Programming for the Planet
As simultaneous crises in emissions and biodiversity sweep the planet, computer systems that analyse the complex interplay of our globe’s health are ever more crucial to guiding policy decisions about how to get out of the mess we’re in.
In this talk, I examine how principled programming can contribute to building systems that are more resilient, predictable and reproducible in the face of tackling ecological problems. This involves huge amounts of observation data (such as from satellites and ground sensing) that demands precise access control (or else poachers and malicious actors go straight to the source) and requires interactive exploration from vernacular programmers at different levels of the software stack (to do environmental science). I’ll highlight our experiences with ongoing cross-disciplinary research that is having a real impact on conservation projects that are sorely underserved by current systems/PL infrastructure. I also hope to encourage some of you to form your own local collaborations with your colleagues working on the climate crisis!
Anil Madhavapeddy is the Professor of Planetary Computing at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory. He co-leads the Energy and Environment Group at Cambridge, and also directs the Cambridge Centre for Carbon Credits (4C), which aims to increase the integrity of natural climate solutions that contribute towards ending deforestation and improving biodiversity globally, via the application of modern remote sensing and statistical techniques to reduce the overheads of verifying interventions. He has decades of experience with constructing Internet-scale systems, and has been a core maintainer on projects such as Docker, Xen, OCaml and OpenBSD, with users ranging from cloud computing providers to financial institutions to governments worldwide. He was co-awarded the ACM Programming Languages Software Award in 2023.
Time: 13.00 – 14.00
Date: Tuesday 5 March
Location: In person | I-X Conference Room | Level 5 | Translation and Innovation Hub (I-HUB)
Imperial White City Campus
84 Wood Lane