Data Matters summer short courses to focus on data issues in business and research

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Business managers, data analytics specialists, academic researchers, data center administrators and anyone else who grapples with big data are the target audience for a weeklong workshop series on data issues sponsored by the National Consortium for Data Science (NCDS), the Odum Institute for Social Science Research at UNC Chapel Hill, and the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI). Read more

Big data means big career opportunities, UNC students learn at NCDS career event

A full house for the NCDS Big Data Career Event

As a leader in the growing and evolving field of data science, the National Consortium for Data Science (NCDS) works to share knowledge and recruit a new generation of data researchers to innovate and solve challenges in organizing and managing data. Read more

Data Matters Summer Workshops to focus on data issues in business and research

DataMatters-header-v2CHAPEL HILL, NC – Business managers, data analytics specialists, academic researchers, data center administrators and anyone else who grapples with big data are the target audience for a weeklong workshop series on data issues sponsored by the National Consortium for Data Science (NCDS), the Odum Institute for Social Science Research at UNC Chapel Hill, and the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI). Read more

iRODS 4.0 release brings popular data management tool to wider audience

iRODS-Consortium-Logo-DarkChapel Hill, NC, April 2, 2014 – The iRODS Consortium today announced the release of iRODS 4.0, a sustainable and production-oriented version of the iRODS (integrated Rule-Oriented Data System) data management platform. Read more

Data and visualization help to personalize epilepsy treatment

A doctor at Boston Children’s Hospital checks on a young epilepsy patient during treatment. Photo credit: Katherine C. Cohen, Boston Children’s Hospital

A doctor at Boston Children’s Hospital checks on a young epilepsy patient during
treatment. Photo credit: Katherine C. Cohen, Boston Children’s Hospital

CHAPEL HILL, NC – For patients with epilepsy and their doctors, determining the best treatment plan often involves playing “medical detective.”

Non-routine visits to the doctor often take place after the patient has endured a seizure, and patient and doctor must piece together what happened just before the seizure, its length and severity, and possible triggers in an effort to determine whether treatments or medications need to be changed. If a clinician wants to compare a patient’s latest seizure to his or her medical history or to historic data in Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), they often must wade through reams of paper to see relationships and find correlations that could lead to better treatments.

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RENCI, Odum Institute team up to create virtual research institute

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The VISR will include equipment much like this rack of high performance servers.

RENCI and the UNC-Chapel Hill Odum Institute for Research in Social Science are combining their expertise in technology and the social sciences to begin development of a Virtual Institute for Social Research (VISR). The VISR will be a multifaceted high performance data and computing research environment that brings together researchers from across the world to collaboratively address the challenges facing social science.

“VISR will enable collaborative social science research of unprecedented scope and scale,” Odum Institute Director Tom Carsey said. “Launching VISR at UNC will capitalize on our historic strengths in social science, the incredible partnership we have between Odum and RENCI, and should help to position UNC at the forefront of computational social science and the big data revolution in social science.”

The proposed VISR will include a large-scale cyberinfrastructure designed for researchers in social science, computer science, statistics, information science, environmental science, health science, and related domains to work together to address the social, political, and economic challenges of the 21st century. VISR will provide high performance computing resources and access to data and software in a secure computing environment to any researcher with Internet access. Ultimately, VISR may include education and training materials, outreach programs, and initiatives to promote collaboration with industry and government partners.

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Open Science for Synthesis Workshop targets early career scientists

CHAPEL HILL, NC, and SANTA BARBARA, CA – Open Science for Synthesis is a unique bi-coastal training opportunity offered for early career scientists who want to learn new software and technology skills needed for open, collaborative, and reproducible synthesis research.

UC Santa Barbara’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and University of North Carolina’s Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) will co-lead the three-week intensive training workshop with participants in both Santa Barbara, CA, and Chapel Hill, NC.

The workshop will run July 21 – August 8, 2014.

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Built for Interaction

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New Social Computing Rooms at NC State and Odum Institute expand RENCI’s successful visualization technology

With RENCI’s guidance and assistance, campus units at several Triangle universities are developing interactive multimedia presentation rooms modeled after RENCI’s own Social Computing Room (SCR), located in the ITS Manning building on the UNC Chapel Hill campus.

The SCR provides an immersive 360-degree view of any visual content, allowing users to interact with and explore data in groups. The original SCR, built in 2007, runs on a Windows desktop and uses three projectors per wall (12 total) to achieve the 360-degree experience. The room can visualize scientific data set at 9.5 million pixels.  It also includes a system capable of tracking up to 15 people or resources in real time. The SCR’s many uses have included image analysis for cancer researchers at UNC’s School of Medicine as well as class projects and presentations for courses in computer science, English, art, and law.

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Smarter Smart Grids: Innovative approaches to controlling power grids

CHAPEL HILL, NC – Yufeng Xin, a senior researcher in RENCI’s networking research group, continues to work with Aranya Chakrabortty, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State University, and researchers at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign on a project to develop new algorithms for controlling and monitoring large distributed power systems.

The research team headed by Chakrabrotty received a new $1 million, three-year grant through the National Science Foundation’s Cyber Physical System (CPS) program late last year. The funding will be used to explore using cloud computing to analyze smart grid data from thousands of sensors, called Phasor Measurement Units, or PMUs. The PMUs are distributed across the transmission grid and connect a wide range of energy generating plants, including wind turbines and solar panels.

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DH Press featured in “Cedars in the Pines” exhibit at the N.C. Museum of History

An old family photo used in the new "Cedars in the Pines" exhibit at the N.C. Museum of History.

An old family photo used in the new “Cedars in the Pines” exhibit at the N.C. Museum of History.

RENCI Web Interface Designer Joe Hope is working with staff at the Digital Innovation Lab at UNC Chapel Hill and Akram Khater, Professor of History and Director of the Middle Eastern Studies Program at NC State University, to build a set of interactive maps for “Cedars in the Pines,” an exhibit opening Saturday, February 22 at the North Carolina Museum of History.

“Cedars in the Pines” is the first exhibition to commemorate the history of the Lebanese immigrants who have made North Carolina their home since the 1880s. The multimedia exhibit will feature personal stories, photographs, home movies, letters, artifacts, and audio recordings that will highlight the diverse experiences and contributions of Lebanese Americans in the state. Other interactive components will include maps, computer games, Arabic music, and a dance floor to learn dance steps. The exhibit runs through August 31, 2014.

The interactive maps will be available to museum visitors on a tablet and will allow them to explore the geography of Lebanese communities in cities such as Goldsboro, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem between 1900 and 1930, and to learn more about individual Lebanese immigrants and their families. The maps were built using DH Press, a humanities data visualization toolkit developed by Hope in conjunction with the Digital Innovation Lab at UNC Chapel Hill.

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