Date Posted: 7/27/2017

A recent Cornell Chronicle news story features the work of CS Prof Carla Gomes and her collaborator Alex Flecker, CALS professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. Using a seed grant from the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future and additional support from the National Science Foundation’s Expeditions in Computing initiative, the researchers are crunching big data related to Amazonian rivers and waterways as they evaluate the cumulative economic and environmental impacts of dams. “Computer science has developed tools and models to design big computer networks, to design the grid. When you look at river connectivity, we leverage those advances to reflect the reality of the Amazon. We found an example of a set of dams that disrupts major connectivity, but their placement does not contribute much globally in terms of electricity generation. That’s what makes this so exciting. We are trying to reason at a global scale,” said Gomes.