Fourth Round Awarded Proposals
Sometimes referred to as the “Big Data Revolution,” the term itself is a misnomer since it defies quantification. Societies now realize Big Data transcends our current ability to both envision and define the destination of the journey that we have collectively undertaken in the area of capturing, and learning from, the proliferation of digital information. The resulting pace of innovation impacting a variety of settings is highly rapid because the underlying technologies that enable the analysis of Big Data are idea based – mostly software and algorithms. The code has no storage costs and it takes no time to replicate once created. Since code is also modular, it can be combined and recombined in any number of ways to create new applications and strategies. And, once created, the resulting applications can be delivered and implemented globally via the Internet almost instantaneously.
According to the Director of the National Science Foundation, Dr. Subra Suresh, “Data are motivating a profound transformation in the culture and conduct of scientific research in every field of science and engineering.” He further suggests “American scientists must rise to the challenges and seize the opportunities afforded by this new, data-driven revolution.”
As will be demonstrated in this proposal, the Georgia State University community already has some significant pockets of resources that are relevant for research and educational initiatives around Big Data and Analytics. In particular, we have high visibility faculty members and research centers working on applications of Big Data; we have access to and relationships with commercial and governmental organizations in the Atlanta area, some of whom are driving the Big Data Revolution and others who are seeking guidance and direction; we have degree programs where faculty have already or are currently moving to incorporate enhanced analytical components into curricula; and the Robinson College is preparing a major new MS in Analytics (MSA) program that will propose in spring 2013. Similarly a new MS degree in preparation in the Andrew Young School will have a concentration on big data and policy evaluation.
But to have a major impact that will bring national and international distinction to Robinson specifically, and Georgia State University more generally, we require a core leadership team that can pull our disparate resources together to create a whole that will be greater than the sum of the individual efforts. More specifically, the major assets that we have to leverage today are primarily focused on applications of the Big Data Revolution working in relative isolation from one another in specific functional areas. What we lack to achieve national and international distinction are faculty scholars who are focused on the fundamental scholarly work of data analytic methodologies and who can bring an international reputation for scholarship in the application of those methodologies, while also accelerating the creation of curricular innovations across the campus.
This 2ci proposal seeks to fill that leadership void. In particular, we propose attracting a team of scholars that will develop and lead a campus wide initiative charged to accelerate our understanding of what is possible by taking advantage of the dramatic reduction in the cost of acquiring and analyzing Big Data for the commercial, non-profit, and governmental sectors of our economy. The specific steps that will accomplish the goal are as follows:
- Attract a senior researcher with an international reputation and demonstrated capability to develop and deploy new methodologies into applications spanning multiple disciplines and/or sectors of the economy.
- This senior scholar will work with existing faculty resources across multiple departments in Robinson and across multiple colleges at GSU to develop a proposal to cluster hire three additional faculty members that will complete the multi-college leadership team.
The newly acquired faculty members will form the focal point for a coordinated research effort and to elevate the distinction and reputation of numerous academic degree programs.
Contact: Richard D. Phillips, Associate Dean for Academic Initiatives and Innovation, Robinson College of Business, and C. V. Starr Professor of Risk Management and Insurance
Contact: Timothy Hawthorne, Assistant Professor, Department of Geosciences
The departments of Mathematics and Statistics (Lead), Center for Inflammation, Immunity and Infection (CIII), Chemistry, Biology, and Computer Sciences, join force in and fully support this 2CI proposal. This interdisciplinary new leader will amplify current GSU strengths, and build a synergistic core of collaboration for high impactful and significant research on disease modeling. This senior leader will complement our current research strength, expand existing research expertise, and elevate GSU to another level of research reputation in quantitative life sciences.
Contact: Yi Jiang, Associate Professor, Mathematics and Statistics
Contact: Jian-Dong Li, GRA Eminent Scholar, Professor of Biology, University Center for Inflammation, Immunity & Infection