Connected Communities


The CITRIS Connected Communities Initiative supports collaborative discovery, design, and governance through new technologies that enhance education, creative work, and public engagement.

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Featured Projects

Fidget Toys Aren't Just Hype.

Katherine Isbister, Professor of Computational Media at UC Santa Cruz, explains how fidget spinners support managing attention and keeping calm. Read her article here.


Recipient of Chancellor’s Award for Public Service 2015-16 for Campus-Community collaboration with the City of Vallejo AppCivist is a platform for democratic assembly and collaborative decision-making. It helps people tackle problems in their communities, discuss and decide on ideas for solutions, turn ideas into proposals, edit and vote on proposals, and follow their implementation. It features both modular functionalities and interoperable services. AppCivist can facilitate ideation and help participants make better arguments through versioning, visualization, and collaborative deliberation.  It encourages both on and off-line collaboration, addressing problems of scale in processes of direct democracy for small and large communities. More...


MyPart empowers communities with access to accurate, personal, portable, airborne particle counting.  At less than $50, this small wearable sensor allows communities to measure and report air quality consistent with many professional air quality measurement devices.

Screenshot-CRCintro California Report Card

The CAFE System

The Collaborative Assessment and Feedback Engine (CAFE) is an open source, e-participation platform that provides participants dynamic visual feedback about their position on key social issues, relative to other participants. The platform applies statistical models and collaborative filtering to rapidly discover emerging trends as data is collected. By fostering open-ended dialogue and facilitating a more nuanced assessment of public opinion about complex issues, CAFE enables more informed organizational decisions while increasing participant engagement in decision-making processes.


The Pacific Research Platform

CITRIS is co-leading development of the Pacific Research Platform (PRP), a science-driven, high-capacity and data-centric “freeway system” on a large regional-scale. Once complete, the PRP will give California's education and research communities the ability to move data 1,000 times faster than today’s speeds. Faculty throughout the UC system are testing the platform with data-intensive applications such as gravitational wave detection, galaxy formation and evolution, cancer genomics, climate change and carbon sequestration with the goal of accelerating data-intensive research on a national and eventually global scale. More info at  

2016 Seed Funding Recipients

Code Corpora

Analyzing Large Corpora Of Code Submissions To Generate Actionable Hints For Code Correctness And Style

Principal investigators: Armando Fox (UC Berkeley) and Premkumar Devanbu (UC Davis)

We use machine learning and software analysis to generate immediate, customized, actionable feedback on the correctness and quality of students’ computer code with minimal instructor intervention, by using structural similarities between different students’ code submissions as the basis of targeted hints to help the students improve their code.


Bodie Digital Community: Connect With Your Past

Principal investigators: Nicola Lercari and Marcelo Kallmann (UC Merced) and Arnav Jhala (UC Santa Cruz)

This project is an augmented reality application for mobile devices created in collaboration with California State Parks. This app promotes public engagement in heritage preservation, fosters connection among visitors, and generates useful data that improve the management and preservation of California natural and cultural resources.

Focus Areas