UMBC launches Center for Accelerated Real Time Analytics to tackle data-intensive challenges from disease tracking to online privacy

Published: Mar 27, 2018

A diverse group of students and professors clusters around a laptop screen in a conference room.
Yelena Yesha, right, alongside faculty and students who conduct research through CARTA. Photo by Marlayna Demond '11 for UMBC. (Photo by Marlayna Demond '11 for UMBC.)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has selected UMBC to lead a new $3 million research partnership that will deploy next-generation computing hardware to solve major infrastructure challenges. UMBC will launch the Center for Accelerated Real Time Analytics (CARTA) through a five-year grant from the NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC) program, receiving $150,000 in support for each of the next five years. The remaining funds will support collaborative research with partner institutions North Carolina State University; Rutgers University, Newark; and Rutgers University, New Brunswick; and Tel Aviv University. Two affiliated sites at University of California, San Diego, and University of Utah will also participate in the collaboration.

IUCRCs are long-term partnerships among universities, corporations, and government agencies that leverage an initial investment from NSF to catalyze primary support from the public and private sectors. CARTA anticipates the current NSF support will lead to additional public and private sector research funding through agency and industry partners.

Through CARTA, UMBC faculty and students will work on projects tackling concerns of national and global significance. One of the initial projects will integrate massive and diverse data setsfrom peer-reviewed publications to live meteorological data to social media poststo better track the origin and spread of highly infectious diseases worldwide. Another project will focus on cloud data privacy and protection, developing policy-based, semantically-rich approaches that can better ensure that approved users can safely access the data they need, including effectively tracking the provenance of data.

Yelena Yesha, distinguished professor of computer science and electrical engineering, will serve as CARTA director and is the principal investigator on the grant. Yesha will work with UMBC faculty, including Karuna Pande Joshi, assistant professor of information systems, who will serve as the UMBC site director, and Milton Halem, research professor of computer science and electrical engineering, as well as the site directors at the affiliated CARTA institutions.

CARTA will build upon the success of UMBC’s Center for Hybrid Multicore Productivity Research (CHMPR), which was originally established in 2009 to address productivity, performance, and scalability issues in the development of advanced computing technologies applied to concerns of national significance, from genomics to climate change. The new center will expand the scope of the research conducted, while continuing the IUCRC’s mission to grow strong partnerships among academic institutions and corporations.

“CARTA will usher in the era of accelerated real-time analytics by effectively utilizing innovative technologies such as cognitive computing, machine learning, and quantum computing to address our nation’s global competitive challenges in health security, disaster mitigation, and the emerging artificial intelligence revolution,” Yesha explains.

“CARTA brings the talents of students and faculty from seven institutions into a partnership with industry and government agencies that will enable realization of smarter smart systems and more responsive information technologies,” says Keith J. Bowman, dean of UMBC’s College of Engineering and Information Technology. Explaining that this work has the potential to have a dramatic impact, he notes, “Decreasing the barriers to accelerated real-time analytics will foster greater adoption and performance for new data-intensive technologies.”

Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

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