Category Archives: Meetings

April 2019 Meeting – Virtual Reality Today

Register for the April 11th meeting.

Join ITKAN on Thursday, April 11 as we continue to dive deeper into the Netflix techumentary series Liquid Science. Matthew Housholder, Chicago MTC Technical Architect, will explore the current state of technology in virtual and augmented reality! He’ll look at some of the most promising technologies including the Microsoft HoloLens and explore human challenges and industry use cases that are being addressed in partnership with these evolving technologies.

Virtual, augmented, and mixed reality technologies are improving dramatically and beginning to be applied by companies in fields like medicine, manufacturing and retail among others. And of course the consumer applications like gaming and experiential learning continue to develop and offer promise. Mark your calendar and register to join us!

Matthew Housholder is a Technical Architect at the Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) in Chicago. He is part of a team of Microsoft Architects who help customers envision and design digital transformations for their teams, businesses and organizations.  Matthew’s areas of focus at the MTC are cloud architecture (Azure), application development, and mixed reality.

April 11, 2019

5-7:00 p.m.

Where
Aon Tower
Microsoft Technology Center
200 E Randolph Street, 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60601

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March 2019 Meeting – Tech’s Impact on Agriculture

Register for the March 14th meeting.

Join us on March 14 as ITKAN dives deeper into the Netflix techumentary series Liquid Science with Tech’s Growing Impact on Agriculture and the Built Environment. The Midwest is renowned for our soil, crop yields and feeding the world, but in the face of more unpredictable weather, increasing moisture, and rising global temperatures the agricultural industry as well as urban centers are turning to tech as an ally to adjust how farmers and city/suburb dwellers alike are adjusting to these dramatic shifts.

Microsoft and other tech giants have made increasingly significant investments in this critical global dynamic in areas of AI, Big Data and supporting the growing sophistication of farming methods to help feed the world. We’ll look at how their framework AI for Earth can optimize the use of arable land in the face of environmental change. Jim Angel, recently retired State Climatologist for IL and professor at UIUC, will join us to discuss the technology associated with gathering data for the recent Midwest section of an environmental impact report. Closer to home, Chicago’s Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) is helping to address the impact that more volatile, wet weather patterns have on Chicago and other large urban environments through programs like Rain Ready.

With spring around the corner this is a timely topic. Join us as ITKAN gets closer to the land we love, and the tech we love!

Jim Angel, Illinois State Climatologist, worked at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) since 1997. As state climatologist, Angel conducted research projects on topics related to weather and climate, particularly drought, extreme rainfall events, Great Lakes storms, and weather impacts. He also maintained an extensive archive of historical climate data dating back to the mid-1800s.

March 14, 2019
5-7:00 p.m.

Where
Aon Tower
Microsoft Technology Center
200 E Randolph Street, 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60601

February 2019 Meeting – Music’s Future

Register for the February 14th meeting.

Our second local flavor dive of the SciTech documentary series Liquid Science will cover how technology is impacting music in “Music’s Future”. The episode explores how technology has opened new doors and may ultimately make music better than ever.

Join us on Th, 2/14 as we explore ways in which technology and the evolution of the “digital studio” are influencing the future of music and those who create it.

Our discussion will be led by two music and education professionals from the Chicago area with deep ties to the disability community.

Benjamin “Benji” Daniels is a freelance bassist with a degree in Bass Performance from the renowned Berklee College of Music. He is an independent educator in music theory and conservatory preparation for young musicians seeking to develop a career in the field. Benji has a focus on working with young people from resource-challenged communities to provide both a social and professional outlet in their lives.

Matt Maher is the Music Therapist, Music Instructor and Essential Math Instructor at Coeur Academy in Olivette, Missouri specializing in instruction for students with learning disabilities in a small classroom environment. Matt is degreed in Music Science with a concentration in Classical Guitar and is studying for his Masters in Arts and Teaching. He has taught the Suzuki method to children and is the instructor for the Experience the Arts program at the Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairment where he runs a teen group that focuses on building independence. Matt is the lead guitarist for rockabilly band 4th City out of St. Louis, MO.

February 14, 2019
5-7:00 p.m.

Where
Aon Tower
Microsoft Technology Center
200 E Randolph Street, 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60601

January 2019 Meeting – Optimizing Human Performance

Register for the January 10th meeting.

ITKAN kicks off our 2019 calendar with a local flavor dive of SciTech documentary series Liquid Science! It’s quite fascinating, touches on very familiar (at a high level) topics, and is quite accessible. In January we’re covering the topic of optimizing human performance in “Stronger, Faster”. The episode explores how high bio-tech can help us adapt to injuries and accomplish incredible feats. We’ll give a summary before the presentation and then dive into the topic experts!

Blair Lock, CEO and co-founder of CoApt, which develops and produces control systems for prostheses, as well as Nicole Kelly who utilizes one of these advanced systems in life will lead the discussion. Blair and Nicole will provide a demonstration and discuss the technology behind CoApt’s prosthetic. Then they’ll open it up to Q&A regarding the technology behind it.

Blair Lock, MScE, P.Eng. is a technologist, an established leader, and a well-known researcher in the field of advanced upper limb prosthetic control. He is the CEO and co-founder Chicago’s prospering Coapt, LLC – the world’s pioneering leader of pattern recognition systems for upper limb prosthetics. Prior to Coapt, Mr. Lock was the Operations Director for the research group that developed the groundbreaking Targeted Muscle Reinnervation surgical technique.

Blair has been dedicated to advancements in the field of upper limb prosthetics and myoelectric control for 15 years and holds graduate degrees in engineering, entrepreneurship, and management.

January 10, 2019
5-7:00 p.m.

Where
Aon Tower
Microsoft Technology Center
200 E Randolph Street, 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60601

ITKAN’s Business After-Hours with 1871’s Betsy Ziegler at Microsoft

Register for the November 8 event.

Join us as we celebrate ITKAN’s corporate and civic relationships at our third annual ITKAN Business After-Hours on November 8, 2018 at the Microsoft Technology Center in downtown Chicago!

Kick off the evening with a cocktail hour sponsored by SPR, and network with colleagues or make new connections in the business and civic community. Betsy Ziegler, 1871’s Chief Executive Officer, will give our keynote address – on tech innovation! Gain insights on her work with 1871 and learn about how diversity impacts innovation in the number 1 ranked university affiliated tech incubator in the world.

We will be honoring our partner David Douglas of Yolobe.com with the Rose Stein Light from Within Award for his Equal Access pilot and development program.

DATE AND TIME
Thu, November 8, 2018
5:00 PM – 7:30 PM CDT

LOCATION
Microsoft Technology Center
200 East Randolph Street
#200
Chicago, IL 60601

October 2018 Meeting – Equal Access

Register for the October 11th meeting.

Join us for a very unique, hands-on members meeting on Thursday, October 11 as we introduce Equal Access, a digital on-line career development platform targeting PwD! Equal Access is based on Yolobe.com’s progressive career platform out of tech incubator 1871 and is being launched with the support of SPR, ITKAN and a core group of respected organizations serving the disability community.

David Douglas, Yolobe’s co-founder, will join us as we walk through the essential functions of the platform, along with a hands-on opportunity for candidates with disabilities to join the platform free of charge! So be sure to bring your smartphone, tablet or laptop to the meeting.

October 11, 2018
5-7:00 p.m.

Where
Aon Tower
Microsoft Technology Center
200 E Randolph Street, 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60601

August 2018 Meeting – Gaming and Accessibility

Register for the August 9th meeting.

In August’s ITKAN meeting a panel of ITKAN members will present and lead us in discussions on the intersection of gaming, accessibilty, and development.

For many people video games are just another form of entertainment. However, they have increasingly become a bigger part of our culture, a way to socialize and even a means of escape. Games can be therapeutic and even help with pain management. It has been historically challenging for people with disabilities to play video games whether they are on a computer or a console. In addition, as video games become ever more complex through the use of sophisticated controllers and more reliance on audio these challenges for people with disabilities increase. It has recently been revealed that Microsoft will release an accessible Xbox controller, and many gamers with auditory and vision disabilities advocate for greater inclusion. So, join us as Steve Luker, Bill O’Connor, and Orlando Herrera present and lead us in discussions about gaming and accessibility.

August 9, 2018
5-7:00 p.m.

Where
Aon Tower
Microsoft Technology Center
200 E Randolph Street, 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60601