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May 31, 2012

Intel Invests in Big Data with Research Center


This week Intel announced that MIT was selected as the new center for a big data research hub that will focus on discoveries that touch nearly every angle of modern enterprise.

Researchers at the newly minted Intel Science and Technology Center for Big Data at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) will work with five other institutions on several innovative new big data projects.

The teams behind the data-intensive computing work at ISTC will focus on ways to analyze big datasets to develop solutions for government, financial services, healthcare, life sciences, manufacturing, retail and other industries.

Intel says that in addition to specific industry-driven projects, the teams want to focus on the inherent challenges posed by data-intensive computing by designing and prototyping hardware and software for storing, managing, processing, understanding and visualizing data; discovering novel algorithms and scalable, co-designed architectural alternatives; and innovative ways of optimizing modern processor technology trends such as multicore, manycore and emerging non-volatile memory technologies.

A few similar Intel research hubs at other institutions already exist to explore specific areas of computing. For instance, Carnegie Mellon University is home to an ISTC that is dedicated to cloud and embedded computing research and another ISTC that spans multiple institutions focuses on visual computing.

Intel says its goal with the new big data center is to “explore new computational solutions for how people share, store and manipulate large amounts of data.” According to the chipmaker, “this will enable the extraction of the right information to gain new additional insights.”

The ISTC for Big Data is co-led by MIT professors Michael Stonebreaker and Sam Madden as the university principal investigators, and Intel Fellow Pradeep Dubey as the industry principal investigator. Intel's Jeff Parkhurst will serve as the center's program director.

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