Archive for the ‘Informatics’ Category

What is Climate Informatics?

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

What is Climate Informatics? by Steve

From the post:

I’ve been using the term Climate Informatics informally for a few years to capture the kind of research I do, at the intersection of computer science and climate science. So I was delighted to be asked to give a talk at the second annual workshop on Climate Informatics at NCAR, in Boulder this week. The workshop has been fascinating – an interesting mix of folks doing various kinds of analysis on (often huge) climate datasets, mixing up techniques from Machine Learning and Data Mining with the more traditional statistical techniques used by field researchers, and the physics-based simulations used in climate modeling.

I was curious to see how this growing community defines itself – i.e. what does the term “climate informatics” really mean? Several of the speakers offered definitions, largely drawing on the idea of the Fourth Paradigm, a term coined by Jim Gray, who explained it as follows. Originally, science was purely empirical. In the last few centuries, theoretical science came along, using models and generalizations, and in the latter half of the twentieth century, computational simulations. Now, with the advent of big data, we can see a fourth scientific research paradigm emerging, sometimes called eScience, focussed on extracting new insights from vast collections of data. By this view, climate informatics could be defined as data-driven inquiry, and hence offers a complement to existing approaches to climate science.

However, there’s still some confusion, in part because the term is new, and crosses disciplinary boundaries. For example, some people expected that Climate Informatics would encompass the problems of managing and storing big data (e.g. the 3 petabytes generated by the CMIP5 project, or the exabytes of observational data that is now taxing the resources of climate data archivists). However, that’s not what this community does. So, I came up with my own attempt to define the term:

Fleshes out a term that gets tossed around without a lot of discussion.

Personally I have never understood the attraction of disciplinary boundaries. Other than as an “in” versus “out” crowd for journal/presentation acceptance.

Given the low citation rates in the humanities, being “in” a discipline, to say nothing of peer review, isn’t a guarantee of good work.

Discovery Informatics: Science Challenges for Intelligent Systems

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Discovery Informatics: Science Challenges for Intelligent Systems by Erwin Gianchandani.

From the post:

This past February in Arlington, VA, Yolanda Gil (University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute) and Haym Hirsh (Rutgers University) co-organized a workshop on discovery informatics, assembling over 50 participants from academia, industry, and government “to investigate the opportunities that scientific discoveries present to information sciences and intelligent systems as a new area of research called discovery informatics.” A report summarizing the key themes that emerged during discussions at that workshop is now available.

From the workshop homepage:

What is Discovery Informatics?

Discovery Informatics focuses on computing advances aimed at identifying scientific discovery processes that require knowledge assimilation and reasoning, and applying principles of intelligent computing and information systems in order to understand, automate, improve, and innovate any aspects of those processes.

No surprise that I think we need to focus on the human aspects of computing and information systems.

It isn’t like our machines are going to come up with interesting questions on their own.

Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA)

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA)

Aims and Scope

JAMIA is AMIA‘s premier peer-reviewed journal for biomedical and health informatics. Covering the full spectrum of activities in the field, JAMIA includes informatics articles in the areas of clinical care, clinical research, translational science, implementation science, imaging, education, consumer health, public health, and policy. JAMIA’s articles describe innovative informatics research and systems that help to advance biomedical science and to promote health. Case reports, perspectives and reviews also help readers stay connected with the most important informatics developments in implementation, policy and education.

Another informatics journal to whitelist for searching.

Content is freely available after twelve (12) months.