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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iRODS Consortium welcomes Seagate Technology as newest member

seagate_2c_pos RCHAPEL HILL, NC, November 10, 2014, 2014 – Seagate Technology, a world leader in storage solutions, is the latest corporation to join the iRODS Consortium, a group that supports and guides the continued development of the integrated Rule-Oriented Data System, or iRODS.

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What’s bigger than big data? The Internet of Everything


Russ Gyurek of CISCO Systems speaks at an NCDS Tech Talk at UNC-Chapel Hill.

CHAPEL HILL, NC – The Internet of Everything is here, it’s big and growing exponentially, and it promises to transform society even more dramatically than previous disruptive technologies, including the Internet and electricity.

That was one of the key messages at an NCDS Tech Talk Oct. 23 in Sitterson Hall at UNC Chapel Hill. Cosponsored by UNC University Career Services, the talk featured Russ Gyurek, director of innovation in the office of the CTO at CISCO Systems, an NCDS member organization, talking about the next big thing in big data.

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Data sharing made easy

031293__largeCHAPEL HILL, NC – Sharing hydrologic data and models is getting easier, thanks to Hydroshare, a Web-based collaborative environment that expands the data sharing capabilities of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI) Hydrologic Information System (HIS).

The first version of HydroShare, developed by RENCI with input from a large community of scientists and software engineers, is now available on the HydroShare website. The HydroShare beta version allows hydrologists and other scientists studying water-related issues to easily upload data from their research projects, add metadata about the data files, and contribute related links, papers and source data.

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Blood test may help determine who is at risk for psychosis

colorful-brainCHAPEL HILL, NC – A study led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers represents an important step forward in the accurate diagnosis of people who are experiencing the earliest stages of psychosis.

Psychosis includes hallucinations or delusions that define the development of severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia. Schizophrenia emerges in late adolescence and early adulthood and affects about 1 in every 100 people. In severe cases, the impact on a young person can be a life compromised, and the burden on family members can be almost as severe.

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Better storm surge modeling using high performance computing


From left to right: RENCI’s Casey Averill, Brian Blanton and John McGee

When hurricanes or tropical storms head toward the North Carolina coast, RENCI’s Dell PowerEdge cluster, called Hatteras, springs into action, producing finely-detailed models of possible storm tracks and resulting coastal storm surge several times a day.

A recent upgrade to Hatteras means more capacity to produce  a large number of storm surge forecast ensembles and high-resolution models in less than three hours. The effort to upgrade Hatteras was documented in a recent case study developed by Dell.

Read the case study.

For more on RENCI’s coastal modeling work, see Coastal Hazards Modeling web page.

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