What is the Big Data Mixer?
The Big Data Mixer is a gathering of graduate students across the University of Virginia, designed to promote interdisciplinary, collaborative research among graduate students in all areas. The mixer will build upon students’ ideas and interests sparked by previous departmental roundtable discussions about collaboration and Big Data; facilitate networking and discussion among students who may be interested in applying for Jefferson Trust Fellowships in Big Data; and, above all, promote conversation and ideas for collaboration in multiple ways among graduate students, University-wide.
How does the Big Data Mixer relate to the departmental roundtables?
Students who attend the mixer are not in any way required to attend roundtables beforehand, but we intend that the roundtables will spark interest and discussion among students and will help individual students consider the opportunities that collaborative work in the area of Big Data affords for their research and scholarship. We hope the roundtable discussions will prime students for networking and conversations with others in a wide variety of fields, giving students a set of ideas to draw on and a preliminary sense of what sorts of collaborations might best inform and enhance their work.
What will happen at the mixer?
Primarily, networking and conversation among students regarding interdisciplinary research in Big Data and possibilities for future collaborative work, both in general and under the auspices of the Jefferson Trust Fellowship program. We can’t guarantee every student will find a collaboration partner at the mixer, but we intend that it will provide a space to meet graduate students in other fields, find collaborators where possible, and create a foundation for continued networking and connections between graduate students in diverse fields.
Students will have the chance to participate in both structured and informal networking with other graduate students at the mixer, as well as to socialize and discuss their work more casually. At the end of the mixer, information will be provided about further opportunities for students to work with identified collaborators or to seek collaborators by utilizing open hours at OpenGrounds.
What happens next?
The Big Data Mixer is intended to build connections among graduate students that can serve as a basis for collaborations of various kinds. It will also serve as a step in the process of students’ submitting proposals for Jefferson Trust Fellowships in Big Data. These fellowships are awarded to teams of students whose projects show the most promise for collaborative work in the area of Big Data, so the connections students make at the mixer and the time they spend afterward to find or to work with collaboration partners will, we hope, streamline the process of applying for these fellowships. More information about these fellowships and a timeline for submitting applications will be forthcoming.