Research & Innovation 2015-16 - Page 108



Feature
Big developments in big data:
astronomy and data science in Africa
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project
will produce data at a rate comparable to
that of global internet traffic. But if we don’t
have the infrastructure and skills to deal
with it, the data will go offshore;
Africa will lose this stellar science
and business opportunity. Three
South African universities have
formed a new institute to ensure
that Africa will be able to meet
this challenge, with benefits
for the continent that go far
beyond astronomy.
“The data revolution is set to be a globally
transformative phenomenon – if you don’t ride the
wave, you’re going to be flooded by it,” says Professor
Russ Taylor, director of the recently launched InterUniversity Institute for Data-Intensive Astronomy (IDIA).
IDIA, a partnership initiative between the University of Cape
Town (UCT), the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and
North-West University (NWU), is a flagship project to respond
to the immense big-data challenge of the Square Kilometre
Array (SKA) – a global endeavour to build the world’s largest radio
telescope – in South Africa.
103 UCT RESEARCH & INNOVATION 2015–16

Square Kilometre ArraySquare Kilometre Array





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