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Jeff Solin

Wrigley Field serves as classroom for Lane Tech students

Lane Tech College Prep High School students, in collaboration with the University of Chicago, will be installing sensor boxes at Wrigley Field to measure sound levels, customer satisfaction and air quality, among other things. (Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune)

When Cubs fans leave Wrigley Field starting Tuesday night, they may encounter a simple console with two circular buttons: one a red, angry face, the other a green, smiley face. The sensor will have a question attached asking fans about their experience at the ballpark and whether they would recommend a Wrigley visit to their family and friends.

But it won’t be Cubs executives on the other end monitoring the responses. Rather, each push of a button will be recorded and registered on the computers of Lane Tech High School students.


2018 NCWIT National AiC Educator Award Winner Jeff Solin

NCWIT Aspirations in Computing is pleased to announce that Lane Tech High School Computing Instructor Jeff Solin has been named the recipient of the 2018 NCWIT Aspirations in Computing (AiC) National Educator Award!

This year’s recipient, Jeff Solin, left a career in the tech industry 17 years ago on what he describes as “a quest to help change Computer Science education.” After several years at Chicago’s Northside College Prep, Jeff joined the faculty at Lane Tech to help develop that school’s computer science department. Since he began teaching at Lane Tech, the department has grown from a single computer science teacher serving a student body of 4,400 to a robust staff of 10 full time teachers of different genders and backgrounds who offer a total of 12 different computing classes.

Chicago seeking 'smart-city' tech solutions to improve city life

Source: Kathy Bergen, Chicago Tribune

Come late June, city electricians are expected to start strapping beehive-shaped sensor boxes to municipal light poles — environmental Fitbits for neighborhoods, essentially.

How's the air quality? Where does rainwater pool? Where do air temperatures spike?

The 14-inch-high cylinders filled with sensors and cameras — developed by computer scientists and designers at Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago — should shed light on stubborn urban problems — everything from asthma clusters and flood-prone intersections to so-called "heat islands," densely developed corners of the city that trap heat. Ultimately, the data should lead to affordable, energy-efficient solutions to those problems and others.

The project, dubbed the Array of Things, is the most aggressive element of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's push to transform Chicago into "the most data-driven government in the world," as his top tech lieutenant recently put it. But the emerging quiver of public-private experiments aimed at honing a high-tech image for the city is fraught with risk.