In The News
Charlotte Observer

While Data Science for Social Good sorts through nearly 900 applications for their 2016 summer fellowship, their 2015 projects continue to attract interest. Last week, the Charlotte Observer profiled DSSG's collaboration with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, using data on officers, arrests, dispatches, and other sources to help predict negative interactions between police officers and the public.

In The News
Chicago Tonight et al.

This month's announcement of a $3.1 million National Science Foundation for Array of Things inspired a wave of enthusiastic coverage about the urban sensing project. The plan to install 500 sensor nodes, collecting data on Chicago's environment, infrastructure, and activity, was touted as an important step towards creating a "smart city," boosting data-driven public policy and community engagement. 

In The News
BBC Click

Last winter, a crew from the BBC's technology program Click visited Chicago to learn more about the Array of Things, the Urban Center for Computation and Data city-wide sensor network project. Reporter Marc Cieslak went to Argonne National Laboratory, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Chicago Architecture Foundation's "City of Big Data" exhibit to profile the technology, design, and potential of the project, which hopes to install hundreds of sensor nodes around the city over the next three years.

Blog

For December's Inside the Discovery Cloud event, Juan de Pablo, Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering at the IME, discussed how his laboratory uses computational approaches to study DNA mapping and self-assembly. Then, Michael Wilde, CI Senior Fellow, and software architect at Argonne National Laboratory discussed methods developed and applied at UChicago and Argonne that help researchers conquer the complexity of high performance computer modeling and better integrate it into the scientific knowledge discovery process.

In The News
Chicago Tonight

Tonight, the Chicago Council on Science & Technology presents a panel called The Multiplication of Threats: Climate Change & the Risks to National Security, where military officers, political experts, and RDCEP co-director Elisabeth Moyer will discuss how global changes in climate might cause political instability, mass human migration, drought, famine, and other crises that could threaten the United States in addition to warmer temperatures and rising sea levels. To promote the event, Moyer appeared on WTTW's Chicago Tonight with retired Brig. Gen. Stephen Cheney, CEO of the American Security Project, and Andrew Holland, senior fellow for Energy and Climate from the American Security Project.

Blog

Will the cities of tomorrow be built on a foundation of data and computation? Among the CI-related events at the 2013 University of Chicago Alumni Weekend was a panel discussing the growing role of data-driven urban policy, featuring Urban Center for Computation and Data director Charlie Catlett, Dean of the Harris School of Public Policy Colm O’Muircheartaigh and Lewis-Sebring Distinguished Service Professor Stephen W. Raudenbush.

In his remarks, Catlett talks about the current window of opportunity for studying cities, produced by the dramatic expansion from narrow, outdated data snapshots to constantly updated streams of open data available to researchers and the public.

Even the world's fastest supercomputers need some time to prep themselves to join society. After eight months of construction and nearly a year of early research projects testing out its capabilities, the 10-petaflop IBM Blue Gene/Q system finally made its official public bow this Monday in a dedication ceremony at the suburban Argonne campus. At the event, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin said that the current fifth-fastest supercomputer in the world will allow Argonne and the United States as a whole to continue pushing the boundaries of science and reaping the benefits of research.

"Mira ensures the lab remains a linchpin of scientific research, enabling researchers to tackle extremely complex challenges ranging from improving combustion efficiency in car engines to modeling the progression of deadly diseases in the human body," Durbin said. "High-performance computing is crucial to U.S. economic growth and competitiveness, saving time, money and energy, boosting our national security and strengthening our economy.  If the United States is to remain a leader in the 21st century, we need to continue investing in the science and innovation that will address our growing energy and environmental demands while building the industries of the future."

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WE CAME, WE SAW, WE CERNED

We were thrilled to spend Friday morning with the folks at TEDxCERN via webcast, enjoying fascinating talks by CI director Ian Foster and several other amazing scientists and educators. Foster's talk focused on "The Discovery Cloud," the idea that many complex and time-consuming research tasks can be moved to cloud-based tools, freeing up scientists to accelerate the pace of discovery. We'll post the video when it's up, but for now, enjoy this great animation produced for the conference by TED-Ed explaining grid computing, cloud computing and big data.

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Blog

This week, some 25 cities around the world are hosting events online and offline as part of Big Data Week, described by its organizers as a "global community and festival of data." The Chicago portion of the event features several people from the Computation Institute, including two panels on Thursday:  "Data Complexity in the Sciences: The Computation Institute" featuring Ian Foster, Charlie Catlett, Rayid Ghani and Bob George, and  "Science Session with the Open Cloud Consortium" featuring Robert Grossman and his collaborators. Both events are in downtown Chicago, free, and you can register at the above links.

But the CI's participation in Big Data Week started with two webcast presentations on Tuesday and Wednesday that demonstrated the broad scope of the topic. The biggest data of all is being produced by simulations on the world's fastest supercomputers, including Argonne's Mira, the fourth-fastest machine in the world. Mira boasts the ability to 10 quadrillion floating point operations per second, but how do you make sense of the terabytes of data such powerful computation produces on a daily basis?

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Blog

WHEN TED MEETS CERN

We're happy to announce that Computation Institute director Ian Foster will be speaking at the first-ever TEDxCERN conference, to be held May 3rd at the particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. The theme of the conference is "Multiplying Dimensions," and Foster will speak in the second session on the topic of "Big Process for Big Data." Other speakers include geneticist George Church, chemist Lee Cronin and philosopher John Searle. A webcast of the conference (hosted by Nobel Laureate George Smoot) will run on the TEDxCERN website, but the CI will also host a viewing party at the University of Chicago. Stay tuned for details, and enjoy the TEDxCERN animation on the origin of the universe -- one of five animations (including one on big data) that will premiere at the event.

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