Delving into the data from Hurricane Maria

Data and water scientists aim to learn from an unparalleled natural disaster.

Among the many problems faced by residents of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria is a lack of clean drinking water; this poses health risks for people who have already endured unprecedented hardship.

The storm and its aftermath also provided a distinctive occasion for an interdisciplinary research team, including RENCI experts, to collect data to understand how the storm impaired the island’s water resources. Through a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the team is developing a software system to archive and share information about drinking water quality in some of the most devastated areas of Puerto Rico, and assessing how disruption in services affects water quality and relates to disease outbreaks.

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NSF-sponsored workshop to focus on data lifecycle training for grad students and postdocs

Travel and accommodations provided; applications due March 15

For today’s graduate and post-doctoral students, conducting research often starts by trying to make sense of the many tools, technologies, and work environments used in data-intensive research and computing.

Fortunately, there is help in navigating this new research landscape.  Read more

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iRODS Consortium announces University of Groningen as newest member

The University of Groningen (UG) Center for Information Technology (CIT) is the newest member of the iRODS Consortium, the membership-based organization that leads efforts to develop, support, and sustain the integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS).

UG, a research university with a global outlook, is deeply rooted in the northern Netherlands town of Groningen, known as the City of Talent. The University ranks among the top 100 in several important ranking lists. It boasts a student population of about 30,000, both locally and internationally, and employs 5,500 full-time faculty and staff. Its Center for Information Technology (CIT) serves as the university’s IT center and promotes the sophisticated use of IT in higher education and research. CIT’s 200 employees manage the IT facilities and support processes for all students and staff members. Read more

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New membership structure launches NCDS into new year

The NCDS brings together students and companies for career events such as this one at The Frontier in RTP.

Five years after its founding at RENCI, consortium has sharper focus and more pathways to membership.

The National Consortium for Data Science (NCDS), a public-private consortium formed to address the challenges and opportunities of big data, has updated its membership structure, making it easier for businesses, government agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofits to join the NCDS community.  Read more

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Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing joins iRODS Consortium

Organization is now implementing new iRODS-based infrastructure

CHAPEL HILL, NC – The Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC), a national research infrastructure hosted at universities across Sweden, is the newest member of the iRODS Consortium, the membership-based foundation that leads development and support of the integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS).  Read more

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RENCI to lead one of 12 projects to create an NIH Data Commons

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has tapped the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and RENCI, a UNC technology research institute, to lead a project that is part of a nationwide effort to develop an NIH Data Commons, a shared virtual space where biomedical researchers can easily and securely work with data, analytical tools, and applications.  Read more

New project aims to bring semantics to evolutionary trees

Project team from left to right: Todd Vision, UNC-Chapel Hill; Jim Balhoff, RENCI; Wasila Dahdul, University of South Dakota; Josef Uyeda, Virginia Tech; and Hilmar Lapp, Duke University.

CHAPEL HILL, NC – Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will play key roles in a new project that applies semantic technologies developed by computer and information scientists to the field of evolutionary biology.

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Chameleon Cloud Computing Project enters new phase with $10M award

Cloud computing lies behind many of today’s most popular technologies, from streaming video and music to email and chat services to storing and sharing family photos. Since 2015, the Chameleon testbed has helped researchers push the potential of cloud computing even further, finding novel scientific applications and improving security and privacy.

A new grant from the National Science Foundation will extend Chameleon’s mission for another three years, allowing the project led by University of Chicago with partners at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI), and Northwestern University to enter its next phase of cloud computing innovation. Upgrades to hardware and services as well as new features will help scientists rigorously test new cloud computing platforms and networking protocols. 

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SILS student awarded Thomas M. Carsey Scholarship in Data Science

Xueli Fan, a graduate student in the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at UNC-Chapel Hill, was recently named 2017-2018 recipient of the Thomas M. Carsey Scholarship in Data Science.

The scholarship program gives talented UNC-Chapel Hill students the chance to work on real data science problems and domain science problems that use data and data science techniques in the discovery process. Launched by RENCI, Carsey scholars are paid for up to 20 hours per week to work with RENCI research teams and collaborators. Read more

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Data Fellows project aims to make storm surge predictions faster and more accurate

By Nelson Tull

Note: Nelson Tull is a graduate student in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at North Carolina State University. His faculty advisor, Casey Dietrich, is an NCDS Data Fellow conducting research to improve hurricane and storm surge guidance to emergency managers in North Carolina’s coastal counties. Dietrich’s Data Fellows research builds on previous work supported by the North Carolina Sea Grant program. Other collaborators are Rick Luettich, head of the Institute of Marine Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill, Brian Blanton, a senior research scientist and oceanographer at RENCI, and Jason Fleming of Seahorse Coastal Consulting. To learn more about this research, tune into the September 2017 NCDS DataBytes webinar.

When lives are on the line, minutes count but so does accuracy
Storm surge model forecasts are a critical tool used by coastal emergency managers to plan and make decisions. These models must be both accurate and fast to give reliable information in a timely manner as a storm moves toward the coast. The forecast guidance must also be visualized in a way that is meaningful to those who need this vital information. Read more