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Awards

UMII Informatics Graduate Summer Fellowships in Critical Data Studies

This fellowship is awarded to graduate students currently pursuing research at the University of Minnesota in Critical Data Studies: Where is the Human in the Data? Awardees will present their research in the Fall workshop on Friday, September 30, 2016. This event is co-sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Study. Big Data are ubiquitous. Experts from different fields apply sophisticated algorithms to extract insights from data sets, and expectations are high that these insights will aid decision making in areas such as health, food, energy, education, environment and social policy. The use of quantitative data for decision-making has nineteenth century roots, but in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, new technology has enabled more complex collection and application of large datasets. When collecting and processing large datasets, the assumptions, individuals, and human relationships are acted upon and, when represented by the numbers, they can be obscured to researchers and end users. Yet Big Data is used to explain, predict, and direct human behavior and define research agendas. This shift has had, and will continue to have, significant humanistic dimensions.

The following students received awards:

UMII Graduate Summer Fellows

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Graduate Summer Fellows 2016

  • Emma Bedor, Communication Studies: (En)coding Inclusiveness in Smartphone Applications for Mentally Disordered Users
  • Deniz Coral, Anthropology: Markets with Many Faces: The Role of Screens in the Financial Imagination
  • Alexander Fink, Social Work: Locating Human Possibility and Aspirations in Social Service Mass Data Collection Systems
  • Amelia Hassoun, Anthropology: Big Data, Big Futures: Imagining the Singaporean Smart Nation
  • Katelin Krieg, English: Victorian Data Analysis and Visualization
  • Alicia Lazzarini, Geography: Critically Expanding ‘Data’: Methods for Examining a Southern African Sugar Success
  • Lars MacKenzie, Gender, Women, and Sexuality: Accounting for Change: Big Data, Gender Transition and Financial Surveillance of Identity
  • Stephen Savignano, Anthropology: Interaction / Machination: Thinking Machines through Interactive Computation
  • Link Swanson, Philosophy: User interfaces and the epistemology of the new computational cognitive revolution
  • Madison Van Oort, Sociology: Well-Dressed Data: Workplace Surveillance in the World’s Top Retailers

 

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UMII Graduate Fellowships

MnDRIVE Fellowships are awarded to PhD graduate students currently pursuing research at the University of Minnesota at the intersection of informatics and any of the four MnDRIVE areas: Robotics, sensors and advanced manufacturing; global food ventures; advancing industry, conserving our environment; and discoveries and treatments for brain conditions.

Informatics Fellowships are awarded to PhD graduate students currently pursuing research in areas of informatics that focus on the development of methodologies, including, but not limited to algorithm development, mathematical foundation of data analysis, and statistical advances for big data.

The following students received awards:

UMII Graduate Fellows

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MnDRIVE Fellows AY 16-17

  • Gabriel Al-Ghalith, Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology
  • Hannah Gray, Entomology
  • Joseph Guhlin, Plant Biology
  • Eric Kees, Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology
  • Tyler Maunu, Mathematics
  • John O'Neill, Mechanical Engineering
  • Pajau Vangay, Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology
  • Yuezhou Wang, Materials Science
  • Scott White, Chemical Engineering
  • Zhiyuan Xu, Biostatistics

MnDRIVE Fellows AY 15-16

  • Xi Chen, Computer Science
  • Rodney Dockter, Mechanical Engineering
  • Julio Godoy, Computer Science
  • Allison Haaning, Plant Biology
  • Matthew Haas, Plant Pathology
  • Bryan Jones, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics
  • Junghi Kim, Biostatistics
  • Jeffrey Moulton, Mathematics
  • Cheng Qiu, Psychology
  • Tyler Tiede, Plant Breeding
  • Dimitrios Zermas, Computer Science

Informatics Fellows AY 15-16

  • Kejun Huang, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Anuj Karpatne, Computer Science
  • Donald Musgrove, Biostatistics
  • Tien Nguyen, Computer Science

 

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Transdisciplinary Faculty Fellows

The Transdisciplinary Faculty Fellows award awards positions recently promoted associate professors to provide leadership in transdisciplinary collaborative projects at the interface of informatics and an application area. With the help of their college/campus, fellowship recipients will build a network of researchers and scholars across University of Minnesota academic units and connect to Minnesota industry or organizations. Fellows will leverage this network for research/funding opportunities that address societal challenges and leverage Minnesota’s competitive advantage. This award meets the goal of growing award winning faculty, which is one of the supporting goals of the Vision & Cornerstones of the strategic plan of the Office of the Vice President for Research. The recipients of this award are:

Transdisciplinary Fellows

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Marshall Hampton, Ph.D. University of Minnesota Duluth, Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Dr. Hampton is the bioinformatics expert in collaborative teams across diverse applications, including mammalian hibernation, the blood-brain barrier, and nectar production in plants. This research contributes to important medical and industrial applications: nectar production is important in many commercial crops; the mechanisms of metabolic change in hibernation can lead to new therapies for human obesity; and a molecular understanding of the blood-brain barrier can be useful in drug development. The support provided to Dr. Hampton will benefit the ongoing efforts of the Swenson College of Science and Engineering to advance their informatics initiative.

Adrian Hegeman, Ph.D. University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Department of Horticulture and Plant Biology; Microbial and Plant Genomics Institute

Dr. Hegeman’s work on plant metabolism combines plant analytical chemistry with informatics and mathematical modeling to advance research in two MnDRIVE areas, Global Food Ventures and Advancing Industry, Conserving our Environment. His work leads to the identification of compounds in plants that have scientific or commercial value, and contributes to crop plant breeding, plant disease control, and development of plant-based preservatives. The support provided to Dr. Hegeman will benefit the larger research community through making tools for metabolomics and protein turnover publicly available.

Volkan Isler, Ph.D., University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Department of Computer Science and Engineering; Institute on the Environment

Dr. Isler’s collaborative research on creative applications of robotics in precision agriculture and tracking of invasive fish are in the emerging and highly promising area of robotic sensor networks, a focus of the MnDRIVE area on Robotics, Sensors, and Advanced Manufacturing. His fundamental theoretical contributions to robotic sensor networks will allow field scientists to monitor the environment in real time, food industry to automate quality inspection, or emergency response teams to gain immediate situational awareness in a disaster site. This support provided to Dr. Isler will benefit the College of Science and Engineering’s MnDRIVE initiative on Robotics, Sensors, and Advanced Manufacturing.

Mihailo Jovanovic, Ph.D., University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Jovanovic’s research on fluid flows has broad applications, ranging from wind turbines, airfoil dynamics, to chemical reactor mixing. He has made seminal contributions to modeling and control of such systems, which has led to novel insights into understanding conditions that lead to turbulence. These insights have wide-ranging implications from biotechnology applications at the nano-scale to design of surfaces of wind turbine blades to reduce friction. The support provided to Dr. Jovanovic will also benefit the College of Science and Engineering’s MnDRIVE initiative on Robotics, Sensors, and Advanced Manufacturing.

Molly McCue, Ph.D., University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine; Microbial and Plant Genomics Institute

Dr. McCue’s research on metabolic and neuromuscular diseases in horses spans from applied clinical research to molecular genetics. She has developed genomics approaches that transfer to other organisms, and has collaborated across animal and plant sciences to leverage methodologies across scientific fields. Her goal of bringing together researchers using genomics and proteomics approaches to study comparative animal models will address the limitations faced by researchers who study non-human animal models. The support provided to Dr. McCue will also benefit the College of Veterinary Medicine’s commitment to bioinformatics through the development of core resources and educational modules for faculty and students.

Pete Willemsen, Ph.D., University of Minnesota Duluth, Department of Computer Science

Dr. Willemsen’s research on visualization and virtual reality environments brings insights into cognitive issues on perception in virtual reality environments. Through collaborations with researchers in cognitive and brain research, he will develop and test methods to help children diagnosed with brain disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder. His research contributes to MnDRIVE efforts in Discoveries and Treatments of Brain Conditions. The support provided to Dr. Willemsen will also benefit the ongoing efforts of the Swenson College of Science and Engineering to advance their informatics initiative.

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Faculty in Industry Fellowship Awards

The Industry Fellowships support faculty engagements with industry on collaborative projects at the interface of informatics and an application or in core informatics areas. UMII facilitates collaborations with industry by working directly with companies to solicit projects. Industry collaborations can also be directly initiated by faculty. This award meets OVPR's vision of Advancing Transdisciplinary Partnerships through providing funding and shared resources to implement partnerships and through reengineering public-private partnerships. It also meets the vision of Accelerating Transfer of Knowledge for the Public Good through expanding economic development and external engagement. Recipients of this award are:

Industry Awards

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Vladimir Cherkassky, Ph.D. (Electrical & Computer Engineering): Professor Cherkassky’s first project on Forecasting and Detection of Epileptic Seizures from EEG Signals is a collaboration with Mayo Clinic's Electrophysiology Laboratory, located in Rochester MN, and addresses the MnDRIVE area of Discoveries and Treatments for Brain Conditions. The second project on Machine Learning Methods for Data-Driven Donor Matching is collaboration with the National Marrow Donor Program, which is located in the Twin Cities

Matteo Convertino, Ph.D. (School of Public Health): Professor Convertino is an assistant professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Public Health and a MnDRIVE Global Food Scholar. His collaboration with HealthPartners to investigate how food system factors are influenced by socio-behavioral, economic, and environmental determinants in relation to obesity addresses the MnDRIVE Global Food Ventures challenge.

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On the Horizon Awards

The On the Horizon Awards prepare teams of researchers for upcoming funding opportunities. This award meets OVPR's vision of Enhancing Research Excellence through promoting targeted initiatives where the University can demonstrate global prominence.

Horizon Awards

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Ce Yang, Ph.D. (Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering) Crop Stress Detection and Nutrition Management Decision Using Airborne Hyperspectral Imaging and Spectroscopy. Collaborators: Forrest Izuno, Southern Research and Outreach Center; Ford Denison, Southern Research and Outreach Center; Gregg Johnson, Southern Research and Outreach Center; Randy Gettle, Farm Nutrients, INC.; Alexandra Hummel, Farm Nutrients, Inc. (Awarded: April 2016)

Chengyan Yue, Ph.D. (Horticultural Science) Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water: Reclaiming Wastewater from Local Food Industries to Produce Energy and High-value Urban Crops. Collaborators: Mary ROgers, Horicultural Science; Alptekin Aksan, Mechanical Engineering; Neil Anderson, Horticultural Science; Bill Arnold, Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering; Julie Grossman, Horticultural Science; William Northrop, Mechanical Engineering; Paige Novak, Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering. (Awarded: April 2016)

Angus MacDonald III, Ph.D. (Psychology) Human Connectome Project (HCP) Hosting at the Minnesota Supercomputer Institute (MSI). Collaborators: Gowtham Atluri, Computer Science & Engineering; Vipin Kumar, Computer Science & Engineering; Bob Krueger, Department of Psychology; Nathaniel E. Helwig, Departments of Psychology and Statistics; Steve Malone, Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research (MCTFR); Katie Cullen, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine; Kelvin Lim, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine; Jazmin Camchong, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine. (Awarded: December 2015)

Larry Wackett, Ph.D. (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biophysics) MnDRIVE-Related Informatics for Industrial Production and Remediation of Chemicals. Collaborators: Alptekin Aksan, Mechanical Engineering; Carrie Wilmot, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biophysics; Mikael Elias, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biophysics; Dan Knights, Computer Science & Engineering. (Awarded: June 2015)

Rajesh Rajamani, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering) Development of Wearable Instrument for Unobtrusive Monitoring of Calorie Intake. Collaborators: Shalamar Sibley, Endocrinology, Department of Medicine; Vassilis Moreallas, Computer Science & Engineering; Nikolaos Papanikopoulos, Computer Science & Engineering. (Awarded: June 2015)

Steven Manson, Ph.D. (Geography) Desert in the Deluge: Gaps in the Big Data of Food, Energy, and Water. Collaborators: J. Gerber, B. Keeler, S. Ruggles, S. Shekar, V. Interrante, J. Srivastava, P. West, D. Ray, K. Brauman, S. Polasky. . (Awarded: June 2015)

Sripriya Rajamani, Ph.D., (Division of Health Policy and Management) Immunization Data Integration across Clinical Care and Public Health Spectrums (Awarded: September 2014)

Rui Zhang, Ph.D. (Institute for Health Informatics and Department of Surgery) Professor Zhang is leading a group of researchers to generate preliminary results for a proposal to develop a large-scale discovery of drug-supplements interactions (DSIs) from the biomedical literature. (Awarded: July 2014)

Dan Knights, Ph.D. (Computer Science & Engineering): Professor Knights is an assistant professor who is leading a large group of faculty, students, and staff interested in metagenomics. The University has much strength in this new research area, and researchers are distributed among numerous colleges and schools. This highly interdisciplinary group is preparing grant applications to the National Science Foundation. (Awarded: May 2014)

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Updraft Awards

The Updraft awards provide support to faculty and their labs or research groups to increase their skill levels in informatics. Examples of support include participation in workshops or hiring an undergraduate student to perform some preliminary data analysis to enhance the informatics capability of a research group. This award meets OVPR's vision of Accelerating Transfer of knowledge for the Public Good through increasing informatics capabilities.

Updraft Awards

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Molly McCue, Ph.D. (Veterinary Population Medicine) Undergraduate Informatics Research Support (Awarded: March 2016)

Christine Clouser, Ph.D., (Institute for Molecular Virology) Investigation of decitabine-induced mutagenesis (Awarded: March 2016)

Terrence Adam, Ph.D. (Department of Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems) Medication Therapy Management Ontology for Clinical Quality and Outcome Assessment (Awarded: December 2015)

York Marahrens, Ph.D. (Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development) Alu and LINE-1 Transposon Abundance Modulate Human Gene Expression (Awarded: December 2015)

Nicolas Phelps (College of Veterinary Medicine) and Luis Escobar, Ph.D. (College of Veterinary Medicine) Disease Modeling in Aquatic Ecosystems (Awarded: December 2015)

Michael McCartney, Ph.D. (Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center) Bioinformatics support for de novo assembly of a draft genome sequence for the invasive zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha (Awarded: December 2015)

Matthew Russell, PH.D. (Department of Forest Resources) The Forest Carbon Xplorer: integrating forest carbon attributes in the face of climate change challenges (Awarded: December 2015)

David Largaespada, Ph.D. (Masonic Cancer Center) and Rebecca LaRue, Ph.D. (Masonic Cancer Center) Attendance at Statistical Methods for Functional Genomics at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (Awarded: March 2015)

Daniel Bond, Ph.D., and Jon Badalamenti Ph.D. (Biotechnology Institute and Microbiology) Attendance at JGI Microbial Genomics and Metagenomics Workshop (Awarded: March 2015)

Larry Wackett, Ph.D. (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biophysics) Travel to Informatics Workshop Focused on Predicting Biodegradation Enzymes (Awarded: December 2014)

Daniel Bond, Ph.D., and Jon Badalamenti Ph.D. (Biotechnology Institute and Microbiology) (MnDRIVE): Participation in one-day user group meeting hosted by Pacific Biosciences to learn about new approaches to bacterial community analysis and shotgun metagenomics sequencing. (Awarded: June 2014)

Vladimir Cherkassky, Ph.D. (Electrical & Computer Engineering): Support for preliminary data analysis for collaborative work with Mayo on “Detecting periodicity in short time series for synchronization of treatment delivery in cancer patients. (Awarded: March 2014)

Genevieve Melton-Meaux (Institute for Health Informatics and Department of Surgery) and Rubina Rizvi (Health Informatics): 4- day Training Course at Chicago Usability Meeting: user interface development for electronic health records. (Awarded: March 2014)

David Odde (Biomedical Engineering) (MnDRIVE): Adding bioinformatics expertise to his lab through supporting a junior scientist on a project that identifies gene expression changes in glioma cells. (Awarded: March 2014)

 

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