Happy New Year

Lake Tahoe ForestHappy New Year! One of my resolutions this year is to make more regular contributions to this blog, so….some just a few brief thoughts on the Neural Information Processing Systems conference I attended last month and upcoming deadlines.

If you have exciting news to share or ideas for posts share them here or check out the new Computational Sustainability Community on Google+ which is already linked with several other sustainability and ecological communities. There is a larger than usual presence amongst scientists on Google+ it seems, so if you are going to dip your toes into the social media universe for your work this might be the best way to do it.

One of the keynote talks at this year’s NIPS in Lake Tahoe, the prestigious Posner lecture, was given by ICS’s own Thomas Dietterich of OSU. He spoke about his vision for current and future research in Ecological Information or Computational Sustainability. The talk was very well received and definitely made explaining my research to people easier throughout the conference. The universal reaction I heard from people essentially came down to 1) Oh that’s great research, very interesting. 2) I’d like to get into that somehow. ‘Somehow’ is of course the hard first step. Successful CompSust research comes from collaboration between data scientists in Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Operation Research with domain researchers in ecological and environmental sciences. These networks are hard to build. Even then finding the right approach and translating different terminologies and approaches are complex problems. This of course is one of the great benefits of the collaborative work as well. There was also a workshop on Human Computation (think Mechanical Turk) for Computational Sustainability that had lots of fascinating ideas for future work. There’s a great summary by Timo Honkela here.


  • Conference: AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence with a special track on Computational Sustainability for the third year in a row. AAAI is Co-located this year with UAI2013. Deadlines:  Abstracts: Jan 19, 2013. Papers: Jan 22, 2013. Time and Place:  July 14-18, 2013 in Bellevue, Washington (near Seattle).
  • Conference: International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence The theme of IJCAI 2013 is “AI and computational sustainability“. The conference will include for the first time a special track dedicated to papers concerned with all the aspects of Computational Sustainability. Deadlines: Abstract: January 26, 2013. Paper: January 31, 2013. Time and Place: Beijing, China, on August 3-9, 2013.
  • Conference : ICT for Sustainability Conference : aims to bring together leading researchers to take stock of the role of ICT in sustainability, to create an interdisciplinary synopsis, to inspire new approaches to unleash the potential of ICT for sustainability, and to improve methodologies of evaluating, developing, and governing the effects of ICT systems on the sustainability of societal and environmental systems. Deadline: passed. Time and Place:  ETH Zurich February 14-16, 2013.

Are we missing something? Let us know.

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