Data Science Regional Hubs


  • Goal
  • Who & what we have
  • imagine and design the hub
  • engage, govern, sustain
  • structure a proposal

NSF overview

  • What does NSF mean by hub? Consortium/network with regional focus
  • why regional? face time. regional issues
  • NSF thinking it will fund for 9-10 years (in 3 phases). next phase will be < 3 years after first
  • phase 1: hub (executive director)
  • phase 2: spokes (priority areas)
  • phase 3: nodes (sustaining partner organizations)

Volunteer steering council advises ED, executive staff partner organizations (beyond steering council) (model like the CRA)

Foundational Research example: Berkeley AMPlab (NSF, DARPA, DOE, AWS, Google, SAP) -> apache open source: spark, mesos, tachyon

Education example: Schmidt family foundation funds U Chicago run Data Science for Social Good

Applications: Healthcare: industry using open data, tidy up/visual interface (Novartis, Pfizer, Eli Lillu)

NSF will fund the logistics, not the research (other NSF programs do that)

networking (meeting, staff) dynamic: grow over time Collaboration rather than competition: NSF prefers one proposal per region!! Must represent the entire region. West is the largest geographic region.

spokes can be regional areas as well as topical.

phase 1 somewhat of a planning grant

Charratte outcome goals

  • priority applications
  • technical or research topics
  • societal big data issues

Volunteer to organize next steps in coalescing regional stakeholders and advancing the region’s proposal

How will hubs interact? 2.5 day workshop at DC will talk about that after regionally focused hubs are created. Successful pilot (e.g. education) can spread nationally.

Coordination between federal agencies.

this group selected based on their white papers.


Content for the proposal from the western region

by hands, looks like 50% academic, 50% govt/non-profit (6)/for profit (6) in equal bit

table breakout. environmental science strong at my table:

Mark Tompkins (Berkeley industry), Anne Wilson (Colorado), Jeremy Franklin, Philip Tarrant

Brainstorm 2: listing

  • Existing hubs and partnerships
  • Data Sources
  • Analysis Capabilities
  • User and Uses
  • Education & workforce development

Breakout 2: Services the hub can provide

see our sticky. i make case for demographic diversity (& geographic)


staff, workshops. Not funding for infrastructure, not funding research, not funding education.

Could fund a workshop to create an NSF call for infrastructure.

structure: could rotate between campuses. could be led by a .org.

( spun off. hub could spin off into a .org)

Breakout 3: discuss very different images for what hub would look like

To encourage diversity of approaches, rooms were given different metaphors:

how could the hub be like a:

  • weather

Goals: foster research; education Matchmaking. tools + domains + data Standards. data trust. metadata. Buisness services: data management. sustainability Functions: workshops. events/hackathons. forum for curriculum development. data carpentry boot camps. standardization, containers. Governance: rotating board, transition to member funded

  • brain

body does the work.
Facilitate communication. Directory of resources. Advocacy of best practices they must come to you.

  • building

modular diversity values: openness, collaboration, equality, agile built on existing infrastructure

  • ecosystem

larger purpose/values. activities: student fellows, matchmaking, workshops spokes: natural resources, ag, natural hazards, healthcare, transportation leadership: ED. 18 person steering committee. spoke working groups Select steering committee: via an interim steering committee from the proposal.

Feedback: plus, potential, critique,

Take volunteers for co pis (google doc)

Take volunteers for host institution (5 volunteer: UCSD Supercomputing Center, USC (ISI), UC Berkeley (BIDS), Federation for Earth Systems, state of Utah)

host institution volunteers meet to select host. Agreement by consensus on Federation for Earth Systems.

Following further discussion with NSF, FES agrees to a UCSD-UCB-UW led.