NSF awards almost $3 million in grants to MIDAS, ITS


The National Science Foundation recently recognized the Michigan Institute for Data Science and Information and Technology Services with grants totaling almost $3 million to support research in data equity, security, and privacy.

MIDAS | Michigan Institute For Data Science

Data science is an important tool that can help researchers tackle important societal challenges ranging from mobility and health to public safety and education. But data science techniques and technologies also pose enormous potential for harm by reinforcing inequity and leaking private information. As a result, many sensitive datasets are restricted from research use, impeding progress in areas that impact society.

As reported in The University Record, the Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS) received a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to establish a framework for a national institute that would enable research using sensitive data, while preventing misuse and misinterpretation. MIDAS director H.V. Jagadish is U-M’s principal investigator on this grant.

U-M researchers will partner with colleagues at New York University and the University of Washington over the next two years to deploy new techniques and technologies that enable responsible data science, while establishing an interdisciplinary community focused on the study, design, deployment and assessment of equitable data systems.

" "
(Rachael Wojciechowski, ITS Communications)

As attackers develop more sophisticated tools to acquire student and faculty private data, institutional financial information, and proprietary, often classified, research information, it is imperative for information technology staff to detect and stop these attacks.

The NetBASILISK (NETwork Border At Scale Integrating and Leveraging Individual Security Components) project enables researchers and network engineers at U-M to introduce the next level of security and privacy protection scaled to the vast volume of generated research data. By observing patterns of network traffic, NetBASILISK will accomplish these goals with a minimal impact on the speed or volume of network traffic.

The award of almost $1 million will fund research led by Eric Boyd, ITS director of networks, as principal investigator, along with LSA research scientist Shawn McKee and engineering professor J. Alex Halderman, director of the U-M Center for Computer Security and Society, as co-principal investigators. The project will also involve Michael Cianfrocco, assistant professor at the Life Sciences Institute, and teams from ITS departments UMNet, Information Assurance, and Infrastructure Data Management.