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Midwest Big Data Hub co-leads local events for 4th Annual Global Women in Data Science Conference

The Midwest Big Data Hub co-led local participation in the 4th annual Global Women in Data Science (WiDS) Conference, with sponsorship from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and the University of Illinois. The event was free and open to all. The WiDS Conference, hosted on March 4th at 150 locations around the world, seeks to unite and connect women working in data science fields.

“We were very excited to co-sponsor this with NCSA, and support this inaugural Illinois event for Stanford’s Global Women in Data Science Day,” said Melissa Cragin, Executive Director of the Midwest Big Data Hub. “Partnering with others on events such as the Illinois WiDS allows us to best use our human resources and experts network to broaden participation in data science and Big Data research and education. I was honored to participate and have the opportunity to moderate such a terrific panel of accomplished leaders, who shared their perspectives on data science, data-enabled research, and opportunities for women in this space.”

panel discussion
Faculty panel moderated by MBDH Executive Director Melissa Cragin

The WiDS local events, hosted this year at NCSA, featured a variety of speakers from diverse backgrounds presenting sessions on opportunities for women in data science, technical vision talks, and the variety of data science and technology careers available in the Midwest.

“I always enjoy telling my story about how I got started working big data research,” said Ruby Mendenhall, Illinois Professor of Sociology and African-American Studies and NCSA faculty affiliate. “My story also demonstrates the importance of doing outreach to groups that are not traditionally represented in data science such as African American Studies.”

As part of her 2017-2018 NCSA Faculty Fellowship, Mendenhall and NCSA research programmer Kiel Gilleade completed a pilot study called the Chicago Stress Study that examines how the exposure to nearby gun crimes impacted African American mothers living in Englewood, Chicago. Mendenhall and Gilleade developed a mobile health study which used wearable biosensors to document 12 women’s lived experiences for one month last fall. As part of their research, Mendenhall, Gilleade, and their team were able to create an exhibit based on the study data they collected in order to bring the unheard, day-to-day stories of these mothers to life.

panel discussion
Panel discussion moderated by iSchool Professor Catherine Blake

Professor Donna Cox, Director of NCSA’s Advanced Visualization Lab, was a panelist at this year’s local conference, and praised the insights of the other speakers while emphasizing the importance of the larger WiDS conference. “It was valuable to hear other panelists,” said Cox. “The future of Women in Data Science should include raising awareness about important issues emerging in data science, especially socially-relevant issues. We need more women actively involved in the ethics of data science.”

Alice Delage, Associate Project Manager for NCSA and Program Coordinator for the MBDH, said, “Hosting WiDS Urbana-Champaign at Illinois was an opportunity to highlight the campus expertise around data science led by women.” Delage, who co-chairs the local Women@NCSA group, said, “Data science and technologies are increasingly impacting our lives and society, and it is imperative that women and minorities be part of these transformations. We wanted to showcase the groundbreaking work being done in that area by Illinois female data scientists and to inspire more women and underrepresented communities to engage in the field.”

There are also opportunities to expand the event next year by better incorporating student work in the program, Delage said, or running a datathon, for example. Some of this year’s participants have already volunteered to help with next year’s event.

A full list of this year’s speakers at the WiDS Conference at NCSA is here. For more information about the global WiDS conference and ways to get involved, please visit https://www.widsconference.org.

The MBDH is one of four regional Big Data Innovation Hubs with support from the National Science Foundation (award # 1550320), and works to build capacity and skills in the use of data science methods and resources in the 12-state U.S. Midwest Census region. Learn more about the Hub at https://midwestbigdatahub.org.

Thanks to NCSA Public Affairs for contributing to an earlier draft of this post.

Midwest Big Data Summer School 2018

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

Iowa State University logo
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 curriculum

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.

Speakers

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.

Many thanks

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.”

Next year
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.

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Reposted from Iowa State University’s Research News blog. View the original post here.

MBDH partners on US Ignite Reverse Pitch challenge

part of Hub’s focus on Smart, Connected, and Resilient Communities

US Ignite Hackathon
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

New Report on “Keeping Data Science Broad”

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

MBDH 2017 All-Hands Meeting Recap

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

Read More

Machine Learning: Farm-to-Table Workshop

by Keith Hollenkamp –

In April, the MBDH teamed up with the International Food Security at Illinois (IFSI) to host the Machine Learning: Farm-to-Table Workshop. The workshop brought together domain scientists to stimulate new data-driven R+D activity at the intersections of the Agriculture, Bioinformatics, Food-Energy-Water, and Food Security communities.

Read More

National Transportation Data Challenge

National Transportation Data Challenge Kicks Off on May 2-3!

The Big Data Regional Innovations Hubs have announced the Transportation Data Challenge, a series of community problem solving-sessions, data faires, hackathons, and demonstrations, held in collaboration with the U.S Department of Transportation, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Data Science Inc., and others.

Read More

Midwest Big Data Hackathon, University of Iowa

October 8–9, 2016
Iowa City, Iowa

The Midwest Big Data Hackathon is a 2-day, non-stop hackathon with 150 participants, and it will be held at University of Iowa—in the heart of downtown Iowa City, USA. The event is open to all university students that have a passion for creating things with technology!

Students will form teams to work on their project (or ‘hack’) up to 4 members. Projects are open format, which means that you can hack on web, mobile, desktop, or hardware applications. Company mentors will be available throughout the event for questions to make sure beginners and experts alike will have the help they need to successfully develop their project. All teams will demo their hacks at the end of the event and winners will be chosen by company mentors.

Data Quality in a Big Data Era

September 28-29, 2016
Cyberinfrastructure Building, Wrubel Lobby, Indiana University
Bloomington, Indiana

What is data quality and what does it mean in the age of big data? Throughout the history of modern scholarship, the exchange of scholarly data was undertaken through personal interactions among scholars or through highly curated data archives, such as ICPSR (Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research). In both cases, implicit or explicit provenance mechanisms gave a relatively high degree of insurance of the quality of the data. However, the ubiquity of the web and mobile digital culture has produced disruptive new forms of data such as those based on citizen science, social network transactions, or massively deployed automatic sensors. Integrity and trustworthiness of these data are uncertain due to issues such as sampling characteristics, expertise of the data producers, or quality of the instruments. As these data are shared, fused, homogenized, and mixed, we need to ask ourselves what we know about the data and what we can trust. Failure to answer these questions endangers the integrity of the science produced from these data.

For more information, go to http://d2i.indiana.edu/mbdh.

Registration

There is no cost to attend but space is limited to 50 attendees. Registration will be available from August 5, 2016 until September 19, 2016. Early career scientists and researchers will be selected to predominantly fill available seats.

Travel Support

Travel support—automobile and lodging—for non-IU participants who are working in industry, government, or non-profit sectors is available. Qualified individuals are expected to present their work in a poster session Sept. 28, 2016 to showcase the breadth of developments occurring in Big Data. To be considered, please register by September 9, 2016 and apply for travel support. Application details are available at http://d2i.indiana.edu/mbdh/#scholarships.

Questions about the data quality workshop should be sent to Jill Minor, jsminor@indiana.edu.

Food and Data Workshop: Interoperability through the Food Pipeline

September 12-13, 2016
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The increasing ability to capture data at the level of individual agricultural fields, individual culinary recipes, and individual food waste digesters is allowing analytics-based optimization within the distinct industries responsible for producing, transporting, trading, storing, processing, packaging, wholesaling, retailing, consuming, and disposing of food. Yet addressing the pressing national/global challenges in food security due to climate change, as well as public health challenges such as obesity and malnutrition, requires optimization across the food pipeline. The Food and Data Workshop: Interoperability through the Food Pipeline, September 12-13 in the CSL Auditorium (B02), is concerned with understanding the relationship between data and food writ large, with a particular focus on questions of interoperable data ontologies, privacy, and analytic insights.

For more information and to register go to https://publish.illinois.edu/food-and-data-workshop/.

Midwest Workshop on Neuroscience Big Data

September 20-21, 2016
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Students, trainees, fellows, junior investigators, and outside researchers in Midwest academic institutions and industry partners are invited to attend and actively participate in the Midwest Workshop on Neuroscience Big Data. Expected workshop outcomes include (1) building an active Midwest Neuroscience Network Community, (2) open-sharing of data-intense challenges, datasets, research projects, expertise, software, services, protocols, resources, learning modules, and (3) productive discussions of joint (multi-institutional) grants, training opportunities, publications, research projects. The workshop success will be measured by assessing the community involvement (early registration, active workshop participation, post-workshop activities and interactions), website analytics (geographic locations of income traffic, counts, frequencies, and intensity of web-site utilization, and evidence of collaborations on development of software tools, services, learning materials, end-to-end pipeline workflows.

Registration is free, but space is limited. Sixty scholarships are being offered to students, post doctoral scholars and early career investigators in form of travel and lodging support to attend the workshop.

Missouri S&T Research and Technology Development Conference

September 12-13, 2016
Havener Center
Rolla, Missouri

Midwest Big Data Hub is hosting an Early Career lightning talk session on the topic of data in a research project setting at the Missouri S&T Research and Technology Development Conference. Travel reimbursement for presenters is available for up to $250/presenter. Pre-tenured faculty, post-docs, graduate students, and undergraduates are encouraged to give a quick 5-minute presentation on any data issue of relevance to a research project in which you participated. Eight to ten lightning talks will be scheduled. Apply today!

Symposium on Frontiers in Big Data

Friday, September 23, 2016 and Saturday, September 24, 2016
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

You are cordially invited to attend the Grainger Foundation-sponsored “Symposium on Frontiers in Big Data” on September 23-24 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. It is a great opportunity to:

  • Listen to invited talks, interview dialogs, panels, and debates regarding new challenges of Big Data;
  • Explore Big Data Frontiers in Bioinformatics, Agriculture, Systems, Optimization, and Machine Learning, with nationally renowned speakers, including:
    • Michael Franklin (University of Chicago),
    • Al Hero (University of Michigan),
    • Michael Jordan (University of California, Berkeley),
    • James Krogmeier (Purdue University),
    • George Lan (Georgia Institute of Technology),
    • Mihai Pop (University of Maryland),
    • Dana Randall (Georgia institute of Technology),
    • Robert Tempelman (Michigan State University),
    • John Wilkes (Google Inc.);
  • Meet nationally renowned UIUC Big Data researchers and engage in discussions with speakers during the symposium and the reception.

Registration is free but required due to meal planning. Please register by September 8, 2016.

If you have any questions about the Symposium on Frontiers in Big Data, please contact Doris Bonnett (dbonnett@illinois.edu). For more information and the tentative agenda, please visit the Symposium website.

Big Data for Health and Medicine Workshop — August 11, 2016

Join us on August 11, 2016 for a workshop to discuss challenges in using big data for driving health and medicine at the University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Information Science & Technology! Our goal is to encourage discussion on challenges currently facing health-related industries with regards to data collection, gathering, storage, and analysis. We hope to bring together representatives from industry, government, non- profits, and academia to discuss the following current topics of interest for health and medicine:

  • Wearables (FitBit, Jawbone UP, Polar)
  • Quantified Self and IoT
  • Predictive medicine
  • Precision medicine
  • Analytics for health
  • Data collection & storage
  • Data analysis
  • Security concerns
  • Collaboration
  • Smart cities
  • Food for health
  • Reproducibility and robustness
  • Data science
  • …and related topics

In the afternoon we will hold concurrent sessions. The Technical Track will consist of an Introduction to R workshop, designed for participants in industry, government, and non-profit with limited programming background, or with experience in other languages (SAS, SPSS) looking to investigate the open-source R language. This workshop will be free for the first 45 participants. The concurrent Breakout Track will provide opportunities for discussion, collaboration, and sharing their own personal challenges in dealing with data in health-related fields.

Registration is free for the first 45 participants!

Tentative Agenda

9:00A — Welcome and introduction
9:30A — Keynote – Tentative Topic: Big Data Challenges in Health-related Fields
10:30A — Coffee break
10:45A — Keynote – Tentative Topic: Team Science Approaches to Collaboration in Big Data
11:45A — Panel and lunch (*lunch is included with registration)
1:00P

Technical Track
Workshop: Intro to Data Analysis with R*
Audience: Beginner/Intermediate
*Limited to first 30 participants to sign up.

Breakout Track
A number of speakers will be joining us for discussions on high performance computing, green computing, analytics needs, and related topics.

4:00P-5:00P — Reception and Poster Session

Big Data for Health and Medicine Workshop

Thursday, August 11, 2016
9:00am-5:00pm
Peter Kiewit Institute — Omaha, NE

Midwest Big Data Summer School, June 20-24, 2016, Ames, IA

The Midwest Big Data Summer School for Early Career Researchers will be held from June 20-24, 2016 in Ames, Iowa. This summer school is designed as a one week, intensive curriculum aimed at early career researchers to get them started in data-driven research. The school will include full day lectures on topics ranging from: 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 of domain/context. The summer school is partially supported by the Midwest Big Data Hub, by the ISU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, by the ISU Office of the Vice President of Research, and by the ISU Department of Computer Science.

Midwest Big Data Summer School
June 20-24, 2016
Morrill Hall, Iowa State University
Ames, IA
http://mbds.cs.iastate.edu/

Registration

There is no cost to attend but you must register by Wednesday, June 1 at 5:00pm to reserve your space. There is limited space so send your registration soon.

Travel Support

We have limited amount of travel support available for non-ISU participants. To be considered for travel support, please register by May 24 at 5:00pm and apply for travel support. Application details are available at http://mbds.cs.iastate.edu/.

We look forward to welcoming you in Ames, Iowa this June 2016. Any questions about the summer school should be sent to Hridesh Rajan, hridesh@iastate.edu. Please do feel free to circulate this to your colleagues as you see fit.

Digital Agriculture Spoke All-Hands Meeting – May 16-17, 2016

Videos of the presentations are now available!

The 2016 Digital Agriculture Spoke All-Hands Meeting to be held on May 16-17 at the Scheman Building, Iowa State Center, Ames, Iowa. The Digital Agriculture Spoke of the Midwest Big Data Hub is devoted to building partnerships and resources that will address emerging Big Data issues in the agricultural ecosystem.

Stakeholders from academia, industry, government, and other organizations will engage in interactive discussions about the partnerships and resources that will be needed to address the challenges in collecting, managing, serving, mining, and analyzing rapidly growing and increasingly complex data and information collections to create actionable knowledge and guide decision-making in agriculture.

Events will include presentations by Midwest Big Data Hub and national leadership; industry panel presentations and Q&A; participant lightning talks; and breakout sessions to discuss existing projects and to develop ideas and partnerships for new projects; and a poster session and reception.

Early career researchers, post-docs, graduate students, and undergraduate students are encouraged to attend. There is no registration fee for this meeting.

UND Early Career Big Data Summit – April 6-8

The University of North Dakota (UND) will host an Early Career Big Data Summit (ECBDS) April 6-8, 2016. This Big Data event seeks to provide a venue for early career Big Data researchers (graduate students, post docs, and pre-tenure faculty) to connect with Industry, third-sector volunteer groups, and established researchers. Events will include multiple industry panel discussions, researcher lightning talks, and a hands-on application hack-a-thon. The Summit is expected to have representation from the Digital/Precision Agriculture, Transportation, Social Media, and Unmanned Aircraft Systems industries.

The summit will be co-located with the 47th Annual UND Writers Conference, whose theme this year is “The Art of Science” (AoS). In addition to Summit events, all attendees will be allowed to attend all AoS events—including Keynote presentations by Brian Greene (string theorist, author of The Elegant Universe, and entertaining communicator of cutting-edge scientific concepts) and award winning science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson. While the entire AoS schedule is available on the UND Writers Conference website, additional AoS events include: 1) the Greene post-keynote social event at the North Dakota Museum of Art, and 2) the Thursday afternoon Prairie Public Radio interview and audience question/answer session with Brian Greene on the topic of “How to communicate science to a popular audience.”

The ECBDS has no registration fees, but registration is required for those seeking participant support and/or wishing to participate in hosted panels, lightning talks, or the hack-a-thon. Attendees will be responsible for their own meals, lodging, and travel. A limited amount of participant support is available to registered summit attendees only—preference is given to Big Data Summit presenters. More registration information is available through the ECBDS website.