Newswise — Rowan University will host the New Jersey Big Data Alliance’s (NJBDA) second annual symposium on Wednesday, April 29, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m in the Eynon Ballroom in the Student Center on the Glassboro, New Jersey, campus. “Big Data and the Transformation of Society” will include a keynote address by Raymond Blum, Google’s “International Man of Mystery,” as well as panel discussions that delve into how Big Data (digital data) transforms transportation, healthcare and the workforce, as well as ramifications for privacy.

“Rowan University is exceptionally suited to host this symposium, given our growing presence in the Big Data arena. With two medical schools and associated hospitals handling more than a one and a half million patient visits; nationally recognized programs in the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering; and the South Jersey Technology Park, home to the Virtual Reality Lab, we have a tremendous opportunity to develop personalized health care services that respond to the escalation in the amount of medical data collected from personal electronics,” said Rowan’s Dr. Shreekanth Mandayam, vice president for Research.

The groundbreaking Big Data Alliance was formed in December 2012 and includes Kean University, Montclair State University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Rowan University, Rutgers University, Saint Peter’s University, Stevens Institute of Technology and Stockton University. In August 2014, Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation recognizing the alliance as New Jersey’s official Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Consortium.

“The alliance is a great opportunity for New Jersey institutions of higher education to work closely with the government and industry to prepare and develop our workforce with the necessary competencies needed for success in the Big Data economy,” said Dr. Rashmi Jain, professor and chair of Information and Operations Management at Montclair State University and one of its NJBDA representatives. “This unique alliance will be instrumental in identifying the gaps between the supply and demand for the skill sets necessary for the job market where data scientists, data analysts, business analysts and others will play an important role. While all state governments are ramping up their use of analytics to equip communities for data-driven decisions, this year's theme will help us focus on applying tools and methods for solving community problems and transforming the society in areas of transportation, health, workforce development and privacy.”

Alliance members engage New Jersey industry and government agencies to collectively address significant challenges concerning the deluge of Big Data. The alliance also has developed training and workforce development workshops and will build a Big Data Resource portal.

“Having a [Big Data Resource] portal that provides seamless access to public data sources, state-of-the-art data analytics tools, publications and other related information can be a tremendous resource for researchers, students and practitioners,” stated Dr. Manish Parashar, a Rutgers University New Brunswick NJBDA representative and professor of computer science who is currently seeking funding for the portal.

“Big Data is all around us, stored in our many repositories with so much value to be discovered and employed to improve the lives of our students, business operations, research, industry and society,” said Dr. Mira Lalovic-Hand, Rowan’s chief information officer and vice president for Information Resources and Technology. “It is our duty to harness this amazing power. I see the alliance playing a major role in advancing these goals. I am very excited to work with my colleagues in creating collaborative programs for Big Data that will lead to extraordinary opportunities for research and businesses.”

Ultimately, the NJBDA’s goal is to bring academics, government and industry together to pinpoint the challenges Big Data presents and to develop collaborative programs around Big Data synergies that will increase research competitiveness and bolster New Jersey’s reputation as a leader in innovation and cutting-edge technology.

The 2015 New Jersey Big Data Alliance Symposium is sponsored by the New Jersey Technology Council and EMC Corporation (EMC2). To participate in the symposium or for more information, contact Jackie Melillo ([email protected], 848-932-3555). To register, go to ( Registration is free.

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