First AI Symposium a Huge Success

By Randy Hollowell, IT Services

Miami University hosted the first Miami AI symposium on November 1, and by all accounts, it was a huge success. Just ask David Seidl, Miami’s vice president of Information technology, and CIO. “The AI Symposium was a huge success with hundreds of attendees throughout the day and wonderful talks from Miami students, faculty, and staff.”

A panel discussion during the AI symposium that had a fulty member and three students address the attendeesThe event was titled AI at the Intersection of Teaching, Learning, and the Future. It included three tracks of five sessions each, a keynote address, and lunch. The entire event took place in the Armstrong Student Center on the Oxford campus.

The event was the brainchild of Seidl. “The AI Symposium was put together in record time with folks from across the institution contributing. Big kudos to the Associated Student Government (ASG) and the President’s office for their sponsorship and engagement, as well as to IT Services staff and campus partners who stepped up to make the event happen.”

There were 165 registered attendees, plus others who attended without registration, and about 15 volunteers who assisted with setup, registration, and introductions of the speakers.

The three tracks were designated as Policy, Law, and Changing Pedagogy; Academic; and General AI. Presenters came from all areas of the University, and included faculty, staff, and students, and represented both the Oxford and Regional campuses.

Cara Spray was one of those who presented at the event. Cara is an instructional designer with Miami Online Regionals. Along with her co-presenter, Addrienne VanOver, she gave a talk titled AI in Academia: Speeding Up Curriculum Development and Filling Learning Gaps. Cara enjoyed the opportunity to speak and was appreciative of Miami for hosting such an event. “I was happy to see so much interest from the Miami community in learning more about this emerging technology. It's good to see so many trying to wrap their heads around AI, how it can benefit them, and how to make clear standards and guidelines for AI tool use in class.”

She also noted the importance of knowledge about AI, especially among her peers. “This self-education and attention to this technology continues to establish us as dedicated educators seeking to keep up with emerging trends in the fields and arming students with the knowledge and tools they'll need in life and their future careers. We're continuing to demonstrate our dedication to staying at the front of education standards and needs.”

Greg Simpson talks to attendees at the AI symposium in the Wilks Theatre in the Armstrong Student CenterThose who attended were also treated to a wonderful keynote address titled The Art of Generative AI: Unleashing Creativity and Innovation from Greg Simpson who is the former Chief Technology Officer at both Synchrony and GE. He is also the author of the spy novel The Quantum Contingent. Greg talked about where AI is going, from his perspective, and how we can interact with it positively going forward.

Another interesting and well-received part of the program was the lunch, which included discussion tables where some of the speakers and other volunteers moderated discussions about various topics related to AI, including AI-related pedagogy, AI at Miami, and brainstorming AI solutions.

As the first of this type of symposium wrapped up, there was already talk about more of these in the future. “We’ve heard really positive feedback from our Miami community, and look forward to building next year’s Symposium on the foundation that we built this year,” according to Seidl.

View Presentation Materials

To view the presentation materials from the various sessions, please check out the Session Descriptions page from the symposium website.