28
May
2015

This week, the Eric & Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good Summer Fellowship kicked off its third year, welcoming 42 fellows to Chicago for 14 weeks of intense learning and collaboration. This year's class is especially diverse, with 23 men and 19 women from 14 countries, and an even division of computer scientists, statisticians, and experts from social sciences, public policy, and other fields.

26
May
2015

Text mining is often discussed in the context of humanities research or marketing, where an enormous pool of text can be computationally sifted for new insight or targeted advertising. But text mining is also gaining a foothold in biology and medicine, as researchers increasingly realize that the millions upon milions of journal articles published in these fields may hold previously undiscovered insights for understanding and treating disease.

22
May
2015

When DJ Patil called data scientist “the sexiest job of the 21st century” in 2012, it caused quite a stir…in part because very few people at the time knew what “data science” actually meant. Despite detractors who claimed “all science is data science!” or joked that data science was just “statistics on a MacBook,” the term has picked up steam, from universities to corporations to government (where Patil was recently named Chief Data Scientist of the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy).

20
May
2015

“Big data,” as vague and buzzwordy as the term is, has arguably led to major changes in finance, advertising, and elections. But it has yet to make a big splash in one of the largest and rapidly-growing sectors of the U.S. economy, health care. While there is no shortage of data in medicine, complexity and politics inhibit the transformation of this information into action: lower costs, personalized care, predictive diagnosis, and beyond.

18
May
2015

Academic research, for all its aspirations of collaboration and openness, remains a very closed community. Data and software are rarely shared, findings are published in static, paywalled journal articles, and collaborations are typically "invite-only." But as more researchers turn to computational methods to power their work, many are looking to the culture of software programming as a potential model for a more open world of science.

04
May
2015

Last winter, a crew from the BBC's technology program Click visited Chicago to learn more about the Array of Things, the Urban Center for Computation and Data city-wide sensor network project. Reporter Marc Cieslak went to Argonne National Laboratory, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Chicago Architecture Foundation's "City of Big Data" exhibit to profile the technology, design, and potential of the project, which hopes to install hundreds of sensor nodes around the city over the next three years.

01
May
2015

When writing the abstracts for journal articles, most scientists receive similar advice: keep it short, dry, and simple. But a new analysis by University of Chicago researchers of over one million abstracts finds that many of these tips backfire, producing abstracts cited less than their long, flowery, and jargon-filled peers.