Applied Urban Science Conference

Wednesday, July 12th, 2023

Brooklyn, NY

The Center for Urban Science + Progress (CUSP) at New York University Tandon School of Engineering is excited to host our annual Applied Urban Science Conference in Brooklyn! Conference attendees and presenters will share innovative ideas around data science in complex urban systems, explore new topics, and create professional connections.

The conference will feature presentations from our Capstone Program, where CUSP graduate students pair with sponsors to research and address critical urban issues across multiple focus areas. Other activities include remarks from the distinguished leadership at CUSP and multiple opportunities for networking with urban science researchers, graduate students, industry practitioners, and public officials. 

Schedule of Events

Each presentation will last approximately 40 minutes with time for Q&A at the end. To see a full description of each research project, please visit our 2023 Capstone page. Order of presentations is subject to change. Refer back to the list as we get closer to the event for the most up-to-date schedule.

8:30 am - 9:00 am ET

370 Jay Street
2nd Floor Cafe

Check in will be held on the second floor of 370 Jay Street, outside of the auditorium (room 202). Coffee and a light breakfast will be served. 

9:00 am - 9:15 am ET

370 Jay Street
Auditorium 202

Opening Remarks and welcome given by Dr. Danielle Wright, CUSP’s Director of Academic Affairs. 

9:15 am - 9:45 am ET

370 Jay Street
Auditorium 202

Students who recently participated in our City Immersion experiential course in London will present their research and findings. 

10:00 am - 10:50 am ET

6 MetroTech Center
Various Rooms

ROGERS HALL 200: Utilizing a Unique Dataset to Advance Affordable Housing

  • Project Sponsors: Kris Hoff, Research & Policy Analyst; Christopher Tyson, President, National Community Stabilization Trust
  • CUSP Faculty Mentor: Mona Sloane
  • CUSP Students: Jiaxin Chen, Zixin Chen, Yuchu Hou, Erjia Yang

ROGERS HALL 201: Machine-learning Mapping of Heat Risk in Cities Using Satellite and Ground Data in Google Earth Engine

  • Project Sponsors: Constantinos Cartalis, Professor of Environmental and Climate Physics; Kostas Philippopoulos, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher; Anastasios Polydoros, MSc, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • CUSP Faculty Mentor: Tricia Davies
  • CUSP Students: Ahmad Nasrieh, Natalie Quah, Jiaxi Xu, Xingjian Zhao

ROGERS HALL 203: Understanding the True Cost of Vacant Properties in Baton Rouge

  • Project Sponsors: Manny Patole, Community Engagement Lead, Linking Flood Resilience to Urban Reinvestment in Baton Rouge; Dr. Rebeca de Jesus Crespo, Department of Environmental Sciences, LSU
  • CUSP Students: Yang Liu, Will Maney, Analaura Tostado

ROGERS HALL 204: FloodNet – Computer Vision for Urban Street Flood Detection

  • Project Sponsors: Charlie Mydlarz, Research Associate Professor; Chen Feng, Assistant Professor of Civil and Urban Engineering & Mechanical Aerospace Engineering, NYU CUSP
  • CUSP Students: Yifan Chen, Devang Dave, Dawei Wang, Lantian Zhang

ROGERS HALL 207: Virtual and Augmented Reality for Community Preparedness to Disasters [Part II]

370 JAY STREET, 202 AUDITORIUM: Closed Session

Topic 1: Follow the Data & Money: Mapping NYC’s Unregulated Surveillance Economy to Expand Local Governance Solutions


Topic 2: Reverse Engineering to Estimate Subsurface Utility Infrastructure Density for Financing Smart City Infrastructure (only project sponsors may attend)

11:00 am - 11:50 am ET

6 MetroTech Center
Various Rooms

ROGERS HALL 200: Building a Global Standard for Future Built Environment Data

  • Project Sponsors: Tyce Herrman, Head of Product; Dana Chermesh-Reshef, Founder & CEO, inCitu
  • CUSP Faculty Mentor: Mona Sloane
  • CUSP Students: Matthew Coughlin, Runchen Huang, Pengfei Li

ROGERS HALL 201: Developing an AI-Based Image Classifier for School Infrastructure Baseline Data Collection in Large Scale Disaster Risk Analysis

ROGERS HALL 203: Real-Time Augmented Reality Mobile App to Find Vehicles in a Crowded Parking Lot

  • Project Sponsors: Varun Adibhatla, Head of Data Science and Analytics; Holly Orr, Chief Information Officer; Cristopher Soto, Data Engineer, NYCSBUS
  • CUSP Faculty Mentor: Himanshu Mistry
  • CUSP Students: Shantanu Anikhindi, Wanlingyi Lan, Tianyi Li

ROGERS HALL 207: Multimodal Machine Learning for Spatiotemporal Identification of Sound Sources in the NYC Subway System

  • Project Sponsors: Iran R. Roman, Postdoctoral Associate; Juan P. Bello, Professor of Music Technology and Computer Science & Engineering, NYU CUSP
  • CUSP Students: Maria Lucia Cornejo, Vickram Peter, Xiaohe Yin, Zijun Zhou

ROGERS HALL 204: Closed Session

Topic 1: Understanding the Intensity of Community Surveillance In Brooklyn Through Public Datasets (only project sponsors may attend)

  • Project Sponsors: Andrew Foltz-Morrison, Data Scientist, Science & Surveillance Project; Elizabeth Daniel Vasquez, Director, Science & Surveillance Project, Brooklyn Defender Services
  • CUSP Faculty Mentor: Manny Patole
  • CUSP Students: Rui Jiang, Liz Johnson, Rahnuma Tarannum

370 JAY STREET, 202 AUDITORIUM: Closed Session

Topic 1: National Broadband Tool (only project sponsors mat attend)

  • Project Sponsors: Palak Agarwal, Data Scientist, US Ignite
  • CUSP Faculty Mentor: Himanshu Mistry
  • CUSP Students: Xiang Li, Xinghong Wang, Chayuth Yongchaicharn, Chenyang Zhang

Topic 2: Comparing How Representative Public Feedback is to the Community (only project sponsors may attend)

  • Project Sponsors: Randy Plemel, Owner (Design & Innovation), Expedition Works
  • CUSP Faculty Mentor: Tricia Davies
  • CUSP Students: Han Gao, Harry Wang, Suming Zhang

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm ET

370 Jay Street
12th Floor Lounge

Enjoy a light lunch in between sessions! 

1:00 pm - 1:50 pm ET

370 Jay St
12th Floor Lounge

 Treat yourself to gelato and start a conversation! Connect with other attendees in this informal networking session.

2:00 pm - 2:50 pm ET

6 MetroTech Center
Various Rooms

ROGERS HALL 200: Vehicle Allocation Modeling (V.A.M.) – Optimizing the logistics behind a free-flow carsharing in Milan, Italy

  • Project Sponsors: Federico Messa, Senior Transport Planner; Rawad Choubassi, Partner and Director, Systematica; Andrea Gorrini, PhD, Head of Research; Giulia Ceccarelli, Researcher, Transform Transport
  • CUSP Faculty Mentor: Mona Sloane
  • CUSP Students: Zhuohao Deng, Hanbyul Jo, Azaria Laras, Junru Song

ROGERS HALL 201: Dashboard for Power Outage Forecasts for an Emergency Response to Hurricanes

ROGERS HALL 203: Improve Public Guidance to Natural Disasters

  • Project Sponsors: Aidan Mcinerney, Head of Data Science; Dario Feliciangeli, Transport Market Leader; Simon Babes, EMEA Market Development Leader – Advisory, GHD
  • CUSP Students: Jingjing Ge, Yichen Guo, Yinuo Mi

ROGERS HALL 204: A Digital Model for Flood Risk Assessment in NYC

ROGERS HALL 207: Increasing Usability of Bipedal Robots for Urban Environments Through Penguin Data Analysis

ROGERS HALL 211: Low-Power Computer-Vision-based Pedestrian Counting Research II

  • Project Sponsors: Paul Rothman, Director of Smart Cities and IoT, NYC Office of Technology and Innovation; Chen Feng, Assistant Professor of Civil and Urban Engineering & Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, NYU AI4CE Lab; Google Coral team
  • CUSP Students: Jianpei Chen, Jiashun Lian, Yuting Zhou

3:00 pm - 3:50 pm ET

6 MetroTech Center
Various Rooms

ROGERS HALL 200: Affordability, Scalability, and Accessibility of In-Home and Community-Centered Soft Robotic Systems for Tele-Rehabilitation

Data Driven Model for Medium Voltage Cable Fault

  • Project Sponsors: Silvio Alessandroni, PhD, Head of Technological Innovation, areti S.p.A.
  • CUSP Faculty Mentor: Tricia Davies
  • CUSP Students: Yiming Jiang, Stanley Li

ROGERS HALL 203: At the Intersection of Head and Eye Control in Patients with Blindness and Low Vision

ROGERS HALL 204: Interactions Among Echo Chambers in Social Media

ROGERS HALL 207: Using Telematics Data to Evaluate Breakdown Risk for NYC School Buses

  • Project Sponsors: Varun Adibhatla, Head of Data Science and Analytics; Holly Orr, Chief Information Officer; Cristopher Soto, Data Engineer; Ed Driscoll, Chief Fleet and Facilities Officer, NYCSBUS
  • CUSP Faculty Mentor: Kaan Ozbay
  • CUSP Students: Dapeng Lin, Ananya Rajesh, Akshay Verma

4:00 pm - 4:50 pm ET

Hana House 
345 Adams Street

PANEL: How Tech & Data is Changing Urban Transportation

Hear from leading voices in the transportation space, both in NYC and globally, about the progress that is being made in cities to help people get to where they need to go in more efficient, safe, and sustainable ways. 

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm ET

Hana House 
345 Adams Street

Celebrate the achievements of the day with refreshments at Hana House, just around the corner! 


Opening Remarks

Portrait of Danielle Wright

Dr. Danielle Wright, CUSP Director of Academic Affairs

Danielle Wright, Ph.D. is the Director of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor with the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP). She is interested in the use of an applied focus to engineering, policy, and technology in addressing urban issues around city and community resilience. Dr. Wright comes to CUSP having served as associate director for the Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis (IUPRA), and as faculty at the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Education Department of Leadership and Policy. Her expertise includes policy implementation and analysis, public engagement, and city and community resilience.


Ai Yamanaka, Senior Manager of Data Technology & Innovation, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey

Ai is responsible for managing a department-wide data warehouse and analytics team facilitating the use of data as a key driver in strategic and operational decision-making. Ai works collaboratively with business subject matter experts, senior level executives, and agency IT stakeholders to develop use-case based data management strategies for advancing policy-based decision making within the Aviation Department.

Portrait of Varun Adibhatla

Varun Adibhatla, Head of Data Science & Analytics, NYC School Bus Umbrella Services, Inc

A CUSP graduate from the Class of 2015, Varun is a co-founder of ARGO (Advanced Research in Government Operations) Labs and has served as an Adjunct Professor at CUSP with focus on data driven public policy and local area energy/infrastructure planning. At NYCSBUS, he works to improve and electrify student transportation by innovating in all areas of service delivery while also providing unprecedented transparency.

Federico Messa, Senior Transport Consultant, Systematica

Since joining Systematica in 2016, Federico has been a transport consultant on a diverse set of projects, ranging from territorial studies to masterplans and complex buildings mobility strategies. He is also involved in architecture and mobility research studies, mainly related to urban dynamics, mobility data analysis and visualization, project performance analysis and spatial analysis.


Vickram Peter, MS in Applied Urban Science and Informatics

Vickram completed his Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Considering himself a public transportation ‘connoisseur’ and wanting to problem-solve in the sphere of Urban Science, Vickram chose to engage with CUSP’s multiple opportunities, rich resources, people-centric mission, and invigorating community to transform his love for cities into better urban environments for everyone.



*An accessible entrance to 6 MetroTech Center is located around the corner, near the Starbucks.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Thank you to our capstone sponsors for participating in the Capstone Program and providing students with insightful experiential learning opportunities.