SAAT: Complex Systems, Big Data/Secure Computing

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1 SAAT: Complex Systems, Big Data/Secure Computing Preamble This strategic area covers three distinct but interrelated topics: Complex Systems, Big Data and Secure Computing. Complex systems focus on the understanding and enhancement of design, management, performance, learning and adaptation of interconnected parts or processes over their life span. Big data refers to volumes of both structured and unstructured data that are too large to be effectively processed by traditional algorithmic, database and software engineering techniques. Secure computing refers to the development and maintenance of computing systems that are dependable and secure in the face of intrusions. At the convergence of computation, communications, control, cognitive processes and health, these topics cut across many colleges/ schools and disciplines and present major opportunities for scholars and practitioners alike in the 21 st century, e.g., medical care and discovery; drug design and testing; efficient product, process and servicing design and execution; supply chain management; combined behavioral/brain research; and the associated data storage, search and analytics. A Matrix View of Strategic Areas UConn currently has extensive strengths related to the three topics upon which to build this initiative. A particular example is the newly established Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering with major investment from the United Technologies Corporation and UConn. This strategic initiative requests investment to integrate and enhance existing capacity; to enable UConn to better respond to large competitive opportunities; and to position UConn as a leader in multidisciplinary research, education and outreach in Complex Systems, Big Data and Secure Computing. UConn will be able to contribute to the development of innovative solutions to some of the most significant and emerging challenges facing society, while educating next generation students in both STEM and non- STEM disciplines. 1. What are the specific, original and unique aspects of the strategic area that UConn should pursue? Complex Systems: Increasing our understanding of complex interactions among genes affecting major diseases; Accurately predicting new drug molecules in silico before chemical synthesis; 1

2 Designing cyber-physical systems comprised of mechanical components, networked embedded systems and application software, and acceleration of technological translation into sustained industrial growth; Understanding of how feedback processes in the brain give rise to rational and irrational behavior at the individual and collective levels. Big Data: Setting up systems for big data analysis with clinical and pharmaceutical work to address the needs of medical care and drug discovery. Synergistically integrating the above with strengths in academic departments, the Booth Engineering Center for Advanced Technology (BECAT), and relevant activities at UCHC, Jackson Labs, the new fmri facility, & the new UTC Institute in Advanced Systems Engineering. Secure Computing: Strengthening UConn s capability on high performance and secure computing and enhancing collaboration among the faculty from various departments with the Center for Hardware Assurance, Security, and Engineering (CHASE), and the Center for Information Assurance and Computer Systems Security (CIACSS). Themes and Sub-themes: See Appendix a. What are the intellectual merits of the strategic area in advancing the field? Many of today s modern systems such as those used in robotics, commercial aviation, electronic devices and cars rely on integrated components mechanical parts, control systems, networked embedded systems, application software and user interfaces to operate. Similarly, the experimental, computational, and mathematical study of human cognitive processing, such as language processing and brain research, relies on the theory of Complex Systems. This strategic area will use holistic as well as targeted analysis, control, monitoring and predictive analytics to ensure high performance, innovation, and cost tracking of constituent parts and whole systems. America s economic growth and its security are inextricably linked to our ability to capitalize on the promise of Big Data and Secure Computing. Unfortunately, our ability to collect data has far outpaced our skill in analyzing and using it. For instance, a single DNA sequencer generates terabytes of data per day, and the raw data produced by the Large Hadron Collider would fill over 100,000 CDs per second. This is unparalleled in history. The development of this strategic area will enable us to understand the Complex Systems involved and to develop efficient algorithms to securely process the Big Data generated. With the advent of Complex Systems, Big Data and their translations to knowledge, the profession of medicine will undergo its most significant transformation since Osler and the Flexner Report in the early 20th Century. Physicians will integrate into inter-disciplinary teams with arrays of technical and social science skill sets. These teams will, by access to Big Data analysis, be able to continually remodel and assess healthcare systems for value and cost. The skeleton that will maintain this dynamic process will be the computational architecture holding the many and diverse components together. Medical practice will be able to move from a focus on individuals to populations, enjoy greater access to evidence, and address social problems within and across societies. Testifying to UConn s current strength and future potential, United Technologies Corporation and UConn recently unveiled a $20 million UTC Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering at UConn. The Institute will conduct world-class research on cyber-physical systems and educate engineers in urgently needed areas of analytical systems engineering deemed pivotal to innovation and product enhancement in today s globally competitive economy. Cognitive science lies at the intersection of neuro and genetic investigations into the fundamental mechanisms of brain processing, meso-level functional brain imaging, and the macro-level 2

3 interaction among humans in social groups. Computation is central to this development the theory of computing, with its close ties to logic and linguistics, permits understanding of macrostructures, and the intensive computational modeling of neural and behavioral phenomena can reveal the inter-relationship between the macro and the micro. According to The Economist, the data management and analytics sector is already worth more than $100 billion and is growing at almost 10 percent per year about twice as fast as the software sector as a whole. Data, says The Economist, is the new raw material of business: an economic input almost on par with capital and labor. For example, Amazon.com has a micro second to determine the best shipping option in the time it takes to go from the product screen to the shopping cart; GE Capital gives an auto insurance quote in a matter of seconds to a customer at the dealership; and hurricane evacuations require real time analysis of traffic, weather and social media data. These have tremendous implications on financial risk management and ethics. b. What are the transformative aspects of the strategic area? The transformative aspects of the strategic area include: Conducting world-class research at the convergence of computation, communications, control, cognitive processes and health management across engineering, medicine, mathematics, statistics, physical sciences, business, and social/behavioral sciences. Educating undergraduate and graduate students as well as practicing professionals in urgently needed areas of complex systems, big data and secure computing, pivotal in today s globally competitive economy. Making effective use of the proposed infrastructure to increase the capacity and competitive appeal of the University, including but not limited to Storrs, UCHC, the Hartford Campus, the Avery Point Campus, the Stamford Campus, and Jackson Labs. 2. What strengths and potentials exist at UConn in the strategic area? UConn s strengths in this strategic area fall into four major categories: Engineering, Health Sciences, Cognitive Sciences and Business. Engineering: Many engineering faculty members are in complex systems, big data and secure computing with well-known leaders in professional societies and very high research expenditures per faculty. Testifying to the strength and future potential on complex systems, United Technologies Corporation and UConn will unveil a $20 million UTC Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering at UConn. The Booth Engineering Center for Advanced Technology (BECAT) has a state-of-the art High Performance Computing (HPC) facility. BECAT also has a great strength in algorithms for big data analyses, data mining, text mining, out-of-core computing, parallel & high performance computing, and for a spectrum of fundamental computing problems. In secure computing, interdisciplinary faculty collaborations are underway within the Center for Hardware Assurance, Security, and Engineering (CHASE), which enjoys substantial support from the aerospace/defense/financial sectors as well as DOD. Also, Engineering and Business have a joint center, the Center for Information Assurance and Computer Systems Security (CIACSS). Health Sciences: Internationally recognized research groups at the UConn Health Center (UCHC) work on methods dealing with big data, e.g., genomics, computational cell biology, systems medicine, structural biology, and health informatics. Recently, UCHC established the Center for Quantitative Medicine (CQM) and initiated a cross-campus systems pharmacology and pharmacogenomics program that is highly related to complex systems. 3

4 The UCHC Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling (CCAM) has a state-of-the-art HPC facility hosting the data archive. The Virtual Cell modeling and simulation platform developed at CCAM is the most widely used spatial cellular modeling software worldwide. The recently established Laboratory for Genomic Medicine (JGM) on the UCHC campus will be a major boost to UConn. Several UCHC/JAX joint faculties were already appointed and JGM will collaborate with CQM, CCAM, BECAT and Statistics in the study of genomics and transcriptomics big data. The School of Pharmacy already has nationally recognized healthcare-directed basic research programs in health-outcomes research and patient-centered care pioneered by faculty in the Department of Pharmacy Practice. The Health Outcomes, Policy, and Economics (HOPE) group was one of only 14 federal Healthcare Research and Quality Evidence-based Practice Centers. Faculty in Medicinal Chemistry will collaborate with researchers in Engineering on the design of novel drugs related to ligand interactions. In the School of Engineering, there are well regarded research groups in Bioinformatics and Biomedical Informatics. In MCB and in Chemistry, strong collaborative research is going on with Statistics for biomarker identification. These groups are well funded by NIH and NSF. Some of the software products from these groups are widely used worldwide, e.g., the minimotif miner (mnm.engr.uconn.edu) for motif search. Cognitive Sciences: The recent UConn Cognitive Science NSF IGERT program involving Linguistics, Speech Language and Hearing Sciences, and Psychology links genes, brains, behavior and computational modeling of language, and will collaborate with Engineering and Statistics on graduate training. The Neag School of Education Data Analysis Training Institute of Connecticut (DATIC) will collaborate with Engineering and Statistics on graduate training. UConn s first rank program in Philosophical Logic, with strong ties to computing theory, will interface with Psychology and Statistics to work on the nature of computation in brain. Research labs in Psychology known for dynamical (complex) systems approaches will collaborate with Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, and Statistics on conditions of effective coordination in individual and social feedback systems. The UConn Board of Trustees recently approved an $8 million investment for a neuroimaging (fmri) facility that will be housed at Storrs. Collaboration with BECAT will support computationally intensive analysis of brain data. Haskins Laboratories in New Haven, a 70-year old independent research lab, known for seminal developments in analysis of speech, reading and brain will collaborate with Engineering on the development of the first integrated dynamical systems model of language processing across scales. Business: Numerous faculty in Marketing and Operations and Information Management work on big data problems in retailing, e-commerce, financial services and sustainability. The business school s MS in Business Analytics and Project Management program is a top 20, federally designated STEM program and is focused on big data analytics. Its enrollment has grown to about 150 students in two years. There are increasing applications of Big Data in Finance departments nationwide. Sixty percent of stock transactions are currently electronically executed by retail and institutional clients, and investment companies and business schools are making heavy investments in training faculty and students on the opportunities and risks associated with algorithmic trading. The UConn Finance department is currently considering developing courses on Big Data in both MBA and the new Financial Risk Management Programs. 4

5 Others: We apologize for missing existing strengths and potentials beyond the above in view of the very limited time available to prepare this report, but believe that this initiative will try to cover them as things develop. 3. What investments will be required to attain preeminence? The use of control, communication and computing technologies to translate understanding of Complex Systems and Big Data into knowledge, education, and business opportunities will not be by happenstance but require a nucleus around which to coalesce. Given the strengths at UConn in this strategic area outlined above, the first and foremost investment needed is to provide the framework that holds the existing pieces together, making the whole greater than the sum of its parts, and creating the base upon which to expand. We therefore propose the creation of a new intercampus UConn Complex Systems and Big Data to Knowledge (CSBD K ) Institute to provide the framework and infrastructure to consolidate the existing potential, integrate research across campuses and beyond, and stimulate innovative programs for discovery and education. The Institute will position the University on a path that, by prudent and strategic ongoing investment, achieves national and international preeminence. The Institute will be home for seminal technology and infrastructure that will anchor Universitywide capabilities and provides a platform that redefines both what questions can be asked and how they can be answered. It will be central to the education of a new cadre of researchers skilled in the science of Complex Systems, Big Data and Secure Computing, and elevate the general competencies in understanding complex systems, data usage and analysis across the CT workforce. The proposed CSBD K Institute will be tasked to address the following four aspects, as follows: (A planning committee will create a time line and budgeting document as a first priority) The UConn CSBD K Institute Data providers: JAX, DSS, Algorithms & Tools developers Private entities Educators University labs Health providers Bimodal management IntercampusPI exchange Cloud-like data storage and archival system Intercampus research support Interface for technology access Infrastructure Strengthening intercampus ties in education and research Outreach to private entities and state agencies Secure access to computational resources across campuses Shared data available for new algorithms & tools development Increased level of extramural funding Create a large, distributed, cloud-like data storage and archival system that is scalable, redundant, and policy-compliant, supporting a mix of public domain, protected, and private data collection and retrieval. A broadly conceived but precisely executed interface with an open platform for technology access, including virtual computing, customized domain-specific portals, and direct access, as needed. 5

6 Create a dedicated service and support core of system administrators, programmers, and computational scientists who will provide data analytics expertise, covering the thematic topics, maintain hardware/software resources, web management and all associated capabilities. Organization Create a physical presence with the mission to integrate research, education, and outreach. To foster collaboration and organizational cohesion, real time management will be bimodal with scheduled hours at both Storrs and Farmington. This will promote the One University model and promote best practices for decision making and troubleshooting. New Research and Education Create an intramural seed grant program in the $500K - $1M size range sponsoring biannual competitions for research related to the thematic topics. A held accountable goal will be to enhance collaboration across disciplines that lead to the submission of large competitive proposals to federal agencies, major industries and foundations. Create branded seminar- and all-university colloquium series covering the various sub-themes in a revolving schedule. Create a home for novel cutting edge interdisciplinary graduate training mechanisms fostering collaborations between SOE, CLAS, and SOM. Expansion (Downstream investment built of solid Year 1+ foundation) Create a new cluster hiring program for 5-10 faculty members over 5 years, with specific requirements of area of expertise bridging two or more current areas of disciplinary strength at UConn; the expectation is to be able to recruit one or more National Academy members in the out years, as the Institute takes shape and the above programs mature. Create a dedicated technology incubator program in complex systems/big data providing assistance to UConn faculty-initiated start-ups and to industry partnerships in research and collaborative business ventures. 4. Does the strategic area contribute to high-quality education and training of undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral fellows? If so, how? Undergraduates will be drawn to the universality by new concepts inherent in complex systems, big data and secure computing, the exciting technology and its real world market place advantages. Moreover, cross training and exposures to an array of disciplines will make undergraduate curriculum options both dynamic and highly competitive. In Electrical and Computer Engineering, there is a graduate program leading to the degrees of MS and Ph.D. with Information, Communication, Decision, and Biosystems as the area of concentration. There already exists a spectrum of courses in various departments and schools that could be utilized to educate undergraduate and graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. For instance, a successful new MS program in Business Analytics and Project Management is in place with an enrollment of 150 students, and a new course on Big Data Analytics will be offered in the CSE department in Spring Bringing researchers together through the proposed CSBD K with the state-of-art computing facilities and supporting services will significantly accelerate the process of placing UConn in the front line of producing graduates who are educated to contribute to their employers from day one in emerging areas such as individualized medicine, e-commerce, Internet of things, social networks, etc. New technologies developed or used by the proposed CSBD K will help create and implement a modern, cost-effective cross-campus educational platform and build opportunities for interprofessional education for students. 6

7 Demand for systems engineers, computational biologists, systems biologists, big data modelers and algorithm developers outstrips supply. Students who obtain education through programs in CSBD K will be in high demand on the job market. Several graduate, undergraduate and professional students as well as post-doctoral fellows from across schools expressed an interest in complex systems, computational modeling, and big data. Having CSBD k would provide a focal point for channeling these interests and ensuring crossdisciplinary education and training across schools. 5. Does the strategic area contribute to the growth of extramural research programs? If so, how? This strategic initiative will support extramural research by establishing new collaborative initiatives across UConn and with extramural partners in a systematic and sustainable manner. Examples include genomics with Jackson Labs/JGM; products, processes and services with United Technologies Corporation and other companies in Connecticut (e.g., Electric Boat, Stanley, Black & Decker) and the Nation (e.g., Fairchild Semiconductor, Comcast); and business analytics and cognitive science research with CIGNA. The initiative will also open up new avenues in the fields of drug discovery, drug interaction and resistance modeling, as well as pharmaceutical manufacturing processes for extramural research with partners from the pharmaceutical industries. To be successful in seeking large competitive federal grants requires putting together truly high performance and interdisciplinary teams. The Seed Grant Program will get ready teams of experts on emerging issues related to complex systems, big data and secure computing. Such collaboration and interaction among faculty will not only allow such teams to be assembled in a timely way in response to proposal calls but also allows the teams to demonstrate to the funding agency that they have a history of success in this type of work. Given the societal importance and emergent nature of complex systems, big data and secure computing, this strategic initiative will also capture the imagination and interests of alumni and donors. 6. Does the strategic area contribute to collaborations among schools and colleges? If so, how? Yes. By the very nature of complex systems, big data and secure computing, this strategic initiative cuts across almost all schools and colleges, and in particular, other strategic initiatives currently under consideration by the University Academic Vision Committee. Examples include: o This strategic initiative links CLAS strengths in Cognitive Science (Psychology, Linguistics, Speech-Language-and-Hearing-Sciences, and Philosophy) that is human-centered with deep understanding of complex systems and associated computational tools that form the physical foundation of Engineering, and analytical depth provided by Statistics and Mathematics. o Pharmaceutical research under this initiative will be done in collaboration with faculty members from Pharmacy, Engineering, and CLAS (e.g., Chemistry, MCB and statistics). o The proposed new Institute will focus synergistic efforts to put together large grant proposals. Such a new Institute will draw faculty from Business School into writing grant proposals. o By its very nature, big data science is multi-disciplinary. As a result, this strategic area supports collaborations across many UConn campuses. Most of the big data projects in biology already span across UCHC, the Storrs campus and JAX. Besides, big data science is strategically important for the new national initiative in advanced manufacturing and robotics. 7. What is the broader impact of the strategic area for promoting: a. Diversity This strategic initiative will promote technical diversity since it involves many schools and colleges. 7

8 We also envision strong recruitment directed toward hiring faculty members and recruiting students from underrepresented groups since the creativity of thought required for blending human (psycho-biological) and machine (engineering) domains is synergistic with cultural diversity among the contributors. The UConn-Residential Bridge Program, the da Vinci program and many other programs will be used to involve the underrepresented groups (women, African Americans, Hispanics, Puerto Ricans, and Native Americans) and high school teachers and counselors. b. Globalization The strategic initiative acts naturally across boundaries. Global supply chains, global diseases and pandemics, global communications and surveillance, international hacking and piracy, and global networking are characterized by complexity and big data as well as the need for secure computing. Advances made in the strategic area discussed above will have major global impacts since the issues are ubiquitous and can generate new knowledge in the academy which will stimulate business innovation and investment. c. Community outreach Projects derived from the proposed strategic initiative can be directed to specific municipal and community problems, e.g., infrastructure, public health, and innovations in public education. Community outreach will also be done via partners such as the Cognitive Science IGERT and Haskins Laboratories which engage the society at large with scientific insight into brain and literacy. d. Societal impact Advancements in complex systems, big data and secure computing will result in better products and services and better healthcare thus benefiting society at large. Progresses will also provide an informed and evidence-based approach for coordinated choice-making on climate change, and provide a global-intersection to address the shared problems of literacy, economic vitality and economic inequity. e. Economic development Many of the projects that arise from this strategic initiative should be of interest to Connecticut industries, and this should result in economic development and the accompanying jobs and businesses for the people of Connecticut. For example, interfacing health informatics with research data analytics can lead to progress towards personalized medicine and drug discovery. These and other products will encourage partnership with the insurance, pharmaceutical and biotechnology private sector. Tech Park companies and UConn Incubator companies can leverage the skills and technologies built in the proposed Institute, including trained students and researchers. 8. If investments are made in the strategic area, what are metrics to be used to measure success? 1. Interdisciplinary projects started 2. Increase in sponsored research dollars due to this initiative 3. Number of awards from large competitive proposals to federal agencies, major industries and foundations 4. Interdisciplinary and extra-mural events sponsored 5. Number and quality of novel cross-disciplinary journal publications 6. Number and quality of novel cross-disciplinary PhD theses 7. Number of invention disclosures 8. Number of patent applications 9. Number of patents awarded 10. Number of license/options executed 11. Number of startup companies 8

9 12. Revenue from income generating licenses 13. Investment by alumni and stakeholder supporters Appendix: Themes and Subthemes in Complex Systems, Big Data/Secure Computing Medical care and discovery Biomedical Research Integrated research in genomics, biomedical engineering, drug development and basic and clinical imaging Infrastructure for informatics, statistics, and computational modeling and simulation Collaboration and scientific interactions with Storrs faculty Opportunity for PPP (Public-Private Partnerships) for the State of Connecticut. Biomedical Education Inter-professional education for medical and dental students High quality graduate programs Student research at the level to be competitive for extramural funding Streamlined pathways for students at the high school and college level to pursue biomedical careers Health Care for the Citizens of Connecticut and Beyond A primary care network for coordinated inter-professional care teams Appropriate mix of tertiary/quaternary service Improved quality of outcomes and access to all services Development of systems/technologies for enhanced clinical decision making through the use of Artificial Intelligence Health Professional assist devices that access knowledge repositories. Enhancement of Population Health and Health Equity Optimization of prevention programs and identification of high risk populations Health Equity: developing targeted multi-discipline cross campus programs and the creation of virtual medical homes. Health insurance analysis, comparative effectiveness research Partnership with state agencies to reduce Medicaid costs Impact on Student and Postgraduate training in the fusion of clinical care and population health Comparison of large data sets without boundaries to study and contrast at risk and disadvantaged populations. Rapid and efficient access to data at the community level again assisted by hand held Artificial intelligence devices that provide bidirectional traffic to cloud data-marts. Health insurance analysis, comparative effectiveness research Intelligent search tools for answering clinical questions Cognitive Science Psycholinguistics the link between language structure and language processing via dynamical systems theory Combined Behavioral/Brain research Neuroimaging research into the causes of and remediation of illiteracy Animal homologs of reading areas in the human brain Autism, Specific Language Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury Logic Reverse mathematics, theory of computation, philosophical logic Products, processes and services Product design, modeling and verification 9

10 Manufacturing process design, development and maintenance Supply chain management and business process reengineering Services of products and processes and as an industry E-commerce, e-business resource management, online piracy and sharing, couponing Entrepreneurship, merger and acquisitions prediction and diversification High performance computing based modeling and scale up of pharmaceutical manufacturing processes High performance computing for structure-based drug design In-silico screening for designing of small molecule inhibitors Foundations Characterization and representation of hybrid dynamic systems Uncertainty analysis, model abstraction and robust design Sensing, control and optimization Agent-based modeling and control of large-scale distributed dynamic systems Advanced and secure hardware and software Big data representation and storage Fast algorithms for analyzing, searching and inferencing from big data Members of SAAT on Complex Systems, Big Data/Secure Computing Dipak Dey and Peter Luh (Co-Chairs); Yaakov Bar-Shalom, Michael Blinov, Bodhi Chaudhuri, Till Frank, Robert Gao, Chinmoy Ghosh, Tim Hunter, Richard Langlois, Joel Levine, Betsy McCoach, Ion Moraru, Suresh Nair, Krishna Pattipati, Sanguthevar Rajasekaran, and Whitney Tabor 10

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