Big Data and Urban Informatics at UIC

logoILChicagoI am in Chicago to attend the NSF sponsored Workshop on Big Data and Urban Informatics. I will chair the Crisis and Emergency Informatics track and will present the following paper.

‘Big’ Data + ‘Open’ Data + ‘Mobile’ Data: Urban Informatics

I take the view of a city as a platform. As a platform, a city has infrastructure, processes, organizations, individuals, and technology as components. Additionally, cities are comprised of technical (e.g. sensors), social (e.g. humans), and socio-technical components (e.g. processes). The glue that holds these components together and enables integration and coordination to occur is data and information. The effective and efficient management of information is not only critical to ensure that each of the components operate optimally but also ensures that the overall system, the city, achieves its overall objectives. In this paper, I focus on three key data dimensions in the context of urban informatics: big, open, and mobile data. Key issues within each data dimension are presented. The paper builds on several research projects on smart cities, urban informatics, and policy informatics. Data collected during these projects includes over 45 case studies, over 60 interviews with key informants, analysis of over several thousand pages secondary data, and an examination of over 70 technology solutions that span mobile apps, online crowdsourcing platforms, sensors, analytical and visualization technologies, and associated urban technologies. The paper puts forth several considerations that need to be accounted for when discussing the potential of data and technologies to transform our urban spaces towards the goals of making them intelligent, livable, sustainable, and resilient.

My Research Mind – A Little Messy

I have been doing some reflection on my research interests and the connections between the various scientific domains in which I work. I will be on a panel, Working on Mars while Living on Earth - Balancing Demands across Disciplinary Boundaries, with Sandeep Purao (Penn State University), Ajay Vinze (Arizona State University), and Steve Sawyer (Syracuse University) at the 22nd Workshop on Information Systems and Technology where I will share some of my lessons learnt in doing interdisciplinary research and holding academic appointments in various disciplinary units from business schools to information schools and urban studies to public administration.

For a sneak preview here is a graphical description of my research spheres.

Below is a graphical description of my research trajectory mapped across various dimensions.

Inducted into the UIC College of Business Alumni Leadership Academy

I just returned from a wonderful trip to Chicago. During my visit, I had the opportunity to talk with senior leaders of the University of Illinois at Chicago. At a special event called Celebrating the College of Business Administration (CBA), I was honored by being inducted into the Alumni Leadership Academy (ALA) as part of the 2011 Class.  "The ALA celebrates those alumni who best exemplify the College of Business Administration's commitment to leadership, teaching, research and service. Inductions to the academy are held every year to honor outstanding CBA alumni whose contributions in these areas raise the stature and standing of the college."[1] I dedicated my award to the undergraduate advisors I had during my time at the CBA.


[1] http://uic.edu/cba/alumni/ala.html

Giving Back to my Alma Mater: Desouza Family Endowment Fund

Last December, Sally and I created the Desouza Family Endowment at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Here is the press release from UIC. The Desouza Family Endowment will support a yearly scholarship given to a student at the UIC Honors College.  This scholarship will support academic excellence and show appreciation for students’ contributions to the UIC community.  We believe that all students should receive encouragement for their dreams and aspirations, through support of their undergraduate studies. We hope to support the best and brightest at UIC – students who not only excel academically but who also go beyond the classroom and make a positive impact on the UIC community through community service and leadership in student organizations.

See here for the UIC News Feature on the scholarship.