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UB Reporter


Updated April 16, 2015

Zola member of ‘big data’ working group

Published January 15, 2015

UB faculty member Jaroslaw Zola was a member of a working group that identified challenges, risks and rewards summarized in a recently published report on big data in the life sciences.

The report, "National and Transnational Security Implications of Big Data in the Life Sciences," is the result of a yearlong study organized jointly by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the FBI and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute.

The group aimed to identify the current state of “big data” and analytics, the benefits and risks of big data in the life sciences to national security, and solutions for addressing exploitation of system vulnerabilities or intentional use for harmful or criminal purposes. The report is geared toward policy makers.

The working group included experts in computer science, data science, life sciences, biological security, data security, cyber security, law enforcement and homeland security from U.S. government agencies, intergovernmental organizations, academia, private industry and the amateur science community.

Zola, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering, and research assistant professor in biomedical informatics, joined the UB faculty in 2014. His research focuses on development of novel parallel, high-performance and scalable algorithms and techniques to address challenges in data-driven science and engineering.

In particular, he is interested in applications in computational biology and life sciences.

In addition to serving on the joint big data working group, Zola is a founding co-chair of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) International Workshop on Big Data in Life Sciences.

Bisantz, Lewis named to panels

Published January 8, 2015

Two UB Engineering faculty members have been elected to executive committees for their respective professional groups

Ann Bisantz, professor and chair of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, was elected to a three-year term on the Executive Council of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES).

Bisantz is a fellow of HFES, with extensive research experience in cognitive engineering, including research on human computer interfaces for complex health care systems related to enhanced patient safety. Her research interests include developing novel information displays for complex systems, advancing methods in cognitive engineering and modeling human decision-making; she has worked extensively in the domains of health care and defense.

Kemper Lewis, professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, was elected to the ME Department Heads/Chairs Executive Committee, a standing committee of the American Society of Mechanical Engineer’s Board on Education. The term is for three years.

A fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Lewis is an expert in decision-based design. His research expertise and educational interests are in the areas of design theory, complex system tradeoffs and optimization, and decision modeling. He is and has served on the National Academies Panel on Benchmarking the Research Competitiveness of the United States in Mechanical Engineering.

Wagner recognized by library association

Published December 4, 2014

Librarian A. Ben Wagner has received the 2014 Member Merit Award from the Upstate New York Chapter of the Special Libraries Association.

The award recognizes Wagner’s significant contributions to the chapter over the years, and honors his record of distinguished service and achievement in the association.

Stoss recognized by environmental group

Published October 23, 2014

Associate librarian Fred Stoss received the 2014 Environmental Excellence Award in the NGO/Education category from the Rochester-based Center for Environmental Initiatives (CEI).

Stoss was recognized for “consistently and tirelessly working on behalf of the environment by taking active roles as participant and leader in numerous key initiatives over his career. He has a unique ability to ferret out research articles and then synthesize the information into insightful analysis.”

Earlier this year he received the first Friend of the Biblioteca Nacional Aruba (BNA, National Library of Aruba) Award for his work with the BNA in green education programming and for helping to create the library’s Caribbean Energy, Environmental and Sustainability Program.

Stoss has been a dedicated environmental researcher and advocate since his student days.

He has more than 100 articles and more than 100 professional presentations in the areas of environmental science and library science to his credit, and has been cited as a climate leader in the United States by the Climate Reality Project, which is dedicated to unleashing a global cultural movement demanding action on the climate crisis.

Stoss has planned, written and presented many programs on sustainability for the American Library Association, and has served on the editorial and advisory boards of the Book Industry Environmental Council, Blackwell’s Abstracts on Hygiene and Communicable Diseases (CABI) and Electronic Green Journal.