The National Research Data Workshop will be held on 19-21 June 2018 at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria. This workshop is aimed at the academic and research community as well as participants who would like to share their knowledge and/or experience in data-intensive research and data management.
The South African National Research Network (SANReN) are looking for researchers, scientists and IT facilities of research institutes who need to transfer big data sets from/to one or more external sources to/from their institutions.
Researchers, data scientists, developers, novice coders and enthusiasts gathered at UCT in March for satRday: a series of workshops and conference sessions all about R, a statistical and graphical programming language and open-source software.
The Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy (IDIA) has launched a new visualisation facility at the University of Cape Town: a shared space where astronomers from around the country can explore their data – and find answers to some of the biggest questions about our universe.
When Associate Professor Adam West from the Department of Biological Sciences began using drones to collect data from his fynbos study plots, he was confronted by a big-data problem. The customised drones were efficient and collected data easily, but they collected a lot of it – more than could be processed timeously by his laboratory’s computers.
Demand for skills at the interface between technology and information is growing and demand already far exceeds supply. This is particularly the case in Africa. To respond to demand, UCT launched two new postgraduate programmes to foster a generation equipped with the skills to meet this need.
In 2016, South Africa saw its highest number of road deaths in 10 years. Just over 14 000 people died on South Africa’s roads that year, according to the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA). In 2015, that number stood at just under 13 000 – also unacceptably high. To address this crisis, researchers and policymakers need to understand the behaviour of road users, including driver behaviour. Interdisciplinary research to understand the behaviour of drivers is in the pipeline at UCT, thanks to a connection made by UCT eResearch between researchers from two different campuses, and two entirely different fields of research: psychiatry and engineering.
As part of the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) project, researchers at UCT are investigating the microorganisms that live in the nasal passageways and throats of children. They are interested in these microbial communities because they have an influence on the likelihood of a child developing pneumonia and wheezing illness, a disease that is a precursor to asthma.
When Professor Stefan Barth – Department of Science and Technology/ National Research Foundation South African Research Chair in Cancer Biotechnology – moved his laboratory to UCT from Germany two years ago, he envisioned a place where the knowledge shared between himself and his laboratory members would be contained in a secure, persistent digital repository.
UCT is home to myriad facilities, instruments, software packages and services, ranging from electron microscopes to high-performance computing facilities that are used by a range of researchers across disciplines and institutions. The trouble is that these resources are expensive to buy and to maintain.
The world is wholly underprepared for the big-data challenges presented by the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) – the largest radio telescope ever built. This is because we have never seen data volumes on this scale before. By the time the SKA comes online in 2020, the scientific community needs to be ready with the necessary hardware and software so that the data can be put to good use immediately. UCT eResearch has been helping with two specific challenges: delivering the data sets to researchers around the world, and working to enable visualisation of the data.