Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway Launches Social Sciences Computing Hub

At the launch of the Social Sciences Computing Hub at the Whitaker Institute in NUI Galway were (from left): Dinko Laptev, Client Development Associate Standard and Poor’s Capital IQ, London; Dr James Cunningham, Director of Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway; and Dr Srinivas Raghavendra, Associate Director for Multidisciplinary Research at the Whitaker Institute.
Apr 08 2013 Posted: 09:58 IST

Social Sciences Computing Hub establishes NUI Galway at the forefront of global Business and Social Science Research

A Social Sciences Computing Hub at the Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway, has been formally launched by Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway. The ‘Hub’ is a unique facility that will serve both as a repository of diverse social science databases, quantitative and qualitative, and a computing resource that can be used by researchers across the University.

This one-stop facility will enable access to diverse data, analytics, visualization and computational resources for research clusters across various Social Science research institutes. The architecture of the Hub will be set up in such a way that it will provide remote access to university users, both on and off campus.

The Hub will facilitate integration of advanced scientific computational methods in Business Analytics and Social Science research utilising and adapting the frontier research methodologies from Natural, Physical, Mathematical, IT and Engineering Sciences.

The Hub is designed to deliver regional, national, and international academic and industry collaborations to deepen the multidisciplinary research agenda to inform public policy. To that end, the Hub will offer wide ranging cross disciplinary workshops for academic and industry partners to create innovative research methods for the analysis of global, national and regional public policy issues.

Dr James Cunningham, Director of the Whitaker Institute, said: “The creation of the Hub will enable our research community to continue to be at the forefront of international scientific excellence and opens up many new opportunites for our research community to contribute and engage in public policy analysis. The Hub also provides differentiating opportunities for students to develop new skills and knowledge.”

Dr Srinivas Raghavendra, Associate Director for Multidisciplinary Research at the Whitaker Institute, said: “Globally, there seems to be a convergence on the importance of data and businesses that are driving for competitive advantage using superior analytics solutions. The Hub will be a creative space for developing innovative analytics both for businesses, and policy makers and other professionals in the public policy arena. Both big data in the business/finance domain and sparse data in the economic/social domain create challenging problems for the respective professionals. The Hub will actively pursue collaborative research in innovative research methods to address the challenges in both these domains.”

“The first phase of the Hub ‘Advanced Business Analytics Laboratory (ABAL)’ has already begun its training programme in business analytics. Together with our Industrial partner Peracton, the ABAL provides state-of-the-art equity analytics platform – MAARS - via the cloud. Both these platforms will be used in training advanced business analytics, trading and investment techniques, historical back-testing, strategies consolidation and high frequency trading techniques using the financial market data.”

Dr Raghavendra added: “One of the key goals of the Hub is to create a reinforcing link between research and teaching through advanced data analytics and visulaization techniques derived from the innovative multidisciplinary research conducted under its auspices. The ‘Hub’ aims to engage and challenge the undergraduate and postgraduate students in terms of both analytics and computation to enrich their educational experience at NUI Galway.”

Dr Laurentiu Vasiliu, Peracton CEO, said: “I am delighted to partner with NUI Galway in this exciting development. This is a great opportunity for students, as well as various professionals to train on our MAARS platform where we have developed tools for big data class business analytics. Through this collaboration, Peracton is very proud to train the next generation of finance professionals using latest invsetment analytics platforms and help raise the entry level skill of these students in the business analytics and in investment/trading techniques”

Peracton, a spin-out from NUI Galway’s Digital Enterprise Research Institute, was founded in 2010 to provide cutting-edge financial software via the Cloud. It develops and exploits advanced enabling technologies to solve complex business analytics problems for investment in the area of Stocks, Funds, ETFs, Bonds, Portfolio Management, Risk Assessment and algorithmic trading, as well as other solutions for investment management and the retail banking space.


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