Each of our 7 initiatives affiliated with the Mansueto Institute is led by one or more faculty members. See their bios below.
Faculty Director, Center for Spatial Data Science
Luc Anselin is the Stein-Freiler Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago. He is the founding director of the Center for Spatial Data Science (CSDS), a joint initiative of the Social Sciences Division and the Computation Institute, to advance computational and statistical methods of dealing with spatial data. Anselin also serves as a Senior Fellow of NORC and chairs the Committee on Geographical Sciences. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2008 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011. His honors include the Walter Isard Award, the William Alonso Prize and the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) Research Award.
Faculty Lead, Urban Cognition Lab
Marc Berman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and is involved in the Cognition, Social and Integrative Neuroscience programs. Understanding the relationship between individual psychological and neural processing and environmental factors lies at the heart of his research. In his Environmental Neuroscience Lab, researchers utilize brain imaging, behavioral experimentation, computational neuroscience and statistical models to quantify the person, the environment and their interactions.
Faculty Lead, Kreisman Initiative for Housing Law and Policy, Million Neighborhoods
Luís M. A. Bettencourt is the Inaugural Director of the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation and Professor of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, as well as an External Professor of Complex Systems at the Santa Fe Institute. He was trained as a theoretical physicist and obtained his undergraduate degree from Instituto Superior Técnico (Lisbon, Portugal) in 1992, and his PhD from Imperial College (University of London, UK) in 1996 for research in statistical and high-energy physics models of the early Universe. He has held postdoctoral positions at the University of Heidelberg (Germany), Los Alamos National Laboratory (Director’s Fellow and Slansky Fellow) and at MIT (Center for Theoretical Physics). He has worked extensively on complex systems theory and on cities and urbanization, in particular. His research emphasizes the creation of new interdisciplinary synthesis to describe cities in quantitative and predictive ways, informed by classical theory from various disciplines and the growing availability of empirical data worldwide. He is the author of over 100 scientific papers and several edited books. His research has been featured in leading media venues, such as the New York Times, Nature, Wired, New Scientist, and the Smithsonian.
Faculty Lead, Urban Architecture and Design
Bill Brown’s research—at the intersection of literary, visual and material cultures—has tracked how objects form and transform human subjects, and, most recently, how the arts can contribute to social theory. His focuses include popular literary genres such as science fiction and the Western; on recreational forms such as baseball and kung fu; and on the ways that mass-cultural phenomena from roller coasters to Kodak cameras impress themselves on the literary imagination. He teaches on Walt Whitman, “Urban Fiction and American Space, 1880-1910” and on “Modernity and the Sense of Things.”
Director, Array of Things
Charlie Catlett is the founding director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data, UrbanCCD, which brings social, physical, and computational scientists together with artists, architects, technologists, and policy makers to explore science-based approaches to opportunities and challenges related to the understanding, design, and sustainable operation of cities. To this end, UrbanCCD brings expertise, tools, and resources to bear from computational modeling, data analytics, and embedded systems. He is also a Senior Computer Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, Lead Investigator of the Array of Things, and a Senior Fellow at the Computation Institute of the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. From 2007 to 2011, Charlie was the Chief Information Officer at Argonne National Laboratory, and from 2004 to 2007 he was Director of the National Science Foundation’s TeraGrid initiative – a nationally distributed supercomputing facility involving fifteen universities and federal laboratories. Before joining the University of Chicago and Argonne in 2000, Charlie was Chief Technology Officer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Recognized in 2014 as one of Chicago’s “Tech 50” technology leaders by Crain’s Chicago Business, Charlie is a Computer Engineering graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Faculty Lead, Environmental Frontiers
Elisabeth Moyer is an Associate Professor in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences and an affiliate with the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. She co-directs the Center for Robust Decision-making on Climate and Energy Policy, an NSF-funded interdisciplinary center focused on open-source tools to support decisionmaking. Moyer’s research spans atmospheric science, climate statistics, and energy and climate policy analysis. Her climate research focuses on the statistics of evolving climate states; her atmospheric science research focuses on the processes that control the distribution of water vapor and formation of cirrus clouds in the upper troposphere and stratosphere.
Faculty Lead, Environmental Frontiers
Dr. Sabina Shaikh is Director of the Program on Global Environment and a Senior Lecturer in Environmental and Urban Studies in the College, Committee on Geographical Sciences in the Social Sciences Division, and at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. She is the faculty director of Chicago Studies and co-leads the Environmental Frontiers Initiative at the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation. Her research focuses on the relationship of humans to environmental change, related to health, livelihoods and migration. Her collaborative research on water sustainability in the Mekong Basin of Cambodia has been funded by the National Science Foundation and recently by through the Center for International Social Science Research, Social Science Research Center and the Neubauer Collegium at the University of Chicago.