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MEDIA ALERT - November 3-4, 2014: NSF Polar Cyberinfrastructure DataVis Hackathon in New York, NY

Media Alert
CONTACT: USC Viterbi Media Relations - 213-821-5555 or vcomms@usc.edu
October 31, 2014 —


This week, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the Parsons Institute for Information Mapping at The New School will host a DataVis Hackathon for Polar Cyberinfrastructure sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and Amazon Web Services. The Parsons Institute for Information Mapping will provide a venue for the workshop in New York City on November 3-4, 2014.


 DataVis Hackathon for Polar Cyberinfrastructure


November 3-4, 2014
9:00 am – 5:00 pm


Dr. Chris Mattmann, Professor of Computer Science at USC Viterbi and Lead Organizer of the DataVis Hackathon

Dr. Marco Tedesco, Polar Cyberinfrastructure Program Director at the National Science Foundation

Mr. Jihoon Kang, Associate Director at the Parsons Institute for Information Mapping

Hosts: USC Viterbi School of Engineering; Parsons Institute for Information Mapping at The New School for Design

Sponsors: U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF); Amazon Web Services
Contributors: Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); NASA; The Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)


The hackathon will feature 3-5 demos of practical application, new training material with identified skills, and technologies and data sets for reuse in the Polar community. 

Where: The Parsons Institute for Information Mapping at The New School
66 W 12th Street, New York, NY 10011


Chris Mattmann is a professor of computer science at USC Viterbi, as well as the lead at Parsons Institute for Information Mapping at The New School and the lead organizer for the hackathon.

Improving the use and the value of existing data sets from the polar regions is crucial to promote science and support new discoveries. The hackathon workshop will be focused on bridging the gap between the polar and cyberinfrastructure communities in order to help communicate polar and arctic data more effectively using visualization, as well as design prototypes tailored for use in the polar communities. Ultimately, such collaboration between data visualization experts and polar scientists will advance understanding of the variability of the polar regions to the greater benefit of the scientific community and society.

The participants will be provided with several public polar data sets for the hackathon. Their goal will be to produce several prototypes that combine technologies, visualization techniques and polar data examples to serve as a model for building skills, providing better access and understanding of data sets. These novel prototypes and data visualizations will involve time series/gridded/station data; new forms of data interaction; quick methods for processing and reformatting data to be useable, and methods of visualizing the information. These prototypes will be made available to other researchers under open source licenses.

The workshop will also increase cross agency collaboration between NSF, NASA, NOAA and other Arctic/Polar related agencies. New techniques for visualizing the data may lead to better discoveries within the polar domain and will ultimately help reduce the amount of time involved in data preparation, thus focusing attention more to science and decision-making regarding the polar regions.

More information about the workshop is available via the DataVis Hackathon website.

This event is supported by awards from the NSF (1348450 and 1445624), for which USC Viterbi Computer Science Professor Chris Mattmann is the Principal Investigator.

About the USC Viterbi School of Engineering
Engineering Studies began at the University of Southern California in 1905. Nearly a century later, the Viterbi School of Engineering received a naming gift in 2004 from alumnus Andrew J. Viterbi, inventor of the Viterbi algorithm now key to cell phone technology and numerous data applications. Consistently ranked among the top graduate programs in the world, the school enrolls more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students, taught by 174 tenured and tenure-track faculty, with 60 endowed chairs and professorships. http://viterbi.usc.edu

USC Viterbi Media Relations – 213-821-5555 or vcomms@usc.edu