Science visualization, research on view at IU's Network Science Center open house

Nov. 7, 2013


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Intrigued by a “Facebook for scientists”? Interested in seeing -- and not just hearing, thanks to an award-winning film -- how human communication has evolved from cave scrawls to Twitter feeds? If these projects at Indiana University’s Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center have piqued your interest, then the center’s Nov. 11 open house is a not-to-miss event.

Home to the globally travelled and much-lauded Places and Spaces: Mapping Science exhibit, a collection of maps, images and networks that visualize what we know, IU’s Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center is where big data gets repurposed. Founded in 2005, the center’s researchers use open source analysis and visualization tools to generate maps -- and much more -- designed to expose the structure and evolution of science and technology over time.

The center is operated through the IU School of Informatics and Computing, at Wells Library, but the open house will be in Room 200 of Woodburn Hall. This all-ages event, from 4 to 6 p.m., will include hands-on demonstrations, short talks and viewing of the film "Humanexus," which explores the evolution of communication through a collaboration between artist Ying-Fang Shen, scientist Katy Bӧrner and composer Norbert Herber.

“The annual open house features open data, open code and open education available to anyone interested in converting data into insights,” said Börner, a professor of information science in the School of Informatics and Computing’s Department of Information and Library Science and founding director of the center. “It’s our opportunity to show the community how fascinating the relationship between science, big data and the latest in visualization tools can be, and it’s offered in a stimulating and friendly environment where questions are absolutely encouraged and the pursuit of knowledge is a shared goal.”

Guests will have an opportunity to get up to speed on all the center’s latest tools like VIVO, the so-called Facebook for scientists; the more-powerful-than-ever Scholarly Database; Online Interactive Maps; and Academy Scope. All of those tools and more about cyberinfrastructures, data mining and information mapping will be introduced and demonstrated by the people who helped create them, Börner added.

Woodburn Hall is at 1100 E. Seventh St. on the IU Bloomington campus; light refreshments and snacks will be available. For those unable to attend, the event will also offer a live stream beginning at 4 p.m.