News

10
Apr
2014

Through civic hacking events and open data portals, the Obama administration has embraced the potential of data and programming to improve the performance of government for its citizens. As academia and industry increasingly moves toward using computational techniques to inform policy decisions, these more ambitious efforts have also attracted the attention of the White House. On April 4th, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) convened a panel called “Analytical Techniques to Improve Public Policy Decision-Making” at their regular meeting, inviting CI Senior Fellow Charlie Catlett and three other experts to report on the promise of this young research area.

25
Mar
2014

Many building owners today are looking at green retrofitting options to lower energy demand and costs. From single-family homes to skyscrapers, upgrades such as installing more efficient HVAC systems, installing new windows or green roofs, or switching to low-energy light bulbs can lower utility bills and, in many cases, eventually pay for themselves. A whole industry of energy consultants now helps owners plan for their retrofit, and scientists have created computer models to estimate a building’s energy demands and savings under different scenarios.

10
Mar
2014

Cities around the world share common challenges: poverty, crime, education, environmental impacts, and health. The same population density that makes cities important incubators for innovation and culture also makes these issues more concentrated and urgent. Fortunately, cities such as Chicago are coming up with novel solutions for addressing these challenges, with many recent strategies based on the explosion of city data increasingly released by governments and collected by urban researchers.
 

Research

Knowledge Lab logo

Knowledge does not arise from the simple accumulation of facts. Rather, it is a complex, dynamic system, and its emergent outcomes - including scientific consensus - are unpredictable. The complexity of knowledge creation has exploded with the growing number of participating scientists and citizens. If human knowledge is to grow efficiently, we need a deeper understanding of the processes by which knowledge is conceived, validated, shared and reinforced. We need to understand the limits of knowledge in relation to these processes. In short, we need knowledge about knowledge.

Urban Center for Computation and Data

The Urban Center for Computation and Data unites scientists from the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory with educators, architects and government officials to capitalize upon the growing availability of city datasets and the emergence of urban sensor networks. The interdisciplinary collaboration will analyze and integrate those data sources and build complex computer models that can anticipate the impact of policy decisions, investments, urban development or other interventions on a city and its residents.

The Hack Arts Lab (HAL) provides an open-access laboratory for creative digital fabrication and visualization.  Thismakerspace-styled workshop is designed to support a breadth of activity ranging from undergraduate projects to faculty-led exploration.  

HAL resources include 3D printers, laser cutter, advanced graphics, and microcontroller workbenches, all offered at minimal cost.

Researcher Spotlight