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.


When writing the abstracts for journal articles, most scientists receive similar advice: keep it short, dry, and simple. But a new analysis by University of Chicago researchers of over one million abstracts finds that many of these tips backfire, producing abstracts cited less than their long, flowery, and jargon-filled peers.


Data can make a difference in the world. With the right people, tools, and partnerships, non-profits and governments can use data to save lives, educate more children, reduce poverty and protect the Earth. But to realize this great potential means building a community that fuses a broad range of research disciplines, backgrounds, and talents to attack some of the world’s most pressing issues with data.


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.

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.

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