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NSF funds Phase II of CVDI: Researchers are ready to tackle Big Data challenges

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Through new funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Center for Visual and Decision Informatics (CVDI) will become the largest Industry /University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC) in big data science in the country. Initially established as Phase I by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette) and Drexel University, Phase II of the CVDI builds on successful industry collaboration and new additional academic partners ready to meet the challenge. 

CVDI works with industry, government and academia to develop next-generation tools and techniques that help decision makers improve how they analyze and interpret large volumes of data or big data. CVDI is the only IUCRC in the nation that focuses on visualization and big data analytics. Its core strengths are in the area of visual analytics, predictive analytics, interactive visualization, machine learning and data summarization methods. CVDI seeks to become an international center of excellence in data science, big data analytics, and visual analytics.

Committed to meeting NSF’s standards of excellence and leading the way in big data science research, CVDI’s academic partners are: UL Lafayette, Drexel University, Stony Brook University, University of Virginia, and Tampere University of Technology (TUT) in Finland. Brigham Young University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte are expected to join the CVDI within one year.
Academic partners bring unique experience to the Center allowing researchers to thrive and explore without limits. For example, CVDI-TUT is the international site of CVDI and the only IUCRC site in Finland. Stony Brook University joins CVDI after successful completion of phase one of the IUCRC Center for Dynamic Data Analytics which experienced 39% growth in five years and issued a number of patents, license agreements, and invention disclosures.

“This will be the biggest active NSF IUCRC in the country, with seven universities and over 40 industry partners. It will generate more than $12 million in funding over the next five years,” said Dr. Vijay Raghavan, director of CVDI and Alfred & Helen Lamson Professor of Computer Science at UL Lafayette. “This center will provide more research opportunities for students and faculty at all the partner universities.”

Over the next five years, CVDI is projected to complete over 70 research projects and produce hundreds of publications. Each university partner receives funding from NSF, from their industry partners, and in the case of TUT, additional funds were provided by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation.

“The IUCRC program is one of the longest running programs within the National Science Foundation,” said Dr. Thyaga Nandagopal, NSF program manager for CVDI. “The program provides a successful template for fostering effective partnerships between industry and university in pre-competitive research topics across multiple technology domains, as evident in the over 60 active IUCRCs around the country today. CVDI is an exemplary IUCRC in its scale and management practices, and we hope that it will continue its mission of tackling the grand challenges in data analytics and visualization over the next 5 years.”

CVDI membership gives companies and government agencies access to leading edge developments in visual and decision informatics. In phase one, CVDI completed 35 projects and produced 88 publications. Now expanded, the Center expects to more than double those figures, working on projects that are nominated and approved by members. Two major technological breakthroughs nominated by CVDI members are an influenza forecasting model and a hotspot prediction technique.

Companies currently taking advantage of CVDI’s research capabilities include  Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Capital One, CA Technologies, CGI, Clarivate Analytics, Schumacher Clinical Partners, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Leidos, Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum, Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise, M-Brain, Mobileware, Nokia Networks, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Northrop Grumman Technology Services, Softheon, Tieto, and UANGEL.

For more information on collaborating with CVDI, please visit

NSF Award Number 1650551.