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West Hub Updates: Transportation Data Challenge, All Hands Meeting, and more

Greetings! This May marks the beginning of a series of community problem-solving sessions, data faires, hackathons, and demos across the nation hosted by the Regional Big Data Innovation Hubs with an enthusiastic (and growing!) team of partners. We’re excited to launch the National Transportation Data Challenge inSeattle May 2-3, with a diverse and dynamic group of participants, including the Chief Data Officer of the U.S. Department of Transportation. to sign up for updates, RSVP for the kickoff event, and join the conversation on social media with #BDHubs. The Denver Area event will be co-located with our 2nd Annual All Hands Meeting in Boulder, CO, June 5-6, and we are looking forward to creative collaborations forming between existing and emerging spoke projects, working group activities, and task forces. Registration for the Seattle and Denver area events are now open!

Did you join us through an activity or event recently? We’re always looking for guest blogposts to capture highlights and next steps. Thanks to our partners and participants this month, including:

  1. San Francisco Department of Emergency Management: We joined local, state, regional, and Federal leaders in San Francisco for the inaugural Epicenter Summit, the City and County’s annual earthquake exercise, designed this year to gather best practices and aid strategic planning for a catastrophic Bay Area earthquake scenario. Steering Committee Member Alicia Johnson and I facilitated sessions on Mass Care and Infrastructure, discussing Interdependencies and Mutual Aid in the first 100 hours after an event, and paths towards long-term recovery. Participants included USGS, FEMA, PG&E, Google, Port of San Francisco, American Red Cross, and The Salvation Army. Check out our first Facebook Live interview and catch up with #epicenter2017.

  2. Data Carpentry and Software Carpentry: Our leadership team partnered with Data Carpentry and Software Carpentry to train 15 instructors from the Seattle area to be certified as Software/Data Carpentry Instructors. Tracy Teal, Executive Director of Data Carpentry, taught this training with WBDIH Co-PI Ariel Rokem from the University of Washington eScience Institute. WBDIH Deputy Director Sarah Stone presented opportunities to become involved in West Hub activities in the region. Participants included early-career researchers from UW, as well as staff from Fred Hutch CRC and Seattle Children’s Hospital.

  3. Galvanize, the U.S. Department of State, and Booz Allen Hamilton: We joined over 100 innovators March 31 – April 2 at Galvanize for a Clean Energy Data Science Challenge, mentoring hackathon teams alongside colleagues from government, industry, and nonprofits. You may recall that the West Hub partnered with the Research Data Alliance and ESIP for International Data Week’s Data Hackathons: Lessons Learned and Best Practices Workshop in September…our colleagues at RDA are currently seeking applicants for an Executive Director (more details here). Stay tuned for more on #datahackworkshop updates, and please share your news

As always, we greatly appreciate your help spreading the word to increase participation across each West Region state (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming). To help us grow our community, please forward this note widely and tell your colleagues to join our mailing list! On behalf of the WBDIH leadership team and our growing network of collaborators, thank you for your continued interest, support, and enthusiasm. Hope to see or hear from you soon!


Meredith Meredith M. Lee, Ph.D. | Executive Director, West Big Data Innovation Hub |

Save the Date: Deadlines + Local Meetings

April 19-22   International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE) Workshop on Real-Time Analytics in Multi-Latency, Multi-Party, Metro-Scale Networks   San Diego, CA

May 2-3  National Transportation Data Challenge Launch Event   Seattle, WA

May 22-23 Evidence-Based Policing Workshop   Tempe, AZMay 29-June 2 IEEE International Parallel & Distributed Processing Symposium Hubs/Spokes Workshop    Orlando, FL June 5-6 2nd Annual West Hub All Hands Meeting with various workshops    Boulder, CO June 19  Deadline to request NSF Spokes Solicitation Letter of Collaboration — more details will be posted on our website! July 14  #DataSciStories Workshop and Training co-hosted with AAAS and the South Hub    Washington DC

Sept 18   Proposals for NSF Spoke Solicitation due to NSF

Big Data Spokes FY2018 Solicitation Announced

As mentioned last month, the NSF Big Data Spokes Solicitation for FY2018 is now online. The Big Data activities of a BD Spoke will be guided by the following broad themes:

  1. Accelerating progress towards addressing societal grand challenges relevant to the regional and national priority areas defined by the BD Hubs (see our thematic and cross-cutting areas on our website and captured in our West Hub At-a-Glance summary, and look to our website for additional guidance soon about other hubs’ areas and NSF FAQs);

  2. Helping automate the Big Data lifecycle; and

  3. Enabling access to and spurring the use of important and valuable available data assets, including international data sets where relevant. NSF’s overall Big Data R&D portfolio includes fundamental research, infrastructure development and provisioning, education and workforce development, and community engagement.  Not all of these aspects of the overall portfolio are covered by this solicitation. In particular, this solicitation is not meant to fund proposals in which fundamental research is the primary activity. NEW FOR THIS SOLICITATION: There are two proposal categories covered by this solicitation: SMALL and MEDIUM BD Spokes. As was the case for the first BD Spoke solicitation, NSF notes that all proposals submitted in response to this solicitation must include a Letter of Collaboration from a regional BD Hub. We look forward to assisting Big Data Spoke proposal development by helping coordinate our region’s response and by identifying potential partnerships to strengthen our region’s proposals. Stay tuned for more details about the Form to Request Letters of Collaboration (due June 19, 2017) in advance of the NSF Sept. 18, 2017 deadline, and please feel free to contact us at


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