The University of Chicago announced today that the National Science Foundation has awarded a $3.1 million grant to support the development of Array of Things, an urban sensing instrument that will serve as a fitness tracker for the city. Starting next year, 500 Array of Things (AoT) nodes will measure data on Chicago’s environment, infrastructure and activity to scientifically investigate solutions to urban challenges ranging from air quality to urban flooding.
Scientific American looked at the Data Science for Social Good fellowship project that seeks to evaluate and improve police department early warning systems for predicting officer behavior and adverse incidents. Another DSSG project, using predictive analytics to fight lead poisoning, was also recently featured in the Chicago Tribune.
Reducing infant mortality, improving graduation rates for high school and first-generation college students, preventing home abandonment, and identifying legislative plagiarism are just some of the project goals for the 2015 Eric & Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good Summer Fellowship. For fourteen weeks, 42 fellows in Chicago will work with nonprofit and government partners on these and other important problems, applying data mining, machine learning, statistical, and social science techniques to craft novel and useful solutions.
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.