12th International Workshop on Computational Transportation Science (IWCTS 2019) (co-located with ACM SIGSPATIAL 2019)

Chicago, Illinois
November 5 - 8, 2019


Understanding Cities and the Environment through AI-Enabled Sensors


Urbanization is one of the great challenges and opportunities of this century, inextricably tied to global challenges ranging from climate change to sustainable use of energy and natural resources, and from personal health and safety to accelerating innovation and education. There is a growing science community—spanning nearly every discipline—pursuing research related to these challenges.  For many urban questions, there is a need for measurements with greater spatial and temporal resolution than is currently available for understanding air quality, microclimate, vibration, noise, and other factors. Concurrently, many factors—from the flow of people through a public space to the impact of at-grade rail crossings on emergency response—require more sophisticated “measurements” involving embedded, or “edge” computing within the urban infrastructure. Catlett will discuss projects including the NSF-funded Array of Things and SAGE Software-Defined Sensors initiatives and Argonne’s open Waggle platform, providing a glimpse into how embedded, intelligent measurement will be critical to understanding and addressing not only urban challenges but also ecological and environmental challenges at regional and continental scales.


Charles Catlett is a Senior Computer Scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and a Senior Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation. His current research focuses on urban data analytics, urban modeling, and the design and use of sensing and “edge” computing technologies embedded in urban infrastructure. He is the principal investigator of the NSF-funded “Array of Things” (AoT), an experimental urban infrastructure to measure the city’s environment with sensors and embedded (“edge”), remotely programmable artificial intelligence hardware.  Operating at over 120 locations in Chicago, AoT is expanding to 200 during 2019. 

Catlett served as Argonne’s Chief Information Officer from 2007-2010. Before joining UChicago and Argonne in 2000, he was Chief Technology Officer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  From NCSA’s founding in 1985 he participated in the development of NSFNET, one of several early national networks that evolved into what we now experience as the Internet. During the exponential growth of the web following the release of NCSA’s Mosaic web browser, his team developed and supported NCSA’s scalable web server infrastructure. 

Charlie founded the Urban Center for Computation and Data at the University of Chicago in 2012, was recognized as one of Chicago’s “Tech 50” technology leaders by Crain’s Chicago Business in 2014, and nationally as one of “25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers” of 2016 by Government Technology magazine. He is also the recipient of the Argonne Board of Governors 2016 Distinguished Performance Award. Charlie is a Computer Engineering graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.