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Media Advisory 12-021

Leaders From Academia, Industry and Government Address Big Data, Workforce

Panel at Joint Statistical Meetings in San Diego convenes on July 31 to discuss the transformative effect of Big Data on science and society

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July 26, 2012

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The need for computer models, simulations and other tools for visualizing large data sets is increasing across diverse fields: from astronomy and finance to social networks and medicine. Improving existing tools and developing new ones to transform these areas will require collaborative efforts that include experts in the statistical sciences and the computational sciences.

At the Joint Statistical Meetings--which begin in San Diego this weekend--a group of experts will address the implications of these changes. On July 31st the "Big Data: Research and Training Challenges" panel discussion, organized by Nandini Kannan, program director at NSF, will bring together leaders from academia, industry and government to talk about the challenges associated with the ever-increasing need to extract meaningful patterns from data. Topics for discussion include improved tools for visualizing and analyzing data, development of efficient simulation algorithms, and education and training of a future workforce equipped to effectively interpret these data.

The panelists will participate in a Q&A session for the news media immediately following the panel discussion.

What:Media Q&A after Joint Statistical Meetings panel discussion on Tuesday, July 31

Who:Nandini Kannan, National Science Foundation
Brian Weaver, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Emmanuel Yashchin, IBM
Deborah A. Nolan, University of California at Berkeley
Richard De Veaux, Williams College
James L Rosenberger, Penn State University

Where:San Diego Convention Center, Room 31A

When:Tuesday, July 31, 10:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. PDT (panel); Q&A immediately following

RSVP:Webcast capability is not available, however reporters unable to attend in person can email questions to Lisa Van Pay at, by 9 a.m. PDT July 31. Answers may be provided by email or digital voice recording.


Media Contacts
Lisa Van Pay, NSF, (703) 292-8796, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2022 budget of $8.8 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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