Datasets of enormous complexity and size are being generated in the diverse areas of genomics, imaging, electronic health records, social media and environmental monitoring. The insights obtained from these massive data sources will inform the prevention and treatment of human diseases and play a major role in biology, medicine and public health in the coming decade. But more training is needed to prepare the next generation of leaders to tackle these challenges.
The Big Data Summer Institute in Biostatistics, a six-week interdisciplinary training and research program at the University of Michigan, has been designed to introduce undergraduate students to the growing number of approaches to big data:
- First, students gain a comprehensive overview of the field of big data by attending a variety of lectures in the mornings and working on research projects in the afternoons.
- On Fridays, participants take part in professional preparation activities and attend journey lectures at lunch. Journey lectures showcase academic journeys of researchers at different stages of their career in data science.
- At the conclusion of the institute, each research project group presents their findings and learns about other student projects at a concluding research symposium. The program wraps up with a professional development workshop on the last day.
- Throughout the program, our participants have the unique opportunity to interact with distinguished faculty and graduate students from the U-M departments of biostatistics, information science, statistics, and electrical engineering and computer science.
In addition to the academic setting, BDSI also hosts social events throughout the program- kayaking the Huron River, tour of the 'Big House', trip to the Detroit Institute of Art, a group BBQ, and more.
The program receives input and guidance from an internal advisory committee consisting of five University of Michigan faculty members: