Science of Information Science and Technology Center

In a collaborative effort led by Purdue, Coordinated Science Laboratory researchers are helping develop novel interdisciplinary approaches for science and technology advancement through a $25 million, five-year Science and Technology Center grant.

The National Science Foundation-funded center explores emerging frontiers of information science and is developing a set of principles extending information theory to integrate the elements of space, time, structure, semantics and context. The team is working to create formal methodologies, algorithms and computation tools to assist in analysis and modeling for the life sciences, communications, financial transactions and patterns of consumer behavior.

In addition, the center has a strong educational component that targets all student age groups: from mentoring post-doctoral candidates considering academia to implementing science summer camps for children. Encouraging underrepresented groups, such as minorities and women, to take part in scientific research is a special focus of this project.

Science and Technology Center research goals and applications:

Coding Theory and Signal Processing for Genomic Data Analysis:

CSL researcher Olgica Milenkovic (ECE) plans to define new information measures for studying shapes of molecules (messenger RNAs, in particular), using ideas from constrained coding and contentdependent grammar analysis. She also is considering problems regarding reverse engineering algorithms for gene regulatory networks, and low-rank completion methods for predicting protein-protein interaction based on incomplete and noisy experimental data.

Information Network Dynamics of Brain Function:

Given it is increasingly common for neuroscientists to simultaneously record from multiple brain regions, there is now an over-abundance of data and a need for more sophisticated ways of reasoning to process and understand such information. CSL researcher Todd Coleman (ECE) is combining feedback information theory, dynamical systems, control theory and applied mathematics to form new insights on brain function from neurophysiology and help uncover the dynamical and distributed aspects of how the brain represents and processes information. These studies will not only help neuroscience, but could enable new mathematical models of communication and man-made communication architectures.

Next Generation Wireless Networks:

CSL researcher P.R. Kumar (ECE) is developing advanced protocols for next generation wireless networks that can provide higher quality performance. Future wireless and wireline networks may also transport information, rather than just data. The Science and Technology Center is helping confront the many long-term challenges in both fundamental theory and network design that will need to be overcome to realize this vision.