UALR Hosting International 'Big Data' Conferences

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will host two international conferences focused on "big data" in November.

Big data refers to data science and the information it can provide business, education and health-care leaders. The conferences are hosted by the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology at UALR.

The 2013 Information and Data Quality Conference, one of the leading annual gatherings of the worldwide information quality and data governance community, will be held Nov. 4-7 in the Student Services Center. The 2013 International Conference on Information Quality will be held Nov. 7-9 in the Engineering and Information Technology Building.

First held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the ICIQ conference is the longest-running, annual international conference focused on information quality. UALR is coordinating more than 80 separate conference sessions during the overlapping conferences through its Information Quality graduate program.

Throughout both conferences, the university’s new George W. Donaghey Emerging Analytics Center™ staff will present advanced 3-D data demonstrations.

"The goal is to provide relevant content and a forum where ideas are generated on how to address information quality issues," said John Talburt, coordinator for the UALR IQ graduate program, in a news release.

Talburt worked with the director of MIT’s information quality program to help co-found the ICIQ. He serves on the board for the MIT ICIQ and is also an advisor to the IAIDQ board of directors.

Meeting at UALR makes sense, according to Talburt, since several UALR graduates and faculty contributed to the development of the Information Quality Certified Professional Credential, first offered to IQ professionals worldwide in June 2011.

Of the 44 individuals who hold the certification, two are UALR faculty members and nine are students or graduates of the UALR IQ program. In addition, UALR created the first student chapter among the IAIDQ sponsored Communities of Practice.

"The fact is that large amounts of data are being gleaned daily, whether by governmental agencies or private corporations. The question is how we are sifting through and using it," Talburt said. "What these conferences will highlight is what we are able to do with the data, the insights enormous data sets can provide, as well as the ethical issues behind their use."

Dr. Scott Schumacher, an IBM distinguished engineer and chief scientist for IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management, will spotlight big data and entity resolution with a keynote talk on Nov. 8. Throughout both conferences, many of the EAC’s Data Science Advisory Board members from throughout the U.S. will also speak, including:

Dr. Mary L. Good, UALR’s special advisor to the chancellor for economic development, chair of the EAC’s management board, and former undersecretary of commerce under President Bill Clinton. She will speak on “The Emerging Synergy between Data Quality and Data Visualization,” Wednesday, Nov. 6., and Friday, Nov. 8.

Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira, co-inventor of the CAVE™ (Computer Automatic Virtual Environment) system, who will explore how humans and computers have complementary capabilities suitable for data analysis Saturday, Nov. 9.

Also speaking: Phil Mui, Acxiom’s executive vice president/chief product and engineering officer; Dr. Debbie Gracio, director of the computational and statistical analytics division of the National Security Directorate for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; and Dr. Thomas C. Redman, president of the Navesink Consulting Group.