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Big Data: these words are on the lips of researchers everywhere these days. But it’s more than a catch phrase—it’s a reality in the burgeoning world of eScience, as investigators strive to make sense of the seemingly endless flow of new information. Nowhere is the push to understand Big Data stronger than in Brazil, where scientists have been working to better understand tropical ecosystems, human impact on the environment, biogenetics, and biodiversity. These efforts are providing new opportunities to improve our capabilities in data-intensive research and strengthen Latin America’s eScience research community. To further these efforts, FAPESP—the São Paulo Research Foundation—and Microsoft Research Connections are jointly hosting a special eScience Workshop from May 13 to 15, 2013, in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. The event will bring together more than 150 participants—including students and researchers from around the world—to explore collaboration and research opportunities in the environmental sciences, bioenergy, biodiversity, health, and digital humanities.
Along with informative sessions on such topics as data mining, computational ecology, the genetic basis of disease, eScience in the cloud, and computer vision, the workshop will feature tutorials on Layerscape, FetchClimate, and Filzbach, Microsoft Research’s “killer apps” for data visualization and storytelling in the earth sciences, environmental modeling, and Bayesian analysis. Keynote speakers will include Maria Cristina Ferreira de Oliveira of the University of São Paulo, who will discuss the challenges of making sense of multidimensional data, and Carole Goble of the University of Manchester, who will explore the reproducibility of experimental findings in the computational sciences.
Another keynote speaker, Drew Purves of Microsoft Research Cambridge, will talk about predicting the future of life on Earth. And apropos of that topic, the workshop will also feature a presentation on LiveANDES (Advanced Network for the Distribution of Endangered Species), the new tool designed to collect, house, and analyze data about Latin America’s threatened wildlife.
All of this, plus demos of the latest eScience tools and findings from FAPESP and Microsoft Research, are certain to make the Latin America eScience Workshop 2013 a memorable and informative event. I hope to see you there!
–Juliana Salles, Senior Research Program Manager in Brazil, Microsoft Research Connections