Midwest Big Data Summer School reveals how big data can advance research efforts
By Paula Van Brocklin, Office of the Vice President for Research, Iowa State University
The Midwest Big Data Summer School, held May 14-17 at Iowa State University, helped nearly 140 academic and industry researchers, graduate students and post-docs from nine states broaden their understanding of big data and its ability to advance their research interests. Iowa State has organized and hosted the event since 2016.
“The summer school seeks to bridge the gap between scientists and engineers using data science technology by introducing them to data science techniques and vocabulary,” said Hridesh Rajan, lead organizer of the Midwest Big Data Summer School and professor of computer science at Iowa State. “The idea is to help these individuals better communicate and leverage their data-science needs.”
The school’s first three days introduced attendees to a range of big data topics, including data acquisition, data preprocessing, exploratory data analysis, descriptive data analysis, data analysis tools and techniques, visualization and communication, ethical issues in data science, reproducibility and repeatability, and understanding domain/context.
On the final day, participants selected one of four tracks, which focused on a sub-area of big data analysis. The tracks were:
- Foundations of Data Science
- Software Analytics
- Digital Agriculture
- Big Data Applications
Several individuals at Iowa State were instrumental in developing and organizing the tracks’ curricula. Click here for a list of those involved.
Keynote presenters at this year’s summer school were:
- Chid Apte, director, Mathematical Sciences and Blockchain Solutions, IBM Research
- Tom Schenk, chief data officer, City of Chicago
- Jacek Czerwonka, principal software engineer, Microsoft Research
- Will Snipes, principal scientist, ABB Research
A complete list of speakers, including their bios, is available here.
Data science evolving quickly
The field of big data, also referred to as data science, is relatively new yet advancing quickly. For this reason, organizers encourage researchers and scientists to learn as much as they can through resources like the Midwest Big Data Summer School.
“Our aim is for early career researchers and professionals – both in academia and industry – to get a taste of what it’s about, what the state of the art is and how they can start thinking about using data science in their own domains,” said Chinmay Hegde, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Iowa State and a co-organizer of the summer school.
Rajan recognizes the summer school would not be possible without the help of many.
“We are especially thankful for the Midwest Big Data Hub, the National Science Foundation, the Office of the Vice President for Research, Iowa State’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the departments of computer science and statistics for providing both funding and personnel support for this event.”
Plans are in the works for the 2019 Midwest Big Data Summer School, though no dates have been set. Rajan said more application-specific tracks may be added to next year’s curriculum. Watch the Midwest Big Data Summer School website for more details in the spring of 2019.
Reposted from Iowa State University’s Research News blog. View the original post here.
The Midwest Big Data Hub and the three other regional Big Data Innovation Hubs are partnering with the National Science Foundation and Johns Hopkins University on development of a new nationwide research data network called the Open Storage Network. Partners include Alex Szalay, lead PI (Johns Hopkins), Ian Foster (University of Chicago), the National Data Service (NDS), and five supercomputing centers within the Big Data Hubs’ regions.
The official NSF press release is available here.
The Johns Hopkins story is here.
Links to partners:
- National Data Service (NDS)
- National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)
- San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC)
- Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI)
- Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC)
- Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center
Solving complex data challenges require innovative cross-border, multi-sector partnerships
by Melissa Cragin, Ph.D
Executive Director, Midwest Big Data Hub
Complex data challenges facing the Great Lakes region in the era of big data transcend industries, applications, and borders. While data is increasingly borderless, borders and barriers still present substantial problems to industry, academic, and government initiatives that are dependent on data policy and governance processes that structure access and use. These challenges require innovative cross-border, multi-sector partnerships that can leverage the benefits of shared high performance computing resources and cyberinfrastructure services. Read More »
Part of the Hub’s engagement on connected communities
Melissa Cragin, Executive Director of the Midwest Big Data Hub, and Alice Delage, Program Manager and Community Liaison, were invited by Hub partner US Ignite to attend the Smart Cities Connect Conference & Expo and co-located US Ignite Application Summit in Kansas City on March 26-29.
The Midwest Big Data Hub is pleased to announce a new strategic partnership with the bi-national Council of the Great Lakes Region. Hub affiliates will also be participating in the Council’s Great Lakes Economic Forum in May 2018. The details of the partnership are below (PDF version here).
UIUC collaborators and mentors meet with HackIllinois teams on US Ignite Challenge
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) was awarded a $20,000 grant from US Ignite to host a Smart Gigabit Communities Reverse Pitch Challenge. The MBDH, along with other local partners (see below), contributed towards matching the grant, bringing to $40,000 the total resources available to support the development of smart gigabit applications for the benefit of the local community. Read More »
Co-located with the annual Midwest Big Data Hub All-Hands meeting in Omaha in 2017, 15 experts from several disciplines gathered on October 3rd to discuss community-oriented research topics, data and methods, and community engagement. They shared ideas and suggestions to launch a program focused on Smart & Resilient Communities. Read More »
A new report on the “Keeping Data Science Broad: Negotiating the Digital and Data Divide Among Higher Education Institutions” initiative was released by the South Big Data Hub and collaborators, including the Midwest Hub. This initiative brought together the BD Hubs community and other stakeholders to explore pathways for keeping data science education broadly inclusive. Read More »
by Keith Hollenkamp
On October 1-2, we hosted the Midwest Big Data Hub All-Hands Meeting at the beautiful Kiewit University in Omaha, Nebraska. Over the course of the two day event, researchers, academics, students, and more, connected over similar interests and attended panels all centered around this year’s theme: Data-Enabled Midwest Resilience.
Melissa Cragin, Executive Director of the MBDH, welcomes attendees to the All-Hands Meeting