Research Brown Bag Schedule 2014-2015

Unless otherwise noted, SI Research Brown Bags take place on Wednesdays from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm in the SI Multi-purpose Room. SI is located in the Harvill Building, 1103 East Second Street, Fourth Floor.

Additional titles and abstracts will be posted as the semester progresses. Please check back.


February 18
Phil Pinto, Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory

UA Main Library Room 314

"The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope: Drinking from the Firehose"


The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is the premier federally-funded ground-based
astronomy project for the next decade. It will scan the entire sky visible from Chile every few
days for ten years, accumulating an unprecedented motion picture of the Universe. The daily
30 TB of image data it will produce will enable science on a wide range of fronts from near-Earth
asteroids to cosmology. This volume of data will also require astronomers to prepare for big
data challenges of unprecedented scale. I will describe the LSST project and some of the science
it will enable and discuss some of the challenges presented by a database of observations which
will reach 200 PB during its ten-year survey.


March 11
Pearce Paul Creasman, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, School of Anthropology

UA Main Library Room 314

"Digging for Data: Discussing Two Complex Archaeological Excavations"


Pearce Paul Creasman (Curator, Tree-Ring Lab; Director, Egyptian Expedition) discusses his two active archaeological excavations and considerations of data management that result. The first excavation discussed is of an ancient Egyptian temple located just outside the Valley of the Kings that belonged to one of the very few female kings, dating to ca. 1200 BC. The second excavation is much closer to home: the archives of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research (est. 1937 AD), which are thought to include some 2,000,000 scientific specimens, in addition to their data, metadata, and associated documentation.


April 15
Susan Miller, Arizona Research Laboratories

UA Main Library Room 314

"Unleashing your inner data scientist: The ability and audacity to scale your science with free and open cyberinfrastructure"


The “data deluge” is a common occurrence for virtually every discipline. In the life science, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies have fueled this data explosion by providing relatively inexpensive capabilities to sequence whole genomes. Similarly the ability to capture images and record videos using digital cameras, super resolution microscopes all with extreme optical capabilities have out paced Moore’s law. Novel emerging technologies such as LIDAR, drones and embedded sensor networks are allowing the biologists today to produce data at an unprecedented rate.

Movements such as Opendata and data management plans mandated by funding agencies are liberating data and democratizing access to massive data sets, especially federal agencies such as NIH, NASA, NCDC and USGS.

Complementing this data democratization are advances in computational capabilities, fueled by cloud computing and significant investment by NSF to create national infrastructure (XSEDE) and institutional capabilities (UA Research Computing). These programs provide no cost access to some of the largest computational platforms in the world. Similarly the software tools and analytics capabilities are catching up to this rapidly expanding array of computational platforms.

Leveraging these amazing national and local resources to manage your own “big data” challenges for asking bold research questions, necessitates interdisciplinary collaborations, hands-on training and technology orientation. This talk will provide a roadmap with a broad overview of exemplar communities that have successfully established their own cyberinfrastructure with these resources, and strategies for unleashing the “data scientist” embodied in every biologist.



Previous Research Brown Bags


Related Topic(s): 

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences