Graduate Studies News

Unlocking Big Data at SFU

January 26, 2016

At SFU, big data is an initiative for all of us.
It will help generate knowledge, drive innovation, create social and economic opportunities, train experts, and engage communities

Big Data are generated all around us-from the apps on our phones, to the marketplace where we shop, to the books in our libraries, to the energy grid that powers our houses, to the world's most powerful particle accelerator at CERN. Around the globe, the amount of information generated grows exponentially each year, but our ability to access, analyze, and effectively use this information is lagging. There are tremendous opportunities-and urgent needs-for data-intensive research and academic programming in this area for the benefit of our communities, and to close a critical talent gap.

At SFU, we aim to leverage our related strengths across the University, and make these capabilities accessible to all stakeholders. Big Data is an initiative for all of us. It will help generate knowledge, drive innovation, create social and economic opportunities, train experts, and engage communities.


By building on our strategic investments in advanced computing expertise and infrastructure, we can :

• Engage our students in data-intensive research to expand their analytical capacities and meet a significant talent gap

• Strengthen our educational, innovation, and entrepreneurship activities in Big Data to position SFU as a driver of positive social and economic impacts

• Create a recognizable cluster of Big Data expertise that supports worldclass research across all disciplines, and trains the next generation of research leaders

• Build partnerships and communities of practice for data-intensive research to creatively solve diverse problems

• Integrate our IT Services into a one-stop hub to make it easy for all researchers - across SFU, in communities, and in industry - to access our digital research infrastructure and receive dedicated training


This spring, SFU is embarking on a university-wide Big Data initiative to meet these goals over the next three years. We are asking students, faculty, staff, and alumni to engage with us - share your ideas for Big Data at SFU, tell us your needs, and help us strengthen our activities in this field. We look forward to hearing your ideas as we work together to envision, and unlock, the potential of Big Data for SFU's future.


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