Dr. Giorgio A. Ascoli received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Neuroscience from the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa, Italy, and continued his research at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, to investigate protein structure and binding in the nervous system. He moved to the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study at George Mason University in 1997, where he is Professor in the Molecular Neuroscience Department. He is also founder and Director of the Center for Neural Informatics, Structure, and Plasticity, a multidisciplinary research group which includes biologists, physicists, psychologists, computer scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and physicians. Dr Ascoli is founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal Neuroinformatics and contributed to the establishment of the field of computational neuroanatomy. His laboratory investigates the relationship between brain structure, activity, and function from the cellular to the circuit level. Dr Ascoli hopes one day to create a garden of sculptures representing the stunning diversity of neuronal shapes.
Michael Iacovone is interested in how people experience public space. He devises systems and processes to follow that he uses to navigate his way through spaces, often based on random numbers, chance operations, or mathematical equations. He has been surveying public spaces through photography, video, and map-making for ten years now.
Koan Jeff Baysa’s current role as contemporary art and medical science curator is a result of the confluence of two backgrounds: training and experience as a medical practitioner in allergy and clinical immunology along with a passion for collecting art segueing to curating that led to becoming a Whitney Museum ISP curatorial alum and member of AICA. It is generally perceived that art and science are antipodes, but to the contrary they are similarly aligned: both are approaches to solving problems and seeking truths, but have become self-referential and self-absorptive. The task at hand is not to integrate the two, for science cannot be art nor art be science, but to allow the two to inform each other. The curatorial process and end result is at its core educational and should constantly strive to avoid the easy pitfalls of having art merely illustrate science and science being disdainful of art. This process explores the components of wonder and experimentation that is essential to both art and science.
Virgil Wong has exhibited art projects about the human body, medicine and technology in galleries around the world including the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. As an independent filmmaker, Virgil produced and co-directed Murmur (http://www.virgilwong.com/film/murmur), an experimental medical film, which premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. In 2001 he received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for an art and science exhibition called Corporeal Landscape. As a new media specialist, he has led Web and multimedia initiatives for patient care, research, and education at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital since 1997, and he is the co-chair of the Clinical & Translational Research Science Center (CTSC) Web Portal Implementation Group. Virgil is currently a PhD candidate in Columbia University's Cognitive Studies Program with a concentration in Intelligent Technologies, where he is making art and conducting research on the medical semantic web, anatomical avatars embodying medical record information, and new patient portal systems .
Al Smith is professor of art and chair of the art department at Howard University. His forty years of scholarly research and creative work has been in the direction of “visual music.” His current work involves developing 3D animation as “visual instrument” through which to express time base animated painting. At Howard University, he and theoretical physicist, Dr. James Lindesay, developed a cross-disciplinary course, “Time as the Rhythm of Experience” from which he published an article, “Workdance of a Rhythm Master” in the journal: The International Review of African American Art, Vol. 19, #3. Other scholarly work includes teaching: “Visual Music,” Peabody Conservatory of Music, Baltimore Maryland; and “The Rhythm Technique Workshop,” at Howard University and Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore Maryland. His span of exhibitions include “Visual Voices,” America Association for the Advancement of Science; “Harmelodic Painting” and “Washington at a Glance,” Franz Bader Gallery, Washington, DC; and “The Procession Series,” the Studio Museum of Harlem, NY, New York. Professor Smith’s Bibliography includes: Transatlantic Dialogue: Contemporary Art In and Out of Africa, Chameleon Books Inc.1999, Seeing Jazz: Artist and Writers on Jazz, Chronicle Books – Smithsonian Institute, 1997; and African Arts: Spring 1997, “Confluences, Ile-Ife, Washington, DC and Tran African Arts.” Interview and Art featured.
James Lindesay was born in Kansas City, Kansas. He received his SB in physics form MIT, where he did research in scattering theory with Francis Low, helped design and build drift chambers with Ulrich Becker and Samuel C.C. Ting, and wrote a thesis on macroscopic quantum fluids working with Harry Morrison. He received his MS from Stanford University while studying the phenomenology of photo-production of hadrons with Brodsky. He received his PhD developing the theory for few particle relativistic dynamics working with H. Pierre Noyes at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC). During his tenure as a graduate student, he received Stanford University’s highest teaching honor (Gores Award), as well as being given the honorary faculty position by the faculty of the Stanford Physics Department. He was the Resident Fellow of Lagunita East Residences, and the second Resident Fellow of Ujamaa, the African-American Theme Residence at Stanford University. He received a Chancellor’s Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship from the University of California, Berkeley, where he worked on the applications of abelian and non-abelian local gauge theories to problems in quantum fluids. In addition, he received a National Research Council / Ford Foundation Fellowship, where he worked at SLAC to develop the first relativistically covariant cluster decomposable unitary few particle scattering theory. He was appointed as an assistant professor of physics at Howard University from 1988-1994, where he founded, and continues to serve as the Director of the Computational Physics Laboratory. He was promoted to associate professor in 1994, and to full professor in 2008. He has more than 70 journal and technical publications, has co-authored 2 books including the World Scientific Press best seller ``An Introduction to Black Holes, Information, and the String Theory Revolution: The Holographic Universe” co-authored with Lenny Susskind, selected to the Scientific American Main Selection Book Club, and Ranked Top 5 Books in the Scientific American Book Club for 2005, the International Year of Physics. He holds a patent for “Quantum Optical Methods of and Apparatuses for Writing Bragg Reflection Filters” (#6,434,298, Aug 2002). His present research interests include cosmology, theoretical physics, biophysics, and foundations of physics.