Diving into Big Data: UIC showcase at Harold Washington Library
Participants: Leilah Lyons
Chicago Harold Washington Library
Thursday, May 1, 2014, 5:00-7:00pm, in the lobby of Chicago’s Harold Washington Library, UIC will host an interactive installation that engages visitors to learn about the city by mining “big data.” The installation will feature student projects developed as part of the UIC Computer Science course, “User Interface Design and Programming,” taught by professor Leilah Lyons.
Today, many institutions (such as the U.S. Census Bureau, the NBA, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the City of Chicago) make large datasets available to the general public; however, this doesn’t mean that lay audiences can easily access and explore the data and gain insight. This unique UIC installation will enable Library visitors to explore sports data, Chicago demographic data, earthquake data, galaxy data, and national drug use data using Microsoft Kinect cameras to control data visualizations with their body movements.
Learn more about the installation “Diving into Big Data: Human-Data Interaction Showcase” at the Chicago Public Library (CPL) website.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The UIC / CPL relationship stems from a Chicago Tribune article published in January 2014, in which CPL commissioner Brian Bannon was quoted as saying that libraries will “…continue to facilitate learning and provide access to materials and digital materials, but we’re increasingly moving toward being interactive learning spaces that are as much about content and knowledge creation as content and knowledge access.” In particular, Bannon thought “?…another lab project would be to work with academic partners and the private sector to do data visualization or a big data lab.”
Given UIC’s advanced competencies in data visualization and outreach to the public sector, Lyons, an assistant professor in the UIC Computer Science department and Learning Sciences Research Institute, and Maxine Brown, director of the UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL), met with CPL in March of this year to discuss ways in which UIC and CPL could collaborate. CPL’s willingness to showcase Lyons’ class projects is just the first step towards engaging the general public in UIC academic research and education efforts.
The Chicago Tribune interview with CPL commissioner Brian Bannon.
The Microsoft Kinect cameras were donated to UIC by Microsoft via a joint program between Microsoft Game Studios and the Microsoft Developer and Platform Evangelism (DPE) team.
Date: May 1, 2014