Vlad Constantin Coroama: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2019

Name Dr. Vlad Constantin Coroama
ETH Zürich, Institut für Pervasive
Universitätstrasse 6
CNB H 105
8092 Zürich
Telephone+41 44 632 08 59
Fax+41 44 632 16 59
DepartmentComputer Science

252-3610-00LSmart Energy Information 4 credits2G + 1AF. Mattern, V. C. Coroama
AbstractThe lecture covers the role of ICT for sustainable energy usage. It starts out with a general background on the current landscape of energy generation and consumption and outlines concepts of the emerging smart grid. The lecture combines technologies from ubiquitous computing and traditional ICT with socio-economic and behavioral aspects and illustrates them with examples from actual applications.
ObjectiveParticipants become familiar with the diverse challenges related to sustainable energy usage, understand the principles of a smart grid infrastructure and its applications, know the role of ubiquitous computing technologies, can explain the challenges regarding security and privacy, can reflect on the basic cues to induce changes in consumer behavior, develop a general understanding of the effects of a smart grid infrastructure on energy efficiency. Participants will apply the learnings in a course-accompanying project, which includes both programming and data analysis. The lecture further includes interactive exercises, case studies and practical examples.
Content- Background on energy generation and consumption; characteristics, potential, and limitations of renewable energy sources
- Introduction to energy economics
- Smart grid and smart metering infrastructures, virtual power plants, security challenges
- Demand management and home automation using ubiquitous computing technologies
- Changing consumer behavior with smart ICT
- Benefits and challenges of a smart energy system
- Smart heating, electric mobility
LiteratureWill be provided during the course, though a good starting point is "ICT for green: how computers can help us to conserve energy" from Friedemann Mattern, Thosten Staake, and Markus Weiss (available at http://www.vs.inf.ethz.ch/publ/papers/ICT-for-Green.pdf).
263-3608-00LDigitalization and the Rebound Effect
The deadline for deregistering expires at the end of the second week of the semester. Students who are still registered after that date, but do not attend the seminar, will officially fail the seminar.
2 credits2SV. C. Coroama
AbstractDigitalization is hailed as a silver bullet towards environmental sustainability. Via optimizations or substitutions, it can lead to large reductions of GHG emissions and energy use. These gains, however, bear at their core the poisoned gift of rebound effects. The seminar will highlight the interplay between digitalization-induced environmental benefits and their rebound-based countereffects.
ObjectiveLearn about the impact of digitalization on energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental sustainability in general, with special emphasis on the subtler implications of rebound effects.

Learn to review scientific literature, to deliver a scientifically sound presentation respecting the allocated time, and to produce a scientific report.
ContentIn recent years, “digitalization” became a widely discussed phenomenon in popular media. In business contexts, it now stands for the broad use of digital information and communication technology (ICT), and the subsequent induced change in business operations or whole business models (“digital transformation”). This ongoing process encompasses technological developments such as distributed sensing, ubiquitous wireless communication, the Internet of things, big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, 3D printing, robotics, or automation. Through its ubiquitous and profound effects, digitalization is often restructuring or disrupting economic processes and social practices.

Given its vast capabilities, digitalization is frequently hailed as a key ingredient towards environmental sustainability. By optimizing existing processes or substituting them altogether, digitalization can lead to substantial reductions of carbon emissions as well as energy and resource use. Despite this potential, however, the sometimes spectacular efficiency gains induced by digitalization bear at their very core the poisoned gift of rebound effects. In economics, “rebound effects” are an umbrella term defining a variety of mechanisms that reduce or even overcompensate the savings from improved energy or material efficiency. In a nutshell, positive initial effects make a product more attractive (through lower prices or added benefits), which is in turn likely to spur demand for that same good or service (which became more attractive), or also for other products due to the increased disposable income or time.

This seminar will highlight selected aspects of this interplay between digitalization-induced environmental benefits and their rebound-based countereffects. The first two presentations will introduce digitalization and (the several types of) rebound effects, respectively. After analyzing the mechanisms by which digitalization can bring about environmental benefits, a couple of presentations will compare environmental chances and perils in several domains enabled or deeply affected by digitalization: teleworking, e-commerce, sharing economy (e.g. Uber, Airbnb, bicycle sharing), autonomous driving, last-minute booking, and just-in-time production.
LiteratureWill be announced at the beginning of the semester for each topic.
Prerequisites / NoticeThere will be an orientation event the last week before the start of the semester (possibly in the first week of the semester) where the topics will be assigned to students. Please check http://www.vs.inf.ethz.ch/edu for further information.