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.
Advancements in information and digital technologies offer both a challenge and an opportunity to researchers, as they begin to collect and mine data on a scale never previously imagined. As the rate of data collection, the volume of data and the complexity of analysis increase, at the same time research enterprises are becoming more global. Large, data-intensive research groups now tend to be made up of researchers from around the world, all of whom need access to the same data sets and software systems. To stay globally competitive, research institutions must work together to meet the needs of this rapidly changing era.
The next round of carpentry instructor training, funded through the Department of Higher Education and Training's Rural Campus Connectivity Project II grant, is for people who are already using tools such as R, Python, Shell, Git, Matlab.
A multinational delegation recently attended the Understanding Risk in Shared CyberEcosystems workshop, or URISC@SC17, in Denver, Colorado. URISC participants and presenters from 11 countries, including eight African nations, 12 U.S. states, Canada, India and Nepal, also attended SC17, the annual international conference for high performance computing (HPC), networking, storage and analysis that drew nearly 13,000 attendees. Von Welch (Indiana University), who directs the Center for Trustworthy Scientific Cyberinfrastructure, provided expert oversight for the URISC program. Welch invited nine specialists who presented open-source tools and cybersecurity best practices.
By harnessing advanced technologies to create immersive visualisations, the Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome is in a position not only to help researchers rapidly advance our understanding of the world, but also to make that same information available to the public in an easily accessible visual form. This is particularly true for big data.
The R community and some of South Africa's most forward thinking companies have come together to bring satRday back to Cape Town. This conference provides an opportunity to hear from and network with top researchers, data scientists and developers from the R community in South Africa and beyond.
The Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy (IDIA) is organising a conference "SKA-Driven Big Data Challenge in Africa: Science, Innovation and Opportunity” to be held from 28 to 31 May 2018 in Madagascar.
Professor Tom Jarrett of UCT and Associate Professor Michelle Cluver of the University of the Western Cape invite you on a tour of the universe! See real astronomy data visualised on the dome, and hear about the research being done by astronomers in Cape Town. See planets, stars, nebulae, galaxies and even the cosmic web!
There’s a data revolution underway in Africa. It’s being driven by major international research collaborations like the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project. This and similar initiatives are producing volumes of data the continent has never witnessed before.