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Boise State to Host Big Data Experts from the West

By: Sherry Squires   Published 8:20 am / August 28, 2018

Big data graphic

The effective, ethical use of “big data” poses great opportunity, as well as great challenges, and solving those challenges will require big thinking from a variety of perspectives.

Boise State University will host the West Big Data Innovation Hub Open Annual All Hands Meeting on Sept. 20, bringing together industry, academia, nonprofits and government agencies. Attendees will collaboratively discuss topics like data science education, data ethics, smart and connected communities, health data, infrastructure and more.

The West Hub is one of four regional innovation hubs across the country, launched by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to build and strengthen partnerships across industry, academia, nonprofits, and government to address scientific and societal challenges.

Led by the University of California-Berkeley, University of California-San Diego, and University of Washington, the hub spans 13 western states.

As part of the NSF big data hub program, a multidisciplinary Boise State research team was awarded the university’s first grant at the intersection of big data science and public policy in 2017. The team is investigating how big data is perceived by criminal justice agencies in the western United States and what challenges and opportunities exist moving forward. Led by Associate Professor Eric Lindquist, with the help of undergraduate and graduate students, the team is collaborating with data experts in computer science at Boise State, and conducted a series of workshops with a number of public safety agencies.

The annual all-hands meeting — the third of its kind — is expected to draw participants from 13 western states, as well as Washington, D.C.

The agenda includes: updates on flagship initiatives and funding opportunities from the National Science Foundation and other organizations; California Safe Drinking Water Data Challenge updates and regional collaborations; community-led sessions on data science education, data ethics, smart and connected communities, health data, infrastructure, and more; and networking opportunities and hands-on facilitated collaboration sprints for mapping current and future projects.

Sessions will run from 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Sept. 20 in the Boise State Student Union Building. Learn more at

Learn more about the West Big Data Innovation Hub at