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Open online communities (OOC), such as Wikipedia or free and open source software (FOSS) development projects, have emerged as significant drivers of innovation, economic activity and social well-being. The National Science Foundation has awarded $300,000 to the University of Missouri Informatics Institute to develop principles, systems and detailed methodological approaches for sharing OOC data and explaining OOC research results across disciplines.

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NSF awards $300,000 to develop principles, systems and detailed methodological approaches for sharing and explaining OOC research results across disciplines

Published on 10/09/2014

Columbia, Mo. - Open online communities (OOC), such as Wikipedia or free and open source software (FOSS) development projects, have emerged as significant drivers of innovation, economic activity and social well-being. The National Science Foundation has awarded $300,000 to the University of Missouri Informatics Institute to develop principles, systems and detailed methodological approaches for sharing OOC data and explaining OOC research results across disciplines.

“A good majority of open online community research focuses on a particular online community, like Wikipedia or a Facebook group,” said Sean Goggins, assistant professor in the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies at MU. “What’s missing is an understanding of the common characteristics of behavior across open online communities.”

In response to this gap, NSF will fund the US component of an international virtual research institute (SAVI) on open online communities to the University of Missouri and the University of Maryland, who are partnering with Télécom Bretagne Institut Mines Télécom in France and University Rey Juan Carlos in Spain on a this two year data science project. The advisory board includes leading researchers and OOC’s in Europe and North America.

With support from both American and international funding agencies, scholars from diverse disciplines, including computer science, sociology, mathematics, economics, physics, anthropology, organization science and communications, have been studying OOCs to build disciplinary understanding. However, differences in data and methods impede the development of coherent understandings across disciplines.

The study of OOCs is growing, and as yet not much attention has been paid to these differences in systems and approaches for sharing data, gaps which limit scientific progress around OOCs even as they are increasing in importance for organizing and accomplishing work. The goal of this Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI) project is to build an international inter-disciplinary community of scholars who can collaborate to overcome disciplinary differences. The supported collaboration will enable synthesis of OOC research, which in turn will increase the coherence of scientific and public knowledge across disciplines that study OOCs, making OCCs more productive and effective.

“Our aim is not to become a giant repository of data, but to facilitate the transparent collection, description and processing of OOC data,” said Goggins. “A principle issue for research on open online communities is that every study is different; its own methods, its own data, its own site. We are trying to build up a foundation for big OOC data infrastructure like exists currently in the biological sciences, for example.”

The project begins in October, 2014.

 

Editor’s Note: for more information, please see Award Abstract: 1449209 – SAVI: Collaborative Research : Fostering New Collaborations in Open Online Community Data Research: Prototyping an Open Collaboration Data Factory

And, Award Abstract: 1449188 – SAVI: Collaborative Research: Fostering New Collaborations in Open Online Community Data Research: Prototyping an Open Collaboration Data Factory

MUII alumna wins NIH fellowship award

Published on 09/28/2014

Allison Tegge, a post-doctoral associate researcher with Virginia Tech’s Department of Computer science, has been awarded a three-year National Institutes of Health fellowship worth $150,000.

Tegge was awarded the Individual Postdoctoral fellowship, also known as an F32, by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences through the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards program. The fellowship provide up to three years of support for promising postdoctoral researchers who have the potential to become productive, independent investigators within the broad scope of biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research, according to the agency’s website.

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $1 million in two grants to the University of Missouri to install a supercomputer enabling data-intensive research and education at MU in fields such as bioinformatics, geoinformatics, high performance computing and engineering applications.

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NSF Grants $1 Million to MU to Expand Supercomputer Equipment and Expertise for Big Data Analytics at MU

Published on 09/26/2014

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $1 million in two grants to the University of Missouri to install a supercomputer enabling data-intensive research and education at MU in fields such as bioinformatics, geoinformatics, high performance computing and engineering applications. The grants also will fund the position of a cyberinfrastructure (CI) engineer at MU. Together, the equipment and expert personnel will lead a network of data analysis capabilities at MU that will be shared with other campuses within the University of Missouri System.

Dr. Trupti Joshi article on SoyKB and iPlant collaborative work in the International Science grid this week

Published on 08/27/2014

Even though next-generation sequencing (NGS) — with millions or billions of DNA nucleotides sequenced in parallel — is much less costly compared to first-generation sequencing, it still remains too expensive for many labs. NGS platform start-up costs can easily surpass hundreds of thousands of dollars, and individual sequencing reactions can cost thousands per genome.

MUII Core Faculty Receive NSF Award

Published on 08/15/2014

MUII core faculty members, Chris Pires and Gavin Conant, recently received an NSF Division of Integrative Systems Grant to study the relationship between genome and biological complexity.  Read more...

Dr. Gavin Conant, MUII Associate Director for Education, receives NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates grant

Published on 03/21/2014

This REU Site award to the University of Missouri (MU), located in Columbia, MO, will support the training of 12 students for 9 weeks during the summers of 2014-2016. Pairs of student researchers, one from the computational and one from the life sciences, will work collaboratively at the interface of high performance computing and big data biology. Students will select from a diverse group of research projects, with a choice of mentors from five departments in the computational and life sciences. Example projects include developing parallel computing approaches to allow identifying the gene duplications that co-occurred with important evolutionary transitions such as the origins of mammalian placentation and using parallel computers and GPUs to infer the plant tree of life with data from high-throughput sequencing. In addition, participants will be a part of MU’s dynamic summer research program, attending professional development sessions, training in the responsible conduct of research, and focused weekly training sessions on parallel computing and biology, directed by four faculty mentors. Participants will be recruited from a variety of institutions, with a preference for students from minority-serving institutions and undergraduate-only colleges. The PIs and research mentors will select participants (half from the computational and half from the life sciences) and help them choose a computational or biological partner. Participants’ progress will be assessed with pre- and post-tests covering the program’s technical material. The program will be evaluated using NSF’s common assessment tool.

Computation, and especially parallel computation, will be vital to science and engineering in the future, as increasing data volumes from instruments such as next-generation DNA sequencers overwhelm current laboratory techniques and software tools. The training and research experience offered at this REU site will give the participants important and unique opportunities to shape this revolution in the natural sciences.

Symposium sheds light on student's Big Data discovery

Published on 02/26/2014

Big Data is a big deal these days, and for his work in making the Big Data used in biology research easier to handle, Andi Dhroso earned a big-time honor.

University of Missouri computer science master’s student Dhroso, who also is seeking a doctoral degree from MU’s Informatics Institute (MUII), was one of five students selected as a recipient of the Keystone Symposia Future of Science Fund Scholarship to attend a Keystone Symposium on “Big Data in Biology” in San Francisco on March 23 and 24 to present his work.  He works in the lab of Dmitry Korkin, associate professor of computer science, who also is on the MUII faculty.

MU Informatics Expert Conducts National Study of Nursing Homes' IT Use

Published on 12/16/2013

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Nearly all nursing homes use some sort of information technology (IT) system, and previous research has shown the use of IT in nursing homes is related to the quality of patient care; however, no recent nationwide study has evaluated which types of IT systems affect which aspects of nursing home care. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri will be the first to study the relationships between IT systems and specific components of nursing home care, such as resident care, clinical support and administrative activities.

Dr. Michela Becchi Helps Advance High Performance Computing

Published on 11/25/2013

Automata Processor Addresses Application Domains at the Frontier of High-Performance Computing DENVER, Nov. 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Supercomputing 2013 - Micron Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq:MU), one of the world's leading providers of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the development of a fundamentally new computing architecture capable of performing high-speed, comprehensive search and analysis of complex, unstructured data streams. Micron's Automata Processor (AP) is an accelerator that leverages the intrinsic parallelism of memory and aims to dramatically advance computing capabilities in areas such as bioinformatics, video/image analytics, and network security which pose challenges for conventional processor architectures because of the amount of complex, unstructured data. Read more: http://www.nasdaq.com/press-release/micron-announces-development-of-new-parallel-processing-architecture-20131118-00109#ixzz2n5pOaucp

Dr. J. Chris Pires, MUII core faculty, named Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award winner for 2013.

Published on 06/06/2013

Congratulations to Dr. J. Chris Pires, MUII core faculty for Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award winner for 2013.

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