Big Data and Earth Sciences: Grand Challenges Workshop

Big Data and Earth Sciences Grand Chellenges Workshop


Date: 2017-05-31to
Time: 8a-6p daily
Location: Calit2 Auditorium, Atkinson Hall, UC San Diego

Guest Speaker: Larry Smarr, Director, Calit2; Padhraic Smyth, UC Irvine; et al.

*Registration is Required.
Host: PRP and CW3E


This three-day workshop brings together thought leaders in big data and the earth sciences to advance understanding and predictability of Earth systems.

The goal of the The Big Data and Earth Sciences: Grand Challenges Workshop is to bring thought leaders in Big Data and Earth Sciences together for a three day, intensive workshop to highlight key technological advances and methods that are readily available (or will be soon) to assist this advancement. With the ever growing quantity and quality of hyper-dimensional earth science data (satellite and ground based observations and cutting–edge Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models), the advancements in machine learning (e.g. supervised, unsupervised and semi-supervised learning techniques), and the progress made in the application of Graphical Processing Units (GPUs) and GPU clusters, we now have an unprecedented opportunity and challenge to engage these computational advances to improve our understanding of the complex nature of the interactions between various earth science events, their variables and their impacts on society (flooding, drought, agriculture, etc.).

The workshop will be hosted by the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes (CW3E) in the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Pacific Research Platform (PRP). CW3E is focused on advancing science and technology to support the unique information needs related to western U.S. extreme weather and water events, such as California's drought and flooding, and associated potential for subseasonal-to-seasonal forecasting. PRP is a consortium of universities in the western U.S. that is building a "science-driven, high-capacity data-centric freeway system on a large regional scale." Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), PRP is based in the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) and its UC San Diego division, the Qualcomm Institute, which is hosting the workshop.

Sessions will include:

  • Big data collaborations;
  • Big data research platforms, networks, technologies and visualization;
  • Big data and predictability challenges in earth science data;
  • Pattern detection, segmentation and object recognition for earth sciences;
  • Structuring unstructured data in the earth sciences; as well as
  • Data mining and discovery, marchine learning and predictive modeling

The workshop is open to faculty, researchers and graduate students in computer science, machine learning, atmospheric sciences, hydrometeorology, civil engineering, oceanography and related fields. The deadline to submit abstracts or full papers was April 21. Submissions are no longer accepted.


Among the speakers scheduled to speak at the Grand Challenges Workshop:

Dr. Larry Smarr (pictured), Founding Director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), a UC San Diego/UC Irvine partnership, holds the Harry E. Gruber professorship in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at UC San Diego's Jacobs School.

Dr. Vipin Kumar, Regents Professor at the University of Minnesota, holds the William Norris Endowed Chair in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota.

Dr. Padhraic Smyth, Professor, Director, UCI Data Science Initiative and Associate Director, Center for Machine Learning and Intelligent Systems, UC Irvine.

Dr. Michael Wehner, Senior Staff Scientists, Computational Research Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.