Big Data for Good

Join TDAI for our 2019 Fall Forum November 6-7, as we explore how the Ohio State community is using big data to solve today’s most complex challenges.  Over the course of two days, we’ll hear from distinguished speakers, host interactive lectures / information sessions on data programming and interdisciplinary data analytics research teams, and see how the entire campus community is using big data for good with a morning poster session.

Day One (Wednesday, November 6)×

Keynote Address with Dr. Katherine Ensor (Rice University)
“Urban Analytics and the Value of University/City Partnerships”
4 to 6:30 p.m. 
TDAI Ideation Zone (320 Pomerene Hall)

Open to all
Dr. Katherine Ensor, the Noah G. Harding Professor of Statistics and Director of the Center for Computational Finance and Economic Systems(CoFES) at Rice University.  She will present on “Urban Analytics and the Value of University/City Partnerships.” Specifically, “In today’s data driven world, statisticians and data scientists are in high demand. A key area where our talents and skills contribute is a better understanding of cities and communities. Through strong university and local government partnerships advanced statistics and analytics provide needed knowledge to guide community actions, city processes, and regional policies. In this talk I will provide key examples of such partnerships across the nation and highlight the way in which local governments in the Houston area capitalize on universities in the region. These partnerships also enrich the education and research mission of a university. To support data informed action in Houston, I led an effort to create the Kinder Institute Urban Data Platform (UDP, see, a secure computing platform and permanent repository for data about the region. The ready availability of high-quality data coupled with advances in methodological statistics and data sciences brings significant real-time value to the greater community.”

A reception will immediately follow Dr. Ensor’s address.

Day Two (Thursday, November 7)×

Research Poster Session
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
TDAI Ideation Zone (320 Pomerene Hall)
Open to the entire Ohio State community and guests. Light breakfast available.

Check out new research and projects involving big data from throughout the university community. Tours of TDAI spaces are also available.

Check out our previous Fall Forum posters in the University Libraries Knowledge Bank.

A light lunch will be served 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.


Concurrent Sessions
12 – 2:30 p.m.
TDAI (300 Pomerene Hall)
Open to all Ohio State faculty
Faculty are invited to a series of sessions highlighting TDAI resources and support for TDAI affiliates that advance team science and scholarship. Each session lasts roughly 25 minutes.

  • Data Commons Demo – Hear about the TDAI Data Commons, a secure platform for researchers to store and share data for free. See it in action, hear what’s next and give feedback on the platform.

  • TDAI Pilot Funding Overview – TDAI has launched a funding program to help drive faculty-driven team science/scholarship projects. Learn about the program’s features and the opportunities it presents.

  • Research Development – Ohio State’s Research Development Office and TDAI provide support for multidisciplinary research teams at various project stages, including ideating, assembling collaborators and pursuing funding. Find out more about these activities and how they can help advance your work with Kate Hayes-Ozello and Jenny Grabmeier.

  • TDAI Visualization Lab Demo – Opened over the summer, TDAI’s new visualization lab features two projectors and a 20-foot wide wall display. Explore the lab and its capabilities with a live demo.


TDAI Community of Practice (CoP) Meetings
Open to all Ohio State faculty. 
Learn more about each CoP.

Computational Social Sciences
3 – 3:45 p.m.
TDAI Conf. Room (300A Pomerene Hall)

The TDAI Computational Social Sciences Community of Practice’s goal is to facilitate truly interdisciplinary computational social science to address concerns related to human behavior and gain insights into basic social processes that cannot be identified with conventional methods. Join CoP leads Bear Braumoeller (political science) and David Melamed (sociology) to discuss elevating our social science training and research endeavors through an interdisciplinary approach, and examining some of the current barriers and ways we can overcome them.

Foundations of Data Science
3 – 4 p.m.
TDAI Partner Zone (301 Pomerene Hall)

TDAI’s Foundations of Data Science Community of Practice aims to build a community at OSU focused on the foundation of data science. It centers on the theoretical and algorithmic foundation of data science, with core members spanning across computer science, statistics and mathematics. Join CoP directors Tamal Dey (computer science and engineering, mathematics) and Yusu Wang (computer science and engineering) to get to know community members’ work and discuss potential partnerships and TDAI’s pilot funding opportunity.

Smart and Connected Communities and Distributed Sensing
3 – 4 p.m.
TDAI Ideation Zone (320 Pomerene Hall)

Join the Smart and Connected Communities and Distributed Sensing Community of Practice, led by Anish Arora (computer science and engineering), for a special presentation by Courtney Falato. Courtney is the Smart Cities Relationship Director at The Ohio State University, and will provide an update on Smart Columbus and Smart@OhioState. This will be followed by a brief working group session to discuss team formation for the TDAI pilot funding RFP and an upcoming seminar series. Anish can also answer questions about the current co-director RFP opportunity.

Computational Health and Life Sciences
3 – 5 p.m.
TDAI Project Zone (350 Pomerene Hall)

The TDAI Computational Health and Life Sciences Community of Practice’s goal is to build research teams around various themes in life and health sciences and to develop big-data analytics that have translational value and can be deployed in health care and life sciences. Faculty interested in learning more are encouraged to join CoP members and director Shili Lin (statistics) for a mini-seminar in which researchers discuss recent work, partnering needs and opportunities, and potential applications for TDAI research pilot grants. In addition, Shili can answer questions about the current co-director RFP opportunity.

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