27
Apr
2016

Software helps people harness the power of computing for the task of their choice, be it analyzing a genome or streaming a movie. But platforms provide the next level of computational potential, enabling easy access to software for users and a strong foundation for developers to build upon and distribute their work. A good platform example is iOS, the operating system for mobile Apple devices, which through its app store and programming language allows worldwide distribution of software, near instantly, at low cost.

20
Apr
2016

In recent years, city and local governments have increasingly used data to discover innovative new ways to improve their operations and serve their citizens. But the spread of these solutions between and within cities has been limited by obstacles including lack of replicability, resources, and technical expertise.

18
Apr
2016

As climate change drives higher temperatures and more frequent droughts around the world, many predict severe threats to agriculture and food security. But a new study aggregating several climate and crop models suggests that  the primary driver of climate change, rising levels of carbon dioxide, may also prove beneficial to crops, mitigating a portion of the damage.

04
Apr
2016

Superconductors have made advanced technologies such as MRI machines, superconducting generators, and particle accelerators possible in our modern world. Soon, they may make futuristic concepts such as magnetic levitation trains and cheap wind energy more affordable and widespread. But in order to do so, scientists need to realize more of the theoretical potential of superconductivity to pass electric current with zero resistance.

24
Mar
2016

UrbanCCD Director and Computation Institute Senior Fellow Charlie Catlett was named one of 25 “Doers, Dreamers & Drivers” of 2016 by Government Technology. The honor celebrates his work creating partnerships between Argonne National Laboratory, University of Chicago, and the City of Chicago on innovative projects such as Array of Things, Plenario, and OpenGrid.

23
Mar
2016

Analyzing telescope images to search for expolanets in distant solar systems requires high-performance computation that is flexible and fast. Using Chameleon, the experimental cloud computing testbed hosted by the Computation Institute and the Texas Advanced Computing Center, a class of students at the University of Arizona built a new analytics software package that will help astronomers find these planetary needles in the cosmic haystack.

17
Mar
2016

As interest in artificial intelligence gains mainstream traction, computers and brains are increasingly compared to each other. But despite great advances in computer architecture and software, even the world’s most powerful computers can’t compete with the efficiency of the human brain. Capable of processing a constant flood of sensory information and make snap decisions, the brain nevertheless only burns about 15 watts of energy, less than a common light bulb.

14
Mar
2016

It's a common misconception that climate models work like weather models, capable of forecasting temperature, precipitation and other elements at the same scale as your ten o'clock weatherman's green screen. But climate models must deal with much more data, often making predictions about the entire globe for hundreds of years into the future. As a result, the resolution of climate models is much lower, with researchers chopping the Earth up into a grid of large polygons in order to run simulations in reasonable time.

09
Mar
2016

For several years, “smart cities” has been a popular buzzword for applications of data, computation, and technology in an urban setting. So far, the movement has achieved some early successes, such as open data portals and increasing use of predictive analytics from city governments across the country. But these efforts are just the first small step towards the full potential of new technologies to improve cities and the lives of their residents.

01
Mar
2016

The traditional practices of scientific publication have made it difficult to properly credit software and the developers that built it. Journal articles are generally written to present scientific findings and share results, not code, a credit gap that has pushed many promising scientific programmers onto other career paths. But last year, a group of scientists including CI Senior Fellow and Argonne computer scientist Kate Keahey launched a new kind of journal, SoftwareX, to treat these contributions as valuable scientific instruments and give them the credit they deserve.