Abstract: Physics and astronomy have led the way in handling and exploiting massive amounts of data, but the explosion of "Big Data" in other research areas raises the question of whether the physics paradigm applies more widely. In fields where the data is "found" rather than "taken", or where data involves privacy considerations, there are challenges that don't fit this paradigm well. Nevertheless, some themes still apply widely, such as how to handle sparse and incomplete data, how to find hidden patterns, how to assess the significance of conclusions, and how to design new technologies to get more data. New data science research institutes in the USA and Europe are being set up to exploit these common themes, and it will be interesting to see what connections arise between established big-data fields and new ones.
Bio: Bernard F. Schutz is an American physicist. His research is on Einstein's theory of general relativity, more concretely on the physics of gravitational waves. He is one of the directors and head of the astrophysics group at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam, Germany.
He is principal investigator in charge of data analysis for the GEO600 collaboration (which, in turn, is part of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, the largest concerted effort to directly detect gravitational waves).
Schutz is also a member of the science team coordinating the planning and development for the space-borne gravitational wave detector LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna), and he was instrumental in the foundation of the electronic, open access review journal Living Reviews in Relativity.