Prediction: The Next Big Thing Recap

Grad student Oliver Bates explains his research to entrepreneur Uwe Heiss - COURTESY OF CATHY RESMER

Seven Days has a recap of the “Prediction: The Next Big Thing” symposium that took place earlier this week at UVM:

We’re living in a data-rich world. Many of the devices and tools we use daily collect information about us — think smartphones, Fitbits and web browsers. And we’re sharing our data with each other at an unprecedented rate. Twitter users alone generate more than 50 million tweets per day.

This information explosion — aka Big Data — is creating all kinds of new opportunities to study and predict behavior, and the University of Vermont is taking advantage of them.

That was one takeaway from “Prediction: The Next Big Thing,” an event last Monday at UVM’s Davis Center that investigated prediction science in the age of Big Data. The conference drew about 250 students, faculty and community members curious about how researchers are putting this new wealth of data to use. The presentations and projects spanned a dizzying array of fields — from biology to social science, natural resources to robotics. Three hours was barely enough time to digest even a few of the big ideas on display.

Read the entire article here.

This is something that I really wish that I’d made it out to. Data collection and analytics are going to be incredibly important fields as we increasingly rely more on technological systems. Sites such as Amazon to Netflix to Google use the data they collect to deliver better results for their customers (and for revenue from ads), while shows such as Person of Interest look at the darker side of large amounts of data that can be crunched relatively easily.

Hopefully, this symposium will be a recurring thing.