Big Data at GVSU News

Big Data Month 2019!

October 04, 2019

Big Data Month 2019!

Big Data Month 2019 will feature multiple events revolving around data analytics: speakers from The Right Place and Michigan State U.; FOIA-Fest #2; presentations by GVSU faculty; and the Big Data Ignite Conference.  Here are the details:

Download the Big Data 2019 flyer!

DeVos Medical Ethics Colloquy:  The Power of Data and Dilemma of Privacy

October 14, 5:30 Reception, 6:00 Main Event, 215 Eberhard Center, Grand Rapids

Speakers Include I. Glenn Cohen, JD (James A. Attwood and Leslie Williams Professor of Law, Harvard Law School and Faculty Director, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology & Bioethics) and Bonnie Kaplan, Ph.D., FACMI (Lecturer in Anesthesiology; Yale Interdisciplinary Bioethics Center Scholar; Faculty, Program on Biomedical Ethics; Faculty Affiliated Fellow, Yale Information Society Project, Yale Law School). 

Registration required by October 9:


Telling Stories of Relationships with Data

October 29, Noon-1, Cook-DeWitt Center, Allendale

Dave Riley, Director of Business Intelligence & Research at The Right Place

Abstract:  The work at The Right Place is all about relationships. Without strong relationships with the existing business community, local municipalities, education and training providers, utility providers, state officials, site selectors, etc. then we cannot be successful. The challenge is, how do we capture the history and value of the relationships in a meaningful yet user-friendly manner. Then, how do we use that data to build intelligence to inform strategies to ensure our regional economy remains competitive and that prosperity can be shared by all.


Big Data Mini-Symposium

October 31, 10:30 a.m.-Noon, Room 200 Bicycle Factory, Grand Rapids

The aim of the Big Data Mini-Symposium is to provide a forum for the humanities, research, and industry to exchange ideas around data and data science. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with panelists that bring their insights in academic research, digital humanities, and industry open-source trends.  Scheduled speakers:  Jamie DeLeeuw (GVSU Johnson Center – “Relationship Between Factory Farming and Water Pollution”); Matt Schultz (GVSU Libraries); Adriana Paz-Santos (GVSU Johnson Center); Imran Mazid (GVSU School of Communications). 


Big Data Ignite Conference 2019

November 4-6, all day, DeVos Place

This year’s conference features a speaker program filled with practical expertise in big data, cloud computing, IoT, and data management across multiple sectors and specialties. Tickets include lunch and dinner for each of the three days, beverages, and an experience like no other to learn and connect.

Paid registration required:


FOIA-Fest 2019

November 5, speakers at 10:30 and 1:30 & water data hackathon 9-5.  DeVos Place

Speakers and activities revolving around freedom-of-information-act laws.  Schedule for the day:

•          Assistant Attorney General Thomas Quasarano (replacing Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel who sends her regrets) will talk about FOIA law in Michigan and the components of an effective request. (10:30-11:10)

•          Grand Valley alumnus Marisa Kwiatkowski, who was part of the team of Indy Star reporters who broke the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal story, will lead a hands-on session for those people who want to learn how to submit effective requests.  (1:30-2:15)

•          John Muyskens, a Pulitzer Prize winner from the Washington Post, will take about data visualization.  (3:25-4:00)

•          A local and international water data hackathon that will bring together journalists and computer scientists from the United States and Africa. Participants will identify, scrape, and clean water datasets. The resulting data will assist a Grand Valley-led investigative team of people from more than 25 countries on five continents.   Hackathon begins at 9 a.m.

Hackathon RSVP:

GitHub for Hackathon data:


Measuring the Shape of Data:  The Shape of Hurricanes

November 22, 1-2 p.m., BLL-126 Mackinac Hall, Allendale

Prof. Elizabeth Munch, Michigan State University

Abstract:  While we are inundated with a wealth of data, often our methods of analysis, particularly with regard to shape and structure, are limited to very simple measurements.  For instance, we can measure the length or width of a leaf, but this clearly does not provide enough information to encode the endless variety of plant life on Earth. Topological data analysis (TDA) combines deep mathematics from the field of algebraic topology with techniques from graph theory, combinatorics, computer science, statistics, and machine learning to provide summaries of the shape and structure of data. In this talk, we will focus on an application to hurricane shape, where TDA has provided the ability to quantitatively encode structure which atmospheric scientists had previously been limited to describing qualitatively.


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Page last modified October 4, 2019