Earlier this month, IBM awarded its Watson Solutions Faculty Award to Notre Dame computer science professor Nitesh Chawla. The IBM award recognizes the work of faculty on the forefront of big data and analytics and applying that work to social problems as well as incorporating it into curriculum, according to a University press release. Chawla, who currently serves as director of both the Interdisciplinary Center of Network Science and Applications and the Data, Interference, Analytic and Learning Lab, was honored for his work with the research of big data and healthcare innovation to examine possible solutions for the future of the healthcare field. “Big data is becoming a cornerstone of the modern economy,” he said. “A lot of my research has been around data, data mining, machine learning, network science and applications, and so my Watson Faculty Award was a recognition of that work and a recognition of the curriculum.” Chawla created a multidisciplinary course at Notre Dame called Healthcare Analytics, which uses his research ideas in part as a basis for the curriculum and includes majors from multiple colleges, he said. “It may be one of the more multidisciplinary courses on campus,” Chawla said. “Students from each discipline then are focused on how we can think about data and healthcare, how data in healthcare can lead to more personalized healthcare, more cost-effective healthcare.” The South Bend healthcare community has been responsive to the research and the class, Chawla said, and many local leaders in the industry have worked with the class, including executives from Michiana Health Information Network and the chief information officer of Beacon Health System. Chawla said this kind of outside interest and involvement is important to the class as well as demonstrating why IBM was so interested in his work, especially with the creation of its new initiative, the artificial intelligence machine known as Watson. IBM popularized its Watson machine by pitting it against top human competitors on the television game show “Jeopardy!”, but its capabilities are much greater than that, Chawla said. “[The class] is sort of emblematic of the work that Watson is doing. The machine is a cognitive system which brings in data and information from a variety of sources, processes it and delivers it in a viable form,” Chawla said. “That’s what we are trying to create in the classroom environment, where you have people from different disciplines, different backgrounds, different expertise working on projects together and then delivering it in a way that would make a difference to healthcare.” The class is split up into several groups that work on semester-long projects with the goal of operating at the intersection of medicine and big data research, Chawla said. Project topics include studying patient scheduling issues, readmission rates and global health partnerships. Contact Kevin Noonan at email@example.com
David Moyes jokingly suggested Ryan Giggs’ Manchester United team-mates might be trying to usher him out of the players’ dressing room by buying him a coach’s watch for his 40th birthday. Press Association And given Giggs’ outstanding contribution to Wednesday’s 5-0 hammering of Bayer Leverkusen, it is unlikely the United squad would want to be without the man who has now played an incredible 953 games for the Red Devils. “When I came I expected to see someone who must be dropping off, must be fading,” said Moyes. “I thought it would be obvious and I heard a lot of pundits thinking that as well. “I came with the idea that maybe he is not quite the same. “But I can honestly say he has been fantastic. “For Ryan to be playing so well at his age is terrific and a great example to young players about how you should dedicate yourself throughout your career. “Also to players who get into their early to mid-30s and think things are coming to an end it shows if you really look after yourself and train well, you can go on for a lot longer.” One of Moyes’ first decisions after replacing Sir Alex Ferguson in the summer was to appoint Giggs to his coaching team. He does make a contribution behind the scenes. But once training starts, he is in the thick of it, not on the outside watching, exactly as it has to be. “When you get older you have to train as hard as the young ones,” said Moyes. “He has been great for me. I have used him to settle into my job. “He is involved in all the stuff we do regarding the team but once we have decided what we are doing, and who is doing what, he will go and train with the players, just as he has done for the past 20 years.” In his wide-ranging discussions with Ferguson before his own appointment was confirmed, it was suggested to Moyes that Giggs would come into his own a few months into the campaign, when the pitches became softer. It was a point reinforced by the man himself on his first encounter with Moyes in the summer. The reality turned into something completely different. “I knew Ryan would be the dictator of it,” said Moyes. “He said he took a bit longer to get ready and didn’t tend to start the season. “But he played a lot of pre-season. I felt he was ready to start and we needed him. He has shown he was capable of that.” Giggs’ overall contribution has been remarkable. He may still be waiting for the Premier League goal that would extend his record of scoring in every season the competition has existed but few would bet against it happening at some point. And Giggs remains the man most likely to keep his cool in the maelstrom of an important game and deliver the right pass at exactly the right time. “We always have a discussion about when is the best time to use him and we also get a feel from him,” said Moyes. “Last Saturday, before we went to Cardiff, he was fantastic in training and if I had my way I would have played him. “One of his presents was a coach’s watch – I think they are beginning to think about pushing him out of the dressing room. “It is not a problem for him to play in two or three games but I had it in my mind Marouane Fellaini was suspended for the European game and I didn’t want to risk Ryan so quickly.” That suggests Giggs will not start at Tottenham on Sunday at the White Hart Lane ground where he confirmed his class with a sensational solo goal in 1992, when he was only 18. He has gone on to become the most decorated player in English football history, setting records it is impossible to imagine will ever be matched. “He’s undoubtedly at the top,” said Moyes, of Giggs’ standing in the modern game. And as for the future, bearing in mind speculation is already starting over an additional year’s contract extension. “When you get to this age you wait until the end of the season before making a decision,” said Moyes. “It is based on how you feel, how you have done over the year and what your body is telling you. “There are no quick decisions.” The Scot also admitted when he arrived at Old Trafford he expected to find a fading force in the veteran Welshman, no longer capable of having an impact, as so many critics have suggested down the years. Moyes accepts he could not have been more wrong.