KeyNOte speaker

Julia Lane

Julia Lane

Professor at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, at the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress, and a NYU Provostial Fellow for Innovation Analytics.

Julia has led many initiatives, including co-founding the UMETRICS and STAR METRICS programs at the National Science Foundation. She conceptualized and established a data enclave at NORC/University of Chicago. She also co-founded the creation and permanent establishment of the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Program at the U.S. Census Bureau and the Linked Employer Employee Database at Statistics New Zealand. Julia has published over 70 articles in leading journals, including Nature and Science, and authored or edited ten books. She is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a fellow of the American Statistical Association.



Lecturer in Geographic Data Science at the Department of Geography and Planning, University of Liverpool (UK)

Dani joined the Geographic Data Science Lab in October 2015. Previously, he held positions as Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Birmingham, postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Spatial Economics at the VU University (Amsterdam), and postdoctoral researcher at the GeoDa Center for Geospatial Analysis and Computation at Arizona State University. Trained as an economist, Dani is interested in the spatial structure of cities as well as in the quantitative and computational methods required to leverage the power of the large amount of urban data increasingly becoming available. He is also part of the team of core developers of PySAL, the open-source library written in Python for spatial analysis.



Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Chicago

Marc Berman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and is involved in the Cognition, Social and Integrative Neuroscience programs. Professor Berman is interested in understanding the relationship between individual psychological and neural processing, and environmental factors. His research utilizes brain imaging, behavioral experimentation, computational neuroscience and statistical models to quantify the person, the environment and their interactions. He received his B.S.E. in Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE) from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in Psychology and IOE from the University of Michigan. He received post-doctoral training at the University of Toronto's Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest.


Postdoctoral Fellow, Santa Fe Institute with the ASU/SFI Consortium for Biosocial Complexity

Chirsta Brelsford’s PhD is from the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University and her B.S. is in civil engineering from Columbia University.  Christa uses empirical methods, especially spatial analysis and remote sensing, to link individual choices to aggregate outcomes in order to build better theories about the behavior of cities and urban infrastructure systems.




Professor, Department of Sociology, The Ohio State University

Christopher R. Browning (Ph.D. University of Chicago, 1997) is a Professor of Sociology.  His research interests include the causes and consequences of community social organization; the neighborhood context of crime, risk behavior, and health; the long-term effects of maltreatment during childhood; and multilevel statistical methods.  His current projects apply the concepts of activity space and ecological networks to research on the mechanisms linking contextual exposures (e.g., neighborhoods and schools) to youth behavioral health and well-being.  He is Principal Investigator on the Adolescent Health and Development in Context (AHDC) study – a large scale, longitudinal investigation of the link between sociospatial exposures and developmental outcomes among youth in Franklin County, OH.  The project is funded by NIDA, the WT Grant Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.


Professor of City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley.

Karen Chapple, Ph.D., specializes in housing, community and economic development, as well as regional planning.  She has most recently published on job creation on industrial land (in Economic Development Quarterly), regional governance in Peru (in Journal of Rural Studies), and accessory dwelling units as a smart growth policy (in the Journal of Urbanism).  Her recent book (Routledge, September 2014) is entitled Planning Sustainable Cities and Regions: Towards More Equitable Development. In Fall 2015, she launched the Urban Displacement Project, a research portal examining patterns of residential, commercial, and industrial displacement, as well as policy and planning solutions. In 2015, Chapple's pioneering work on climate change and tax policy won the UC-wide competition for the Bacon Public Lectureship, which promotes evidence-based public policy and creative thinking for the public good.

Chapple holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from Columbia University, an M.S.C.R.P from the Pratt Institute, and a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. She has served on the faculties of the University of Minnesota and the University of Pennsylvania, in addition to UC Berkeley. From 2006-2009, she held the Theodore Bo and Doris Shoong Lee Chair in Environmental Design. She is a founding member of the MacArthur Foundation's Research Network on Building Resilient Regions. Prior to academia, Chapple spent ten years as a practicing planner in economic development, land use, and transportation in New York and San Francisco.


Executive Director, Health Lab, The University of Chicago

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Ruth Coffman comes to Urban Labs from the Cook County Sheriff's Office, where she started and led the Office's first Research Department. As Research Director she built analytical and data capacity within the Sheriff's Office, provided strategic direction, and led evaluations of programs and internal operations. Previously, Coffman worked in a research capacity in a variety of organizations, including the Center for Global Development, and also interned in the Social Office at the White House. She holds a MPP from UChicago Harris and an MDiv from the Divinity School at the University of Chicago.




Lecturer in Digital Economy in the Department of Geography & Environment, University of Aberdeen

Dr Caitlin D Cottrill completed her PhD at the University of Illinois, Chicago in Transportation Planning/Computational Transportation Science in 2011, with a thesis entitled ‘An Analysis of Privacy in Intelligent Transportation Systems and Location Based Services’. She has written extensively on privacy-related topics, with articles appearing in journals from disciplines including transportation, law, and policy. Her primary research areas pertain to the interrelated topics of transportation, individual behaviour, technology, and data, linked by an underlying commitment to encouraging sustainable and efficient mobility. She has continued her work in applications of data and location privacy in projects including the Future Mobility Survey (at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research & Technology) and her work with the Transportation Research Board’s Task Force on Data Privacy Policy.


Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Economics, University of Virginia Batten School

Jennifer Doleac is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Economics at the University of Virginia’s Batten School. She is currently on leave at the Brookings Institution, where she is a Visiting Fellow in Economic Studies.

Doleac is an applied microeconomist with particular interests in the economics of crime and discrimination. She is an expert on how technology and surveillance affect public safety, with past and current research related to DNA databases, gunshot sensors, gun violence, campus sexual assault, juvenile curfews, and the indirect effects of community violence on individual outcomes. A common theme in much of this work is how technology improves the quality and availability of crime-related data.

In her work on discrimination, she conducted a year-long field experiment to test the effect of a seller’s race in online markets, showing that black sellers receive fewer purchase offers and are less trusted than white sellers. In ongoing work, she considers how “Ban the Box” policies affect employment discrimination against ex- and non-offenders.

Doleac holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University, and a B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from Williams College. She has spoken at Interpol and the White House, and her research on DNA databases was cited in the Supreme Court’s Maryland v. King case. She was an NBER/NSF Crime Research Fellow, and previously worked at the Brookings Institution and the Congressional Budget Office. 


Professor of Computer Science, University of Aberdeen

Peter Edwards is Professor of Computing Science at the University of Aberdeen. He has over 25 years experience in intelligent information management, with a particular focus on dimensions of trust including data provenance and quality. Recent fundamental work has included the QUAL-DM data quality model, the TRAAC approach to trust and risk-aware access control, and the SC-PROV model to capture provenance of social computations. His research also has a strong interdisciplinary focus, with recent collaborations in transportation, geography, medicine, and food science.  Between 2009-2015 he was Director of the dot.rural Digital Economy Hub   – a role in which he oversaw a significant portfolio of user-driven research working to enhance rural communities through digital innovation in areas as diverse as public transporthealthcare, nature conservation, and cultural heritage. He is currently PI of the 'Social Media - Developing Understanding, Infrastructure & Engagement’ project - an activity which explores use of social media data to understand society, at the same time as developing new tools for social media analytics. He is also PI on the recently announced 'Trusted Things & Communities’ project – a £1.1M UK effort that will investigate what it means to deliver IoT solutions that are trusted by users and communities, and the appropriate governance and policy arrangements to frame future IoT deployments.


Professor at the Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick

Peter Elias has worked across a wide variety of research areas over the last 40 years.  These have ranged from the evaluation of large-scale government programmes, statistical monitoring of the status of particular groups in the labour market, the study of occupational change and the relationship between further and higher education, vocational training and labour market outcomes.  From 2004 to 2016 he has acted as a Strategic Advisor for Data Resources to the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), assisting the ESRC and other research funding councils and agencies with plans to develop data resources for research across the social sciences and at the boundaries between the social sciences and other disciplines.  He was instrumental in the development of the UK Administrative Data Research Network – an organisation funded by the ESRC to promote improved access to and sharing of such data for research.  He has worked closely with the UK government and the European Union over changes in the legislative frameworks for data sharing.  Awarded a CBE in 2011 for services to the Social Sciences.


Chief Engineer, Plenario, Urban Center for Computation and Data

Will Engler is a software engineer at the Urban Center for Computation and Data (UrbanCCD) where he is the lead engineer of, UrbanCCD's platform for open data. Engler focuses on helping researchers, policy makers, and civic hackers spend less time sifting through spreadsheets so they have more time to analyze open data and build new applications on top of it. Active in the Chicago open source software community, Engler believes that open source tools are critical for transparency and replicability in both science and government.


Sr. Researcher/Spatial Epidemiologist, Lindau Lab, Department of OB/GYN, University of Chicago

Veronica is a Senior Researcher for the South Side Health & Vitality Studies. She joined the Lindau Lab in January 2015. Veronica’s background is in spatial epidemiology and demography. She earned her PhD in geography from the University of North Carolina. Her research interests include health disparities, neighborhood influences on health, and access to health services.




Postdoctoral Fellow with the Moore/Sloan Foundation Data Science Environment Grant and Data Science Ethnographer, University of Washington

Brittany Fiore-Gartland is a data science ethnographer studying the sociocultural implications of data-intensive science and how data-intensive technologies are reshaping how people work and organize. Her research focuses on cross-sector and interdisciplinary data science collaborations; emerging pedagogical models for data science education; and bringing a human-centered and sociotechnical perspective to data science practice. She is a Moore-Sloan Data Science Postdoctoral Fellow and a Washington Research Foundation Innovation Fellow at the the eScience Institute and the Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington. She co-leads UW Data Science Studies, an interdisciplinary group of researchers studying the sociotechnical and ethical dimensions of the emerging practice of data science.

Whenever possible her work follows a model of action research. This means her research practice aims to inform and affect positive change within the communities she studies. Often this takes the form of articulating the challenges and opportunities for communication and collaboration during times of technological change. She works with communities to bridge communication gaps and develop value-informed, reflexive, and adaptive organizational practice.


Consultant, Gallup

Dan Foy, a Consultant at Gallup, specializes in population research and analysis for U.S. government clients. Since joining Gallup in 2008, he has successfully led dozens complex quantitative and qualitative studies worldwide, notably in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, the Maldives, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Mr. Foy is adept at all phases of the research cycle - from study design through data collection, analysis and reporting. He has developed and managed multiple advanced research projects that stretch the boundaries of traditional methodologies by piloting new data collection techniques and combining novel inputs to address hard research questions. He earned his M.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Nebraska.


Senior Principal Planner at the Atlanta Regional Commission

Janae Futrell is a senior principal planner at the Atlanta Regional Commission, where she has managed data integration and software development projects. As an urban planner and architectural designer, her experience includes work for government, the private sector and nonprofits.

Before joining ARC, Futrell worked with Caritas Germany, the Earthquakes and Megacities Initiative, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, John Portman and Associates, and WeLoveTheCity. In addition to the United States, countries she has worked in include Haiti, the Netherlands and the Philippines.

Futrell holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Lambuth University, a master's degree in architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a master's degree in urban development and international cooperation from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany.

Yiyan Ge

Masters Student of City and Regional Planning & Transportation Engineering, University of California, Berkeley

Yiyan Ge is interested in data-driven transportation planning, specifically, incorporating data science into transportation planning decisions. From understanding travel behaviors through data analysis to informing decision makers and stakeholders using effective visualizations, Ge enjoys every step of the process and continues to explore and learn to incorporate urban informatics and visualization techniques in transportation planning. 




PhD Candidate, Design and Computation Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Paloma Gonzalez Rojas is a Chilean, Architect, Design and Computation Researcher, Scholar, Builder, Maker, and currently, a MIT PhD candidate at the Design and Computation group. Her ongoing research questions the effect that space has on people’s motion, enabled by technology. By developing empirical research, Paloma seeks to quantify this effect and use it to inform the design process. This research started with her SMArchS Thesis Research at MIT, “Space and Motion: Data based rules of public space pedestrian motions” and will be continued throughout her PhD.

Her professional experience consists mainly in the design of sports, artificial lagoons and governmental buildings. She worked in the remodeling of the Monumental Stadium of Chile, dealing with crowds and massivity, which was developed as her first Master’s Degree Thesis at the Universidad Católica of Chile. 

Her research interests vary widely and include; the development of digital design tools, the use in sensors for the analysis and design of architecture, data simulation and visualization, virtual worlds and biological, public and political space, material experimentation and energy optimizations.


Architect, LEED AP, PhD Candidate, University of Illinois at Chicago

Michael Iversen is actively engaged in practice, teaching, research, and service in the areas of urban data analysis, urbanized ecosystems and metabolism, geospatial analysis and visualization, and complexity-based modeling.

Currently, Mr. Iversen is a doctorate candidate in the Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, investigating cities as urbanized ecosystems. In 2009/10, he was appointed Doctoral Fellow at the Institute for Environmental Science and Policy (IESP) at UIC, awarded for interdisciplinary environmental scholarship. In 2007/09, he was awarded a NSF-IGERT Fellowship in Landscape, Ecological and Anthropogenic Processes (LEAP) at UIC, which trained doctorate students as leaders and change agents for complex environmental issues.

In 2014, Mr. Iversen was a Graduate Research Assistant at UIC on NSF CyperSEES Data Integration for Urban Metabolism, responsible for analyzing heterogeneous spatiotemporal data as metrics for urban metabolism. He is currently a City-Based Researcher for the New York University Urbanization Project, conducting surveys of a global sampling of cities.


Co-founder, Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics

Nigel Jacob is the Co-founder of the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, a civic innovation incubator and R&D Lab within Boston’s City Hall. With an extensive background in collaborative, citizen-facing technology projects, Nigel also serves as Mayor Menino’s advisor on emerging technologies. In both of these roles, Nigel works to develop new models of innovation for cities in the 21st century. Prior to joining the City of Boston in 2006, Nigel worked for and launched a series of technology start-ups in the Boston area.




Deputy Director for Academics, Center for Urban Science and Progress, New York University

Dr. Constantine E. Kontokosta, PE, AICP, LEED AP, FRICS, is the Deputy Director for Academics at the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) and is a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Urban Informatics at NYU CUSP and the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering. He is also the Principal Investigator and Head of the CUSP Quantified Community research facility, a groundbreaking project in partnership with the Related Companies – Hudson Yards, which will create a fully instrumented urban neighborhood in New York City. Dr. Kontokosta plays a major role in the definition and implementation of CUSP’s strategic priorities, and is responsible for the education program, which currently comprises a M.S. in Applied Urban Science and Informatics, an Advanced Certificate program, Executive Education, and a Ph.D. program currently under development.

Dr. Kontokosta‘s research lies at the intersection or urban planning, data science, and systems engineering, and he has worked with numerous city agencies on issues of urban sustainability and resilience, most recently providing the data analysis for the Local Law 84 Building Energy Benchmarking Reports for the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. He leads the CUSP Building Informatics research area, focusing on energy performance and water analytics for cities. His research has been published in leading academic journals in fields including science, economics, urban planning, and engineering, and has two forthcoming books on the subject of big data, information, and urban planning and city operations.  Dr. Kontokosta’s work has been featured in CNN, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Fast Company, Bloomberg News, and ASCE’s Civil Engineering Magazine, among other national and international media outlets.

Dr. Kontokosta holds a Ph.D., M.Phil, and M.S. in Urban Planning, specializing in urban economics, from Columbia University, a M.S. in Real Estate Finance from New York University, and a B.S.E. in Civil Engineering Systems from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a licensed Professional Engineer, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a USGBC LEED Accredited Professional, and has been elected a Fellow of the RICS. He is a recipient of the IBM Faculty Award, the C. Lowell Harriss Fellowship, the Charles Abrams Award, and Teaching Excellence and Outstanding Service Awards at NYU, and has been named a Fulbright Senior Specialist. In addition, he is an accomplished entrepreneur in the real estate sector, and has served as Vice Chair of the Suffolk County Planning Commission.


Research Fellow and Director of Research Development, Hariri Institute for Computing, Boston University

Andrei Lapets is a Research Fellow and Director of Research Development at Boston University's Hariri Institute for Computing, where he also oversees the Software Application & Innovation Lab. He is also a Lecturer in the Computer Science Department at Boston University. His research interests include practical usability of formal modeling and verification tools, domain-specific language design and implementation, and automated static analysis techniques for determining program resource trade-offs along dimensions such as cost and privacy. Andrei has consulted for Raytheon BBN Technologies on IARPA- and DARPA-funded quantum computing and cyber security efforts, and was a Postdoctoral Hariri Fellow from 2012 until 2014. Andrei received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Boston University, and holds S.M. and A.B. degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics from Harvard University.



Associate Professor, Ob/Gyn, Medicine-Geriatrics, University of Chicago

Stacy Tessler Lindau, MD, MAPP, is a tenured Associate Professor of Ob/Gyn, Medicine-Geriatrics, the Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the MacLean Center on Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago. She directs the South Side Health and Vitality Studies, a family of inter-related community-engaged research efforts, including CommunityRx and MAPSCorps, to inform investments and innovations in urban health and health care, especially for lower income populations.

Lindau is a graduate of the University of Michigan Honors College (political science and secondary education), Bryn Mawr College (post-baccalaureate premedical program), Brown University School of Medicine, Northwestern University (ob/gyn residency), and the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. Prior to her career in medicine, Dr. Lindau worked for Dow Jones and Company at the Wall Street Journal TV in New York and as a student teacher in social studies at Ann Arbor public schools.



Leader, Behavioral and System Dynamics Section, Argonne National Laboratory

Ignacio J Martinez-Moyano is the Leader of Behavioral and System Dynamics Section in the Systems Science Center (SSC) of the Global Security Sciences (GSS) Division at Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne). Ignacio is also a Computational Social Scientist with GSS at Argonne and a Senior Fellow at the Computation Institute of The University of Chicago. Dr. Martinez-Moyano’s research focuses on the application and theoretical development of System Dynamics modeling and computer simulation to advance the theories and understanding of human judgment, decision making, and behavior in complex and dynamic systems, particularly under conditions of high uncertainty and high consequence. Dr. Martinez-Moyano’s current research includes work related to resiliency in complex systems, aviation security, modeling crime in cities, and understanding the dynamics and cognitive processing of accumulation processes. Dr. Martinez-Moyano is Editor of the “Notes and Insights” section of the System Dynamics Review and has published in such academic journals as Organization Science, the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, the ACM Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation (TOMACS), Computers & Security, the System Dynamics Review, and Government Information Quarterly.


Director, Center for Health and the Social Sciences

Dr. David Meltzer is a professor in the Department of Medicine and an associated faculty member in the Harris School of Public Policy and the Department of Economics. In addition, he serves as Chief of the Section of Hospital Medicine, Director of the Urban Health Lab, and Chair of the Committee on Clinical and Translational Science. His research explores problems in health economics and public policy with a focus on the theoretical foundations of medical cost-effectiveness analysis. He also examines the effects of managed care and medical specialization on the cost and quality of care, especially in teaching hospitals. Currently, he is the Principal Investigator for the Comprehensive Care Program (CCP), which examines whether care for patients at high risk of hospitalization is improved when they have the same physician in hospital and in clinic. He received his MD and PhD in economics from the University of Chicago and completed his residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.


Research Fellow, Public Policy Center, University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Peter Muhlberger has served on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Global Science Forum experts group on new data social research ethics.  He is a Research Fellow at the Public Policy Center at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.  Dr. Muhlberger received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Michigan.   He has published in such journals as Political Psychology, Political Communication, the Journal of Information Technology and Politics, and Information Polity.  He designed and directed research on Carnegie Mellon University's Virtual Agora Project, a NSF-funded grant project investigating the political, social, and psychological effects of computer-mediated political engagement.  He was also principal investigator on the Deliberative E-Rulemaking Project, a NSF-funded project applying natural language processing and multi-level deliberation to federal agency online rulemaking. 



Assistant Professor, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Northeastern University, and Research Director for the Boston Area Research Initiative.

Dan O’Brien’s work focuses on the ways that researchers, policymakers, and practitioners can work together to leverage modern digital data (i.e., “Big Data”) to better understand and serve cities. His own work focuses on the behavioral and social dynamics of urban neighborhoods.





Computational Scientist and Agent-based Modeling Section Lead, Argonne National Laboratory

Jonathan Ozik, Ph.D., is a computational scientist and Agent-based Modeling Section Lead in the Global Security Sciences Division of Argonne National Laboratory, and Senior Fellow in the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago. His research focus is on the application of agent-based computational modeling techniques and the development of large scale distributed computational methods to advance the modeling of complex social systems. Dr. Ozik has developed agent-based models  in a variety of topic areas, including infectious diseases, healthcare, social welfare, supply chains,  and biological systems. He is also one of the core developers of the Repast Suite of agent-based modeling toolkits. Dr. Ozik is also a Lecturer at the Harris School of Public Policy, teaching the “Text Mining in Public Policy” course.


Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, and Director of the Earl and Brenda Shapiro Center for Research and Collaboration - Office of the Provost, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Douglas Pancoast is an architect and an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Architecture, Interior Architecture & Designed Objects and Director of the Earl and Brenda Shapiro Center for Research and Collaboration - Office of the Provost at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Architecture and Urban Design (B.Arch., 1991) and Cranbrook Academy of Art (MFA Arch., 1995), architect Douglas Pancoasthas worked for firms including Richard Meier and Partners, 1100 Architect, BlackBox Studio at SOM, and

Current interests include examining how large, public data sets (economic, environmental, social, cultural, civic) are a context for creative practice. Recent projects include the Array of Things – a city scaled collection of environmental sensors deployed in Chicago providing data on city conditions for the Chicago Open Data Portal and WiBlox, a modular data collection object system for the Chicago Innovation Exchange.


Data Scientist, MPAS Analytics

Susan Parker is a Data Scientist at MPAS Analytics and is currently pursuing a MSc in Analytics at the University of Chicago. Prior to joining MPAS, she worked as a research manager at the University of Chicago Crime Lab and as a budget analyst for Obama for America. Susan holds a Master in Public Policy (MPP) from the University of Chicago Harris School.





Co-Director, The University of Chicago Crime Lab 

Harold Pollack is the Helen Ross Professor at the School of Social Service Administration and is an Affiliate Professor in the Biological Sciences Collegiate Division and the Department of Public Health Sciences. He is also Co-Director of The University of Chicago Crime Lab and a committee member of the Center for Health Administration Studies (CHAS) at the University of Chicago.

He has published widely at the interface between poverty policy and public health. His research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, American Journal of Public Health, Health Services Research, Pediatrics, and Social Service Review.

A 2012-15 Robert Wood Johnson Investigator in Health Policy Research, Professor Pollack has been appointed to three committees of the National Academy of Sciences.  Past president of the Health Politics and Policy section of the American Political Science Association, he is an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, a winner of the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions at the University of Chicago Crime lab, and an elected fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

He received his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University. He holds master’s and doctorate degrees in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Before coming to SSA, Professor Pollack was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at Yale University and taught Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

His writings have appeared in Washington Post, the Nation, the New York Times, New Republic, and other popular publications. His American Prospect essay, “Lessons from an Emergency Room, Nightmare” was selected for the collection Best American Medical Writing, 2009.


Chief Data Officer, City of Chicago

Tom Schenk is a researcher, author, and an expert in a number of fields, including open government, data visualization, business  and research and policy in education. He is currently the Chief Data Officer at the City of Chicago, which includes overseeing Chicago’s open data portal, advanced analytics team, and the City’s data and business intelligence team. He leads the strategic use of data to improve the efficiency of city operations and improve the quality of life for residents. Tom has lead the expansion of Chicago’s leading open data portal, deployed predictive analytics in the City to improve data services, and has streamlined the City’s data operations.

Tom published Circos Data Visualization How-To, an introductory book on using the biology data visualization libraries for use in the social sciences. He has previously served as a consultant for Institutional Effectiveness and Accountability at the Iowa Departments of Education, where he led efforts to use student-level longitudinal data to evaluation education programs, including an evaluation of Project Lead The Way and calculating rates of return for community college graduates. He also led science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) policy in Iowa and a coauthor of Iowa’s STEM roadmap. Tom was a visiting scholar with Iowa State University’s Office of Community College Research and Policy where he studied graduate-student unionization. He was also a lecturer at Grand View University where he taught statistics and economics. He earned a Master’s degree in economics from Iowa State University and a Bachelor’s from Drake University.


Manager of GIS Research/Sr. Lecturer, Social Sciences Computing Services/Geographical Studies, Social Sciences Division, University of Chicago

Todd J. Schuble is the Manager of GIS Research for the University of Chicago’s Division of Social Sciences.  Todd has also been a Senior Lecturer in the University of Chicago’s Committee on Geographical Studies since 2001. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of Applied/Urban-Economic Geography and GIS.  Todd collaborates with notable scientists and researchers from a wide spectrum of disciplines on subjects ranging from economics to agriculture and archeology to medicine.  Todd's personal research includes transportation, real estate, and job markets.  Todd regularly consults with local governments and corporations on how to maximize their potential through GIS.  He has authored numerous research publications along with the book, Careers in GIS: an Unfiltered Guide to Finding a GIS Job.



Vice President of Technology, NORC

Joshua P. Seeger is Vice President of Technology at NORC.  In this role, he performs four key functions:  (1) managing the corporate IT infrastructure including computing and network resources supporting call center operations, data centers, technical support services and administrative systems; (2) managing IT support to proposals and other business development activities; (3) seeking and facilitating opportunities to introduce new technology in support of NORC’s mission; and (4) seeking and facilitating opportunities for greater technological collaboration with the University of Chicago and other U of C partners.

Seeger is providing leadership on several strategic initiatives, most of which involve the enhancement of NORC's IT infrastructure in direct support of data collection, case management, and data dissemination.  His background in probability and statistics and his career experience in computing and network technology combine to facilitate effective communication with NORC's researchers on matters of data processing and technology in general.  Seeger's understanding of the company's mission and his knowledge of technological capabilities have resulted in projects involving the innovative repurposing of existing data to serve research objectives.

Prior to his arrival at NORC, Seeger was the CIO of Tribune Broadcasting Company and was concurrently Director of Networking and Data Security for the Tribune Company in its entirety.  Before that, he was VP of Engineering at Genuity, a former tier 1 Internet service provider, majority owned by Verizon Communications.  This was preceded by a lengthy career at BBN Systems and Technologies, during which Seeger managed research and development in internetworking technology.  This work involved application of graph theory, statistics, control theory and other applied sciences to the design of networksand network devices, the design of protocols that make them work, and the development of techniques to measure network performance.

At recent conferences, Seeger has participated on panels and delivered presentations focused on mobile devices and cloud computingand their application to data collection.  He also chaired a session on the use of audio and video recording in both phone and personal interviewing and demonstrated NORC's use of audio recording in field interviews. Josh is currently serving a 2-year term as Program Coordinator for the International Field Directors and Technology Conference (IFD&TC). In this role, he represents the technology side for large survey shops.


Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Urban Innovation at the Georgia Institute of Technology

Prior to coming to Georgia Tech, Taylor Shelton earned his PhD from the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University, and BA and MA degrees from the University of Kentucky. Taylor is a broadly-trained geographer committed to combining the creative analysis and visualization of spatial data with a theoretically-informed understanding of how these new technologies and sources of data shape our ways of understanding and intervening in cities and urban processes.




Deputy Director and Research Professor, Social and Decision Analytics Laboratory, Virgina Tech

Stephanie Shipp, Ph.D., is the deputy director and research professor at the Social and Decision Analytics Laboratory (SDAL) at the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech. Dr. Shipp’s work spans topics related to innovation and competitiveness with recent emphasis on creation of smart cities, use of big data to advance policy, social network analysis and evaluation of education grant programs, advanced manufacturing, the role of federal laboratories, and funding of highrisk/ high-reward research. From 2007 to 2013, she was a senior researcher at the Science and Technology Policy Institute, where she led studies on advanced manufacturing, innovation and competitiveness, technology transfer at federal laboratories, big data, evaluation of public health programs, and evaluation of education programs. As a member of the federal Senior Executive Service from 2001 to 2008, Dr. Shipp was the director of the Economic Assessment Office in the Advanced Technology Program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Previously, she led economic and statistical programs at the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Federal Reserve Board. She is a fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and has held several leadership positions within ASA. She was a member of the international advisory board for Verket För Innovationssystem (VINNOVA), Sweden’s innovation agency. She led an expert panel to evaluate the Swedish Research Council’s Linnaeus Grants in 2012 and in 2014. She has a Ph.D. in economics from The George Washington University.


Research Scientist, Global Security Initiative, Arizona State University

Shade Shutters is a research scientist with the Global Security Initiative (GSI) at Arizona State University.  GSI works as an interdisciplinary team to address the world's most intractable problems, enhancing the prospects for a secure, prosperous, and sustainable future.  Additionally, he hold appointments at the Global Institute of Sustainability, the Center for Policy Informatics, the Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity, and the new Center on the Future of War.  His academic appointment is with the School of Sustainability.

Dr. Shutters uses a complex adaptive systems framework to address wicked problems - problems that typically stem from the conflict between individual desires and social goals, exhibit nonlinear or unpredictable responses to policy intervention, and are exacerbated by the increasing human connectivity that comes with globalization and technology.  Furthermore, he works closely with decision makers outside of academia to better understand the most pressing social issues of our times and to offer tools and insights that may lead to improved outcomes.  His focal units of research are urban systems - their social, economic, and ecological dynamics.

Prior to PhD work in urban ecology, Dr. Shutters earned an honors B.S. in finance from Indiana University and worked for several years in international finance and accounting.  As a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and a certified SQL programmer, he continues to offer consulting services in corporate finance, economic development, and organizational network analysis.


Director, Institute for Translational Medicine, University of Chicago

Dr. Julian Solway, MD, is the Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at University of Chicago. As Associate Dean for Translational Medicine, he directs the University of Chicago's Institute for Translational Medicine and its NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). He founded and chairs the Committee on Molecular Medicine, an academic unit that together with the Department of Pathology delivers the Graduate Program in Molecular Pathogenesis and Molecular Medicine. He is also Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Medicine. He is an expert in pulmonary medicine with a particular interest in the management of severe and persistent asthma. Under his leadership, researchers, scientists and clinicians work to understand the causes of disease and to bring new therapies to the public. He received a BS from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his MD from Harvard University, subsequently completing residency and a pulmonary research fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.


Professor, Center for Public Administration and Policy, and Director, Metropolitan Institute, Virginia Tech

Susan M. Sterett is professor in the Center for Public Administration and Policy as director of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech.  With Kelly Joyce (Drexel University), she is a co-PI on a workshop grant from the National Science Foundation (#1623445) on Collaboration and Ethical Challenges in Big Data Analytics.  She is also the co-editor of Law and Society Review.  She has served as a program officer at the National Science Foundation in Law and Social Sciences.  She is the author of books and articles on law and social welfare after disaster and on constitutionalism as professional practice.  She is currently developing a project on on social welfare practices and adaptation to sea level rise.




Assistant Professor, Sociology, University of Chicago

Forrest Stuart is assistant professor of sociology and the college at the University of Chicago. His research examines the causes, contours, and consequences of contemporary urban poverty. His first book, Down, Out, and Under Arrest (2016) is an in-depth ethnographic study of the effects of zero-tolerance policing on impoverished residents in Los Angeles' Skid Row neighborhood. His second, in-progress book project examines how the proliferation of digital social media is transforming the dynamics of urban violence on Chicago's south side.



Economics Ph.D. Student, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago

Nick Tsivanidis is a 4th Year Economics PhD student at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. His dissertation research evaluates the impact of Bus Rapid Transit on aggregate productivity and inequality in Bogotá, Colombia. More broadly, his interests lie in studying the process of urbanization in developing countries.




Urban Planning, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Claudia Vicentelo holds a Ph.D. in Regional Planning at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, a Master degree in urban planning at Polytechnic University of Milan (Italy) and a degree in architecture from the Catholic University of Valparaíso (Chile). She has focused her research on urban development, urban innovation, smart cities, e-governance, information technology for planning, pre-disaster planning and smart and sustainable architecture. Her main contribution has been the knowledge planning (k-planning) for to develop and foster smart cities and Cyberenvironments in planning.

Dr. Vicentelo received the Fulbright Doctorate Grant and she has been awarded by different institutions and programs such as the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Fulbright Academy of Science and Technology, ThinkChicago, among others. She has been member of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Recently, Dr. Vicentelo is a leader member of the Innovative Territories - Global Academic Agenda, and she is leading the pioneering project of the School of Architecture and Planning at University of Tarapaca (Chile). 


Director, Center for Research Informatics, University of Chicago

Dr. Samuel L. Volchenboum, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics. He also serves as the Associate Chief Research Informatics Officer and Associate Director of the Institute for Translational Medicine. He is an expert in pediatric cancers and blood disorders. He has a special interest in treating children with neuroblastoma, a tumor of the sympathetic nervous system.

In addition to caring for patients, Dr. Volchenboum studies ways to harness computers to enable research and foster innovation using large data sets. He directs the development of the International Neuroblastoma Risk Group Database project, which connects international patient data with external information such as genomic data and tissue availability. The Center he runs provides computational support for the Biological Sciences Division at the University of Chicago, including high-performance computing, applications development, bioinformatics, and access to the clinical research data warehouse. He received his MS from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his MD from Mayo Medical School subsequently completing his residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and fellowships at Boston’s Children’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.


Postdoctoral Fellow, Boston Area Research Initiative, Harvard University

Ryan Qi Wang is a postdoctoral fellow at Boston Area Research Initiative, Harvard University. His research interests lie at the intersection of urban informatics and neighborhood effects. The interdisciplinary research aims to explore the fundamental characters and underlying mechanisms of urban neighborhoods. Ryan received his Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Virginia Tech.





Richard and Loan Hill Professor of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Affiliate Professor in the Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Ouri Wolfson's main research interests are in database systems, distributed systems, and mobile/pervasive computing. He received his B.A. degree in mathematics, and his Ph.D. degree in computer science from Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University. He is currently the Richard and Loan Hill Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an Affiliate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He is the founder of Mobitrac, a high-tech startup that was acquired by Fluensee Co. in 2006; and the founder and president of Pirouette Software Inc. which specializes in mobile data management. He served as a consultant to Argonne National Laboratory, US Army Research Laboratories, DARPA, and NASA. Before joining the University of Illinois he has been on the computer science faculty at the Technion and Columbia University, and a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories.



PhD Student, Department of City and Regional Planning, University of California-Berkeley

Ruoying Xu’s research interest include transportation and emerging technology, travel behavior, transportation and land use coordination.




Professor, Sociology and Director, Population Research Center, NORC and University of Chicago


Kathleen Cagney directs NORC's Population Research Center, which facilitates collaborative population research by economists, sociologists, psychologists, physicians, and other scientists. She also is associate director of NORC's Center on the Demography and Economics of Aging.

Cagney has focused on bringing together researchers from many scientific disciplines and examining diverse datasets to create a more holistic view of the social environment and its impact on health and well-being. Her work has provided a clearer view into how physical and social factors in surrounding neighborhoods and communities affect individual behavior and outcomes.

Cagney's research interests include urban social context, neighborhood effects and health, race and ethnic differences in access to health care and long-term care, life course approaches to research in health, and health status assessment and measurement. Cagney is an Associate Professor at the University of Chicago in its departments of Health Studies, Sociology, and Comparative Human Development.


Director, Urban Center for Computation and Data and Senior Computer Scientist, Argonne National Laboratory

Charlie Catlett is the founding director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data, UrbanCCD, which brings scientists, artists, architects, technologists, and policy makers together to use computation, data analytics, and embedded system to pursue insight into the dynamics, design, and sustainable operation of cities.  He is also a Senior Computer Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, a Senior Fellow at the Computation Institute of the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, and a Senior Fellow at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.  In previous roles he was Chief Information Officer for Argonne National Laboratory, Director of the National Science Foundation “TeraGrid” nationally distributed supercomputing facility, designer and director of the I-WIRE regional optical network, and Chief Technology Officer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.  He has worked in Internet and supercomputing technologies since 1985. Recognized as one of 25 “Doers, Dreamers & Drivers” of 2016 by Government Technology magazine and in 2014 as one of Chicago’s “Tech 50” technology leaders by Crain’s Chicago Business, Charlie is a Computer Engineering graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Senior Research Fellow, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

Robert M. Goerge is a Chapin Hall Senior Research Fellow with more than 25 years of research focused on improving the available data and information on children and families, particularly those who require specialized services related to maltreatment, disability, poverty, or violence. Dr. Goerge developed Chapin Hall’s Integrated Database on Child and Family Programs in Illinois, which links the administrative data on social service receipt, education, criminal and juvenile justice, employment, healthcare, and early childhood programs to provide a comprehensive picture of child and family use of publicly provided or financed service programs. His work provides high-quality information to policymakers to improve the programs serving children and their families. He is also the Principal Investigator of the National Survey of Early Care and Education (with NORC).

In addition to his Chapin Hall work, he is a Senior Fellow at the Computation Institute, where he is co-PI on a NSF-funded grant entitled, “An Urban Sciences Research Coordination Network for Data-Driven Urban Design and Analysis.” He is the Director of the Joint Program on Public Policy and Computing and a Lecturer at the Harris School for Public Policy Studies. He has been a Member of the Panel on Data and Methods for Measuring the Effects of Changes in Social Welfare Programs of the National Academy of Sciences, and a Technical Work Group member of the National Study of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Goerge received his Ph.D. from the School of Social Service Administration of the University of Chicago. He is also co-founder of the International Society for Child Indicators.


Associate Professor, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago

Nicole Marwell’s research examines urban governance, with a focus on the diverse intersections between nonprofit organizations, government bureaucracies, and politics. Professor Marwell received her PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago, and has published articles in the American Sociological Review, Annals of the American Association of Political and Social Sciences, City and Community, Social Service Review, Qualitative Sociology, and the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. Her 2007 book, Bargaining for Brooklyn: Community Organizations in the Entrepreneurial City was published by the University of Chicago Press. Prior to beginning her academic career, Professor Marwell worked in the field of nonprofits and philanthropy, including New York City’s Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art, the AT&T Foundation, the Levi Strauss Foundation, and Nike.



Executive Director, UChicago Urban

Anne Dodge is the Executive Director of UChicago Urban, which captures and amplifies the university’s urban research, practice, and engagement.  Prior to joining UChicago Urban, Anne was the Executive Director of the university’s Urban Network and an instructor at the Harris School of Public Policy, where she taught a graduate practicum on creative placemaking. Anne has worked extensively at the intersection of arts and economic development, including as the interim Executive Director of the Neighborhood Writing Alliance and the Oral History Project Director for the National Public Housing Museum.  She holds a Master's in City Planning from MIT, where her master's thesis won the 2006 Ralph Adams Cram Award for the best thesis in the School of Architecture and Planning, and BA from Harvard with a joint concentration in Visual and Environmental Studies and History.


Executive Director, Urban Center for Computation and Data

Kate Kusiak Galvin is the Executive Director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data, which creates computational research tools and leads initiatives that unite academic researchers, government agencies, architectural firms, private enterprise, and civic volunteers in ambitious efforts to understand and improve our cities. Prior to joining UrbanCCD in 2013, Kusiak Galvin worked as an Assistant Director for Arete, a research accelerator at the University of Chicago, and was tasked with assisting researchers organizing large-scale interdisciplinary research programs across UChicago. Previously, Kusiak Galvin worked at the American Society for Clinical Pathology. As an Associate Manager in Global Outreach, she was responsible for coordinating training events in Kenya, Rwanda, Swaziland, and Cambodia for laboratory professionals under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), as well as managing both international and domestic partnerships for the Association.  Kusiak Galvin has an MBA from DePaul University with a concentration in Integrated Marketing Communications and Entrepreneurship. She received her BA in Public Relations with a minor in marketing from Marquette University.


Associate Director of Research Strategy and Operations, Arete, University of Chicago

Julia Lane is the Associate Director of Research Strategy and Operations at Arete, UChicago’s Research Accelerator. She is a seasoned professional with experience in innovative, fast-paced, and often risky environments -- from a startup and venture capitalist firm in Chicago to an NGO in rural China. In her role at Arete, Ms. Lane oversees operations for a team of ten research development professionals and helps faculty develop strategies for complex research, funding, and collaboration projects. Ms. Lane also enjoys working with funding data and metrics to improve strategic decision making.