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Licia Capra's Inaugural Lecture

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Roberts G06 LT

Roberts Building

UCL

London

WC1E 7JE

United Kingdom

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Urban Computing: From Smart Cities to Engaged Citizens

Licia Capra, Professor of Pervasive Computing

Introduction by Anthony Finkelstein, Professor of Software Systems

Vote of thanks by Wolfgang Emmerich, Professor of Professor of Distributed Computing

(a drinks reception will follow in Roberts Foyer)

Abstract: Urbanization is progressing fast, and it is estimated that by 2050 almost 70% of the total global population will live in cities. This process is expected to bring important advantages, including more efficient running of public services and better living standards for its citizens. However, if not properly managed, it risks aggravating existing issues, such as traffic congestion, environmental pollution, and social inequality.

Urban computing is an interdisciplinary research area that aims to help manage this complex process. By acquiring, integrating, and analysing large amounts of heterogeneous data, generated in urban spaces by a diversity of sources, such as sensors, devices, vehicles, buildings, and humans, it aims to derive a rich knowledge about the functioning of our cities, and use it to improve the quality of life of its residents. In this talk, Licia will describe her past and ongoing investigations of a variety of urban data sources. Drawing inspirations from different fields, including urban planning and economics, she will illustrate the models she has built to understand the nature of urban phenomena, with specific applications to public transportation, the environment, and social interactions.

Bio: Licia obtained an MSc degree in Computer Science from the University of Bologna in 2000, and a PhD in Computer Science from UCL in 2003. After a period of postdoctoral work in the Software Systems Engineering Group at UCL Computer Science, she started as Lecturer within the same department in 2005. Licia Capra is now Professor of Pervasive Computing.

Her research originally investigated what programming abstractions, algorithm libraries, and middleware systems to offer application developers, so to ease ubiquitous computing application development. She then shifted focus from programmers to end users of such applications, with the aim to provide them with more positive, engaging and fulfilling experiences when interacting with pervasive technology in their daily life. To achieve this, she has been analysing and modelling human behaviour over space and time, using a variety of “digital traces” that we leave behind, both online and offline. She has been using these models in particular to understand and predict urban phenomena. Licia Capra has been co-PI of the Intel Collaborative Research Institute on Sustainable Connected Cities since October 2012, and a co-director of the UCL Urban Laboratory since 2015.

www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/l.capra/

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Roberts G06 LT

Roberts Building

UCL

London

WC1E 7JE

United Kingdom

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