University of Michigan researcher contributes to NASA findings on carbon in the atmosphere showcased in the journal Science

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High-resolution satellite data from NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 are revealing the subtle ways that carbon links everything on Earth – the ocean, land, atmosphere, terrestrial ecosystems and human activities. Scientists using the first 2 1/2 years of OCO-2 data have published a special collection of five papers today in the journal Science that demonstrates the breadth of this research. In addition to showing how drought and heat in tropical forests affected global carbon dioxide levels during the 2015-16 El Niño, other results from these papers focus on ocean carbon release and absorption, urban emissions and a new way to study photosynthesis. A final paper by OCO-2 Deputy Project Scientist Annmarie Eldering of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and colleagues gives an overview of the state of OCO-2 science.

Manish Verma, a Geospatial/Data Science Consultant at the University of Michigan’s Consulting for Statistics, Computing and Analytics Research (CSCAR) unit, contributed as a coauthor to an article on a new way to measure photosynthesis over time and space.

Using data from the OCO-2, Verma’s analysis helped expand the utility of measurements of solar induced fluorescence (SIF), which indicates active photosynthesis in plants. Verma’s work showed that SIF data collected from the OCO-2 satellite provides reliable information on the variability of photosynthesis at a much smaller scale — down to individual ecosystems.

This can, in turn, “lead to more reliable estimates of carbon sources — that is, when, where, why and how carbon is exchanged between land and atmosphere — as well as a deeper understanding of carbon-climate feedbacks,” according to the Science article.

For more, see the NASA press release (https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/new-insights-from-oco-2-showcased-in-science) and the Science article (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/358/6360/eaam5747.full)

Real estate dataset available to researchers

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The University of Michigan Library system and the Data Acquisition for Data Sciences program (DADS) of the U-M Data Science Initiative (DSI) have recently joined forces to license a major data resource capturing parcel-level information about the property market in the United States.  

The data were licensed from the Corelogic corporation, who have assimilated deed, tax and foreclosure information on nearly all properties in the entire US. Coverage dates vary by county, some county records go back fifty years. Coverage is more comprehensive from the 1990s to the present.

These data will support a variety of research efforts into regional economies, economic disparities, trends in land-use, housing market dynamics, and urban ecology, among many other areas.

The data are available on the Turbo Research Storage system for users of the U-M High Performance Computing infrastructure, and via the University of Michigan Library.

To access the data, researchers must first sign a MOU; contact Senior Associate Librarian Catherine Morse cmorse@umich.edu for more information, or visit https://www.lib.umich.edu/database/corelogic-parcel-level-real-estate-data.

Mini-course: Introduction to Python — Sept. 11-14

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Asst. Prof. Emanuel Gull, Physics, is offering a mini-course introducing the Python programming language in a four-lecture series. Beginners without any programming experience as well as programmers who usually use other languages (C, C++, Fortran, Java, …) are encouraged to come; no prior knowledge of programming languages is required!

For the first two lectures we will mostly follow the book Learning Python. This book is available at our library. An earlier edition (with small differences, equivalent for all practical purposes) is available as an e-book. The second week will introduce some useful python libraries: numpyscipymatplotlib.

At the end of the first two weeks you will know enough about Python to use it for your grad class homework and your research.

Special meeting place: we will meet in 340 West Hall on Monday September 11 at 5 PM.

Please bring a laptop computer along to follow the exercises!

Syllabus (Dates & Location for Fall 2017)

  1. Monday September 11 5:00 – 6:30 PM: Welcome & Getting Started (hello.py). Location: 340 West Hall
  2. Tuesday September 12 5:00 – 6:30 PM: Numbers, Strings, Lists, Dictionaries, Tuples, Functions, Modules, Control flow. Location: 335 West Hall
  3. Wednesday September 13 5:00 – 6:30 PM: Useful Python libraries (part I): numpy, scipy, matplotlib. Location: 335 West Hall
  4. Thursday September 14 5:00 – 6:30 PM: Useful Python libraries (part 2): 3d plotting in matplotlib and exercises. Location: 335 West Hall

For more information: https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/gull-lab/teaching/physics-514-fall-2017/introduction-to-python/

 

Info sessions on graduate studies in computational and data sciences — Sept. 21 and 25

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Learn about graduate programs that will prepare you for success in computationally intensive fields — pizza and pop provided

  • The Ph.D. in Scientific Computing is open to all Ph.D. students who will make extensive use of large-scale computation, computational methods, or algorithms for advanced computer architectures in their studies. It is a joint degree program, with students earning a Ph.D. from their current departments, “… and Scientific Computing” — for example, “Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering and Scientific Computing.”
  • The Graduate Certificate in Computational Discovery and Engineering trains graduate students in computationally intensive research so they can excel in interdisciplinary HPC-focused research and product development environments. The certificate is open to all students currently pursuing Master’s or Ph.D. degrees at the University of Michigan.
  • The Graduate Certificate in Data Science is focused on developing core proficiencies in data analytics:
    1) Modeling — Understanding of core data science principles, assumptions and applications;
    2) Technology — Knowledge of basic protocols for data management, processing, computation, information extraction, and visualization;
    3) Practice — Hands-on experience with real data, modeling tools, and technology resources.

Times / Locations:

HPC training workshops begin Thursday, Sept. 21

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series of training workshops in high performance computing will be held Sept. 21 through Oct. 31, 2017, presented by CSCAR in conjunction with Advanced Research Computing – Technology Services (ARC-TS). All sessions are held at East Hall, Room B254, 530 Church St.

Introduction to the Linux command Line
This course will familiarize the student with the basics of accessing and interacting with Linux computers using the GNU/Linux operating system’s Bash shell, also known as the “command line.”
Dates: (Please sign up for only one)
• Thursday, Sept. 21, 9 a.m. – noon (full descriptionregistration)
• Thursday, Sept. 28, 9 a.m. – noon (full description | registration)
Location:
East Hall, Room B250, 530 Church St.

Introduction to the Flux cluster and batch computing
This workshop will provide a brief overview of the components of the Flux cluster, including the resource manager and scheduler, and will offer students hands-on experience.
Dates: (Please sign up for only one)
• Thursday, Sept. 28, 1 – 4 p.m. (full description | registration)
• Monday, Oct. 2, 9 a.m. – noon (full description | registration)
Location:
East Hall, Room B254, 530 Church St.

Advanced batch computing on the Flux cluster
This course will cover advanced areas of cluster computing on the Flux cluster, including common parallel programming models, dependent and array scheduling, among other topics.
Dates: (Please sign up for only one)
• Tuesday, Oct. 10, 1 – 5 p.m. (full description | registration) Location: East Hall, Room B254, 530 Church St.
• Thursday, Oct. 12, 9 a.m. – noon (full description | registration) Location: East Hall, Room B254, 530 Church St.
• Friday, Oct. 13, 9 a.m. – noon (full description | registration) Location: East Hall, Room B250, 530 Church St.

Hadoop Workshop
Learn how to process large amounts (up to terabytes) of data using SQL and/or simple programming models available in Python, Scala, and Java.
Date:
• Tuesday, Oct. 31, 1 – 5 p.m. (full description | registration)
Location:
East Hall, Room B254, 530 Church St.

Flux HPC Blog: Querying data with SparkSQL

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SparkSQL is a way for people to use SQL-like language to query their data with ease while taking advantage of the speed of Spark, a fast, general engine for data processing that runs over Hadoop. I wanted to test this out on a dataset I found from Walmart with their stores’ weekly sales numbers. I put the csv into our cluster’s HDFS (in /var/walmart) making it accessible to all Flux Hadoop users.

Consultation available for Android app development

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Researchers interested in using the Android platform for app development may consult with CSCAR about their work, free of charge.

CSCAR consultants with industry experience as Android developers can provide guidance on capabilities and limitations of Android apps, timelines for App implementation, 3D interaction, game engines, user interface design, and security.

Please contact cscar@umich.edu for more information.

U-M, SJTU research teams share $1 million for data science projects

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Five research teams from the University of Michigan and Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China are sharing $1 million to study data science and its impact on air quality, galaxy clusters, lightweight metals, financial trading and renewable energy.

Since 2009, the two universities have collaborated on a number of research projects that address challenges and opportunities in energy, biomedicine, nanotechnology and data science.

In the latest round of annual grants, the winning projects focus on data science and how it can be applied to chemistry and physics of the universe, as well as finance and economics.

For more, read the University Record article.

For descriptions of the research projects, see the MIDAS/SJTU partnership page.

SAVE THE DATE: MIDAS Annual Symposium, Oct. 11

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Please join us for the 2017 Michigan Institute for Data Science Symposium.

The keynote speaker will be Cathy O’Neil, mathematician and best-selling author of “Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy.”

Other speakers include:

  • Nadya Bliss, Director of the Global Security Initiative, Arizona State University
  • Francesca Dominici, Co-Director of the Data Science Initiative and Professor of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Daniela Whitten, Associate Professor of Statistics and Biostatistics, University of Washington
  • James Pennebaker, Professor of Psychology, University of Texas

More details, including how to register, will be available soon.

New Data Science Computing Platform Available to U-M Researchers

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Advanced Research Computing – Technology Services (ARC-TS) is pleased to announce an expanded data science computing platform, giving all U-M researchers new capabilities to host structured and unstructured databases, and to ingest, store, query and analyze large datasets.

The new platform features a flexible, robust and scalable database environment, and a set of data pipeline tools that can ingest and process large amounts of data from sensors, mobile devices and wearables, and other sources of streaming data. The platform leverages the advanced virtualization capabilities of ARC-TS’s Yottabyte Research Cloud (YBRC) infrastructure, and is supported by U-M’s Data Science Initiative launched in 2015. YBRC was created through a partnership between Yottabyte and ARC-TS announced last fall.

The following functionalities are immediately available:

  • Structured databases:  MySQL/MariaDB, and PostgreSQL.
  • Unstructured databases: Cassandra, MongoDB, InfluxDB, Grafana, and ElasticSearch.
  • Data ingestion: Redis, Kafka, RabbitMQ.
  • Data processing: Apache Flink, Apache Storm, Node.js and Apache NiFi.

Other types of databases can be created upon request.

These tools are offered to all researchers at the University of Michigan free of charge, provided that certain usage restrictions are not exceeded. Large-scale users who outgrow the no-cost allotment may purchase additional YBRC resources. All interested parties should contact hpc-support@umich.edu.

At this time, the YBRC platform only accepts unrestricted data. The platform is expected to accommodate restricted data within the next few months.

ARC-TS also operates a separate data science computing cluster available for researchers using the latest Hadoop components. This cluster also will be expanded in the near future.