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Joe Stuteville
IU Informatics

Last modified: Tuesday, September 19, 2006

IU Informatics-based institute will benefit tech industries, scientists

Sept. 19, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Whether scientific or business, structured or unstructured, streaming or static, the need to effectively search for and use data is paramount.

That need will be fulfilled at the Data and Search Institute at the Indiana University School of Informatics. Funded by a planning grant from the National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperation Center program, the institute will speed the flow of data and search into industry and provide a framework where scientists can engage in industry-relevant research.

Data and Search Institute Director Beth Plale

"Our mission is to partner with industry to increase innovation and competitiveness in the United States," says DSI Director Beth Plale, associate professor of computer science. "The future will be dominated by those who can most effectively search for data, use it - and create value from it."

IU is partnering with Florida International University on the project. Joining Plale in leading the institute is Dennis Gannon, professor of computer science at IU, and Napthali Rishe, director of the High Performance Database Research Center at FIU.

"The grant is a big step forward for us because the NSF sets up distinct, non-overlapping centers around the country," said Gannon. "The planning grant acknowledges the IU School of Informatics is the nation's leader in data and search research."

DSI promises to be a boon to its many users in different ways. Industry executives and their technical staffs are expected to use the Bloomington-based facilities, bolstering the region's status as a burgeoning high-technology location. Students will have the chance to use the latest equipment and search tools, exposing them to problems and challenges faced in private industry.

The institute, located in the School's Informatics Research Institute, has more than a dozen nationally recognized researchers in all aspects of data and search. Their expertise spans from communication protocols and service architectures, to databases, artificial intelligence, theory, human-computer interaction, complex networks, bioinformatics and social informatics.

"Fostering the industry-and-university research relationship is important for the School because it prepares our students for better jobs in Indiana and elsewhere," said Informatics Dean J. Michael Dunn. "DSI demonstrates one of the ways Indiana University is putting Indiana on the map in the realm of information technology."

Among the School of Informatics and its Department of Computer Science researchers involved in DSI are: Randall Bramley, Sun Kim, Dirk Van Gucht, Dennis Groth, David Leake, Andrew Lumsdaine, Filippo Menczer, Kalpana Shakar and Eric Stolterman.

The DSI also has strong ties to IU's Pervasive Technologies Labs and the National Institutes of Health-sponsored Chemical Informatics and Cyberinfrastructure Collaboratory.

More information about the Data and Search Institute is at