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The Catalyst for Collaborative Solutions announces four finalists

The initiative provides project funding and strategic workshops to support interdisciplinary research. The teams will present their research programs at a May 29 symposium.

Stanford Engineering is pleased to announce the finalists for funding from the Stanford Catalyst for Collaborative Solutions. Now in its second year, the Catalyst provides project funding and strategic workshops to support interdisciplinary research from throughout the university and beyond that will tackle some of the world’s most challenging issues.

One of the key goals of the Catalyst is to facilitate cross-campus connections and research through workshops and other programs, said Mark Horowitz, Catalyst director and professor of electrical engineering and of computer science. This year, 33 project teams totaling more than 130 faculty from across all of Stanford’s seven schools submitted proposals.

“The proposals highlighted the innovative ideas that can arise from these types of collaborations,” Horowitz said. “The quality and creativity of the proposals made selecting the finalists an incredibly tough decision. In the end, we were all very impressed by the four finalist project proposals, which brought together extraordinary teams from a variety of disciplines to address significant challenges with far-reaching impact.”

The finalists are:

A Big Data Approach to Reducing Poverty and Increasing Social Mobility in the United States

Hybrid Physical + Digital Spaces for Enhanced Sustainability and Wellbeing

Motivating Mobility and Health on a Global Scale

Using Playful Autonomous Agents to Build Cognitive Models and Understand Developmental Disorders

These four finalists will have an opportunity to present their research programs at the Catalyst Symposium, which will be held May 29 from 8:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. The symposium also will include a research update from the team “A Microbial Culture Shift,” which received a Catalyst grant last year. Stanford Engineering Dean Jennifer Widom and Horowitz will also share plans for the future of the Catalyst initiative.