Mid-scale RI-1 (M1:IP) EduceLab - Infrastructure for Next-Generation Heritage Science

Grants and Contracts Details


The University of Kentucky seeks funds from the midscale RI-1 program to install and equip EduceLab, a first-of-its-kind, state-of-the-art laboratory “incubator” dedicated to the development of scientific solutions, especially new approaches that involve artificial intelligence, deep learning, and data science, to current and emerging problems in Natural and Cultural Heritage (NCH). Headquartered within the University of Kentucky’s William S. Webb for Anthropology, the lab will encompass stationary equipment as well as mobile and agile field-deployable systems that will enable the collection of data from normally inaccessible objects. Solutions to challenges involving such heritage science issues as ink and paint analysis, skeletal and dental morphological studies, and DNA sequencing for determining artifact provenance, among others, will inform and push forward innovations in a multitude of scientific fields, including chemistry and chemical engineering; physics; cultural and biological anthropology; palaeoanthropology and forensic anthropology; computer science and computer vision; systems and software engineering; materials science; engineering design; ???. Funds will be used to acquire state-ofthe- art, off-the-shelf equipment as well as to assemble custom-designed components, creating a novel instrumentation suite that crosses all of these scientific domains and provides a unique, comprehensive learning environment for next generation scientists. EduceLab will provide access and inspiration for a diverse community of students, practitioners, and researchers to advance their scientific understanding around the compelling theme of natural and cultural heritage science. By combining STEM fields with subject areas that traditionally attract more diverse populations and are therefore viewed as more accessible to them (ref X), EduceLab will grow the interest and participation of women and other underrepresented minorities in STEM fields as well as increase the public’s scientific literacy and engagement with science and technology. The EduceLab infrastructure will also form a crucial commitment to serve a region centered in Kentucky and Appalachia that has historically trailed the rest of the nation both in its ability to access advanced natural and cultural heritage science instrumentation and to provide training on the design, implementation, and use of large-scale scientific infrastructure. The partnerships we form with world-class heritage science experts at the Getty, the Smithsonian, and the Library of Congress, will connect the infrastructure, the technical practice and potential for innovation, and the broader community to the national stage. EduceLab will evolve into a national lab where early career science and heritage researchers can hone their skills in a collaborative, heritage science focused environment.
Effective start/end date10/1/219/30/26


  • National Science Foundation


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