Registration now open for June iRODS User Group Meeting

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 2.09.46 PMRegistration discounts through April 1; visit

DURHAM, NC – Users of the integrated Rule Oriented Data System (iRODS) will come to Durham, NC from points around the globe to attend the 2018 iRODS User Group Meeting (UGM) June 5 – 7.

The meeting gives iRODS users and those interested in using iRODS the chance to learn about the latest updates to iRODS software, hear about iRODS implementations from users in different research domains and business sectors, discuss iRODS-enabled applications and discoveries, and glimpse the future of iRODS and the iRODS Consortium.

Thousands of businesses, research centers, and government agencies located in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and Africa use iRODS for flexible, policy-based open source data management that provides long-term preservation and federation.

The 10thth annual iRODS UGM begins Tuesday, June 5 with optional training sessions aimed at beginner and advanced iRODS users. The UGM formally kicks off Wednesday, June 6 and will feature more than 25 presentations from the user community and the core development team, including use cases, live demonstrations, and open discussions about requested iRODS features.  Organizers anticipate more than 150 users will participate in the meeting representing dozens of academic, commercial, and government institutions.

Attendees will have the chance to present their iRODS stories in a variety of ways:

  • 20-minute presentations that explain a novel iRODS application or development
  • 40-minute talks/demonstrations that offer an explanation of an iRODS use case along with a live demonstration of the technology.

Those interested in presenting at the meeting must submit an abstract by April 1. Presenters are also encouraged to submit a paper for publication in the formal Proceedings of the iRODS User Group Meeting 2018, which will be made available as a PDF and on Amazon. All papers must be submitted by June 1.

Registration is now open and early bird discounts are available until April 1. See the UGM registration page for details. For more information on submitting abstracts and papers, see the UGM Call for Proposals.


Women to show their data science chops at 2018 WiDS conference

The Women in Data Science (WiDS) Conference returns for a

third year to

Stanford University on March 5. This one-day, technical conference features world-class speakers discussing a wide array of data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence research and applications, from computational finance, to astrophysics, tocybersecurity, and much more. All genders are invited to participate in the conference, which features exclusively female speakers.

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NSF-sponsored workshop to focus on data lifecycle training for grad students and postdocs

Travel and accommodations provided; applications due March 15

For today’s graduate and post-doctoral students, conducting research often starts by trying to make sense of the many tools, technologies, and work environments used in data-intensive research and computing.

Fortunately, there is help in navigating this new research landscape.

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New membership structure launches NCDS into new year


Scene from an NCDS data science career event designed to bring students together with potential employers.

The National Consortium for Data Science (NCDS), a public-private consortium formed in North Carolina to address the challenges and opportunities of big data, has updated its membership structure, making it easier for businesses, government agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofits to join the NCDS community. Continue reading

Hackathon part of effort to make Orlando the ‘Smartest City’


Participants in the Orlando Smart Cities Hackathon take time out for a group photo.

By Dan Ellen

On August 26 and 27, programmers and software engineers convened in Orlando to push the boundaries of creativity, innovation, reality, and technology to build solutions and concepts that have the potential to make a difference in the Orlando community.

Called the Orlando Smart Cities Hackathon, the event aimed to support the city of Orlando in its efforts to become a smart city and also to demonstrate the city’s capabilities as it works to earn the title of “The Smartest City.” Orlando received two smart cities grant awards and is pursuing a variety of additional funding opportunities for smart cities initiatives that would help to enhance transportation citywide and beyond. In these pursuits, the city continues to move forward with building a data-driven infrastructure that will support safer, cleaner, and more efficient travel and an improved quality of life.  Continue reading

Data science education in traditional contexts: Reflections on a recent webinar

On August 28, Karl Schmitt, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of mathematics and statistics at Valparaiso University, attended the webinar Data Science Education in Traditional Contexts, hosted by the South Big Data Innovation Hub as part of its Keeping Data Science Broad: Bridging the Data Divide series. The webinar featured five speakers, including Schmitt, who is also the director of data sciences at Valparaiso. Each speaker talked about their own programs and experiences in data science education as well as some of the challenges involved in creating and implementing educational programs in a field that is still very new and in the process of being defined. Continue reading

Big data and public health: New scenes and a new state of mind

Bigdatahealthcare-3By Eun Kyong Shin

The 2017 International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling, & Prediction and Behavior Representation in Modeling and Simulation (SBP-BRiMS 2017) was held in Washington, DC, in July, and prominent fields applying social computing techniques include public health and healthcare. In early modern epidemiology, data collection processes relied heavily on painstaking manual labor. Data on a large scale was hard to obtain and resulted from careful observation and intensive recording. Since the introduction of the internet and advances in digital communication, massive amounts of dynamic data have accumulated exponentially. Along with the digitization of medical practices and other social data collection process, the nature of scientific discovery has been fundamentally changed. Continue reading

Deep Learning to classify big data

By Sahar Tavakoli

Our brains do an expert job of classification; it happens when we recognize people from their faces, categorize an object that we see, or predict the future state of an event. Proportional to  the complexity of an input pattern, the classification can be easy (for example recognizing the difference between a cat and a dog) or difficult, such as predicting the probability of two people becoming friends in a social network. Continue reading

Visuals, storytelling help make sense of data


Panelists discuss data visualization at a recent workshop sponsored by the South and West Big Data Hubs.

By Mark Schroeder

Throughout human history, stories have helped us make sense of sequences of events in our lives, infer cause and effect relationships, and share them with others. Just as our own memories are fallible and retelling stories can shape how we remember events, data can be fallible too. Its value is shaped by the process used to collect it and can be incomplete, incorrect, or biased in some fashion. How can we use data to gain true insights about the world and share them despite these challenges?

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Mobile Health Workshop sparks ideas for future research

by Wenbin Zhang

Wenbin ZhangAs a first-year PhD student in information systems, I have been working on mobile health (mHealth) related research since the start of my PhD program. The growth of mHealth has facilitated better and instantaneous health communication, which was not previously possible. The capabilities of mHealth platforms promise to enhance healthcare quality and assist people in achieving healthy lifestyles at reduced costs. Attending the mHealth workshop organized by the South Big Data Hub and the National Consortium for Data Science (NCDS), located at the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) deepened my understanding of mHealth, simply by having the chance to listen to and participate in intense discussions with an interdisciplinary group of mHealth and technology experts. Continue reading