NSF CAREER Award aids Landman’s big data brain modeling research

Bennett Landman

Vanderbilt University big data researcher Bennett Landman has won a $436K National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his proposal to aid understanding of brain development.

Landman, assistant professor of electrical engineering, computer science and biomedical engineering, plans to use new methods of computer analysis plus images of tens of thousands of children’s brains to develop structural models. From there, he’ll be able to use those to demonstrate effects of various demographic, genetic and environmental factors.

Landman’s CAREER proposal said the project represents a fundamental rethinking of how medical image computing and big data can guide both neuroscience and image processing algorithm engineering. It will create the informatics and medical imaging technologies needed to analyze potentially millions of brains, construct brain development trajectories for individual patients based on their unique circumstances and detect subtle brain abnormalities.

“These innovations will catapult research forward for cross-sectional and longitudinal studies to address questions that would be too expensive or simply impractical to study using conventional methods,” Landman wrote.

His work also will address some of the hurdles to routine study of big data archives: story, query and image processing.

The CAREER award is for the best teacher-scholars who seek to integrate education and research in context of the mission of their organizations.

The research results will be integrated into two classes targeting undergraduate students and interactive online modules created and released through an established graduate student/faculty training program. Each summer, an undergraduate and high school student will participate in research by implementing and extending research contributions within an interactive demonstration platform.

High school teachers will assist in the development of curricula targeting high school students using a newly developed demonstration platform. High school students and teachers will be recruited to participate in research. These efforts will create an open-source, open-hardware system for public demonstration and K-12 classroom exercises.


Heidi Hall
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