Big Data: An Opportunity for Collaboration with Computer Scientists on Data-Driven Science

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 1:40 PM
Chaitanya Baru, National Science Foundation, CISE, Arlington, VA, United States
Big data technologies are evolving rapidly, driven by the need to manage ever increasing amounts of historical data; process relentless streams of human and machine-generated data; and integrate data of heterogeneous structure from extremely heterogeneous sources of information. Big data is inherently an application-driven problem. Developing the right technologies requires an understanding of the applications domain. Though, an intriguing aspect of this phenomenon is that the availability of the data itself enables new applications not previously conceived of! In this talk, we will discuss how the big data phenomenon creates an imperative for collaboration among domain scientists (in this case, geoscientists) and computer scientists. Domain scientists provide the application requirements as well as insights about the data involved, while computer scientists help assess whether problems can be solved with currently available technologies or require adaptaion of existing technologies and/or development of new technologies. The synergy can create vibrant collaborations potentially leading to new science insights as well as development of new data technologies and systems. The area of interface between geosciences and computer science, also referred to as geoinformatics is, we believe, a fertile area for interdisciplinary research.