U of M to Lead $4M NSF Cyberinfrastructure Project

Posted on 2016-09-15

Santosh Kumar

Prof. Santosh Kumar is the PI on a new $4M data cyberinfrastructure grant from NSF.

The U of M will lead a team of researchers from three other universities — UCLA, UC San Francisco, and University of Pennsylvania — on the project, entitled "mProv: Provenance-based Data Analytics Cyberinfrastructure for High-frequency Mobile Sensor Data." Other collaborators on the project include Open mHealth, Open Humans, and Quantified Self.

The mProv cyberinfrastructure will annotate high-frequency mobile sensor data with data source, quality, validity, and semantics to enable sharing of such data with the wider research community. This will help unleash the potential of mobile sensor data to improve health and wellness on an individual level by developing computational models of human health and behavior.

Prof. Kumar is also the PI on the NIH-funded Center of Excellence for Mobile Sensor Data-to-Knowledge (MD2K), also involving UCLA and UCSF. The open-source software developed by MD2K allows any researcher to collect, analyze, and interpret high-frequency sensor data from the natural environment. However, research with such sensor data is still out of reach for most researchers; it involves significant resources and expertise to acquire sensors, obtain study approval, and recruit human subjects before collecting the data.

Said Kumar: “With the mProv provenance cyberinfrastructure complementing MD2K’s software, investigators can collect, curate, analyze, and interpret mobile sensor data, as well as share data. Doing so can amplify the research utility of their data and, most importantly, help establish benchmarks and bring reproducibility, which are key to scientific rigor.”  Department chair Prof. Lan Wang stated, "By addressing fundamental challenges in data provenance and privacy, the mProv project led by Dr. Kumar will likely have far-reaching impact on mobile health data sharing and data science in general. The Computer Science department is proud to be home to such cutting-edge research."

U of M President David Rudd added, “This $4 million grant represents the largest single NSF award received by the University of Memphis and reflects our growing reputation as a hub for mobile sensor ‘big data’ and mHealth research, as well as Dr. Kumar’s national and international reputation as a leader in this field.”

“Earlier this year, Google cited the MD2K Center at the U of M as a reason why Memphis was named the Digital e-Capital for Tennessee,” said Dr. Andy Myers, Vice President for Research at U of M. “The new mProv project builds upon the MD2K project, and further enhances the University of Memphis’ nationwide reputation as a hub for mHealth research.”

The mProv: Provenance-based Data Analytics Cyberinfrastructure for High-frequency Mobile Sensor Data project is part of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Data Infrastructure Building Blocks (DIBBs) program and Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21) initiative.

Press releases for this new project are available from the following locations: