Kai Staats: research


Research 2018-02-08T17:31:58+00:00

SIMOC – an isolated, off-world human community, ASU SESE, 2017-current
SIMOC is a model of an isolated, scalable, human community located on a remote planet or moon. It provides a novel integration of a gaming interface with data from real-world, closed ecosystem studies at NASA. The goal of game play is to successfully expand a community over time, from an initial four astronauts to tens or hundreds of thousands of inhabitants. The intent is to mirror real-world, emergent behavior of a complex system and learn from the outcomes.

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Machine Learning Applied to Gravitational-wave Data, LIGO, 2016-current
Kai Staats is currently working with two facets of LIGO:

  • Under Dr. Marco Cavaglia, University of Mississippi, Kai is working with the Detector Characterization group for the application of Karoo GP to glitch classification and the follow-on discovery of mechanical couplings in the LIGO detectors. Funding is provided (Award 1707668) by the National Science Foundation for the year 2017, with potential to continue through mid-2020.
  • Under Dr. Michele Zanolin, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Kai is working in feature enginering for the application of Machine Learning to the classification of noise triggers and supernovae candidates in Coherent Wave Burst (CWB) analysis.

Learn more about LIGO, Genetic Programming, and Karoo GP. Publication in 2018 …

Machine Learning Applied to Neutrino Detection, OSU, 2016-current
In August 2016, at the Ohio State University, CCAPP, Columbus, Ohio, Kai was co-organiser and presenter at the first-ever Computing in High-Energy AstroParticle Research (CHEAPR) workshop in which Karoo GP was featured as a tool for improved understanding of complex data, as Evolutionary Computation applied to Astro-particle Physics.

Under Dr. Amy Connolly, The Ohio State University, Kai is continuing this effort through guidance provided to student researchers in the application of symbolic regression applications for the modeling of noise in the ANITA radio interferometer neutrino detector.

Learn more about Karoo GP

Machine Learning Applied to Radio Astronomy Data, SKA-SA, 2014-current
For his MSc research at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, Kai Staats developed Karoo GP, a Genetic Programming platform as a novel approach to flagging radio frequency interference (RFI; man-made radio noise) in radio astronomy data at the Square Kilometre Array, South Africa (SKA-SA). Developed in Python, this package is freely available via github, providing a scalable platform for scalable science runs, experimentation, and an intuitive introduction to Machine Learning.

In September 2017, Kai resumed returned to the SKA to continue his research under Dr. Arun Aniyan in the application of Convolutional Neural Networks to the flagging of RFI in radio astronomy data. Publication in 2018 …

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Human Off-World Exploration, 2012-13
In the coming decade science fiction will become science fact as humans leave the confines of the Earth-Moon system and make homes among the asteroids, planets, and some day, the stars. By asking questions about who we are and where we come from, we can more clearly look to the future of human space exploration. The intent is to recognize patterns in human social behavior in the context of isolated, small group dynamics such that we might help guide, or at least anticipate the challenges of the next wave of human exploration and evolution.

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Research & Development

An International Language for Communication, 2009-2011
Built upon a vocabulary of pictographs, iConji is a communication system for people not of just one ethnic, linguistic, or geo-political foundation, but for all people, everywhere. What makes iConji unique and powerful is its ability to transcend language barriers, to bring people together not only in daily communication via Facebook, Twitter, email, and person-to-person messaging, but in conversation around personal and cultural identity as given foundation in language and art.

With the launch of Over the Sun, LLC, Kai Staats and a new team worked to develop iConji, as an experiment in a new kind of communication.

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Renewable Energy, 2009-2010
With emerging advances and rapid adoption of photovoltaic technologies, the cost/efficiency ratio is improving such that both residential and commercial installations are enjoying a higher power yield and lower overall cost. While solar and wind electric generation are now viable sources of power, the greatest hurdle remains the discrepancy between time of generation and peak grid consumption. This invokes need for massive, efficient power storage in order to truly harness this clean energy source.

In the fall of 2009, Kai Staats worked with associate AJ Patton to investigate large-scale renewable energy systems as a potential power and revenue source for the Native American people in the American Southwest. On a smaller scale, Kai’s own home was the first in Larimer County, Colorado to be both grid-tied photovoltaic and fully battery backed (“1912-2009: From Fuel-stove to Grid-tied“). What’s more, Kai completely rewired his 1912 home as a reconfigurable patch panel in order to redistribute loads for optimal battery life. Kai has installed two small photovoltaic systems in rural Kenya (2008, 2009), and a 4.2KW system for an isolated ranch in the Rocky Mountains (“To Hold the Sun“).

Personal Computing, 2006-2008
As CEO at Terra Soft Solutions, Kai Staats studied the evolution of personal computers and PDAs and how they are received by both domestic and international markets. Kai developed a working prototype (which booted from an SSD 3 years before this was the norm), and patent portfolio around a space then only in its infancy. In 2008 Kai traveled to India, Singapore, and the Philippines to learn about the needs of individual and government users in these growing market segments.

“Personal electronics are rapidly evolving to unify multiple devices into single, highly portable PDAs. Cell phones integrate organizational, communication, and personal entertainment applications while laptops offer solid state storage with longer battery life and lighter weight products at a price similar to high-end cell phones.

“Consumers in both established and developing economies are finding the new, less expensive personal computers not only required for success within a more international, global economy, but also within reach of their disposable income.” — Kai Staats, 2008

More under Sketchbox in the Innovation archives …

Linux OS and Supercomputing Development, 1999-2008
For a decade, Kai Staats was co-founder and CEO of Terra Soft Solutions (sold to Fixtars Solutions in 2008), a leading Linux operating system developer. Yellow Dog Linux was developed by Terra Soft for the POWER architecture, including the full line of Apple PowerPC (G3, G4, G5) personal computers and Xserves, select Motorola reference boards, IBM POWER and Cell workstations and servers, the Sony PlayStation3 (PS3), and a number of third party embedded system boards built upon IBM and Motorola POWER architecture CPUs.

yum‘, the defacto RPM package manager for roughly half of all Linux operating systems world-wide had its foundation in an early effort by Terra Soft to beat Red Hat to market with the first graphical installer in 1999, then released as “yup” (yellowdog update).

Terra Soft was a top-tier Apple Value Added Reseller, IBM Business Partner, and provider of integrated, turn-key supercomputing solutions with customers at NASA, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, and Universities around the world. It was estimated that as many as 250,000 home users were running Yellow Dog Linux, at any given time. In those years, Kai and his team conducted extensive research and development of both desktop and high performance computing solutions, including the award winning YDL installer, Y-Bio for bioinformatics, Y-FILM in conjunction with Circle-S Studios, and the highly scalable Y-HPC node construction and management suite.

In addition to his position as CEO, head of sales, and manager of product development, Kai was the designer of the desktop environment for YDL and architect of a 3,000 sq-ft supercomputing facility with redundant, 20 ton cooling, designed to house an initial 400 Sony PS3 servers, up to 2000 rackmount units in total.

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