30
May
2014

In May's installment of the CI's Inside the Discovery Cloud series, senior fellow Rick Stevens talked about how computational modeling drives new research into the behavior and rules governing bacteria, microbial communities, and ecosystems.

29
May
2014

Last year, 36 fellows from around the world came to Chicago as part of the inaugural Eric & Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good Fellowship. Over the course of the summer, the fellows worked with mentors from academia and industry, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to tackle data-driven projects in health care, education, transportation, housing, energy and more, creating new tools and analytic insight for their project partners.

28
May
2014

Biology and medicine are relatively new to computation compared to fields such as astronomy and physics, but their use of computational tools and data analytics is rapidly gaining speed. Where life scientists once collected observations and ran laboratory studies, they now find new discoveries through modeling, simulation, and statistical analyses.

23
May
2014

Much has been made of the potential of large and complex datasets to revolutionize scientific discovery in life sciences, social science, and the humanities. But what about the ability of data and data-driven tools to disrupt the practice of science itself? Despite the sophisticated methods increasingly used by researchers of all disciplines, many processes critical to scientific progress remain archaic, slow, and paper-based.

21
May
2014

The "Ask Argonne" series gives kids (and enthusiastic adults) the chance to meet and ask questions over YouTube of a particular Argonne scientist. Previous installments have spotlighted climate scientist and CI fellow Robert Jacob, research meteorologist Edwin Campos, and nuclear engineer Dave Grabaskas.

16
May
2014

The public perception of concussions has changed dramatically in the last few years. What was once considered a minor injury by some, merely a case of “getting your bell rung," recent findings in football players, soldiers, and other concussion-sufferers about the long-term effects of these injuries have raised awareness and fear about head trauma. Unfortunately, the “milder” form of traumatic brain injuries (known by the acronym mTBI) is difficult to detect using standard imaging procedures, such as MRI and CAT scans.

13
May
2014

The hot buzzword in the tech world right now is “disruption,” the concept that one clever idea can completely shake up a stale industry, leading to new practices and big profits. Companies such as Amazon, Skype, and iTunes have dramatically changed how book stores, phone companies, and music sales work, with sometimes controversial results. But for many reasons, health care has largely resisted major tech-driven revolutions so far, its massive bulk and entrenched interests providing disruption-proof armor few other industries can boast. But at the Big Data & Health conference, co-organized by the Computation Institute and the UChicago Center for Health and the Social Sciences (CHeSS), many speakers signaled that data-based change was on the way for health care and research.

08
May
2014

Ant farms were once one of the most popular toys in the world, with over 20 million sets sold since their invention in the early 1950’s. The appeal of ant farms -- or formicariums, to use the technical, non-copyrighted term -- was to watch the tiny insects spontaneously construct an elaborate network of tunnels and chambers in the sand.

06
May
2014

As computers grow more and more powerful, they become more useful as collaborators for scientists studying a diverse range of topics. Computers are good at repetitious tasks that would drive a human researcher mad, accomplishing tasks that are akin to not just finding a needle in a haystack, but painstakingly cataloging each piece of hay along the way. It may be a stretch to call this work “intelligence,” but as computational methods get better at classifying, analyzing, and predicting information, the lines between human and automated insight blur.