Why UNLV is doubling down on big data

COURTESY Cherry Creek II, UNLV’s 26,000 processor supercomputer, is stored at Las Vegas data company Switch, pictured here. By Daniel Rothberg (contact) Sunday, June 19, 2016 | 2 a.m. Making sense of big data is often likened to finding a needle in a haystack. But a dean at UNLV’s engineering college says he’s improved the analogy. Organizing big data is more like finding one-tenth of a needle in a haystack, argues Rama Venkat, head of the Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering. “(And) there are not enough scientists to figure out what is in it,” he said. That’s where Venkat sees an opening for the university, which is hoping to ramp up its capabilities in data analytics. The effort began with hiring a specialized computer scientist last year, allowing the expansion…

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