A couple of months ago I was appointed executive-in-residence at the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), an interdisciplinary applied science research institute led by NYU and NYU-Poly in partnership with academic institutions, global companies and New York City government agencies. CUSP’s overriding mission is the study of “the grand technical, intellectual, engineering, academic, and human challenges posed by a rapidly urbanizing world.” It was formally launched last April by New York City’s mayor Michael Bloomberg.
CUSP’s research and educational programs are centered on urban informatics, - “the acquisition, integration, and analysis of data to understand and improve urban systems and quality of life.” Big Cities + Big Data and Bringing Urban Data to Life are prominently displayed in its website. This coming September, it will start offering two new programs in Applied Urban Science and Informatics, a 30-credit Master of Science, and a 12-credit Advanced Certificate.
Given the central role of big data with CUSP and with other initiatives I’m involved with, I’d like to step back and reflect on what this all means.