25
Nov
2013

Cities are traditionally built from the pavement of streets and roads, the glass and steel of skyscrapers, the trees and grass of parks and public spaces. But increasingly a new material is used for the construction and management of cities: data.  The growing torrent of information released by city governments and collected by researchers is connecting with new tools developed by computer scientists, enabling significant advances in urban planning, medicine, social science and other spheres.
 
On November 20th, representatives of those fields gathered onstage for Chicago: City of Big Data, a UChicago Discovery Series panel discussion of research and educational efforts focused on transforming cities through data and computation. In a vibrant 90-minute conversation moderated by Charlie Catlett, director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data (UrbanCCD), the panelists described work underway at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory and outlined their visions for the future of data-driven urban design and governance.

22
Nov
2013

The Internet has revolutionized the way we access and use the vast amount of knowledge accumulated by mankind. With the Knowledge Lab, CI fellow James Evans is taking these advances to the next level by using these massive libraries of information to study the very process of creating knowledge. Not only does this work hope to provide new insight into how we arrived at the information we have today, but it promises to point the way to more effective and efficient methods of generating tomorrow's discoveries. 

16
Nov
2013

When the 2013 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science was awarded last month to Eugene Fame, Robert Schiller and CI Senior Fellow Lars Peter Hansen, much of the attention went to the first two winners. Fama and Schiller. The two economists stand at opposite poles of one of the defining arguments of modern economics: are markets rational or irrational? That they shared the same Nobel made for an irresistible media angle, but left Hansen's contributions somewhat on the sidelines.

13
Nov
2013

More science doesn't always mean better science. Fashionable theories, pressures to publish and cultural biases can lead to reduced innovation even as the volume of journals publishing scientific findings grows exponentially. With government austerity creating tighter science budgets and increased demand for accountability, it's more important than ever that we find ways of evaluating and forecasting the potential of a scientific finding to add important information to the body of knowledge, argues CI fellow James Evans in the journal Science.

12
Nov
2013

After a successful first summer when aspiring data scientists from around the world completed innovative data and analytics projects with non-profit and government partners, the Eric & Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good Summer Fellowship will return with a new class of fellows, mentors and project partners in 2014. The announcement was made today at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy's "From Data to Knowledge to Action: Building New Partnerships" event.

11
Nov
2013

The University of Chicago has been associated with dozens of Nobel Prizes. But when CI Senior Fellow Lars Peter Hansen and Eugene Fama were awarded the 2013 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel last month, it was the first time since 1939 that two UChicago faculty have won the award simultaneously. To commemorate this historic honor, "The Work Behind the Prize" panel was held on November 4th at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts. The event was an opportunity for Hansen and Fama's peers in the Department of Economics and the Booth School of Business to pay tribute to the work that earned them the prestigious honor.

07
Nov
2013

On November 1st, the Computation Institute and the Center for Research Informatics invited University of Chicago students to eat lunch and hear about opportunities for research at UChicago and Argonne. Nine speakers gave "lightning talks" of less than 8 minutes on computational work in medicine, chemistry, climate and energy, social science, art and beyond, then students browsed posters from research centers affiliated with the CI and CRI. You can watch most of the lightning talks below, and view the posters presented during the reception.

07
Nov
2013

Many people are familiar with Google's unofficial slogan, "Don't Be Evil." Fewer know the company's official mission statement, "to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful." Working towards this ambitious goal has involved much more than just the search engine that initially made Google's name, expanding into massive projects to digitize books, academic journals and other types of media.