New Institute Pushes the Boundaries of Big Data

Press Release: “Each year thousands of genomes are sequenced, millions of neuronal activity traces are recorded, and light from hundreds of millions of galaxies is captured by our newest telescopes, all creating datasets of staggering size. These complex datasets are then stored for analysis.

Ongoing analysis of these information streams has illuminated a problem, however: Scientists’ standard methodologies are inadequate to the task of analyzing massive quantities of data. The development of new methods and software to learn from data and to model — at sufficient resolution — the complex processes they reflect is now a pressing concern in the scientific community.

To address these challenges, the Simons Foundation has launched a substantial new internal research group called the Flatiron Institute (FI). The FI is the first multidisciplinary institute focused entirely on computation. It is also the first center of its kind to be wholly supported by private philanthropy, providing a permanent home for up to 250 scientists and collaborating expert programmers all working together to create, deploy and support new state-of-the-art computational methods. Few existing institutions support the combination of scientists and programmers, instead leaving programming to relatively impermanent graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and none have done so at the scale of the Flatiron Institute or with such a broad scope, at a single location.

The institute will hold conferences and meetings and serve as a focal point for computational science around the world….(More)”.