SaddleBrooke Science Café

Series Title: Take a Byte Out of Big Data

Everything from how Amazon delivers products to your doorstep to how the next election will be won depends upon crunching vast amounts of data. In this series, our speakers will explore the variety of techniques and tools used to visualize, track and analyze Big Data and pinpoint compelling phenomenon.  Bridging the fields of computer science, medicine, astronomy, and the social sciences, ‘Take a Byte Out of Big Data’ will help explain how we make sense of millions, if not billions of data points.

To learn more about any of our speakers, click on their profile pictures!

DesertView Performing Arts Center

Spring Schedule of talks:

Thursday, January 12, 6:30 p.m.
Visualizing a Billion Datapoints

Stephen KobourovPresenter: Carlos Scheidegger, Assistant Professor, Computer Science

How does one try to make sense of data when there’s billions of it? Data visualization creates meaningful pictures of data to better understand it.   In this talk, we will present the techniques used to compute and query “nanocubes”, a type of data structure that Dr. Scheidegger has been developing in collaboration with other scientists at UA.  Using these techniques, we can generate insightful pictures of our data in under a second. There will be a live demonstration of the nanocube technique on a variety of real-world datasets, and Dr. Scheidegger will present recent, ongoing work on extending the method.

Thursday, February 9, 6:30 p.m.
ANTARES: Finding a Needle in a Stack of Needles (Panel Presentation)

Rick SnodgrassJohn KececiogluThomas MathesonAbi Saha

Rick Snodgrass, Professor, Computer Science
John Kececioglu, Associate Professor, Computer Science
Thomas Matheson, Associate Astronomer, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO)
Abi Saha, Astronomer, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO)

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will have the largest camera of any telescope in the world, and will see deeper into space than any previous survey telescope. LSST will take 1000 pictures per night of the night sky, and in each of those pictures, there will be anywhere from 10,000-50,000 “alerts” identified. The challenge confronting our team of astronomers and computer scientists is to discern the truly interesting occurrences, perhaps 100 per night, from this torrent of alerts. Of course, every astronomer has a different definition of interesting. What to do?

Thursday, March 9, 6:30 p.m.
Theories, Models, and Data

Kobus BarnardPresenter: Kobus Barnard, Professor, Computer Science

"Big data" keeps getting bigger and more diverse, and provides increasing opportunities for insights into the world around us. However, we often have many data points with little explanation as to what they mean. In this talk, Dr. Barnard will discuss "mindful modeling" - mathematically linking complex theory to data - as a new frontier for the social sciences and interdisciplinary computational scientists.

Thursday, April 6, 6:30 p.m.
Data-Driven Science in the Cloud

John HartmanPresenter: John Hartman, Associate Professor, Computer Science

At one time, data collection was a large and difficult part of science.  However, modern scientific instruments collect seemingly limitless amounts of information, while modern electronic data storage (“the Cloud”) makes it possible to store these data essentially forever. This has led to the rise of data-driven science -- "big data" scientific experiments that analyze large-scale datasets.  In this talk, Dr. Hartman will discuss how the cloud computing facilities originally developed to support the web are now being re-purposed to support data-driven science. He will cover the infrastructure provided by the cloud, how it is and is not suited for running scientific experiments, and will describe a metagenomics research project he is involved in that is using the cloud to study ocean viruses collected by the Tara Oceans Expedition.


These talks will be simulcast on Youtube and available for viewing here!

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