Every moment data is created. When a member of the Flint Water Study team tests and records results from a drop of water. When a student steps into Goodwin Hall, activating sensors to track usability and traffic patterns. But data, especially big data that has to be analyzed computationally, sometimes creates as many questions as it answers. Where does it all go? How do we store it? Who pays to store it? What kind of computer do we need to process the data? And how can we make sure that people years from now will still be able to access and reuse it?
University Libraries, in partnership with Virginia Tech researchers working with big data, is exploring these questions and more with the support of a $308,175 National Leadership Grant for Libraries from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
The project team includes: Zhiwu Xie, technology development librarian in the University Libraries; Tyler Walters, dean and professor, University Libraries; Edward Fox, professor of computer science in the College of Engineering; and Pablo Tarazaga, assistant professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering. Jiangping Chen, associate professor in the Department of Library and Information Sciences at the University of North Texas, will also help evaluate and review the project.