CUSPNews

CUSP is Here!

The Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) is a unique public-private research center that uses New York City as its laboratory and classroom to help cities around the world become more productive, livable, equitable, and resilient. CUSP observes, analyzes, and models cities to optimize outcomes, prototype new solutions, formalize new tools and processes, and develop new expertise/experts. These activities will make CUSP the world’s leading authority in the emerging field of “Urban Informatics.”

Congratulations Class of 2015!

Our congratulations to the second cohort of MS graduates on your commencement. CUSP is proud to send onwards this group of accomplished individuals and exceptionally fine urban informaticists. Here’s to you, Class of 2015!

Julia Lane joins NYU as Full-time Faculty Member

CUSP_Informatics_city_520

 

In May 2015, Julia Lane joined NYU as a Professor of Practice at CUSP. She also serves as a Professor of Public Service at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and Provostial Fellow for Innovation Analytics.

Dr. Lane has had leadership roles in a number of policy and data science initiatives at her previous appointments, which include Senior Managing Economist at the American Institutes for Research; Program Director of the Science of Science & Innovation Policy program at the National Science Foundation; Senior Vice President and Director, Economics Department at NORC (National Opinion Research Center) at the University of Chicago; Director of the Employment Dynamics Program at the Urban Institute; Senior Research Fellow at the U.S. Census Bureau; and Assistant, Associate and Full Professor at American University. Please click here for additional information on her professional achievements.

As part of the CUSP team, Dr. Lane will bring significant experience and expertise in building the CUSP Data User Facility, and in cultivating the social science community to strengthen our engagement with new researchers. Dr. Lane is stepping down from her role on CUSP’s External Advisory Board (EAB) where she provided valuable insight and expertise.

Privacy, Big Data, and the Public Good reviewed in Science

Earlier this year, CUSP, along with the American Statistical Association and its Privacy and Confidentiality subcommittee and the Research Data Centre of the German Federal Employment Agency, sponsored a book about the rise of big data and the privacy issues that brings up. The book, Privacy, Big Data, and the Public Good: Frameworks for Engagement, published by Cambridge University Press and launched on July 16 at the New York Academy of Sciences, is an accessible summary of the important legal, economic, and statistical thinking that frames the many privacy issues associated with the use of big data – along with practical suggestions for protecting privacy and confidentiality that can help to guide practitioners.

On November 25, Privacy, Big Data, and the Public Good: Frameworks for Engagement was reviewed by Science Magazine, which said the book “presents a collection of essays from a variety of perspectives, in chapters by some of the heavy hitters in the privacy debate, who make a convincing case that the current framework for dealing with consumer privacy does not adequately address issues posed by big data.”

The full review is available on Science Magazine’s website.

Claudio Silva receives IEEE’s 2014 Visualization Technical Achievement Award

Claudio Silva

On November 11, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) presented its 2014 Visualization and Technical Achievement Award to Claudio T. Silva, Head of Disciplines at CUSP and professor of Computer Science and Engineering at NYU’s Polytechnic School of Engineering.

The award, one of the highest honors given by the IEEE Computer Science Society’s Technical Committee on Visualization and Graphics (VGTC), recognizes Silva’s seminal advances to geometric computing for visualization and contributions to the development of the VisTrails data exploration system. The committee also cited Silva’s participation in various multidisciplinary projects.

VisTrails systematically maintains provenance for the data exploration process by capturing all the steps researchers follow in the course of an experiment—much like document-tracking applications in Microsoft Word and Google Docs track changes to a document. Tracking provenance is essential because that information allows a researcher to accurately reproduce his or her own results or the results of others, even if they involve hundreds of parameters and complex data sets.

“Consider that when a researcher is engaged in an exploratory process, working with simulations, data analysis, and visualization, for example, very little is repeated during the analysis process; change is the norm, and new workflows are constantly being generated,” Silva explained. “VisTrails manages these rapidly evolving workflows. To make a simple analogy, using it is like having someone in the lab watching over your shoulder and taking concise notes.”

“Clauio Silva has blazed a trail of innovation in visualization that has strongly influenced many researchers, including myself,” said Amitabh Varshney, director of the IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee and a professor of computer science and the director of the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland. “One of the reasons his work has had such a significant impact is because it combines elegant foundational research with real-world applications. This award is a well-deserved recognition of Claudio’s illustrious accomplishments and stunning impact.”

2014 AT&T Transit Tech Developer Day at CUSP

November 22, 2014 – November 22, 2014

2 MetroTech Center

View MapMap and Directions | Register

Description:

The 2014 AT&T Transit Tech Developer Day App is an opportunity to launch the development of your 2014 MTA App Quest entry. This day will allow you to:

  1. Hear from MTA experts about this year’s App Quest and the new datasets and API released for 2014.
  2. Work on the early stage of your concept with access to industry and data experts.
  3. Sign up for in-person or virtual mentoring sessions with experts from the MTA and its partners, including AT&T and New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP).
  4. Build your team or join a team through a Teammate Match session.

——————————————–
Event Program:

Time Activity Location
8:30 AM Doors Open for Check-In/Registration  
Breakfast Available Pantry
9:00 AM Announcements Lecture Hall
9:05 AM Event Kickoff and Welcome Lecture Hall
9:12 AM About 2014 MTA AT&T App Quest Lecture Hall
9:30 AM Highlight:  New Datasets and GTFS Lecture Hall
9:50 AM Highlight:  Accessibility Track Lecture Hall
10:10 AM Highlight:  Beacon Q&A Lecture Hall
10:20 AM Overview:  Prizes Lecture Hall
10:25 AM Teammate Match (note:  teams may also start work) Lecture Hall
11:00 AM All teams at work Town Hall East
& West
12:00 PM LUNCH & Presentation Schedule Signups Pantry
1:00 PM Office Hours Open

  • MTA Team (Room 820)
  • Prof. Kaan Ozbay, NYU (Room 810)
  • Alex Muro, Lead Developer, AVAIL (Albany Visualization And Informatics Lab, University of Albany, SUNY (Room 818, by Skype)
  • Richard Murby, Developer Evangelist, ChallengePost (Room 827)
Rooms 810, 818, 820, 827
TBA CONCEPT PITCHES Lecture Hall
5:15 PM Winners Announced Lecture Hall

Register

CUSP Research Seminar Series: Dr. Aaditya Rangan

October 29, 2014 – October 29, 2014

1 MetroTech Center

View MapMap and Directions | Register

Description:

A common problem in data analysis – including machine learning and genomics – is to detect, within a large array, small submatrices which are ‘structured’ in some way.Such submatrices, called ‘biclusters’ can represent a subset of features shared across a subset of images, or a subsets of genes that are coexpressed across a subset of the patient population. In this talk I will discuss some of the challenges associated with biclustering, and provide an algorithm that overcomes most of these challenges.

Bio

Dr. Aaditya V Rangan is an Assistant Professor at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, NYU. He received his PhD in Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests lie in large – scale scientific modeling of physical, biological and neurobiological phenomena and the development of efficient numerical methods and related analysis.

Register

AAAI 2015 Workshop on AI for Cities

Almost half of humanity today lives in urban environments and that number will grow to 80% or more by the middle of this century in different parts of the world. Cities are thus the loci of resource consumption, economic activity, social interactions, and education and innovation; they are the cause of our looming sustainability problems but also where those problems must be solved. Cities are also an enormous forum for policy making, as well as an apparently unbounded source of digital data of a wide nature. Artificial Intelligence has the potential to play a central role in tackling the underlying hard computational, decision making, and statistical problems of cities.

With this in mind, CUSP has proposed a worskshop to bring together AI researchers who work on urban informatics and domain experts from city agencies in order to: i) identify and characterize the prototypical AI problems that cities face, ii) discuss data access, open platforms, and dissemination of information, iii) present recent research in this nascent subfield, and iv) strengthen the path from research to decision and policy making. The workshop will be held on January 25-26, 2015, in Austin, Texas.

Topics include

  • Spatiotemporal inference of urban processes (social or natural)
  • Energy consumption/disaggregation models of large urban areas
  • Planning/Scheduling for city operations
  • Decision making for urban science and for city policy
  • AI models of transportation and utilities networks
  • Resource allocation in urban systems
  • Event detection of urban activity and processes
  • Active learning, sampling biases and dataset shift in city data
  • Multi-agent simulations of urban processes
  • Visualization and city operational systems
  • Cross-city comparative analysis
  • Improving public health systems in cities
  • Crowdsourcing for urban science and decision making
  • Open data platforms and data access tools for data science

Preliminary Agenda

09:00 – 09:10  -  Introduction and opening remarks
09:10 – 09:40  -  Invited talk – Juliana Freire, NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering
09:40 – 10:10  -  Invited talk – Autonomous Machines and Robots in Cities – Manuela Veloso, CMU
10:10 – 10:30  -  Coffee Break
10:30 – 11:00  - Invited talk – Adi Botea, IBM
11:00 – 11:30  -  Invited talk – Craig Knoblock, USC
11:30 – 12:30  -  Lunch Break
12:30 – 01:00  -  Invited Talk – Mike Flowers, NYU CUSP
01:00 – 03:00  -  Paper Presentations
03:00 – 03:30  -  Data access – city data portals, initiatives, and restrictions
03:30 – 04:00  -  Coffee Break
04:00 – 04:30  -  Data access – city data portals, initiatives, and restrictions
04:30 – 05:00  -  Open discussion and concluding remarks
05:00 – 06:00  -  Social event

Submission Requirements

Papers must be formatted in AAAI two-column, camera-ready style. Regular research papers (submitted and final), presenting a significant contribution, may be no longer than 7 pages, with page 7 including only references. Short papers (submitted and final), describing a position on the topic of the workshop or a demonstration/tool, may be no longer than 4 pages, including references.

CUSP is offering two awards of up to $1,000 each in travel reimbursements for students who are lead authors on papers contributed to the workshop.

Submissions are to be made online at https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=ai4cities. We request that interested authors log in and submit abstracts as an expression of interest before the final deadline.

Important Dates

11/09/2014  -  Paper Submission deadline
11/14/2014  -  Notification of decisions
11/25/2014  -  Camera-ready due

Organizing Committee

Theo Damoulasdamoulas@nyu.edu
Research Assistant Professor, New York University, Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP)
Brooklyn, USA

Biplav Srivastavasbiplav@in.ibm.com
Senior Researcher, IBM Master Inventor, IBM Research
New Delhi, India

Sheila McIraithsheila@cs.toronto.edu
Professor of Computer Science, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada

Freddy Lecuefreddy.lecue@ie.ibm.com
Research Scientist, IBM Research, Smarter Cities Technology Center
Dublin, Ireland

Program Committee

Sarah Bird (Microsoft Research, USA)
Alex Chohlas-Wood (NYPD, USA)
Philippe Cudre-Mauroux (University of Fribourg, CH)
Mathieu d’Aquin (Open University, UK)
Bistra Dilkina (Georgia Tech, USA)
Greg Dobler (NYU CUSP, USA)
Harish Doraiswamy (NYU, USA)
Stefano Ermon (Stanford University, USA)
Maurizio Filippone (University of Glasgow, UK)
Rebecca Hutchinson (Oregon State University, USA)
Rishee Jain (Stanford, USA)
Nikos Karampatziakis (Microsoft, USA)
Liakata Maria (University of Warwick, UK)
Charlie Mydlarz (NYU CUSP, USA)
Temitope O Omitola (University of Southampton, UK)
Jeff Pan (Univ. of Aberdeen, UK)
Kostas Pelechrinis (University of Pittsburgh, USA)
Alessandro Perina (Italian Institute of Technology, ITA)
Justin Salamon (NYU CUSP, USA)
Daniel Sheldon (UMass Amherst, USA))
Vasilis Syrgkanis (Microsoft Research, USA)
Ravi Shroff (NYU CUSP, USA)
Vasileios Stathopoulos (UCL, UK)
Huy T. Vo (NYU CUSP, USA)
Yuxiang Wang (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)
Hong Yang (NYU CUSP, USA)
Arkaitz Zubiaga (University of Warwick, UK)

Related Work

Workshop on Semantics for Smarter Cities
In conjunction with 13th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2014)
Payam Barnaghi, Jan Holler, Biplav Srivastava, John Davies, John Breslin, and Tope Omitola
Riva del Garda, Italy – 20 October, 2014

Workshop on Semantic Cities
In conjunction with Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence conference (AAAI-14)
Mark Fox, Freddy Lecue, Sheila McIlraith, Biplav Srivastava and Rosario Usceda-Sosa
Québec City, Québec, Canada – July 27-31, 2014

Workshop on Inclusive Web Programming – Programming on the Web with Open Data for Societal Applications
In conjunction with 36th International Conference on Software Engineering
Biplav Srivastava and Neeta Verma
Hyderabad, India – May 31-June 4, 2014

Workshop on Semantic Cities
In conjunction with International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-13)
Freddy Lecue Biplav Srivastava, and Ziaqing Nie
Beijing, China – Aug 3-5, 2013

The Semantic Smart City Workshop (SemCity-13)
In conjunction with International Conference on Web Intelligence, Mining and Semantics (WIMS-13)
Tope Omitola, John Breslin, Biplav Srivastava, and John Davies
Madrid, Spain – June 12-14, 2013

Workshop on Semantic Cities
In conjunction with 26th Conference of Association for Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-12)
Biplav Srivastava, Freddy Lecue, and Anupam Joshi
Toronto, Canada – July 22-26, 2012

AI for an Intelligent Planet
In conjunction with 22nd International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-11)
Biplav Srivastava, Carla Gomes, and Anand Ranganathan
Barcelona, Spain – July 16-22, 2011

Privacy, Big Data, and the Public Good

Privacy, Big Data, and the Public Good

Buy the book here

Massive amounts of new data about people, their movements, and activities can now be accessed and analyzed as never before. Numerous privacy concerns have been raised by use – or misuse – of such data in commercial and national security arenas. Yet we are motivated by the potential for “big data” to be harnessed to serve the public good: scientists can use new forms of data to do research that improves people’s live; federal, state and local governments can use data to improve the delivery of services to citizens; and non-profit organizations can use the information to advance the public good.

Access to big data raises many unanswered questions related to privacy and confidentiality:  What are the ethical and legal requirements for scientists and government officials seeking to serve the public good without harming individual citizens? What are the rules of engagement? What are the best ways to provide access while protecting confidentiality? Are there reasonable mechanisms to compensate citizens for privacy loss?

 

CUSP, along with the American Statistical Association and its Privacy and Confidentiality subcommittee and the Research Data Centre of the German Federal Employment Agency, sponsored a book on this very issue, Privacy, Big Data, and the Public Good: Frameworks for Engagement.  Published by Cambridge University Press, this book is an accessible summary of the important legal, economic, and statistical thinking that frames the many privacy issues associated with the use of big data – along with practical suggestions for protecting privacy and confidentiality that can help to guide practitioners.

The book launch, held at the New York Academy of Sciences on July 16th, included talks and panels by the book’s editors and a number of the authors. You can watch these talks and panels below.

Editors’ Panel

Moderator: Michael Holland
Panelists: Julia Lane, Victoria Stodden, Stefan Bender, Helen Nissenbaum

The editors discuss the motivation for the book and how it contributes to the broader conversation on privacy concerns about big data.  They also briefly highlight the contribution of authors who were unable to participate in the event.

Panel 1: Law, Ethics, and Economics of Big Data

Moderator: Jake Bournazian
Panel: Helen Nissenbaum, Kathy Strandburg, Victoria Stodden

Authors discuss the fact that “big data” is more than a straightforward change in technology.  It poses deep challenges to our traditions of notice and consent as tools for managing privacy.  Because our new tools of data science can make it all but impossible to guarantee anonymity in the future, is it possible to truly give informed consent, when we cannot, by definition, know what the risks are from revealing personal data either for individuals or for society as a whole?

Presentations:

Panel 2: Practical Concerns of Working with Big Data

Moderator: Julia Lane
Panelists: Bob Goerge, Daniel “Dazza” Greenwood, Carl Landwehr

Based on their experience building large data collections, authors discuss some of the best practical ways to provide access while protecting confidentiality.  What have we learned about effective engineered controls?  About effective access policies?  About designing data systems that reinforce – rather than counter – access policies?  They also explore the business, legal, and technical standards necessary for a new deal on data.

Presentations:

Panel 3: Statistical Framework: Issues & Practical Responses

Moderator: Stefan Bender
Panelists: Frauke Kreuter, Jerry Reiter, Peter Elias

Since the data generating process or the data collection process is not necessarily well understood for big data streams, authors discuss what statistics can tell us about how to make greatest scientific use of this data. They also explore the shortcomings of current disclosure limitation approaches and whether we can quantify the extent of privacy loss.

Presentations:

Capstone Speaker: Theresa Pardo

Our capstone speaker is the Director of the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany, the Open NY Policy Advisor for Open.NY.Gov, and the President of the Digital Government Society.  She shows us how “big data” can be harnessed to serve the public good by presenting a guide for making information in the public sector more available and more usable.

Presentations:

CUSP Collaborates in Public Mapping Mission

jpeg

CUSP is teaming up with NYU’s Govlab, MIT Media Lab, Public Lab and Peer-2-Peer University to offer a novel hybrid of massive open online course (MOOC) and hands-on team-based field work. The theme of the mission is using cameras attached to tethered balloons and kites for environmental mapping.

Online Seminar: Nov 22, 2013, 3:30PM EST – 5:00PM EST

Hands-On Mission: Dec 7, 2013, 11AM EST – 6:00PM EST.

In the online seminar, participants will meet community innovators who have mapped oil spills, landfills or industrial pollution sites. They will hear about how community-based mapping can influence public policy. Confirmed panelists include Francois Grey, CUSP, Jeff Warren, Public Lab, and Beth Noveck, The GovLab.

After the seminar, participants will form teams, build a balloon or kite mapping kit, and make plans for their hands-on mapping mission, which takes place two weeks after the online seminar. At the end of the mission, all teams will meet online to share images and stories.

Registration for this event is free at:

http://www.thegovlabacademy.org/public-mapping-mission/