Big Data and the Earth Sciences: Grand Challenges Workshop

05/31/2017 - 8:00am to 06/02/2017 - 6:00pm
Atkinson Hall Auditorium, UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla, CA 92093
Event Description: 

Researchers in earth sciences and information technology at the University of California San Diego are organizing a three-day Grand Challenges workshop May 31 to June 2 in La Jolla, Calif., on the topic of “Big Data and the Earth Sciences.”

The workshop will be hosted by the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes (CW3E) of UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Pacific Research Platform (PRP). CW3E is focused on advancing science and technology to support the unique information needs related to western U.S. extreme weather and water events, such as California’s recent drought and flooding, and associated potential for subseasonal-to-seasonal forecasting. PRP is a consortium of universities in the western U.S. that is building a “science-driven, high-capacity data-centric freeway system on a large regional scale.” Funded by the National Science Foundation, PRP is based in the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), a partnership of UC San Diego and UC Irvine.

The workshop will take place in UC San Diego’s Atkinson Hall, headquarters of the Qualcomm Institute (the UC San Diego division of Calit2).

The workshop is open to faculty, researchers and graduate students in computer science, machine learning, atmospheric sciences, hydrometeorology, civil engineering, oceanography and related fields. The deadline to submit abstracts (or full papers) is April 21, 2017.

With four Grand Challenge lectures, two panels, eight sessions and a poster session on the schedule, organizers hope to solicit some of the best research at the intersection of earth science and big data. Keynote speakers already confirmed to deliver Grand Challenge lectures include:

  • Calit2 Director Larry Smarr, who holds the Harry E. Gruber professorship in the Computer Science and Engineering department of UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering;
  • UC Irvine Professor Padhraic Smyth, who directs the university’s Data Science Initiative and is Associate Director of UC Irvine’s Center for Machine Learning and Intelligent Systems. Smyth is also affiliated with the Calit2 division at UC Irvine;
  • University of Minnesota Regents Professor Vipin Kumar, who holds the William Norris Endowed Chair in Computer Science and Engineering; and
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Senior Staff Scientist Michael Wehner, who works in the Computation Research Division.

Sessions will include:

  • Big data collaborations;
  • Big data research platforms, networks, technologies and visualization;
  • Big data and predictability challenges in earth science data;
  • Pattern detection, segmentation and object recognition for earth sciences;
  • Structuring unstructured data in the earth sciences; as well as
  • Data mining and discovery, machine learning and predictive modeling.

For more information or to submit an abstract, contact Scott Sellars:

Abstracts are restricted to one page. Please include the abstract title, authors’ names and affiliations. A Word document or PDF is preferred. 

Please register here: Workshop Registration Form

Driving directions and parking info available here:

For more information on this event, contact: 
Scott Sellars
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