Current State of Digital Transformation and Innovation at Fresno State

AY2018-19 by Max Tsai, Coordinator of DX and Innovation Architect

About Hub of Digital Transformation and Innovation at Fresno State

Improve campus operational efficiencies, streamline business practices and advance academic success via emerging digital technologies with Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation

The Hub of Digital Transformation at Fresno State offers Creative Collaboration spaces, Design Thinking framework, and Incubation opportunities to transform our student learners to tomorrow’s global leaders. Through the strategic partnerships of Academia and Industry communities, we support and enrich technology innovation, research and development for the university and central valley community from Farms to Forks!

Team 2018–19

Culture of Innovation

Foster our student innovators to be tomorrow’s BOLD leaders!

Project Ignite is a campus-wide technology innovation competition developed through a collaboration between the Technology Services/Digital Transformation and the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to promote interdisciplinary student involvement to drive ideation, creative exploration and business model development. Project Ignite’s purpose is to support students throughout campus with a commitment of promoting interdisciplinary teams that will collaboratively work on developing emerging ideas and potentially commercially viable technologies! Think BOLD, Do BOLD, Be BOLD!

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is not only for researchers! At Fresno State DX, it is our focus to engage the campus to innovatively apply AI to the omnipresent problems. We will also navigate ethical and societal discussions surrounding AI.

Innovation Initiatives in AI

  • Robotic Autonomous (Internet of Robotic Things) focuses on Digital Innovations that extends Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive systems in the areas of Robotics, Cyber-Physical-Systems (CPS), Internet of Things (IoT), Digital Art & Design, Modeling and Simulation, Medical Technologies, and Digital Manufacturing. This BOLD innovation initiative aims to bringing both Convenience and Accessibility to a Smarter Campus via AI, Robotics and IoT.
* AWS RoboMaker Team (Summer 2019)
* Bulldog Bot
* Alexa
- CSU Ready for College
- Fresno State Campus Genie
- collaborating with Student Affairs
- developing of a Admission skill
- Alexa for Business
Collaborating with Lyles Center for Entrepreneurship and
Innovation with the focus of integrating VUI automation to a
Digital Business Center, i.e. Room booking, Videoconferencing
(Zoom and Skype), and VoIP/Intercom.
- Research projects with Crag School Business faculty on how VUI
could impact customer purchasing behavior (more Academia)
  • Digital AgTech Solution Hub (DASH) is proposed to modernize (Digital Transformation of) the new Fresno State Agriculture Solution Center by applying Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) technology to improve campus operational efficiencies and streamline business practices by digitalizing process automation with Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation.
    ** This Digital Transformation project is VERY likely to get funded and move forward with the sponsorship from Dean of Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences & Technology and the CIO. **
  • Accessible Media: AI-Powered Transcriptions
    We have developed Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) using AWS Transcribe as an alternative cost effective approach of producing transcriptions.
  • Research and CTE (Career Technical Education)
    With the partnership of research faculty, we aim to further develop AI-centered higher education to create new components that allow undergraduate students to obtain opportunities to earn culminating experience in AI (e.g., NLP, computer vision), modularized cloud-based software development, compiler design, among others, via PBL and undergraduate research.
  • VLA Virtual Learning Assistant — Sponsored by Academic Affairs
    Virtual Learning Assistance (VLA) is an A.I. powered Learning Tool designed to engage students to suitable personalized learning experience efficiently and adaptively. With LTI integration, VLA provides students seamless access through Blackboard to the Lecture Bot that identifies student’s strength and weakness in and direct him/her to suitable topics for further improvement and Quiz Bot that offers real-time mock assessment to prepare student’s readiness. VLA will further provides an individualized Learning Analytics Dashboard comprising topics being learned and learning behaviors and patterns.
  • Academic Research Highlights (2018-19)
    - Computer Vision, Grapes and Wine ( )
    - Shout Out — Threat detection algorithm ( )
    - Model & Analyze Virtual Brain on the Cloud (Dr. Pirouz)


A Blockchain-powered Digital Credential (‘OPEN’ Digital Badges) Platform

The new Fresno State Digital Credential Platform embracing Blockchain technologies to improve data verifiability, availability, and reliability for the evidence of learning. The platform consisting of both Badging and Pathway systems to support Micro-credentials and Macro-rewards programs! We implement Blockcerts and OpenBadge standards to avoid vendor lock-in and to be the foundation of providing universal transcripts for Lifelong Learning experience.

We have received the continue Student Success funding from the CIO to develop the Pathway program and are pursuing a CSU system-wide interests in collaboration and potential adoption.

Cloud Computing

As Fresno State, we have the full stack of AWS skills to support the campus computing needs as well as the opportunity of reinvesting the upgraded technology capability to contribute in Digital Transformation momentum of Central Valley at large.

The Cloud Community of Practice is intended for those interested in the use of emerging cloud technologies, such as IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service), PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), or, Storage, Database, Information, Process, Application, Integration, Security, Management, Testing-as-a-service. Cloud vendors will include AWS/Amazon, Azure/Microsoft, and Google Cloud Computing.

Innovation Projects:

Accessible Instructional Video Content Streaming is a collaborative project of two groups in the Technology Services organization (the Hub for Innovation, Research, and Development; and Academic Technology), and faculty research partners. Together we are discovering and adopting emerging innovations for advancements in education with Cloud technology and Artificial Intelligence.

Explore Cloud solutions for Near Realtime Actionable Alerts from Massive Security Logs / AWS ElasticSearch
A joint effort of Information Security and Innovation teams to “Explore Cloud solutions for Near Realtime Actionable Alerts from Massive Security Logs.” This project aligns closely with the Cloud Infrastructure Readiness and Cyber Security efforts at Fresno State.

Digital Transformation for Student Success: Student Academic Progression Analytics for Course Demand Forecast
By ensuring students getting the courses that they desire, time to graduation may be improved. It can lead to a better educational experience and student success aligned with — the Graduation Initiative CSU GI2025. This project is to exam student data specific to forecast class demand needed to complete towards graduation by collecting unconstrained student demand information; for example, degree audit results. We will develop an integrated Academic Data Analytics platform and pilot a full cloud-based AD/SSO environment to migrate common applications and BI tools with App Streaming technology.

Sponsored Faculty Research Projects:

Joint Proposal to Explore Cloud Solution for ATLAS Experiment at Large Hadron Collider (LHC) of European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) — AWS Credits Proposal ( Formatted Proposal URL: )
PI: Dr. Yongsheng Gao

Model and Analyze the Virtual Brain on the Cloud
The major components of the proposal is encouraging student research at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The project addresses the ever-growing computational needs of multiple colleges across two campuses to carry out data-intensive research and teaching and to prepare the next-generation of biomedical data scientists.
PI: Dr. Matin Pirouz

Immersive Future (3D / XR experiences)

A New Immersive Digital Gaming Experience
This project is to develop of a new Interactive Multi-players gaming experience with the opportunities of exploring the perception and cognition in immersive Virtual Reality. We also want to further echo the eSports ecosystem to bring students together in a hub where students can come to participate in the fame and meet new people. Our immediate goal is to develop a Virtual Reality Cricket game that individuals can form teams to play games which are organized in leagues or tournaments. These gameplays are broadcasted on streaming platforms from which students can watch to support their comrades. An eSports platform will also provide opportunities for brand advertising and marketing. Experimenting with the cricket game is the first step in forming this ecosystem, which is a first for any California State University.

3D Holographic
A current on-going collaboration with faculty in MCJ (Prof. Faith Sidlow) — Holograph for Journalism, Nursing (Prof. Marie Gilbert) — Medical Training and Kinesiology (Prof. Scott Sailer).

Fresno State CIO, Orlando Leon, established the Innovation Team in Fall 2016 and launched Digital Transformation and Innovation program in Spring 2019. Max Tsai is the Innovation Architect and the coordinator of the Fresno State Digital Transformation efforts leading the Hub of DX/I. 
Fall 2019




DXI strives to inspire students to apply their education toward developing innovative solutions to real-world problems using the best and latest technologies to ensure that Fresno State and our partners, throughout the Central Valley, can perform at the highest level.

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