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How do we build a sustainable digital society?

REGISTER NOW: On October 17 and 18, a Concordia colloquium explores the ecological power of the cloud and the internet of things
September 18, 2017
By Amanda Clarke


Global network operators are facing significant challenges supporting ever-increasing bandwidth demands and service expectations.

Add to this the fact that the worldwide data picture is on the threshold of profound upheavals due to a rapidly emerging field: the internet of things (IoT).

Expect billions of connected objects to appear in the market in coming years, generating large volumes of data (known as “big data”) that will have to be transported, processed and stored on a large scale.

IoT promises to be a disruptive technology with strong international commercial potential.

It’s in this context that Concordia professors Brigitte Jaumard and Tristan Glatard, alongside Laurent Lefèvre from École Normale Supérieure de Lyon and institutional partner Le Centre Jacques Cartier, are organizing a colloquium on the topic.

Taking place from October 17 to 18 at Concordia, “Towards a Sustainable Digital Society: From Clouds to Connected Objects” will explore both the impacts and merits of big data.

Big data, huge potential

While most data is in the cloud, its impact has earthly footprints. Powering our digital society generates multiple environmental impacts. Our digital devices require natural resource extraction, manufacturing, transportation, energy and recycling.

Glatard points out that there is an urgent need to measure these impacts and propose solutions to reduce and control them from a sustainable development perspective.

But he also notes that big data offers us new possibilities for meeting environmental targets.

“Data can now be collected from a variety of connected sensors measuring all kinds of variables such as motion, temperature and geolocation. This is a tremendous opportunity to feed data analytics pipelines at a level previously unseen,” he explains.

“Well-established techniques from the machine-learning and data-mining fields can now reveal their full potential, creating new decision and prediction tools in data science, including sustainability and energy. Leveraging such large streams of data requires a proper IT infrastructure, though, and this is where the cloud kicks in.”

A natural development of Concordia’s ongoing partnership with Le Centre Jacques Cartier and previous events on green IT, the colloquium brings together researchers from academia and industry who work on cloud computing, IoT, communication networks, terminal equipment, connected objects and data centres.

Together they share one common concern: designing a sustainable, next-generation digital society.

"Towards a Sustainable Digital Society: From Clouds to Connected Objects" takes place at Concordia, as part of Entretiens Jacques Cartier, from October 17 to 18 in Room 2.260 of the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts (EV) Integrated Complex (1515 Ste. Catherine St. W.). Register now.

Find out more about Concordia’s
Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering.


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