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Big Data and Data Science 精选

已有 7607 次阅读 2014-1-29 23:37 |系统分类:海外观察


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The term “Big Data” is certainly in vogue these days. The term refers to the vast amount  of digital data that various government and organizations are collecting about the  World and People in it due to the availability of inexpensive storage medium.  For example it was recently revealed that the National Security Agency of the US  collects data on EVERY phone call (some 200 million of them) that are made in  the US every day.  This is something I always suspected (http://blog.sciencenet.cn/blog-1565-697764.html) which now turns out to be true. On the commercial front, Amazon, Google, Facebook, and others collect vast amount of consumer behavior data to find  out all kinds of personal information about their clients. The list and possibilities are endless.

Such effort has sprung a new field of scholarly investigation as well as job opportunities called  “DATA SCIENCE” and people who work in it “Data Scientists”.  The subject is an  amalgamation of knowledge of statistics, software engineering, machine learning, and data  mining.  People who work in this field do research, and built products which  produce information for their employers who use such informationto make decisions . Data  scientists in ways behave like journalists who digs out stories from news and provide  analysis for the viewing/reading  public. The product they produce will in turn influence  future data and ethical issues are involved. Consequently, Social Science also comes into  question and  play.

Of course, to manipulate data one also needs tools to facilitatethe process. Development of  specialized software tools such as” iPython”  ( ipython.org/) are part of the practices  of the field.

All the above were part of a day long symposium entitled “Weathering the Data  Storm: The Promise and Challenges of Data Science” at Harvard School of Engineering  and Applied Sciences on January 24, 2014. More details can befound at “ computefest.seas.harvard.edu/data-storm“.




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