In the autumn of 2022, I had the great opportunity to visit the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA) at The Ohio State University (OSU) for three months.
Project in Columbus
One of the areas I worked on was the Smart Columbus project. In 2016, the city of Columbus was granted the Smart City award through a challenge set out by the U.S. Department of Transport, asking mid-sized US cities to develop ideas for an integrated smart transportation system, using data, technology and applications for a more enhanced living experience for their citizens. The “Smart Columbus” initiative led by the City of Columbus and the Columbus Partnership invested in solutions including the deployment of electric and autonomous vehicles, expansion of public transportation options, and development of a data-sharing platform to support decision-making.
As I have been applying the systems engineering approach to my work, I found it particularly interesting to learn how the city managed such a complex multi-agency IT project. I was lucky to have had the chance to meet stakeholders from the City of Columbus, the Management of the Smart City project, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and local GIS providers for smart city applications to talk about project management, data challenges, and the role of geospatial data.
At the same time, CURA gave me the great opportunity to present my research in various formats, meet fellow researchers and receive valuable feedback for my ongoing PhD research. Some highlights include:
In-person presentation on my latest paper publication (Towards a digital twin for supporting multi-agency incident management in a smart city)
Online webinar with Q&A (Integrating multi-scale real-time data for safe and resilient communities with Kristina Wolf)
Poster presentation at the Interdisciplinary Research Fall Forum hosted by the Translational Data Analytics Institute’s Fall Forum
Conference paper presentation
Another interdisciplinary project allowed me to collaborate with the Department of Computer Science and Engineering to explore how we can reduce friction in incident reporting using computer vision and text generation. This involved using publicly available images of Hurricane Ian, which made landfall in Florida in September 2022. Also, I am pleased to announce that our paper has been accepted for presentation at the Bridge Programme AI for Climate Science at the Advanced Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) conference in February 2023 in Washington D.C..
Life at OSU
Outside of work, I also had a great time exploring student life as well as the broader state of Ohio. OSU has a beautiful campus with many different learning spaces. The “Buckeye Spirit” is captivating, and it is truly a unique experience to watch a football game inside OSU’s horseshoe-shaped stadium. Autumn is also a great time of year to visit Ohio, with several parks offering exciting hiking trails, waterfalls and beautiful views in various bright shades of red, yellow and orange.
All in all, I am very glad to have had this valuable experience, to have met wonderful people, and gathered important feedback that I can integrate into my further work.