iRODS to celebrate banner year at 2015 User Group Meeting

CHAPEL HILL, NC – Users from around the globe who use iRODS, the open source data management platform now developed at RENCI and sustained through the iRODS Consortium, will meet in Chapel Hill June 10 and 11 for the 2015 iRODS User Group Meeting (UGM).

The UGM is an annual opportunity for iRODS users and developers to discuss iRODS-enabled applications and discoveries, technologies developed around iRODS, and future development and sustainability of iRODS and the iRODS Consortium.

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Bringing big data to the social sciences

Much has been said about big data and its potential to improve business productivity, understand risks, and improve medial diagnoses. But first and foremost, data is about people: how they interact with each other and their environment, their beliefs, the choices they make, and the significance of those choices.

With so much human-focused data available, social scientists have the opportunity to learn much from the big data revolution, but they need the technological infrastructure and resources to work with massive amounts of what is often unstructured and unwieldy data. Gleaning knowledge from data requires powerful computers, flexible and reliable data management platforms, high performance networks for moving and sharing data, and massive amounts of storage.

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Providing security for a world of distributed data

CHAPEL HILL, NC – Every spring, the UNC-Chapel Hill community showcases its most promising and innovative early-stage startups at an event called the UNC Innovation Showcase. The event illustrates how university research can lead to innovative products that benefit consumers, healthcare professionals, and many business sectors.

Over the years, a number of new companies nurtured by RENCI have been featured at the showcase, and this year RENCI again had a presence, not through a startup but with a presentation of a new technology called Secure Research Space (SRS).

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RENCI to collaborate with UNC Charlotte and NC State on technologies for big data analytics

CHAPEL HILL, NC – Researchers at RENCI (the Renaissance Computing Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill), UNC Charlotte and North Carolina State University will develop advanced technologies and solutions that will position North Carolina as a leader in data science research and applied data analytics and will enable university researchers and business practitioners to use big data to manage risks, gain knowledge, and compete in the global economy.  Read more

NCDS DataBytes webinars to highlight issues in data science

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 1.34.58 PMThroughout 2015, the National Consortium for Data Science (NCDS) will host a series of lunchtime webinars highlighting the most pressing and interesting issues in data science. The DataBytes series webinars will take place on or about the first Wednesday of each month. Talks will begin at noon, last 30 to 45 minutes, be followed by Q and A, and will conclude no later than 1 p.m.

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iRODS Consortium welcomes NASA’s Atmospheric Science Data Center

CHAPEL HILL, NC, February 9, 2015 – The Atmospheric Science Data Center (ASDC) at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA has signed an agreement to become the newest member of the iRODS Consortium. The iRODS Consortium is a membership organization of users and service providers that sustains the integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS) as free open source data management software.

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RENCI white paper surveys 10 emerging technologies for higher education

The U.S. higher education system faces many challenges, none more daunting than this: How to equip students with the skills they will need to survive in a competitive, globally connected world while keeping costs—especially tuition—from skyrocketing.

Proponents of educational reform argue that students are disengaged from the learning process and that traditional lecture-based courses do not encourage student immersion, interaction, or critical thinking (Atkinson 2010). Teachers too are disengaged, they argue, with much of their time spent on paperwork and few incentives provided for developing classes that emphasize collaboration and critical thinking.

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Social Computing Room brings excitement to finals

Typically, finals week brings to mind sleepless nights and groans of frustration as students slave away over last-minute projects and papers. This is not the case for students in GEO 445: Medical Geography, taught by Ashley R. Ward, PhD.

This course culminates in an interactive poster session in the RENCI Social Computing Room (SCR) located in the ITS Manning Building on the UNC Chapel Hill campus. According to Ward, “there’s a lot of excitement, and it’s a really fun final exam.”

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National Consortium for Data Science Names 2015 Data Fellows

CHAPEL HILL, NC, December 8, 2014 – The National Consortium for Data Science (NCDS), a public-private partnership to advance data science and address the challenges and opportunities of big data, today named three faculty members at three different universities as NCDS Data Fellows for the 2015 calendar year.

Each Data Fellow will each receive $50,000 to support work that addresses data science research issues in novel and innovative ways. Their work will be expected to advance the mission and vision of the NCDS, which formed in early 2013. Data Fellow positions are open to faculty members at NCDS member institutions, which includes universities in the University of North Carolina system, Duke University, Texas A & M University, and Drexel University. A wide range of researchers from six different member universities applied for the Fellowships. Their research proposals addressed many of the hot topics in data science, from cybersecurity to applying the techniques used by online music databases to develop more precise search algorithms and interest students in data science.

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RENCI@SC14, New Orleans, LA


RENCI and its partners, the iRODS Consortium and the National Consortium for Data Science, will feature their work in an exhibit at SC14, the world’s premier conference for high performance computing, networking, storage, and analysis.

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