“The grand challenges of global environmental change and sustainability are highly complex and cannot be met in isolation by scattered efforts.” says Jagadish Shukla, director of IGES. “A cohesive and well-coordinated institution is required to conduct transformative research.”
IGES Grid Analysis and Display System (GrADS) is an interactive desktop tool that is used for easy access, manipulation, and visualization of earth science data. GrADS Data Server (GDS) uses the OPeNDAP protocol with subsetting and analysis services across the internet.
Mason neuroscientist Giorgio Ascoli is working on another complexity related to the brain — how to handle the massive amount of data researchers are creating on a near-daily basis.
National Academies Keck Futures Initiative is a step toward giving researchers another tool in their work. It’s a data overload worth organizing because, as Ascoli points out, such a “knowledge base” could reveal patterns, show untapped areas for future research and cut duplication.
Data science, or “big data,” is fundamentally changing the way we conduct science. And that is what Kirk Borne finds so exciting about his job.
“In traditional science, you create a hypothesis—you speculate what you think might happen, and then you set off to prove yourself right or wrong. Now, in this age where we have so much data, we don’t have to guess. We just have to sift through all the information and find the patterns.”