Spring Faculty Conference

The Spring Faculty Conference is an event planned by the Faculty Senate and supported by the Provost Office.  The goal of the conference is to address major issues of importance to the faculty and university.  The conference is held every other year.

Faculty Senate Bi-Annual Symposium

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Topic:  "AI in Teaching and Research"

In Collaboration with


Machine as Human, Human as Machine: A Symposium Artificial Intelligence and the Arts and Humanities

South Ballroom, Memorial Union

Keynote Speakers:

Gagan Chopra, Group Program ManagerMicrosoft Corportation

Anjana Susarla, Professor, Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University

Karthik Balakrishnan, Chief Data and Analytics Officer, Principal Financial Group

As President-elect of our esteemed Faculty Senate at Iowa State University, I am both excited and honored to extend a personal invitation to each of you for our upcoming Bi-Annual Faculty Senate Symposium. This year, we will explore a topic at the forefront of shaping the future of Higher Education: Artificial Intelligence (AI). I urge you, as representatives of faculty and as vital members of our academic community, to seize this unparalleled opportunity to engage with and contribute to the discourse on AI's transformative potential.

We have taken great care to organize a program that promises not only to inform and inspire but also to bring to light the challenges AI presents us. The symposium will feature keynote addresses from three distinguished figures in the AI field.  Furthermore, eight of our own faculty members will present their cutting-edge research and projects in breakout sessions designed to foster a rich exchange of ideas.

In addition to these presentations, we are proud to showcase over ten poster presentations by the recipients of the Miller Grant and our graduate students specializing in AI. The symposium will culminate in a social hour during the poster session, offering a chance to engage socially with the keynote speakers and peers who are actively contributing to advancements in AI.

This symposium is more than just an event; it is our testament as the Faculty Senate to our commitment to staying at the leading edge of academic and technological advancements. Your participation is crucial and it is my expectation that each one of you will spend the time to schedule this occasion in your calendar. It is an opportunity to broaden your understanding, network with fellow scholars, and contribute your voice to the evolving conversation around AI in Higher Education.

Mark your calendars and make it a priority to attend. Your presence will not only enhance your professional and intellectual growth but also contribute significantly to the success of the symposium. I look forward to witnessing the vibrant exchange of ideas and the deepening of our collective knowledge on this critical subject.

Below, you will find links to the detailed program for the symposium, speaker bios, and registration. Let us come together to embrace the future of AI and its impact on our academic endeavors.

Click HERE to access the printable version of the program

Click HERE to access the printable version of the bios and description of the talks.  Please note that this does not include bios for our colleagues (breakout session speakers).  We did provide links to their webpage.  Thanks for your understanding.

Registration has been closed.



Gagan Chopra came to Iowa State to study Computer Science. Following his graduation from Iowa State, he joined Microsoft in Redmond, WA, in 1993; where he is currently a Group Program Manager.

The first half of his career was spent in software design engineering, and architect roles focused on enterprise computing software (high performance transaction processing systems, business solutions, mobile productivity solutions). Gagan has spent the second half of his career in a product design role, focused on AI and big data driven consumer and marketing solutions, primarily the Bing search engine, and Microsoft Advertising R&D.

Gagan’s current areas of interest are AI and big data driven auction marketplaces, multi-discipline high performance team cultures, collaboration enablement, personal and professional productivity, rhythms, history, cultures, wildlife photography, and travel.






Anjana Susarla is. She earned an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, a graduate degree in Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management and a Ph.D. in Information Systems from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include the economics of information systems and artificial intelligence. Her work has appeared in several academic journals and peer-reviewed conferences such as such as Conference on International Conference in Learning Representations, Information Systems Research, Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, Journal of Management Information Systems, Management Science, MIS Quarterly and Neurips. She is on the editorial boards of leading journals and serves on program committees of major international IS conferences and workshops. She has been a recipient of several best paper awards at international conferences and peer-reviewed publications. She has worked in consulting and led experiential projects with several companies. Her work has also been quoted in several media outlets such as the Associated Press, Newsweek, The Conversation, Sirius XM, Salon and Pew Research. 





Karthik Balakrishnan is a senior executive with a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence and 20 years of experience building high-performing teams and delivering quantifiable business impact with innovative, industry-leading analytical solutions across multiple industries. Strong communicator and a powerful collaborator with the ability to engage and influence diverse stakeholders and geographically dispersed teams. A creative problem solver who thrives in fast-paced and high-stakes environments.




Machine as Human, Human as Machine: A Symposium Artificial Intelligence and the Arts and Humanities


Symposium starts at 2:45 - 4:00 pm with a Roundtable discussion on "Humanities and Pedagogy After AI,"  by Abram Anders and Kyle Booten.

Biographical information about the two presenters is given below.: 

The symopisum continues on the following day.  For datails on this event, see the symposium webpage.

Abram Anders is the Associate Director of the Student Innovation Center and an Associate Professor of English at Iowa State University.  He received his Ph.D. in English from Pennsylvania State University.  His current projects explore artificial intelligence and writing and the development of student innovation capacities. His research has appeared in Computers & EducationInternational Journal of Business Communication, Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, Disability Studies Quarterly, and the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning.  The Association for Business Communication has recognized both his research and teaching with multiple awards.


Kyle Booten is an assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Connecticut, Storrs.  Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth College; he holds an MFA from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley. His research on computer-mediated writing has recently appeared in electronic book review, Proceedings of the International Conference on Computational Creativity, and Proceedings of the Electronic Literature Organization Conference and Media Festival. His computer-mediated and -generated poetic work has appeared in venues such as Boston Review, Lana Turner, Taper, and Fence. In Fall 2020, he was poet-in-residence at Nokturno.fi.





















































2018 Spring Faculty Conference - "Innovating ISU's Land Grant Future" - April 4, 2018  

External Speakers

Dr. Robert Sternberg
Cornell University

Robert J. Sternberg is Professor of Human Development and Cornell University and Honorary Professor of Psychology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany.  Previously, he was IBM Professor of Psychology and Education and Professor of Management at Yale University.  He is a past-president of the American Psychological Association and the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences.  He has been a university dean, provost, and president.  Sternberg is the author of What Universities Can Be and editor of The Modern Land-grant University.  He is a member of the National Academy of Education and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Sternberg’s PhD is from Stanford and he holds 13 honorary doctorates.


President Dr. Waded Cruzado
Montana State University

Since January of 2010, Dr. Waded Cruzado has served as the 12th President of Montana State University, Montana’s largest institution. An articulate and inspirational speaker on the role of land-grant universities, she has become a well-known champion of the land-grant’s tripartite mission of education, research and public outreach. President Cruzado has been honored as the 2011 Michael P. Malone Educator of the Year by the Montana Ambassadors for outstanding accomplishment, excellence and leadership in the field of education. In 2012, APLU awarded President Cruzado the Seaman A. Knapp Memorial Lectureship. In that same year, President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Cruzado to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD), a seven-member advisory council to USAID, whose primary role is to advise on agriculture, rural development and nutrition issues related to global food insecurity and the eradication of hunger in the world. 



Vice Chancellor Marshall Stewart

University of Missouri


Marshall Stewart has served as vice chancellor of extension and engagement at the University of Missouri since August 2016. Throughout his 30-year career, Dr. Stewart has been recognized for his expertise in leadership development, strategic planning, legislative affairs, educational, youth and agricultural education and advocacy. At Mizzou, Dr. Stewart provides leadership for cooperative extension, continuing education and extension field programs. He recently led the creation of the University of Missouri Engagement Council to increase collaboration across the university’s colleges, schools and other relevant units to ensure the university is fulfilling its land grant mission to serve the diverse needs of people and communities throughout Missouri. The Building Our Future Together initiative involves a comprehensive statewide needs assessment to identify MU Extension’s strengths and opportunities for improvement.


















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