The modern “shop class” is no longer the bandsaws and sandpaper of the old days.

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The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Exascale Computing Project (ECP) announced its first round of funding, including projects from CI Senior Fellows on astronomy, cancer, and urban science.

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As the Array of Things takes its final steps toward its public launch later this summer, it has locked in two new relationships that will support its research and education goals. Through an Innovation Generation grant from Motorola Solutions, the Array of Things (AoT) team will expand the high school curriculum built around the urban sensing project last year at Lane Tech High School, enabling more students to learn about technology, programming, and other important skills through the platform. Meanwhile, a new agreement with AT&T establishes the company as the wireless provider for the AoT nodes, transmitting terabytes of data to storage.

Using data to better understand and improve cities is no longer a revolutionary new idea.

Inside the small wooden box are several tiny sensors, a cellular modem, a battery, and a micro-processor running custom programming code.

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For several years, “smart cities” has been a popular buzzword for applications of data, computation, and technology in an urban setting.

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A new partnership between Array of Things (AoT) and Product Development Technologies (PDT) will drive the public launch of the urban sensing project in 2016. PDT, based in Lake Zurich, IL, will spearhead the design and manufacturing of a custom enclosure system for AoT nodes, protecting the technology from weather conditions while enabling accurate measurements.

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The Array of Things, an urban sensing "fitness tracker for the city," hit two important milestones this summer as a pilot project launched on the University of Chicago campus and the effort received funding from the UChicago Innovation Fund and Argonne.

The CI’s 2014-15 Inside the Discovery Cloud speaker series focused on collaboration, presenting pairs of speakers who are working together to unlock new knowledge through computation. Attendees heard about how new computational approaches are changing medicine, biology, social science, public policy, and more, and discover opportunities for new collaborations and student research projects. View the videos of these stimulating talks.

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Originally developed to monitor supercomputer temperature, the Waggle research project at Argonne National Laboratory now lays the groundwork for exciting new sensor research in cities, microbiology, and climate.