On November 20th, representatives of those fields gathered onstage for Chicago: City of Big Data, a UChicago Discovery Series panel discussion of research and educational efforts focused on transforming cities through data and computation. In a vibrant 90-minute conversation moderated by Charlie Catlett, director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data (UrbanCCD), the panelists described work underway at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory and outlined their visions for the future of data-driven urban design and governance.
Rayid Ghani, chief scientist of the highly regarded Obama for America data analytics team, has joined the University of Chicago to explore using data to solve complex social problems. During the 2012 campaign season, Ghani's team applied advanced data-mining and machine-learning methods to create new tools for fundraising, voter turnout, advertising and campaign strategy. Now, working with the Computation Institute and the University of Chicago Harris School, Ghani hopes to adapt those methods to address challenges in areas such as education, public safety and health care.