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Data-Experts-Convene-in-Philadelphia-to-Solve National-Challenges

March 5, 2012

As the digital world expands at an exponential rate, the need for managing and securing the immense amount of data we depend on—for national security, disaster management, health care and the health of the U.S.  economy—has emerged as one of the most important challenges of the 21st century.

This challenge, known as Big Data, has prompted leading national experts to convene at The Union League in Philadelphia on Wednesday, March 7, to discuss the data issues that will significantly affect society, and what can be done to address them.

The symposium, entitled “Innovation Priorities: What Matters Next in Big Data?” will feature keynote speakers such as Web 2.0 evangelist and IBM’s Director of emerging technologies David Barnes; Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Research Connections Tony Hey; and Chief Information Officer of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Bryan Wolf.

This meeting follows the announcement of a newly-established Center on Visual and Decision Informatics (CVDI), a joint venture between Drexel University and The University of Louisiana at Lafayette that will work to provide solutions to the nation’s most pressing data challenges. The Center is funded by the Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) program of the National Science Foundation, members from industry and government and university matching funds.

“Drexel University will be bringing the best minds in data management and security together to achieve effective strategies to solve the Big Data problems of today, and avert the larger problems of tomorrow,” The iSchool at Drexel’s Dean David Fenske said. “We are keenly aware of our duty, as a higher education institution and leader in information science and technology, to serve as a collaborative hub for world-class data researchers to uncover effective solutions with real-world applications.”

In partnering with industry members, the CVDI will empower researchers to develop visual and decision support tools and techniques to enable decision makers in government and industry to fundamentally improve the way their organizations’ information is interpreted and analyzed.

Only 15 Computer Information and Engineering (CISE) centers exist across the United States. UL Lafayette and Drexel University now join this elite group with the CVDI, which is the only center in the nation focusing on visual and decision informatics research. 

For more information about Drexel University and University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Center on Visual and Decision Informatics, visit:

Center contacts:
Ramesh Kolluru, Ph.D., CVDI site director for UL Lafayette, executive director, CBIT, UL Lafayette, 337-482-0611(office) or

Marie Fazio, Drexel University, 215-895-5884 or

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Media Contact:

Britt Faulstick