Makedon Chairs PETRA '13 Conference
Friday, July 19, 2013
Fillia Makedon, Chair of the Computer Science and Engineering Department, chaired the 6th International Conference on PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments (PETRA ’13) in May in Greece. PETRA is an annual conference where emerging computer technologies that use sensor devices, robots, imaging, and numerous computer technologies are presented for the use in assistive living environments that improve the quality of life and enhance human performance.
About 100 theoreticians and practitioners gathered to report on the latest computing and engineering findings that impact applications as diverse as rehabilitation, disability manufacturing, telesurgery, cognitive therapy, remote health monitoring and others. Among the conditions discussed were those involving limited mobility, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, autism, post-traumatic stress disorder and the elderly. As the world’s population ages, there is growing interest in solutions for the in-home care of the elderly and the care of people with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other disabilities or traumas. People’s living environments are particularly important in an increasingly crowded and complex world where the need for inclusiveness and connectivity with the rest of the world is key.
The National Science Foundation funded the PETRA Doctoral Consortium by providing travel scholarships to enable 18 U.S.-based Ph.D. student authors to present their work. Conference papers were published with the prestigious Association of Computing Machinery Digital Library Proceedings. Special papers are invited to a select set of journals. The conference attracted paper submissions from 16 countries and featured workshops on assistive robotics, affect and behavior for the elderly, and participatory sensing in assistive environments. There were also special sessions showcasing European projects, such as how ambient assisted living influences the job market and a tutorial session on health informatics.