The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded informatics professor Bill Tomlinson $400,000 for his project “Fostering Non-Expert Creation of Sustainable Polycultures through Crowdsourced Data Synthesis.” Associate professor Donald Patterson and Assistant Professor of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois Sarah Taylor Lovell serve as co-principal investigators.
The project integrates research in computing and sustainability science with the goal of enabling a new approach to sustainable food security. By combining cyber-human systems and crowdsourcing research with the science of agroecology, the project seeks to develop an understanding of how online design tools may contribute to sustainability through enhanced local food production; to use the process of populating a plant species database as an instance of a class of problems amenable to intelligent crowdsourcing; and to pioneer new knowledge in crowdsourcing optimization.
According to the project abstract, “The work will contribute to long-term food security and offer lessons, concepts, methods, and software tools that may be transferable to other sustainability challenges.”
The award is part of the Cyber-Innovation for Sustainability Science and Engineering (CyberSEES) program at NSF, and is funded through the Division of Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF), which supports research and education projects that explore the foundations of computing and communication devices and their usage. According to the CCF website, “CCF-supported projects also investigate revolutionary computing models and technologies based on emerging scientific ideas and integrate research and education activities to prepare future generations of computer science and engineering workers.”
Center member and Professor of Cognitive Science Michael Lee, in partnership with
Ranker, are using the wisdom of the crowd to predict the outcome of the World Cup. Lee and his collaborators developed a model that integrates multiple sources of ranking information available from participating individuals, along with bracket information, to make an overall prediction on each country’s likelihood of winning. See their blog post for more information.
Update: After the tournament, Lee and his collaborators have also analyzed their performance relative to other World Cup prediction models.
Professor Padhraic Smyth gave an invited keynote talk at the recent AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-14). Held July 27-31 in Quebec City, Canada, the conference promotes research in artificial intelligence and scientific exchange among AI researchers, practitioners, scientists and engineers in affiliated disciplines. Read more
UCI researchers develop computing techniques that could aid hunt for Higgs bosons. Fully automated .deep learning. by computers greatly improves the odds of discovering particles such as the Higgs boson, beating even veteran physicists. abilities, according to findings by UC Irvine researchers published today in the journal Nature Communications. Read more
Center member Prof. Anima Anandkumar gave a half-day course at the 2014 Machine Learning Summer School in Pittsburg PA. MLSS is a long-running series of summer schools around the world for graduate students and researchers who want to apply machine learning methods to their research problems.
Center member and Professor of Computer Science Padhraic Smyth has been named the director of a new campus-wide initiative with a focus on coordinating and linking the activities of researchers and students across campus involved in various aspects of data science. UCI’s Data Science Initiative was initiative was started on July 1, 2014 and is sponsored by the Provost through the Office of Academic Initiatives. Find out more here.
Center member Anima Anandkumar, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science, has been awarded a 2014 Sloan Research Fellowship for her work at the interface of theory and practice of large-scale machine learning and high-dimensional statistics. Bestowed annually since 1955 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the two-year fellowships go to 126 early-career scientists and scholars in the U.S. and Canada whose achievements and potential identify them as the next generation of scientific leaders. Read more here.
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, has announced two faculty members have earned prestigious honors. Computer science professors Rina Dechter and Padhraic Smyth have been named 2013 ACM Fellows. Read more
Professors Michael Carey and Chen Li have received $750,000 from the National Science Foundation and nearly $400,000 from corporations . including Google, Oracle and HTC . to continue the development of their Big Data system, AsterixDB. Read more
Peter Sadowski and Michael Zeller, both Ph.D. students with the Department of Computer Science, earned a second-place finish in an international data-mining competition. The honor was given by sbv IMPROVER, a collaborative project designed to enable scientists to learn about and contribute to the development of a new crowdsourcing method for verification of scientific data and results. Read more