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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Chicago
  • Julie Y Chu
  • (773) 702-8551
Award Date:06/14/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 374,395
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 374,395
  • FY 2021=$374,395
Start Date:08/01/2021
End Date:07/31/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.075
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:MCA: Understanding Logistics Through Multimodal Experiments in Ethnography
Federal Award ID Number:2121737
DUNS ID:005421136
Parent DUNS ID:005421136
Program:Cultural Anthropology
Program Officer:
  • Jeffrey Mantz
  • (703) 292-7783

Awardee Location

Street:6054 South Drexel Avenue
Awardee Cong. District:01

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Chicago
Street:1126 East 59th Street
Cong. District:01

Abstract at Time of Award

Once seen as a mere add-on to manufacturing concerns in the market, logistics – that is, the management of flows in goods, information and people - has transformed into a more general condition of how things circulate through everyday life. On the one hand, innovation in supply chain logistics has revolutionized how goods are produced and consumed as well as how labor, land, and infrastructures are organized to support an increasingly on-demand global economy. On the other hand, logistical failures or interruptions – for example, in the malfunctioning of web services for businesses or in the shortage of medical supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic – can spark various political and economic crises over expected movements and just allocations. Such crises bring public attention to the importance of logistics in shaping global flows and interdependence. This project broadens the participation of underrepresented groups in data science, and includes a built-in training component that contributes to the improvement of student STEM education in critical fields. This project advances research on the growing social impact of logistics as an indispensable way of organizing and understanding contemporary relations of mobility, economy, security, and the environment. Recognizing that the rise of logistics is integrally tied to ubiquitous computing and its related digital networks of sensors, scanners, interfaces, and infrastructures, the researcher will pursue a program of exploratory research and training for developing new multimodal methods for better engaging and representing the hidden computational and infrastructural designs that power logistical worlds. Through training in digital coding and data visualization with an expert and through a series of experimental field schools for advancing collaborative research among an interdisciplinary set of scholars in key logistical hotspots around the world, the project fosters creative synergies between anthropology, computer science, and media arts while pursuing a comparative study of how logistics shapes the various entangled flows of people, things and data in global circulation. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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