Fredrickson Family Innovation Lab Events 2023 - 2024

The Fredrickson Family Innovation Lab is thrilled to unveil our exciting lineup of events for 2023-2024. The main theme revolves around the “AI, Data, and Immersive Experience in High Education” series, which consists of two virtual talks, one in-person presentation, and two in-lab workshops, led by internationally renowned experts in AI and digital anthropology, as well as Fairfield faculty specializing in data science. In addition to our signature series, the Fredrickson Family Innovation Lab remains committed to fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and innovation as we continue to offer an array of workshops and presentations that bridge various academic disciplines in innovative ways. 

Join us for a year of intellectual exploration, skill-building, and transformative experiences. We look forward to seeing you in this intellectual journey. 



AIspiration: Reimagining the Humanities and Art With Generative AI. Jonathan Soma, Columbia Journalism School and Director of the LEDE program; Jeannie Joshi, Graduate Communication Design, Pratt Institute 

Wednesday, October 11, 2023 at 7:30 PM, Quick Live Registration 

Join Jonathan Soma, faculty member at Columbia Journalism School and the director of the LEDE program, and Jeannie Joshi, a visual designer and faculty member in the Graduate Communication Design program at Pratt Institute, for a panel discussion that aims to provide a deeper understanding of how AI is beginning to shape the humanities and art, and to inspire new ideas for adopting AI ethically in higher education. 


Turning Your Research into Visual/Interactive Stories. Lei “Tommy Xie, Associate Professor of Journalism, Fairfield University 

Thursday, September 28, 2023 at 6pm, Fredrickson Family Innovation Lab, DiMenna-Nyselius Library, Room 250, RSVP 

Good research is good storytelling. Do you want to add more "vibe" to your research project? Come to learn how to use Tableau Public, one of the most powerful and intuitive (and free) data visualization tools to turn your research into engaging visual stories. Your instructor, Dr. Lei "Tommy" Xie, will guide you through the process of data-driven storytelling by extracting hidden trends in massive data and layering various analytical views to provide your audience with an interactive dashboard for data exploration and presentation. It is strongly encouraged that participants install Tableau Public on their laptops before the session.   


Free, Powerful and Flexible: Doing and Teaching Statistics with R. Mehmet Cansoy, Assistant Professor of Sociology & Anthropology, Fairfield University 

Wednesday, October 4, 2023 at 5pm, Fredrickson Family Innovation Lab, DiMenna-Nyselius Library, Room 250, RSVP 

In this workshop, Mehmet Cansoy is going to demonstrate how you too can use R in your teaching and research. We will work through a range of tools – from free software that looks and works almost exactly like SPSS, to more versatile tools that allow instructors and researchers to do more powerful analyses and cleaner visualizations. We will talk about what adopting these tools in your research and classes entails and give practical advice for doing so. 



Hype v. Reality: Navigating the Future of AI Ethics and Governance. Wendell Wallach, Emeritus Chair, Technology and Ethics Studies, Yale University Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics; Carnegie/Uehiro Fellow, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 

Wednesday, February 7, 2024 at 7:30 PM, Dolan School of Business Event Hall, Ticket 

The embedding of AI in nearly every facet of contemporary life offers wide-ranging benefits along with a plethora of risks and undesired societal consequences. Innovative yet flawed technologies such as large language models (e.g., ChatGPT) become integrated into the fabric of daily life long before we can put in place necessary ethical/legal safeguards. To complicate matters, discerning which challenges require immediate attention is often obscured by hype and fearmongering. What steps must be taken to navigate the uncertainties posed by AI and other emerging technologies? 


Toward an Anthropology of the Metaverse. Tom Boellstorff, Professor, Department of Anthropology 
University of California, Irvine 

Wednesday, March 27, 2024 at 7:30 PM, Quick Live Registration 

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“Metaverse” is used in a range of inconsistent ways. But at its heart, the term refers to an emerging digital world that might include everything from virtual reality interfaces to cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence. In this talk, Boellstorff will explore the past, present, and future of the metaverse. He will focus on how hype (and anti-hype) has contributed to confusion over what exactly the “metaverse” might be, and how its transformative potential might be harnessed to benefit society. 




Health Humanities Catalysts: Processing Grief and Loss Through Meaningful Collaborations. Cynthia Nourse Thompson, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Associate Professor of Art, Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw State University 

Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at 7:30 PM, Quick Live Registration 

Poignant in its concerns of shared trauma, grief, and loss confronted universally over the past two years, this panel offers a platform to discuss developments in the medical/therapy field and the opportunities of cross-disciplinary programming – between the professional disciplines of healthcare and those of contemporary art museums, artists and designers, and curators – envisioning the future of well-being and recovery, as well as a conversation on processing personal loss and trauma through art museum experiences. This event is co-sponsored by the Fairfield University Art Museum. 



Using the Fine Art Printer in the Lab Makerspace. Cheryl Yun, Affiliate Professor of Visual and Performing Arts, Fairfield University 

Wednesday, October 25, 2023 5:30pm, Fredrickson Family Innovation Lab, DiMenna-Nyselius Library, Room 250, RSVP 

Interested in giving a shape to your digital artwork or designs that you already have or new designs that you will be creating?  You can do this by using the newly installed equipment in the Innovation Lab. Visual artist Cheryl Yun will guide you in this exciting and practical in-person workshop, where you can learn how to use and creatively apply fine art digital printing in the New FFIL Makerspace presented by the College of Arts and Sciences Fredrickson Family Innovation Lab. 

For more information, contact Tommy Xie / 2638 /