Midwest Big Data Hub transitions to second phase with new NSF award

By August 5, 2019 News, Research

The National Science Foundation recently announced a second phase of funding for its regional Big Data Innovation Hub program, which comprises a growing network of partners investing in data and data sciences to address grand challenges for society and science.

As part of a four year, $4 million award, the University of Michigan will collaborate with Indiana University, Iowa State University, the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and the University of North Dakota to establish priority focus areas for the Midwest Big Data Hub (MBDH). The National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign will continue to lead the hub.

“The Midwest Big Data Hub community engages dozens of regional and national universities, transdisciplinary scholars and industry partners in tackling complex data-driven challenges, developing unique data science courses and training resources, as well as promoting data-science-for-social-good,” said H. V. Jagadish, director of the Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS) and the Bernard A. Galler Collegiate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at U-M.

U-M plays an important role in coordinating efforts across campuses so that researchers can harness the power of big data to address important issues related to: 

  • Advanced materials manufacturing
  • Water quality
  • Big data in health
  • Digital agriculture
  • Smart, connected and resilient communities.

“The University of Michigan is leading in biomedical and health research, as well as development and educational activities, while actively participating in other priority areas like water quality and smart manufacturing,” said Ivo Dinov, U-M professor of computational medicine and bioinformatics, who also serves as the associate director for education at MIDAS. “The Michigan data science and predictive health analytics research and development will focus on developing advanced clinical decision support systems that can be used to diagnose, track and predict the onset of devastating disorders like cognitive or memory decline, mental health and cancer.”

The Midwest hub, which launched in 2015 with support from NSF, serves a 12-state region that comprises Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The hub leads cross-cutting initiatives for broadening participation in data science education, cyberinfrastructure for research data management and cybersecurity issues around big data. By leading initiatives in data science education and workforce development, the hub aims to increase data science capacity within the region. The NSF also funds regional hubs in the Northeast, South and West, which together cover the entire United States.

“Developing innovative, effective solutions to grand challenges requires linking scientists and engineers with local communities,” said Jim Kurose, NSF assistant director for computer and information science and engineering. “The Big Data Hubs provide the glue to achieve those links, bringing together teams of data science researchers with cities, municipalities and anchor institutions.”

Learn more about the Midwest Big Data Hub at midwestbigdatahub.org.