Senseable Cities

Prof. Dr. Carlo Ratti
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Abstract: The way we live, work, and play is very different today than it was just a few decades ago, thanks in large part to a network of connectivity that now encompasses most people on the planet. In a similar way, today we are at the beginning of a new technological revolution: the Internet is entering the physical space – the traditional domain of architecture and design – becoming an "Internet of Things" or IoT. As such, it is opening the door to a variety of applications that – in a similar way to what happened with the first wave of the Internet – can encompass many domains: from production to citizen participation, from energy to mobility to public hygiene, all of which requiring new insights due to the changes brought forth by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The contribution from Prof. Carlo Ratti will address these issues from a critical point of view through projects by the Senseable City Laboratory, a research initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the design office Carlo Ratti Associati.

Biography: An architect and engineer by training, Professor Carlo Ratti teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he directs the Senseable City Lab, and is a founding partner of the international design and innovation office Carlo Ratti Associati. He graduated from the Politecnico di Torino and the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris, and later earned his MPhil and PhD at the University of Cambridge, UK.

A leading voice in the debate on new technologies’ impact on urban life and design, Carlo has co-authored over 500 publications, including “The City of Tomorrow” (Yale University Press, with Matthew Claudel), and holds several technical patents. His articles and interviews have appeared on international media including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Financial Times, Scientific American, BBC, Project Syndicate, Corriere della Sera, Il Sole 24 Ore, Domus. His work has been exhibited worldwide at venues such as the Venice Biennale, the Design Museum Barcelona, the Science Museum in London, MAXXI in Rome, and MoMA in New York City.

Carlo has been featured in Esquire Magazine’s ‘Best & Brightest’ list and in Thames & Hudson’s selection of ‘60 innovators’ shaping our creative future. Blueprint Magazine included him as one of the ‘25 People Who Will Change the World of Design’, Forbes listed him as one of the ‘Names You Need To Know’ and Fast Company named him as one of the ’50 Most Influential Designers in America’. He was also featured in Wired Magazine’s ‘Smart List: 50 people who will change the world’. Three of his projects – the Digital Water Pavilion, the Copenhagen Wheel and Scribit – have been included by TIME Magazine in the list of the ‘Best Inventions of the Year’.

Carlo has been a presenter at TED (in 2011 and 2015), program director at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow, curator of the BMW Guggenheim Pavilion in Berlin, and was named Inaugural Innovator in Residence by the Queensland Government. He was the curator of the Future Food District pavilion for the 2015 World Expo in Milan and chief curator of the "Eyes of the City" section at the 2019 UABB Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism of Shenzhen. He is currently serving as co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Cities and Urbanization.

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Ocean and Climate, and the need for Marine Data Science

Prof. Dr. Arne Biastoch
GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

Abstract: The ocean plays an important role for the climate of our planet. The ocean has taken up almost 90% of the excess global heat and a significant fraction of anthropogenic trace gases. By doing so, it significantly buffers global warming. On the opposite, it reacts to global warming through rising sea levels, acidification and deoxygenization. In times of changing climate, it is fundamental to understand the changes in ocean circulation and hydrography, to improve our projections of the future evolution of climate.

Ocean observations are scarce. Satellites cover only the surface of the ocean, deeper measurements rely on ship-based observations, moored instruments and autonomous instruments. Numerical ocean models help to fill the observational gaps in space and time, but are, as any digital model, never complete nor without errors. The heterogeneity and sparseness of the observational data on one hand, and the big data from models on the other hand, leads to challenges of fusing several data sources into physically consistent pictures.

The unique characteristics of sea water flowing on a rotating Earth create motions and distributions that often require tailored and newly developed solutions to apply data science approaches to ocean data. For this particular approach, marine scientists and computer scientists have teamed up and formed the Helmholtz School for Marine Data Science, MarDATA. Experts from both domains, marine sciences and data science, jointly educate doctoral candidates with a computer science background to train and establish marine data scientists.

The contribution from Prof. Arne Biastoch will address the needs and challenges of marine sciences and the contributions that data science approaches can make to improve our understanding of the ocean and its role in the climate system.

Biography: Arne Biastoch is a physical oceanographer and an ocean modeler at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Oceanography Kiel. He studied and graduated in Kiel and spent his postdoc at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, U.S.A. Since 2018 he is also professor for ocean dynamics at Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel.

Arne Biastoch’s work covers a range of aspects of ocean dynamics, in particular the role of ocean currents in the global ocean circulation and their role in climate and climate change. His group develops and performs high-resolution ocean and climate models, covering processes with scales from days to decades, and from km-scale to the basin-scale circulation. He also works interdisciplinary, as an example uses numerical particle tracking to studiy the dispersal of marine organisms and passively drifting objects such as debris. In 2019, he initiated MarDATA, the Helmholtz School for Marine Data Science for which he serves as a speaker. MarDATA is an activity by GEOMAR and the Alfred-Wegener-Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar Research (AWI) and their corresponding universities in Kiel, Bremen and Bremerhaven. MarDATA’s mission is to define, educate and establish the profile of marine data scientists, by enabling early career researchers with a strong computer science background to apply their skills to multidisciplinary marine sciences and to support their doctoral research through a comprehensive training program.

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