A logo with the text "IRiS Ignite," illustrated with a flame and starburst behind the first "i" on "Ignite."

IRiS Ignite: An Annual Expo & Festival of Sensing

An annual conference hosted by the Institute for Research in Sensing (IRiS) with support from Research2030 at UC, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the College of Engineering & Applied Science.

May 17th and 18th, 2023 in the Tangeman University Center Great Hall

  • Conference organizing committee: Dr. Nathan Morehouse, Associate Professor & IRiS Director; Dr. Tony Chemero, Professor & IRiS Interdisciplinary Research Lead; Cindy Treacy, IRiS Grant Programs Lead; Kim Dooley; Dr. Neşe Devenot, IRiS Postdoctoral Associate; and Audrey Pumford, IRiS Graduate Assistant

What Is IRiS Ignite?

Join us for the second annual IRiS Ignite! This event re-imagines the traditional academic conference to forge novel connections and stimulate new interdisciplinary conversations on the broad topic of sensing, including work on perception, sensor technology development, and ethical innovations in sensing research. We aim to bring together scholars, innovators, artisans, and entrepreneurs from across disciplines, including engineering, psychology, biology, philosophy, chemistry, medicine, physics, ethics, the humanities, and the fine and performing arts.

IRiS Ignite will be composed of an integrated program that places scientific research alongside scholarship in the humanities, and artistic performances alongside work in the social sciences. By co-locating these diverse perspectives, we hope to foster new ideas, unexpected connections, and support holistic innovation.  

Inspiration for IRiS Ignite comes from the IRiS Alloy Discussion Series, a monthly gathering around a specific topic pertaining to sensing. We have seen firsthand how moments of unexpected insight arise when people connect across disciplines through open exploration of a common topic.

The IRiS Annual Event will include two invited plenary talks, a program of 15-minute lectures, a poster session, an art exhibition, and musical performances.

We encourage you to be creative in your contributions to this event. We have deliberately avoided topic suggestions because we want to encourage imagination and creativity. Anything that has a relationship to sensing or perception is welcome! There are no restrictions: artists are invited to present research, and scientists are welcome to share poetry. Come with an open mind, and be ready for inspiration and new ideas.

Regular tickets cost $45, and student/postdoc tickets cost $25. Registration comes with free refreshments at breaks and meal vouchers for food truck lunches on May 17th and May 18th. Students participating in the poster session will be considered for a number of awards. Click here to register. Pre-registration closes on Monday, May 15 at 5 PM EST. In-person registration will be available at an increased price.

Contributed Presentation Options

  • Lecture: 12-minute talks with a 3-minute Q&A
  • Performance: artistic, musical, and poetic performances
  • Poster: an open-hall poster session will take place during a 1.5-hour period
  • Visual art: displays will be intermixed with academic posters at the poster session

Keynote Speakers

A color photograph of Abeba Birhane wearing glasses, earrings, and a necklace with a silver collared shirt in front of a blue background.

Dr. Abeba Birhane, Senior Fellow in Trustworthy AI, Mozilla Foundation & Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of Computer Science and Statistics, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

"Automating Inequality"

Abeba Birhane is a cognitive scientist researching human behaviour, social systems, and responsible and ethical Artificial Intelligence (AI). Her research sits at the intersections of embodied cognitive science, machine learning, complexity science, and decoloniality theories. Her work includes audits of computational models and large scale datasets. Her keynote will explore inequality within complex adaptive systems (e.g., human behaviour and social systems), which are inherently dynamic, messy, ambiguous, incompressible, non-determinable, and non-predictable. Dr. Birhane will emphasize the challenges of modeling complex behavior, argue that equitable algorithmic systems require broader structural rethinking, and highlight that visions of alternative realities need to be informed by and grounded in current realities.

A smiling color photograph of Alan K. Davis wearing brown glasses and a lavender collared shirt under a tyrian purple jacket.

Dr. Alan K. Davis, Director, Center for Psychedelic Drug Research and Education & Assistant Professor, College of Social Work, The Ohio State University

"Exploring a Sensed Presence of an Autonomous Entity or Being During Psychedelic Experience Among English and Spanish Speaking People"

Alan Davis is a Clinical Psychologist with extensive experience working with people suffering with addiction, PTSD, and depression. Their research explores alternative treatments for addiction and mental illness, including psychedelic-assisted therapies, and how to increase access to current treatment systems through reducing provider stigma about substance misuse and alternative treatment approaches. Alan has published 85 scientific manuscripts, including the first randomized controlled trial on the use of psilocybin therapy for depression. They have also conducted several survey studies exploring the phenomenon of sensed presence of a seemingly autonomous entity/being during psychedelic experiences among both English and Spanish populations. Their keynote address will provide a foundation for understanding the role of such experiences in relation to personal meaning and psychological outcomes.


Day 1: Wednesday, May 17
Time Great Hall
9:00 Introductory Remarks
9:10 Wednesday Keynote Speaker
Alan K. Davis, Exploring a Sensed Presence of an Autonomous Entity or Being During Psychedelic Experience Among English and Spanish Speaking People
45 mins + Q&A
10:15 Coffee Break, 15 mins
10:30 Gary Weissman, Joseph Boudot, Veronica Ufferman, and Cameron Zambello, Sensing the Unseen in Animated Documentary
11:00 Panel Discussion with 2022-23 IRiS Graduate Research Fellows
12:00 Lunch Outside (food truck ticket included with registration)
13:30 Poster Session A
Music: Preston Bell Charles III
14:30 Poster Session B
Music: Pete Fosco
15:30 Spoken Word Performance by Camille Jones
15:45 Panel: Experiential Sensing

Corinne (CJ) Jorgenson, Recurrence Quantification Analysis on Physiological Signals Unveils Pilot Performance in Virtual Reality Piloting Tasks
16:00 Ramy Amin, A Taxonomy of Seemings
16:15 Vincent del Prado, Meaning in Life as Embodied Sense
16:30 Paige Webb, Bodies, Their Own Sense: A (De)composition of Sense-Making: A Queer Refusal of Mastery
16:45 Panel Discussion
Day 2: Thursday, May 18
Time Great Hall
9:00 Introductory Remarks
9:10 Thursday Keynote Speaker
Abeba Birhane, Automating Inequality
45 mins + Q&A
10:15 Cerelia Bizzell, Inclusiveness, Cognitive Insight, and Empowering through Cultural Learning and Community
10:30 Coffee Break, 15 mins
10:45 Panel: Sensing and Movement

Collin Lucken, Putting Robotics Back on Its Feet
11:00 Christian Kronsted, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: The Cognitive Science of Dance Plague
11:15 Iman Chatterjee, A Multivariate Approach for Automatic Estimation of Interpersonal Engagement During Dyadic Conversation Using Physiological Measurements
11:30 Dalton S. Cooper, Action Selection in Context: Hysteresis Effects on Goal Directed Behavioral Transitions
11:45 Sierra Corbin, Evaluating the Impact of Depressive Symptomology on Rhythmic Joint-Action Behaviors
12:00 Panel Discussion
12:15 Lunch Outside (food truck ticket included with registration)
Performance: James McKenna
13:30 Panel: Physiology of Sensing

Ashley Ross, Pushing the Boundaries of Neurochemical Sensing
13:45 Steven Quarin, Automated Design of Homogeneous SERS Sensors for the Detection of Nucleic Acid Biomarkers
14:00 Alexandra (Alex) Keller, Norepinephrine Release in Murine Spleen Slices: Implications for Neuro-Immune Crosstalk
14:15 Mohammad (Hamza) Hassan, Chip-Less Battery-Less Wireless Sensors and Hemispherical Organic Image Sensors
14:30 Shubham Rathore, Osmotic Pressure Is Required for Correct Post-Embryonic Eye Growth in the Larval Eyes of the Sunburst Diving Beetle (Thermonectus marmoratus)
14:45 Rakesh Govind, Generating the Chemistry of Smell Using an Artificial Neural Network
15:00 Panel Discussion
15:15 Coffee Break, 15 mins
15:30 Spoken Word Performance by Erin McCabe
15:45 Panel: Social Sensing

Tim (Elmo) Feiten, From Stakeholders to ‘AI Stewardship’: Leveraging Insights From Public Engagement With Science to Drive AI Adoption
16:00 Xin Gu, Measuring Perceived Racial Heterogeneity and Its Impact on Crime: An Ambient Population-Based Approach
16:15 Anthony (Tony) Chemero, Inhabiting Space
16:30 Preston Bell Charles III, Musicate
17:00 Panel Discussion

About IRiS

The Institute for Research in Sensing (IRiS) is an interdisciplinary research institute focused on novel routes to innovation in sensing research and sensor technology development through purposeful integration of STEM and non-STEM perspectives, including basic and applied research, medicine, engineering, the humanities, social sciences, and fine and performing arts. At IRiS, we seek not only to expand what is possible, but also to ask what is good, for human thriving and the health of our planet. Our mission is one of connection, integration, and holism as we pursue breakthroughs in sensing research at the University of Cincinnati and beyond.

IRiS activities include:

To stay up-to-date on the latest IRiS events, sign up for our mailing list!

About the Venue

The 2023 IRiS Ignite Expo & Festival will take place on the 4th floor of the Tangeman University Center (TUC) at the heart of the University of Cincinnati’s Uptown campus. A variety of paid parking options are available within a short distance of the venue (more info on parking is available here). The TUC is a fully accessible location.

Registration comes with free refreshments at breaks and meal vouchers for food truck lunches on May 17th and 18th. Conference participants may also choose to purchase their own food at a variety of food vendors in the TUC Food Court. Wi-Fi connectivity will be available throughout the event via UC_secure (for UC affiliates) and UC_guest Wi-Fi services. More about the UC guest Wi-Fi can be found here.

IRiS External Partners

IRiS' 2022-23 external partners Kroger, the Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health.

The logo of the Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired, which includes a green, three-leafed clover.