Computational Sustainability

Computing and information science and engineering (CISE) research has the potential to put the world on a path toward sustainability, allowing us to manage the use of natural resources and our impact on the environment such that future generations can enjoy a high quality of life. CISE technology can lead to energy, transportation, and water systems that achieve much higher degrees of efficiency by continuously engaging in a cycle of sensing environmental conditions, learning trends and patterns, and optimizing and controlling system operation. It can lead to systems that understand the needs and preferences of people and that support and encourage behavioral changes, both individually and collectively.

sustainability

It can enable scientists, policy makers, and citizens to better predict and understand the consequences of our actions through accurate and transparent modeling tools. Achieving these capabilities will require fundamentally new tools and approaches in such areas as large-scale data management and analysis, modeling and simulation, intelligent optimization and control, cyber-physical systems, human-centered and social computing, and systems engineering. It will also require advances in privacy preservation and cybersecurity to ensure that these sensor-rich, highly adaptive systems cannot be misdirected by malicious intruders or become unwitting conduits of sensitive information about individuals or critical infrastructure.

WORKSHOP/CONFERENCES

Role of Information Sciences and Engineering in Sustainability (RISES) Workshop - This invitation-only workshop—co-sponsored by the CCC and the National Science Foundation—brought together leading researchers in computer science, systems engineering, electrical engineering, transportation engineering, environmental science, biology, the social sciences, etc., to discuss future research directions in energy, transportation, and the environment.

 
WHITE PAPERS
 

  • A Sustainable Future: The Role of Basic Computing Research
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  • Enabling a Revolution in New Transportation
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  • Surface Transportation 3.0
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  • Enabling the Smart Grid
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  • Making the Smart Energy Grid Even Smarter
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  • "Smart Grid": R&D for an Intelligent 21st Century Electrical Energy Distribution Infrastructure
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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently issued a series of solicitations as part of its Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES) initiative:

 
 
 

The primary SEES solicitation for FY 2012 is Sustainable Energy Pathways (SEP), which calls for proposals that "develop efficient pathways towards sustainable energy, from starting points to ending points, via a systems approach." Key priority areas are sustainable energy harvesting, conversion, and storage; and energy transmission, distribution, efficiency, and use. NSF expects to fund 15-20 projects in FY 2012, with each award receiving up to $500K per year for up to four years.

While there is not significant emphasis on computer and information science and engineering (CISE) within the language of the solicitation, there are a number of clear, compelling CISE-related research opportunities that drive forward the goals of the SEP solicitation and broader SEES initiative: optimization of transmission and distribution systems for raw materials, fuels, and energy; new technologies for energy routing and storage management; smart local monitoring (inside and around vehicles) and energy management; global energy management (scheduling, platooning, etc.), robustness, and security; global monitoring (e.g., metro region-wide), data collection, and analytics; site selection and capacity planning of "filling stations"; integration, resilience, and survivability of energy networks; and so on.

Moreover, there is clear interest on the part of the NSF's CISE Directorate in this area, given a number of community workshops and recent webinars. Therefore, it is critically important for us, as a community, to identify new collaborations in this area and to consider submitting, by the Feb. 1, 2012 deadline, multi-disciplinary proposals that drive forward computing while also enhancing sustainable energy systems.

Special CCC-Sponsored Conference Tracks

The CCC is sponsoring a set of computational sustainability challenges & visions tracks at relevant conferences. The goal is to to promote work, at the intersection of computing and sustainability, on principles and applications that address environmental, economic, and societal needs in support of a sustainable future. In these sessions, the CCC provides $1,000, $750, and $500, in the form of travel reimbursement, to the first-, second-, and third- place papers.

  • AAAI-12 Special Track on Computational Sustainability and Artificial Intelligence
    AAAI-12 is joining with the CCC to promote work at the intersection of computing and sustainability on principles and applications that address environmental, economic, and societal needs in support of a sustainable future. An AAAI-12 awards subcommittee will identify best papers in this area and provide travel awards provided by CCC to authors of the best papers.
  • BuildSys 2012
    In order to encourage researchers to present truly visionary concepts on the interface between information technology and sustainability, BuildSys 2012, in cooperation with the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), is offering awards to three regular papers that will be presented in a special Challenges and Visions session.
  • CHI 2012
    CHI 2012 is joining with the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) to promote work at the intersection of computing and sustainability on principles and applications that address environmental, economic, and societal needs in support of a sustainable future. The sustainability awards will be selected from the CHI Best Papers or Nominations in the area of sustainability and HCI and provide travel awards provided by CCC to authors of these related papers.
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  • ICML 2012
    ICML is the central conference for new research on machine learning amongst the summer conferences. An important goal of the meeting is to foster the development of machine learning in new areas, such as sustainability. There has been a growing interest in research on sustainability among machine learning researchers. This year, we will have David MacKay as one of our invited speakers: he is the unique person in the world who is widely known in both machine learning and sustainability, including his book Without Hot Air. We are also happy to have the CCC supporting travel for the authors of "best ICML papers" on machine learning for sustainability. If you are working on machine learning for sustainability, ICML is a natural publication venue.
  • Pervasive 2012
    Pervasive 2012 is joining with the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) to promote work at the intersection of computing and sustainability on principles and applications that address environmental, economic, and societal needs in support of a sustainable future. A Pervasive awards subcommittee will identify Best Papers in this area and provide travel awards provided by CCC to authors of the best papers.
    Learn more...