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For questions regarding this article, contact Carla
Gomes ( firstname.lastname@example.org), a professor of computer
science and director of the Institute for Computational
Sustainability at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
Copyright held by authors/owners.
include many other exciting research
contributions and computational challenges raised by sustainability questions, as identified in computer science,
engineering, and social and natural
sciences. Examples include the role of
large-scale distributed systems and sensor networks, the Internet of Things,
cyber-physical systems, cyber security,
privacy, fairness, accountability, transparency for advanced computational
systems, and also fundamental computational concepts such as reliability,
modeling the hierarchical structure of
socio-technical systems, and human-in-the-loop systems and intuitive,
user-friendly interfaces. We also only
touched on some of the 17 U.N. sustainable development goals. We point the
reader to the increasing number of conferences and journals that are now starting to include tracks, workshops, and
special issues focusing on tackling sustainability and societal issues, bringing
together different computing and information science areas (HCI, systems, AI,
and algorithms, among others).
Planning for a sustainable future en-
compasses complex interdisciplinary
decisions for balancing environmental,
economic, and societal needs, which
involve significant computational
challenges, requiring expertise and re-
search efforts in computing and infor-
mation science and related disciplines.
Computational sustainability aims to
develop new computational methodol-
ogies to help address such environmen-
tal, economic, and societal challenges.
The continued dramatic advances in
digital platforms, computer software
and hardware, sensor networks and the
Internet of Things continue to provide
significant new opportunities for accel-
erating the pace of discovery to address
societal and sustainability issues. Com-
putational sustainability is a two-way
street: it injects computational ideas,
thinking, and methodologies into ad-
dressing sustainability questions but
it also leads to foundational contribu-
tions to computing and information
science by exposing computer scien-
tists to new challenging problems,
formalisms, and concepts from other
disciplines. Just as sustainability issues
intersect an ever-increasing cross-sec-
tion of emerging scientific application
domains, computational sustainabil-
ity broadens the scope and diversity of
computing and information science
while having profound societal impact.
Acknowledgments. We thank the
CompSustNet members for their many
contributions to computational sustainability and the support of two NSF
Expeditions in Computing awards
(CNS-0832782 and CCF-1522054). We
thank the anonymous reviewers for
their suggestions to improve the manuscript. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes
only and does not imply endorsement
by the U.S. government.
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