SICSA Summer School on Big Data & Information Visualisation

Date(s) - 08/07/2013 - 12/07/2013
12:00 am

The Royal College of Surgeons, King Khalid Building Symposium Hall

Summer School Web Page

A byproduct of the explosive growth in the use of computing technology is that organisations are generating, gathering, and storing data at a rate that is growing every year. The ability for a mid-sized organisation to store and expect to usefully employ 100s of terabytes of data is within reach. Larger organisations or organisations with special purpose scientific equipment or processes are often collecting and processing petabytes of data. In addition to the growth of data size (volume), organisations are also depending on data of an increasing variety which they are gathering at an increasing velocity. “Data that exceeds the processing capacity of conventional database systems. The data is too big, moves too fast or doesn’t fit the structures of your architecture” [Dumbill] can be considered “Big Data”.

Domains that deal with big data include many of the sciences along with geographic information systems, geophysical data systems, medical systems, financial analysis, software development, social media or online systems. The amount of data makes the analysis task difficult. One approach to this problem is to convert data into pictures and models that can be graphically displayed. The intuition behind the use of such graphics is that human beings are inherently skilled at understanding data in visual forms. Information visualisation is concerned with the presentation of abstract data, in a visual form. Visually, humans can perceive more patterns linking local features in the data. So the essential idea in information visualisation is that the user’s perceptual abilities are employed to understand and explore such information.

It’s widely identified that the rate at which we can collect and store data is rapidly outstripping the provision of tools for the effective analysis and exploration of it. This summer school introduces Information Visualisation for “big data” as a means to display, explore, query, process, understand, represent and even repurpose the voluminous amount of raw data, meta-data and user data often collected.

The intended audience are graduate students across SICSA, the UK and Europe who are either focussed on research in this area or are seeking to use big data methods and information visualisation to make sense of voluminous data. In this summer school we draw on our experience with a previous SICSA summer school, an international Information Visualisation summer school and research on cloud computing, big data, data mining and visual analytics. We take a blended theory and application approach here with hands on work with big data systems and information visualisation toolkits. We will be making use of our local cloud computing infrastructure, and multi-TB datasets with 50billion flows etc. We will be introducing the basics here with realistic scale data (xTB, 50B connections), tools (eg. D3) and systems (eg. Eucalyptus). We will not be providing access to PB scale datasets or very large private or hybrid clouds for processing data. Instead the methods, techniques and research introduced will be suitable for these voluminous, variable and high velocity data sources.

Professor John Stasko, Georgia Tech, USA
Professor Aaron Quigley, School of Computer Science, University of St Andrews
Dr Adam Barker, School of Computer Science, University of St Andrews
Dr Miguel Nacenta, School of Computer Science, University of St Andrews
Dr Urska Demsar, Centre for GeoInformatics, University of St Andrews
Dr Alex Voss, School of Computer Science, University of St Andrews
Dr Uta Hinrichs, School of Computer Science, University of St Andrews
Dr Craig Macdonald, Department of Computing Science, University of Glasgow
Dr Iadh Ounis, Department of Computing Science, University of Glasgow
More lecturers being added

Registration and fees:
£250 (no accommodation) or £440 for 4 nights accommodation, £500 for 5 nights or £560 for 6 nights (no other options are available and only Mon-Fri is guaranteed, other options Sunday/Friday nights only if available). Accomodation is on campus and is expected to be at the David Russell Apartments. The registration fee covers the workshop, the welcome reception on Monday, the farewell dinner on Thursday along with breakfast and dinner each day. Lunches are not included except for the final day (when the presentations occur). The summer school will coincide with the main tourist season here where hotel prices in town tend to be very inflated so if you are staying we encourage you to take advantage of the accommodation available.

Students are responsible for their own travel arrangements and expenses to get to St Andrews. SICSA students can access local support from their own schools and departments to support such travel.

SICSA will cover the £500 registration fee for PhD students from most Scottish Universities (see the SICSA web-page for a list of departments that are part of SICSA). The number of SICSA students is limited to 15 and a decision on ranking if this number is exceeded will only be taken if necessary.

Round 1: March 15th, 2013. If there are places remaining, the second round of applications will close on Apr 19th 2013.

Please email your application consisting of the following to the St Andrews Computer Science Administration team and include the following details:

First Name
Last Name
Current degree

Accommodation needed, for how many nights, arrival and departure dates
The titles of up to 3 of your relevant publications

Supervisor’s Name
Your biography (maximum 250 words)
Description of your research activities and interests (250 words)
Your motivation and expectations of a summer school in Big Data Information Visualisation (250 words)
Skills (experience with systems, languages, toolkits, research methods) (100 words max)

The accommodation for participants attending this summer school will be in the David Russell Apartments at the University of St Andrews. The venue for the summer school seminars and group work sessions will be in the School of Computer Science (Jack Cole and John Honey buildings) in the University of St Andrews. The University of St Andrews is in Fife Scotland and is approximately 30 minutes south east of Dundee and 90 minutes north east of Edinburgh. The two closest airports are Dundee and Edinburgh

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