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“How Big Data Became So Big”

An excellent article by Steve Lohr in Sunday’s New York Times.

“This has been the crossover year for Big Data …

“Big Data is a shorthand label that typically means applying the tools of artificial intelligence, like machine learning, to vast new troves of data beyond that captured in standard databases.  The new data sources include Web-browsing data trails, social network communications, sensor data and surveillance data …

“‘The term itself is vague, but it is getting at something that is real,’ says Jon Kleinberg, a computer scientist at Cornell University.  ‘Big Data is a tagline for a process that has the potential to transform everything.’ …

“In late 2008, Big Data was embraced by a group of the nation’s leading computer science researchers, the Computing Community Consortium, a collaboration of the government’s National Science Foundation and the Computing Research Association, which represents academic and corporate researchers.  The computing consortium published an influential white paper, ‘Big-Data Computing: Creating Revolutionary Breakthroughs in Commerce, Science and Society.‘  Its authors were three prominent computer scientists, Randal E. Bryant of Carnegie Mellon University, Randy H. Katz of the University of California, Berkeley, and Edward D. Lazowska of the University of Washington.  Their endorsement lent intellectual credibility to Big Data.”

Read the article here.  Read more CCC white papers on Big Data and Data Analytics here.  Learn about the University of Washington eScience Institute here.

August 11, 2012