Microsoft Research looks back at a year of successful collaboration with the Big Data Hubs

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Vani Mandava of Microsoft Research (far right), with leaders of the Big Data Hubs, from left to right: Fen Zhao, NSF program coordinator; Lea Shanley, South Hub; Melissa Cragin, Midwest Hub; Rene Baston, Northeast Hub; Meredith Lee, West Hub; and Renata Rawlings-Goss, South Hub.

Microsoft Research understands that taking full advantage of big data and new data technologies requires more than developing new tools and technologies. To paraphrase Vani Mandava, director of data science for the research arm of the tech giant, it requires cross-disciplinary research that extends well beyond computer science, and collaboration among domain science experts, computing and data science specialists, and industry leaders in technology and other verticals.

In a post on the Microsoft Research blog, she calls out the Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs as “one such bold opportunity to focus on vertical-specific, yet interdisciplinary research.”

Mandava’s words are backed up by actions: Microsoft Research has been a partner with the Big Data Hubs since last June and has committed $3 million in cloud computing credits to support Hub Spokes and Planning projects and other research important to the Hubs.

One year into the partnership, Mandava presents an overview of what it has meant for the Hubs and Hub-supported research projects. The partnership is part of Microsoft’s Azure for Research program, which helps researchers utilize the company’s Azure cloud computing platform to enable and accelerate their work.

So far, about $600,000 in cloud computing credits have been used by Hub researchers in fields such as healthcare, genomics, precision agriculture, transportation, and education. To learn more about the impacts of the Hubs’ collaboration with Microsoft Research, read Mandava’s full blog post here.

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