Archive for the ‘NSF’ Category

Innovation Down Under!

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

Twenty-nine “Welcome to the Ideas Boom” one-pagers from innovation.gov.au.

I saw this in a tweet by Leanne O’Donnell thanking @stilgherrian for putting these in one PDF file.

Hard to say what the results will be but certainly more successful than fattening the usual suspects. (NSF: BD Spokes (pronounced “hoax”) initiative)

Watch for the success factors so you can build upon the experience Australia has with its new approaches.

NSF: BD Spokes (pronounced “hoax”) initiative

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

Big Announcements in Big Data by Tom Kalil, Jim Kurose, and Fen Zhao.

From the webpage:

As a part of the Administration’s Big Data Research and Development Initiative and to accelerate the emerging field of data science, NSF announced four awards this week, totaling more than $5 million, to establish four Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs (BD Hubs) across the nation.

Covering all 50 states and including commitments from more than 250 organizations—from universities and cities to foundations and Fortune 500 corporations—the BD Hubs constitute a “big data brain trust” that will conceive, plan, and support big data partnerships and activities to address regional and national challenges.

The “BD Hubs” are: Georgia Institute of Technology, University of North Carolina, Columbia University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of California, San Diego, University of California, Berkeley, and University of Washington.

Let’s see, out of $5 million, that is almost $715,000 for each “BD Hub.” Given administrative overhead, I don’t think you are going to see much:

…improve[ment] our ability to extract knowledge and insights from large and complex collections of data, but also help accelerate the pace of discovery in science and engineering, strengthen our national security, and fuel the growth and development of Smart Cities in America

Perhaps from the BD Spokes (pronounced “hoax”) initiative which covers particular subject areas for each region?

If you can stomach reading Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs: Establishing Spokes to Advance Big Data Applications (BD Spokes), you will discover that the funding for the “spokes” consists of 9 grants of up to $1,000,000.00 (over 3 years) and 10 planning grants of up to $100,000 (for one year).

Total price tag: $10 million.

BTW, the funding summary includes this helpful note:

All proposals to this solicitation must include a letter of collaboration from a BD Hub coordinating institution. Any proposals not including a letter of collaboration from a BD Hub coordinating institution will be returned without review. No exceptions will be made. (emphasis in original)

Would you care to wager on the odds that “a letter of collaboration from a BD Hub coordinating institution” isn’t going to be free?

For comparison purposes and to explain why I suggest you pronounce “Spokes” as “hoax,” consider that in 2014, Google spent $11 billion, Microsoft $5.3 billion, Amazon $4.9 billion and Facebook $1.8 billion, on data center construction.

If the top four big data players are spending billions (that’s with a “b”) on data center construction alone, how does a paltry $15 million (hoax plus the centers):

…improve our ability to extract knowledge and insights from large and complex collections of data, but also help accelerate the pace of discovery in science and engineering, strengthen our national security, and fuel the growth and development of Smart Cities in America

??

Reminds me of the EC [WPA] Brain Project. The report for year two is summarized:

As the second year of its Ramp-Up Phase draws to a close, the HBP is well-placed to continue its investigations into neuroscience, medicine, and computing. With the Framework Partnership Agreement in place, and preparations underway for the first Specific Grant Agreement, the coordination of the Project is shifting into a higher gear.

Two years into a ten year project and “coordination of the Project is shifting into a higher gear.” (no comment seems snide enough)

My counter-proposal would be that the government buy $10 million (or more) worth of time on Azure/AWS and hold an open lottery for $100,000 increments, with the only requirement that all code and data be under an Apache license and accessible to all on the respective cloud service.

That would buy far more progress on big data issues than the BD Spokes (pronounced “hoax”) initiative.

NSF, NIH to Hold Webinar on Big Data Solicitation

Monday, April 30th, 2012

NSF, NIH to Hold Webinar on Big Data Solicitation by Erwin Gianchandani.

Guidance on BIGDATA Solicitation

<= $25 Million Webinar: Tuesday, May 8th, from 11am to 12pm ET. Registration closes 11:59pm PDT on Monday, May 7th.

From the post:

Late last month, the Administration unveiled a $200 million Big Data R&D Initiative, committing new funding to improve “our ability to extract knowledge and insights from large and complex collections of digital data.” The initiative includes a joint solicitation by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH), providing up to $25 million for Core Techniques and Technologies for Advancing Big Data Science and Engineering (BIGDATA). Now NSF and NIH have announced a webinar “to describe the goals and focus of the BIGDATA solicitation, help investigators understand its scope, and answer any questions potential Principal Investigators (PIs) may have.” The webinar will take place next week — on Tuesday, May 8th, from 11am to 12pm ET.

So, how clever are you really?

(The post has links to other materials you probably need to read before the webinar.)

From Big Data to New Insights

Monday, July 25th, 2011

From Big Data to New Insights

From the Office of Science and Technology Policy:

Today [18 July 2011], Microsoft is announcing the availability of a new tool called Daytona that will make it easier for researchers to harness the power of “cloud computing” to discover insights in huge quantities of data.

Daytona, which will be freely available to the research community, builds on an existing cloud computing collaboration between the National Science Foundation and Microsoft. In April, NSF announced that it was funding 13 teams to take advantage of Microsoft’s offer to provide free access to its Windows Azure cloud. Among other things, these projects will improve our understanding of large watersheds such as the Savannah River Basin, enable more and better use of renewable energy through improved weather forecasting, predict the interactions between proteins, and make cloud computing more secure, reliable, and accessible over mobile devices.

The new partnership, along with NSF collaborations with other leading IT companies, will help researchers access the computing power and storage capacity they need to tackle the big questions in their field. That’s important because researchers in a growing number of fields are generating extremely large data sets, commonly referred to as “Big Data.” For example, the size of DNA sequencing databases is increasing by a factor of 10 every 18 months! Researchers need better tools to help them store, index, search, visualize, and analyze these data, allowing them to discover new patterns and connections.

So far as I know, the issues of heterogeneous data remain largely unexplored in connection with BigData. Since heterogeneous data has proven problematic with “Small Data,” I not no doubt it will prove equally if not more difficult with Big Data.

This is the one of the offices to contact in the United States on such issues. Other US offices?

Similar offices in other countries?