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Master's Degree in Smart Cities

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METHODOLOGY

In the case of the both the master’s degree and the diplomas, activity is structured into two main blocks of units in which the students’ working procedures involve case studies and practical examples through theoretical and practical sessions, lectures, seminars and debates.



PROGRAMME

Block 1: October to January (face-to-face courses)

1. Urban planning and ICTs: concepts and initiatives

Review of various urban initiatives leading up to the Smart City: new urbanism (“smart code”), ruralism, fractal city, sustainable city, liveable city, knowledge city, creative city, digital city, smart city. Smart City experiences in the new city and existing city. Planned city case study. Transformed city case study. A look at different methodologies for urban planning (systematisation, standardisation, etc.). Differences between urbanism and urban planning. Study of the following concepts: planning 2.0, e-planning, web-based planning, etc.

2. Measuring urban smartness and sustainability 

Smart cities build on the sustainable city: existing indicators for measuring urban sustainability and necessary indicators for measuring urban smartness. New representation metrics for measuring urban smartness: Neogeography, Applied Geography, Geostatistics and spatial simulation, Spatial statistical models, Space temporal modelling, Collaborative mapping, Geotagging, Volunteered geographic information, Ontologies for urban planning, City Gml, Maps mash up, Tangible maps and planning. Control of urban systems: traffic, pollution, smart watering of public places (timers and programmers complemented with weather forecasting technology, humidity data, etc. to adjust irrigation, etc.). Smart environment: monitoring of air quality, water quality, noise, humidity, temperature, nocturnal light pollution.

3. Urban visualisation techniques 

Virtual reality and modelling techniques. Description of techniques: remote sensing, 3D models and urban modelling in general, dynamic modelling, etc. Geovisual analytics, geovisualisation, data analysis for visual exploration. Visualisation and modelling of tracking data. Geographical Information Systems. Representation of geolocalised data and user maps: representation of data mining, representation of ubiquitous mobility, of mobile software activity, mobility maps (traffic in real time, etc.), mapping of anonymous data (urban flows, time patterns, etc.), combining user maps with open data, deformed maps (maps in continuous deformation according to a specific criteria).

4. Modelling, simulation and optimisation 

Techniques for simulating urban environments (transport, mobility, energy, services, etc.): simulation of spatially distributed dynamic systems, interaction in simulation models, modelling and simulation of complex systems, theory of information, complexity and stability of urban systems. Techniques for the optimisation of urban resources (transport, mobility, energy, services, etc.): spatial optimisation, route management and optimisation, fleet management and optimisation, traceability and logistics. Traffic management, traffic management in real time, ecodriving. Smart management of urban public transport. Parking management. Waste management.

5. Data analysis and data mining 

Data mining and automated learning techniques: Generic module on artificial intelligence. Automated learning and knowledge discovery techniques. Fuzzy and rough sets, logic and reasoning and spatial extensions. Ontologies for spatial analysis. Spatial data mining and analysis: focus on spatial and sequential data mining, management of spatial data (spatial data warehouse and spatial OLAP - Online Analytical Process). Decision support systems (DSS) in (spatially) distributed environments.

6. Distributed software architectures and multiagent systems

Distributed software architectures: Services-oriented architectures (SOA), event-oriented architectures and complex event processing (CEP), multiagent architectures, etc. Multiagent systems: generic module focused on the agent technology (multiagent, representation through agents, etc.): urban prediction through agent technology, urban modelling through agent technology, urban simulation through agent technology, public participatory processes with agents, survey scalability with agents, etc.

7. Energy monitoring and efficiency 

Monitoring and urban control techniques for the efficient management of urban resources: data acquisition in urban and distributed environments, monitoring strategies. Monitoring and control of distributed resources (electricity, water, gas). Energy efficiency directives. Energy efficiency in buildings (certification, zero emissions, positive energy buildings). Energy management procedures (ISO50001, measurement and verification procedures). Energy monitoring techniques: smart grids, smart meters, communication infrastructures, energy efficiency management, active demand management. Technologies for efficient energy consumption (lighting, DHC, HVAC, energy distribution networks, etc.).

8. Communication and information infrastructures 

Telecommunication networks: Technologies for telecommunication infrastructures: Wireless networks (Wireless LAN -WLAN-, Wi-Fi and HiperLAN -IEEE 802.11 -, Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks (WMAN), MDS, WiMAX, and HiperMAN, etc.), wireless access to public networks, virtual and corporative networks, TCP/IP architecture, internet services, multiservice networks, routing and quality of service resource management, privacy and security.  Sensor networks:  ZigBee, EnOcean; Personal area networks, Bluetooth, TransferJet, Ultra-wideband (UWB from WiMedia Alliance), web-sensors, etc.

9. Social, ubiquitous and participatory technology 

Person-centric ubiquitous technologies: hypermedia technologies, augmented reality, crowdsourcing. Social networks and public participation: e-participation, urban social networks, participation 2.0 (surveys, votes, polls), e-booking, e-payments. E-services and e-administration. Infrastructures to support public services: public safety and emergencies, e-health (telemonitoring, telemedicine, teleassistance), e-education, e-administration. Open Government and Open Data: successful experiences, public-private data collaboration, data protection, data reliability and security.

10. New urban economics and city marketing

New urban business models and opportunities: Utility-based theory (theory based on the probability of occurrence which helps to explain choices that seem to contradict the expected value criterion), Wikinomics, Socialnomics, WikiCities, Crowdfunding, Lean City, Outernet and Shytech (how marketing will change in the future), the urban 4 Cs: credit, confirmation, consideration, conversion (from “promise” to “project”) for greater identity and image, economic dynamics in Smart Cities. Urban entrepreneurship: how to turn urban needs into business opportunities, urban innovation on the basis of citizens' needs. Application of business modelling to entrepreneurial ideas related to cities.

11. Expert seminars 

Seminars led by external experts on specific themes

Block 2: February to September (online projects)

12. City project

The city project is a supervised practicum integrated in the structure of the master’s degree. It’s completed in the second half of the programme. The city project consists of a training activity in which students apply the knowledge acquired in the first five unit blocks in order to find solutions to the real needs of real cities. The practical part of the city project lasts three months. Supervised by their degree tutors and tutors of their chosen cities, students work both on-site and online with their projects (two visits to the city during the three-month period: one at the kick-off and one halfway through the period). To complete the project, students must submit a project report and make an oral presentation of the results obtained.

13. Master’s Degree Final Project 

The master’s degree final project is a supervised practical study integrated within the structure of the master’s degree. It’s completed in the second half of the programme, immediately after concluding the city project. This project aims to introduce students to research and professional careers. Students must consolidate the acquired knowledge and demonstrate their capabilities in a particular field. They usually build on the work carried out in their city projects in order to complete their final projects. Therefore, the city project forms the basis of a research project but the latter adopts a more theoretical and analytical approach, moving away from the innovative business solution framework of the city project. On completion of their master’s degree final projects, students must submit a written report and make an oral presentation of the results obtained.

14. Results workshop

In this week-long workshop the students present their city projects and master's degree final projects. The presentation of the city projects is carried out in open format and representatives of the cities, other public authorities, companies, students and lecturers are invited to attend. It is a promotional event both for our students and for our studio. The master's degree final projects are presented in the second half of the week in a private and more academic format.

Modular structure

This course is part of a program that includes the ability to enroll independently following qualifications:

Master in Smart Cities

Specialist Diploma in Smart Urban Technologies

Diploma in Innovation for Smart City Projects

TEACHING STAFF
Teaching staff

Dr. Joan Vicente. PhD in Geography (UAB) and Director of the Department of Geography of the Universitat de Girona. Specialized in urban and strategic planning.

Dr. Victor Muñoz. Computer Scientist (BSc 2005, PhD 2011, MSc 2016), specialized in Artificial Intelligence, with a background of 10+ years in both academic and private sector. Co-founder of a spin-off in the University of Girona since 2011, he has developed several tasks involving planning, coordination and development of AI-based projects. His main research lines are: Robustness, SAT, SAT Modulo Theories (SMT), CSP, COP, combinatorial auctions, complexity theory, multi-agent systems, reputation, trust, planning and scheduling. His current interests also include natural language processing, social networks and blockchain.

Dr. Sergi Nuss. PhD in Geography and Environmental Science. Sergi is a part time professor on Environmental Policies, Low-carbon and Sustainable Urban Development, and Sustainable Tourism for the Geography Department of UdG. Since 2016 he is member of the steering committee of the Official Master’s Degree in Smart Cities – UdG. Out of the University, Sergi is Project Manager at Pau Costa Foundation, in a project on the introduction of grazing herds in forests as wildfires prevention strategy. He also collaborates with Arrels a Taula, a consultancy working on territory, gastronomy and peasantry projects. Last but not least, Sergi is Board Member and Activist at Associació Naturalistes de Girona, since 1994.

Dr. Andres El-Fakdi. Assistant professor and researcher in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Automation at the University of Girona. Laboratory head and promoter of the Centre EASY research group. He is also a member of the coordination team of the Smart Cities Master Degree of the University of Girona. Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Girona and PhD in computer science from the same university. His research interests are focused in contributing to the development of machine learning techniques for Decision Support Systems (DSS) to increase productivity and effectiveness in complex scenarios. Along the PhD his research has been focused on the study and development of machine learning techniques and its application to robotics. Thus, his PhD successfully concluded with the utilization of learning algorithms to overcome not programmed changes in the environment conditions which lead an autonomous robot to fulfill a particular task. Nowadays, his post-doctoral research is centered in the study of Big/Open Data applications and in the design and development of similar machine learning solutions for knowledge discovery.

Dr. Josep Lluis de la Rosa. Full Professor at the University of Girona (UdG) Spain from 2010 and Rensselaer Institute of Technology (RPI) New York, USA 2008-2010. Director of the Technology Research Center Easy and of the Official Master in Smart Cities of the UdG. MBA of the UdG, PhD in Computer Science from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). De la Rosa is expert in intelligent agents, social networks, virtual currencies, and digital preservation and their application to the market. +200 international publications and +20 PhD thesis supervised is part of his contributions. He is a researcher with entrepreneurial vision that has created several spin-off companies starting from the first world robotic soccer team as early as 1996. His research on complementary and virtual currencies started in 2006 and soon later he got fascinated by the disruption of the Blockchain and SmartContracts technologies and their advantages. From then, he has been working on this topic to design new types of money suitable for the Internet in particular and many other of its applications in general.

– Dr. Joaquim Melendez. He has a B.S. degree in Telecom Engineering, from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and a PhD from the Universitat de Girona. He worked as junior research in 1991 at Cognivision research and as electronic engineer between 1991 and 1992 at OPTIMUS SA. In 1992 started the academic career at the University of Girona where in 1999 he won a permanent position at the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Automation Engineering where he has developed his career until now. He has been responsible of several engineering degrees, master programs and coordinator of the PhD Program in Technology at this University from 2007 until 2015. He leads the research group “Control Engineering and Intelligent Systems, eXiT” (http://exit.udg.edu), at the Institut d’Informàtica i Aplicacions, focusing his research on data-driven methods for process supervision and decision support with emphasis in applications for power distribution networks and energy efficiency.

– Dr. Victor Torres. Holds a PhD in Telecommunication Engineering from Universitat Pompeu Fabra in 2008. He previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at Universitat de Girona at the Broadband Communications and Distributed Systems (BCDS) research group. Former assistant professor at Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya from 2010 to 2011, visiting assistant professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra from 2008 to 2010 and member of the Distributed Multimedia Applications Group (DMAG) research group from 2003 to 2011. Technical coordinator and researcher in several European and national research projects in open innovation, digital rights management (DRM), intellectual property rights, metadata, multimedia content representation and distribution, security, distributed applications, social networks and recommendation, such as NIR-VANA, AXMEDIS, VISNET-II, VISNET, VARIAZIONI and MIREIA. He has contributed to the ISO/IEC 21000 (MPEG-21) standard. He has co-authored several papers published in international journals and presented in leading international conferences. He has acted as a reviewer for IEEE Multimedia, Computer, ETRI journal and El profesional de la informacion. He currently works as RDI Manager at TECNIO Centre Easy (Universitat de Girona).

Dr. Andrea Bikfalvi and Mr. Marc Pons. Andrea Bikfalvi is teaching and research staff in the Department of Business Administration and Product Design at the University of Girona (Spain). She holds a PhD in Business Administration. She is currently the deputy director of the Chamber of Commerce Chair of Family Business at the same university. During her trajectory she conducted several research projects for the regional government of Catalonia, Spain, as well as a series of EU projects. Her main research interest is in holistic approaches of innovation in all types of organizations –mainly, but not limited to- public administration, private enterprises and education. She published research in international journals such as Technovation, Service Business, European J. International Management, Journal of Organizational Change Management and the Journal of Family Business Strategy.

Marc Pons is a freelance telecom engineer (UPC & U.Paris X) who’s also part time teaching as assistant lecturer in the Department of Business Administration and Product Design at the University of Girona (Spain). He has a post grade of Telecommunications Infrastructures and he holds several masters: MBA (UB-UAB-UPC), Business Innovation and Technology Magnagement (UdG) and Tourism Management and Planning (UdG). He has made some research as part of his in progress PHD in the field of green manufacturing, green product innovation and Energy efficiency, that has been published in international journals as Journal of Cleaner Production or InTech books. He has experience in Spain and abroad in the private sector as an engineer (MATRA-Aerospatiale-EADS). He also knows the public sector as a provider of systems and solutions but also as a board member of public companies (FISERSA) and professional organizations.


Management

Dr Josep Lluís de la Rosa. Has been a full professor at the University of Girona (UdG) Spain since 2010 and previously at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), New York, USA (2008-2010). Director of the EASY  Research Centre and of the Master’s Degree in Smart Cities of the UdG. He holds an MBA from the UdG and a PhD in Computer Science from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). De la Rosa is an expert in intelligent agents, social networks, virtual currencies and digital preservation and their application to the market. He has contributed more than 200 international publications and has supervised more than 20 PhD theses. He’s a researcher with entrepreneurial vision who has created several spin-off companies, starting with the world’s first robotic soccer team as far back as 1996. His research into complementary and virtual currencies started in 2006 and he soon became fascinated by the disruption of the Blockchain and SmartContracts technologies and their advantages. Since then, he has been working on this theme in order to design new types of money suitable for the Internet in particular, as well as in many other applications.



Coordination

Dr Andres El-Fakdi. Is an assistant lecturer and researcher in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Automation of the University of Girona. He’s the Laboratory director and promoter of the EASY Centre research group. He’s also a member of the coordination team of the Master’s Degree in Smart Cities of the University of Girona. He holds a Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Girona and a PhD in computer science from the same university. His research interests are focused on contributing to the development of machine learning techniques for Decision Support Systems (DSS) in order to increase productivity and effectiveness in complex scenarios. His PhD research focused on the study and development of machine learning techniques and its application to robotics. This research successfully concluded with the use of learning algorithms to overcome non- programmed changes in the environmental conditions that lead an autonomous robot to fulfil a particular task. Meanwhile, his post-doctoral research focuses on the study of Big/Open Data applications and on the design and development of similar machine learning solutions for knowledge discovery.



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