SEEC Harlem is a NSF project associated with CIAN that is investigating the use of edge cloud computing to provide an affordable computing and IoT platform for high density urban communities

Clayton Banks

Silicon Harlem

Bryan Carter

University of Arizona

Rider Foley

University of Virginia

Sheila Foster

Georgetown Law

Dan Kilper

University of Arizona

Bruce Lincoln

Silicon Harlem

Oliver Sylvain

Fordham University, School of Law

Malathi Veeraraghavan

University of Virginia

Edge cloud computing infrastructure distributed throughout the community in high density housing and other facilities is used as a shared community resource, as shown below. The edge cloud is designed to support disaggregated user interfaces such as keyboard video mouse (KVM) or zero client interfaces and other disaggregated computing devices (DCD). This project will examine the scalability, security, and performance of this architecture together with the social impact and governance models for deployment in Harlem and elsewhere.


The University of Arizona (CIAN), University of Virginia, Fordham Law School, Georgetown University & Silicon Harlem have joined together to:

  1.  Address long standing lack of broadband access and digital readiness in dense urban areas of Harlem, NY
  2.  Overcome legacy infrastructures, outdated legal arrangements, computer literacy deficiencies, and limited budgets

Recent reports found that for a large demographic within Harlem the primary method of Internet access is through cell phones, a characteristic of communities being left behind in the digital revolution, and significant barriers prevent people in these communities from gaining access to the Internet. Speakers at the 2016 Silicon Harlem conference elaborated on the negative implications for residents, businesses, educators, and healthcare providers ( Not only are there obstacles to gaining access, but existing networks and connected devices are not meeting the needs of underserved communities.

This research project seeks to overcome these obstacles through a socio-technical systems approach to investigating a novel edge cloud architecture that brings affordable devices into the home supported by a community-based broadband network.

This project entails three multi-disciplinary tracks each with discrete activities that build toward shared

  1. Edge cloud to disaggregate hardware

    • Low cost, secure user devices: KVM user interfaces, sensors, audio, VR/AR

    • Shared, centralized IT management of high performance edge cloud

    • Can this approach meet technology performance, ease of use, and cost

  1. Community network as digital constructed commons resource

    • Develop groundbreaking model for collaborative governance of Internet resources

    • Design model to equitably provide benefits & transferrable to other communities

  1. Technology assessments and education

    • Participatory technology assessments (pTA) for users to articulate highest priority criteria related to the community edge cloud and disaggregated devices

    • Smart community education and engagement




Come visit us at Booths 32 and 47 to learn about computing over disaggregated interfaces and experience a VR tour of Virtual Harlem


In the News...

A UA-led research team is developing a broadband network in Harlem for free, public use.                                               Bridging the Digital Divide: How University of Arizona Researchers Are Widening Broadband Access in Harlem By Reimagining PCs and Connections                                                         

In Harlem, a Digital Renaissance Takes Shape                      Bridging the Digital divide                                                                     Helping Harlem Stay connected


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