MacEachren receives 5-year NSF IGERT Award for Social Data Analytics

GeoVISTA Center Director Alan MacEachren, as part of a multi-department team of Penn State researchers, has been awarded an Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) grant from the National Science Foundation. The project, Big Data Social Science - An Integrative Education and Research Program in Social Data Analytics, brings together a diverse interdisciplinary team of researchers to create a new training program in Social Data Analytics. The award totals $2,999,713 over five years.

The research team spans several academic departments and is led by: Burt Monroe (PI), Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Quantitative Social Science Initiative; Dr. C. Lee Giles (Co-PI), Professor at the College of Information Sciences and Technology and Computer Science and Engineering; Melissa A. Hardy (Co-PI), Professor of Sociology, Demography and Human Development; and Aleksandra B. Slavković (Co-PI), Associate Professor of Statistics and Public Health Sciences, and Alan MacEachren (Co-PI).

The research team will develop an innovative "Social Data Analytics" curriculum in response to the emerging fields "data science" and "analytics," which merge statistics, computer science, and visualization to deal with massive new sources of socially-generated big data. Society faces a transformative data deluge, from which new scientific, economic, and social value can be extracted. Through training in advanced technologies of data science and analytics and a series of research rotations - in both academic and nonacademic settings - the dual-title graduate degree program in Social Data Analytics will produce a new type of scientist capable of meeting emerging big data challenges.

For more information, contact Krista Kahler at

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