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New NCSA Team to Focus on Big Science and Engineering Data Challenges

 NCSA News (11/08/12) Trish Barker

The U.S. National Center for Supercomputing Applications’ (NCSA’s) new Data Cyberinfrastructure Directorate will combine NCSA projects, personnel, and capabilities to focus on data-driven science.  “Science and engineering are being revolutionized by the increasingly large amounts and diverse types of data flowing from new technologies, such as digital cameras in astronomy, highly automated sequencers in biology, and the detailed simulations enabled by the new generation of petascale computers, including NCSA’s Blue Waters,” says NCSA’s Thom Dunning.  The Data Cyberinfrastructure team will fill the gap between data and the research and educational uses of the information that comes from that data, says NCSA’s Rob Pennington, who leads the effort.  He says data-driven science builds on advanced information systems to analyze raw data, and the resulting conclusions are accessible, searchable, and usable to the wider community of scientists and engineers.  “Many disciplines and projects face the same or very similar issues, so it is more productive for the researchers if we leverage solutions across multiple domains rather than each community separately grappling with its data challenges in isolation,” Pennington says.  The Data Cyberinfrastructure Directorate initially will focus on five areas of science and engineering, including astronomy, biomedicine, sustainability, industry, and geographic information systems.



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