01
Oct
2014

Last week, the Urban Center for Computation and Data unveiled the alpha version of Plenario, a new online portal for accessing, combining, visualizing, and downloading datasets from cities, states, and other sources. With an emphasis on uniting datasets through their space and time coordinates, the platform makes it much easier for researchers, government analysts, journalists, developers and other users to choose an area of interest and view all the data available at that location.

26
Sep
2014

Inside the busy world of the cell, two of the most important players are actin and ATP. Actin is the most abundent protein in cells, and the cytoskeleton that it forms is responsible for a cell's shape and movement. ATP, adenosine triphosphate, is known as the cell's primary energy source, switching to ADP and donating the resultant energy to a wide range of cellular processes.

24
Sep
2014

When it comes to studying climate change, most of the focus is on greenhouse gases that absorb radiation and warm temperatures at the Earth’s surface. But despite capturing the majority of the blame, greenhouse gases are not the sole contributor to global warming. Aerosols, the small particles once blamed for depleting the planet’s protective ozone layer, are also known to influence the Earth’s climate, though they are sometimes excluded from computer simulations due to their short lifespan and complex effects.
 

22
Sep
2014

The rapidly growing torrent of data openly released by governments offers incredible new potential for policy, research, and public engagement with cities. But as governments increasingly turn to advanced analytics to guide operations, officials and researchers need more powerful tools to find data-driven solutions to the complex problems that face urban areas.
 

15
Sep
2014

For all of its technological advances, science remains distinctly old-fashioned in how it assigns credit. For centuries, the order of authors on a publication has conferred some degree of precedence -- though the structure varies from field to field -- and the importance of a paper is still typically measured by the number of times it is cited by others.

09
Sep
2014

UPDATE: Array of Things has been nominated for the Cooper Hewitt People's Design Award! Vote here until October 6th.



Many people now wear wristbands or other devices to track their activity, giving them access to rich data about their daily routine that can help guide them towards healthier decisions and behaviors. The ambitious Array of Things project, led by the Urban Center for Computation and Data, seeks to create a similar bounty of data to better understand the environment, infrastructure, and activity of cities, creating a new public instrument for research, education, and applications that improve the lives of city residents.

08
Sep
2014

England and the United States have been described as “two countries separated by a common language.” The same observation could be made about science, though in the case of scientific disciplines, the number of countries ranges into the hundreds or thousands. Though English is the primary language used for the communication of scientific and scholarly research, fields have developed highly specific jargon that, in some cases, isolates their work from use by other fields or the general public.

05
Sep
2014

In June, it was just rows and rows of data: property assessments, school records, smart meter readings, contract bids, and census results. By the end of August, this raw material was transformed into tools for detecting international corruption and political earmarks, predicting buildings that pose lead hazards and students at risk of dropping out, and suggesting strategies to fight maternal mortality, unemployment, and homelessness.

25
Aug
2014

Another year of the Eric & Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good summer fellowship is in the books, and like last year, the program culminated in a packed event where each project team presented the results of their work with non-profit and government partners.

20
Aug
2014

Cloud computing has changed the way we work, the way we communicate online, even the way we relax at night with a movie. But even as “the cloud” starts to cross over into popular parlance, the full potential of the technology to directly impact science, medicine, transportation, and other industries has yet to be realized. To help investigate and develop this promising cloud computing future, the National Science Foundation today awarded $10 million to a group of institutions led by the Computation Institute for the development of Chameleon, a new experimental testbed for cloud architecture and applications.