NSF & JST Workshop: May 23-24, 2013

A joint NSF and JST Workshop: Examining and Prioritizing Collaborative Research Opportunities in Big Data and Disaster Management Research

Workshop Report

The workshop report is now available here: PDF


The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) are jointly convening a workshop in the area of disaster management, particularly research on collecting, filtering, processing, and making sense of Big Data from a variety of sources. The workshop will bring together researchers and funding agency program managers from both countries to examine and prioritize research opportunities in applying Big Data to improve the many aspects of disaster management. The main deliverable of the workshop is to produce a report describing open research questions in this space, including specific opportunities for collaboration between the U.S. and Japan. The second concrete goal of the workshop is to provide a forum for discussion, thereby facilitating new collaborative teams for fruitful joint research involving both countries.


The workshop will involve 10-15 researchers from each country and about 5 program managers from NSF as well as JST. The workshop will take place on May 23-24, 2013 (one and half days), in Arlington, VA.

Main Deliverable

The workshop report should identify and prioritize key strategic areas where Research on Big Data and Disaster Management offers good opportunities to advance fundamental scientific knowledge and innovations for a resilient and sustainable society. This report will be considered by NSF and JST in developing future and joint research funding announcements. The participants will initiate the drafting of the report during the workshop and refine it immediately afterward. The report will be posted on the workshop webpage and archived in the ACM Digital Library.

Collaboration Opportunities

The second goal of the workshop is to facilitate discussions among the researchers to create opportunities for collaboration that will contribute towards the realization of the envisioned joint program on Big Data and Disaster Management Research. This effort builds on, and extends, existing collaborations started from the 2011-12 RAPID and J-RAPID projects.

Topics of Discussion

Examples of topics of interest to be discussed at the workshop (without excluding other topics) include:

  1. Harnessing the big data associated with disasters and disasters prevention to advance analytic, modeling, and computational capabilities, with applications such as probabilistic hazard models.
  2. Improving the resilience and responsiveness of information technology to enable real time data sensing, visualization, analysis, experimentation and prediction, critical for time-sensitive decision making.
  3. 3. Advancing fundamental knowledge and innovation for resilient and sustainable civil infrastructure and distributed infrastructure networks.

Breakout Sessions

  • Group 1: Big data and disaster management (co-leads: Tanaka, Pu, scribe: Caverlee)
  • Group 2: Resilience and responsiveness (co-leads: Tokuda, Murphy, Anderson, scribe: Sakamoto)
  • Group 3: Information infrastructure and networks (co-leads: Higashino, Bastani, scribe: Tsugawa)

Workshop Program

Day 1 (May 23)

    Speaker 1 Speaker 2 Speaker 3
9:00 – 9:20 Opening (NSF/JST/MEXT) K. Marzullo Geng Tu Koichi Fujinuma
9:20 – 10:20 Session 1 (3 talks 20min) Y. Tanaka (Group 1) C. Pu (Group 1) H. Tokuda (Group 2)
10:20 – 10:50 Break (morning)      
10:50 – 11:50 Session 2 K. Anderson (Group 2) T. Higashino (Group 3) A. Arora (Group 3)
12:00 – 13:30 Lunch (in room)      
13:30 – 15:00 Breakout session 1      
15:00 – 15:30 Break (afternoon)      
15:30 – 16:00 Preparation for briefing      
16:00 – 17:00 Group brief Group 1 Group 2 Group 3
17:00 – return to hotel      
18:30 – optional dinner      

Day 2 (May 24)

9:00 – 10:00 Session 3 (discussion, TBD)      
10:00 – 10:30 Preparation for briefing      
10:30 – 11:00 Break (morning)      
11:00 – 12:00 Group brief Group 1 Group 2 Group 3
12:00 – end of workshop      

Meetings Logistics

Meeting location: Hilton Arlington, Room Gallery I, Mezzanine level.
Internet access: available in guest rooms (included in workshop room rate) and public areas (free).

Workshop Organization Committee

USA: K. Marzullo (NSF), E. Gianchandani (NSF), M. Song (NSF), C. Pu (Georgia Tech)
Japan: G. Tu (JST), K. Iwano (JST), M. Kitsuregawa (NII)
Local arrangements: Prof. Brent B. Kang (GMU)

Contact Information

Attendance to this workshop is by invitation only and space is limited. If you are interested in attending and have not been invited, please contact Prof. Calton Pu at for further information.