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SDSC Extends its “Network” with Graph Analytics Training

Second in series of “boot camps” to be held November 2-3 at SDSC


  • Jan Zverina

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  • Jan Zverina

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a graph can be worth a lot more than that in the burgeoning field of big data, even though translating terabytes of information into meaningful insights is no easy feat.

To help overcome that challenge, the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego, in partnership with UC San Diego Extension and through a sponsorship from Cray Inc., is offering a “boot camp” in Graph Analytics on Nov. 2-3 at its facilities on the northwest end of campus.

Graph Analytics is a rapidly developing field that relies on the ability to retrieve, model, store, and analyze statistics and large databases to create graphs that reveal important connections and relationships, and enable a better understanding of how different conditions change those networks or connections.

Examples where graph analytics techniques can be applied include:

  • A social scientist who wants to identify who is an influencer – someone capable to shaping opinions – in a social media network such as Facebook.
  • An investigator who would like to uncover covert alliances in a network of rogue organizations and individuals.
  • A network biologist who would like to find relationships between certain genes and a family of diseases.
  • A cybersecurity analyst who needs to monitor activity on the network of 50 billion connected devices to detect any breaches.

Because of the growth and importance of graph analytics in making sense of massive amounts of data, SDSC identified the need to offer workshops to help train workers in this growing field, according to Amarnath Gupta, director of the Advanced Query Processing Laboratory, which is part of SDSC’s Science Research & Development division.

“Our inaugural one-day course last April demonstrated that organizations and individuals are looking for specialized training and education in graph analytic techniques,” said Gupta. “As a result we are moving forward with an expanded two-day format that will allow a more in-depth exploration of the concepts and tools.”

Cray, a supercomputer firm headquartered in Seattle, is sponsoring the graph analytics boot camp because of the growing need for skilled workers across the numerous disciplines that manage massive amounts of data. ‘Big data’ is defined by the National Science Foundation as large, diverse, complex and/or distributed data sets generated from instruments, sensors, Internet transactions, email, video, click streams, and/or all other digital sources available today and in the future.

“As Cray continues to build on its strength in high-performance computing by addressing the ever-growing demands of big data analysis and storage across a spectrum of users, from scientists and government labs to financial analysts and sports teams, it will be essential to have a workforce educated in graph analytics and other techniques,” said Scott Pearson, business development executive at Cray. “Cray is pleased to sponsor this graph analytics boot camp as a key initiative in educating working professionals in these emerging techniques.”

Hugo Villar, director of science and technology at UC San Diego Extension, said the big data boot camps are part of his organization’s mission to ensure that people have the advanced skills they need to fuel our region’s growing innovation economy.

“We are in constant conversations with technology companies throughout the region, said Villar. “They keep telling us there is a huge need for employees with the ability to collect, store, and analyze the growing amount of data available. These boot camps are designed to keep companies and their workforces competitive in the global marketplace.”

The two-day Graph Analytics Boot Camp will offer a broad overview of the field, as well as a deep dive into specific analytical techniques and tools. Participants will learn how to model a problem into a graph database and perform analytical tasks in a scalable manner. The course will provide a comprehensive, practical understanding of how to apply graph analytics to the attendee’s individual focus area.

For more information and to register, please visit

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