Category Archives: News Updates


Greening ourselves

Green isn’t just a hot research topic in the school of computer science — it’s also something that many of us attempt to make part of our daily lives. SCS faculty, staff and students love their bikes (email us at … Continue reading


Sustainability Panel, 3:00pm, October 2, GHC 6115

The Fall 2012 Sustainability and Computing seminar series will kick off October 2, 3:00-4:00pm (GHC 6115), with a panel discussion of four computer science faculty working on different facets of the sustainability problem: Jen Mankoff, Zico Kolter, Dave Andersen, and … Continue reading


Energy Institute Launch, 4:30pm, 9/21, Rashid Auditorium (Gates)

CMU is launching a new Energy Institute, headed up by Granger Morgan. Come participate, listen to a symposium of top campus energy experts, and chat about the new institute at the upcoming launch.


Zico Kolter 9/26/12, Noon, BH 129, Building an Informatics of Personal Energy Consumption

Zico Kolter, an incoming Assistant Professor in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon and currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT, will be the CEIC’s featured speaker on Wednesday, September 26, … Continue reading


CALS Green finishes up

Stepgreen’s biggest support effort to date has been the year long deployment run by Cornell University’s CALS Green effort. CALS Green “sponsored a year-long competition amongst six buildings. Within that year users committed to actions, saving over 2,000,000 lbs carbon … Continue reading

Newsletter #1

It’s been a busy year here at StepGreen HQ. We’ve had teams of eager students working away, and some external collaborations that are now seeing the light of day.

The biggest news right now is the launch of Cornell University’s CALSGreen program. This is an initiative to reduce the university’s energy use, spearheaded by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences along with their Department of Energy and Sustainability. And of course, the underlying technology is provided by StepGreen. For more information on CALSGreen, visit their website at

A lot of work has taken place over the past year to develop an API to allow external developers to link in and make use of StepGreens’ capabilities. This is currently undergoing testing with some internal projects:

  • a new game for Facebook
  • a mobile app for Android phones
  • Campus StepGreen – an application to help organisations with sustainable change
  • SG Client Framework – a framework for developing pluggable Flash applications, allowing for collaborative development of environmental visualisations.

This Years Paper Crop

This year, we’ve published three papers of note on research done with, or around, StepGreen:At Ubicomp 2010 this fall, we presented a follow up paper to our previous work around energy use in low income communities. This paper focused specifically on a barrier to saving energy: the landlord/tenant relationship. We explore the role of power in that relationship, and how information technologies and social technologies can help to equalize the balance of power.

At ICWSM this summer, we presented a paper that summarizes much of what we’ve learned over the last few years with StepGreen. This paper discusses how we arrived at the current site design, what we’ve learned from studying the site, and what problems we’ve faced.

At HICSS in January, we presented our work exploring the value of a social visualization (versus an individual one) for encouraging energy
saving behavior. This visualization was deployed in our first Dorm competition, at Wellesley College.

For a complete list of StepGreen’s publications, visit

Upcoming Presentations

We will also be presenting a poster at the Behavior Energy and Climate Change conference (BECC 2010 exploring Web 2.0 technologies and their use in engaging individuals in energy saving behavior.

As well as this newsletter, we also write about conferences, papers and research on the StepGreen Blog (

Thanks for reading, and have a great Thanksgiving!