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Archive for March, 2013

Data Science

March 20th, 2013

Data science, or “big data” as it is sometimes called, and how to harness it is a hot topic these days. Even the White House weighed in on its importance with a memorandum in early 2013. Mason researchers are manipulating vast quantities of data in a variety of ways. In this section, we look at a few of our scientists.

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By Tara Laskowski When Disneyland was first constructed, Walt Disney told the builders not to pave the sidewalks. Let’s first see where the people walk, he said. This logic is behind the concept of data science—looking for the hidden, unexpected patterns in the information first instead of trying to guess what the outcome might be.

Continue Reading Researcher Unlocks the Big Potential of Big Data


The applications of simulations, modeling, and gaming are as diverse at the fields touched by it–including health, medicine, climate change, and the weather.

Continue Reading Simulations, Modeling, and Gaming


The next time you are enlarging a Google map or clicking on some other global positioning system technology, know that you have researchers such as Mason’s Chaowei (Phil) Yang to thank for such a convenience. Yang is an architect of sorts, but instead of designing buildings, he is designing systems and creating algorithms that help computers organize and interpret big data in such a way that it is usable by others, especially the general public. In fact, one of his four patents involves the algorithm used to refresh and reposition online maps quickly as the user enlarges or shrinks it.

Continue Reading Researcher Makes Complicated Big Data Simple to Use


New Patents 2012

March 12th, 2013

David Geho, Lance Liotta, Alessandra Luchini, and Emanuel Petricoin Smart Hydrogel Particles for Biomarker Harvesting Ancha Baranova, Konstantin Shakhbozov, and Mikhail Skoblov RET Finger Protein 2 (RFP2) Promoter Kenneth J. Hintz Information Request Generator Qiliang Li, Dimitris E. Ioannou, Yang Yang, and Xiaoxiao Zhu Nanowire Field Effect Junction Diode Siddarth Sundaresan, Albert V. Davydov, Yong

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As a computer scientist, Mason’s Huzefa Rangwala is hungry for data on which to test his algorithms. And metagenomics—the collective genome of communities of microbes—provides lots of data. “If you ask a computer scientist what a genome is, he’ll say it’s a long, long string of characters—it’s a big sequence. Computer scientists get very excited about these kinds of structures,” he explains.

Continue Reading Using Algorithms to Conduct Large-Scale Metagenome Analysis


Numerical modeling—using mathematical models of the atmosphere and oceans to predict weather—has come a long way from efforts that started nearly five decades ago with 1-D and 2-D simulations. Mason researcher Zafer Boybeyi says today’s prediction models, particularly those based on the weather scales of a few days, are exceedingly reliable, mainly because of advanced computers and denser observational networks.

Continue Reading The Forecast Is…Murky: The Uncertainties of Weather Prediction


Juan Cebral’s complex computer model does more than simply show blood swirling in a brain aneurysm’s labyrinthian pattern; it helps doctors determine whether the aneurysm is about to rupture and needs surgery. A professor at Mason’s Center for Computational Fluid Dynamics, Cebral studies fluids and how they move. He works with surgeons and other researchers to map out how blood flows in the brain, specifically in aneurysms.

Continue Reading Mason Professor Uses Colorized Computer Models to Evaluate Aneurysms


By analyzing huge swaths of patient data, computers are learning not only how to help doctors choose the best medical treatment for each patient, but also how to efficiently prepare medical bills and predict patients’ disabilities. Dubbed “machine learning,” complex computer algorithms delve into data to boost individualized medicine, says Mason computer scientist Janusz Wojtusiak, director of the Machine Learning and Inference Laboratory and the Center for Discovery Science and Health Informatics at Mason’s College of Health and Human Services.

Continue Reading Machine Learning Addresses Medical Needs


Gene therapy and its potential to further personalized medicine is one of the hot topics in medicine today. Gene therapy derives its name from the idea that DNA can be used to alter or correct part of the genetic strand, affecting an individual’s cells to treat or prevent disease. One of the challenges facing doctors and researchers pursuing this line of inquiry is how to deliver the therapeutic small interfering RNA (siRNA) to the appropriate site in the body. Mason biologist Ancha Baranova’s latest patent provides such a delivery system.

Continue Reading Mason Researcher Develops New Technique for Use in Gene Therapy


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