Tag Archive | "Center for Computational Science"

Tags: , ,

Register for the Digital Humanities + Data Journalism Symposium September 14-16


DH-DJ SymposiumDigital humanists and data journalists face common goals, opportunities, and challenges, including how to communicate effectively with the public. They use similar software tools, programming languages, and techniques, and they can learn from each other September 14-16 at the Digital Humanities + Data Journalism Symposium at the Newman Alumni Center on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus. In addition to lectures and tutorials about shared data types, visualization methods, and data communication—including text visualization, network diagrams, maps, databases, and data wrangling—there will be opportunities for casual conversation and networking.

Open to the public, the symposium will be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, September 14 and 15, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, September 16. There is a $99 fee for the symposium, which is jointly sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Google News Lab; Microsoft; and the University of Miami’s School of Communication, Libraries, College of Arts and Sciences, and Center for Computational Science.

To learn more and to register, visit http://dhdj.com.miami.edu/.

 

 

Posted in Events, NewsComments Off

Smart Cities Conference Plans for New Future

Tags: ,

Smart Cities Conference Plans for New Future


Special to UM News

smart-cities-event-365x365

The inaugural conference was held in the Miami Design District’s Moore Building.

MIAMI, Fla. (February 24, 2017)—The inaugural Smart Cities Miami Conference, hosted last week by the School of Architecture and Center for Computational Science, brought industry visionaries, technology experts, government planners, and the public together to focus on the “disruptive power” that the mobilization of new technology will have in our cities and on our lives.

“We are at the threshold of significant transformations in the urban environment provoked by new services and practices that mobilize emerging technology,’’ Rodolphe el-Khoury, dean of the School of Architecture said in kicking off the conference held February 23 and 24 in the Miami Design District’s Moore Building. “These disruptive powers, along with more radical disruptions are sure to change the ways we imagine, shape, inhabit, use, enjoy, manage, and govern the urban realm.”

Added Nick Tsinoremas, director of the Center for Computational Science (CCS), “We live in unprecedented times where technology transforms the way we live and interact with the city. This conference is our first attempt to bring together all the stakeholders—government, industry, academic institutions, and the public—to engage in discussions to understand and shape these transformational forces.”

The forum for cutting-edge research and interdisciplinary perspectives was designed to connect UM and the larger community of entrepreneurs and innovators who are rapidly reinventing Miami as an incubator for tech start-ups with the development and planning agencies in the public and private sectors who are guiding the evolution of one of the fastest-growing cities in North America.

The keynote speaker, Antoine Picon, the director of research at Harvard Graduate School of Design and an expert on the Smart City phenomenon, talked extensively about the changes brought to cities and architecture by digital tools and digital culture as well as the need for technology to embrace sociocultural issues. He emphasized that the city of the future will combine human with artificial intelligence and that from this, a new awareness will arise.

In an interdisciplinary collaboration, Joel Zysman, CCS’s director of Advanced Computing, and Jean-Pierre Bardet, dean of the College of Engineering, led discussions about transformation through datafication, environmentally sustainable technologies, innovation, artificial intelligence, and the best uses of technology solutions.

The School of Architecture’s RAD-UM Lab and several technology companies also shared their demos and start-up innovations, showcasing mixed-use building blocks for a smart city environment.

During the second day of the conference, a Zenciti Workshop, a multidisciplinary team led by Dean el-Khoury examined and discussed a project for a smart city, designed from the ground up on a site in Mexico’s Yucatan, just outside Merida. Zenciti will illustrate a customized city on a unified platform, serving as a prototype of the future.

As Picon suggested, every city, even if not yet identified as a “smart city,” needs a plan.

The conference was made possible with the support of contributing sponsors Zenciti, Intel, DDN Storage, and the Miami Design District.

 

Posted in News, Priority: Home Page More NewsComments Off

Tags:

Center for Computational Science Fellows Program Accepting Applications for 2016-17


The Center for Computational Science is accepting applications for the CCS Fellows 2016-2017 Program through Friday, October 7. The program, which is open to graduate students in their second year or above, and to undergraduate students at the sophomore level or above, from any school or department at the University of Miami, is designed to inspire a new generation of leaders in computational science by offering students the opportunity to work in a broad cross-disciplinary research setting.

Two undergraduate students and two graduate students per year are selected out of the pool of applicants. CCS Fellows gain valuable computational skills, collaborative skills, and have an additional accolade on their CV. The program consistently results in continued cross-disciplinary collaborations among the participants, be they students or their faculty mentors.

Fellows will have the opportunity to use CCS’s world-class Advanced Computing facilities for their research, and to work closely with CCS faculty, members, and staff. Fellows are expected to conduct a research project for the duration of the fellowship under the guidance of two cross-disciplinary mentors. These mentors would normally include the student’s main advisor, and a faculty colleague from a different department with complementary interests and skills. Fellows may enroll in appropriate courses for research credits, and approach CCS faculty and staff for access to software or other facilities as needed, and they will present their work at the CCS Fellows Symposium in Spring 2017.

Applicants must be of good standing and have an interest in computational science. Applicants with either previous research experience or some existing computational skills, or both, will have an advantage.

For more information and to apply, visit the CCS Fellows website. For questions, contact ccseducation@med.miami.edu.

 

Posted in NewsComments Off

UM to Design Smart City in the Yucatan

Tags: , ,

UM to Design Smart City in the Yucatan


ZencitiSpecial to UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (July 12, 2016)—In March, the University of Miami announced a hemispheric collaboration between its Center for Computational Science and the Yucatan State Government’s Information Technologies Innovation Center, which is known as Heuristic and located in the Yucatan Science and Technology Park. Taking that collaboration a step further, the UM School of Architecture, its Responsive Architecture and Design Lab, and the CCS will come together to design Zenciti, a smart city next to the science park.

“Instances where smart cities are designed and implemented from scratch are very rare,” said Rodolphe el-Khoury, dean of UMSoA and director of the RAD-UM Lab. “We are fortunate to have the opportunity to design a hyper-connected city where urban infrastructure, municipal services, and social activities are orchestrated into a vibrant and sustainable environment.”

Zenciti came about when a group of developers and leaders in the IT industry joined forces for an opportunity they saw in the growing knowledge economy of Yucatan, spurred by its strategic geographic location and various other social and economic circumstances, including the Yucatan Science and Technology Park, located 30 minutes from downtown Merida. Zenciti will bring into play, among other things, a hub for tech startups that should create a synergy with the science park and fuel development.

Dean el-Khoury and his team think of Zenciti as a startup city: “Just like startup firms create something innovative that is hard to accommodate within existing companies, a startup city prototypes from the ground up a new way of life, something that departs from existing cities and the lifestyles, transactions, governance, and culture they enable,” he said.

Zenciti will occupy roughly 650 acres and will provide 6,000 jobs in the area, on top of the 4,000 that will be created by the science and technology park. The multidisciplinary team working on the smart city includes the following:

School of Architecture:
Rodolphe el-Khoury, PI/RAD-UM
Adib Cure – Architecture and Urban Design
Carie Penabad – Architecture and Urban Design
Juhong Park – Computation, Machine Learning, and Smart Systems
Mark Troen – Real Estate Development and Finance
Veruska Vasconez – Digital Media

Center for Computational Science:
Dean Rodolphe el-Khoury – PI/CCS Program Director Smart Cities
Chris Mader – Software Engineering
Joel Zysman – Advanced Computing

College of Engineering:
Wangda Zuo – Energy and Infrastructure
Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos – Responsive Structures

Posted in News, Priority: Home Page TeaserComments Off

UM Researchers Develop Blueprint to Thwart ISIS Online

Tags: ,

UM Researchers Develop Blueprint to Thwart ISIS Online


Neil Johnson and his team applied a mathematical equation to

UM physicist Neil Johnson and his team employed a mathematical equation to find serious social media support groups for ISIS.

By Deserae E. del Campo
and Maya Bell

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (June 16, 2016)—A team of University of Miami researchers has developed a model to identify behavioral patterns among serious online groups of ISIS supporters that could provide cyber police and other anti-terror watchdogs a roadmap to their activity and indicators when conditions are ripe for the onset of real-world attacks.

The researchers, who identified and analyzed second-by-second online records of 196 pro-ISIS groups operating during the first eight months of 2015, found that even though most of the 108,000-plus individual members of these self-organized groups probably never met, they had a striking ability to adapt and extend their online longevity, increase their size and number, reincarnate when shut down—and inspire “lone wolves” with no history of extremism to carry out horrific attacks like the nation’s deadliest mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando this week.

“It was like watching crystals forming. We were able to see how people were materializing around certain social groups; they were discussing and sharing information—all in real-time,” said Neil Johnson, a physicist in the College of Arts and Sciences who uses the laws of physics to study the collective behavior of not only particles but people. “The question is: Can there be a signal of how people are coming collectively together to do something without a proper system in place?”

The answer, according to the study—“New online ecology of adversarial aggregates: ISIS and beyond,” to be published in the journal Science on June 17—is yes. Generalizing a mathematical equation commonly used in physics and chemistry to the development and growth of ad hoc pro-ISIS groups, Johnson and his research team witnessed the daily interactions that drove online support for these groups, or “aggregates,” and how they coalesced and proliferated prior to the onset of real-world campaigns.

The researchers suggest that by concentrating just on these relatively few groups of serious followers—those that discuss operational details like routes for financing and avoiding drone strikes—cyber police and other anti-terrorist watchdogs could monitor their buildup and transitions and thwart the potential onset of a burst of violence.

“This removes the guess work. With that road map, law enforcement can better navigate what is going on, who is doing what, while state security agencies can better monitor what might be developing,” said Johnson, who describes the research in an article he wrote for The Conversation, an academic blog. “So the message is: Find the aggregates—or at least a representative portion of them—and you have your hand on the pulse of the entire organization, in a way that you never could if you were to sift through the millions of Internet users and track specific individuals, or specific hashtags.”

While the Johnson team concentrated on the ecology of collective behavior, not on single individuals, he said their roadmap could eventually help security officials track individuals like Omar Mateen, who claimed allegiance to ISIS and other extremist groups during his shooting rampage that killed 49 people and wounded 53 others at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub early Sunday. Authorities say the New York-born Florida man was a lone actor who was radicalized online.

“Our research suggests that any online ‘lone wolf’ actor will only truly be alone for short periods of time,” Johnson said. “As a result of the coalescence process that we observe in the online activity, any such lone wolf was either recently in an aggregate or will soon be in another one. With time, we would be able to track the trajectories of individuals through this ecology of aggregates.”

VK Social Media

The researchers unraveled the connections and communication of serious ISIS supporters on  VKontakte, Europe’s largest online social networking service, based in Russia.

For the study, Johnson and his research team monitored pro-ISIS groups on VKontakte, the largest online social networking service in Europe, which is based in Russia and has more than 350 million users from multiple cultures who speak multiple languages. Unlike on Facebook, which very quickly shuts down these groups, they are able to survive longer on VKontakte.

The researchers began their online search of pro-ISIS chatter manually, identifying specific social media hashtags, in multiple languages, which they used as “signals” to trace the more serious groups. Study co-author Stefan Wuchty, a computer science professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and member of the Center for Computational Science, compared the hashtag search to throwing a stone in a lake, watching the ripples, then following each one.

The hashtags were tracked to the online groups, and the data was fed into a software system that mounted the search; the results were repeated until the chase lead back to groups previously traced in the system. The mathematical equation Johnson and his team borrowed from chemistry and physics illustrated the fluctuation of online groups and pointed to possible predictions.

“The mathematics perfectly describes what we saw in real-time—how big and quickly these online groups grew and how quickly they were shut down by agencies or other monitoring groups,” Johnson said.

As cyber police or other anti-terror entities got better at shutting down the groups, Johnson and his team watched the groups reincarnate by changing their names and identities, or shutting themselves down and going quiet, as if they were in stealth mode, only to reappear under a different identity later.

“Much of the scientific community is focusing on different explanations as to why social media is so important, and I think we found research that presents a kind of crystallization method, looking at the dynamics of these groups and how they crystalize, appear, and morph into other groups.”

Johnson and his team’s quest to distinguish serious pro-ISIS support from casual chatter began largely by coincidence in 2014, when he was working on a grant from the U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity to develop a model for predicting unrest or mass protest based on online activity. Just as that grant was concluding, ISIS emerged on the world stage, becoming a feared and familiar household name after the beheading of one then another U.S. journalist on camera. More would follow.

The second journalist to lose his life in such a ghastly fashion, Miami native Steven Sotloff, has ties to the University of Miami. To honor their son’s work overseas, his parents established the 2Lives: Steven Joel Sotloff Memorial Foundation, which awarded its first Steven Joel Sotloff Memorial Endowed Scholarship to a UM student in the School of Communication.

In addition to Johnson and Wuchty, other coauthors of the Science study are UM’s Yulia Vorobyeva and Nicolas Velazquez, of the Department of International Studies; Minzhang Zheng, Andrew Gabriel, Hong Qi, Pedro Manrique, and Chaoming Song, all from the Department of Physics; Elvira Restrepo, of the Department of Geography and Regional Studies; and from Harvard University’s Department of Government, Daniela Johnson.

Johnson credited the College of Arts and Sciences Complexity Initiative, under which several of the co-authors were hired as faculty, for enabling researchers from such diverse disciplines to tackle such a significant real-world problem.

Posted in News, Priority: Slider Feature ItemComments Off

  • Features
  • Tags
  • Popular
  • Subscribe
  • Subscribe to the Veritas RSS Feed
    Get updates to all of the latest Veritas posts by clicking the logo at the right.

    You can also subscribe to specific categories by browsing to a particular section on our site and clicking the RSS icon below each section's header.

UM Facebook

UM Twitter