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We already have smartphones, smart clothing, and smart appliances, but emerging smart cities are still a concept of our imagined future.

A Virginia Tech team wants those smart cities to feature zero energy, zero outage and zero congestion. Their tools: big data and interdisciplinary technology.

Walid Saad, the Stephen O. Lane Junior Faculty Fellow and assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering; Harpreet Dhillon, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering; and Naren Ramakrishnan, the Thomas L. Phillips Professor of Engineering and director of the Discovery Analytics Center in the D