UW Today is reporting that, as part of a new White House Smart Cities Initiative called The MetroLab Network, the University of Washington has partnered with the City of Seattle in joining "a new national network of university-city partnerships that will work on 'smart city' solutions."

"Great universities can't succeed without great cities," said UW Interim President Ana Mari Cauce about the collaboration she and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray have signed onto. "Together we will help our city become more just and inclusive, so that it can serve as a model for other communities around the nation."

Writes UW Today: "The partnership aims to marry expertise and knowledge from UW researchers — from engineers inventing new sensors to sociologists studying determinants of poverty to data scientists parsing problems in new ways — and the experience and learned wisdom of employees tackling day-to-day challenges of running a city. [...] The Seattle/UW partnership will place an emphasis on innovations that create a more equitable and inclusive city — one that is affordable, safe, secure and that fosters the health and well-being of all its residents."

The UW/Seattle collaboration is one of twenty-one initial university/city MetroLab Network partnerships. The Network hopes to tackle challenges in three "thrust areas": infrastructure, city services, and civic engagement. UW's involvement will be coordinated through the university's Urban@UW initiative and a kickoff event is scheduled for October 29th, with Interim President Cauce and Mayor Murray in attendance to discuss the initiative and other related projects.

You can read the full UW Today article here.

And you can read the White House's detailed press release announcing the "Smart Cities" initiative, which includes a list of all city/university partnerships, here.


eScience Institute's Data Science for Social Good Fellows

On Thursday, August 20th, the four project teams for eScience's Data Science for Social Good summer program gathered one last time to make their final presentations in front of a room filled to capacity with distinguished guests. The culmination of ten weeks work now boiled down to thirty-minute presentations, and the recently-christened Data Science for Social Good Fellows were eager to report on the merits of their respective projects.

Modeled after programs at Georgia Tech and the University of Chicago, an initial applicant pool of 144 students was narrowed down to sixteen graduate and undergraduate DSSG Fellows, split among four projects whose focus was solving 21st Century urban challenges using data science. Each team was joined by a project lead and an eScience Data Scientist, along with students from Alliances for Learning and Vision for Underrepresented Americans (ALVA), a University of Washington program that targets underrepresented students in a variety of disciplines for summer internships. 

The University of Washington eScience Institute announces a competition for the 2016 Moore/Sloan Data Science and Washington Research Foundation Innovation in Data Science Postdoctoral Fellowships. We seek outstanding interdisciplinary researchers with expertise in the methods of data science and in a physical, life, or social science.

The program recognizes that rapid advances in our ability to acquire and generate data are transforming all fields of discovery from "data-poor" to "data-rich." A significant bottleneck to discovery is our ability to perform inference over heterogeneous, noisy, and often massive datasets.

There are two funding pathways for Data Science postdoctoral fellowships:

  1. Most of our postdoctoral fellows are funded jointly by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Washington Research Foundation.

  2. There is also the possibility of co-funding between two WRF-funded institutes. Candidates interested in joint WRF appointments should complete the full application process for both institutes. In addition, the applicant should include a paragraph that clearly indicates the rationale and fit of a joint appointment.

The First International Workshop on Smart Cities and Urban Analytics (UrbanGIS 2015), in conjunction with ACM SIGSPATIAL 2015, has announced a call for papers ahead of its November 3, 2015, workshop in Seattle, WA.


About half of humanity lives in urban environments today and that number will grow to 80% by the middle of this century; North America is already 80% in cities, and will rise to 90% by 2050. Cities are thus the loci of resource consumption, of economic activity, and of innovation; they are the cause of our looming sustainability problems but also where those problems must be solved. Smart cities are leveraging advanced analytics solutions, usually with spatio-temporal data, to support urban management and more informed decision making. Big urban data, if properly acquired, integrated, and analyzed, can take us beyond today's imperfect and often anecdotal understanding of cities to enable better operations, informed planning, and improved policy.

Despite many efforts in tackling challenges of smart cities through big data and spatio(­-temporal) analysis, there is no standard spatio(­-temporal) data infrastructure able to support the wide range of requirements in different problem areas. This workshop will provide a forum for researchers from various domains to present their results and to work together toward developing such an infrastructure. This includes, but not limited to, techniques, policies, and standards required to acquire, process, and use spatio(-temporal) data, particularly in the urban context.