Compute Canada Sponsors Human Dimensions Open Data Challenge

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computecanadaCompute Canada is partnering with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to launch the first ever Human Dimensions Open Data Challenge. This challenge, led by social sciences and humanities researchers, will see research teams compete against one another using open-data sets to develop systems, processes, or fully-functional technology applications that address the human dimensions to key challenges in the natural resources and energy sectors. The Ontario Centres of Excellence, and ThinkData Works have also partnered on this project to provide additional resources and support.

Compute Canada is matching the scope and volume of the data being made available to researchers with significant computational resources and shared expertise, giving all challenge participants the opportunity to carry out world-class research of true national value,” says John Simpson, Compute Canada Digital Humanities Specialist.

Through SSHRC’s Imagining Canada’s Future initiative, and with a focus on six future challenge areas, SSHRC seeks to advance the contributions of the social sciences and humanities (SSH) towards meeting Canada’s future, long-term societal challenges and opportunities.

“The Human Dimensions Open Data Challenge leverages the value of social sciences and humanities research through a multidisciplinary approach to address critical challenges identified in the natural resources and energy sectors by multi-sector stakeholders, for the benefit of Canadians” notes Ursula Gobel, Associate Vice-President, Future Challenges at SSHRC.

The Human Dimensions Open Data Challenge is a two-staged competition. Five teams will be chosen as finalists in the first stage. Each finalist will be awarded $3,000 and gain access to the Compute Canada Cloud resources given as part of this challenge for the remainder of the calendar year. These teams will then present their solutions to a panel of judges at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in May at the University of Calgary. The top team, chosen at the Congress Event, will be awarded an additional $5,000, as well as given four registrations to HPCS2016, and invited to present at HPCS2017.

As the fields of humanities and the social sciences evolve, it’s becoming clear that advanced research computing can transform the way research is conducted,” said Mark Dietrich, Compute Canada President and CEO.  “We are thrilled to partner with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council on this challenge and raise awareness of the potential of big data research.”

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