Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Associate Dean Mariana Mota PradoIdeas for “smart cities” usually involve the design and deployment of mega infrastructure.  But about the half of the world’s population who live in villages – what would “smart villages” emphasize?  Associate Dean Mariana Mota Prado, an expert on law and development, along with Joseph Wong (Political Sciences/Munk School), will serve as co-investigators in a project led by V. Kumar Murty (Department of Mathematics) to address this question. The team has recently received a $250,000 Connaught Global Challenge Award and will work with collaborators in the United States and India in the next two years. 

The Connaught funding will help this novel interdisciplinary team to take the first step to create a mathematical model as part of a scalable architecture for villages that takes a holistic approach to technology, policy and institutional design. This model can then be used for interdisciplinary training modules on novel development practices. 

This internal award funded by the Connaught Fund is designed to support new collaborations aimed at resolving globally pressing issues.  Teams bring together leading UofT researchers and students from multiple disciplines, along with international collaborators at other universities and innovators and thoughts leaders from other sectors. “The Connaught Global Challenge Award recognizes that only by working together and seeing an issue from many different angles can we truly come up with innovative, ground-breaking solutions,” said Professor Vivek Goel, U of T’s vice-president of research and innovation.