BigSkyEarth Conference – Education in Big Data Era

BigSkyEarth Conference – Education in Big Data Era

Big data trends in modern astronomy and Earth observation make those fields increasingly dependent on computer science. Actually, so dependent that often they have to be considered as new interdisciplinary fields of research. This collides with the traditional educational programs where students in astronomy and Earth observation do not receive training adequate for the era of big data. 

A new generation of scientists in the age of interdisciplinarity

The BigSkyEarth conference in Sorrento, Italy, on October 24&25, 2016, will address the question of how to train a new generation of astronomy and Earth observation scientists in the age of interdisciplinarity driven by big data. Modern data-intensive research requires natural science students trained in software engineering, algorithms, and data mining, data management and visualization. These trends challenge the current paradigm of what constitutes education in astronomy or Earth observation.

Should young natural scientists become more similar to IT/CS professionals, or vice versa? Is this derailing students from their core research? Does this require entirely new PhD programs or students can fill their gaps in skills by taking specialized online courses? Whose job is to devise these new courses and how to motivate the research community to take the effort? How much does this shortage of young natural scientists with big data skills jeopardize the upcoming big data facilities in astronomy and Earth observation?

Registration and Reimbursements

BigSkyEarth COST Action will provide reimbursements for travel and accommodation to a limited number of conference participants (NOTE: the deadline has expired). In the registration from below you can also apply for reimbursement – the deadline is September 24, 2016. The final number of participants selected for reimbursement will be based on the available budget. Participants who have posters or talks have a priority in being selected for reimbursements. Eligible are participants who are coming from institutions in: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, fYR Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom. Members of the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory from Armenia are also eligible for grants.

A priority will be given to BigSkyEarth members those who submit extended abstracts, but also a special consideration will be taken with respect to supporting COST policies on promoting gender balance, enabling Early Career Investigators and broadening geographical inclusiveness. If you are not a BigSkyEarth member, follow instructions for registration in “Become a Member” section (see the right column on this page).


Workshop Venue, Travel and Accommodation

The conference shares the venue and a part of its program with the IAU Symposium on astrinformatics. The location is Congress Center of the Grand Hotel Vesuvio, located in Sorrento, Italy, where the accommodation is also organized. All the details are available at the IAU Symposium website.

Please be aware that it is prudent to make hotel reservations as soon as possible!!


The program is available HERE.

Book of abstracts (uncorrected!) is available HERE.

What is BigSkyEarth?

With the current emergence of Terabyte(TB)-scale astronomical and Earth observation systems, the traditional approach to basic functions such as data searching, analytics or visualization are becoming increasingly difficult to handle. Simple database queries can result now in data subsets so large that they are incomprehensible, slow (or even impossible) to handle, and impossible to visualize with commodity visualization tools. Astronomy and remote sensing complement each other, as they are on the quest for new Big Data interpretation capabilities: both disciplines have peculiar data, typical data processing and analysis chains, and specific models to be fed with data. However, both disciplines lack the capabilities for easily accessible semantics-oriented browsing (usage of higher level descriptive expressions) in large data archives. Therefore, joint efforts to design and develop innovative Big Data tools should help users in many different fields and set new standards for many communities. This has identified several broad challenges to this line of reasoning that need multidisciplinary approach through international networking of experts and professionals. These challenges are then channelled into Action Objectives:
Challenge A: Digital curation and data access
Challenge B: New frontiers in visualization
Challenge C: Adaptation to new high performance computing (HPC) technologies
Challenge D: New generation of scientists in the age of interdisciplinarity
For more detail see the Action’s Memorandum of Understanding.

Scientific Organizing Committee

Chair: Dejan Vinkovic, Science and Society Synergy institute, Croatia
Marco Quartulli, Vicomtech, Spain
Victor Debattista, University of Central Lancashire, UK
Blagoj Delipetrev, University Goce Delcev, fYR Macedonia
Robert Ross, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland
Brian Mac Namee, University College Dublin, Ireland
Bozena CZERNY, Copernicus Astronomical Center, Poland
Gottfried Schwarz, German Aerospace Center DLR, Germany
Darko Jevremovic, Astronomical Observatory Belgrade, Serbia
Giuseppe Longo, Università Federico II in Napoli, Italiy
Massimo Brescia, Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Italy
André Moitinho de Almeida, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
Karine ZEITOUNI, University of Versailles-St-Quentin, France
Sven Loncaric, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Uroš Kostic, Aalta Lab, Slovenia
Olga Kurasova, Vilnius University, Lithuania
Christian Muller, BUSOC, Belgium
Andrea Marinoni, University of Pavia, Italy
Nicholas Walton, University of Cambridge, UK
Maria GRITSEVICH, Finnish Geospatial Research Institute, Finland

Scientific Advisory Committee

Javad ZARBAKHSH, Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, Austria
Andre Fuzfa, University of Namur, Belgium
Ognyan KOUNCHEV, Institute of mathematics and informatics, Bulgaria
Nikolay KIROV, New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria
Milcho TSVETKOV, Institute of Mathematics and Informatics, Bulgaria
Almir KARABEGOVIC, Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Marko SUBASIC, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Petr SKODA, Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic
Pavel SMRZ, Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic
Kim S. PEDERSEN, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Tiit KUTSER, Estonian Marine Institute, Estonia
Kaupo VOORMANSIK, Tartu Observatory, Estonia
Jouni PELTONIEMI, University of Helsinki, Finland
Sanna MNKL, University of Jyvsky, Finland
Emmanuel GANGLER, Clermont University, France
Sofian MAABOUT, University of Bordeaux, France
Frdric ARENOU, Observatoire de Paris, France
Mihai Datcu, German Aerospace Center DLR, Germany
Vassilis TSIAFAKIS, University of Peloponnese, Greece
Manolis KOUBARAKIS, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
Gyula SZABO, Gothard Astrophysical Observatory, Hungary
Laszlo KISS, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary
Bianca SCHOEN-PHELAN, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland
Doron CHELOUCHE, University of Haifa, Israel
Paolo GAMBA, Universit degli studi di Pavia, Italy
Giovanni NICO, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy
Viktor MEDVEDEV, Vilnius University, Lithuania
Alessio MAGRO, University of Malta, Malta
Andrea DEMARCO, University of Malta, Malta
Brown ANTHONY, Leiden University, Netherlands
Michal POSYNIAK, Institute of Geophysics – Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
Paula ANCA, National Institute for Aerospace Research, Romania
Ioan PLOTOG, Politehnica University of Bucharest, Romania
Andreea BOSCORNEA, The National Institute of Aerospace Research “ELIE CARAFOLI” – INCAS, Romaina
Boris ANTIC, BioSense Center, Serbia
Predrag LUGONJA, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
Luca DAZ-VILARIO, University of Vigo, Spain
Laurent NOEL, University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom
Eduardo GONZALES-SOLARES, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Miroslav MIRCHEV, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, fYR Macedonia
Andreja NAUMOSKI, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, fYR Macedonia
Zeljko Ivezic, University of Washington, USA
Mattia Vaccari, University of the Western Cape, South Africa