‘Mind Gym’ to Aid Study of Preserving Mental Agility

Project Involves antÉ Institute for Research in Anticipatory Systems at UT Dallas

The antÉ Institute for Research in Anticipatory Systems at UT Dallas will study ways to keep aging minds active and adaptive with the help of a “Mind Gym” installed at a Dallas retirement community.

As director of the antÉ Institute, Dr. Mihai Nadin, has a research agenda that includes Project Seneludens, an initiative that addresses aging and its consequences from a new perspective that involves games and brain plasticity.

The Mind Gym, offered at the C.C. Young continuing care facility, is a series of games that addresses both the cognitive and motoric capabilities of humans.

The antÉ Institute, with Dr. Mihai Nadin as director, has a research agenda that includes Project Seneludens, conceived with the specific aim of addressing aging and its consequences from a new perspective that involves games and brain plasticity.

According to Dr. Nadin, the major scientific hypothesis underlying the project is that the decline in adaptive capabilities, which aging entails, can be compensated through brain plasticity.  The antÉ Institute will deploy its proprietary “Anticipation Scope” to gather important data on human motion dynamics relevant to aging and to test the effectiveness of such games.

The Mind Gym uses XaviX Technology, developed by the SSD Company Ltd.

The framework of the agreement began in 2005 with XaviX providing equipment to the antÉ Institute for Research in Anticipatory Systems.  Key players in the collaboration were Ken Durand, president  & CEO of C.C. Young; Dr. Nadin, director of the antÉ Institute for Research in Anticipatory Systems at UT Dallas; and Peter Newman, general manager of SSD Company Ltd./XaviX.

The long-term collaboration will also include Dr. B. Prabhakaran of UT Dallas’ Computer Science Department, his team and the Motion Capture Lab.  Eventually, students involved in computer science, cognitive science and serious game development will join in the research.

C.C. Young, located on White Rock Lake in the heart of East Dallas, has been recognized for leadership in development of programs for the aged and its vision of life-long learning and creativity. The Point, Center for Arts and Education, a stand-alone new $6.7 million cultural arts center, is available to all seniors in the community and will house the Mind Gym.

SSD was founded in 1995 with a vision of creating innovative, new generational products that use technology to deliver enrichment, enjoyment and social interaction to people of all ages.  XaviX is the name for a multiprocessor chip underlying the development of a line of products and games for physical fitness, education and interactive sports.

The company develops avenues for deploying their products in various communities of shared interest. SSD is actively involved in collaborative projects and technical investment with innovative companies around the world.

Researchers Ponder New Field of Anticipation

Albert Einstein discovered that time is relative, moving either fast or slow relative to the speed of something else. In doing so he revealed a new understanding of reality.

But what is time in virtual reality?

On Feb. 6, a mixed group of researchers from the arts to science to emerging media met to investigate this idea as part of the symposium, “Anticipation, Time and the Virtual Experience.”

Sponsored by the anté, the Institute for Research in Anticipatory Systems at UT Dallas, the symposium attracted 31 participants from across the Metroplex to the Rachofsky House, a contemporary landmark residence in Dallas with a museum quality collection of modern art.  Six other scholars from France, Holland and Canada added their voices remotely by pre-taped discussions streamed over the web.

Many of the speakers viewed the virtual world as a way to understand a new field of science known as anticipation, which tries to apply the natural, evolutionary state of anticipation – in which living organisms feel or know beforehand a particular action – to the actions of computers, robotics and artificial intelligence. For example, an anticipatory mechanism in a car endows it with the ability to “know” the driving habits of the driver.

“A virtual experience can be defined as uchronic – out of time or an alternative to time,” said Dr. Mihai Nadin, Ashbel Smith Professor and director of anté. “It cannot be precisely inserted in the traditional flow of time embedded in the deterministic sequence from past to future.”

Among the discussions were concepts of time as defined by photography and video games, creativity and imagination as models for anticipation and the social and aesthetic aspects of virtual time.

UT Dallas Professor Frank Dufour also helped to organize the symposium and spoke on the topic of the anticipatory quality of film, video and games. From this symposium, the organizers hope to grow a network of scholars interested in the field of anticipation and its practical applications.

The “Anticipation, Time and the Virtual Experience” symposium will be webcast in the near future. For more information about the symposium, go to www.anteinstitute.org.

Nadin to Discuss Science of Anticipation

Dr. Mihai Nadin, Ashbel Smith Professor and director of antÉ, the Institute for Research in Anticipatory Systems at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), will appear on the Glenn Mitchell Show on Dallas public radio station KERA on Monday, Nov. 7, from noon to 12:30 p.m.  Nadin will discuss his work in a new and fascinating field of science he is helping to pioneer – anticipation.

Nadin will answer questions from host Mitchell and listeners in a live broadcast from KERA studios in Dallas.

Nadin is one of the founders and acknowledged leaders of a nascent, somewhat arcane discipline that seeks to bring anticipatory characteristics of living organisms to mechanisms, as well as to a broad array of pursuits.  Nadin began his own research into anticipatory systems in the late 1980’s.  Upon his arrival at UTD in 2004, he established antÉ to study the premise of embedding the characteristics of anticipation – vital to efficient human functioning – in software for computers and other devices.

The Glenn Mitchell Show is broadcast on 90.1 FM and is also available online athttp://www.kera.org/radio/GMS/.

Scholar Trying to Stimulate Interest In ‘New Science’ of Anticipation

Wanted: College professors, business executives and other professionals interested in exploring joint research opportunities with a pioneer in a new and fascinating field of science:  anticipation.  Reply to Dr. Mihai Nadin, Ashbel Smith Professor and director of antÉ, the Institute for Research in Anticipatory Systems, at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD).

You won’t see that advertisement anytime soon in the local newspaper.  However, Nadin will be making just such a pitch to potential partners at a series of presentations on the UTD campus over the course of eight days in October.

Dr. Mihai Nadin

Titled “Anticipatory Systems:  Opportunities for Texas,” the event will be “a feast for the mind and the eyes, and no one will go away hungry,” said Nadin, one of the founders and acknowledged leaders of a nascent, somewhat arcane discipline that seeks to bring anticipatory characteristics of living organisms to mechanisms, as well as to a broad array of pursuits.  In conjunction with the presentations, Nadin has arranged for a highly acclaimed exhibit – a rare collaboration between an award-winning printer and a noted photographer – to be presented on the UTD campus.

“antÉ wants to attract qualified members interested in the institute’s research agenda, and we believe the upcoming event will be a productive way to do so,” said Nadin.

At eight separate sessions, scheduled for Oct. 19-26, Nadin will present an introduction to the subject of anticipation and its practical applications – including new forms of computing, as well as anticipation related to education, politics, the arts and even “extreme events” such as terrorist attacks, hurricanes and others.  Other speakers, who are institute members, will discuss concrete research opportunities.

Each of the presentations will target a different audience – those involved in cognitive science and related medical fields one evening; followed on subsequent evenings by separate sessions for educators; professionals in the humanities; economics, social and political sciences; engineering and computer science; and the arts.

The exhibit, Jack W. Stauffacher & Dennis Letbetter: The Vico Collaboration, will run concurrently with the information sessions.  It will feature the works of master book printer, typographer and designer Stauffacher and renowned photographer Letbetter in an unusual show inspired by the work of the 18th Century Neapolitan philosopher Giambattista Vico, The New Science.

Both the presentations and the exhibit – all of which will be held in the Cecil and Ida Green Center Commons – are free and open to the public.

Nadin is an internationally known scholar recognized for his groundbreaking interdisciplinary work that ranges across the arts, computer science and cognitive science.  Born and educated in Romania, Nadin was among the very early scholars to address the relationship between computers and human creativity.  He is credited with founding the discipline of computational design – the design of products and processes through the use of digital means.

Nadin began his own research into anticipatory systems in the late 1980’s.  Upon his arrival at UTD in 2004, he established antÉ to study the premise of embedding the characteristics of anticipation — vital to efficient human functioning – in software for computers and other devices.  Examples of future applications of such research might be anticipatory control mechanisms that endow vehicles with the capability to “learn” the driving habits of the owner and make adjustments accordingly, or machines that organize and repair themselves.

“As scientists discover the anticipatory processes characteristic of the living – from one-celled organisms to groups of animals and plants – interest in applying anticipation has increased, especially in the areas of artificial intelligence, robotics, medicine and health,” Nadin said.

Nadin believes the event will be particularly appealing to promising young professionals “still in the process of defining the direction of their careers – which might well be spent in the evolving field of anticipation.”

For additional information on the presentations, including a copy of the program, please contact Nadin at 972-883-2832 or nadin@utdallas.edu.  The institute’s web site at www.anteinstitute.org provides additional information on current research.

Renowned Scholar Mihai Nadin Joins Faculty

Computer Graphics Pioneer to Head New Institute;

Arrival Strengthens UTD’s Arts and Technology Programs

Dr. Mihai Nadin, a pioneer in the field of computer graphics and an internationally known scholar in computer applications for art and design and in human-computer interactions, has joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) as Ashbel Smith Professor.

Dr. Mihai Nadin

Nadin will be affiliated with both the School of Arts and Humanities and the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. His leadership is expected to strengthen the university’s degree programs in arts and technology and the Institute for Interactive Arts and Engineering, both joint projects of the two schools.

Nadin will also serve as director of a newly established Institute for Research in Anticipatory Systems that focuses on “anticipatory computing,” or embedding the characteristic of anticipation in software for computers and other devices. The new institute, known as ANTE, was represented recently in Germany at ORGATEC, the largest world fair dedicated to the office as both workplace and environment for creative interaction.

“UTD is indeed fortunate to have a great scholar with a truly international reputation join our faculty,” said Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, the university’s executive vice president and provost. “Professor Nadin is known throughout the world for his groundbreaking interdisciplinary work that ranges across the arts, computer science and cognitive science.

“Professor Nadin brings a wealth of academic experience to UTD – including appointments at such prestigious institutions as the University of California-Berkeley, Stanford University, the Rhode Island School of Design and Ohio State University – that will serve the university and its students extremely well,” Wildenthal said. “This is a key hire for UTD at an important juncture in our drive to become a top-tier university.”

Dr. Dennis Kratz, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, called Nadin “a 21 st century Renaissance man, at home in the humanities and in science. We expect he will make a significant contribution to UTD’s innovative interdisciplinary effort to explore and exploit the synergies between art and technology.”

Born and educated in Romania, Nadin was among the very early scholars to address the relationship between computers and human creativity. His interests tracked his education – he has advanced degrees in computer science and philosophy.

Computational design, or the design of products and processes through the use of digital means, is a discipline founded by Nadin. He established and directed the world’s first Computational Design Program at the University of Wuppertal in Germany.

Nadin was recruited to UTD in large measure through the efforts of Dr. Thomas Linehan, who established the Institute for Interactive Arts and Engineering when he arrived at the university in 2002. Linehan worked with Nadin at Ohio State in the mid- to late-1980’s and believed his former colleague would be a perfect match for the institute’s charter.

“It’s hard to imagine anyone, anywhere with the breadth and depth of knowledge of Mihai Nadin when it comes to the marriage of art and technology, which is the focus of the institute,” Linehan said. “Not only is Mihai a prolific thinker, lecturer, writer and consultant, but he is also an outstanding teacher – and that will be part of his role at UTD.”

According to Linehan, Nadin will teach arts and technology, humanities and computer science courses.

The author of 23 books and countless articles, Nadin has lectured and written extensively on the mind, anticipation and dynamic systems, visualization, ubiquitous computing and various aspects of human-computer and human-technology interaction. He is credited with introducing various terms and phrases that have found wide usage throughout society, including “semiotic machine,” “post-industrial society,” “the civilization of illiteracy” and “anticipatory computing.”

Since his first involvement with the computer in the 1960’s, Nadin has espoused ways to involve computing in education and creativity, and later, with the advent of desktop computers, in art and design education. He taught some of the first known classes in many areas related to computer science.

Nadin holds a Ph.D. degree in aesthetics from the University of Bucharest and a post-doctoral degree in philosophy, logic and theory of science from Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, West Germany. He earned an M.S. degree in electronics and computer science from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest and an M.A. degree in philosophy from the University of Bucharest.