From the University of Utah: Feb. 7, 2014 – The University of Utah's College of Engineering received approval this week for its new graduate certificate program in big data.
This emerging field – which addresses large sets of data too complex, diverse or rapidly changing for one computer to handle – affects everything from studying traffic patterns to managing sensitive information online. Big data is also big business – for example, using big data to improve efficiency and quality in the health care sector is estimated to be worth more than $300 billion each year.
"We're seeing a revolution in the availability of data. It's easy to collect information, but processing and analyzing large stores of data is becoming increasingly difficult. We are at the point where the traditional analytical tools for attacking this problem are breaking down," says Jeff Phillips, assistant professor of computer science and coordinator of the new program.
SCI Graduate student Michael Liu was a key member on the team that took the Social Impact award at "Hackdance", the first ever celebrity-driven hackathon at the Sundance Film Festival. The team, working with celebrity member Sarah Austin (StartUps: Silicon Valley on Bravo), developed a prototype browser extension that monitors cyber bullying. Once installed, the extension uses a parts of speech tagger to look for harrassing comments and sentences in any conversations or content. If language is detected in their child's feed that is related to cyberbulling they are sent an alert message via email immediately. The team, which included fellow members Faris Chebib, Joe Reis, Sam Hart and Eric Smith, was awarded a $5,000 investment from the University of Utah’s Sorensen Global Impact Investment Center plus $10,000 worth of business incubation and a trip to meet Jim Sorensen. Congratulations Michael!
Computer Simulation of Blood Vessel Growth: Early Step toward Treatment for Diseases that Affect Blood Flow
Jan. 22, 2014 – University of Utah bioengineers showed that tiny blood vessels grow better in the laboratory if the tissue surrounding them is less dense. Then the researchers created a computer simulation to predict such growth accurately – an early step toward treatments to provide blood supply to tissues damaged by diabetes and heart attacks and to skin grafts and implanted ligaments and tendons.
Chris Johnson and Ross Whitaker Elected IEEE Fellows
Congratulations to Professors Chris Johnson and Ross Whitaker who have been elected IEEE Fellows for the class of 2014. Dr. Johnson was elected in recognition of his leadership in scientific computing and scientific visualization. Dr. Whitaker is recognized for contributions to image and geometry processing, visualization, and medical image analysis. This honorary designation is limited to no more than one-tenth of one percent of the total voting IEEE Institute membership each year.
itk-SNAP 3.0 Released
The itk-SNAP project, a collaboration between UPenn's Paul Yushkevich and SCI's Guido Gerig, has released a major new version 3.0. SNAP is a software application used to segment structures in 3D medical images. It provides semi-automatic segmentation using active contour methods, as well as manual delineation and image navigation. In addition to these core functions, SNAP provides a number of supporting utilities. Version 3.0 is the first major release of itk-SNAP that is funded by the NIH grant R01 EB014346, "Continued development and maintenance of the itk-SNAP 3D image segmentation software." This version includes an almost complete rewrite of the software, along with new features focused on multi-modality image support.
Congratulations to Professor Chris Johnson who was awarded the IEEE Computer Society 2013 Sidney Fernbach Award at Supercomputing 2013. This award recognizes Professor Johnson "For outstanding contributions and pioneering work introducing computing, simulation, and visualization into many areas of biomedicine."
The Sidney Fernbach Award is one of the IEEE Computer Society's highest awards, and recognizes outstanding contributions in the application of high performance computers using innovative approaches. The award also includes a $2,000 honorarium.
ViSUS Gigapixel David Available at iTunes App Store
The first gigapixel, multi-view rendering of The Digital Michelangelo Project's David can now be downloaded and viewed on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. The ViSUS Gigapixel David app allows you to explore the digital laser-scan of the statue David in extreme detail. With a simple pinch or spread of the fingers, users may zoom in and out to explore such details as the drill marks and scratches left by the artist Michelangelo. The David model consists of 933 million triangles from a laser-scan of the original statue created by Professor Marc Levoy and members of The Digital Michelangelo Project at Stanford University. The original data is made of 8 million polygons, each about 2.0 mm in size, smaller than the thickness of 2 dimes.
Congratulations to Miriah Meyer who has been chosen as a 2013 PopTech Science Fellow! PopTech's Fellows programs aim to accelerate the impact of emerging innovators and scientists, who are working to solve some of the world's most pressing challenges. Miriah is being recognized for her work in the development of visualization systems that support exploratory, complex data analysis tasks and help scientists make sense of complex data. For more information see: