle (dweagle@wpi.edu) for more information on how to engage.