Talking About Big Data

September 27, 2013

Michael ShoffnerMichael Shoffner, adjunct faculty member of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science (SILS) and senior research software architect in the Data Sciences Group at Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI), is sharing Big Data research results through special presentations and webinars around the country.

Shoffner presented “Handling ‘Hot’ Health Data without Getting Burned” at the international O’Reilly Strata Rx Conference in San Francisco, CA discussing a program called Secure Virtual Research Workspace (SVRW).

“SVRW is the virtual version of a ‘hot cell’—a shielded room for working with radioactive material,” said Shoffner. “Like a hot cell, it provides a safe environment for working with material that would be harmful if it escaped—sensitive healthcare data in raw form.”

At the Big Data & Analytics for Pharma Summit in Philadelphia in early June, 2013, Shoffner presented, “Leveraging the Research Enterprise's Big Data Efforts.” The talk provided an overview of selected Big Data efforts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as part of larger national efforts involving the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the National Consortium for Data Science and others.

In November, Shoffner will once again present on the topic of Big Data when he delivers a presentation titled “Turning Bigger Data Into Better Healthcare” during an O’Reilly webinar.

“This webcast presentation paints a picture of the direction clinical medicine is heading in the age of Big Data, highlighting ongoing data cyberinfrastructure development by UNC at Chapel Hill based RENCI and key partners to enable the transition,” said Shoffner.

On Valentine’s Day 2014, he will present at the Genomic and Sequencing Data Integration Symposium, part of the 21st annual Molecular Medicine Tri-conference, in San Francisco.

Shoffner works with SILS professors, Drs. Reagan Moore and Arcot Rajasekar on the DataNET Federation Consortium and iRODS. He lectures at SILS on metadata and on topics in the Carolina Health Informatics Program. He also supervises students through the field experience program. 

Shoffner was co-founder of an early area Internet technology consultancy, co-authored one of the first trade books on the Java programming language and led the world’s first online radio station simulcast through what is now (previously known as SunSite) and WXYC.