What are you working on?
I am a specialist on Data science. Now I focus on IT Urban Studies, which includes the development of data use methods.
How does Data science make the life of citizens better?
Majority of subdisciplines are based on theoretical models and conjectures. The modern world is full of actual data, so one can get the information from media and the Internet in order to solve up to date problems. A big city is a large database, which becomes more and more accessible. Society supports data openness. It increases research opportunities. For example, instead of hypothetical data I can use factual information when I analyze how the city changes.
The “Center for Urban Science and Progress” (CUSP) offers a concept of “a city as a lab”. What does it mean?
Usually the only place where a researcher works is a laboratory. We decided to use all kinds of information, which surrounds us. The “CUSP” team invents new methods of data processing and data storage and applies these methods to help cities around the world become more productive, livable, equitable, and resilient. For example, using GPS information we learned that citizens of New York use a taxi about 500 000 times a day. It could be useful for road planning. That is why we developed the technology, which helps engineers use this information. It is very important because problem-solving procedure has to follow the logic using proper information. It is wrong when urban authorities, engineers and architects make baseless decisions.
What is a key element of city development?
I think that a lot of aspects that influence progress. But first of all I mention people. Furthermore universities are the key developers because they provide the country with talented experts. They also collaborate with business and own intellectual property.
What do you think about Russia?
I appreciate Russian science because I when a student I read a lot of textbooks written by Russian researchers. During this visit I met a lot of experts from different universities and research centers. The research at ITMO University is of very high quality. It would be desirable for New York scientists to collaborate with Russian data processing centers. I am going to discuss it with my colleagues.
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