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Introducing the COVID Information Commons

The Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub collaborated with the other three regional Big Data Innovation Hubs and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to launch the COVID Information Commons (CIC).

Funded by NSF COVID Rapid Response Research Award #2028999, the CIC is an open website to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration across various coronavirus research efforts, especially focusing on NSF-funded COVID Rapid Response Research (RAPID) projects.

The CIC serves as a resource for researchers, students, and decision-makers from academia, government, not-for-profits, and industry to identify collaboration opportunities and accelerate the most promising research to mitigate the broad societal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

WATCH: The recording of our launch and demo webinar is available at covidinfocommons.net as well as on YouTube.

LEARN MORESlides from the webinar are available at covidinfocommons.net, below the July 15 launch + demo video. While you’re there, you can explore the live site!

JOIN THE COMMUNITY: The CIC Slack community is a space for discussion and collaboration among PIs and other stakeholders engaged in COVID research.

We will be announcing further CIC events to showcase lightning talks from 40+ PI volunteers over the next few months. If you are interested in hearing more and did not opt-in at registration for future email updates, you may sign up here.

If you have any questions, please email us at info@covidinfocommons.net

Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub announces leadership changes

As its second year of new funding begins, there is new leadership at the Midwest Big Data Hub (MBDH), with a swap in principal investigators and the appointment of a new executive director. Catherine Blake, a co-principal investigator (PI) on the project, has moved into the PI role, while William (Bill) Gropp transitions to co-PI duties. Long-time Hub staff member John MacMullen was named executive director in January.

Catherine Blake

Blake is an associate professor in the School of Information Sciences (iSchool) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with an affiliate appointment in the Department of Computer Science. At the iSchool, she serves as associate director of the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS) and director of the graduate programs in information management and bioinformatics. Gropp is director and chief scientist of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and the Thomas M. Siebel Chair in the Department of Computer Science at Illinois. Prior to joining the MBDH, MacMullen was a faculty member in the iSchool.

“I’m excited and honored to step into the role of principal investigator for the Midwest Big Data Hub,” said Blake. “The community developed during the first phase has made the MBDH well positioned to leverage the rapidly growing data and information collections and technologies in Phase 2 that focus on opportunities, interests, and resources that are unique to the Midwest.”

The MBDH, co-led by the NCSA and the iSchool, serves a twelve-state region that encompasses Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. It is part of the National Science Foundation’s regional Big Data Innovation Hub (BD Hubs) program that comprises offices in the Midwest, West, South, and the Northeast. Initially funded in 2015, the second phase started in summer 2019 and will run until 2023. The goal of the MBDH awards, which will total over $4 million for both phases, is to catalyze data science efforts around important priority areas in the Midwest.

“This month we’re starting our second year of the new phase of the Hub with the launch of our Community Development and Engagement funding program,” said MacMullen. “We look forward to continuing to develop a vibrant and diverse data science community in the Midwest that includes the range of academic institutions in the region, and grows participation from nonprofits, government agencies, and industry partners.”

Priority areas for MBDH currently include advanced materials and manufacturing; water quality; big data in health; digital agriculture; and smart, connected, and resilient communities. In addition, MBDH leads cross-cutting initiatives to broaden the participation in data science education, develop cyberinfrastructure for research data management, and address cybersecurity issues around big data. MBDH engages with the BD Hubs Data Sharing and Cyberinfrastructure Working Group, the Open Storage Network, and other initiatives that foster access to research data under FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) principles. By leading initiatives in data science education and workforce development, the MBDH aims to increase data science capacity within the region, such as by growing a network of predominantly undergraduate institutions and minority-serving institutions.

“The MBDH is building on the momentum of its first phase by growing the stakeholder community in the Midwest,” said Gropp, who began as PI of the Hub in 2017. “At the same time, we’re actively participating in the evolution of the national data science ecosystem. I look forward to continuing to develop long-term sustainability for the Hub’s activities through strategic projects such as the COVID Information Commons collaboration between the Hubs and NSF, launching in July 2020.”

Follow MBDH on Twitter: @MWBigDataHub

The Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub was initially funded under NSF award #1550320. The current Phase 2 award is #1916613.

Midwest Big Data Hub successfully transitions to second phase with new NSF award

The National Science Foundation (NSF) this month announced the second phase of funding for the regional Big Data Innovation Hub (BD Hubs) program. Under the planned four year, $4 million award, the Midwest Big Data Hub will continue to be led from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The Hub’s priority focus areas will be co-led by five partner institutions in the region: Indiana University, Iowa State University, the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, and the University of North Dakota.

First funded in 2015, the four regional BD Hubs were designed by NSF to follow U.S. Census Regions, with offices in the Midwest (led by Illinois), West (UC Berkeley), South (Georgia Tech and UNC Chapel Hill) and the Northeast (Columbia University). The Midwest Hub serves a 12-state region that encompasses Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

“Developing innovative, effective solutions to grand challenges requires linking scientists and engineers with local communities,” said Jim Kurose, Assistant Director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the National Science Foundation, which funded these awards. “The Big Data Hubs provide the glue to achieve those links, bringing together teams of data science researchers with cities, municipalities and anchor institutions.”

“The Midwest Big Data Hub has built a strong network of partners and a diverse community of stakeholders in the region,” said Bill Gropp, Principal Investigator for the award. “The Hub is well positioned to continue its record of fostering innovative partnerships and providing valued services to our stakeholders in its next phase. Our partner institutions are leaders in the region, and each brings unique strengths to the priority areas they lead.”

The Midwest Hub’s priority areas currently include:

  • Advanced Materials and Manufacturing – Led by the University of Illinois, this area focuses on next-generation materials research in a manufacturing context, and complements the 2016 NSF Big Data Spoke awards on integrative materials design (iMaD) to Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin – Madison, and the University of Michigan, as well as leveraging existing partnerships with the Materials Data Facility, the nanoMFG node at UIUC, and the Center for Hierarchical Materials Design (CHiMaD) at Northwestern University, all supported by NSF.
  • Water Quality – Led by a new Phase 2 partner, the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, this area complements the existing water cyberinfrastructure focus of the MBDH through the NSF Big Data Spoke awards made in 2018 to Iowa State University, the University of Illinois, and the University of Iowa.
  • Big Data in Health – The University of Michigan will continue to lead this area, with contributions from Indiana University, building on prior work in Phase 1 as well as the Spoke awards for the Advanced Computational Neuroscience Network (ACNN).
  • Digital Agriculture – Iowa State University will lead this area, with continuing contributions from the University of North Dakota, the University of Nebraska, the University of Illinois, and other partners, including from the 2016 Spoke award for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Plant Sciences and Education (UASPSE), to continue to build a vibrant stakeholder community engaged with transdisciplinary issues around data for agriculture, food production and plant and animal science.
  • Smart, Connected, and Resilient Communities – Led by Indiana University with contributions from Iowa State University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Illinois, this area continues to build a network and connect resources at the intersection between research and data-driven community decision-making.  

“By catalyzing partnerships that integrate academic researchers into the fabric of communities across the U.S., we can accelerate and deepen the impact of basic research on a range of societal issues, from water management to efficient transportation systems,” said Beth Plale, one of the National Science Foundation program directors managing the Big Data Hubs awards.

The Midwest Hub also leads cross-cutting initiatives for broadening participation in data science education, cyberinfrastructure for research data management, and cybersecurity issues around big data. MBDH participates in the BD Hubs Data Sharing and Cyberinfrastructure Working Group, the Open Storage Network, and other initiatives that foster access to research data under FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reuseable) principles. By leading initiatives in data science education and workforce development, the MBDH aims to increase data science capacity within the region, in part through a growing network of Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions and Minority Serving Institutions.

The Midwest Big Data Hub was initially funded under NSF award # 1550320. The phase 2 award is # 1916613.

Explore the Hub at http://MidwestBigDataHub.org

Learn more about the BD Hubs ecosystem at http://BigDataHubs.org

The MBDH project office is housed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), which provides computing, data, networking, and visualization resources and expertise that help scientists and engineers across the country better understand and improve our world. NCSA is an interdisciplinary hub and is engaged in research and education collaborations with colleagues and students across the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

For interview requests, general questions, copyright permission and B-roll inquiries contact: publicaffairs@ncsa.illinois.edu.

National Science Foundation (NSF) media contact: media@nsf.gov

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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.

BD Hubs profiled in SIGNAL magazine

The NSF-funded Big Data Innovation Hubs were highlighted in a recent article in SIGNAL magazine, a publication of the AFCEA (Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association). The Executive Directors of the Midwest and Northeast Big Data Hubs, Melissa Cragin and René Baston, were quoted extensively from interviews that covered the wide-ranging communities and activities of the Hubs. Here is an excerpt from the article:

“[W]hile we’re called the Big Data Innovation Hubs, we’re very focused on building capacity in data science, building expertise, access to data-related services and networks related to all things data science,” said Cragin.

That means making available “to all kinds of communities” access to data-related skills, services, tools and opportunities, Cragin states. By developing public/private partnerships and working with groups to leverage these resources, the hubs can help coordinate solutions to “shared grand challenges,” she notes. The hub also is endeavouring to extend data science research and education to predominantly undergraduate institutions—including minority-serving institutions—to help add data skills for the developing workforce, she states.

The regional aspect allows each hub to identify priority areas or “spokes” that they are pursuing. For the Midwest, issues relating to water quality; digital agriculture and unmanned aerial systems; and food, energy and water, among others, play a major role.

Read the full article here.

Welcome to the new MBDH Community Blog

Greetings!

Today we are launching a new MBDH Community Blog, which is intended to extend information sharing around events and projects, as well as expand our channels for Community conversation.

We plan to run 1-2 posts per month, and we are now seeking submissions from the MBDH Community – including the Spokes and our other collaborative projects – that describe your contributions and developments in the broader data ecosystem. Of interest are short reports and highlights from data-related meetings, events, or project outcomes, inclusive of the role and impact of the MBDH for these efforts.

We welcome contributions from the Social Sciences and Humanities, including short contributions that address data and algorithmic ethics, or coming changes for work, daily life, and public engagement in U.S data policy.

We encourage submissions from practitioner and NGO perspectives, as well as those from academia, industry, or government. We will provide additional guidelines shortly. If you are interested in submitting a Blog post, please send your contact information and the subject area to: info@midwestbigdatahub.org

Our first guest post is by Daniel Katz, Assistant Director for Scientific Software and Applications at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Check out his post on the US Research Software Sustainability Institute (URSSI) project.

Finally, I’ll note a couple of activities where we are currently seeking input and engagement:

Add your voice to our Midwest Big Data Hub evaluation

  • To create a robust strategic plan for the Midwest Hub.
  • To plan toward long-term sustainability, especially financial sustainability, for the Midwest Hub.
  • Provide your input here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MBDHSurvey

Participate in our election of five (5) At-large representatives for the MBDH Steering Committee:  https://midwestbigdatahub.org/2018-steering-committee-at-large-nominees/

As always, please contact us with any ideas or questions.
Thank you for your continued support!

All the best,
Melissa Cragin
Executive Director, Midwest Big Data Hub

Big Data Hubs partner with NSF and JHU on new nationwide data storage network

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.

A story from NCSA with more details from Melissa Cragin, MBDH Executive Director and award PI, and NDS Executive Director Christine Kirkpatrick is here.

Links to partners:

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

An Introduction to Dr. William Gropp, MBDH PI

Dear MBDH Community,

I wanted to officially introduce myself as the new PI of the Midwest Big Data Hub. In a previous MBDH newsletter, it was announced that I would be taking over the role after the former PI, Dr. Ed Seidel, accepted the job of Vice President for Economic Development and Innovation for the University of Illinois System. It is with great enthusiasm that I join the MBDH community, and I’m eager to contribute to all the ways the Hub is expanding and enhancing the Midwest Big Data ecosystem.

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

A Note From Ed Seidel

Dear Friends and Colleagues of the Midwest Big Data Hub:

I’d like to let you all know that I have recently accepted the position of VP for Economic Development and Innovation for the University of Illinois System, and will no longer be the Director of NCSA. As a result, after consulting with MBDH leadership, NSF, and U of IL officials, we have decided that it is the best interests of the hub that we pass the PI role to Prof. Bill Gropp.

Read More

MBDH Spoke Awardee Guides Open Source Computational Research Infrastructure for Science

The newly released open source Computational Research Infrastructure for Science (CRIS) was developed with contributions from a Midwest Big Data Hub (MBDH) Planning Grant, “Cyberinfrastructure to Enhance Data Quality and Support Reproducible Results in Sensors.” CRIS provides an easy to use, scalable, and collaborative scientific data management and workflow cyberinfrastructure.

CRIS was developed at Purdue University under the technical leadership of Peter Baker and the scientific supervision of Professor Elisa Bertino. Dr. Bertino is the PI of the MBDH Planning grant, which contributed by assessing the quality tools and versioning techniques provided by CRIS. Within the grant, the developers are currently working on provenance models and techniques, and provenance interoperability for the CRIS provenance model.

More information can be found here.

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.

NSF awards connect Midwest Big Data Hub and scientists to solve regional challenges

Today, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced $10 million in “Big Data Spokes” awards to initiate research in specific areas identified, supported, and organized by the Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs (BD Hubs). $2.4 million in Big Data Spoke, Early­ Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) and planning awards will connect the Midwest Big Data Hub (MBDH) and midwestern data scientists, to support digital agriculture; community-driven and sustainable neuroscience data infrastructure; improved sensor technologies; citizen scientists and real-time air quality monitoring; and new data-to-decision systems in hazards management by partnering data scientists with emergency personnel.

Read More

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.