University of Rochester Goes Big with Big Data

university of rochester

university of rochesterThe University of Rochester in Rochester, NY, has a history of embracing new trends in the sciences. The University of Rochester Medical Center is known around the world for its research capabilities, and their continued partnership with IBM was cause for celebration last year when they announced the arrival of the Blue Gene/Q, one of IBM’s most powerful supercomputers.

So it is no surprise that the University of Rochester has just announced plans to establish a Big Data institute here in Rochester:

The university plans to raise $50 million through donations and other sources for the $25 million building that will be constructed adjacent to Hopeman Hall, and to establish an endowment to operate the institute.

This is terrific news! iVEDiX has partnered with the University before, and we are nothing but thrilled to hear about their expansion into the field of Big Data. As a premier organization in this field, iVEDiX is glad to know that this discipline is being engaged seriously by educators. The potential for Big Data to have world-altering effects — on everything from healthcare to retail — is huge, and this field will only become more and more important as the amount of data generated world-wide continues to grow.

The U of R’s interest in Big Data is not new — this time last year they published a very interesting report on the impact that Big Data was having on scientific research. But this development brings fresh momentum to an already fast-moving industry. As we have seen throughout history, when educational institutions start investing their considerable research capabilities into projects, they are capable of producing substantial results.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that the U of R plans to consolidate the varied work that is being done on campus:

Currently, the university’s expertise is spread among many departments and depends on individual researchers to make connections and share ideas. The new Institute for Data Science will bring the faculty members together with adequate the resources needed to pursue their work, UR officials said.

New faculty members will be recruited in many areas, but the common thread will be data science as a fundamental component of their work, UR staff said.

So this is great news, not only because it shows that the field of Big Data is growing, but because it it means more high tech investment for the area; more highly educated faculty teaching students and conducting research; and a growing of the industry as a whole in Rochester. As a University of Rochester alumnus, I confess that maybe I am somewhat biased in my reaction to this news. But who knows? With companies like iVEDiX and institutions like the University of Rochester, the area could one day become the global hub for Big Data innovations — think Silicon Valley, except on the Genesee!


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