Separating the wheat from the chaff in an age of bots and trolls

bots and trolls2In the age of ubiquitous connectivity and social media, information is at our fingertips. Unfortunately, so is misinformation and often it is hard to tell one from the other.

A recent roundtable discussion sponsored by the South Big Data Hub examined the rapidly changing landscape for building online communities, sharing information, and creating what often appears to be a groundswell of support for particular points of view.  Continue reading

PEPI Builds Bridges Between Industry and Researchers

The South Big Data Hub’s Program to Empower Partnerships with Industry (PEPI) pairs early career faculty and researchers throughout the South with Industry Partners and support their travel to make collaboration possible. The program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), UnitedHealthCare Group and McKesson Corporation. Through PEPI, the South Hub provided funding to support data-intensive fellowships with industry for early career faculty, research scientists, and postdocs. Each award provided the recipient with up to $15,000 of travel and salary support to pay for their full-time effort for 2 – 5 weeks working at the company site.

The 2016 PEPI Fellows and companies were:  Continue reading

A Vision For Smart and Connected Cities

Author: Deepti Kumra, South Hub Graduate Assistant

During the second South Big Data Hub Smart Cities community call, Daniel Morgan, chief data scientist for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), addressed what he sees as the DOT’s biggest data challenges. The DOT is actively encouraging developers to come up with applications to improve public safety, facilitate access to transportation, and help the department better understand traffic congestion.

The biggest challenge the DOT faces is fatal crashes. In August 2016, the Census of Fatal Crashes revealed a loss of 35,072 lives on the road, a 7.2% increase compared to 2014. Hypothesized causes for this increase in fatal crashes are an improving economy leading to more travel, climate and weather changes, alcohol involvement, attitudes towards seat belt use, and distracted driving (for example drivers texting or talking on the phone). Continue reading

South Big Data Hub DataStart fellow reflects on lessons learned

By Jonathan Ortiz, DataStart Fellow,, Austin, Texas

Jonathan Ortiz trying his hand at the slackline.

As the summer semester passes its halfway point, I take a moment to reflect on just what an amazing summer it has been and think ahead to what is in store for the second half. I am a Data Analytics and Big Data student at The University of Texas at Austin, and this summer I have had the exciting opportunity to work with, an Austin data startup, through a DataStart fellowship managed by the South Big Data Hub with support from the Computing Community Consortium and the National Science Foundation. is a data platform that helps people work together to solve important problems faster. I believe, as the good folks at believe, that the barriers that divide data and people are artifacts from a less-connected era. In a time when more and more open data is created every day, only a tiny fraction—less than 1%—of all the data that gets collected and stored is ever analyzed, according to an IDC report.   Continue reading

Four STPF Alumni Lead the Big Data Charge

Regional big data hubs aim to foster partnerships and strategies to tackle local and national challenges.

By Joy Metcalf (original posting at AAAS)

Late last year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) granted $5 million dollars to establish four Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs covering all 50 states with more than 250 universities, corporations, foundations, and cities committing support. The hubs’ role: To develop big data partnerships and strategies to address challenges the United States faces on a regional and national level.

Four of the five Hub leads enjoy the DC outdoors (From left to right: Lee, Shanley, Baston, Rawlings-Goss). | RC Barcus

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The Recap: South Big Data Hub Education and Workforce Working Group Call

Members discuss the importance of the 21st century workforce using data science across industry, academia and government

Members of the South Big Data Hub Education (SBDH) Education and Workforce Working Group began a conversation this week around identification of core learning needs for data science, including the retention of students in the STEM pipeline and the recruitment of new and diverse students to the field of data science.

Leveraging the SBDH community, 28 members from nine Southeastern states shared their knowledge of current data science training opportunities in an open forum and delved into ideas for connecting and expanding upon those initiatives.   Continue reading