Labs, Centers and Institutes

Driving thought leadership in science and technology

Our labs, centers and institutes engage scientists, engineers, policy experts, clinical faculty and students in schools and departments across the University of Pittsburgh, bringing thought leaders from a variety of backgrounds together to solve some of the world’s most complex problems.

Founded with the mission of promoting research in science and technology, our state-of-the-art research facilities and centers of excellence conduct cutting-edge, federally-funded research projects, coordinate programming around a broad range of topics, and host lecture series featuring distinguished speakers and visiting fellows.

Learn more: Institutes | Centers | Labs

Institutes

iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3)

The iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3) is an undergraduate research and leadership development program that prepares students from underrepresented populations for graduate study and careers in the information sciences. Only 25 students from across the country are selected each year to become i3 Scholars. Those students undertake a yearlong experience that includes two summer institutes hosted by SCI and a research project spanning the year. i3 prepares students for the rigors of graduate study and serves as a pipeline for i3 Scholars into internationally recognized information schools—the iSchools. Most importantly, i3 empowers students to create change and make an impact on the people around them.

Modeling and Managing Complicated Systems (momacs) Institute

Modeling the whole — whether it’s the whole economy, the whole microbiome, the whole climate — has never been more important than today, when these systems are increasingly interdependent and stressed.  At the Modeling and Managing Complicated Systems (momacs) Institute, computing and information technologies help humans to gather data and assemble and test models of unimaginable scale and fidelity, far exceeding anything that can be done by humans working alone. Momacs fosters collaboration among computational and domain experts and intelligent machines, pushing the boundaries of systems science and technology with each new project. 

Professional Institute at SCI

Cybersecurity remains one of the most significant challenges facing the marketplace today. The Professional Institute at SCI provides a wide range of flexible and customizable educational offerings tailored to help the working professional rapidly gain needed cybersecurity skills. The professional education program offers three distinct pathways, enabling you to gain the in-demand skills needed to reach your career goals in a short amount of time. The institute also offers a Graduate Certificate in Information and Network Security and a multidisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity, Policy, and Law which spans across three Pitt schools. Whatever program a student chooses, they will feel empowered to meet tomorrow’s cybersecurity challenges.  

Sara Fine Institute

The Sara Fine Institute for Interpersonal Behavior and Technology (SFI) was founded in 1999 to promote social research on science and technology at the University of Pittsburgh. SFI organizes lectures, hosts distinguished speakers and visiting fellows, fosters research projects, and coordinates programming around a broad range of topics: human-machine relationships, science infrastructures, the risks and benefits of new technologies, communications, digital culture and more.

Centers

Center for National Preparedness

The Center for National Preparedness is a broad, multidisciplinary, collaborative enterprise that engages the University’s scientists, engineers, policy experts and clinical faculty. Members of the center possess expertise in biomedical research, public health, medicine, national security policy, engineering, and information technology. The center synthesizes efforts in place in the faculties of the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Public Health, the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and the Schools of Engineering, Law, Medicine, Nursing, and Computing and Information. Research, education and training are the foundation of this enterprise.

Labs

Advanced Data Management Technologies Lab

The Advanced Data Management Technologies Laboratory at SCI is co-directed by Professors Panos K. Chrysanthis and Alexandros Labrinidis. Research projects are targeted towards network-centric data management applications (e.g., mobile data management, sensor networks, web-databases, etc) and the approach taken is user-centric: emphasis is given on Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Data (QoD) returned to the users, and on controlling the trade-off between QoS and QoD, in a way that is prescribed by the users.

Geoinformatics Lab

Geoinformatics encompasses a collection of special techniques, technologies, and tools for the acquisition, processing, management, analysis, and presentation of geospatial data. Learn more about the Geoinformatics Lab.

Group for Research on Idealized Neural Systems (GRINS) Lab

Information Retrieval, Integration, and Synthesis (iRiS) Lab

We are researchers and educators who are interested in, and are actively working on various sub-topics areas of IR, which include adaptive and interactive information retrieval, cross-language information retrieval, digital library, information seeking on the Web and in traditional library settings, interface and visualization, and multimedia indexing and retrieval. The goal of the iRiS Lab is to develop effective, efficient and friendly tools for people to access large, distributed, and heterogeneous information collections.

Laboratory for Education and Research on Security Assured Information Systems (LERSAIS)

The Laboratory for Education and Research on Security Assured Information Systems (LERSAIS) provides a framework for long-term goals of (1) establishing a premier research program that focuses on the diverse problems related to security and survivable information systems, networks, and infrastructures, and (2) developing and supporting high quality education in security and information assurance. The University of Pittsburgh has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education since 2004 jointly by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). LERSAIS is Pitt’s representative CAE, and it has also been designated as CAE-Research.

Learning Technologies Lab (LTL)

The Learning Technologies Lab (LTL) at SCI is an interdisciplinary research and development laboratory that fosters innovative research in the area of learning technologies and transformational / serious games. The LTL offers new educational opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students, and catalyzes collaboration among University of Pittsburgh schools and departments.

Personalized Adaptive Web Systems (PAWS) Research Lab

Learn more about the Personalized Adaptive Web Systems (PAWS) Research Lab.

Pitt Computational Social Dynamics (PICSO) Lab

At the Computational Social Dynamics Lab (PICSO), we are working toward modeling and analyzing patterns of change within complex social systems, with a focus on patterns of change that emerge from citizen activities, interactions and relationships, and their sensemaking processes.

Pitt EducaTional and Language Technology Lab (PETAL)

Learn more about the Pitt EducaTional and Language Technology Lab.

Power-management and Real-Time Systems Lab (PORTS)

Prognostic Lab

The Prognostic Lab is an experimental systems research group at SCI led by Associate Professor Jack Lange. Our work focuses on the design of core systems software capable of fully utilizing next generation hardware environments while at the same time being amenable to dynamic resource managers. Our research is based primarily in the context of high performance and extreme scale computing. To increase the applicability of high performance systems, we seek to provide unmodified applications transparent access to high performance resources. Our methods are based on the design, implementation and evaluation of experimental systems.

Spatial Information Science Research Interest Group

The Spatial Information Science Research Interest Group at Pitt is dedicated to the understanding and use of spatial information across a wide variety of contexts. Spatial information science is a growing field that is concerned with computational, technical, and cognitive aspects of acquiring, storing, manipulating, using and understanding spatial information. Spatial information science incorporates developments in geographic information systems, location-based services, virtual environments, web navigation and aspects of scientific visualization.

Sustainable Social Computing

At the Sustainable Social Computing lab at the University of Pittsburgh, we research the interplay of technology and society in terms of (1) how social computing systems can be studied, designed, and implemented to more effectively achieve the goals of their different stakeholders; (2) what role these technologies play within different communities and how individuals and communities are effected by them; and (3) how social technologies are utilized by different communities and individuals, specifically with respect to how digital gap and established inequalities can contribute to inequalities on the social technology platforms.

Teaching and Learning Research Lab (TALER)

The goal of the Teaching And Learning Research Lab (TALER) at SCI is to design, develop, and evaluate tools that can support students in learning and professors in teaching Information Science courses. TALER Lab was established in 2001 with support from an Innovation in Education grant (ACIE) awarded through the Provost’s Advisory Council for Instructional Excellence.

Usability Research Lab

The Usability Research Lab was opened in the mid 1990’s to provide experimental space for Professors Korfhage and Lewis’ NSF-sponsored research in visual information retrieval interfaces as well as to function as a conventional Usability (now User Experience) lab. With an influx of new projects, the lab’s focus shifted to human-agent interaction, interactive simulation and VR, and since 2003, human-robot interaction. Current projects involve human supervision of robotic swarms, trust in automation, and reinforcement learning models for human-machine teaming.