Challenges and Opportunities of Big Data Are Focus of May 14 Summit

Data is everywhere, and growing by the moment. Terabytes of it pours in from scientific instruments daily, and it comes from swarms of sensors and Internet applications and monitors that capture the click streams of hundreds of millions of users. Big data is part of everyday life and science, engineering and the humanities.

But how to corral it, and gain useful insights from it?

That is the focus of Big Data 2, a meeting of the minds at the University of Virginia on Tuesday to address big data challenges and opportunities at the University, and what the plans are and can be for data management, analysis and visualization.

The summit, sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research and the U.Va. Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering, follows on the heels of a big data summit held last year at the University that resulted in new ideas and initiatives, including recently funded, student-inspired big data research projects.

The goals of Big Data 2 are to present big data opportunities at U.Va., outline plans for addressing big data challenges and forge a strong big data community to create opportunities for collaboration.

Like last year’s inaugural event, the sequel represents a diversity of big data activities and gives participants a chance to brainstorm and develop new ideas for conducting new and better research using the reams of data that roll in by the moment in projects across the University. The event will be streamed live; online viewers can submit questions to panelists during the event by emailing

“We realized last year that people who have problems handling big data were not in touch with the people who deal with managing big data,” said Rick Horwitz, associate vice president for research and biosciences. “Our goal is get people talking to each other, and to present opportunities for our students to help lead the way on innovating data-heavy projects.”

Sessions at Big Data 2 will consist of short presentations by U.Va. experts who deal daily with big data in an array of fields, followed by panel discussions, and finally a lunch discussion.

The event is booked, but anybody with big data interests can view the summit live online and afterward by clicking here.

The event program can be found here.

Media Contact

Fariss Samarrai

University News Associate Office of University Communications