ADSC extends time, funding for research in Singapore


Katie Carr, CSL

Continuing the working relationship between Singapore and the University of Illinois, the Advanced Digital Sciences Center (ADSC) has extended its agreement with Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), to provide an additional three years of funding to the research center.

The agreement extends ADSC’s research program from five years to eight years, with a new maturity date of April 2017, as well as provides additional funding to maintain the research facility at its current capacity, with more than 90 staff, researchers and Illinois faculty members.

“ADSC has already established itself as a center that does IT research at a level that can set the world agenda in a few key areas it selects. By integrating this achievement with attention to new technologies and applications, ADSC has high potential for contributing to Singapore’s national priorities and economic development,” said ADSC Director and ECE Professor Douglas L Jones.

The extension adapts ADSC’s research focus to Human-centered Cyber-physical Systems (HCCS). This new area of research will focus on developing systems which enable humans to interact with the digital world in a manner that is as seamless and natural as the use of any of the human senses, through use of data analytics, data visualization, and cyber security. ADSC has already begun four projects that are new or extensions of HSSP projects and have three more in the works that will focus on the HCCS areas of research.

“The funding extension for ADSC clearly reflects the continuous excellence that ADSC, CSL, ITI, and Illinois researchers bring in to the research community in Singapore and beyond,” CSL Acting Director Klara Nahrstedt said. “The research results of the Human Sixth Sense Project, encompassing research topics of video analytics, depth-based imaging, human recognition, understanding and interaction, have had major impacts on CSL and Illinois. For example, due to the Human Sixth Sense Project and the new HCCS research, ADSC faculty are now very well positioned to contribute in major way to the Big Data research within the Grainger College of Engineering Initiative.”

ADSC’s vision of human-centered cyber-physical systems has the goal of enabling human awareness and control of the state of the cyber-physical world, through scalable, trustworthy, real-time data analytics over multiple modalities of sensed data.

Douglas L Jones
Douglas L Jones
“Rapid advances in communications and computing technology, driven by massive commercial investment, now grant humans almost ubiquitous access to all information at anytime from anywhere,” Jones said. “Billions of dollars are being invested into mining these enormous amounts of data for commercial advantage or to detect fraud, cyber-crime or terrorists. ADSC and A*STAR must identify and target a distinctive research direction of tremendous longer-term promise and extraordinary future impact in which we can lead the world and provide outsize benefits to Singapore and its citizens, which we feel will be accomplished through the work being done in our HSSP and HCCS research projects.”

Additionally, a focus over the next three years will be collaborations with fellow A*STAR-funded organizations, such as the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), and also with Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore-based companies.

During the past five years, ADSC has not only collaborated with neighboring research centers, but has also received 10 best paper awards, awards in seven competitions, eight technical disclosures, two provisional patent applications, one trade secret, six IP licenses, 19 copyrights corresponding to a new technology and has helped with six new startups in Singapore. ADSC employs 13 Illinois faculty members, as well as more than 80 researchers, postdocs, interns and staff members.

"We are proud to have ADSC working in Singapore because it provides a unique opportunity to explore new dimensions in CSL research, including common and different characteristics of Human-centered Cyber-physical Systems that we see in Illinois and Singapore. The research results are therefore stronger with wider impact on the overall research community,” Nahrstedt said.