That was Aneesh Chopra’s reaction when he heard about the University of Louisville’s partnership with Dataseam – a partnership that allows UofL cancer researchers to use the excess power of more than 12,000 school computers to dramatically speed up cancer research.

Chopra, the U.S. government’s chief technology officer, was in Louisville Sept. 23 to speak at IdeaFestival but also met with UofL researchers and technology experts to hear how the university is using technology to solve everyday problems.

During a briefing at the Clinical and Translational Research building, Chopra listened to presentations about UofL’s efforts in cybersecurity, additive manufacturing, Digitalville (an initiative spearheaded by Congressman John Yarmuth) and Dataseam.

But Chopra didn’t just sit back and listen. He repeatedly questioned UofL’s presenters for specifics and made several recommendations on potential initiatives for UofL to pursue including:

  • upgrading and providing analytics for old video lessons for people pursuing GEDs
  • extending UofL’s digital network to homes adjacent to the campus
  • finding a way to share student assessment data
  • extending a contract with the Federal Aviation Administration to provide analytics on problem landings by commercial jets.

“I’m interested in something new and different” Chopra said while promising that if UofL could quickly begin work on an innovative solution to a real world education problem, he’d include it in his presentation to the EDUCAUSE conference which begins Oct. 18.