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

The first day started off with welcome addresses from MBDH Executive Director Melissa Cragin, MBDH PI and Director of the NCSA Bill Gropp, and Dave Hansen from the Kiewit Corporation. Dr. Anthony Scriffignano, the Senior Vice President and Chief Data Scientist for Dun & Bradstreet, gave the keynote address entitled “Making Decisions that Matter: Data Abounds. Data Confounds.”

Dr. Scriffignano’s keynote covered the abundance of data organizations are now dealing with, and the problems that arise from all of this data. Both extremely relevant and entertaining, his talk explored “some of the new ways data is being used to expose risk and opportunity and the skills we need to take advantage of a curious world awash in data.”

Dr. Anthony Scriffignano gives the Keynote address

Day one also included four panels: Project Reports from funded Spoke PIs, a panel on the “Gold Standards” of Machine Learning and how they differ across fields, a panel on Big Data for Midwestern Supply Chain Resilience, and a panel describing the efforts at SmartColumbus and data ecosystems for smart and healthy communities.
Ravi Nath (Creighton University), Vishal Singh (QuantifiedAg), Amy Kircher (University of Minnesota), and Danielle Richardson (ConAgra) speak on the Big Data for Midwestern Supply Chain Resilience panel.

Participants in the Poster Session also had the opportunity to present lightning talks about their research to All-Hands attendees. This provided a sneak peek that sparked some great conversations between attendees and presenters at the Poster Session which closed out the first day of the meeting.
Students present their posters to MBDH All-Hands Meeting Attendees

Day two started off with an update on the current state of the MBDH from Melissa Cragin before the final two panels of the meeting. These included a Federal Agencies panel featuring employees of the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy, as well as a panel on data-oriented educational programs in the Midwest aimed at preparing students to join the workforce.
Michael Twidale (UIUC), Jim Barkley (EKTA), David Mongeau (Ohio State University), and Renata Rawlings-Goss (South Big Data Hub/Georgia Institute of Technology) on the Education and Workforce Development Panel

We hope everyone in attendance enjoyed the wide variety of panels and was able to make connections with other attendees.

If you were unable to attend the MBDH All-Hands Meeting, videos of both days, panelist’s slides, and posters are all available.