Director’s Special Colloquium: ‘Adventures in Urban Informatics’
Steven E. Koonin, founding director of New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), will present “Adventures in Urban Informatics” at a Director’s Special Colloquium Thursday, Dec. 1. 2016, at 10:30 a.m. in the Bldg. 402 Auditorium. All employees whose schedules permit are invited to attend.
Shuttle service will be provided beginning at 9:45 a.m. with first stop at 201 then 212, 202, 240, 203, 200, 205 and 362. Return trips will follow the talk.
For the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas; in just a few more decades, the world’s population will exceed 9 billion, 70 percent of whom will live in cities. Enabling those cities to deliver services effectively, efficiently and sustainably while keeping their citizens safe, healthy, prosperous and well-informed will be among the most important undertakings in this century. I will review how we are establishing a center for urban science and focus on bringing informatics to the study and operation of urban systems. I will touch on the rational, the structure and the substance of the Center’s work and the ways in which it will enrich NYC and contribute to global issues. Taxis, lights, sewers, phones, and buildings will all enter into the discussion in novel ways.
Steven E. Koonin was appointed as the founding Director of CUSP in April 2012. That consortium of academic, corporate and government partners pursues research and education activities to develop and demonstrate informatics technologies for urban problems in the “living laboratory” of New York City.
Koonin previously served as the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) second Senate-confirmed Under Secretary for Science from May 19, 2009, through Nov. 18, 2011. As Under Secretary for Science, he functioned as the Department’s chief scientific officer, coordinating and overseeing research across DOE. He led the preparation of the Department’s 2011 Strategic Plan and was the principal author of its Quadrennial Technology Review. Koonin particularly championed research programs in High Performance Simulation, Exascale Computing, Inertial Fusion Energy, and Greenhouse Gas Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification. He also provided technical counsel on diverse nuclear security matters.
He joined the California Institute of Technology’s faculty in 1975, was a research fellow at the Niels Bohr Institute during 1976-1977 and was an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow during 1977-1979. Koonin became a professor of theoretical physics at Caltech in 1981 and served as Chairman of the Faculty from 1989-1991. He was the seventh provost of Caltech from 1995-2004. In that capacity, he was involved in identifying and recruiting one third of the Institute’s professorial faculty and left an enduring legacy of academic and research initiatives in the biological, physical, earth, and social sciences, as well as the planning and development of the Thirty-Meter Telescope project.
As the Chief Scientist at BP from 2004 to early 2009, Koonin developed the long-range technology strategy for alternative and renewable energy sources. He managed the firm’s university–based research programs and played a central role in establishing the Energy Biosciences Institute at the University of California Berkeley, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.