With the advent of digitized information the world has entered into a new age of information explosion. Every day, or more correctly every second, billion of billion bytes of data are being created in the world. And this data explosion phenomenon happens in all kinds of human activities. How to make sense or use of this large amount of data posts a great challenge to the society. Unlike traditional data, solution to issues in Big Data will usually call for expertise in different disciplines including but not limited to the owner of the data, IT experts, statisticians and experts in the relevant field. The Big Data Research Cluster (BDRC) of the Faculty of Science is an interdisciplinary endeavor that aims to foster synergistic research efforts that are related to Big Data. In this regard, the Steering Committee of BDRC consists of colleagues from biology, mathematics, physics, and statistics. The cluster aims to provide a platform to promote and facilitate discussions and collaborations in research problems related to Big Data. It is hoped that the BDRC will serve as a hub of Big Data research in the Faculty and HKU. In the longer run, we also hope that the BDRC will attract the attention of both academic and the industry outside HKU.
In the near future, BDRC is planning to host seminars and workshops pertaining to Big Data. To kick off big data research, the Faculty has allocated 0.5 million seed funding over three years to this research cluster, to seed research projects/match grants related to Big Data which are applied by and show genuine collaboration between members of at least two different departments/school in the Faculty of Science. Please see "Research Support" for more information about this Big Data Project Fund. On the other hand, to make this interdisciplinary endeavor work BDRC will need active participation and support from colleagues. The simplest way to participate is to tell us what big data project you are doing, if you have one. I look forward to working with colleagues to make the BDRC a success and an asset of HKU.
Professor Wai-Keung Li
Chair of Statistics