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UT Faculty, Staff and Students Bring Expertise, Projects to SXSW 2024

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Peter Stone, professor and executive director of Texas Robotics, speaks on a panel at UT's SXSW event on March 8.

Austin’s annual SXSW conference is already underway, bringing thousands of thought leaders, experts, celebrities and attendees to town to speak on and learn about a wide array of topics.

And naturally, many faculty, staff and students from The University of Texas at Austin have been tapped to participate. UT has representation every day of the conference, with research and expertise covering everything from space junk, to robotics, to artificial intelligence (it is the Year of AI at UT, after all).

Researchers in UT’s Good Systems Bridging Barriers Grand Challenge — Sherri Greenberg, of the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and Julie Schell, of the School of Design and Creative Technologies, kicked off the week at SXSW EDU with a workshop on generative AI in class.

Here are the sessions and Longhorns who will showcase their work and offer their perspectives at this year’s SXSW, which begins March 8:


Featured Session: Design as a Medium Within Visual Art
Michael Ray Charles, Professor, Department of Design and Creative Technologies, College of Fine Arts, Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, College of Liberal Arts

Negate Hate: LGBTQ Brand Advocacy in a Time of Anti-Wokeness
E. Ciszek, Associate Professor, Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations, Moody College of Communication

Mentor Session
Amira Pollock, Instructor, Center for Professional Education

UT’s Hook ’Em House at Antone’s
Featuring panels and events throughout the day


Man vs. Nature: The Commercialization of Psilocybin Medicine
Greg Fonzo, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Dell Medical School, Co-director of UT’s Center for Psychedelic Research and Therapy

Will AI Replace Healthcare Workers? No, But It Will Turn Them Into Tech Workers
Dr. Claudia Lucchinetti, M.D., Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs at UT, Dean, Dell Medical School

Thinking Outside the Hive: Designing Tomorrow’s Beehive
Ji Yoon Ahn, Graduate Student, School of Architecture
Danelle Briscoe, Associate Professor, School of Architecture

10 Billion Reasons To Invest In Cybersecurity
James B. Milliken, Chancellor, The University of Texas System

This IS Your Brain on Drugs; Neuroimaging Psychedelics
Manoj Doss, Research Fellow, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Dell Medical School, Center for Psychedelic Research and Therapy

People Have the Power (or…Some Do)
Andy Uhler, Energy Journalism Fellow, UT Energy Institute

Student Startups in SXSW Pitch
MACH Transit and Paradigm Robotics

UT’s Hook ’Em House at Antone’s
Featuring panels and events throughout the day


AI is Not the (Only) Answer: Smart City Co-Creation
Junfeng Jiao, Associate Professor, School of Architecture, Director of Texas Smart Cities

College Athletes as Influencers: Working with NIL Talent
Quinn Ewers, Texas Football QB, Junior, Physical Culture and Sports, College of Education
Hailey Hernandez, Texas Swimming Diver, Senior, Exercise Science/Allied Health Professions, College of Education

Futurescape 2050: Charting the Course for Equity and Justice
Angela D.R. Smith, Assistant Professor, School of Information

BattleBots Metal Mayhem
UT student team: Texas Combat Robots: Horns of Fury


The TRUTH About Quantum Computing
Scott Aaronson, Professor, Department of Computer Science, College of Natural Sciences

Lighting Talks by Women Talk Design
Melody Ethley, UX Designer, UT Libraries

Rebranding Cancer
Dr. Anna Capasso, M.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Oncology, Dell Medical School

Scientific Storytelling: The Audio Advantage

Kristen Wynn, Program Manager, Livestrong Cancer Institutes, Dell Medical School


How the Tech That Tracks Space Junk Will Save Life on Earth
Moriba Jah, Associate Professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, Cockrell School of Engineering


How to Train a Humanoid Robot
Luis Sentis, Professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, Cockrell School of Engineering, Director of the Human Centered Robotics Laboratory


Magnetizing Mobility: The Journey to Maglev in the US
Ashley Jennings, Managing Director, Texas Innovation Center
Aaditya Ranjit, MACH Transit student startup co-founder, graduated May 2023