CUSPNews

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.

A New Initiative, Leveraging Data to Improve Cities Globally

When it rains, it pours: following the inaugural symposium for Columbia’s Institute of Data Sciences, this morning we joined Mayor Michael Bloomberg for the open house celebration and ribbon-cutting for CUSP, NYU’s new Center for Urban Science and Progress.

Based in Downtown Brooklyn, CUSP is a public-private research center and graduate degree program that uses the city of New York as a sprawling, real-life laboratory, mining NYC for data and patterns to develop solutions to make the city more “efficient, livable, equitable, and resilient.”

New high-tech NYU ‘genius’ school opens in downtown Brooklyn

Brooklyn’s bid to become the next Silicon Valley took another step forward with the opening of a gleaming new tech center on Thursday.

New York University’s new Center for Urban Science & Progress unveiled its new Downtown Brooklyn office that includes 26,000 square feet of office space, work stations for visiting faculty, and two huge “visualization labs.”

The majority of the research done at the center will focus on research to improve living conditions in crowded big cities including energy efficiency and better infrastructure.

NYC ‘Urban Informatics’ Program readies for start

A new New York City graduate program aimed at applying information technology to urban problems is gearing up to admit its first class this summer.

The New York University-led Center for Urban Science and Progress Thursday showed off its temporary home in a Brooklyn office building Thursday to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Mayor Bloomberg, NYU President Sexton Join the Center for Urban Science & Progress (CUSP) to Announce Partnerships with Microsoft and Lutron Electronics and Inaugurate New Brooklyn Office

At its Open House & Ribbon Cutting, NYU’s Center for Urban Science & Progress (CUSP) welcomed Mayor Bloomberg and President John Sexton as it showcased its new Downtown Brooklyn office and announced partnerships with Microsoft and Lutron Electronics.

“The innovative faculty and students at CUSP will set out to tackle urban challenges and bring innovative solutions to a world market, and it’s only appropriate that we begin shaping these ideas in Brooklyn – one of the most dynamic neighborhoods in the world,” said Doctor Steven Koonin, Director of CUSP. “And we could not be more pleased to use today’s event to welcome both Microsoft and Lutron Electronics to the CUSP team. Each brings an expertise in their respective fields that is unmatched. Research collaborations with Microsoft and Lutron present exciting opportunities to advance CUSP’s mission and improve the quality of life of New York residents.”

“NYU CUSP will spin off hundreds of new companies, create thousands of jobs, and generate billions of dollars in economic activity for the city,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “It will drive innovation and lend even more momentum to our booming tech sector – which is creating good-paying jobs for New Yorkers every day. CUSP’s success is vital to the future of our city, and the private sector partners announced today clearly also recognize its value and importance.”

“The Center for Urban Science and Progress is a centerpiece of our efforts to transform New York City into the global capital of innovation for the 21st Century,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. “Not only will CUSP lead to hundreds of new companies, thousands of new jobs, and more than $5 billion in nominal economic activity over the next three decades, the research coming out of the center will also help cities like New York address some of the great urban challenges in the coming decades. We look forward to watching the partnerships announced today with Microsoft and Lutron help realize this potential.”

CUSP’s facilities at MetroTech and its future home at 370 Jay Street will build on NYU’s existing presence in Brooklyn, which includes NYU-Poly, by bringing together global leaders of science, technology, and education while anchoring the next phase of economic development initiatives in the area. CUSP, one of the winning proposals submitted in response to the City’s Applied Sciences NYC initiative, will, at full strength, include 50 researchers and faculty members from universities and private industry, along with more than 400 Masters students and 100 Ph.D. candidates, as well as adjuncts, post-doctoral scholars and support staff.

Features of CUSP’s new office space include:

  • 26,000 square feet of space, including offices and workstations for faculty, visiting industrial researchers, administrators, and staff.
  • Three easily configured collaborative spaces at the corners of the building providing everyone working at CUSP access to views of the city they are studying.
  • Two large visualization labs which will allow researchers to gain insight and understanding of large urban data sets or phenomena that are simulated in large, complex computer models.
  • An electronics lab for the design and fabrication of low-cost hardware that collects validated, crowd-sourced urban data.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled that the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress is part of Brooklyn’s ‘big stage,’” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “CUSP’s new partnership with Microsoft and Lutron Electronics is nothing short of an innovation ‘trifecta.’ With CUSP arriving at Metro Tech and eventually to 370 Jay Street, we can truly say that NYU begins in Brooklyn!”

Microsoft

As part of its partnership, Microsoft will provide CUSP with Windows Azure computing services to help the Center improve city infrastructure by delivering elastic scale storage and computing services that are quick to deploy and easy to manage. Additionally, researchers from Microsoft Research (MSR), the company’s global research organization comprised of more than 850 researchers who openly collaborate with leading academic, government, and industry researchers to advance the state of the art of computing, will participate in CUSP’s projects and help develop academic materials, internships, and curricula leveraging New York City as a living lab to create a unique data-driven educational program.

“Microsoft is incredibly excited to be able to apply our expertise in big data to some of the most compelling problems in urban computing – from fundamental research questions to practical questions that can impact cities and societies worldwide,” said Jennifer Chayes, managing director of MSR New England and New York City. “We are thrilled to be working with our colleagues at CUSP, the agencies of the great city of New York, and our partners, using machine learning, information retrieval, data visualization and social science approaches to data science, to find new ways to analyze, navigate and protect the privacy of urban data, and to use these to drive new insights and solutions.”

Lutron

As part of this collaboration with CUSP, Lutron, a technology-centered company which provides energy-saving lighting control innovations, has donated its Quantum® total light management system – which includes Radio Powr Savr™ occupancy sensors, Pico® wireless controls and Sivoia® QS wireless shades – to the CUSP offices. Lutron will work with CUSP to focus on the creation of predictive models and analytics in areas of building lighting and energy management, both of which are critical components to the operation of a city. In the United States alone, Lutron lighting controls have reduced electrical use by 9.2 billion kWh, which has reduced its customers’ electric bills by $1 billion annually.

“The future of our economy is dependent on finding new ways to reduce electricity costs in commercial buildings,” said Russ MacAdam, director, commercial engineering development at Lutron. “We look forward to working with CUSP to advance the area of lighting energy management studies and helping resolve the nation’s energy crisis.”

Both Microsoft Research and Lutron will have the opportunity to nominate employees who are scientific or technical experts in CUSP’s field of study to serve as Visiting Scientists in the pursuit of collaborative research. Additionally, research staff from both companies will teach classes, participate in the submission of joint project funding proposals with CUSP, assist in defining CUSP’s curriculum and projects, and provide summer and internship opportunities for CUSP students when possible.

About Microsoft Research

Founded in 1991, Microsoft Research is dedicated to conducting both basic and applied research in computer science and software engineering. More than 850 Ph.D. researchers focus on more than 55 areas of computing and openly collaborate with leading academic, government, and industry researchers to advance the state of the art of computing, help fuel the long-term growth of Microsoft and its products, and solve some of the world’s toughest problems through technological innovation. Microsoft Research has expanded over the years to seven countries worldwide and brings together the best minds in computer science to advance a research agenda based on an array of unique talents and interests. Microsoft Research operates in Redmond, WA.; Cambridge, MA.; New York City; Mountain View, CA.; Cambridge, U.K.; Beijing, China; and Bangalore, India; and also conducts research at the Advanced Technology Labs Cairo in Egypt; the Advanced Technology Labs Europe in Aachen, Germany; Advanced Technology Labs in Israel; FUSE Labs in Redmond and Cambridge, U.K.; and the eXtreme Computing Group in Redmond; and Station Q in Santa Barbara, Calif. More information can be found at http://research.microsoft.com.

About Lutron

Founded in 1961, Lutron Electronics is headquartered in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, in the heart of the Lehigh Valley. From dimmers for the home, to lighting management systems for entire buildings, the company offers more than 17,000 energy-saving products, sold in more than 100 countries around the world. In the US alone, Lutron products save an estimated 10 billion kWh of electricity, or approximately $1 billion in utility costs per year. The company’s early inventions— including the first solid-state dimmer invented by Lutron’s founder, Joel Spira—are now at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC. More information can be found at www.lutron.com.

Quantum, Pico, and Sivoia QS are registered trademarks of Lutron Electronics Co., Inc.

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

CUSP is an applied science research institute created by New York University 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/.