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Plotting a Big Data Career Change

Nov 13, 2014 |

When MIT opened up its “Tackling the Challenge of Big Data” course earlier this year, administrators were optimistic they had put together a good online program for working professionals to learn about big data analytics. But they had no idea it would turn out the way it did. “It blew me away,” says Clara Piloto, Director of Global Programs at MIT Professional Education. “We did our proper diligence and did our forecasting and a lot of sales and marketing around Read more…

Note to Selfie: This Algorithm Will Improve Your Picture-Taking Skills

Nov 7, 2014 |

The number of photographs we’re taking is skyrocketing, thanks to new smartphones with powerful cameras and easy access to photo sharing sites. While the quantity of pics has increased, the quality has not kept pace. Resisting the urge to take a “selfie” is a sure-fire way to boost your amateur photog cred, but another path awaits by way of advanced algorithms. People are using their smartphone cameras to take and share billions of pictures every day. Whether it’s a kid, Read more…

‘What Is Big Data’ Question Finally Settled?

Oct 29, 2014 |

People have been debating what “big data” means ever since the term appeared in the lexicon. Researchers at Cal Berkeley recently pepper dozens of prominent data scientists and industry leader with the question in hopes of settling the big question once and for all. You’ve undoubtedly heard many definitions for big data over the years. For some, you have big data when it can’t be stored on a single computer, or it’s the combination of volume, velocity, and variety (some Read more…

Your Big Data Will Read To You Now

Oct 28, 2014 |

One of the biggest challenges in big data analytics is communicating insights back to users. Many organizations rely on dashboards and visualization tools to display the analytic results. Now a new crop of tools is using big data to generate written narratives that explain to users what’s happening in plain English. Advances in artificial intelligence have led to a wave of new applications that can automatically analyze massive amounts of data and write stories about them, and do so at Read more…

Why Pay for Analytics When Open Source Is ‘Free?’

Oct 23, 2014 |

The free analytics question comes up over and over again, especially as it pertains to open source analytic offerings. I don’t think a day goes by when someone at a company doesn’t ask, “Why should I pay for analytics when I can use (fill in the blank) open source statistics/analytics?”  You will find many lengthy discussions all over the Web on just this topic.  Often the discussion is much more impassioned than it needs to be. I will address the Read more…

News In Brief

Seeing the Forest For the Trees With Analytics

Nov 20, 2014 |

Climate science, with its seemingly unlimited number of variables, is tailored-made for closer scrutiny using big data tools. With that notion in mind, researchers at the University of Alberta have begun using streaming analytics software provided by IBM to detect, visualize and—most important for meteorologists and climate scientists—predict in real-time subtle changes in the environment. Canadian and international researchers working with the University of Alberta’s Enviro-Net project are attempting to monitor the impact of climate change on the world’s forests Read more…

Google Targets Big Genome Data

Nov 12, 2014 |

Google wants to leverage the infrastructure that runs its dominant search engine, Google Maps and Gmail to help analyze and share big genomic data. Google Genomics is being promoted as a way to store growing DNA data in the cloud. Users could load and export genomic data for free, then pay about $25 a year for storage and queries. Storage is calculated in terabytes per month, queries in millions of API calls. The search giant joins other cloud giants in Read more…

Machine Learning Gets a Boost from Google

Oct 23, 2014 |

Search giant Google announced a partnership with Oxford University researchers that will target artificial intelligence applications such as image recognition and natural language understanding. Google said U.K. researchers with its recently acquired DeepMind initiative would work with Oxford AI specialists who earlier this year cofounded Dark Blue Labs. The cofounders, Nando de Freitas, Phil Blunson, Edward Grefenstette and Karl Moritz Hermann, are considering leading experts in the use of “deep learning” for machine understanding of natural language. The researchers “will Read more…

NSF Awards $31M in Big Data Research Grants

Oct 6, 2014 |

Backing up Obama administration rhetoric about the economic impact of big data, the National Science Foundation will fund 17 data science research programs totaling $31 million as part of its Data Infrastructure Building Blocks (DIBBS) program. NSF said Oct. 1 the new university projects cover areas ranging from data analytics to management to security and specific scientific applications like biomedicine and life sciences. The agency, which focuses on funding university R&D, stressed in making the awards that many of the Read more…

Twitter Funds MIT ‘Social Machines’ Effort

Oct 3, 2014 |

Machines could become more social thanks to a new Twitter-funded initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s vaunted Media Lab that will seek to develop new technologies to make sense of social chatter ranging from tweets to data streams to digital content. MIT Media Lab announced Oct. 1 the creation of a Laboratory for Social Machines using $10 million in funding from Twitter over the next five years. Twitter said it also would provide the new MIT lab with full Read more…

This Just In

Indiana University Unveils SciPass

Nov 12, 2014 |

BLOOMINGTON, Ind., Nov. 12 — Networking and IT security experts at Indiana University have joined forces to change the way university networks handle the massive data sets that are crucial to discovery. Their innovation, a software-defined networking (SDN) system called SciPass, makes large data transfers faster and more affordable without sacrificing network security. Like most institutions whose researchers need to generate and analyze large data sets, IU operates a Science DMZ to optimize data transfers while providing appropriate security features. Read more…

SAS and Capella University Collaborate to Offer Minor Degrees in Analytics

Oct 23, 2014 |

LAS VEGAS, Nev., Oct. 23 — With the demand for analytical talent projected to outpace supply by 60 percent in the next few years, and a persistent shortage of female analytic experts, new educational options are required to help address these needs. SAS and Capella University are helping adult learners jump-start careers in the hot field of analytics with two minor degrees. Capella University, a regionally accredited online university, is now offering a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology minor in data Read more…

NIH Invests $32M for BD2K Initiative

Oct 10, 2014 |

Oct. 10 — Wide-ranging National Institutes of Health grants announced today will develop new strategies to analyze and leverage the explosion of increasingly complex biomedical data sets, often referred to as Big Data. These NIH multi-institute awards constitute an initial investment of nearly $32 million in fiscal year 2014 by NIH’s Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative, which is projected to have a total investment of nearly $656 million through 2020, pending available funds. With the advent of transformative technologies Read more…

University of Illinois and Mayo Clinic Receive $9M to Create CoE for Big Data

Oct 10, 2014 |

Oct. 10 — Today’s researchers, working with the advantages of new, sophisticated laboratory technology, have unleashed a river of valuable biomedical data—much more, in fact, than many of them have the tools to properly analyze, or the capacity to store. In 2012, the National Institutes of Health created the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative to enable efforts to harness the potential of this flood of information. As part of the first wave of BD2K funding, the University of Illinois Read more…

TSRI and STSI Granted $4.4M for BD2K Initiative

Oct 10, 2014 |

LA JOLLA, Calif., Oct. 10 – San Diego researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) will receive more than $4.4 million as part of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) initiative called “Big Data to Knowledge” (BD2K). The funding will be part of a new Center for Excellence for Big Data Computing at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), one of the 12 new centers nationwide announced today by the NIH. Over the course of Read more…