OU Collaborating in NSF South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub
NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma will play an active role in the South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub—a new National Science Foundation initiative to build innovative public-private partnerships that address regional challenges with big data analysis. The South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub, led by the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of North Carolina’s Renaissance Computing Institute, serves Oklahoma and 15 other states as well as the District of Columbia.
“The collection and analysis of data, ranging from atmospheric observations to patterns in online shopping, are critically important to our everyday lives. OU’s participation in the South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub will lead to new approaches for integrating data from disparate sources and synthesizing it for effective decision-making,” said Kelvin Droegemeier, vice president for research on the OU Norman campus.
OU’s efforts in the South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub will be directed by Le Gruenwald, professor of computer science, the OU Gallogly College of Engineering, and Henry Neeman, assistant vice president for information technology and research strategy advisor. OU and many collaborators from the southern states face large-scale challenges that require collaboration and big data analysis. Among those challenges are scientific and social matters in five areas: health care, coastal hazards, industrial big data, materials and manufacturing, and habitat planning.
The southern coasts are highly populated and impacted by climate change and by environmental conditions associated with severe weather storms, such as hurricanes. The study of coastal hazards involves the potential integration of large amounts of regional data and access to computational resources for modeling resilience to storms, storm surge, impacts from sea level rise and human responses to hazardous events.
OU participates in developing the ADvanced CIRCulation coastal simulation software package, a key application for coastal hazard forecasting—an unstructured mesh shallow water, community-based model. It was used after Hurricane Katrina by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for new flood maps for U.S. coastal areas. That led the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to use the application in flood studies for nuclear power plant operation following Japan’s Fukushima disaster.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Corps of Engineers and others use the application for prediction of storm surge and flooding, and the state of Louisiana uses it for coastal restoration. OU’s Advance CIRCulation team leads a Parallel Computing Center focused on making the application able to process more data faster, to allow longer lead times and more accurate forecasts, both of which are crucial to saving lives and property.
A national leader in weather prediction and weather radar research, OU has complementary capabilities in coastal hazards calculations and big data analysis. OU’s weather groups have archived over 750 TB of forecast and observational data—the capacity of 30,000 Blu-Ray discs, and these data sets continue to grow. OU’s Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms has led a spring real-time storm forecast experiment for many years as part of an ongoing collaboration with both NOAA and other academic researchers.
The impact of tornadoes, high winds, snow, flash floods and other severe weather can be mitigated by timely, accurate prediction. Advanced weather radar, such as Atmospheric Imaging Radar developed at OU’s Radar Innovation Laboratory provides volumetric radar data sets in seconds, in support of improved prediction, to protect Americans from some of nature’s most dangerous severe weather events.
OU Student Receives Udall Scholarship
NORMAN - University of Oklahoma honors student Daniel R. Hayden has been named a 2018 Udall Scholar. The Udall Foundation Scholarship recognizes undergraduate students who demonstrate a commitment to careers related to the environment or to Native American public policy or health care. Hayden is one of 50 nationwide selected for the honor. Read more
OU Professor to Receive IEEE Satellite Communications Technical Contribution Award
Mohammed Atiquzzaman, is the recipient of the prestigious Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Satellite Communications Technical Contribution Award for 2018. The annual award is given to an accomplished, senior-level researcher who has achieved outstanding results in satellite communications and recognizes excellent scientific contributions done by academia and industries. Atiquzzaman will receive the award at the IEEE International Conference on Communications in Kansas City, Missouri, May 20-24. Read more
OU Physicist Developing Quantum-Enhanced Sensors for Real-Life Applications
A University of Oklahoma physicist, Alberto M. Marino, is developing quantum-enhanced sensors that could find their way into applications ranging from biomedical to chemical detection. In a new study, Marino’s team, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, demonstrates the ability of quantum states of light to enhance the sensitivities of state-of-the-art plasmonic sensors. The team presents the first implementation of a sensor with sensitivities considered state-of-the-art and shows how quantum-enhanced sensing can find its way into real-life applications. Read more
OU Class of 2018 Gift to Honor Borens
NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma Class of 2018 will celebrate their time at OU through a dedicated green space that will add to OU’s national reputation as one of America’s most beautiful campuses. Located along Lindsey Street in front of the newly completed Residential Colleges, this year’s class gift will fund a picturesque lawn named The Boren Green. Read more
OU Students Receive National Security Education Program Award for International Study
NORMAN – University of Oklahoma senior James Ratcliff and OU junior Libby Trowbridge recently were selected as recipients of the prestigious Boren Award for International Study, sponsored by the National Security Education Program. Thirty-four OU students have received the award since the program began in 1994. Read more
OU-Led Research Team Accelerating Antibiotic Discovery
NORMAN — University of Oklahoma professors, Helen Zgurskaya and Valentin Rybenkov, and team are addressing the challenge and critical need for new antibiotics that can fight infections caused by the multi-drug resistant bacterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, considered an urgent threat by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The OU team responded to a special request for applications from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, and received a five-year, $5.7 million grant to develop new, more effective approaches against Gram-negative bacteria that are protected by multi-drug efflux pumps and low-permeability membranes. Read more