Late last year, we spoke with Adriana Compagnoni, a keynote speaker at BICT 2015, 9th EAI International Conference on Bio-Inspired Information and Communications Technologies in New York. She is an Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science of Stevens Institute of Technology, and her focus is on bringing her knowledge of language-based cybersecurity to computational biology. At BICT 2015, she presented her current work on developing a universal computational modelling platform.
Could you summarize the scope of your current work and what you have come to share with everyone at this event?
I work on programming languages and my focus is on languages for modelling and computational biology. My experience has been modelling antibacterial surfaces and viral traffic. I am a strong advocate of using techniques of programming languages in computational modelling.
What do you see as the biggest challenge that the sector of bio-inspired ICT is currently facing?
I think the main challenge is bridging communities. We need experts in many different areas to come together and work together, and the funding agencies are often departmentalized, and it makes bringing these experts together difficult.
What would you say are the main trends in biological systems that are showing promise?
Well, anything big data, I think we really need to understand how to incorporate them. Even though I’m passionate about understanding individual behaviour, I think we need to strive towards systems in which we can combine not only the individual behaviour, but also the big data that gives us an understanding of larger populations.
To conclude, have you had an experience at this event that you found compelling, or that inspired you for future work?
I find the meetings themselves the most interesting part. Seeing so many different experts in different areas come together is great, we have heard talks about the brain, the neurons’ reactions to different stimuli, we have seen how cyber-security is inspired by biological processes… I find the entire conference very stimulating.