Big Data in Transportation and Mobility symposium highlights diverse, emerging issues

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MBDH-transThe Big Data in Transportation and Mobility symposium held June 22-23, 2017, in Ann Arbor, MI brought together more than 150 data science practitioners from academia, industry and government to explore emerging issues in this expanding field.

Sponsored by the NSF-supported Midwest Big Data Hub (MBDH) and the Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS), the symposium featured lightning talks from transportation research programs around the Midwest; tutorials and breakout sessions on specific issues and methods; a poster session; and a keynote address from two representatives of the Smart Columbus project: Chris Stewart, Ohio State University Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, and Shoreh Elhami, GIS Manager for the city of Columbus.

Speakers and attendees came from a number of organizations from across the midwest including the University of Michigan, University of Illinois, University of Nebraska, University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, Ohio State University, Purdue University, Denso International America, Fiat Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, IAV Automotive Engineering and Yottabyte.  

“This was an extremely valuable opportunity to share information and ideas,” said Carol Flannagan, one of the organizers of the symposium and a researcher at MIDAS and the U-M Transportation Research Institute. “Cross-discipline and cross-institutional collaboration is crucial to the success of Big Data applications, and we took a significant step forward in that vein during this symposium.”

Topics addressed in talks, breakouts, and tutorials included:

  • New Analytic Tools for Designing and Managing Transportation Systems
  • New Mobility Options for Small and Mid-sized Cities in the Midwest
  • Automated and Connected Vehicles
  • Transforming Transportation Operations using High Performance Computing
  • On-Demand Transit
  • Using Big Data for Monitoring Bridges

At the closing session, participants outlined some areas that could be fruitful to focus on going forward, including increasing data-science literacy in the general public; diversity and workforce development in data science; public data-sharing platforms and partners; and privacy issues.

For a complete list of speakers and topics, please see the agenda. Videos of selected talks will be posted at midas.umich.edu in the coming days.

MICDE announces 2017-2018 Fellowship recipients

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MICDE is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017-2018 MICDE Fellowships for students enrolled in the PhD in Scientific Computing or the Graduate Certificate in Computational Discovery and Engineering. We had 91 applicants from 25 departments representing 6 schools and colleges. Due to the extraordinary number of high quality applications we increased the number of fellowships from 15 to 20 awards. See our Fellowship page for more information.

AWARDEES

Diksha Dhawan, Chemistry
Negar Farzaneh, Computational Medicine & Bioinformatics
Kritika Iyer, Biomedical Engineering
Tibin John, Neuroscience
Bikash Kanungo, Mechanical Engineering
Yu-Han Kao, Epidemiology
Steven Kiyabu, Mechanical Engineering
Christiana Mavroyiakoumou, Mathematics
Ehsan Mirzakhalili, Mechanical Engineering
Colten Peterson, Climate and Space Sciences & Engineering
James Proctor, Materials Science & Engineering
Evan Rogers, Biomedical Engineering
Longxiu Tian, S. Ross School of Business
Jipu Wang, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences
Yanming Wang, Chemistry
Zhenlin Wang, Mechanical Engineering
Alicia Welden, Chemistry
Anna White, Industrial & Operations Engineering
Chia-Nan Yeh, Physics
Yiling Zhang, Industrial & Operations Engineering

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Geunyeong Byeon, Industrial & Operations Engineering
Ayoub Gouasmi, Aerospace Engineering
Joseph Kleinhenz, Physics
Jia Li, Physics
Changjiang Liu, Biophysics
Vo Nguyen, Computational Medicine & Bioinformatics
Everardo Olide, Applied Physics
Qiyun Pan, Industrial & Operations Engineering
Pengchuan Wang, Civil & Environmental Engineering
Xinzhu Wei, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

ARC-TS seeks input on next generation HPC cluster

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The University of Michigan is beginning the process of building our next generation HPC platform, “Big House.”  Flux, the shared HPC cluster, has reached the end of its useful life. Flux has served us well for more than five years, but as we move forward with replacement, we want to make sure we’re meeting the needs of the research community.

ARC-TS will be holding a series of town halls to take input from faculty and researchers on the next HPC platform to be built by the University.  These town halls are open to anyone and will be held at:

  • College of Engineering, Johnson Room, Tuesday, June 20th, 9:00a – 10:00a
  • NCRC Bldg 300, Room 376, Wednesday, June 21st, 11:00a – 12:00p
  • LSA #2001, Tuesday, June 27th, 10:00a – 11:00a
  • 3114 Med Sci I, Wednesday, June 28th, 2:00p – 3:00p

Your input will help to ensure that U-M is on course for providing HPC, so we hope you will make time to attend one of these sessions. If you cannot attend, please email hpc-support@umich.edu with any input you want to share.

Job Opening: Research Cloud Administrator

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Advanced Research Computing – Technology Services (ARC-TS)  has an exciting opportunity for a Research Cloud Administrator.

This position will be part of a team working on a novel platform for research computing in the university for data science and high performance computing.  The primary responsibilities for this position will be to develop and create a resource sharing environment to enable execution of Data Science and HPC workflows using containers for University of Michigan researchers.

For more details and to apply, visit: http://careers.umich.edu/job_detail/142372/research_cloud_administrator_intermediate

HPC training workshops begin Monday, May 15

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series of training workshops in high performance computing will be held May 15, May 17 and May 24, 2017, presented by CSCAR in conjunction with Advanced Research Computing – Technology Services (ARC-TS). All sessions are held at East Hall, Room B254, 530 Church St.

Introduction to the Linux command Line
This course will familiarize the student with the basics of accessing and interacting with Linux computers using the GNU/Linux operating system’s Bash shell, also known as the “command line.”
• Monday, May 15, 9 a.m. – noon. (full descriptionregistration)

Introduction to the Flux cluster and batch computing
This workshop will provide a brief overview of the components of the Flux cluster, including the resource manager and scheduler, and will offer students hands-on experience.
• Wednesday, May 17, 1 – 4:30 p.m. (full description | registration)

Advanced batch computing on the Flux cluster
This course will cover advanced areas of cluster computing on the Flux cluster, including common parallel programming models, dependent and array scheduling, and a brief introduction to scientific computing with Python, among other topics.
• Wednesday, May 24, 1 – 5 p.m. (full description | registration)

NOTE: Additional workshops may be scheduled if demand warrants. Please sign up for the waiting list if the workshops are full, and you will be given first priority for any additional sessions.

U-M students invited to apply for MICDE fellowships — May 19 deadline

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University of Michigan students are invited to apply for Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering (MICDE) Fellowships for the 2017-2018 academic year. These $4,000 fellowships are available to students in both the Ph.D in Scientific Computing and the Graduate Certificate Program in Computational Discovery and Engineering. Applicants should be graduate students enrolled in either program, although students not yet enrolled but planning to do so may simultaneously submit program and fellowship applications.

Fellows will receive a $4,000 research fund that can be used to attend a conference, to buy a computer, or for any other approved activity that enhances the Fellow’s graduate experience. We also ask that Fellows attend at least 8 MICDE seminars between Fall 2017 and Winter 2018, attend one MICDE students’ networking event, and present a poster at the MICDE Symposium on March 22, 2018. For more details and to apply please visit http://micde.umich.edu/academic-programs/micde-fellowships/.

Interested students should download and complete the application form, and submit it with a one-page resume as a SINGLE PDF DOCUMENT to MICDE-apps@umich.edu. The due date for applications is May 19, 2017, 5:00 E.T. We expect to announce the awardees onJune 5, 2017.

We encourage applications from all qualified candidates, including women and minorities.

New private insurance claims dataset and analytic support now available to health care researchers

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The Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI) is partnering with Advanced Research Computing (ARC) to bring two commercial claims datasets to campus researchers.

The OptumInsight and Truven Marketscan datasets contain nearly complete insurance claims and other health data on tens of millions of people representing the US private insurance population. Within each dataset, records can be linked longitudinally for over 5 years.  

To begin working with the data, researchers should submit a brief analysis plan for review by IHPI staff, who will create extracts or grant access to primary data as appropriate.

CSCAR consultants are available to provide guidance on computational and analytic methods for a variety of research aims, including use of Flux and other UM computing infrastructure for working with these large and complex repositories.

Contact Patrick Brady (pgbrady@umich.edu) at IHPI or James Henderson (jbhender@umich.edu) at CSCAR for more information.

The data acquisition and availability was funded by IHPI and the U-M Data Science Initiative.

Designing optimal shunts for newborns with heart defects using computational modeling

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shuntFor babies born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, several open-heart surgeries are required. During Stage I, a Norwood procedure is performed to construct an appropriate circulation to both the systemic and the pulmonary arteries. The pulmonary arteries receive flow from the systemic circulation, often by using a Blalock-Taussig (BT) shunt between the innominate artery and the right pulmonary artery. This procedure causes significantly disturbed flow in the pulmonary arteries.

A group of researchers led by U-M Drs. Ronald Grifka and Alberto Figueroa used computational hemodynamic simulations to demonstrate its capacity for examining the properties of the flow through and near the BT shunt. Initially, the researchers constructed a computational model which produces blood flow and pressure measurements matching the clinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and catheterization data. Achieving this required us to determine the level of BT shunt occlusion; because the occlusion is below the MRI resolution, this information is difficult to recover without the aid of computational simulations. The researchers determined that the shunt had undergone an effective diameter reduction of 22% since the time of surgery. Using the resulting geometric model, they showed that we can computationally reproduce the clinical data. The researchers then replaced the BT shunt by with a hypothetical alternative shunt design with a flare at the distal end. Investigation of the impact of the shunt design revealed that the flare can increase pulmonary pressure by as much as 7%, and flow by as much as 9% in the main pulmonary branches, which may be beneficial to the pulmonary circulation.

Read more in Frontiers in Pediatrics.

MICDE awards four Catalyst Grants

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The Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering has awarded its first round of Catalyst Grants, providing $75,000 each to four innovative projects in computational science. The proposals were judged on novelty, likelihood of success, potential for external funding, and potential to leverage ARC’s existing computing resources.

The funded projects are:

Title: From Spiking Patterns to Memory formation — Tools for Analysis and Modeling of Network-wide Cognitive Dynamics of the Brain
Researchers: Sara Aton, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and Michal Zochowski, Department of Physics, Biophysics Program
Description: The aim of the research is to develop models as well as analysis tools to understand network-wide spatio-temporal patterning underlying experimentally observed neural spiking activity. The research team has developed novel tools to analyze dynamics of neuronal representations across time, before during and after learning. These tools, for the first time, compare the stability of network dynamics before and after memory encoding.

Title: Integral Equation Based Methods for Scientific Computing
Researcher: Robert Krasny, Department of Mathematics
Description: This project expands the application of numerical methods in which the differential equation is first converted into an integral equation by convolution with the Green’s function, followed by discretization and linear solution. Recent advances in numerical analysis and computing resources make this expansion possible, and the research team believes that integral equation-based numerical methods are superior to traditional methods in both serial and parallel computations. The project will attempt to apply these numerical methods to studies of viscous fluid flow, protein/solvent electrostatics, and electronic structure.

Title: Computational Energy Systems
Researchers: Pascal Van Hentenryck, Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE); E. Byon, IOE; R. Jiang, IOE; J. Lee, IOE; and J. Mathieu, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Description: The research team aims to develop new algorithms for the U.S. electrical power grid that integrate renewable energy sources, electrification of transportation systems, the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, and other emerging contingencies.

Title: Black Swans, Dragon Kings, and the Science of Rare Events: Problems for the Exascale Era and Beyond
Researchers: Venkat Raman, Aerospace Engineering; Jacqueline Chen, Sandia National Laboratory; and Ramanan Sankaran, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Description: The purpose of the project is to develop the computational frameworks for exploring the tails of distributions, which lead to rare but consequential (and often catastrophic) outcomes. Two such rare events are “Black Swans” (occurring from pre-existing but unencountered events) and “Dragon Kings (occurring due to an external shock to the system). The methods developed are expected to have application in aerospace sciences, power generation and utilization, chemical processing, weather prediction, computational chemistry, and other fields.

Another round of Catalyst Grants will be awarded next year.