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COLLOQUIUM: Charlie Catlett, Senior Research Scientist, Discovery Partners Institute, "Update on Chicago's Experimental Urban Observatory, the Array of Things"

Event Type
Illinois Computer Science
Apr 14, 2020   10:00 - 11:00 am  
Jancie Harris

Abstract: There is a growing science community, spanning nearly every discipline, pursuing research related to the growth and operation of cities and the impact of such environments on the health and well-being of city dwellers.  With input from scientists, policymakers, and residents of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago created the Array of Things (AoT)—a new form of intelligent urban measurement system implemented in partnership with the City of Chicago.  AoT is an experimental urban observatory evaluating strategies, from sensors to edge computation, for providing data with greater spatial and temporal resolution than is currently available for understanding air quality, microclimate, vibration, noise, and other factors, providing measurements from hundreds of locations throughout the city. AoT devices include embedded, remotely programmable artificial intelligence capabilities—“edge computing”—to process images, sound, vibration, and other data within the installed devices, creating measurements that cannot be obtained from traditional sensor networks.  These new forms of measurement range from the flow of people and vehicles through public spaces to the impact of rail crossings on emergency response.  AoT provides open and free data along with tutorials, data analysis tools, and application programming interfaces.  A follow-on NSF Mid-Scale Research Infrastructure project, SAGE: Software Defined Sensor Network, will both significantly increase the edge computing power and deepen the software and programming, and run-time tools available to scientists/users.


Bio: Charlie Catlett joined DPI in March 2020 after 20 years at Argonne and the University of Chicago as a Senior Computer Scientist.  During this time he created the Urban Center for Computation and Data to support multidisciplinary projects in partnership with Chicago-area universities, national laboratories, industry, and local government. Prior to joining Argonne/UChicago, Charlie was at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. As one of NCSA's early hires in 1985 he worked on networking, including the NSFNET backbone network and the NSF/DARPA Gigabit Network Testbeds initiative.  From 1996-1999 he was NCSA's Chief Technology Officer.  Charlie is a Computer Engineering graduate of UIUC.

Faculty Host: Nancy Amato


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