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H.V. Jagadish Awarded Gates Foundation Grant to leverage data for social good

H. V. Jagadish Enlarge
H. V. Jagadish

Prof. H.V. Jagadish, the Bernard A. Galler Collegiate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has won a $100,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for a project that uses big data to achieve social good as a part of the Foundation’s Grand Challenge Explorations. The goal of the program is to help expand the pipeline of ideas to fight diseases that claim millions of lives each year and to address other key problems affecting the health of families, mothers, and children.

This is the first time the Gates Foundation has made the manipulation of data a part of its Grand Challenges. The Foundation received almost 400 applications from 45 countries for its Increasing Interoperability of Social Good Data topic area, and funded six projects.

Prof. Jagadish’s project will develop a prototype that will use data available via the Data.gov clearinghouse and which will merge sets of incompatible geographic data to make them comparable. This will enable the data to be used to form new and meaningful connections for questions such as “Does better primary school education lower crime rates?” Such a question would compare crime data (organized by police precinct) and educational achievement data (organized by school district). The fact that these data sets don’t currently match geographically makes it hard to compare them.

Prof. Jagadish plans to make his prototype tool publicly available when it is finished.

Prof. H.V. Jagadish is well-known for his broad-ranging research on database systems, data mining, and the use of big data. He is widely recognized for his pioneering work on multi-dimensional data, and for developing new representation techniques and indexing schemes to store and retrieve non-conventional data sets such as geometric objects and text. He received his PhD from Stanford in 1985 and joined the faculty at Michigan in 1999. He is a member of the database group and serves on the executive committee of the National Center for Integrative Biomedical Informatics.

He established the ACM SIGMOD Digital Review, which provides online reviews of published articles, now migrated to Pubzone, and serves as editor for the database section of the Computing Research Repository (CoRR). He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Proceedings of the Very Large Database Endowment (PVLDB). Prof. Jagadish has served on the board of the Computing Research Association (CRA) since 2009. He holds 37 patents and has published over 150 papers. He is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

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