NSF BIGDATA and BDHubs Joint PI Meeting: a student’s perspective

Lucy D’Agostino McGowan

This post can also be found on Lucy’s blog

This summer I was funded by the South Big Data Hub’s DataStart program to intern at a local startup. Through this opportunity, I met the co-executive director Dr. Lea Shanely, who invited me to attend Hub’s annual Principal Investigator (PI) meeting if I agreed to blog about it (easy sell!). The goal of the 2017 Joint PI Meeting was to gather PIs who are funded through the NSF’s BIGDATA research program and Big Data Hubs and Spokes programs, along with industry and government invitees, to discuss current research, identify challenges, and examine promising opportunities and future directions of data research and education. Continue reading

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

Call for Proposals issued for May workshop on mobile health technologies

The South Big Data Hub (SBDH), in collaboration with the National Consortium for Data Science (NCDS), will convene a workshop on May 15-16 at UNC-Chapel Hill to identify and prioritize research challenges in data science cyberinfrastructure (CI) to enable mobile health (mHealth) applications to address environmental health and related healthcare challenges in the Southern United States.

The proposed workshop will bring together an interdisciplinary group of experts to understand the requirements, architectures, and approaches for mHealth CI. The workshop will explore existing research to understand: What is the state of the art in mHealth CI? How do these architectures deal with potential roadblocks, such as privacy, security, and ethics?

The South Hub and the NCDS would like to invite graduate students in mHealth to apply to participate in the workshop. Continue reading

NSF Announces Second Phase of BD Hub Spoke Awards

NSF-logoAs many in the South Big Data Hub community know, our Hub is one of four regional Hubs established by the National Science Foundation in 2015 to foster data science collaborations among academia, industry and government, both in the U.S. and internationally. In 2016, the NSF expanded the BD Hubs’ network by supporting multi-sector and multi-institutional collaborations focused on using data to address regional challenges.

That support translated into BD Hub “Spoke” awards for research addressing regional problems, and several Spoke awards were given to researchers within the states that comprise the South Hub (click here for information on those awards).

This week, the NSF issued a Call for Proposals for round two of the BD Hub Spoke Awards to be funded in FY 2018. The solicitation is not meant to fund proposals in which fundamental research is the primary activity. Instead, BD Hub Spoke proposals should be guided by the following broad themes:  Continue reading

Expert panelists to discuss bots, lies, and the new information environment

The explosion of social media, blogs, and websites purporting to be news sources, along with a 24-hour news cycle and ubiquitous assess to the internet from cell phones and other devices, means a new information environment. That environment is radically different from the days when we depended on the New York Times and local newspapers for information, and it is rewriting the norms of social interaction, conversation, public discourse, and news reporting.

Continue reading

New Report Looks at Strategies for Building a Data Economy

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-5-27-39-pmTwo groups with a keen interest in data science –the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology & Innovation and the National Consortium for Data Science—have teamed up to produce a report that examines what the Tar Heel state needs to do to be a leader in the emerging data economy.

The report, NC in the Next Tech Tsumani: Navigating the Data Economy, says North Carolina has the raw assets to build a world-class data economy, including top-tier universities and thriving business sectors in technology, life sciences and finance.  However, those assets must be nurtured through a focus on data science education, data literacy, support for data-focused startups, and a coordinated effort to present the state as a data leader.   Continue reading

Hackathon in Rocket City (Huntsville, AL) focuses on flood management

screen-shot-2017-02-17-at-10-57-54-amWe can’t control Mother Nature, but we can use data to mitigate some of her more destructive occurrences, including floods.

That’s the premise behind a hackathon sponsored by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the city of Huntsville, AL. The hackathon, to be held Feb. 25 and 26, will give software developers, policymakers, public safety officials, business leaders, and other creative problem solvers the chance to make a difference in how communities prepare for and respond to dangerous floods.   Continue reading

South Hub Sponsors Data Science for Social Good Summer Program 2017

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By Arjun Sawhney, South Big Data Hub
SawhneyArjun@gmail.com

South Big Data Hub is partnering with Data Science for Social Good- Atlanta to bring nine graduate students from various southern states to participate in a ten-week paid internship experience. The program would place undergraduate and graduate students in multidisciplinary teams to work under the supervision of a Georgia Tech faculty mentor on a problem that comes from a local government or nonprofit partner in the Atlanta metro area. Mentors from the local data science practitioner community will provide additional guidance and support. Continue reading