Workshop co-chaired by MIDAS co-director Prof. Hero releases proceedings on inference in big data

By | Al Hero, Educational, General Interest, Research | No Comments

The National Academies Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics has released proceedings from its June 2016 workshop titled “Refining the Concept of Scientific Inference When Working with Big Data,” co-chaired by Alfred Hero, MIDAS co-director and the John H Holland Distinguished University Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

The report can be downloaded from the National Academies website.

The workshop explored four key issues in scientific inference:

  • Inference about causal discoveries driven by large observational data
  • Inference about discoveries from data on large networks
  • Inference about discoveries based on integration of diverse datasets
  • Inference when regularization is used to simplify fitting of high-dimensional models.

The workshop brought together statisticians, data scientists and domain researchers from different biomedical disciplines in order to identify new methodological developments that hold significant promise, and to highlight potential research areas for the future. It was partially funded by the National Institutes of Health Big Data to Knowledge Program, and the National Science Foundation Division of Mathematical Sciences.

MIDAS announces second round of Data Science Challenge Initiative awards, in health and social science

By | General Interest, News, Research | No Comments

Five research projects — three in health and two in social science — have been awarded funding in the second round of the Michigan Institute for Data Science Challenge Initiative program.

The projects will receive funding from MIDAS as part of the Data Science Initiative announced in fall 2015.

The goal of the multiyear MIDAS Challenge Initiatives program is to foster data science projects that have the potential to prompt new partnerships between U-M, federal research agencies and industry. The challenges are focused on four areas: transportation, learning analytics, social science and health science. For more information, visit midas.umich.edu/challenges.

The projects, determined by a competitive submission process, are:

  • Title: Michigan Center for Single-Cell Genomic Data Analysis
    Description: The center will establish methodologies to analyze sparse data collected from single-cell genome sequencing technologies. The center will bring together experts in mathematics, statistics and computer science with biomedical researchers.
    Lead researchers: Jun Li, Department of Human Genetics; Anna Gilbert, Mathematics
    Research team: Laura Balzano, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Justin Colacino, Environmental Health Sciences; Johann Gagnon-Bartsch, Statistics; Yuanfang Guan, Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics; Sue Hammoud, Human Genetics; Gil Omenn, Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics; Clay Scott, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Roman Vershynin, Mathematics; Max Wicha, Oncology.
  • Title: From Big Data to Vital Insights: Michigan Center for Health Analytics and Medical Prediction (M-CHAMP)
    Description: The center will house a multidisciplinary team that will confront a core methodological problem that currently limits health research — exploiting temporal patterns in longitudinal data for novel discovery and prediction.
    Lead researchers: Brahmajee Nallamothu, Internal Medicine; Ji Zhu, Statistics; Jenna Wiens, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Marcelline Harris, Nursing.
    Research team: T. Jack Iwashyna, Internal Medicine; Jeffrey McCullough, Health Management and Policy (SPH); Kayvan Najarian, Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics; Hallie Prescott, Internal Medicine; Andrew Ryan, Health Management and Policy (SPH); Michael Sjoding, Internal Medicine; Karandeep Singh, Learning Health Sciences (Medical School); Kerby Shedden, Statistics; Jeremy Sussman, Internal Medicine; Vinod Vydiswaran, Learning Health Sciences (Medical School); Akbar Waljee, Internal Medicine.
  • Title: Identifying Real-Time Data Predictors of Stress and Depression Using Mobile Technology
    Description: Using an app platform that integrates signals from both mobile phones and wearable sensors, the project will collect data from over 1,000 medical interns to identify the dynamic relationships between mood, sleep and circadian rhythms. These relationships will be utilized to inform the type and timing of personalized data feedback for a mobile micro-randomized intervention trial for depression under stress.
  • Lead researchers: Srijan Sen, Psychiatry; Margit Burmeister, Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience.
    Research team:  Lawrence An, Internal Medicine; Amy Cochran, Mathematics; Elena Frank, Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience; Daniel Forger, Mathematics; Thomas Insel (Verily Life Sciences); Susan Murphy, Statistics; Maureen Walton, Psychiatry; Zhou Zhao, Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience.
  • Title: Computational Approaches for the Construction of Novel Macroeconomic Data
    Description: This project will develop an economic dataset construction system that takes as input economic expertise as well as social media data; will deploy a data construction service that hosts this construction tool; and will use this tool and service to build an “economic datapedia,” a compendium of user-curated economic datasets that are collectively published online.
    Lead researcher: Matthew Shapiro, Department of Economics
    Research team: Michael Cafarella, Computer Science and Engineering; Jia Deng, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Margaret Levenstein, Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research.
  • Title: A Social Science Collaboration for Research on Communication and Learning based upon Big Data
    Description: This project is a multidisciplinary collaboration meant to introduce social scientists, computer scientists and statisticians to the methods and theories of engaging observational data and the results of structured data collections in two pilot projects in the area of political communication and one investigating parenting issues. The projects involve the integration of geospatial, social media and longitudinal data.
    Lead researchers: Michael Traugott, Center for Political Studies, ISR; Trivellore Raghunathan, Biostatistics
    Research team: Leticia Bode, Communications, Georgetown University; Ceren Budak, U-M School of Information; Pamela Davis-Keane, U-M Psychology, ISR; Jonathan Ladd, Public Policy, Georgetown; Zeina Mneimneh, U-M Survey Research Center; Josh Pasek, U-M Communications; Rebecca Ryan, Public Policy, Georgetown; Lisa Singh, Public Policy, Georgetown; Stuart Soroka, U-M Communications.

For more details, see the press releases on the social science and health science projects.

Research highlights: U-M group awarded Midwest Big Data Spoke award from NSF for Advanced Computational Neuroscience Network (ACNN)

By | General Interest, Happenings, News, Research | No Comments

A group of three University of Michigan faculty members will lead the Advanced Computational Neuroscience Network project as a “spoke” in the Midwest Big Data Hub program funded by the National Science Foundation.

The Principal Investigator is Richard Gonzalez, Amos N. Tversky Collegiate Professor of the U-M Psychology Department, who has joint appointments in Statistics and Marketing, is Director of the Research Center for Group Dynamics, Research Professor in the Center for Human Growth and Development, and has affiliations with the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Center for Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics.

Co-PI’s are George Alter, professor in the History Department and the Institute for Social Research, and Ivo Dinov, associate professor in the School of Nursing and School of Medicine and Director of Statistics Online Computational Resources (SOCR), and associate director for Education and Training of the Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS).

All three are affiliated faculty of MIDAS.

The ACNN program will leverage rapid technological development in sensing, imaging, and data analysis to facilitate new discoveries in neuroscience, and will foster new interdisciplinary collaborations across computing, biological, mathematical, and behavioral sciences together with partnerships in academia, industry and government. ACNN will address three specific problems relating to Big Data in neuroscience:

  • data capture, organization and management involving multiple centers and research groups
  • quality assurance, preprocessing and analysis that incorporates contextual metadata
  • data communication to software and hardware computational resources that can scale with the volume, velocity and variety of neuroscience data sets.

ACNN is a collaboration between U-M, Ohio State University, Indiana University, and Case Western Reserve University.

The BD Hubs and Spokes programs are part of a larger effort at NSF to advance data science and engineering. In Fiscal Year 2017, NSF will invest more than $110 million in Big Data research.

U-M student group wins second-place in National Institute on Drug Abuse mobile app challenge

By | Educational, General Interest, News, Research | No Comments

A group of U-M students has won second place in the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) “Addiction Research: There’s an App for That” challenge.

The project was called “Substance Abuse Research Assistant (SARA).” Tthe team was composed of undergraduates (Steven Zeng and Joshua Song from Computer Science, and Amy Afonso and Wan-Ting Lin from the School of Information) and led by a masters student (Andy Lee, SI). The faculty mentors were Pedja Klasnja, Susan Murphy, Ambuj Tewari,and Maureen Walton. Support was provided by the Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS).

The second place award carries a cash prize of $25,000.

See the NIDA Challenges website for more information on challenges.