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The Sound of Science - 'AI pt. 3'

NIU STEAM
NIU STEAM

The Sound of Science - 'AI pt. 3'

Welcome to The Sound of Science from WNIJ and NIU STEAM. It’s a weekly series explaining important STEM concepts. Today’s host is Dr. Kristin Brynteson.

With me again today is Dr. Michael Papka, professor of computer science here at NIU, and a scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. So, we've talked about supercomputers, we've talked about sensor networks. So today, let's talk about big data. What exactly is big data? And how does it impact our everyday lives?

Well, that's probably the toughest question you've asked Kristin. But it's a good one, right? So, we hear big data in the news every day. And it's one of those generic terms that kind of could mean anything to anybody. I mean, you can think about it in so many ways. Supercomputers we talked about in the first week, they generate big data, I have huge disk farms at Argonne that store data. The sensor networks we talked about last week, also are now generating vast amounts of data, these cheap low-cost tools, they produce tons of data. And we need to be able to process as all these things are really great examples of big data. And now with supercomputers and even our iPhone, we can do things that we never have been able to do before and process this data and make it useful to us. For example, at Argonne we're building and upgrading Argonne's advanced photon source. And what this is, is a big x-ray machine, you use it to image things, we can use it to image, brains. And so, we basically would shine the x-ray on it. This is going to generate vast amounts of data, then coupled with supercomputers, we can then reconstruct that that brain and our goal really there is to be able to reconstruct it at the neuron level.

Well, this has been so fascinating. I've learned so much talking to you over the last few weeks. So, thank you so much for joining us. And thank you for listening to The Sound of Science on WNIJ where you learn something new, every day.

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