Hub of Digital Transformation and Innovation

Fall 2019 Updates / Released for #FresnoStateDOG 2019

Nov 9, 2019 · 6 min read
@FresnoStateDX #WeAreInnvoationTechnology

We will continue to encourage a culture of change and innovation to support digital transformation through partnerships with students, faculty, staff, and the Central Valley community. We will explore technology innovations that support scholarship and research in areas, such as artificial intelligence, robotics autonomous, virtual/augmented reality, blockchain and Smart technologies.

I. Recent Press Releases

by Audrey Bierly | on 01 NOV 2019 | in AWS Educate, AWS RoboMaker, Education, Higher Education, Public Sector, Robotics

Universities discussed their approaches to digital ledgers at Educause, highlighting opportunities and challenges for broader adoption in higher ed.

Fresno State showcased the Cal State Ready Alexa skill at the 2019 Central Valley High School Counselor Conference on Wednesday, Sept. 25.

“Innovation is a hot buzzword in higher education,” Tsai said. “Project Ignite and HackFresno share the same vision of engaging a campus culture of innovation that encourages students to explore, evaluate, potentially fail and hopefully succeed.”

“Real-world problem solving is what innovators do every day,” Tsai said. “With the new era of smart anything, embracing the digital transformation trends in education, health and wellness, environment and agriculture and social good will continue to improve the way we live from ‘farms to forks.’”

II. Innovation Journey

The Innovation Team was established by the Chief Information Officer, Orlando Leon, in Nov 2017 consisting 1 Innovation Architect, 1 Innovation Engineer and 1 student assistance.

This year (Spring 2019), Fresno State Technology Services has a formal fund that supports technology innovation efforts that will directly support student experiences within areas of Digital Transformation. Max Tsai, the Innovation Architect, was tasked by the CIO with the additional role of Coordinator of Digital Transformation leading this initiative and establishing the Hub of Digital Transformation.

The vision for the Hub for Digital Transformation is to provide students with emerging technology and creative innovation experiences that can help them become more empowered, technology-minded leaders in the Central Valley and beyond, ultimately supporting a culture of innovation and transformation starting at Fresno State and spreading throughout the Central Valley and beyond.

For this past year, the student interns in the Fresno State Hub for Digital Transformation have engaged in projects involving Smart Technologies/Internet of Things, Blockchain, Robotics Autonomous with the partnership with Amazon, and Chat/Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning with Amazon’s Alexa.

The interdisciplinary student interns who have spent time in our Innovation team, along with their great Fresno State college education, have gained valuable experience for the digital workplace, and some have gone on to great full-time jobs in the tech industry. We have grown to a team of 25 interns team in Fall semester (and sponsored more that 50 student interns for the past two years) working on many research, innovation projects and grants. Student interns are given the opportunity to work on lT projects in an interdisciplinary, group-style setting utilizing emerging technology to solve real-life issues.

The Hub of Digital Transformation will continue exposing students to local businesses, valley growers, and cutting-edge commercial opportunities to improve services and provide ideas that support the innovative use of technology in the workplace.

III. Current State: Digital Transformation and Innovation Initiatives

The Hub supports Fresno State’s mission to boldly educate and empower students for success by providing innovative tools and technologies that support opportunities for students to lead projects and work collaboratively. The proposed Hub will equip our students with essential skills necessary for their careers beyond graduation.

We are excited to offer a first-of-its kind opportunity in the Central Valley in the area of cloud-enabled artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for research and innovation. In collaboration between our Technology Hub of Digital Transformation Team and Amazon Web Services, Fresno State will be hosting an Amazon Web Services (AWS) AI/ML Immersion Day.

The immersion day is designed for students, faculty, researchers, data scientists, data engineers, information technology professionals, software developers, and technology innovators who want to gain experience with Amazon’s cloud AI and ML services to help support their research, data, and software development efforts. Some higher ed efforts with AWS AI/ML services include screening for autism in children and AI-powered bots that learn together without human interaction. Google’s DeepMind division, for instance, created AlphaZero AI to train itself chess (only given basic rules of the game) and in just four hours with 900+ million simulated games, the Google AI machine was able to easily beat Stockfish 8, which was the world champion chess program at the time. Amazon will present case studies of AI and ML in education and research.

With the partnership of Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and Technology Services, Digital Agriculture Solution Hub (DASH) is a digital platform that facilitates multidisciplinary experiential learning, fosters industry partnerships, and drives entrepreneurship among students, researchers, growers and AgTech suppliers/incubators in the Central Valley. At DASH, we work closely with all the stakeholders to find solutions tailored to any specific challenges and goals from Farms to Forks powered by Artificial Intelligence.

The Hub of Digital Transformation is committed to providing students real-world experience with technological innovation, including AWS Cloud services. In 2019, we took on an innovation initiative centered on AI and robotics to improve convenience and accessibility for students. The Bulldog Autonomous Bot team, which includes current students and recent graduates, aimed to develop an application to improve awareness and usage of different campus resources and services in a new digital medium that could communicate intuitively with any user.

About the project:

Project Ignite is a campus-wide technology innovation program developed through a collaboration between the Technology ServicesHub of Digital Transformation and Incubation and the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Project Ignite to promote interdisciplinary student involvement to drive ideation, creative exploration and business model development. Project Ignite seeks to marry the creativity of the young mind with the academic foundation of untethered intellectual curiosity to create a platform that encourages students to explore, evaluate, potentially fail, and hopefully succeed.

DX Innovation at Fresno State

Foster a campus culture of innovation to inspire our student innovators to be tomorrow’s BOLD leader

DX Innovation at Fresno State

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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“Our industry does not respect tradition — it only respects innovation.”

DX Innovation at Fresno State

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.