The Georgia Institute of Technology is tackling the challenges of big data by creating the new Institute for Data Engineering and Science (IDEaS). Announced today, the new Interdisciplinary Research Institute (IRI) will unite researchers across Georgia Tech, foster important partnerships with industry, and play a key role in building the community of the recently announced Coda building in Technology Square.
IDEaS is jointly led by Co-Executive Directors Srinivas Aluru and Dana Randall, both professors in the College of Computing, and includes researchers and faculty that span all six colleges, creating critical interdisciplinary research opportunities, and positioning Georgia Tech at the forefront of big data solutions.
“As Georgia Tech becomes more visible as a thought leader in data science and engineering, the big idea for IDEaS is to provide the coordination and expertise necessary to link researchers across the Institute, strengthening our position in big data,” said Steve Cross, executive vice president for Research. “Doing so better equips them to take on important and complex problems. It creates meaningful partnerships and accessible resources, and educates future data science leaders. It also addresses long-standing challenges in the world of big data, creating critical push points through the innovation stage, enabling and accelerating the adoption process.”
Data-driven research is becoming commonplace in many fields of science and engineering, with devices, sensors, and scientific instruments collecting enormous amounts of data that must be analyzed with both discipline-specific knowledge and data science skills. The need to forge partnerships and unify resources in this area is widely recognized, as the National Science Foundation recently established four Regional Innovation Hubs. Aluru co-leads one of these, the South Big Data Hub, that unites partners across 16 Southern states and Washington, D.C.
“The IRI will link research centers and efforts horizontally in foundational areas such as machine learning, high-performance computing, and algorithms,” said Aluru. “It will also drive research within disciplines such as precision medicine, materials science, energy, and smart cities, giving researchers what they need to innovate and pursue challenges on a much bigger scale.”
IDEaS will facilitate new ventures and industrial collaboration between Technology Square’s recently announced Coda building research neighborhoods, providing a unique opportunity for academia to rub shoulders with industry, and be an asset to other premier education, research, and public-serving institutions in Georgia, particularly Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control. It will also collaborate with several stakeholders in the State of Georgia, including the Technology Association of Georgia, and the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and serve as an incubator for economic development opportunities.
“Data is a critical part of research and applications everywhere,” said Randall. “Despite impressive advances, many in research and industry remain ill-equipped to derive the most benefits from data. IDEaS exists to change that.”