UH Hilo’s Mandel awarded $500K grant to expand field of data science

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Alyson Y Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 932-7669
Int Dir, Univ Rel; Dir, Media Rel, University Relations, Office of
Posted: Mar 3, 2020

An assistant professor in the computer science department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo was recently awarded a Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation. The $549,790 award will take place over a five-year time period and will help to solidify the University’s growing expertise in the field of data science.

The grant will fund Travis Mandel's research into Accelerating Scientific Data Collection Through Human-in-the-Loop Artificial Intelligence. This cross-disciplinary work seeks to transform the process of scientific data collection across a wide variety of scientific domains, including psychology, marine science, and ecology, allowing scientists to “do more with less” - uncovering more scientific discoveries while spending less time, effort, and funding collecting data.

“The goal of this project is to create new algorithms and interaction paradigms that enable humans and artificial intelligence systems to work together, leveraging each other's strengths to collect better data,” Mandel explained. The grant extends Mandel's program of research that explores how Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning systems can collaborate with humans to solve real-world problems too challenging for either to address alone.

“I'm particularly excited about the opportunities this grant will provide for our talented and hardworking undergraduate students to get involved in cutting-edge computer science and data science research,” Mandel said. “The project also includes components that integrate research and education, such as building new data science curriculum and developing interactive video game exhibits at the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center and the Hawaiʻi Science and Technology Museum.”

Mandel's award is through the NSF's Cyber-Human Systems Program, which is part of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) directorate. The CAREER award is NSF's most prestigious award offered in support of junior faculty and awarded to those who are likely to become role models and leaders in research and education.

For more details on the award, see: https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1942229.