The Data Mining and Analytics Team

The Data Mining and Analytics Team focuses on extracting the dynamics of complex systems from real-world data.

We build unique and innovative data systems that capture in unprecedented detail the processes that lead to important scientific innovation. Combining expertise in data wrangling, network science, and advanced statistical modeling, we push at the interdisciplinary boundaries of the life sciences, medicine, clinical research, data science, and digital humanities.


DH2017 Pre-Conference Workshop Outcomes

On 7 August 2017, the Digital Innovation Group together with the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science hosted a pre-conference workshop at the Digital Humanities Conference 2017 in Montréal.

The workshop called 'Let’s Develop an Infrastructure for Historical Research Tools' focused on collaboration and integration of digital humanities software and tools.

New Publication in Biomedical Research

On March 30th, 2017, Manfred Laubichler, Julia Damerow and Erik Pierson published a paper titled The diversity of experimental organisms in biomedical research may be influenced by biomedical funding.

Contrary to concerns of some critics, we present evidence that biomedical research is not dominated by a small handful of model organisms. An exhaustive analysis of research literature suggests that the diversity of experimental organisms in biomedical research has increased substantially since 1975. . .


Software Development & Trans-disciplinary Training

Julia Damerow, Manfred Laubichler, and Erik Pierson collaborated on a paper titled Software development & trans-disciplinary training at the interface of digital humanities and computer science.

The computational turn in the humanities has precipitated the need for sustainable software development projects that are specifically focused on humanities research problems, and the need for graduate and undergraduate training models that address the trans-disciplinary nature of computational humanities research.

Berlin 11 Open Access Conference

On November 20, 2013, Manfred Laubichler gave a presentation at the Berlin 11 Open Access Conference, titled "Transforming Research and Education in the 21st Century: The Role of Open Access".

Making its scientists’ research findings available for the benefit of the whole of humanity, free of charge whenever possible (Open Access), is a key aspiration of the Max Planck Society. Out of this spirit, the “Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities” was initiated by the Max Planck Society in October 2003.

Austria’s Ahead-of-Its-Time Institute That Was Lost to Nazis

Manfred Laubichler was interviewed for an article by Chelsea Wald about the Biologische Versuchsanstalt in Vienna, published in the recent issue of Nautilus. From the article:

In 1911, Popular Science Monthly published an enthusiastic description of a young, private experimental-biology institute in Vienna, lauding its “remarkable scientific productivity resulting from only eight years of research.”

An early air-conditioning system used to control air temperatures at the Vivarium

The author, zoologist Charles Lincoln Edwards, attributed the success of the Biologische Versuchsanstalt (Insitute of Experimental Biology) to its many advanced experimental devices. The institute, popularly known as the Vivarium, boasted a wide range of terrariums, which housed hundreds of organisms, from glow-worms to kangaroos, at strictly controlled temperatures, humidity, pressure, and light levels. That wasn’t always easy—the Vivarium had to adopt or invent many cutting-edge technologies, including an early air-conditioning system. It was “a pioneer in the use of the carbonic-acid cooling machine for maintaining a cold environment,” wrote Edwards. With the help of circulating salt water and a condenser, four rooms were kept at temperatures ranging from 5°C to 20°C.

The idea of using various apparatuses to control the living conditions of plants and animals for study was new; before that, scientists mainly observed their subjects in nature. At the Vivarium, the focus was on raising many generations under the same conditions in order to probe questions of heredity and development—a unique approach at the time, and one that many consider a precursor to today’s research on evolutionary developmental biology, or “evo-devo.”

Interview about evolutionary theory with Manfred Laubichler on Austrian State Radio

While in Vienna giving the keynote at a meeting at the Austrian Academy of Sciences celebrating the legacy of the Biologische Versuchsanstalt, a highly innovative research institute in experimental and theoretical biology, Manfred Laubichler was interviewed by Austrian State Radio. Click here for a transcript of the interview (in German).

RDA Europe - Max Planck Society Science Workshop on Data

Manfred Laubichler gave a talk, "Data Challenges, Opportunities and Solutions: The Issue of Crossing Disciplinary Domains," at the RDA/Europe - Max Planck Society Science Workshop on Data on February 10th 2014 at the Headquarters of the Max Planck Society in Munich.

Classroom lessons go global at ASU through technology

The Global Classroom project was recently fingered by ASU News as breaking down the boundaries of the traditional classroom. You can read the entire article here.

One of the most powerful examples of a mediated classroom is located in the C-wing of the Life Sciences building, where “Sustainable Cities: a Contradiction in Terms?” is being taught simultaneously to students at ASU and at Leuphana University in Germany.

Twenty ASU students sit at tabletop computers surrounded by numerous large screens, taught in person by two of the top professors at ASU. Another 20 are tuned in from Germany. Still another 20 students from each country are in adjoining classrooms working on research projects, as part of a second cohort of the three-semester class.

The Global Classroom, a pilot project funded by a $900,000 award from the Mercator Foundation, utilizes video conferencing; intensive writing assignments and student writing workshops; online exhibits; peer-to-peer mentoring; and in-person international exchange.

Report on Data Management and Data-Management Plans for the History of Science Society Committee on Research and the Profession

One of the talking points at the History of Science Society's 2013 business meeting this Sunday was the recent report by the Committee for Research & the Profession's (CoRP) Data-Management Task-Force on the NSF's new requirements concerning data management and data management plans. ASU's Julia Damerow, Erick Peirson, Matt Chew, and Manfred Laubichler all participated in the task force. The report reflects on the what constitutes data in the history of science, what it means to preserve those data, what should and should not be shared, and a constellation of other issues surrounding the availability of historical research data. Especially in the context of quantitative and computational approaches to historical research, these considerations are pressing and immediate.

The report considers two potential initiatives by the History of Science Society to address data management needs: project-based bibliographies, and an HSS data repository.

The existing system of repositories has gaps in it of two types. First, many historians of science, especially, but not exclusively independent scholars, may not have access to suitable institutional repositories for their data. Second, for all historians there are unresolved questions how the cost of long-term preservation and exposure of data will be met. ... It may well be, therefore, that such a repository shall be an essential component of history of science research in the future. Such a repository would bring together (if not necessarily uniquely hold) data sets that could be constructed according to accepted standards but with the added features needed to make them particularly useful for historians of science. ... In so doing, it would become, ideally, a site where data sets created for one purpose could be merged and manipulated to address new questions. ... Such a fully developed repository could streamline data management for historians of science and be a model for other learned societies.

The report was published in the October edition of the HSS newsletter, and can be found here.