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Texas A&M Announces Lineup For SXSW Interactive Week

February 16, 2017

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By Texas A&M Marketing and Communications

Texas A&M University, an incubator of innovative research and thought, will make its inaugural foray into South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Week, March 10-15 in Austin.

Hotel Van Zandt will serve as host venue for the “Texas A&M House,” a one-stop destination featuring Texas A&M’s groundbreaking research, innovation and global discovery.

Texas A&M is a tier-one research institution that, together with the Texas A&M System, secures almost $1 billion in research and development funding each year.

The university’s programming will kick off Friday, March 10 with a panel on “The Rise of Academic Incubators.” Silicon Valley venture capitalist Ray Rothrock and newly named Siemens USA CEO Judy Marks will join Texas A&M President Michael K. Young and Harvard Innovation Labs Managing Director Jodi Goldstein to discuss innovative ways of advancing and leveraging strategic alliances between industry leaders, commercial funding partners and higher education institutions for entrepreneurial endeavors.

“Texas A&M Invents for an Intelligent Future” has already begun with both undergraduate and graduate engineering students designing devices aimed at solving real-world problems vetted by real-world corporations. Student teams will develop designs for their devices through a series of competitions leading up to the conference where they will assemble and test them in less than 48 hours. On Sunday, March 12, rocket scientist and comedian, Shayla Rivera, One Defense Founder Stephen Rodriguez, and National Instruments Vice President of Product Marketing Charles Schroeder will judge the final competition and select a team to receive mentorship and a funding package from the Texas A&M Engineering Innovation Center to commercialize its concept.

On Monday, March 13, researchers will demonstrate how they are uncovering the mysteries of the human mind with state-of-the-art biometric technology in “The Human Lab: Uncovering the Emotional Brain.” They will discuss the strong influence that emotions have on decision-making and the effects that behavioral responses have on education, economics and nutrition, among others. Conference-goers can test the technology themselves throughout the week through interactive kiosks located in the hotel.

SXSW visitors will experience “life in the fast lane” with the Texas A&M Formula SAE roll-out Monday afternoon, where the university will feature a formula-style racecar designed and built by a Texas A&M student design team as their senior design project within the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The team will compete against 80 other schools from around the globe in July. Texas A&M is one of the few teams participating in the competition that begins the project each year with a new round of student engineers.

“Uncovering Trends: Interacting With Big Data” on Tuesday, March 14 will feature a panel discussion exploring research and discovery in the field of big data. The discussion will focus on why a multidisciplinary approach is vitally important to finding solutions to the world’s most challenging issues. In advance of the panel discussion, live demonstrations will explore data analysis outside the narrowly defined context of statistical analysis and prediction.

Tuesday also will include Texas A&M’s Chemistry Road Show, a popular interactive event featuring scientific demonstrations filled with excitement and designed to entertain and educate.

Throughout the week, “The Collision of Art and Technology,”—a digital visualization laboratory where art and science merge—offers interactive experiences with lighting, sound, visuals and technology produced by faculty, students and staff of the Department of Visualization within the College of Architecture.

In the “24 Hours of Global Impact” interactive experience, conference-goers will experience a day in the life of researchers and former students from the far reaches of the world in 360-degree virtual environments, complete with audio. This experience also will be part of the university’s weeklong exhibit at the Austin Convention Center, which will feature this and other transformational research happening at the university. ­­

For more information and to sign up to receive email updates about Texas A&M’s participation in SXSW, visit

For more information on SXSW, visit


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