CUSPNews

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

Agenda

09:00 – 09:30  -  Introduction and opening remarks
09:30 – 10:00  -  Invited talk – TBD
10:00 – 10:30  -  Invited talk – Autonomous Machines and Robots in Cities – Manuela Veloso, CMU
10:30 – 11:00  -  Coffee Break
11:00 – 12:00  -  Paper Presentations
12:00 – 01:30  -  Lunch Break
01:30 – 02:00  -  Invited Talk – TBD
02:00 – 02:30  -  Paper Presentations
02:30 – 03:00  -  Panel Discussions
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.

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

10/14/2014  -  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

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

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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/

NYU CUSP Announces Lynn A. Goldstein as Chief Data Officer

Brooklyn, NY — August 29, 2013: NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), today announced that Lynn A. Goldstein, former Privacy General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer at JPMorgan Chase, has been appointed CUSP’s Chief Data Officer. Ms. Goldstein joins the CUSP leadership team as the Center prepares to welcome its inaugural class this fall.

“We are very pleased that Lynn has decided to join our team at CUSP,” said Dr. Steven Koonin, Director of CUSP. “Her experience at JPMorgan Chase will be a great resource for our administration, faculty and students as we embark on our journey to define the emerging field of Urban Informatics.  As CUSP pursues its mission to collect and analyze data about urban environments, it is keenly aware of the concerns regarding privacy and access to data.  The addition of a Chief Data Officer to the leadership team is a significant step towards advancing CUSP’s research agenda while addressing issues related to privacy and data protection.”

As Chief Data Officer, Ms. Goldstein will provide guidance, strategic direction and coordination of compliance with privacy, confidentiality, and data protection laws and regulations.  She will aid in the implementation of organizational and procedural measures to ensure appropriate data access as well as the establishment of an independent data access advisory committee.

“This role at CUSP presents a unique and challenging opportunity in an area that I have become very familiar with over the years,” said Lynn Goldstein. “I look forward to working alongside CUSP’s administration to develop data integrity strategies that best serve the Center’s research mission.”

As Privacy General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer at JPMorgan Chase, Ms. Goldstein coordinated and oversaw the company’s global compliance with privacy, confidentiality, secrecy and data protection laws and regulations. Prior to this position, she also held other positions at JPMorgan Chase predecessor entities including Card Services General Counsel and Head of Litigation.

Ms. Goldstein was also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Syracuse University and Northwestern University School of Law, and an instructor for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. She has two articles published in the Chicago-Kent Law Review and authored a chapter on the use of jury consultants in Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel. As a participant in various industry organizations and regulatory meetings, Ms. Goldstein is a frequent speaker on privacy and data protection topics.

About CUSP

CUSP is an applied science research institute created by New York University and NYU-Poly with a consortium of world-class universities and leading international tech companies. At the heart of its academic program, CUSP will investigate and develop solutions to the challenges that face cities around the world. The Center will be the first program to assemble a global consortium to focus on this area of research and development at this scale, making it the world’s leading authority in the emerging field of “urban informatics.”  For more news and information on CUSP, click here.

Media Contacts:

Kim Alfred, CUSP – 917.392.0859

kim.alfred@nyu.edu

John Marino, The Marino Organization – 212.889.0808

john@themarino.org

Mayor Bloomberg Welcomes NYU’s Center for Urban Science & Progress Inaugural Graduate Class

CUSP Student Photo with Mayor Bloomberg

Brooklyn, NY — August 26: Mayor Bloomberg was on hand to welcome the inaugural class of graduate students at New York University’s Center for Urban Science & Progress (CUSP). The NYU center was designated just last year as part of the City’s groundbreaking Applied Sciences NYC initiative, which seeks to increase New York City’s capacity for applied sciences. Building on its mission to define the emerging field of Urban Informatics, CUSP will shape its students into the next generation of scientists who will understand urban data sources and how to manipulate and integrate large, diverse datasets. These skills will enable them to develop solutions to pressing urban problems that recognize and account for the constraints embedded in complex urban systems.

“NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress will establish New York City as a global leader in urban informatics, and I’d like to welcome their inaugural class of graduate students to Downtown Brooklyn,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “As a key part of our Applied Sciences initiative, we are excited to see CUSP attract even more of the best and brightest from around the world to New York City.”

“We are truly excited to welcome our first class of students,” said CUSP Director Steve Koonin.  “We believe that CUSP’s curriculum offers a vigorous, dynamic and comprehensive educational program.  This first group of students has outstanding credentials, validating the idea that the best young minds are drawn to studying cities, and we are particularly honored to have Mayor Bloomberg – whose Applied Sciences NYC initiative made all this possible – here to welcome them.   Using New York City as its classroom, this accomplished group of students, along with CUSP researchers, will be poised to study and use big data analytics to drive decision-making in urban areas.  We believe that CUSP’s graduates will go on to work for private technology firms, public sector agencies, and in entrepreneurship and new venture creation.”

The incoming class of 25 students will receive a Master of Science in Applied Urban Science and Informatics. The class holds degrees from 24 universities around the world and come with training in more than 20 different academic disciplines – some from the core disciplines like Mathematics, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering and Physics; others with strong preparation in the social sciences such as Sociology, Political Science, and Urban Studies & Planning.  The unprecedented range of backgrounds illustrates the diversity of the inaugural class ranging from one student with a Ph.D. in Mathematics and another with a degree in Studio Art with near perfect quantitative GRE scores.

The M.S. program offers students the opportunity to engage in the interdisciplinary study of urban science and informatics and to apply their technical skills to challenges facing cities around the world.  The intensive, one-year, three-semester M.S. program provides students with core courses in the science of cities, urban informatics, and information and communication technology in cities.  Students will select from multiple policy domains to gain breadth and depth in the application of big data analytics to urban problems.  The program also contains a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation leadership, and students will be given the option to study technology entrepreneurship or “change leadership” in an existing organization.  The core of the one-year curriculum is a two-semester project – the Urban Science Intensive – during which students, working closely with mentors from CUSP’s Industrial and National Laboratory partners, will apply the principles of informatics to address an actual urban problem with a New York City agency to have a direct and meaningful impact on the quality of life in cities.

About New York University’s Center for Urban Science & Progress

CUSP is an applied science research institute created by New YorkUniversity and NYU-Poly with a consortium of world-class universities and the foremost international technology companies to address the needs of cities. At the heart of its academic program, CUSP will investigate and develop solutions to the challenges that face cities around the world.  This research will make CUSP the world’s leading authority in the emerging field of “urban informatics”.  For more news and information on CUSP, please visit http://cusp.nyu.edu/.

Contact:

Kim Alfred. CUSP – 917.392.0859
kim.alfred@nyu.edu

John Marino, The Marino Organization – 212.889.0808
john@themarino.org

The Promise of Urban Informatics (Video)

Director, Dr. Steve Koonin gives an overview of the Center for Urban Science & Progress (CUSP).
 Read more

NYU’s Center for Urban Science & Progress and the Natural Resources Defense Council Team Up to Identify Energy-Efficient Commercial Real Estate Tenants in U.S

For Immediate Release
July 30, 2013

New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) announced that it will team up with The Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) Center for Market Innovation to develop benchmarks for commercial tenant energy performance. The project has been made possible through a CBRE Group, Inc. (CBRE) Real Green Research Challenge grant awarded to NRDC earlier this month.

“We are thrilled to work with NRDC and CBRE on this important project and to bring CUSP’s unique
informatics capabilities to understanding tenant energy efficiency,” said Dr. Constantine E. Kontokosta, PE, CUSP Deputy Director and Research Lead for the project. “Commercial tenants represent a critical stakeholder in the effort to reduce energy consumption in buildings, and this research will set the standard for data collection, analysis, and benchmarking of tenant energy performance.”

Hottest Job of the 21st Century? Bet on This

Data Scientists have been named the sexiest job of the 21st century, and are so in demand that there won’t be enough of them to fill every position by 2018, according to a report by McKinsey Global Institute.
With the amount of volume and variety of data churned out by businesses, consumers and governments today, it’s no surprise that data science and analytics are slowly becoming a regular part of company positions as well as school curriculums.

A new master’s program at New York University will apply technology to urban problems such as traffic congestion and utility grids. Classes will be held in the new Center for Urban Science and Progress, also known as CUSP. NYU says half the world population lives in cities, so CUSP will be dedicated to analyzing data to understand and improve city living conditions.

Life in the City Is Essentially One Giant Math Problem

Experts in the emerging field of quantitative urbanism believe that many aspects of modern cities can be reduced to mathematical formulas.

Glen Whitney stands at a point on the surface of the Earth, north latitude 40.742087, west longitude 73.988242, which is near the center of Madison Square Park, in New York City. Behind him is the city’s newest museum, the Museum of Mathematics, which Whitney, a former Wall Street trader, founded and now runs as executive director. He is facing one of New York’s landmarks, the Flatiron Building, which got its name because its wedge- like shape reminded people of a clothes iron. Whitney observes that from this perspective you can’t tell that the building, following the shape of its block, is actually a right triangle—a shape that would be useless for pressing clothes—although the models sold in souvenir shops represent it in idealized form as an isosceles, with equal angles at the base. People want to see things as symmetrical, he muses. He points to the building’s narrow prow, whose outline corresponds to the acute angle at which Broadway crosses Fifth Avenue.

“The cross street here is 23rd Street,” Whitney says, “and if you measure the angle at the building’s point, it is close to 23 degrees, which also happens to be approximately the angle of inclination of the Earth’s axis of rotation.”

“That’s remarkable,” he is told.

NYU Opens New ‘Urban Informatics’ School in Downtown Brooklyn

Officials cut a ribbon Thursday to open New York University’s new Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) in Downtown Brooklyn.

The center, which will focus on addressing the challenges cities face as their populations grow, is part of a larger plan by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to boost technology education in the city.