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TUT joins the NSF Center devoted to challenges of ‘big data’

TUT has been named the first international site of the United States National Science Foundation Center for Visual and Decision Informatics (CVDI). The research center meets challenges posed by huge amounts of information or big data.

The CVDI TUT Site is the first of its kind in Finland and Scandinavia.

Dr Moncef Gabbouj, Academy of Finland professor in the Department of Signal Processing at TUT, has been nominated by the President of TUT to serve as the first Director of the CVDI TUT Site. Dr Gabbouj leads a large team of researchers in the area of multimedia communication whose work complements and strengthens CVDI’s core research. CVDI works with industry, government and academia to develop next-generation tools and techniques that enable decision makers to significantly improve the way large volumes of data are analysed and interpreted. It conducts pioneering research with a focus on big data.

“TUT is especially active in big data analytics with applications in media communication and health science. Predictive big data analytics provide valuable information, among others, on people’s behaviour and preferences. By sifting through big data to find meaningful information, companies can develop affordable new products and services that are available to people the minute they need them,” Dr. Gabbouj says.

Dr Vijay Raghavan, CVDI Director, said the international partnership with TUT will greatly benefit students working on CVDI’s projects by providing the highest quality of international research exposure. “This will advance their research careers in terms of understanding the global context of industry-relevant, big data research and creating opportunities to network with their peers in order to build future collaborations.” 

One of the proposed joint USA-Finland research efforts is entitled “Big Data Analysis in Social Media Applications.” It will enable junior researcher exchanges between the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Drexel University in Philadelphia and Tampere University of Technology. UL Lafayette and Drexel researchers, faculty and students will benefit from the partnership with TUT, as they will gain access to a broader knowledge base.

About a dozen private companies and government agencies are members of CVDI, including Johnson and Johnson, Lockheed Martin, Thomson & Reuters, IMS Health, CGI, Microsoft Research, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, and Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum. They contribute funds that support the center and, in turn, have access to leading edge developments in visual and decision informatics. Three Finnish companies – Tieto Finland Oy, M-Brain Insight Oy and Microsoft Mobile – have become the newest CVDI members. Researchers at other Finnish universities may join the TUT Site as associate faculty researchers, as the University of Helsinki has already done.

“This partnership offers Tampere University of Technology a unique opportunity to extend our excellent industry collaboration abroad. CVDI’s projects will enable our researchers to strengthen and diversify their collaboration networks and bring new ideas and perspectives to promote innovation in Finland,” says Markku Kivikoski, President of Tampere University of Technology.

DIGILE, one of Finland’s Strategic Centers for Science, Technology and Innovation, will provide support for the CVDI TUT Site. It brings together academic and commercial projects and organizations to foster productive collaboration and supports innovation with common frameworks and resources.

“TUT and DIGILE visited multiple centers before deciding that CVDI was the best fit for their research. Through DIGILE, CVDI members may have access to potential funding sources,” says Dr Pauli Kuosmanen, CEO of DIGILE.

The Center for Visual and Decision Informatics (CVDI) was established by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Drexel University. CVDI was created in 2012 as an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) under the National Science Foundation of the United States.

Further information:
Tampere University of Technology, Department of Signal Processing
Moncef Gabbouj, FIEEE
Director, NSF Visual and Decision Informatics I/UCRC TUT-Site
Academy of Finland Professor
Mobile +358 400 736613
Email: moncef.gabbouj (at)

News submitted by: Tuuli Laukkanen
Keywords: science and research, services and collaboration, big data, industry collaboration, partnership