Big Data at GVSU News

September: Big Data Month!

August 24, 2018

September:  Big Data Month!

Big Data Month 2018 will feature multiple events revolving around data analytics:  speakers from the City of Grand Rapids and NOAA; FOIA-Fest; presentations by GVSU faculty; and the Big Data Ignite Conference.  Here are the details:

Download the Big Data Month flyer!

Thursday, September 6, Loosemore Auditorium (GVSU's DeVos Center), 6-7:30 p.m.

Open Data Empowering Community: Equity, Health, and Civic Initiatives

Presentation by the City of Grand Rapids Digital Team

Description:  In this presentation sponsored by the Johnson Center, the City of Grand Rapids Digital Team will describe how they (1) use real-time data to inform decisions, (2) set key metrics to determine if programs and services are regularly meeting objectives, and (3) analyze the data to gain insights and drive actions that help improve community outcomes.  This is all impossible without setting up a governance structure and data standards.  Learn about the City of Grand Rapids journey of developing an equity-driven open data portal working in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies “What Works Cities”  Learn how GR is using data to engage their communities more effectively.

GR Digital Team Presenters:

  • Alex Melton, Community Liaison, Customer Service
  • Jon Oeverman, Information Systems Coordinator, Engineering
  • Zac Thiel, Digital Data Strategist, Customer Service
  • Hannah Walters,  Engineering Assistant


Thursday, September 13, KHS 4402, 12-1 p.m.

Quantifying Variability in Environmental Systems to Improve Management, Planning, and Policy Development

Seminar by Dr. Drew Gronewold of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Description:  In this seminar sponsored by the Biology Department, Dr. Gronewold will discuss novel approaches to quantifying uncertainty in environmental systems using probability theory and Bayesian inference.  His presentation underscores the benefits of applying these tools to a range of socioeconomic, ecological, and human health problems.


Thursday, September 13, 4:30-5:45 p.m.

Models and Data for Studying Water Quality and Climate Change

Presentation by Dr. Drew Gronewold of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Description:  In this all-campus presentation sponsored by the Office of the Provost, Dr. Gronewold will describe recent research on combining models and data for improving understanding of seasonal, interannual, and multi-decadal changes in hydrologic systems, with impact on water quality and climate change.


Wednesday, September 19 – Friday, September 21, DeVos Place

Big Data Ignite Conference:  Join experts, practitioners, and decision-makers from around the world!

Conference Theme:  Symbiotic Intelligence through Automation.  Today’s data ecosystem is characterized by a growing number of independent but interconnected data-gathering and decision-making systems which monitor and react to each other. The automated coupling of adaptive systems gives rise to pipelines, workflows, and networks that exhibit “symbiosis”: mutual and collective benefits derived from interaction. Connected vehicles are but one example. Big Data Ignite 2018 will highlight examples of symbiotic intelligence through automation as conference participants explore the state of the art and emerging trends in data science, data analytics, IoT, cloud computing, and data management, as well as in industry verticals ranging from healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and distribution, and in the nonprofit and public sectors.  GVSU is a sponsor for the conference.  See the Big Data Ignite website for more information about the conference.


Wednesday, September 26, B-2110 MAK, 1-2 p.m.

Life at the Intersection of Biology, Statistics, Mathematics, and Computer Science

Seminar by Dr. Mary Winn of the Van Andel Research Institute

Description: Biological and biomedical sciences are becoming increasingly quantitative, requiring a sound grasp of mathematics, statistics, probability, and scientific computing. Genomics requires an understanding of graph theory, the negative binomial distribution, empirical Bayes and quasi likelihood tests. Molecular systems biology relies on mathematical modeling for chemical reaction networks, biochemical kinetics, metabolic networks, signal transduction pathways, and gene regulatory networks. Descriptive and inferential statistics are used to visualize molecular data and test hypotheses. Biophysics utilizes differential equations and numerical methods. The biological sciences are littered with mathematical and statistical models. We’ll explore some of these fields and discuss how mathematicians, statisticians, and computer scientists come together with biologists to uncover the complexities of life.  This seminar is sponsored by the Mathematics Department.


Thursday, September 27, KC 2270, 6-9 p.m.


Presentations by Freedom of Information experts; write your own FOIA requests

Description:  FOIA-Fest, sponsored by the School of Communications, kicks off with a keynote address by Michael Morisy, co-founder of MuckRock, a non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to freedom of information issues.  Next are presentations by Anne Jbara (GVSU Staff Attorney), a representative from the city of Grand Rapids, and local journalists.  Then, participants will move into writing their own FOIAs and PAIAs (Promotion of Access to Information) with the guidance of faculty, the speakers, and others with experience in this area.


Friday, September 28, LOH 179, 3-4 p.m.

Bodies of Work: Digital Corpora for Teaching and Research

Seminar by Prof. Peter Anderson, Classics

Description:  Following upon his work for a two week 2018 NEH Institute for Advanced Technology in the Digital Humanities ("Digital Editions, Digital Corpora, and new Possibilities for the Humanities in the Academy and Beyond"), which brought together 25 digital humanities projects from across Europe, North America, and South America, Professor of Classics Peter Anderson will describe his born-digital project on early modern Latin translations of ancient Greek texts, in particular competing 16th and 17th century translations of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations.

When Greek texts were rediscovered and began to be published in volume during the 15th through 17th centuries, they were very often printed with a Latin translation that was usually the primary point of access for most readers. There are 1000s and 1000s of pages of these translations, largely neglected by scholarship, but increasingly available as digital images. “Translating” these digital image resources into useable bodies of textual (and meta-textual) data for a specific research project is complex and challenging. Building a digital resource which is also useful for other researchers with different research questions is an additional challenge. Such projects offer a fantastic opportunity for involving students at every stage of the long process of building a research corpus. Anderson will discuss his current project and research goals, his work at the NEH Digital Humanities Seminar, and will explore the potential and challenges of these digital corpora and the opportunities for teaching, faculty research, and student research collaborations that are inherent in creating sustainable digital humanities resources.  This seminar is sponsored by the Classics Department and the Digital Studies minor.

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Page last modified August 24, 2018